2017 Black & White Gala a success

Thank you to all who attended and supported our 2107 Black & White Gala. With 300 party revelers, the atmosphere was dynamic and our wonderful band, the Rich Posmontier Ensemble, kept everyone on their toes dancing; no one wanted the evening of enchantment to end. The gala’s origins started to bring members of the board, our partners and our community together to celebrate Chestnut Hill. We were happy to deliver on that promise!

We were delighted to have honorary chairs Attorney Kate Cacciamani and Director and CEO of the Woodmere Art Museum Bill Valerio be so involved with our committee. Kate shared her story of growing up just outside of Scranton, Pa., and hearing about Chestnut Hill from her great Aunt Mary Agnes Brown from Brooklyn, who attended Chestnut Hill College (class of 1944). Thanks to Bill’s efforts, we added a splash of color to the Black and White Gala with beautiful Alexander Calder artwork for our invitation from Woodmere’s collection. That splash of color carried over with art supply donations from attendees for the Jenks Academy of the Arts and Sciences.

The gala benefited the Chestnut Hill Community Association and allows us to maintain Chestnut Hill as a vibrant and special place to live. The Community Association is a volunteer organization whose fingerprints you can find all over the events held in Chestnut Hill from the Pastorius Park Concerts, to Movie Nights, the Holiday House Tour and Hoops Madness.

We had extremely generous sponsors, and we thank them for all their donations. Our generous Main Sponsors were: Bowman Properties and Chestnut Hill Hospital. Our Classic Sponsors were George Woodward Company, Kurfiss Sotheby’s Realty, Merrill Lynch the Nottingham-Goodman Group, Pepper Hamilton, Springside Chestnut Hill Academy and St. Clair CPA Solutions.

Our Event Sponsors were: Hirshorn Boothby, Norwood Academy, Northern Ophthalmic Associates, the Spice Rack and Your Mercedes.Com. Our in-kind sponsors were: Chestnut Hill Brewing, the Chestnut Hill Local, Fresh Market, Laurel Hill Gardens, Wawa and Weavers Way.

We had a fantastic Black and White Gala Committee this year. Thank you to my fellow committee members Kate Cacciamani, Bill Valerio, Cathy Brzozowski, Fred Holzerman, Andy Kite, Andrea Nash, Kerry Noone, Chris Padova, Marilyn Paucker (chair), Joanne Pizzano, Joe Pizzano, Dan Pulka, Anne Standish and Jean Wedgwood.

We’re already making plans for our 2018 Gala and hope to see you there!

Laura Lucas, President
Chestnut Hill Community Association


Krasner the right choice for DA

What do we want from our district attorney, the city’s chief law enforcement officer? The choice we make in this election could have profound consequences for many years to come.

Voters in the 9th Ward, which includes all of Chestnut Hill and the upper half of Mount Airy are well aware of the importance of voting and have one of the highest voter turnout percentages in the city. This year amidst the unpredictable events at the federal level, local public officials take on added significance.

One candidate for DA understands how critical it is to do things differently. “Justice makes us safer” is Larry Krasner’s campaign slogan, and as a career criminal defense attorney for 30 years, he understands the societal consequences of an unjust system. The District Attorney must be more than prosecutor; he/she must support just results in a myriad of forms, be willing to think outside the box and be the chief advocate for crime prevention programs.

Justice not only makes us all safer, but is more cost effective. Taxpayers spend more than $40,000 per inmate to house those waiting for trial who cannot afford bail. Death penalty cases cost millions in a state that has not voluntarily executed anyone since the mid-sixties.

There are crime prevention programs in other parts of the country that are both cost effective and just. One such effort is youth courts (something I know about because I coordinated City Council hearings on them several years ago).  Youth courts, an innovative concept, is a peer-driven, alternative justice system run for and by youth with a goal of short-circuiting the “school to prison pipeline,” and reduce waste of taxpayer dollars due to ineffective youth incarcerations.

So on Nov. 7 we can vote for a fairer criminal justice system as well as a more cost-effective one.

Shoshana Bricklin
Chestnut Hill


Subject of story in Local passes away

My dog, Cheri, passed away Oct. 6. Dr. Laura Holland, her veterinarian, informed me that there was a problem with her heart, and she thought it best to put her “to sleep.” She had fully regained her ability to walk; however, she was aging.

Cheri did not have a heart attack and did not die alone or in pain.  She was eased into the next life without pain but with the assistance of a kind, caring veterinarian. I held her and felt the last beat of her heart.

I am telling you this because the story you published in the Chestnut Hill Local in 2014 — Cheri’s story — was emailed to the owner of Bucks Country Gardens when I had requested permission to bury her on his property.

I chose this location because many children attend outdoor seasonal events nearby. It reminded me of our afternoons in the park where she played with children. And that is exactly where she was buried, near fun-loving kids and hayrides and a pumpkin patch!

I requested assistance from the Doylestown Fire Department. They were more than willing to help me dig a three-foot hole, again, because I shared her story and because she had helped save lives. And a landscaper, someone I had never met, prepared the burial site!

I am greatly moved by the kindness of strangers and the power of the written word. I believe that her little life and special story had a happy, beautiful ending. Thanks for publishing her story! I will share the rose petal story another time. For now, she was buried with roses, and later I found one petal from one of those roses in my car.

RoseAnna Lucarelli Bancroft
Formerly of Chestnut Hill, now Doylestown