by Pete Mazzaccaro

When the Chestnut Hill Community Association holds its annual Black and White Gala this Saturday, Oct. 14, the organization will recognize three local notables with community awards.

The awards, which had in the past been given during presentations at the organization’s annual meeting, were moved to the gala to raise the profile of the awards, according to Marilyn Paucker, vice president of the CHCA’s social division.

“We wanted to raise awareness of the awards and the recipients,” Paucker said. “This way, more people in the community will know about their good work.”

The winners are as follows: Mary Ann Boyer, leader of the community’s Tree Tender program, will receive the Distinguished Service Award. Woodmere Art Museum CEO William Valerio is being given the Meritorious Service Award. And, finally, the Van Sciver family will receive the Chestnut Hill Award for its commitment to preserving the family estate “Ingleside” at Bethlehem Pike and Stenton Avenue.

Boyer, a former middle school science teacher who also worked as a scientist for the Environmental Protection Agency is being recognized for her efforts in organizing volunteers around tree planting in Chestnut Hill.

“[S]he has worked with co-chairs to cultivate a dedicated committee which has consistently attracted a larger volunteer group to conduct spring and fall plantings,” reads a portion of the text for her award. “So far, nearly 150 new trees have been installed along public ways in the community, and the program has been set up to sustain itself going forward.”

Valerio’s award is in recognition of the museum CEO’s accomplishments since being appointed in 2010.

“He has sparked a new vibrancy at Woodmere, elevating the status of the city’s artists and tripling annual attendance,” his award reads. “His vision has seamlessly melded art and sustainability.”

The Chestnut Hill award will recognize the century-long commitment of the Van Sciver family to preserving open space at the family estate.

“For having placed conservation easements on a significant portion of this more than 20-acre property and beginning a master planning process to ultimately preserve and protect this irreplaceable resource for future generations, your friends and neighbors in Chestnut Hill and beyond are forever thankful and indebted,” reads a portion of the award text.

The Black and White Gala will be held from 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Oct 14, under a tent in front of Chestnut Hill Hospital, 8835 Germantown Ave. Tickets are $90 for CHCA members and $95 for non-members. A portion of every ticket is tax deductible. Tickets can be purchased by phone at 215-248-8810, or by check with your name and phone number mailed to the Chestnut Hill Community Association, 8434 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19118