by Pete Mazzaccaro

Every year – for the last 40 – the Chestnut Hill Community Fund Drive raises tens of thousands of dollars to be distributed to local charity organizations. The drive is the main fundraiser every year for the Chestnut Hill Community Fund, a 501(c) (3) organization and is facilitated by the Chestnut Hill Community Association, which helps the fund solicit and collect funds.

As of this week, the drive has collected more than $96,000 towards its goal of $100,000. Every penny raised will be divided between a number of deserving nonprofits in Northwest Philadelphia – all of which have filed grant applications with a the CHCA Budget and Finance Committee, which will make funding recommendations to the CHCA Board and CHCF Trustees when the fund drive comes to a close on March 31.

To donate to the fund, contact Noreen Spota at 215-248-8810 or

There is still nearly a week to give to the fund. All donations are tax deductible. Donors can also be sure that their money will go to a local group. It may be the best way to give to the community.

The following is a list of organizations that have applied for grants this year. Not all organizations will get what they asked for, but the more money the drive raises, the better each organizations chances are of getting what they need.

* The Buxtehude Consort: To support the performance of six concerts at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Chestnut Hill featuring vocal and instrumental works of the Baroque period.

* Chestnut Hill Center for Enrichment: To support programs — workshops, classes, and social events — that help local residents over age 50 continue to live independently, remain socially engaged, stay physically and mentally active, and make their unique contributions to the neighborhood.

* Chestnut Hill Friends Meetinghouse Project: To support the construction of the “Skyspace,” an ingeniously lit chamber with a ceiling aperture through which the changing sky at dawn or dusk seems to move mysteriously close and intensify in color and mass. This will be regularly open to community members and tourists for quiet respite, contemplation, and meditation.

* Chestnut Hill Garden District Fund: To support the continuing hanging basket and barrel program along Germantown Avenue and maintenance of the entryway park at Germantown Avenue and Cresheim Valley Drive.

* Chestnut Hill Meals on Wheels: To provide fresh, nutritious meals to disabled and senior homebound people in the Chestnut Hill area who require subsidized service.

* Children’s Park in Chestnut Hill: To support the maintenance of this unique community play area and social space at the John S. Jenks elementary school.

* Community Partnership School: To provide mentoring and other support services for a low-income student attending one of the private middle schools in Chestnut Hill.

* The Crossing: To support the performance of two choral concerts at the Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill featuring “Modern Vespers” music fashioned after the ancient evening prayer service but cast in modern themes and musical languages.

* Friends of the Wissahickon: To support the “Wissahickon Stormwater Mitigation and Sediment Reduction Project” at the Valley Green Road site, which will entail stabilization of the tributary stream bank, training volunteers, and stormwater management education.

* Friends of the Wyndmoor Train Station: To support the maintenance of the gardens at this, the most heavily used station on the R-7 line.

* John S. Jenks School: To support the school’s ongoing auditorium improvement project.

* Keystone Hospice: To provide hospice services to terminally ill men, women, and children in the Chestnut Hill area whose insurance will not cover the services and who cannot afford to pay privately.

* Mt. Airy Learning Tree: To support mechanical, plumbing, and electrical repairs and energy-efficient improvements to their property, which has not been updated for the past 30 years.

* Project Learn: To support a series of free monthly cooking classes for boys and girls age 5-15 years who live in the Chestnut Hill/Mt. Airy/Germantown area.

* The Stagecrafters: To support their “Green Campaign,” begun in 2005 to reduce the environmental impact of their activities, and to beautify the building and grounds using sustainable and environmentally sound methods.

* Teenagers, Inc.: To provide a variety of social, service, and leadership programs for young people age 12-18.

* Weavers Way Community Programs: To support “Marketplace,” a school-based student-run co-operative food business program at the John S. Jenks and Our Mother of Consolation Schools.


CHCA Programs:


* Pastorius Park Summer Concert Series: To support this long-standing series of evening concerts running from mid-June to early August, free to the public and featuring a wide variety of performers and organized by the CHCA.

* CHCA Awards: To support the presentation of four awards recognizing the outstanding service of Chestnut Hill volunteers.

* CHCA Development Review and Land Use Planning and Zoning Committees: To support the operations of these two key committees.

* CHCA Volunteer Memorial Garden: To support the maintenance of this small garden located in front of the former Borders building honoring Chestnut Hill’s many volunteers.


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