Members of the Chestnut Hill Youth Sports Club’s Soccer Team Lightning Jerseys hang on the window of the future office of Benedum Law at 8640 Germantown Ave. in Chestnut Hill. (Photo courtesy of …
by Sue Ann Rybak
It’s hard to miss the “Keep It on the Hill” and CHYSC’s paper Lightning Jerseys posted on the storefront window of the future office of Benedum Law at 8640 Germantown Ave. in Chestnut Hill.
Christine Benedum, who is the sister-in-law of Martha Sharkey, the former Chestnut Hill Business Director, said she closed on the property on March 23. Unfortunately, since then, they have been in “a little bit of a holding pattern” in part due to Mayor Jim Kennedy’s executive order, which places restrictions on construction activity to limit the spread of COVID-19.
She was looking for a larger space when this opportunity became available.
“This location is great for the needs of our clients,” she said. “We are excited and ready to move forward, but we are a little bit on hold. It’s been empty for a while, and we wanted to put some life into it. One of the coaches suggested we put the kids’ artwork up there.”
Benedum’s son Grant plays on a team with the popular club.
Chestnut Hill resident Adrian Stanley, who is the coach of Blue Lightning team on which Grant plays, said it was his wife Mary Fitzgerald’s idea.
“My niece designed a template supporting the Keep it on the Hill campaign,” Stanley said. “Then, the Chestnut Hill Football Commissioner emailed it to all the members of the soccer teams. We received amazing feedback from all the parents who did it with their kids. They thought about it and did it together. It was a family effort. Christine printed a couple out. We hoped we get a few more back. It was nice because we haven’t been able to gather together to practice or do anything to keep the morale up.
“I played soccer all my life. My philosophy of playing soccer and coaching is, ‘It’s the whole team – the community, the parents, the kids, the grandparents.’ Everybody helps and supports each other.
Benedum added although the pandemic canceled the season, it was still vital for the team to talk via zoom or on the phone, participate in drive-by birthdays, and work on small projects such as the Jerseys.
“It was something they can do together as a team,” she said. “So, it was really exciting for them. We are still collecting the jerseys. We want to keep filling in the wall.”
Stanley said it wasn’t just about the team working towards a goal; it was about building relationships or bonds within that team or community.
“I think in times like these, you need people coming together doing simple things to help and support each other.”