From sad news to good for Center for Enrichment

This is a letter to tell a story about the Chestnut Hill Center for Enrichment (CHCE) – some of you still call it the Senior Center – the name doesn’t really matter, but the tale does.

At the beginning of 2009, we were told that we would have to move from our Crittenden Street site. We looked around and found that we could not afford any of the rents off Germantown Avenue let along on it.Then I met with Richard Snowden and told him our plight.

He suggested that we move into his property at 8431 Germantown Avenue – I thanked him and said that would be wonderful, but we could only afford the rent (a minimal fee) we were paying on Crittenden. He decided that we would pay that same amount. So, in March, 2009, we moved into our jewel of a home – the home, by the way that Bowman had painted, the floors re-done, and a kitchen and bathroom installed for us. We were in heaven!

During the months since that time, we struggled with paying our bills, but we managed. In November, 2010, the board looked at finances, and decided, with regret, that it was time to close the center. The downturn in the economy had finally trickled down to us, and we had not received funds from three foundations to which we had applied. The writing was on the wall. So, on Nov. 21, we mailed letters to our members telling them of the decision. They were sad and somewhat disbelieving.

Then came the best news of all – three anonymous donors, acting separately came forward to give us the money we needed. A meeting with Mr. Snowden had been set for Dec. 1 to discuss our moving out; instead, it became a meeting to ask if we could remain at 8431, as we now had the funds to stay open. He, not only agreed, but said as his contribution, he would like us to be rent-free for 2011. Could it get any better for us?

The next night, at a special board meeting, the vote to remain open was unanimous!

In closing, I want to thank all the angels that have flown into our lives – the three donors, Mr. Snowden, and all those in the community who believe that there is a need for the CHCE.

We are open for business, and invite you to come visit us and see just what we do!

Marilyn Paucker
CHCE Board of Governors

Grateful for community support

Bob Gallagher called Chestnut Hill home for all of his 86 years. He was born in nearby Erdenheim. He raised his family in Chestnut Hill, worshipped in Chestnut Hill and called Chestnut Hill home.

He touched the lives of his patients and was equally touched by their lives. Dr. Bob practiced dentistry here for more than 58 years. Many Chestnut Hill residents first met him as patients but soon became fast friends. Bob loved Chestnut Hill and the many people he called friend.

These past few weeks have been difficult for me but I want to express my heartfelt thanks to all our friends and the entire Chestnut Hill community, for the outpouring of love and respect shown me and our family during this challenging time. The love displayed for this gentle man just reinforces what he and I have known for a long while; there is no place like Chestnut Hill.

Lynn D. Gallagher and family
Chestnut Hill

Doesn’t need Kindle

Hugh Gilmore’s investigation into the Kindle is appropriate for a bibliophile. Certainly people who travel a lot will find it useful, and the young who relate to everything electronic certainly “need” the Kindle. I, on the other hand, see no need to be au courant. I am perfectly satisfied with the service of the Free Library of Philadelphia, Ben’s creation.

At no cost, I reserve the books I want to read at the library and within a short time receive a letter from the Central branch when that book has been delivered to Lovett (in Mt. Airy).

When I go to pick up my book, it’s exciting. I don’t remember what I’ve requested. Will it be the latest Elmore Leonard or the book recommended by a buddy? Will it be fiction or non-fiction? What’s in store for me for the next few days?

If the Philadelphia system doesn’t have the book I want, they will find it for me some place else. I once was delivered a book from Yeshiva University. The Philadelphia library reached all the way to northern Manhattan to satisfy my request.

True, this isn’t instant gratification, but the price is right and the savings considerable if you read better than a book a week, as I do. Perhaps there is a message for young people: relax; you can’t always get what you want when you want it. But then, who wants to listen to the “wisdom” of an old lady?

Maggie Wollman
Mt. Airy

A good turnout

I just wanted to drop you a note to thank you for the nice article you wrote in the Chestnut Hill Local (“Acclaimed Chestnut Hill novelist at library Dec. 8,” Dec. 2 issue). I really appreciated the time you took with that. We had a good turnout for the reading, and I think people were grateful to have heard about it through the paper.

Justin Kramon
Chestnut Hill
Author of “Finny”
(Random House 2010)

Thanks for the effort

I just got a chance to read the article Lou Mancinelli wrote about RockStar Crystal Gallery & Wellness Center (Dec. 9 issue), and I wanted to send a note to say thank you. I had a great time meeting with him and really appreciate the extra attention he paid to various details and research.

I also wanted to thank the editor for calling me to double check on details. It is good to know the minds behind the Local’s writing are so present and attentive to those things. It makes reading the paper even more enjoyable. Much gratitude.

Kate Victoria
RockStar Gallery
Mt. Airy