The students of William H. Harrison Elementary School are now sporting new winter coats.
On Monday morning, the students eagerly filed into the school’s auditorium, where they were presented with the coats by the Bright Hope Baptist Church’s Trustee Auxiliary.
The children beamed as they tried on their new outerwear, ranging in color from light green, pin and purple for the girls to blue, green and orange for the boys.
Bright Hope’s Trustee Auxiliary has been donating coats to Harrison students for the last five years. The church adopted the school under the leadership of its pastor emeritus, the Rev. William H. Gray. This year marked the first time, though, the Trustee Auxiliary provided enough coats for all of Harrison’s students.
“This year we’re giving every child a coat,” said Auxiliary President Betty C. Drayton-Johnson.
For Harrison principal Stefan Feaster-Eberhardt, the donation was timely, because some of the school’s students did not have coats.
“I’m just excited that all my children will have coats this year. They’re ready for the winter,” said Feaster-Eberhardt.
“It gives the children a chance to see that somebody cares about them - and through the giving perhaps one day they will give back. I’m overwhelmed by the generosity of the church.”
Located at 1012 W.Thompson St., Harrison has 160 students in grades K-8.
Conicelli Autoplex in Conshocken donated the coats. Bright Hope Deacon Garfield Jackson says Conicelli has donated almost 1,000 coats to charitable agencies throughout the area.
“They’re a family-oriented business and this is just one of the many things they do for the community,” Jackson said.
Robert Vincent Richards Sr. also known as “Bob,” worked for the city of Philadelphia for 35 years.
He died July 3, 2012. He was 82.
Richards was born to Hilda Soso Robinson on June 15, 1930, in Toronto, Canada. He was the youngest of two children.
Richards was educated in the Philadelphia public school system. He did not finish high school but later earned his GED. He attended Spring Garden Institute of Technology where he received a degree in automotive technology.
Richards was baptized and confirmed at Calvary Episcopal Church under the ministry of Father Thomas Logan. He later joined Wissinoming Presbyterian Church under the ministry of Rev. Anderson Porter where he was an elder until his death.
Richards worked for the City of Philadelphia from 1950 until he retired in 1985. He began as a sanitation worker. He later worked in the Recreation Department and finally, as an auto mechanic.
He met and fell in love with Ruth Jones and they were wed on January 29, 1949. From this union he had two children, Robert Richards Jr. and Patricia Richards Whitaker.
Richards was involved in many activities. He was an elder in his church. He volunteered at Presbyterian hospital. He took Tai Chai classes and was an involved and active neighbor in his community.
Richards had five great loves; his family, his church, Tai Chai, shooting pool and reading. They kept him busy and active to the end.
“Anyone who knew Bob will always remember the big smile he always greeted you with and his hearty laugh,” his family said.
“He was tight with a dollar and frequently used his coupons and asked for senior discounts. If you needed him he was always willing and available to help even at 82 years old.”
He is survived by his son, Robert Richards Jr.; his daughter, Patricia Whitaker (Melvin); sister, Gwendolyn Soso Jones; his grandsons, Robert Richards III, Marcus Whitaker and Matthew Whitaker; his great-grandchildren, Isabella Richards and Mason Whitaker and his extended family; his companion, Gladys Tucker; son, Howard Tucker; grandsons, Max, Jesse and Alex Tucker; and other relatives and friends.
Services will be held July 13. Viewing will be held at 10 a.m. at Wissinoming Presbyterian Church, 5825 Torresdale Avenue. Services will follow at 11. Burial is in West Laurel Hill Cemetery.
Wood Funeral Home handled the arrangements.
A memorial service will be held June 28 for Evelyn Burkett Flanagan.
Flanagan died June 16, 2012 of heart failure in Philadelphia. She was 80.
She was born March 8, 1932 in Rockford, Ill. to Walter Smith Sr. and Maude Burkett Smith. She was one of eight children.
Her civic responsibility shone early on while at Rockford’s West High School when she earned a spot at Illinois’ Girls State. She graduated from high school in 1950 and married Wilbur Flanagan on Dec. 1, 1951.
The couple and their family left Illinois, spent some time in Glen Burnie, Md., and eventually settled in Philadelphia in 1958.
During her many years of taking care of her home and family, Flanagan also taught at Wagner Middle School, worked at Sears in retail, volunteered at neighborhood schools and routinely worked at the election polls in the city’s East Germantown section.
She was very artistic, loved doing sketches and talked frequently about enjoying sculpting.
Flanagan lost most of her sight in 2008 due to glaucoma and macular degeneration.
After suffering a bad fall last June, Flanagan was in several rehab centers and nursing homes. She last resided at Visiting Nurses Association (VNA) Hospice of Philadelphia in the city’s East Falls section.
She was predeceased by her parents, her husband, her son Gregory, and sister Delphine preceded her in death.
She is survived by her three daughters Carol Flanagan and Yvonne (Herman) Sanford, both of Philadelphia; and Sharyn Flanagan, of McLean, Va.; four grandchildren: JaMar Flanagan, Kaitrill Flanagan, Nicole Sanford and Torie Flanagan; two great-grandchildren: Kaitrill Flanagan Jr. and Najila Void; siblings: Barbara Black, of Chicago; Jean Wright, of Lithonia, Ga.; Carolyn (Hugh) Lawrence, of Beloit, Wis.; Laura Rodgers, of Oak Park, Ill.; Walter Smith Jr., of Dalton, Ga.; and Sayida Hafiz, of Philadelphia; and other relatives and friends.
The memorial service will be held June 28 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church, 230 W. Coulter St.
Michael Lerner was the former president of the Commonwealth Association of School
Administrators, retired principal and administrator for the School District of Philadelphia.
He died July 14, 2012 after a brief illness. He was 72.
He graduated from Philadelphia's Central High School, earned bachelor's and master's degrees in chemistry from the University of Buffalo and a doctorate in Education from Temple University in 1972.
He began his career in Philadelphia's public schools in 1970, working as a research assistant and later an administrative assistant, for then Superintendent Richard D. Hanusey in the former District 5 until 1981.
Lerner became director of Special Education, under Superintendent George D. Pilato, and served as principal of S.A. Douglass High School in Port Richmond until 2003. Lerner was appointed business agent for the Commonwealth Association of School Administrators, Teamsters Local 502, which represents Philadelphia school principals and other administrators.
He became CASA's president in October 2005 and held the post until his retirement in 2010.
“He was my friend and my mentor,” said CASA President Robert E. McGrogan.
“I always felt until yesterday I had a safety net in him and now that's gone. He was so cerebral. His knowledge of school law, education and pedagogy was extraordinary. Whether it was his helicopter view or tending to the individual needs of a child or any employee, he was the highest level of resource. He leaves quite a legacy and very big shoes to fill.”
“Michael had a strong sense of fairness and always used humor to diffuse tense situations and reach equitable solutions to problems," said AFT Pennsylvania President Ted Kirsch. “I've known Michael since 1972 in a variety of jobs. He had a talent for working with people and always remained focused on doing the right thing for students, the community and his union's members.”
During his career, Lerner served on numerous committees, taught graduate courses for Cheyney University, belonged to professional organizations, including ASCD, Pennsylvania Association of Secondary Principals and B'nai B'rith Educators Unit.
“Michael cared about students. He fought hard for those students. He treated all of them with respect and, in turn, was respected back. He wanted those children to succeed in school, as well as life,” said friend and colleague Bruce Rachild, a retired Bensalem assistant school superintendent.
“He was happiest telling positive stories about the students that he affected. These traits
were identical when dealing his staff and the administrators that he represented. Michael was a protector. He made sure that those who he represented received a ‘fair shake.’ In Michael's eyes, the glass was always half filled and everyone had value.”
Lerner received numerous honors, including the Rose Lindenbaum Award of Excellence and Chapel of the Four Chaplains, Schoolmens' Club of Philadelphia. He loved sports, playing softball for the Educators' White, enjoying the camaraderie. In retirement he enjoyed photography, country music and Temple University Owls football.
“Michael was a fun person to be around,” Rachild said.
“Always had a joke, always had a story and always told them in dialect. That's why we loved him and will remember him that way.”
“Michael was a problem-solver who deeply cared about people. He had a keen
ability to analyze an issue and find a solution to a problem,” said Jerry T. Jordan, president, Philadelphia Federation of Teachers.
“He was a highly respected educator and labor leader. We will all miss Michael's quick wit
A sister, Susan and parents Anne and Joseph Lerner preceded Lerner in death.
Lerner is survived by his wife, Candy Lerner; daughters Cheryl and Liza Lerner and Ashley Govberg (Danny); and grandchildren Cooper and Spencer Govberg.
Services will be held July 17 at 3 p.m.at Goldstein Rosenberg's Raphael-Sacks Funeral Home, 6410 N. Broad St. Doors open at 2:20 p.m. Shiva will be observed following the funeral and from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. on July 18 and July 19 at the home of Ashley and Danny Govberg, 1326 Arrowmink Road, Villanova.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to CASA for the Dr. Michael A. Lerner Award for Most Improved Student.
Harold Goldsborough Miller was a distinguished military and civil servant, journalist and teacher.
He died July 27, 2012, at Abington Memorial Hospital in Montgomery County. He succumbed to cancer at the age of 93.
“Though we are devastated to be without him, we feel blessed to have had such a powerful force in our lives, someone who instilled in each of us the importance of education, service, and devotion to God and family,” said Miller’s daughter, attorney Consuelo Miller of Chicago.
He was born to the late Watson and Anna Miller in Philadelphia on Aug. 25, 1918. Miller spent his early years in Philadelphia and attended Overbrook High School. Upon graduation in 1937, Miller went on to Wilberforce University graduating with a bachelor’s degree in journalism in 1941.
While at Wilberforce, Miller was a member of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corp (ROTC), receiving a commission as second lieutenant in the U.S. Army Reserves upon graduation. His interest in the military was sparked by his first professor of military science, the then Col. Benjamin O. Davis Sr., who later became the first African-American general in the U.S. Army.
Immediately after graduation, Miller was ordered to active duty with the 366th Infantry Regiment at Ft. Devens, Mass. He served there until he became disabled in 1944. After eight months in an Army hospital he was retired from active duty in 1945. While still in the service Miller married his childhood sweetheart and fellow East Calvary M.E. Church (now Tindley temple U.M. Church) member, Consuelo “Connie” Dale. In addition to their daughter, they had a son, Harvey. Connie died in 1991.
Miller went to work for The Philadelphia Independent newspaper. Upon leaving the Independent, he became a caseworker with the Pennsylvania Department of Welfare. Two years later he transferred to the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole from which he retired after 32 years of service. He became the agency’s first Black district director and regional director in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania. He was a hearing examiner when he retired in 1979.
Miller took graduate courses at the University of Pennsylvania and Rutgers University. He also completed the Administrative Law Judges’ seminar at George Washington University School of Law.
From 1969 until 1979, Miller was an instructor in criminal justice at Temple University and a regular lecturer at Villanova University. He served as president of the Pennsylvania Association of Probation, Parole and Corrections and was the first African American to serve as president of the Middle Atlantic States Correctional Association. In 1988 he authored the 50 Year History of the Association and in 1998 was named the first president emeritus in the 60 year history of the association.
Always active in community affairs, Miller was a charter member and the first president of the Men’s Social Service Organization at the Krams Avenue branch of the Salvation Army. He was later given an award by that organization for his service. He served as district commissioner of the William Penn District, Boy Scouts of America and later served on the troop committee at St. Andrews in the Field Episcopal Church. He was also a member of the Philadelphia Seminar, the Pennsylvania Association of Retired State Employees, and the Military Officers Association of America.
He was a long time member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., joining Upsilon Chapter on Dec. 10, 1939, while at Wilberforce University. After returning to Philadelphia he became active with Mu Omega Chapter which presented him with a Founders Award in recognition of his service to the fraternity and the community. He also received an award from the Leadership Conference of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity in recognition of more than 70 years of service to the fraternity.
Miller became active with the Wilberforce University Alumni Association as soon as he graduated, and was a co-founder of the Philadelphia Chapter in 1945. He held many offices in the chapter and was given the Distinguished Service Award by both the local chapter and the National Alumni Association. He spearheaded a drive which culminated in the establishment of the Class of ’41 Endowed Scholarship Fund at Wilberforce and in 1999 he was inducted into the National Alumni Hall of Fame. In 2000, he was given the James E. Stamps Award by the Philadelphia Inter-Alumni Council of UNCF and the United Negro College Fund in recognition of his service to the Philadelphia community and his alumni.
“The zest he had for life and the way he lived each day to the fullest is a legacy that will live on for generations,” says Consuelo.
With a passion for travel, Miller visited Bermuda, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, many of the Caribbean Islands, Europe, Africa, South America, Canada, Hawaii, Alaska and most of the U.S. Additionally, he cruised to several other locales including the Mediterranean.
On July 7, 2001, his long-time friend, Genester Nix Wilson, joined Miller in holy matrimony.
In addition to his wife and children, Miller is survived by a daughter-in-law, Alvania Miller; four granddaughters, Heather Ram, Alexis Williams-Currie, Kristen Hatcher and Tory Harris; seven great-grandchildren; three grandsons-in-law; four stepchildren, Dr. Genester Wilson-King, the Reverends John S. Wilson Jr. and Lucas Wilson, and Adrienne Hubbard; their spouses and other relatives and friends.
A memorial service will be held August 6 at 11 a.m. at the Second Baptist Church of Germantown, 6459 Germantown Avenue.
Nix and Nix Funeral Home handled the arrangements.
Two local nonprofits have received grants from the PNC Foundation to create financial education programs for preschoolers.
The Please Touch Museum and the Delaware Valley Association for the Education of Young Children received $325,000 from the foundation to teach children about saving and spending.
The grant funding was announced during a luncheon held Tuesday at PNC’s Market Street offices that drew executives from the nonprofit community, early childhood education leaders and PNC employee volunteers.
“This is a part of a $12 million initiative that is part of Grow Up Great that focuses on improving financial literacy for children as well as parents and teachers. The program is called “For Me, For You, For Later: First Steps to Spending, Sharing and Saving.” It will lead young children towards a solid understanding of these basic concepts,” said PNC Regional President Bill Mills.
Created by Sesame Workshop, “For Me, For You, For Later,” features a multimedia kit to enhance financial education for children between the ages of three and five. The kits include a guide for parents and caregivers, a children’s activity book and an original Sesame Street DVD.
During the luncheon, PNC Financial Services Group Chairman and CEO James E. Rohr gave an overview of Grow Up Great, PNC’s signature early childhood education program.
The program was just extended by $250 million over 10 years to enhance early childhood education and school readiness.
The initiative will focus on enhancing financial education for families in 15 states and the District of Columbia. The PNC Foundation will award $1.04 million in Grow Up Grants across Pennsylvania. The grants will be distributed to 12 nonprofit community partners, including libraries, YMCAs, school districts and other organizations that focus on high-quality care and education for young children. In Pennsylvania, approximately 40,000 children will be served through Grow Up Great, in addition to nearly 15,000 parents/caregivers and more than 1,400 preschool educators.
Through its partnership with PNC, the Please Touch Museum received $200,000 to incorporate the concept and curriculum of For Me, For You, For Later in all aspects of the museum’s work. The financial education curriculum will also be integrated into their comprehensive school readiness outreach programs such as the Portable Play series and Museum Without Walls programs. The museum will reach approximately 20,000 children.
“PNC has been a partner of the museum for many years. They are excellent partners in early childhood,” says Please Touch Museum president and CEO Laura Foster.
Foster noted that the organization has been engaging in discussions with PNC officials about developing financial literacy program for children because it realized that it was a natural subject for kids.
“The good thing about this is it reaches both children and parents,” Foster says of For Me, For You, For Later.
PNC’s other Philadelphia area partner, DVAEYC will serve 2,000 preschool children and 90 early childhood education teachers. DVAEYC will take a three-tiered approach to delivering PNC’s For Me, For You, For Later curriculum by training 90 early childhood education professionals from 30 programs serving 2,000 children and at least 500 families in the region.
The PNC Foundation receives its principal funding from the PNC Financial Services Group.
December 7 marks the deadline for Medicare beneficiaries to make changes to their Medicare Advantage (Part C) or prescription drug plans (Part D).
“There will not be an extension. People really do need to make that change by December 7,” said Roseanne Egan, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) acting regional administrator.
The open enrollment period, running from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7, is the period when existing Medicare recipients can make changes to their plans. Medicare beneficiaries who do not make any changes by the deadline will remain in their existing plans.
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid recently mailed Medicare & You handbooks and postcards to more than 42 million households, reminding them of this year’s earlier deadline. In previous years, the enrollment period was Nov. 15–Dec. 31.
“The reason we did that is to allow the Medicare Advantage plans and prescription drug plans the opportunity to process all the changes in the new enrollment so that the beneficiaries can get their new cards for the January 1 date, so there won’t be any delays in access to care,” Egan said.
“This year CMS is highlighting plans that have achieved an overall quality rating of 5 stars with a high performer or “gold star” icon — so people with Medicare can easily find high-quality plans.
CMS officials said all Pennsylvanians have the opportunity to access Medicare Advantage plans that have zero premiums. There are 36 available prescription drug plans available in Pennsylvania.
This year, Independence Blue Cross introduced a low-cost Medicare Advantage plan with premiums as low as $15 a month.
“Medicare is just one of the many areas in our business where we saw an opportunity to be more responsive to our customers’ needs and were able to develop an innovative solution to meet those needs,” said Daniel J. Hilferty, president and CEO of IBC.
“We share our members’ concern about access to affordable Medicare health plans, and we’re pleased to launch this new HMO that offers low monthly premiums with the same high-quality benefits and services our members expect from us.”
As beneficiaries look over their new plan options, they will see better value in the Medicare Advantage and prescription drug plan benefits.
Beneficiaries with Part D coverage who are in the coverage gap, or “donut hole,” will continue to receive 50 percent discounts on covered brand-name drugs thanks to the Affordable Care Act. Average premiums for Part D prescription drug plans will also decrease to $30 in 2012, about 76 cents less compared to the average 2011 premium.
CMS officials said that as of October, 149,988 people in Pennsylvania with Medicare have saved an average of $592 per person on their prescriptions, accounting for savings of $89 million statewide.
As a result of the Affordable Care Act, more than 898,000 people have received at least one of the new free Medicare preventative benefits.
For enrollment information visit www.medicare.gov/find-a-plan, call 1-800-MEDICARE or call the APPRISE network at 1 (800)-783-7067.
Clarence H. Still Jr. was the founding president and chairman of the Lawnside Historical Society, Inc.
He died May 4, 2012. He was 83.
More than 22 years ago, Still halted the demolition of the Peter LaMott House, now a Historical Society-owned and operated Underground Railroad Museum in Lawnside. The Peter LaMott House will be closed on Saturday in honor of Still.
Still was a collector of African-American historical memorabilia, artifacts, documents and books.
He celebrated the Still Family, cherished its legacy and promoted its heritage at every opportunity and in many ways.
He was the long-time chairman of the Still Family Historical Committee. Each year the committee hosted the Still Family Reunion, a tradition for more than 140 years carrying out the wishes of his ancestor, William Still, regarded as the father of the Underground Railroad. William Still was an abolitionist, a businessman and a member of the Philadelphia Vigilance Committee whose own family had been wounded by slavery and slave catchers venturing into New Jersey.
Still was instrumental in donating thousands of photographs and negatives by the famed Philadelphia photographer John Mosley to the Charles Blockson Afro-American Collection at Temple University. Mosley was married to Clarence’s sister, Theresa, who died earlier this year.
Still was born Feb. 3, 1929, to Beatrice and Clarence H. Still. He was a graduate of Lawnside Public School and Haddon Heights High School. He enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and became an aircraft specialist. He was honorably discharged in 1952. He worked for the Budd Company for 33 years, retiring as a plant supervisor.
In 1953, Still married his high school sweetheart, Verline Mitchell. They had two sons, Clarence IV of Lawnside, and Reginald of Hampton, Va.; and three grandchildren. He is also survived by three brothers, Kenneth and Charles of Lawnside, and Cecil of Princeton, N.J.
The first viewing will be held May 11 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Mount Zion United Methodist Church, 134 S. White Horse Pike, Lawnside, N.J. A second viewing will be held May 12 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Mt. Zion United Methodist Church. Services will follow at 11.
A repast will follow at the Wayne R. Bryant Community Center, 323 E. Charleston Ave., Lawnside.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that contributions be made to the Still Family Historical Committee, c/o 137 E. Oak Ave., Lawnside, N.J. 08045.
Craig Nathaniel Kennedy also known as “Fila” or “Craigie,” was a skilled laborer.
Kennedy died May 29, 2012. He was 41.
He was the youngest child born to Eugene and Jessie Kennedy Sr. on May 6, 1971, in Philadelphia.
Kennedy was educated in the Philadelphia public school system. After graduating from Overbrook High School in 1990, he attended DeVry Institute in New Jersey majoring in computer technology. He also completed a carpentry training program in Philadelphia.
He served in the United States Army and received an honorable discharge from military service. He enjoyed working and using his talented skilled laborer and held various jobs in Philadelphia, Broomall and Lancaster countries.
His family said Kennedy was considered a “gift from God.” At the age of two, he was blessed to survive a serious automobile hit and run accident. He was guided by his parents to attend church and joined the Bethany Missionary Baptist Church. He enjoyed reading the Bible often sharing his favorite scriptures from the books of Psalms (15:1–5; 9:7–11; 106:1) and Proverbs (17:17; 13:20; 2:1–3:35; 4:23).
He had a jovial spirit and deeply loved his children, family, friends and neighbors. He loved to smile and let nothing upset him. He also enjoyed traveling and meeting all types of people. He was such a friendly and likeable man eager to help anyone in need, his family said.
Kennedy was a thin man with a big appetite. He loved to eat, especially southern meals at the homes of relatives in Philly and Siler City, N.C.
He was preceded in death by his parents, sister, Monica and brother, Robert.
Kennedy is survived by his children, Bryant, McKenzie and Ananda Nicole; seven siblings, Eugene Jr., Sharon, Gail, Jennifer, James, Natasha and Yvette; adopted sister, Margie; sister-in-law, Karen; brother-in-law, William; special friend, Lynette; two special life-long buddies, Carlton Tribble and Andre Montier and other relatives and friends.
Services will be held June 11. Viewing will be held at 9 a.m. at Francis Funeral Home, 5701 Whitby Avenue. Services will follow at 10 a.m.
The economic downturn has led Advance Bank to close the former Berean Bank branch in West Philadelphia.
The Baltimore-based banking institution closed the branch, located at 5228 Chestnut Street on October 14.
Berean, started in 1888, was among the oldest continuously operated African-American financial institutions in the country when financial difficulties led it to merge in 2003 with Advance.
Denise Jones Fraiser, Advance Bank’s senior vice president, said bank officials are not making any further comments about the branch closure.
However, in a letter to customers, Jones Fraiser outlined the bank’s reasons for closing the branch.
“Our plan when merging with the former Berean Bank was to expand within the Baltimore and Philadelphia markets. The current economic environment does not support our original expansion plans. Because of a sustained decline in our national and the local economy and a lack of sufficient business opportunities, we made the very difficult decision to close the Berean branch and to focus on building our Maryland operations where we have a larger network of branches,” Jones Fraiser wrote.
Deposits in the branch have fallen from $44.7 million in 2003, the year of the merger, to $19.3 million in June 2010, according to data from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.