Fairmount Park Conservancy’s Annual “GLOW in the Park” Event

For one night only, the reflecting pool at the Horticulture Center in West Fairmount Park will be illuminated by an original light sculpture designed for the site by the artists David Guinn and Robert Goodman. The custom piece will serve as a focal point for the gathering of 400+ young professionals who come out to enjoy food, cocktails, and music in support of Philadelphia’s public parks.

When: Thursday, October 19, 6 – 9 pm

What: Speaking Program, 7:30 pm

WHERE: Reflecting Pool at the Fairmount Park Horticulture Center, 100 N. Horticulture Dr., Philadelphia, PA 19131

WHO: Brief remarks by Fairmount Park Conservancy’s Executive Director Jamie Gauthier and Philadelphia Parks & Recreation Commissioner Kathryn Ott Lovell. Entertainment will be provided by globally-recognized guitarist Dai Miyazaki and the dance band Blues Junior.

This year’s GLOW in the Park will feature a menu of party favorites like sliders, fried cheese curds, pulled pork, and cupcakes as well as vegan options, Yards beer, and Tito’s vodka. Proceeds from the event will support creek restoration at nearby Lansdowne and Montgomery Creeks. Ticket prices range from $45 for members of Fairmount Park Conservancy to $75 for non-members and $100 at the door. Purchase tickets online.


Fairmount Park Conservancy exists to champion Philadelphia’s parks. We lead capital projects and historic preservation efforts, foster neighborhood park stewardship, attract and leverage investments, and develop innovative programs throughout the 10,200 acres that include Fairmount Park and more than 100 neighborhood parks around the city. Philadelphia has one of the largest urban park systems in the world, providing residents with extensive health, environmental, social, economic and cultural benefits – including access to some of the region’s most famous attractions.  For more information, please visit myphillypark.org, join us at facebook.com/fairmountparkconservancy, and follow us on Instagram and Twitter @myphillypark.


Businesses host 30 free Community Book Depots on Lancaster Avenue

Leroy’s Barber Shop will host the Community Book Depots on Lancaster Avenue launch on Thursday, October 5. The depots are the result of a collaboration between West Philadelphia Action for Early Learning (AFEL), (a partnership between Drexel University and People’s Emergency Center), along with Philadelphia Reads, Read by 4th and West Philadelphia Promise Neighborhood. A modification of the “tiny libraries” that have become a literacy trend, people are encouraged to keep the books they pick up and read together as a family. Thirty neighborhood-oriented stores along Lancaster Avenue have opened space for a crate full of books inside their stores. The launch of the Community Book Depots will include presentation, a book demo, and a celebration of a diverse and committed community coming together to bolster early childhood literacy for all.

When:   Thursday, October 5th, 11:00am

Where: Leroy’s Barber Shop; 4123 Lancaster Ave, Philadelphia PA 19104


  • Invested neighbors of diverse backgrounds excited to encourage literacy for children
  • Autumn decorations and a classic barber shop
  • Short presentations from partner organizations
  • Resources available for neighbors

Contact: Trish Downey, PEC at 267-777-5811; 267-334-5778; tdowney@pec-cares.org

Join Families Forward at the Fifth Annual Jannie L. Blackwell Gala

Philadelphia, PA: Established in 1915, Families Forward Philadelphia has provided information, advice, guidance, protection and shelter to all who have walked through their doors. Originally catered to travelers experiencing our city, Families Forward has continued this legacy 102 years later, catering to the needs of Philadelphia’s homeless community.

We cordially invite you to join the Families Forward Philadelphia community on Wednesday, October 18 2017, from 6-9 PM at the Please Touch Museum to highlight another year of new beginnings for members within our community. This will be an adult and kid friendly event, so we encourage you to bring your family!

The Honorable Jannie L. Blackwell will be in attendance as we enjoy a wonderful evening. Councilwoman Blackwell has made a lifelong commitment to move her community forward, and has always worked to foster an end to homelessness, neighborhood blight and poor public education through the tools of public policy, legislation and public involvement. Her overall vision is to improve her constituents’ quality of life – regardless of race, class, gender, or socio-economic status.  She continues to believe that there is a solution to every problem, and that when we work together, everybody wins.

Alongside our community we’re honored to announce that Nikki Johnson-Huston, Esq will be joining our celebration to speak about her journey transitioning from a homeless youth to an award-winning Attorney, Advocate, and Speaker. We’ll also be presenting the Jannie L. Blackwell Humanitarian Award to a well deserving group or individual committed to vulnerable families within Philadelphia.

This year’s event will feature live performances from Mad Beatz Philly, acclaimed Collegiate street performance group based at Kensington Creative and Performing Arts High School as well as the sultry, smooth and genuine vocal stylings of R&B Soul Singer, Shiena.

In addition, this year’s celebration will align with Homeless Children’s Awareness Week (October 15-21), shining a light on the plight and promise of youth experiencing homelessness. We hope you’ll join us this October as we continue to offer a full range of supportive services to achieve our mission in helping homeless families become healthy, productive, and self-reliant.

Tickets can be purchased at familiesforwardphilly.eventbrite.com

$175 for adults

$20 for children 11 & older

Free for children under 10

It Didn’t Exist So I Invented It

by C Fox  Collins

Our city, this city of Philadelphia, seems to be fertile ground for new business ventures these days. I think this has always been true to some extent. However, the current state of cutting edge technology, social media, and citizen vitality has made this an even stronger reality. I am one of those people who believe that that there has never been a better time than the present to start new ventures.

Fresh opportunities for entrepreneurs are everywhere. This does not mean that everyone should simply rush out to start new businesses. First you have to make a basic decision. Do you really want to work for someone else or do you want to be your own boss? Being your own boss does give you a lot of freedom. But there is no getting around the hard truth that this freedom will come at a high cost that includes hard work and long hours.

Recently I went to a community event at the Oval (Philadelphia Art Museum) and met an aspiring entrepreneur named Brittany Cribbs. Ms. Cribbs operates a business called ‘Dream Pops’. Speaking with her gave me fresh insight into the entrepreneurial spirit. What makes someone want to start his or her own business? For Brittany,  it was by ‘accident’ that she started hers.

Not long ago, Brittany was making dessert and a friend of hers said, “you should freeze this”. And it was pretty good—–a tasty frozen treat! However, since Brittany wanted it to taste ‘just right’, she continued to experiment with different flavors and recipes. The next step was getting it out to the people who would purchase it. Brittany lived in Philly for a few years.

Prior to starting ‘Dream Pops’ she owned a marketing company. She had always been creative. With her background in marketing, she felt confident that she could finally do for herself what she had been doing for others. What was the key thing that enabled her to become a successful entrepreneur? She told me that “it is not easy running your own business. There were time when I thought I should have given up. Success will not fall into your lap. You have to be persistent and believe in yourself more than anything. If you do not have that drive and determination, it’s not going to work”.

Ms. Cribbs has another business venture on which she has a patent pending. She came up with this idea because every year she goes on a big trip for her birthday. Last year she was coming home on a ten-hour flight from Italy. The flight crew was very accommodating. There was wine, cheese, and good food. The seats, however, were uncomfortable.

After she returned home, she carefully considered what could have made that flight better.

She started researching about all aspects and kinds of seat cushions: neck, back, pillows, etc. She did this for two to three weeks. She found nothing that covered the full upper body, so she came up with an idea for a portable memory foam seat cushion. She said, “IT DIDN’T EXIST SO I INVENTED IT”. Now that’s the heart of an entrepreneur! Hopefully, this story will inspire other hopeful entrepreneurs in our community. The Journal hopes to keep our readers updated on Ms. Cribbs’ ventures.


Terror Behind the Walls at Eastern State Penitentiary Announces 2017 Season with New Haunted Attraction Blood Yard

  • Experience a massive haunted house inside the cellblocks of a real abandoned prison! Terror Behind the Walls at Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia is NOW OPEN! https://www.easternstate.org/halloween/


  • Consistently ranked among the top haunted attractions in the nation, Philadelphia’s Terror Behind the Walls is now open. Experience their newest attraction for 2017, Blood Yard! https://www.easternstate.org/halloween/


  • Named “One of America’s Scariest Halloween Attractions” by the Travel Channel, Terror Behind the Walls at Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia is a haunted house in a real abandoned prison! Get your tickets today. https://www.easternstate.org/halloween/


  • It’s hunt or be hunted in Terror Behind the Walls’ newest attraction, Blood Yard! Experience this massive haunted house inside a real abandoned Philadelphia prison. Get your tickets today! https://www.easternstate.org/halloween/

Philadelphia’s “Park Champion” has a New Leader

by Jasmine Bullock

Jamie Gauthier is the new Director of the
Fairmount Park Conservancy

Since 1998, the Fairmount Park Foundation, now the Fairmount Park Conservancy, has invested millions of dollars in the Philadelphia park system. The organization is a “Park Champion” and has been so effective because of its understanding of the importance of parks to our city’s neighborhoods. The Fairmount Park Conservancy takes pride in increasing public awareness of the park’s role in contributing to the health and vibrancy of neighborhoods in the Greater Philadelphia region.

Today the Park Conservancy works very closely with Philadelphia Parks and Recreation to develop and implement projects and programs that support, improve, and enhance Philadelphia’s parks. One of its premier programs is the Oval at the Art Museum that provides not only a play area for children, but also a beer garden and food truck hub for adults over a six week period during the summer. The Conservancy also works closely with community groups and over 115 Friends groups. The Conservancy aids in forming new groups and in sustaining and supporting existing groups dedicated to their neighborhood parks.

As of July 2017, the Fairmount Park Conservancy is under the new leadership of Jamie Gauthier. Gauthier is a native of Philadelphia who began her career at DuPont working in the field of accounting. During that time, she had a desire to do more meaningful work that helped cities and specifically the struggling communities of Philadelphia.

With a growing passion to work intimately with the community, Gauthier embarked on a graduate degree in Urban Studies and Planning from University of Pennsylvania. With a new career focus, Gauthier gave almost ten years of service to the Local Initiative Support Coalition (LISC). LISC is a national non-profit organization that provides capital from private sources to promote and support low income housing projects and community revitalization. Gauthier described LISC as a great place to learn but wished to serve in more of a leadership position.

Gauthier then became the Executive Director of the Sustainable Business network, a “Chamber of Commerce for socially conscious businesses”, as Gauthier describes it. After four years with this group and her recognition of the new potential that the new Philadelphia soda tax would provide, she decided that now was the right time to make a career change.

She made the decision to take the leadership position with the Philadelphia Parks Conservancy in order to take advantage of the Rebuild Initiative that was the direct result of the revenue produced by the soda tax. Rebuild is a $500 million program designed to revitalize neighborhood parks, recreational centers, playgrounds, and libraries across the city.

The funds are acquired from both the soda tax and private donations. Gauthier’s vision is to “connect and partner with the city to see the mission come to pass”.

News that is from, about, and benefits our Parkside Community in West Philadelphia.