by Paula M. Riley

Chestnut Hill Hospital CEO Brooks Turkel (right) and Chief of Medicine Dr. John Scanlon (second from left) present a check for $10,000 to Chestnut Hill Community Fund Drive chairs Tolis Vardakis (left) and Jane Piotrowski.

When Brooks Turkel, Chestnut Hill Hospital CEO, met Jane Piotrowski and Tolis Vardakis at Pastorius Park last week, he wasn’t there to dance.  He stood in the grass where hundreds of Chestnut Hillers gather on summertime evenings to enjoy live music and presented the Community Fund Drive co-chairs with another $10,000 check.

This is the hospital’s second donation to the Chestnut Hill Community Fund Drive. It has been earmarked for the Pastorius Park concerts.

“This is our fourth year sponsoring the concert and we are delighted to do so,” Turkel, said.  “The concert series is a way for people to enjoy beautiful Chestnut Hill.  It’s a great community builder that connects people to each other and we feel that it is important to be a part of it.”

On warm Wednesday evenings in June and July, the stage at Pastorius Park comes alive with live music enjoyed by an all-age audience.  Sitting on the hillside lawn, guests enjoy an evening under the stars listening to a different music genre each week.

Chestnut Hill Hospital’s original contribution of $10,000 is an unrestricted gift for the Community Fund and will be applied to support the many grant requests fulfilled by the Fund.  These grants enhance community beautification projects at pocket parks and train stations and provide programming for seniors, families and teens.

Past organizations which have benefitted from these grants include the Chestnut Hill Center for Enrichment, Chestnut Hill Meals on Wheels, Chestnut Hill Garden District, Friends of St. Martin’s Train Station and Teenagers Inc. The Fund is a 501c3 charitable organization, guided by IRS law which allows only for the allocation of collected monies to other charitable organizations and community building projects.

At this point, the fund drive is behind last year’s result.  The drive ends on March 30 and its goal is $105,000.  Recently, committee members made additional requests to community members to pull out their checkbooks and help meet the fund goal.

“As we near the end of our fund drive, I’m very hopeful that members of the community will rise to the occasion and send in their contributions before the March 30th deadline so we can make our goal and fully fund the recommended grants,” says Jean Hemphill, president of the Chestnut Hill Community Fund.

Turkel explains that the Hospital is committed to continue their support of the Chestnut Hill Community Association.

“The Community Association and the Fund are the heartbeat of our community,” he said. “We are happy to support all the good work they do and all the good will it creates!”

Chestnut Hill Hospital has sponsored the Holiday House Tour, Black & White Gala, Abzoolutely, Abzoolutely 2, and supported efforts to bring back the Main Street Fair.  Donations to the Chestnut Hill Community Fund can be made at www.chestnuthill.org.