The Chester County Chamber of Business and Industry will thus honor “The Community of West Chester” with its 2018 Nonprofit of the Year Award for its selfless, compassionate, and supportive response to the recent fire at Barclay Friends.
The award will be given at CCCBI’s Small Business Awards Breakfast and Annual Meeting on Jan. 24 from 7:30-9:30 AM at the Penn Oaks Golf Club in West Chester.
“We have selected a few people because of their hard work to accept the award,” said Guy Ciarrocchi, the CCCBI’s President and CEO. “They are symbolic of their peers.”
Ted Hartz, President of Good Will, one of the lead fire companies to respond and also the point of collection for donations, will accept on behalf of first responders.
Aria Swanson and Danielle Gendler, students from the Honors College at West Chester University who held a charity event on campus that raised more than $2,400, will accept on behalf of WCU’s students and staff.
Dr. Todd Bainbridge, of Bainbridge Eye Care, who offered free eye exams and free glasses to all victims of the fire who suffered losses, will accept on behalf of the all private citizens who stepped up in the time of need.
“The heroic efforts of West Chester first responders, the dedication of WCU and its students, and the countless businesses and families that opened their homes, their businesses, and wallets to the victims of the fire was nothing short of inspirational,” said Ciarrocchi. “We are humbled by their efforts and proud to salute them.”
Larry Kingsland, 62, was one neighbor who helped transport Barclay Friends residents to medics after firefighters rescued them from the fire.
“Everyone saw how devastating the fire was, and we all had the same reaction: that people needed help,” he told the Associated Press. “The whole neighborhood was helping.”
Dina Ciccarone, 37, another neighbor, helped move people away from the fire and into safety.
“Most of them could not walk,” she said. “Some were lying on the ground; we were just bundling them up.”
Mike Lentz, 60, said neighbors comforted the seniors as they were led away from the fire.
“I would try to wrap them in a blanket and kept telling them ‘you’re safe now,’” he said. “Some were crying. Some were disoriented and crying.”
In addition to the Nonprofit of the Year Award, CCCBI’s Small Business of the Year Award will presented to VISTA Today. Led by publisher Ken Knickerbocker, VISTA Today is an online journal that celebrates Chester County’s quality of place and economic health by publishing curated and original stories on the county’s assets: its commercial, cultural, and community news and events.
Linda McMahon, a politician and the Administrator of the Small Business Administration who was nominated to the position by Donald Trump, is the Jan. 24 breakfast event’s keynote speaker. Her surname is synonymous with professional wrestling, as her husband Vince McMahon is the CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE).
Anyone may attend the CCCBI’s 2018 Small Business Awards Breakfast and Annual Meeting. Tickets for chamber members are $50, while tickets for non-members are $60.
Click here to register, or, if you would like more information, contact Emily Good, the Chamber’s Director of Events, at 610-725-9100 or firstname.lastname@example.org.