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September 3, 2009

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Jenks hoopsters make it to finals
Sally Ellis (left), of Erdenheim, and her mother Fran Hanson, of Chestnut Hill, work a recent Rummage Sale.


Local residents earn their stripes
Army Reserve Pvt. John P. Peters has graduated from basic combat training at Fort Jackson, Columbia, S.C. During the nine weeks of training, the soldier studied the Army mission, history, tradition and core values, physical fitness, and received instruction and practice in basic combat skills, military weapons, chemical warfare and bayonet training, drill and ceremony, marching, rifle marksmanship, armed and unarmed combat, map reading, field tactics, military courtesy, military justice system, basic first aid, foot marches and field training exercises. He is the son of William Peters of Pepper Drive, Collegeville, and Cindy Peters of Joshua Road, Lafayette Hill. Peters is a 2005 graduate of Plymouth Whitemarsh High School.
Air National Guard Airman Fontane M. Morris-McClary graduated from basic military training at Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas. The airman completed an intensive, eight-week program that included training in military discipline and studies, Air Force core values, physical fitness, and basic warfare principles and skills. Airmen who complete basic training earn four credits toward an associate in applied science degree through the Community College of the Air Force. He is the son of Dana and Rodney McClary of Paxson Ave., Glenside. The airman is a 2008 graduate of Cheltenham High School.

Air Force Airman Natasha A. Warfield graduated from basic military training at Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas. The airman completed an intensive, eight-week program that included training in military discipline and studies, Air Force core values, physical fitness, and basic warfare principles and skills. Airmen who complete basic training earn four credits toward an associate in applied science degree through the Community College of the Air Force. She is the daughter of Karen Ingram of Greene St., and Rodney Warfield of W. Lehigh Ave., both of Philadelphia.

Pete Hoskins to direct West Laurel/Laurel Hill

Former head of Fairmount Park Commission returns to roots
Alexander L. “Pete” Hoskins, the man who changed the landscape of Fairmount Park and transformed the Philadelphia Zoo, is taking on a new challenge as president and chief executive officer of West Laurel Hill/Laurel Hill Cemeteries and Bringhurst/Turner Funeral Homes. Both are non-denominational and non-profit cemeteries.
Hoskins will step down as senior vice president for financial development at the YMCA of Philadelphia and vicinity on Sept. 4 to accept the new appointment, which will take effect Sept. 8.
The challenges Hoskins will face in running West Laurel Hill/Laurel Hill will be similar to those he faced at Fairmount Park and the Philadelphia Zoo — raising the funds needed to restore and preserve the natural beauty of a civic jewel, overseeing the management of a diverse number of operations and functions, and heightening public awareness of the institution’s unique history and vital functions.
“The story of West Laurel Hill/Laurel Hill parallels the history of Philadelphia,” said Hoskins. “We aim to spark in visitors and the general public a new appreciation of both the people who are buried here, and how the 19th-century garden cemetery and urban park drew inspiration from each other and continue to inspire us today.”  Hoskins said he also views the position as an opportunity a return to many of his Fairmount Park and historic site management roots, as well as a chance to lead an exciting enterprise.  
Hoskins comes to West Laurel Hill/Laurel Hill with a record of bringing new vision and improving the revenues and performance of the organizations he has headed during his long and varied career of public service in Philadelphia.
As the CEO of the Philadelphia Zoo from 1993 to 2006, Hoskins more than quadrupled its endowment, raised more than $150 million for operating and capital projects, and oversaw a $105 million capital improvements program that replaced aging exhibits with new, more naturalistic and visitor-friendly experiences.
From 1980 to 1988, Hoskins served as executive director of the Fairmount Park Commission. In that capacity, he oversaw the development of the first-ever master plan for Philadelphia’s 8,700-acre park system. He also created the park’s first private fundraising operation, which obtained millions of dollars in grants for restoration and maintenance projects throughout the parks, including the reconstruction of the Fairmount Water Works. After leaving the park commission, he headed Philadelphia’s Streets Department for five years.
Until recently, Hoskins was chair of the Philadelphia Parks Alliance, an advocacy organization for open space and parks in the city. He now serves as a member of the city’s newly-created Commission on Parks and Recreation. The Commission was created through an amendment to the Philadelphia Home Rule Charter, approved by the voters last year, which combined the Fairmount Park Commission and the Recreation Department to create the new Department of Parks and Recreation.

As head of West Laurel Hill/Laurel Hill, Hoskins will lead one of America’s first “rural” cemeteries, a place that is rich in Philadelphia history. Today’s park-like cemeteries trace their origins to Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Mass., established in 1831; Laurel Hill opened five years later. The creation of Fairmount Park in 1867 closed off future expansion possibilities for Laurel Hill, so its board of managers purchased land for a new cemetery on the west bank of the Schuylkill in what is now West Laurel in Bala Cynwyd.





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