Philadelphia Chapter Regional News

By John Luttenberger, PRC Corresponding Secretary

The past several months have been busy ones for PRC. At our June 2018 chapter meeting, we conducted a festive ceremony to present our two annual chapter awards. The Francis Williams Volunteer Service award was presented to Margaret (Maggie) Cicala, and the Mae Davidow Community Service Award was presented to Shirley M. Brotman. Each received a plaque in recognition of their service to the blindness community. Our guest speaker for the occasion was Ms. Karla McCaney, Executive Director and CEO of Associated Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired, where we’ve held our chapter meetings for many years. Ms. McCaney gave us a history of her career journey, and her plan of action for the future of ASB.

In October, six PRC members attended the 2018 PCB Conference and Convention in Pittsburgh. Our delegates were Bette Passanante-Rodriguez and Ed Facemyer, and three of our attendees took part in the post-banquet play, “Bag It Up.”

As the year-end holiday season approaches each year, PRC selects a charity to which individual members and our chapter as a whole can make a financial contribution. For 2018, we chose, for the second consecutive year, The Career Wardrobe, an organization which helps their clients obtain gainful employment by providing them, at no charge, with suitable business attire to wear to job interviews, as well as with other supportive services.

At our November 2018 chapter meeting, we elected officers for the 2019-2020 term. They are: President, Shirley Brotman; Vice President, Ethel Siegel; Recording Secretary, Ed Facemyer; Corresponding Secretary, John Luttenberger; Treasurer, John Anderson; and Assistant Treasurer, Daisy Morgan.

As the year-end holiday season commenced, we were all saddened to learn of the passing of our president, The Rev. Dr. Patricia A. Russell, on November 23, who was completing her four years in office.

On December 8, the day of the Army-Navy football game here in Philadelphia, 15 chapter members attended our annual holiday breakfast at a favorite restaurant; it was enjoyed by all.

At our January 2019 chapter meeting, President Brotman led a memorial for former president Patricia A. Russell. We shared fond memories of Pat, and, upon conclusion of members’ reminiscences, Diane Davis delivered a eulogy focusing on the many seasons of life, with the ultimate season for us all being death. She finished with the reading of a poem entitled “After the Tears.” Vivian Williams brought the ceremony to a close by singing “The Lord’s Prayer.” We then welcomed a guest speaker from our 2018 holiday charity, The Career Wardrobe, who brought us up-to-date on their activities this past year, and answered questions from the members. Following the talk, we presented them with our 2018 holiday donations collected from members, topped off with some funds from our Treasury. Observing that former president Patricia A. Russell believed that charity should be an essential component of our chapter makeup, we voted to establish an award in Pat’s memory, which will accompany all future chapter donations to charities.

We look forward to a productive 2019.

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