Fun Workshops & Delco VIPs Headline Literacy Council’s October 20th Expert Academy Online Telethon

Kathy Deitch, Phil Rosenthal, Alex Garfinkel

Press Release of October 4, 2021

Delaware County Literacy Council (DCLC) is once again shining a spotlight on some of Delco’s best and brightest in an online celebration of adult literacy. The 2021 Expert Academy Telethon will feature accomplished professionals with ties to our area sharing knowledge in exciting workshops. The 2021 Champions of Adult Literacy will also be honored during the online event, and some Delco heroes and special guests will appear.

The Expert Academy Telethon is free and will be held at 7 PM on Wednesday, October 20. Details are available at https://delcoliteracy.org/donate/expert-academy-telethon/

The three lively workshops by experts will focus on writing for TV, on singing, and on cooking.

TV writer and producer Phil Rosenthal will discuss comedy writing in his insightful workshop “Writing for Television: How I Made My Life into a Sitcom.” Phil is the creator of the legendary sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond. He currently stars in the food travelogue series Somebody Feed Phil on Netflix. Phil will be interviewed by his wife Monica Horan Rosenthal, a Delaware County native whom fans will recognize as Amy MacDougall/Barrone from Everybody Loves Raymond.

Brad Ingelsby
Brad Ingelsby, creator of the HBO mini-series Mare of Easttown, will be one of the Delaware County special guests appearing at the Literacy Council’s free Expert Academy Telethon, held online on Wednesday, October 20 at 7:00 PM.

Kathy Deitch, a Ridley Park native who starred as Shen Shen in the original Broadway ensemble cast of Wicked, will help you take your singing voice to new heights in her innovative interactive workshop “Anyone Can Sing.” Kathy’s performing credits include Rent directed by Neil Patrick Harris, Silence! The Musical (LA Weekly Award), American Horror Story: Freak Show, and the thriller Loft, opposite Modern Family’s Eric Stonestreet.

Local chef Alex Garfinkel will demonstrate how to prepare some delectable small dishes from Spain in his workshop “Tapas Three Ways.” Alex started his catering business out of his parents’ kitchen in Delaware County while catering for the movie Creed, which was filming in Philadelphia. Alex learned his craft in some of the best restaurants in Philadelphia, including Le Bec Fin, Morimoto, Amada, and Lacroix. He also studied under Chef Andoni Luis Aduriz in Spain. Alex is chef and co-owner of Balboa Catering and Balboa at American Silk supper club in Philadelphia.

“These workshop will give viewers the opportunity to get out of their comfort zones and learn something new, just as the adults who study at DCLC show every day that they are brave enough to keep learning and challenging themselves so that they can improve their lives,” says DCLC’s Executive Director Pat Gunnin.

To add to the evening’s excitement, Brad Ingelsby, Villanova alum and creator of the award-winning HBO mini-series Mare of Easttown, will be sharing a message of encouragement, as well as his thoughts on literacy and some insight into his work. Mare of Easttown, which is set in Delaware County, won several primetime Emmys this year and made Delaware County and our distinctive accent the talk of the entertainment world!

News anchor Lucy Bustamante of NBC10/Telemundo62, who resides in Haverford, Delaware County, will be the emcee for the evening. She is the daughter of Cuban refugees who migrated to the U.S., which gives her a unique appreciation of the challenges faced by immigrants who come to DCLC to learn English.

The inspiring 2021 Champions of Adult Literacy will be honored during the telethon. Neighbor to Neighbor Community Development Corporation in Sharon Hill will be recognized as the 2021 Community Champion; Dr. Monica Taylor, Vice-Chair of County Council, will be honored as the 2021 Hometown Hero Champion; and Temadji Kantangar will be honored as the 2021 Student Champion.

Anyone interested in learning even more from the experts can check out the premium-package donation options. With these packages, individuals can get writing tips or singing tips directly from experts Phil Rosenthal or Kathy Deitch in live Zoom sessions held later in the year. A four-course meal prepared by Chef Alex Garfinkel held at Balboa at American Silk is also available through the premium packages. Learn more at https://bit.ly/reg-experts.

The Expert Academy Telethon is generously supported by Major Sponsors Franklin Mint Federal Credit Union and PECO and Supporting Sponsors Brinker Simpson and Sun East Federal Credit Union. Other generous sponsors of the event include King’s Automotive, Rose Valley Appraisal, White Horse Village, HOP Energy, John Cipollone Heating & Cooling, KPInterface, Monarch Staffing, Rafferty Subaru, Swarthmore House Parts, Wayne Jewelers, and Ameriprise Advisor Michael Hartnett. Any business or organization interested in sponsoring the Expert Academy Telethon can phone Susan at 610-876-4811 or visit the event website at https://delcoliteracy.org/donate/expert-academy-telethon/.

The Delaware County Literacy Council provides free literacy services that help local adults develop reading, writing, math, and English language skills so that these adults can thrive in the workplace and community. To learn more or to get involved, visit www.delcoliteracy.org.

Harrah’s Supports Delaware County Literacy Council with Generous Grant

Harrahs and DCLC staff with check

Press Release of August 9, 2021

Delaware County Literacy Council (DCLC) was recently awarded a generous grant of $5,000.00 from Harrah’s Philadelphia through the Caesars Foundation.

Representatives of Harrah’s Philadelphia Racetrack & Casino gathered at DCLC’s building in Chester to celebrate the grant by presenting a symbolic check to DCLC staff members

Harrah’s Philadelphia team members gathered at Delaware County Literacy Council (DCLC) in Chester to celebrate a $5,000.00 grant awarded to DCLC by Harrah’s through Caesars Foundation. Shown with the check are (L to R): Katey Kimpel, Harrah’s Director of Marketing; Chris Albrecht, Harrah’s Senior Vice President and General Manager; Pat Gunnin, DCLC Executive Director; Liz Brenner, DCLC Director of Student Support Services; Patty Cain, Harrah’s Vice President of Human Resources; Scott Love, Harrah’s Director of Hospitality and DCLC Board Member; Nick Capriotti, Harrah’s Vice President of Finance; and Matt Conner, Harrah’s Vice President of Security and Facilities/Engineer.

“DCLC teaches reading, writing, and math to local adults. Harrah’s is proud to support these efforts that are so vital to our community,” said Harrah’s Vice President of Human Resources Patty Cain.

The generous gift will help DCLC to continue offering remote and in-person classes in adult basic education, English as a Second Language (ESL), and GED preparation to adults in Delaware County.

Since opening in 2007, Harrah’s has been a strong community presence in the City of Chester and a steady supporter of DCLC. Talented staff members from Harrah’s have served regularly on DCLC’s Board of Directors, and Harrah’s has hosted and sponsored DCLC’s Champions of Adult Literacy fundraising event since 2013. Also, as a major employer in the area, Harrah’s provides job opportunities for adults who are improving their skills and seeking a better life.

“Clearly, Harrah’s is a wonderful community partner with a great track record of positive impact,” said Pat Gunnin, DCLC Executive Director.

The Delaware County Literacy Council helps adults develop reading, writing, math, and English language skills so that these adults can thrive in the workplace and community. To learn more or to get involved, visit www.delcoliteracy.org.

FMFCU Foundation Golf Classic Results in Generous Gift to Literacy Council

Check from Franklin Mint

Press Release of July 21, 2021

Delaware County Literacy Council (DCLC) recently received a generous gift of $5,000.00 from the Franklin Mint Federal Credit Union (FMFCU) Foundation that represented a fun afternoon of golf and community spirit.

FMFCU Foundation’s sold-out Second Annual Golf Classic was held on June 7 at the Radley Run Country Club in West Chester PA. Proceeds from the successful fundraising event were donated to local food banks and other community organizations, including DCLC.

“We were so pleased with the turnout and the good we have been able to do in the community through this event,” said Rick Durante, Executive Director of FMFCU Foundation and Co-President of DCLC’s Board of Directors.

Mr. Durante, (shown at right) and Danielle Griffin, Foundation Program Manager, presented the $5,000.00 donation to DCLC Executive Director Pat Gunnin (shown at left) with a symbolic “big check.”

“We are grateful for the support of FMFCU Foundation. This donation will help local adults improve their literacy skills and work toward their goals,” said Mr. Gunnin.

The Delaware County Literacy Council helps adults develop reading, writing, math, and English language skills so that these adults can thrive in the workplace and community. To learn more or to get involved, visit www.delcoliteracy.org.

Check from Franklin Mint
Rick Durante, Executive Director of Franklin Mint Federal Credit Union (FMFCU) Foundation (shown at right), along with Danielle Griffin, Foundation Program Manager, present a $5,000.00 donation to Pat Gunnin (shown at left), Executive Director of Delaware County Literacy Council (DCLC). The donation represents proceeds from FMFCU Foundation’s Second Annual Golf Classic, held in June.

Gunnin Named Executive Director of Delaware County Literacy Council

Press Release of June 14, 2021

Patrick “Pat” Gunnin has been named Executive Director of Delaware County Literacy Council (DCLC). He started in the position on June 1, 2021.

Gunnin brings more than 40 years of experience in nonprofit operations to his role as Executive Director, with specific expertise in resource development, board development, financial management, human resource development, and program development and management.

Most recently Gunnin served as Chief Programs Officer for YWCA in Delaware, overseeing
economic empowerment and self-employment/work readiness programs for Delaware residents.

As a national trainer with Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Gunnin traveled across the country presenting workshops on supervision, leadership, and program management and development. He also served in a variety of leadership roles for Boys & Girls Clubs in Delaware, Michigan, Mississippi, Washington DC, Maryland, North Carolina, and Florida.

Of leading the Literacy Council, Gunnin states “I look forward to working with the staff and board to best meet the needs of the adult students we serve and to make the organization financially sustainable.”

Gunnin says he admires the resilience of the adults who study at the Literacy Council, including those who came to this country from another place to improve their lives. “I love the diversity of our adult students,” he declares.

Gunnin holds a Master of Science in Nonprofit Management from Eastern University in St. Davids, PA, and a Bachelor of Science in Business and Economics from High Point University in High Point, NC.

DCLC was founded in 1975 by local volunteers who noticed their neighbors were struggling with reading and writing. DCLC helps adults develop reading, writing, math, and English language skills so that they can thrive in the workplace and community. To learn more or to get involved, visit http://www.delcoliteracy.org.

New Co-Presidents to Lead Delaware County Literacy Council Board of Directors

Rick Durante and Jennifer Stock

Press Release of March 4, 2021

Rick Durante of Franklin Mint Federal Credit Union (FMFCU) and Jennifer Stock, Director of the Upper Darby Township and Sellers Memorial Free Public Library, have been elected as Co-Presidents of the Board of Directors of the Delaware County Literacy Council (DCLC).

Rick Durante is Vice President, Director of Corporate Social Responsibility and Government Affairs at FMFCU and Executive Director of the FMFCU Foundation. He also serves on the Board of Managers and is Executive Director of the Credit Union Network for Financial Literacy, LLC (CUNFL).
Rick’s work at FMCU Foundation includes overseeing all community giving programs, including education grants, teacher awards, community grants, Delco Hi-Q, the food insecurity fund, and other charitable giving in the communities served by FMFCU. Rick has been involved with Delco Hi-Q, the oldest continuous academic competition in the United States, since 2004. He currently serves as Quizmaster and Executive Director of the competition.

Rick finds serving on the DCLC Board of Directors to be rewarding. He explains, “I started volunteering with DCLC 12 years ago, and the growth and impact of the organization that I’ve witnessed over that time is amazing. The work of DCLC in improving literacy has helped students open doors to educational and employment opportunities that can help them move out of poverty and underemployment.”

Jennifer Stock earned a Master of Library and Information Science degree from Drexel University. She has worked in Delaware County Libraries in various roles since 2001. Before becoming the Director of the Upper Darby Township and Sellers Memorial Free Public Library, Jennifer served as Head of Public Services for the Marple Library, Assistant Director of the Marple Library, and Director of the Helen Kate Furness Free Library.

Jennifer describes first learning about the Literacy Council when she noticed literacy tutors meeting with their adult students in libraries where she was working. Jennifer says she is impressed with how DCLC has adapted to changing needs in the community, explaining, “Now the focus is not only on adult basic literacy, adult GED, adult English as a Second Language (ESL), and adults’ learning something so that they can go on to either higher education or citizenship, but now there is also an important literacy-to-work aspect that DCLC provides.”

She adds, “The Literacy Council has embraced this change, and we’ve seen the success. There are even DCLC students who have been able to become employees and continue the mission in that role. That’s amazing and a testament to the organization.”

Franklin Mint Federal Credit Union has provided financial products and services to its members in the greater Philadelphia region and beyond since 1970. As the largest financial institution headquartered in Delaware County, FMFCU has 110,000 members, 2,500 partner organizations, and branches located throughout the Delaware Valley.

The Upper Darby Township and Sellers Memorial Free Public Library includes three branches, the Sellers Memorial Branch on State Road in Upper Darby, the Primos Branch on Ashland Avenue in Secane, and the Municipal Branch on Bywood Avenue in Upper Darby. These libraries belong to the Delaware County Libraries, a federated system comprised of 26 member libraries.

The Delaware County Literacy Council helps adults develop reading, writing, math, and English language skills so that these adults can thrive in the workplace and community. To learn more or to get involved, visit https://www.delcoliteracy.org.