When Dr. Ouida Brown participates in the upcoming Komen Philadelphia Race for the Cure, she will run in her mother’s honor.
After her mother, Mae Robinson-Brown was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2003, Brown was inspired to run her first Komen Race for the Cure in Birmingham, Ala. For six years, Brown “co-survived” with her mother and the two women drew strength from each other.
Brown’s mother died in October 2008 — two months after her daughter completed her fellowship.
“She passed away right when I finished training. There is so much that I wanted to do for my mom. She did a lot for me in my life. The woman that I am today is because of her,” Brown said.
When she relocated to Philadelphia to pursue a job opportunity as an orthopedic surgeon, Brown sought out the Komen Philadelphia Race for the Cure.
For Brown, participating in the race serves to lift her spirits, while she raised funds to help others.
“I remember the first Mother’s Day after my mother passed away, I was down,” she said. “I knew it would be something positive to do other than sit around in mope. It gives you something positive to do other than thinking negatively about what you’ve gone through and what breast cancer has taken from you.
“It was healing to have an opportunity on that day to support the fight against breast cancer and be surrounded by people with whom I had a connection,” she added.
Brown has been in the Komen Philadelphia Race for the Cure since 2009. She has been a Top 100 Pink Ribbon Honor Fundraiser for the race for the past several years. Last year, she raised more than $5,500 for the cause.
This year, Brown will serve as co-captain of the Black Girls Run Philadelphia team for the upcoming race. Black Girls Run is an organization that encourages African American women to make fitness and healthy living a priority. She’s also gearing up to run in the Chicago Marathon to raise money for Komen Philadelphia.
The race will be held May 12 at Eakins Oval, Philadelphia Museum of Art, 24th and Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Opening ceremonies begin at 7 a.m.
Elaine Grobman, CEO of Komen Philadelphia said the funds raised from the upcoming race are critical in supporting programs that save women’s lives. Komen Philadelphia has set a goal for raising $2.3 million for its 23rd anniversary.
“The money that we are going to raise from the race and all our fundraising activities we hold throughout the year are going to our grant programs that supply the mammograms, the education and the treatment of women around the 15 counties,” Grobman said.
Grobman said the event draws more than 100,000 participants, approximately 40,000 of which actual register for the race.
“We’re encouraging people to come out and register because that helps us build the money that we need to provide all the services,” she said.
According to Komen Philadelphia, throughout the last 22 years, the race has generated $49 million in grants for the affiliate’s service area and funded approximately 120,000 mammograms for local women in need.
The Philadelphia Affiliate is part of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the world’s largest grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and activists.
A highlight of the event includes Survivor’s Parade which features 6,000 cancer survivors who walk down the Art Museum steps together. This year, Macy’s is sponsoring “The Big Pink Footprint,” a tent where survivors who range in age from 20 to 40 can bond.
For registration information visit race.komenphiladelphia.org.
Elizabeth I. Seamon was a former accounting technician.
Seamon died Friday, May 3, 2013 at Mercy Fitzgerald Vitas Hospice in Darby. She was 77.
She was born Feb. 21, 1936, in Lancaster County, Va. to Marie Seamon and David Lee. She spent her early childhood days with her grandparents, James and Martha Seamon in Virginia.
She was affectionately called “Toots” during her young years.
Seamon relocated to Philadelphia and attended the public schools of Philadelphia. Her family said she was an excellent student. After graduation, Seamon was employed by the United States government. She was a CS-5 in the accounting department of Civil Services for 22 years. She became an accounting technician at the Defense Industrial Supply Center in 1986, where she retired after several years.
Seamon joined White Rock Baptist Church in October 1951, where she was active in the Sheepfold of Micah/John, Women’s Mission Union, Young and Adult Circle and Church Chorus.
Seamon became the legal guardian of her three siblings after her mother died in 1963.
“She provided for the family as a compassionate, caring person, with a friendly, outgoing personality,” her family said.
“Liz,” as she was affectionately known at White Rock, had a passion for culinary arts and enjoyed planning and preparing meals. She loved to travel and organize trips. She traveled in the U.S. and abroad. She also traveled to the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc. conventions to help elect Pastor William Shaw as president of the convention in 1999 and 2005.
In addition to her mother, Seamon was preceded in death by her brother, James.
She is survived by her brother, William L. Justice; sister, Sandra P. Justice; niece, Tiana D. Smith; great-niece and nephew, Logan and Liam Smith; cousins, Catherine S. Scott of Kilmarnock, Va. and LaVerne M. Taylor and other relatives and friends.
Services will be held May 8 at White Rock Baptist Church, 5420 Chestnut St. Viewing will be held at 9 a.m. Services will follow at 11 a.m. Burial is in Chelten Hills Cemetery, 1701 East Washington Lane.
Francis Funeral Home handled the arrangements.
Barbara M. Stewart, a former administrator at the Veterans Administration Medical Center, died Monday, April 29, 2013 after a year-long battle with renal cell carcinoma. She was 76.
She was born Oct. 28, 1936 to Janie and Ransom Scarborough in North Philadelphia.
Stewart attended Sunday school at East Bethel Baptist Church as a child and her family said she was beloved by her teachers and her superintendent.
She attended Reynolds Elementary and Vaux Jr. High School and graduated with a business diploma from Mastbaum Vocational Technical School in Frankford.
“Early in life she began to display the virtues of hard work and getting the job done well,” her family said.
She scrubbed the old marble steps of her home and those of the elderly neighbors and received their respect at an early age. As a teen, Stewart prepared dinner after school for the family while her mother was employed. She began to work at neighborhood stores in her early teens. She was a co-op student and worked while attending school.
After graduating from high school, Stewart worked for the Fairmount Park Commission. She transferred to the Veterans Administration Medical Center for a career that spanned more than 37 years. Beginning as a ward clerk, she worked her way up to chief ward administrator, a position in which she would positively influence the lives of many of her numerous employees.
“She encouraged them to seek higher education and to apply for many job openings which she determined they could handle, despite their own reluctance. Many retired in upgraded positions, thanks to her encouragement, support and advice,” her family said.
Her family said her greatest love at the job was to support the World II veterans and make certain they received every benefit possible.
She married Golden Taylor Stewart, known as Paul, in 1959. The couple had one son.
In 1976, they joined the Holy Cross Baptist Church under the leadership of the late Joseph H. Beatty.
Stewart was former chair of the church’s trustee board and a member of the communications and resources council. She served as an usher until her illness.
After her husband died in 1985, Stewart devoted her life to her mother, church and travel. She visited a wide range of cities within the United States and abroad and especially loved going to Hawaii and Alaska. She enjoyed cruising and cruised to Europe three times.
She also traveled to France, England, Switzerland, Brussels, Tokyo, China, Thailand, Spain, Portugal, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, Macao and Monte Carlo.
Stewart enjoyed the Jersey Shore and owned a home there for many years where she was known for her barbecue skills. She also enjoyed old cathedrals, farmer’s markets, flea markets and exploring winding roads in addition to the theater, opera and books-on-tape.
As a young woman, Stewart was a founding member of the Club Karemba, which devoted its finances and time to the teen girls at the Stenton Child Care Center for Abused and Neglected Children.
Her family said she was a whiz in finances and kept excellent records. She managed financial records for the National Medical Association’s ob-gyn section for almost 20 years, keeping track of all financial transactions.
In addition to her husband and father, Stewart was preceded in death by her sister, Ella Ann, and brothers, Ransom and Edward.
In addition to her mother, Stewart is survived by her son, Michael; sisters, Margaret S. Edwards, Ruth Scarborough Ramsey and Wilhelmina Edwards, brother-in-law, Pierce “Ted” Ramsey; aunts, Serena Louard and Lona Outing; the Keal Sister-Cousins: Barbara, Shirley, Sylvia and Angie; nieces Sherran Thomas, Robin Barton, Kim Scarborough, Karen Scarborough, Yvonne Smith, Alfreda “ Gidget” Myers, Tonya Stewart, Caroline Brown and Kelli Scarborough; nephews, Derrick Edwards, Andre Scarborough, Peter M. Scarborough, Wendell Stewart, Sr., and Darryl Barton and other relatives and friends.
Services will be held May 11 at Pinn Memorial Baptist Church, 2251 N. 54th St. Viewing is at 9 a.m. Services will follow at 11 a.m. Burial is in Glenwood Memorial Gardens, Broomall.
Michael George McCleary Funeral Home handled the arrangements.
After years of hard work and preparation, Annette Wilson is bringing her concept of fashion to the Philadelphia region.
Wilson is opening the doors of Sache Boutique, a shop that will specialize in high-end, contemporary clothing. The boutique will feature lines such as Tracy Reese, Hugo Boss, David Meister and Ports 1961.
A grand opening will be held May 11 from 12 to 7 p.m. at 91 Wilmington W. Chester Pike, Chadds Ford. A ribbon cutting ceremony will be held at 12:30 p.m.
The grand opening will feature a trunk show by Ports 1961. Sache Boutique will hold the distinction of being the only retailer in the tri-state area to carry Ports 1961’s luxe collection.
The boutique’s philosophy is that a woman’s wardrobe should reflect her lifestyle and function as an extension her personality, while maintaining a contemporary and chic edge.
“When you come into my boutique you are coming not just to purchase an outfit. You are coming for an experience – an experience that you have not received from any other type of retail establishment,” said Wilson, who is a 20-year resident of Chester County.
Wilson says a combination of the distinctive lines that Sache features and its customer service will serve to set the boutique apart from others.
Wilson says she becomes emotional when she talks about the boutique.
“This has been my dream for a very long time and I’m getting emotional because it’s all coming together. I’ve been through so much to get this dream to come to pass and I just feel like I’m on top of the world right now,” said Wilson.
“This is like a baby that is being birthed.”
Wilson faced various obstacles before she was able to get her business up and running. At first things didn’t seem to be aligning for her. She had difficulty securing a space and faced health challenges.
Wilson was turned down for a business loan three times before she finally secured bank funding. She turned to Kutztown University’s Small Business Development Center where her advisor, Mark Retschler helped revamp her business plan. Last December, Wilson was approved for a Small Business Administration backed-loan for $85,000 by PNC.
Wilson had a significant amount of work to prepare for Sache’s opening.
She had to renovate what she referred to as “blank slate” into a space suitable for a boutique. She had to have new floors, dressing rooms, lighting and walls installed.
“I had a lot of work to do but I always knew how I wanted my store to look,” said Wilson.
In addition to overseeing the renovations, Wilson has been traveling to trade shows at New York to obtain clothing for the shop.
Wilson’s foray into clothing retail began when she started purchasing items and selling them out of the back of her car 13 years ago.
After realizing that she had a knack for sales, Wilson started taking business classes at West Chester University and University of Delaware’s Small Business Development Center. Back in 2002, she shared space with another retailer for a year.
Prior to opening the boutique, Wilson worked as a part time sales person in women’s fashion at Bloomingdale’s at King of Prussia Mall for the last three years. She left Bloomingdale’s in March to focus on opening Sache Boutique.
Wilco Electronics Systems, a private cable and technology company has expanded into the education sector.
Wilco has launched Knick Knack Learning – a new technology company that is piloting an affordable tablet solution within select K-8 charters schools and public schools throughout Philadelphia.
“It is starting out a tablet project pilot that will really help to bridge the educational divide with the school district through affordable mobile devices and specialized educational research and math aptitude content,” said Brigitte Daniel, executive vice president at Wilco and CEO of Knick Knack Learning.
The company’s tablet project was officially launched during an informational event held last Thursday at Independence Charter School.
“Through the partnership with University of Pennsylvania and Eisenhower Fellowships, Wilco is now continuing its long history of providing low-cost technology to underserved communities,” said Daniel.
“Knick Knack Learning will change the landscape within urban schools by offering affordable one-to-one learning devices along with researched proven educational content to help K-8 students understand math and science through a more engaged and focused manner.”
Knick Knack Learning will provide a software platform to facilitate engagement between administrators, teachers, students and parents while tracking and assessing student performance and usability.
With help from Dr. Christine Massey, director of research and education at the Institute for Research in Cognitive Science, University of Pennsylvania; Insight Learning Technology, Inc. and Jarvus Innovations, Knick Knack Learning tablets will feature specialized content that will address students’ specific educational math and science needs while aligning with current national and state specific benchmarks. The content will address achievement gaps in the classroom by using gaming software techniques to improve scores on standardized tests.
“What we’re exciting about is this really has the potential to literally put at children’s finger tips really powerful modes of learning that haven’t been in classrooms before,” Massey said in regard to the tablet project.
Independence Charter School Teacher Lynn Eckerman said that both students and teachers were excited about using the new technology in the classroom.
“As teachers we jump at any opportunity to get technology in front of students because we automatically gain their interest and motivation to work on the material (that) some of them may not necessarily be interested in,” said Eckerman.
“As teachers, we’re really excited about the differentiation that this software allows. Students will be able to work at their own pace and on the skills that to really need to be practicing.”
The tablet project is an outgrowth of an Eisenhower Fellowship that Daniel received in 2011. She traveled to Southeast Asia to learn how emerging technology could benefit the urban marketplace. The Eisenhower Fellowship Organization provided $25,000 in seed funding for the project.
The Knick Knack Learning pilot will take place at five schools including Independence Charter School, Richard Allen Preparatory Charter Academy, Pan American Academy Charter School, Global Leadership Academy and Penrose Elementary School. The pilot project, which runs now through summer 2013, will engage approximately 200 students in the fifth and sixth grades.
After the pilot project has been completed, Daniel anticipates that they will be able to offer the tablets to more schools throughout Philadelphia and beyond the city. While Knick Knack officials are still developing a pricing structure for the tablets, Daniel said they will retail at about $200 per unit.
Wilco was founded in 1977 and is now the largest privately African American owned cable provider in the Philadelphia area. A few years ago, the company decided to transition from a cable provider into a technology firm.