by Paula M. Riley

The pages of this paper hold stories of the Chestnut Hill community each week. These tales tell of community events, controversy, and achievements. Since the inception of the Chestnut Hill Community Association more than 60 years ago, hundreds of individuals have dedicated time, talent and treasure to improve the quality and character of the community. Their efforts have framed these stories.

Each year, a few of the most dedicated community servants are recognized for their tireless commitment to enhancing Chestnut Hill. On Thursday, April 19, at the Community Association Annual Dinner and Meeting, three such individuals will be celebrated.

Joyce Lenhardt, Tom Hemphill and Dr. Susan Higley Bray are the recipients of this year’s honors.

Selected as the winner of the Chestnut Hill Award, Lenhardt is being recognized for almost two decades of community service. Most recently, Lenhardt served as the chairperson for the negotiating group appointed to negotiate a successful resolution to the Magarity Site redevelopment.

The CHCA Awards Committee, made up of past award recipients, found that in this capacity she displayed diplomacy and fairness in the face of challenging and controversial issues. Her award plaque reads, “Her consistent demand for follow through on physical design, zoning, continuing site management aspects and respectful engagement of all involved parties has earned the continuing respect of neighbors, developers and professionals alike.”

Lenhardt also played a role on the CHCA Negotiating Group with Chestnut Hill College. She is a current CHCA board member and has served on the Land Use Planning and Zoning Committee (LUPZ) for over 18 years, contributing her architectural expertise and listening skills. Her most obvious community achievement may be the Children’s Park in Chestnut Hill. She was the co-chair of the committee that led the efforts to raise funds and oversee a community build of the playground and gardensbon the grounds of J.S. Jenks School in 1997.

Tom Hemphill’s community contributions may not be as obvious as the playground, but their impact has been great as well. Hemphill has served as Chairperson of CHCA Physical Division’s Traffic, Transportation & Parking Committee.  He is being recognized for his tenure on this Committe, attention to detail and the extra time and effort he has dedicated to explore multiple solutions to problems faced by the Committee.

Hemphill has been a CHCA board member for the past nine years and also made great contributions on the Membership Committee.  His award plaque for The Meritorious Award reads, “Tom’s indomitable spirit and positive approach are an inspiration to us all.”

Susan Bray’s contributions have touched many corners of the community as she has been involved in numerous local organizations. She is the recipient of the Distinguished Service Award. Currently Dr. Bray serves as the President of the Chestnut Hill Rotary Club and co-chairs of the Chestnut Hill Community Fund Drive which surpassed its goal this year.  Dr. Bray has dedicated her time and talents to raise funds as a member of the CHCA Black & White Gala, Chestnut Hill Historical Society Preservation Celebration and The Chestnut Hill Center for Enrichment Design Show House planning committees. She is being recognized for her kindness, generosity and energy.   Dr. Bray has also served as a Trustee of the Chestnut Hill Community Fund and Vice President of the Chestnut Hill Center for Enrichment.

The CHCA Annual Dinner & Meeting will be held at the Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill from 5:30-9:30pm and is open to the public.  These award winners will be formally recognized at the celebration which also includes a State of the Association address by CHCA President Jane Piotrowski and a keynote address by City Councilwoman Cindy Bass.

“We hope that Chestnut Hill residents come to the event,” says Piotrowski.  “It is a great way to hear about what is happening in the community and also to be inspired by the work and dedication of these award winners.”

Tickets for the dinner are $30. The Meeting begins at 7:30pm.  Guests do not need to attend the dinner to be able to attend the meeting.

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