Ed Sheffield, winner of this year’s Distinguished Service Award.

by Pete Mazzaccaro

Mt. Airy resident and two-time Republican mayoral candidate Sam Katz will be the featured speaker at next week’s Annual Meeting of the Chestnut Hill Community Association on Thursday, April 18.

Katz will speak about his most recent project: “Philadelphia: The Great Experiment,” a sweeping seven-part series on the history of the city. Three episodes have been completed in recent years, and the fourth, covering 1965 to 1978, is currently in production. Katz is the series’ producer.

The CHCA annual meeting features dinner and a guest speaker. Recent guest speakers have included Councilwoman Cindy Bass and Sister Carol Jean Vale, president of Chestnut Hill College.

Also taking place at the meeting will be the presentation of four community awards to local volunteers.

This year’s Chestnut Hill Award for outstanding community service is going to Amy Edelman, owner of Night Kitchen Bakery and founder of Green in Chestnut Hill (GRinCH).

Edelman is being recognized primarily for her efforts with GRinCH, which has worked to promote recycling and basic sustainability practices in the neighborhood. A passage from her award reads as follows:

“Through her many positive contributions, Amy has become a quiet but powerful voice for the future of Chestnut Hill. Residents, business owners, students, and visitors have been enlightened by her efforts, and Philadelphia’s Garden District has become truly “greener” for the years to come.”

This year’s Distinguished Service Award is being awarded to Ed Sheffield for his work with Chestnut Hill Hospital and its Main Street Fair, for his service as the treasurer of the Bird in Hand consignment shop, and his volunteer effort with the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society and the St.v Paul’s Episcopal Church Vestry Committee.

“For over 50 years, Ed Sheffield has generously given his time, energy, care, and expertise to many of Chestnut Hill’s organizations and institution,” reads a paragraph in his award.

This year’s Meritorious Service Award is going to Chestnut Hill resident and Chestnut Hill Community Fund treasurer Tolis Vardakis.

Vardakis is a former president of the CHCA and served on its Budget and Finance and Bylaws committees for many years. He is also a member of the Chestnut Hill Rotary Club and is a supporter of Chestnut Hill green spaces: Buckley Park and the Volunteer Memorial Garden.

A paragraph in the award he will receive next Thursday reads:

“Tolis continues tirelessly to serve the CHCA and our community by building relationships between various Chestnut Hill organizations, businesses, and residents. All of us who have worked with him greatly appreciate his efforts,” reads.

Finally, the Benefactors Award will go to 84 volunteers who have organized the Black and White Gala since 2003.

“Due to their vision, creativity, and hard work over the years, the Black & White Gala committees have raised many thousands of dollars to support the Chestnut Hill Community Association and Chestnut Hill Community Fund.,” reads a portion of that award.

The annual dinner will begin at 6 p.m. and run until 9 p.m. at Chestnut Hill Presbyterian Church, 8855 Germantown Avenue. For reservations call 215-248-8810.

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