Holiday 2011 Issue Note
What is Beautiful Is Joy For All Seasons…and a Community To Call Home
The world is so empty if one thinks only of mountains, rivers and cities; but to know someone who thinks and feels with us, and who, though distant, is close to us in spirit, this makes the earth for us an inhabited garden.”
—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
IT WAS IN MARCH OF 1996 when Joe and I moved our family to West Chester, Pennsylvania. We came from Atlanta, where our children were born and for years, it was called home. The year we moved, was the year of the infamous snow storm of ’96. “Welcome to the north,” we often heard. Recalling many “snow days” where our kids were out from school. That was different, indeed. A shock to many, but there was never a day that we felt homesick. We were excited to be in West Chester and even asked ourselves, what is it that we love so much about this area?
Orientation of Chester County started shortly after our move when I began to volunteer at the Chester County Historical Society. I was trained to lead architectural walking tours and present their wonderful exhibits to groups. What a perfect way to learn about this lovely community and its rich historical heritage.
The walking tours I led revealed more than beautiful architecture and charming seasonal decorations on lampposts. Places held stories of a special heritage. The people behind the doors of businesses, shops, churches, Chamber of Commerce, non-profit organizations and historic homes were good neighbors. My husband Joe and I fell in love with the community spirit almost instantly.
Over time, my appreciation for the community, its connections and its ongoing cycle of giving and receiving has grown. A sense of altruism, ever so present. Inside this issue, The Women’s Journal celebrates this community spirit. It recognizes partnerships among neighbors and threads of connections woven together like a beautiful tapestry. It honors community gifts given and received, and offerings from the heart that accompany tangible objects. Like the everlasting love and memories of priceless moments bestowed upon me with a beautiful ruby ring from my father, these gifts keep on giving.
Our success thrives on one other for growth, development, inspiration and overall support. Solid and reliable community partners are the Chambers of Commerce. There are many in our region, all striving for one common purpose; to connect and engage the members and provide a great platform for our diverse business community in which to succeed. Most importantly, the Chamber works on your behalf – an advocate for a stronger economic environment with an unwavering focus on making Chester County the best place to live and to work.
As a resident of Chester County and involved in the community, both personally and professionally, it gives me great pleasure to have the unique opportunity to partner with the Chambers as we support the larger community. If you haven’t already joined a chamber, I encourage you to do the same.
This issue applauds the work and spirit of our community. Within these pages:
- There are numerous Chambers of Commerce elevating business in our region. TWJ features five: Southern Chester County, Main Line, Exton Region, Greater West Chester, and the Chester County Chamber of Business & Industry. Each plays a vital role in the area’s prosperity.
- Discover what awaits you at the shops of Eagleview, where The Hankin Group has created a community within a community.
- Just in time for the season, see what Gifford Photography’s new venture, Visualities, holds for you. Meet a new contributor—DNB Promotions. Check the nooks and crannies at French Creek Boutique for a holiday fashion treasure. Find out how State Farm Agent Merry Piper can help you prepare for upcoming snowy months.
- Learn about vital issues from healthcare professionals, including West Chester Gastrointestinal Group and ABC Hearing. Thanksgiving—when many of us count good health among our blessings—is a wonderful time to express gratitude for our partners in health.
- Read about some of our community’s non-profit partners: the Women’s Resource Center, the new Community Warehouse Project that is set to soar with your help, and the March of Dimes. Our community is a better place because of the time, talent and powerful insights contributed by the March of Dimes 2011 Women of Achievement.
This is, indeed, the most wonderful time of the year because of the people in our community who uphold and uplift each other each and every day. Glad Tidings to you!