by Brendan Sample

As the Chestnut Hill Community Association’s Annual Appeal fundraiser draws to a close at the end of March, the campaign, as of Feb. 28, has 76 more individual donations than it did at this point last year, but donations are down about $1,000 overall. The fundraiser’s progress was one of several new community developments discussed at the CHCA Board of Directors’ monthly meeting on Thursday, Feb. 28.

Kathi Clayton, who has been running the appeal with Susan Bray, spoke at the meeting about the positive and negative aspects of the fundraiser to this point. She once again called on individual board members to donate, as she hopes to increase the board’s participation rate, which is just over 57 percent, to 100 percent by the end of the campaign on March 31. Despite certain setbacks in the appeal, however, she also expressed her gratitude toward those board members that have contributed in other ways.

“I wanted to thank the board members who came to my house and wrote [170] personal notes, and I think that has really made a difference for some people,” Clayton said. “I also wanted to compliment Anne [McNiff] and Janet [Gala] for the weekly emails that are advertising our activities and achievements. I think they have been great.”

On the business side of the agenda, the Chestnut Hill Business District announced that Kimberly James Bridal will be opening on March 29. It will be the first bridal gown boutique in Chestnut Hill and will occupy the same space left by the recently closed Sherlocks Salon on 15 W . Highland Ave.

Additionally, the CHBD has secured commitments from SEPTA to make three structural improvements in the neighborhood. SEPTA will be restoring the Chestnut Hill West station canopy over the newsstand, repainting over more than 60 metal telephone poles along Germantown Avenue and replacing the concrete in select priority areas around the trolley tracks. While the fixes will be moving forward this year, there is currently no set timeline for when they will be completed.

Lastly, the Chestnut Hill Parking Foundation is preparing to establish a mobile payment app for its lots that will be ready in approximately a month. In addition to still being able to use the existing kiosks, customers will have the option of using the same apps that are already connected to other Philadelphia Parking Authority street meters.

CHCA Executive Director Anne McNiff also announced that, in conjunction with West Mt. Airy Neighbors, the CHCA will be working to set up a candidates’ forum for several of the major upcoming local elections. They will invite all the major candidates for mayor, at-Large City Council seats and the 8th District Council seat. The tentative date for the forum is April 24, though that date could change if several candidates are unable to attend, and a location is still to be determined.

The next CHCA Board of Directors meeting is set for Thursday, March 28, at 7 p.m. Brendan Sample can be reached at 215-248-8819 or