by Celeste Hardester

Whether you have lived in this area all your life, came here as an adult, or recently moved here because you were drawn to all that this area has to offer, a key thing that makes living here special is feeling you are part of this community.

I hear people say they moved here because it is so beautiful and has so many amenities, because they wanted to live close to the Avenue to be able to shop, eat out, and meet friends. I’ve heard others say their house is too small but they find a way to make it work because they love being here. Many love the proximity to the Wissahickon and make it a part of daily life. And many, many say they love being here because of the sense of community.

Outstanding in this community is people’s willingness to volunteer, to help the things they care about, to be part of things that interest them, to join what they find fun. In becoming involved, they strengthen and enrich the fabric of the community, keeping it vital and alive for everyone. The truth is that, whether you know who they were or not, EVERYONE benefits from past generations of so many who made giving back part of their lives. Our quality of life is the result of their commitment.

The Chestnut Hill Community Association (CHCA) offers many, many ways to give back. The very successful blood drive last month was one. Here are initiatives in the coming months. Please consider how your interests and abilities could add to this amazing tradition. You are welcome to call me to learn more.

CHCA At-Large Board of Directors Elections – eight positions open up for election every April. From overseeing the Chestnut Hill Local and the Chestnut Hill Community Fund, to planning community events, to making recommendations to the Philadelphia Zoning Board of Appeals on development projects, directors provide input on issues of great meaning to the community. I encourage you to go to to read more about the CHCA and consider what your participation as a director could mean for you and the community.

Land Use Planning and Zoning Committee – This committee is fundamental to one of the core purposes of the CHCA. It serves as the public forum where development projects are presented for public discussion. Comprised of volunteers who are professional in their fields of architecture, planning and related disciplines, the committee is looking for additional volunteers, including those who can bring expertise in landscape architecture and zoning law.

Hoops Madness Basketball Tournament, March 22 – Volunteers are needed for preregistration; getting the word out to schools, parents, and participants; sponsors; referees; scorekeepers – you name it. It’s a great event to be part of.

Living Healthy on the Hill, May 3 – Working in conjunction with Teenagers Inc. and many Chestnut Hill organizations and businesses, this day promises to provide a fun and informative way for people to learn how they can improve and maintain healthy lives with the help of resources in our own community.

 Pastorius Park Concerts, June/July – this beloved tradition provides seven evening concerts where people enjoy music and food with friends and family under the stars. Volunteers are needed throughout the spring and also at each concert.

 Black & White Gala, September/October – yet to be unwrapped, there is a gala in the offing. Help us get it off the ground. If you have never been to the gala before, it is an event that brings smiles to peoples’ faces just at the mention of it. You won’t want to miss it, but better yet, be part of the team that brings it to life!

I look forward to speaking with you!

Contact Celeste Hardester, CHCA Community Manager, at or 215-248-8811.

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