On a cold, cloudy Monday, January 15, 2024 (Martin Luther King Day) the Environmental Committee led its second annual clean-up of the area around Andre Thornton Park on the north side of Phoenixville (55 N Main St), located only 0.3 miles from Bridge St. The park is named for Andre “Thunder” Thornton, who grew up in Phoenixville and played Major League Baseball in 1973-1987. He was a two-time All-Star while playing for the Cleveland Indians. In 1979, he received the Roberto Clemente Award, given to the player who best exemplifies the game of baseball, sportsmanship, community involvement, and team contribution.
This MLK Day clean-up had a great turn out with 28 participants from four groups: Black Light Project, The Green Team, Phoenixville Area Transition Team, and St. Peter’s Church. 17 of the 28 were from St. Peter’s.
They may have been inspired by Christian Wenger’s announcement at the January 14 Sunday service:
“On Monday, many of use have a day off from school or work. I believe we should all use our time to help our community… Tomorrow I will be joining our church for a clean up walk in Phoenixville. I hope to see you there.”
The event began with an introduction by the event’s organizer, Jolie Chylack, followed by two inspirational Martin Luther King thoughts read by Amy Atlee, and a community-bonding reminiscence of Andre Thornton by his sister, Theresa Thornton.
Theresa is President of Black Light Project, a non-profit that recognizes the achievements of more than 200 black members of our community.
It was good to see that Andre Thornton Park was very clean, largely from the efforts of last year’s clean up that removed 400 pounds of trash. Therefore, the group focused on cleaning up the area along nearby Vanderslice Street.
After the clean-up, the Environmental Committee met up 9 minutes away at The Foodery on Bridge Street for their first meeting of 2024.
The clean-up participants from St. Peter’s were:
Aaron Allen, Amy Atlee & Chris Goulian, Lynn Boukalik, Mona & Jolie Chylack & Kent Wenger with their sons Leo & Christian, Bonnie Elliott, Leo Guen, Karen Reid, Gary Russell, Lisa Scott, Steve Smith, and Tena & Vincent Tavani.
If interested in joining the Environmental Committee or participating in future events, contact Jolie Chylack at joliechylackstudio.com.