Dream kitchens up in flames.
New bathrooms down the drain.
Hundreds of thousands of dollars, given in good faith, gone.
Employees summarily fired, their paychecks bounced. A lease broken, rent skipped.
The flood of fuming allegations against Element Kitchen & Bath in Paoli (and formerly Devon) beggars belief.
Did this really happen? Here?
No bargain basement remodeler, Element – until it up and vanished – operated out of a splashy showroom in the heart of Paoli at the beautifully renovated KingsHaven Design complex.
Owner is/was Mike Sheehan, a contractor uniformly deemed agreeable and conscientious by the furious Element clients who’ve talked to SAVVY.
‘Agreeable’ until he allegedly demo’d a bathroom, then stopped showing up.
‘Conscientious’ until they learned he’d taken their checks but never ordered their cabinets or tile.
Sheehan “vacated the place one Friday night [March 16] and hasn’t been in contact since,” confirms Lauren Wylonis, managing partner of Bennington Partners, the building’s re-developer and owner. One of a parade of alleged victims, Wylonis says she’s out a month’s rent and more than six years of a contracted tenant lease.
Flooded with complaints, Tredyffrin Police assure us they’re on the case.
“We’re piecing together the timeline and working with the DA’s office,” Tredyffrin Police Chief Mike Beaty tells SAVVY. “We’re doing our due diligence. If it’s appropriate, he’ll be charged criminally. We’re doing the best we can for the community.”
In a sea of rotten Element stories, Kaitlyn Zitzer’s stands out.
Eight-months pregnant with her first child, Zitzer had done her homework when she and her husband signed a contract with Element to overhaul the main bathroom in their split-level Berwyn home. They got three quotes, the reviews were positive, they met Sheehan, then went with their gut. “Mike was charming and engaging and seemed very trustworthy,” Zitzer tells SAVVY. They gave him a first deposit check.
Element began demo’ing the bathroom the day Zitzer left to have her baby. On the way to the hospital, the couple dropped off another check to Sheehan; he’d said he needed more money to place orders.
Demolition resumed about a week after they came home with their baby girl, born Feb. 27, Zitzer says. All the while, Sheehan “kept pressing” for more payments.
On Friday, March 16, a subcontractor called to tell them Sheehan had fired all of his employees.
The Zitzers rushed online: Sheehan’s website, Facebook and LinkedIn were gone. The next morning, Zitzer’s husband went to the showroom. Empty.
Calls and emails went unreturned.
“So after paying Mike $12,000, we were left with a demolished bathroom and a tub in the garage,” Zitzer says. “We now have a newborn baby with no tub to bathe her in, no hall bath to offer our many visitors. Instead, we have a construction zone.”
Another woman – who prefers to remain anonymous – tells us she’s out $15,000. For years she’d been filling a Pinterest board with “dream ideas” to replace the green Formica, bisque appliances and hickory-oak cabinets in her Newtown Square kitchen.
She and her father, who share the house, contracted with Element to make it happen.
After multiple start delays, she grew suspicious. She called the cabinet company and learned nothing had been ordered.
“The police have been great,” she says, although she’s been advised that the investigation will take time. “It’s a waiting game; that’s the hardest part. I wake up angry; I go to bed angry.”
Like the others we spoke to, she’s hoping authorities can pin criminal charges on Sheehan; they want to avoid the expense of a civil suit.
A third alleged victim, Scott Mandel, had recently moved to Liseter in Newtown Square from out of state. He says he contracted with Element for a high-end steam shower. His wife had found Element on Yelp and Houzz and the reviews were good.
Mandel says Element started his job then inexplicably vanished. Mandel estimates he’s out $12,000 to $16,000.
Furious, he posted about his experience (using a pseudonym) on Yelp. Within four hours, eight or nine people contacted him with similar stories, he says, some telling him they’ve lost $40K to $60K.
“Here’s the sick part: some were elderly, one was 39 weeks pregnant,” Mandel says. “The people he took advantage of – a good chunk – were vulnerable. That carries a stiffer penalty.”
While allowing that his own case is “more of a civil matter,” officers told him there may indeed be grounds for criminal charges.
“They said if [Sheehan] took a deposit to start work and never started, that’s fraud. If he took a deposit to buy materials, that’s fraud.”
Police would not comment on specific charges that might be brought, citing an active investigation.
We’re told one irate client even showed up at Sheehan’s home doorstep in West Chester. Sheehan allegedly answered the door and said he planned to file for bankruptcy.
We checked, and at press time, he had not done so.
Anyone with information about Element Kitchen & Bath is asked to contact Tredyffrin Police Detective Carsello at 610-408-3670, [email protected].
Women beware: Notorious Felony Lane Gang hits Tredyffrin again
A trio of crooks – a woman wearing an obvious blonde wig and two men – tried to pull a fast one at the Bank of America in the Paoli Shopping Center in broad daylight on Tuesday.
The three – all in their 20s – were part of the infamous “Felony Lane” gang out of Florida, a crime ring that’s been stealing IDs and hitting up banks up and down the East Coast, police say.
Operating for years, the gang grabs women’s purses from cars parked at places like fitness clubs, parks and daycare centers. (In this week’s incident, the purse was lifted from a car outside an Upper Merion daycare center, police say.)
Then, a Felony Lane female posing as the victim shows up at her bank’s drive-thru window to steal from her account.
This slick gang uses every trick in the book: a disguise, doctored ID, stolen tags, out-of-state rental car. To escape detection and make a fast getaway, they use the outer lane of bank drive-thrus, dubbed “the felony lane.”
But in Paoli, a Tredyffrin cop noted the driver’s suspicious blonde wig. She knew they were onto her so she ditched her car in a parking lot then tried to hide in the nearby Acme. Officers cuffed her around 1 p.m. Her alleged accomplices were in the area and they didn’t get away either.
None of the three could post bail so Rachel Rouijel, 24, of Lakeworth, FL, Domineke Miller, 25, and Terrance Brooks, 25 both from Fort Lauderdale are in Chester County prison. Rouijel is being charged with felony forgery, felony unauthorized use of a credit card, bad checks, identity theft, and receiving stolen property. Miller and Brooks are charged with conspiracy to commit those crimes.
“It was a great grab,” Tredyffrin Police Mike Beaty tells SAVVY, thanking his officers, vigilant civilians, neighboring police from Willistown, E. Whiteland, Malvern Borough and Easttown for their help.
Biggest takeaway from the bust: Don’t leave your handbag visible inside your car – even if you lock the doors. If you don’t want to bring your purse to the gym or playground, lock it in the trunk of your car, says Tredyffrin Det. Sgt. Todd Bereda. But stash it privately, he says, because you never know who’s watching.
Armed gunmen at large in West Chester club homicide
April 18 UPDATE : The suspects were taken into custody by U.S. Marshals in West Philadelphia Tuesday, April 17 and were to be arraigned on first-degree murder charges April 18.
Armed and dangerous and on the run. That’s how Chester County DA and West Chester police describe two men – Tyrell and Tim (TJ) Jacobs – wanted in a homicide this week at a West Chester club.
Authorities say the two will be charged with first degree murder, conspiracy and related offenses in the death of Eric Brown, 26, who was shot in the chest at 9 p.m. Tuesday night, April 10, at the Star Social Club on Market Street. He was pronounced dead at Paoli Hospital.
“This senseless murder was clearly captured on surveillance video,” said Chesco DA Tom Hogan in a statement. “The defendants, both with guns, assaulted and killed an unarmed victim.”
Police alerted West Chester students “even though this crime took place some distance from West Chester University and didn’t involve [it],” said WC Police Chief Scott Bohn.
Star Social Club has quite the history. It was founded as an all-male black social club back in 1896 when minorities weren’t served in borough taverns. It had its liquor license suspended for 90 days in 2015 for liquor code violations.
New arts center expands legacy of Gabrielle Cerminaro
[SAVVY team writer Courtney Mullen contributed to this story]
A new arts center with Main Line roots has just flowered in Norristown.
And oh, what a beautiful blossom it is.
The backstory alone is breathtaking.
Community Arts Norristown (CAN) was created by Berwyn mom/artist Wendy Coleman and the nonprofit she founded in loving memory of her daughter, Gabrielle Cerminaro, Conestoga ’09.
“CAN is a continuation of my daughter’s spirit,” Coleman tells SAVVY. Gabrielle was “such a caring and loving, highly talented and intelligent human being who put all before herself.”
An artist, just like mom.
CAN is housed on the lower-level of a circa-1905 Lutheran church. In the last month, it’s been overhauled by friends of the Gabrielle S. Cerminaro Arts Foundation and sponsors like Haverford Trust, Mannington and DOW.
Even the CAN logo shows Gabrielle’s guiding hand. Her mom so cherished her daughter’s penmanship that she had a “Gabby” font created, gratis, by the Delaware design house, House Industries.
CAN spans more than 5,500 sq. ft. in 14 rooms, plus a charming 1,300 sq. ft. courtyard.
Along with after-school and camp programs, CAN classes include painting, pottery, yoga, ballet, hip-hop, cotillion dance, music, organic gardening and cooking.
On Coleman’s vision board: a choir and mural arts program.
Teachers are top-shelf; PA Academy of the Fine Arts, Tyler School of Art and the Univ. of the Arts are all represented.
CAN serves local youth and adults of all ages. Coleman hopes Main Line friends will mosey on over to take classes, too.
“Norristown is a community so close to us but in need of the things we take for granted,” Coleman says.
Her message to budding artists everywhere: Yes, you CAN.
“My goal is to share the arts, the creativity, the passion, so others too, in their moments of self-doubt, can express themselves through the arts and know that they are valued and loved.”
Community Arts Norristown, 506 Haws Ave., 610-272-1545, welcomes donations, volunteers, and students of all ages. Gabrielle S. Cerminaro Arts Foundation supports CAN, donates art supplies, and awards art class and camp scholarships. Wendy Wolfinger Coleman is an award-winning oil painter. She donates 25 percent of her art sales to the Gabrielle S. Cerminaro Arts Foundation.
Main Line Art Center also drawing on community
Demand is up. So, for the first time in its history, MLAC in Haverford is going the “gofundme” route to pay for its free or low-cost classes for people with disabilities and financial need.
The Center hopes to raise $35,000 in scholarships for children and adults via crowdfunding. In past years, scholarships totaled $12,000.
In a nifty wrinkle, there’s no charge to attend the opening party for MLAC’s spring show, Art in Action, but the hope is that you’ll donate to the campaign instead.
The kickoff celebration, btw, is shaping up to be an interesting night: live art-making and a live art auction.
The artist we’d most like to see in action: Bernice Paul, who turns 101 years young this month, and is a featured exhibitor.
Main Line Art Center will host Art in Action’s free preview party Saturday, April 28, 6:30 – 9 p.m. RSVP here. The exhibition and online scholarship drive runs April 28 – June 2.
Martha Stewart visits Valley Forge Flowers; Next stop: Phila. Antiques Show
Holy hellebores! Martha Stewart popped in at Valley Forge Flowers in Wayne last Friday. The domestic doyenne is buds with VFF owner Barb King, aka the Martha Stewart of the Main Line.
It was Martha’s first visit to the Strafford store but likely won’t be her last. She’s reportedly bought a home in Chester County. Alas, King wasn’t there to show her around; her sons did the honors.
Missed Martha in Wayne? Catch her at the Philadelphia Antiques & Art Show next weekend.
On Friday, April 20, she’ll sign copies of her new book, “Martha’s Flowers: A Practical Guide to Growing, Gathering and Enjoying.” (How’s THAT for a Mother’s Day gift?) She’ll also give a flower-gardening talk with the book’s co-author, Kevin Sharkey.
“It took months to get her,” show co-chair Anne Hamilton tells SAVVY. “We had to get through a lot of people to reach her.” Hamilton says she’s met Stewart “a few times.” She says Stewart has visited mother-in-law Dodo Hamilton’s farm in Newport.
The antiques show nabbed Stewart in the middle of her book tour so she’s only coming in for the day.
A noted collector herself, maybe she’ll do a bit of browsing while she’s here. There will be plenty to paw through: some 60 esteemed vendors are setting up shop.
Shaking things up this year: The Show has deliberately broadened its reach to feature more contemporary and 20th-century artists and artisans. (We hear Tredyffrin furniture maker Wharton Esherick is in the mix. Nice.)
Also new: this year’s twin beneficiaries: Philadelphia Museum of Art and Penn Medicine.
The Philadelphia Antiques & Art Show is open to the public April 20 – 22 at The Navy Yard with a first-dibs preview party Thursday, April 19. Tickets to Martha Stewart’s presentation are $50 and include Show admission. The book is extra and will be sold at the Show. Stewart’s lecture is limited to 300; book signing limited to 60 or so.
Delco pulls a Montco
Montco Democrats didn’t endorse; Delco Dems didn’t either. A trend?
After four rounds of voting, Delaware County Democrats failed to endorse a candidate for Congress at their nominating meeting last Sunday.
So many choices, so little time.
At one point some 15 folks had declared for the newly drawn Fifth district – an all-out scrum – although at least two have since dropped out: Radnor Township Dems chair George Badey and former CIA agent Shelly Chauncy. The new Fifth spans most of Congressman Meehan’s stomping grounds in Delco, a slice of Lower Merion and some of South Philly.
Worth noting: the top two vote getters in the final round, taking 75 percent of the vote, were – drumroll – women.
One of them was schooled on the Main Line, and if she gets the nod and goes on to win, might make history in these parts.
She’s Episcopal Academy ’92 alum Ashley Lunkenheimer. A former federal prosecutor, Lunkenheimer would be the first openly gay woman elected to Congress in PA – she and her wife are raising three children in Media.
Whatever your politics, you gotta respect the resume: B.A. from Amherst, LSW from Columbia, JD from UPenn. Her mom’s no slouch either. She’s bigshot Molly Shepard (and we mean that with all due respect), the CEO of The Leader’s Edge.
The other top vote getter was Mary Gay Scanlon, appears to be a go-getter, too. A Colgate/UPenn attorney, she’s advocated for at-risk children, the disabled, equal pay for women, and served on the Wallingford-Swarthmore School Board for 15 years.
On the GOP side, Pearl Kim (Bryn Mawr College/Villanova law) easily won her party’s endorsement.
She, too, is a female powerhouse with a record of championing children and the vulnerable. A former senior deputy attorney general, she secured the first conviction under PA’s old human trafficking law. Her platform includes securing the borders against illegal immigrants.
Episcopal House Tour is history
In a unanimous vote, EA’s parents board pulled the plug on its house tour fundraiser, a Main Line tradition for 25 years. In its place this year? A razzle-dazzle luncheon and fashion show from Soho-chic Kirna Zabete in Bryn Mawr Village. The boutique’s owner, Beth Buccini, is an EA parent and she’ll be doing the commentary as pro models will prowl the catwalk – not the usual mom volunteers.
The April 12 event at Aronimink was a sellout, so we’re guessing the EA House Tour won’t be back anytime soon.
Paoli meets Paoli – again
A foreign head of state (sort of) just came to the Main Line on a trade mission (sort of).
Yes, indeedy, the President of the conseil executif de Corsica led a delegation to Paoli last week. And they stayed – where else – at the Embassy (Suites).
Pres. Gilles Simeoni got a monster welcome from the Paoli Business and Professional Association (PBPA) at a party hosted by Daylesford Crossing, the older-folks facility that Carol Burnett visited last spring.
OK, we get that it’s a gorgeous Mediterranean isle but why Corsica?
Because the island’s founding father – their George Washington – was General Pasquale de Paoli.
And his dogged fight for freedom in the 1700s inspired our own colonists, among them a local who named his tavern (near Rt. 30 and 252) for him. (The Massacre came a little later.)
Simeoni’s a bit of a firebrand, himself. Check the news: he’s been going toe-to-toe with French President Macron re: Corsican independence.
Anyway, Paoli’s biz leaders signed an official “twinning” charter with General Paoli’s hometown in Corsicsa in 1999, and delegations have shuttled back and forth over the years.
Simeoni told SAVVY he planned to talk up student exchanges, tourism, and Corsican wine with his Paoli pals during his visit.
A story worth sharing and a video worth viewing
Malvern resident Natanya Sortland’s life was upended at age 40 on April Fool’s Day, 2015, when a wooden beam crashed on her head.
Unbeknownst to her, there was a ticking bomb in her head – a brain malformation. The crash set it off. Her subarachnoid brain hemorrhage caused a series of concussions, then a catastrophic grand mal seizure during which she hit her on the bathtub and almost didn’t make it.
“My mind is a jumbled mess much of the time,” she says, three years later. With support of caregivers and friends, she fights every day. And she hopes you’ll fight right beside her.
Race to Recovery is a 5K race/one-mile walk on April 22 at East Goshen Park hosted by Bryn Mawr Rehab. Natanya will be the pretty brunette in the wheelchair with the huge grin. Go say hi. Just $25 to enter.
Why we all should support Cancer Support Community (especially on May 3)
If your family’s been touched by cancer – whose hasn’t? – chances are Cancer Support Community of Greater Philly has touched you.
Or wants to touch you.
CSCGP offers 150 completely free programs to patients and families dealing with a cancer diagnosis. People from all walks of life take yoga, meditation, cooking and other classes and attend informative lectures and soul-saving support groups. CSCGP has also started programs for kids with cancer at Welsh Valley Middle School, among others, with more Main Line schools in the pipeline.
What CSCGP figured out a long time ago: When one person in the family has cancer, everyone is hurting.
In a few weeks though, the hurt will take a backseat to fun.
On May 3, CSCGP will host its 25th Anniversary gala fundraiser “under the stars” in Fairmount Park – and they’re pulling out all the stops including:
- Live entertainment: magician/cancer survivor Chad Juros (featured on “Good Morning America”), nationally-renowned saxophonist Larry McKenna, Settlement School musicians and a Gospel choir. Who knows? Maybe honorary co-chair Lauren Hart, a cancer survivor herself, will belt out a tune or two.
- The craftiest cocktails in town from 13th Street Cocktails. Bring on the man buns!
- Fabulous farm-to-table fare from Joshua’s Catering.
- Snazzy event styling by the pros at Evantine Design and other fun surprises. Sshhhhh.
- Inspirational awardees/honorees like cancer “Moonshot” Super Scientist Carl June from Penn Med’s Abramson Cancer Center and a Bucks County boy who’s been battling brain cancer.
A slew of Main Liners are staging this show, including SAVVY Events Director Nicole Dresnin Schaeffer who’s co-chairing with Linda Dooney. (Yours truly is on the committee.)
Fun Fact 1: The event’s top sponsor is the Morgan family and Liberty Dispensary, Lower Merion Keith Morgan’s medical marijuana company.
Fun Fact 2: 89 to 96 % dollars raised stay in local CSCGP programs.
Cancer Support Community of Greater Philadelphia’s 25th Anniversary gala will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 3 at at 4100 Chamounix Dr., Fairmount Park. Tickets are $250; $100 for Young Patrons. Click here to order.
This and That
“As beautiful and warm as she is on TV” is how Malvern’s Pam Mahoney describes her brief encounter with Food Network and “Today” show star Giada de Laurentiis. The Emmy Award-winning chef signed copies of new book, “Giada’s Italy” at Williams Sonoma at the KOP Mall last Wednesday.
And while we’re being bookish: Chesco scribe Lisa Scottoline will be signing her new book, “After Anna” at the King of Prussia Costco April 22, noon to 2. Or support your local bookseller and get a copy from Wayne’s Main Point Books.
A SAVVY shoutout (for the second time) to Conestoga senior Jahnavi Rao and her merry band of civic-minded students. Their nonpartisan work to register new voters has spread way beyond Berwyn and even caught the Inquirer’s attention in a front-page story this week.
Note to young people and their parents: The last day to register before the May 15 PA primary is Saturday, April 14. Last day to register for the November 6 general election is October 9.
Social justice forums are sprouting up all over:
- Former Philly Mayor Dr. Wilson Goode will talk “Spirituality, Politics and Social Justice” April 15 at 2 pm at Berywn United Methodist Church. He’s currently the president and CEO of Amachi, Inc. a faith-based program that mentors children whose parents are in jail.
- Lower Merion High School will host its first-ever daylong social justice conference, “Speak Your Truth,” on Sunday, April 28. Workshops will focus on the role of gender, race and class in various arenas, including sports, the arts, politics, law and on college campuses.
- St. David’s Episcopal Church just started a Wednesday night “social justice” bible study, based on the book, “The Social Justice Bible Challenge,” by Rev. Marek Zabriskie. St. David’s Rector Frank Allen leads in April. Assoc. Rector Martha Tucker takes over in May.
- And academics, a few cardinals, and the Papal Nuncio to the U.S. are meeting at Villanova U. this weekend for the international conference: “Pope Francis, a Voice Crying Out in the World: Mercy, Justice, Love and Care for the Earth.” It’s timed to Francis’ five year anniversary as pope.
Smoke get in your eyes at Valley Forge Park this week? It came from a series of “controlled burns” to weed out invasive plants threatening to overtake meadows and mess up the ecosystem. Officials say mowing and herbicides aren’t up to the job, so they decided to set fire to 150 acres over five meadows along Rt. 23 and Gulph Rd. Enlisted to keep the blazes in check: wildfire-fighting pros from Gettysburg, Shenandoah and other federal parks, along with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. These were the first prescribed burns in the park since October 2014.
Forget Disney World. Jay’s getting a face-to-face with Pope Francis. Villanova hoops coach Jay Wright and wife Patty will get an audience with Pope Francis in Rome this Saturday. And it’s not because he coached the Cats to their second Natty Championship in three years; Wright agreed to the trip a month ago, part of a Villanova Board of Trustees meeting in the Eternal City.
Looking forward to seeing SAVVY gals at the Autism Awareness Luncheon at Aronimink next Friday, April 20. Yours truly will emcee the always smashing Louella fashion show – and taking notes on what promises to be a fascinating update on autism research by Dr. Judi Miller from CHOP. Proceeds benefit the Kinney Center for Autism Education and Support at St. Joe’s. Click here for tickets ($75/ea).
The Harlem Wizards will take Team T/E to school again this Friday night, April 13 at 7 p.m. (Sorry, TESD, but they’re bigger than you.) District teachers, students and administrators gamely lace up for the showdown each year. The night’s a fundraiser for FLITE (Foundation For Learning in Tredyffrin/Easttown), an nonprofit that helps level the academic playing field – providing support, tools and opportunities that financially challenged kids need to succeed. Tickets are $12 in advance; $14 at the door. The night’s been a sellout for five years, so best not dally.
Eagles, Wildcats and streaking Sixers have you burstin’ with Philly pride?
Might want to rumble on in to Ardmore Music Hall next Saturday, April 28 for the all-star, all-Philly ensemble, In The Pocket.
Leader of the pack is founding Hooters drummer, David Uosikkinen, who lives in Wayne. Joining him: Tommy Conwell, other Hooters, Beru Revue, The A’s and more. Also in the mix: Main Liners like Devon keyboardist Wally Smith (Smash Palace) and some of his School of Rock students.
The Pocket’s latest release, “Frankford El,” was first produced by The American Dream on the very album produced by Upper Darby’s Todd Rundgren in 1970. Classic. Tickets are $30 ($35 day of show.)
Wheels of Wayne cruises into North Wayne Ave. next Sunday, April 29 at 1 p.m. Look for cool cars, hot bikes, a pulled pork and pizza contests – and road closures. It’s the 9th year for the free street festival.
‘Camp it well’ at Friends’ Central (from SAVVY Sponsor Friends’ Central School Summer Programs)
By Lisa Kazanjian from Team SAVVY
A truth universally acknowledged by Main Line parents: Not all summer camps are created equal.
There’s your basic school or township-based program – and then there’s Friends’ Central School’s Summer Programs (FCSSP).
Unlike typical camps, virtually all of Friends’ Central’s activities are managed by the school’s teachers. Not high school or college kids, but professional, full-time educators. Sure, there are some teen staffers, but, by and large, adult, experienced teachers run the show here. These are people who deeply respect children, are sensitive to their needs, and are invested in the community.
Another FCSSP plus: Teachers/counselors are taught – and instill – Quaker values, meaning your kids will soak in the good stuff: be kind, play fair and accept and respect others. Think Pull of Peace, not Tug of War.
What’s more, program directors are whisked off to professional camp conferences each year to keep offerings innovative and top-notch. If there’s a better way to nurture and nourish young brains, bodies and spirits, you can bet Friends’ Central knows about it.
Oh, to be a kid again. FCSSP ensure hands, feet and minds have a field day, rain or shine! Programs include :
- Tenderfoot (ages 3-6): Can’t beat the variety – you name it, you (basically) got it.
- Trailblazer (ages 6 to 12): Rocketry, anyone?
- Basketball, Reading and Math Clinic (Grades entering 2-10): An interesting combo that is interactive, educational and fun (Because sports make fractions a little easier to swallow.)
- Mighty Makers (Entering Grades 1-5): Hands-on projects for future engineers, cooks, designers, programmers and builders.
Through specialized programs like Wow and Pathfinder, children develop skills from instructors with specific expertise. Drama, tennis, and sports, to name a few. Even archery. Sign us up!
Tenderfoot Camp on the Lower School campus in Wynnewood hits all the right buttons: independence, curiosity, making new friends, boosting self-esteem and more. Placed in coed groups by age (not gender). campers are taught cooperation, not competition: on nature trails and playgrounds, in the well-equipped gym and during daily swim lessons.
“The breadth of programs and activities available at Tenderfoot…is fantastic!” says a parent of Delaney Lowther. “I chose Tenderfoot for my 5-year-old daughter because it’s truly the best camp experience around.”
It goes without saying that there’s a full-time RN, certified lifeguard and full-time athletic trainer on site. For convenience and safety, there’s an inter-campus shuttle, too.
“The campus is beautiful and peaceful and everyone is so helpful,” says a grandparent of camper Cameron Bickle. “It’s a great place to spend the summer!”
With so much to do and learn (and did we mention the outstanding survey results?), it’s no wonder most of the 700 campers – from as far east as Philly and as far west as Wayne – return year after year after year.
Friends’ Central School Summer Programs, 228 Old Gulph Rd (Lower School) and 1101 City Ave (Upper School), Wynnewood. Contact Katherine Clayton at 610-645-5132 or [email protected] for a tour or more info. Discounts for first-timers and siblings and for multiple-week and half-day options.
As always, a great recap of local events. I feel so sorry for the victims of Mike Sheehan/Element Kitchen & Bath – however, I must note that when you write “Did this really happen? Here?” the answer is a resounding YES. And it occurs more often than one would think. For us, the thief was Craig Postlewaite, formerly of Cedar Hollow Design Center, and current owner of Post Haste Handyman/Pendulum Solutions in Devon.
As is often the case, Craig the salesman inspired confidence, and once we signed on, the initial work was excellent. However he quickly parlayed this to then have us order more items through him, and ultimately took our money, without ever paying his subcontractors or vendors.
Early one Saturday morning we even had the floor refinisher bang angrily on our door looking for remuneration for his services. We had already remitted this to Craig Postlewaite, but he never passed it along. Thankfully the subcontractor understood, as Craig Postelwaite had already done this to many other designers, cabinetmakers, workers, etc.
By the time we realized we had been taken, we had already given Craig Postlewaite more than $10,000 to purchase furniture. In then end it turned out that while he ordered the merchandise, he never paid for it, and when we contacted the vendor directly, we then had to pay this money – again – to have the furniture released. And because the money had been paid to Craig Postelwaite directly, we had no coverage through our credit card company and/or via other insurance for the purchase.
We tried to seek remuneration by hiring an attorney, however Craig Postlewaite is very adept at his scam artistry. He had already emptied out his bank accounts and left us with no recourse. He then, brazenly, opened a new business in town, Post Haste Handyman, and got right back into business.
Craig Postlewaite has a long history of opening/closing businesses and has honed the craft of scraping all negative reviews and online references so that one would have to be an expert sleuth to put the pieces together to realize the tangled web he has weaved.
I have bumped into Craig Postlewaite while around town, and he confidently says that he will make good on everything he has stolen. We’ve been waiting for 10 years … and he has done absolutely nothing except continue his deceit.
Also of note, Craig Postlewaite is a master at spinning his stories. He will regularly mention that he married a DuPont, yet will omit that they divorced years ago. He shares tales of his frequent jaunts, yet omits that his clients are the ones who are footing the bill.
Bottom line, the answer, unfortunately, is YES, this most definitely happens here. Regardless of where you live, there will always be those who have absolutely no moral compass and intense greed.
We’ve moved on, but fortunately, I truly believe in karma.
Re: Element – What makes a responsible, respected businessman turn into a criminal? So heartbreaking for the homeowners whose only mistake was trusting someone. Excellent reporting on this horrible story, Savvy … but so tragic that you were able to find so many victims to interview…
kathy williams says
I wonder if Mike Sheehan’s family over at Guida Windows and Doors will bail him out?? Such a sad story for all involved.
Katie Micciolo says
Once again I enjoyed my morning coffee while reading Savvy! Thanks for writing about important issues and informing us about community events. What a great mix of news!
Caroline O'Halloran says
Thanks, Katie. The one that really got me was the warning about not leaving your handbag in the front seat of your car when you go into a workout. Guilty as charged.
I’m grateful that I was possibly the last job Mike Sheehan finished after he bailed on everyone. I feel so so bad for his clients- it could’ve easily been us. As our project drug on for no reason, I began contacting every supplier. Our tub had not been ordered for weeks, our cabinets were delayed for weeks. Our 10 week bathroom renovation took 18 weeks for no good reason. We found many sneaky mistakes in Mike’s sloppy accounting that avoiding owing us credits back. Three days after our last walkthrough, he closed. We have no warranties for any of our products, and I hope nothing goes wrong with the work. I just want to say my heart is with all the people who are left with construction zones in their houses and out thousands of dollars. It feels like such a personal invasion and swindle when it’s in your house. Mike should’ve been honest with his clients. Can’t Element’s insurance policies pay anything?
Kelli B says
UPDATE: We’re not as lucky as we thought. Mike didn’t pay one of our subcontractors and now they’re coming after us (legally – to file a lien against our house or be paid). There may be more. I really can’t stand Mike Sheehan right about now. What a horrible way to handle oneself.
Caroline O'Halloran says
I am terribly sorry to hear this turn of events, Kelli. A note to everyone affected by Element Kitchen & Bath: Easttown Police have reached out to SAVVY and are now actively investigating Sheehan along with Tredyffrin Police. Both police forces are asking the public to come forward with their stories.
Meredith Dornenburg says
Two years ago, I left the first negative review of Element Kitchen and Design. It seemed strange to me that 30 people only had positive things to say and our experience was bad. We are thankful that at least our job finally got finished. I feel very badly for the current customers who have paid Mike and he took off with their money and left them with a mess. I hope that they are eventually able to recoup what they lost and get the job done right.