By Lisa Kazanjian
Summer’s over and kids are back in school – reading, writing, and, increasingly, juuling.
Some are vaping right under our noses – on school buses, in cafeterias, bathrooms and bedrooms – using slick little Juul devices that look like harmless flash drives but are anything but.
Indeed, juuling is turning unsuspecting Main Line teens into nicotine addicts – one surreptitious, sweet-flavored puff at a time.
Seems even the “smart” kids are doing it. “I would never touch a cigarette, but I tried vaping last year,” says a recent high school honors graduate from Bryn Mawr. “It seemed safer because it didn’t have tobacco and I liked the flavor. It was cool… everyone was doing it – some students all the time.”
The stats are sobering.
E-cigarettes/vape products are the second most abused substance among middle and high schoolers after alcohol, according to the latest PA Youth Survey. Students in Chesco, Montco and Delco all reported less cigarette smoking and more vaping. And a lot of these kids, especially the younger ones, don’t even know what they’re inhaling, says Lindsay Smith, a public health educator and chair of the Chester County Tobacco-Free Coalition (CCTFC). “Teenagers … think they’re just inhaling flavorants, not highly addictive nicotine.” Smith calls vaping “an epidemic” in Chester County.
And young people aren’t just filling Juul pens with nicotine. One in 11 middle and high school students reported using cannabis (marijuana/hash oils or THC wax) while vaping, according to a new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And Juuls makes it easy to hide cannabis use from parents. There’s no strong pot smell and vapors dissipate quickly. Sometimes the pen gets passed around and kids don’t know what they’re inhaling: bath salts, flavored nicotine or THC, the psychoactive chemical in cannabis.
You have to be 18 to buy Juul products in person and 21 to buy them from Juul Labs online, but resourceful Main Line teens are finding a way. According to local law enforcement, students are showing fake IDs and using prepaid credit cards on unregulated websites like eBay. Or some simply find lax cashiers or hang outside stores, begging adults to buy for them. Local Juuls’ sellers include the usual suspects: Wawas, 7-Elevens, gas stations and drugstores.
“One kid in my school has his mom buy them, then he turns around and sells them to other students in school to help pay their rent,” reports a middle school student from Berwyn.
Alarmed by the exploding numbers, the FDA just announced a crackdown on Juul Labs and other e-cig makers for targeting minors in ad campaigns. Social media and web posts have touted Juuls’ high-tech features and tasty flavors and shown vaping “tricks.” If the industry doesn’t clean up its act, the agency says it may ban flavored e-cigarettes altogether.
Local schools – both public and private – have responded with parent-information nights, letters home and updates to policy and curricula.
Every Main Line school district – from Lower Merion to Great Valley – held public forums last spring to warn parents about the dangers of vaping. More than 100 concerned T/E parents turned out for an April meeting promising straight talk on vaping and marijuana hosted by the community group, ARCH. And Chester County school administrators began the 2018-2019 school year armed with a comprehensive new vaping “toolkit” assembled by the CCTFC and shared with teachers.
Main Line students caught vaping face ever stiffer penalties. Every local school district explicitly bans the use, possession or sale of “smokeless tobacco” and/or “electronic smoking products” on school grounds, on buses, and during school-sponsored activities on or off campus. A few years ago, a student caught with an electronic nicotine device might have had it taken away – case closed. Today, students face suspension and, for repeat offenses, possible expulsion. T/E and Radnor Schools impose $50 fines along with suspensions. Some schools require kids caught vaping to undergo substance abuse evaluations with school counselors.
Schools are clearing the air in classrooms, too. In Lower Merion schools, vaping is part of the sixth-grade tobacco unit, the eighth-grade drug awareness program, and the 10th-grade health curriculum.
Caught flat-footed by the juuling explosion, science is starting to catch up to the crisis. According to our research, teens who vape are susceptible to:
- Nicotine addiction. One Juul pod (200 puffs) contains as much nicotine as a pack of cigarettes. Taking hits on and off all day, addicted users can blow through a pod in a couple days. Nicotine cravings can begin in a week or two. And long-term nicotine use has been associated with cognitive impairment in still-developing adolescent brains and mood disorders like depression and anxiety.
- Serious lung disease. Some chemical flavorings cause “popcorn lung” after only a few months of use.
- “Wet lung,” an acute respiratory distress syndrome. A Pittsburgh-area teen contracted it after only three weeks of vaping and was put on a ventilator.
- Diseases of the mouth.
- DNA changes and potential cancers. Teens are inhaling cancer-causing chemicals in those fruity flavors.
- Exposure to toxic metals like nickel, zinc and lead contained in aerosolized vapors.
Is vaping nicotine a “gateway” drug? Studies show vaping can lead to cigarette smoking and is associated with alcohol and marijuana use.
Worried that your child may be using but haven’t yet found a vape pen, Juul pod or charger in his backpack or bedroom? Here’s what to look for:
- Increased thirst and possible nosebleeds.
- Increased fidgeting and anxiety, exacerbated by caffeine.
- Irritability and angry outbursts.
Trying to help your teen quit? Check out cessation programs at Main Line Health, PA Quit Line, Nicotine Anonymous and the Chester County Tobacco-Free Coalition or see your child’s school counselor.
Lower Merion School District plans two parent nights that will address vaping this fall: Oct. 24 at 7 p.m. at Bala Cynwyd Middle School and Dec. 12 at 7 p.m. at Lower Merion High School.
A related calendar note: Former NBA player and nationally recognized motivational speaker Chris Herren will speak to parents about his road to sobriety and the dangers of drug addiction Oct. 3 at 7 p.m.at Conestoga High School.
Devon Horse Show hears your parking pain
So you thought URBN’s new Devon Yard changed the face of ‘downtown Devon’? Wait ’til you see what’s coming next door.
Devon Horse Show Foundation Board just greenlit plans to put a three-story parking garage across from the show’s main gate on Dorset Ave.
Price tag? $13 – $14 million.
“It’s the biggest step Devon will have taken in its 123-year history,” says an elated Wayne Grafton, the show’s chairman and CEO, who called a special board meeting last week to consider the plan. The foundation’s endowment and private pledges should cover up-front costs, he says.
The vote was unanimous. The board’s only request? Make sure it’s painted Devon blue. “They want it to look like Devon; not a parking garage,” Grafton says.
Preliminary plans call for a precast concrete structure with space for 400 cars (no trucks or trailers), a small “museum” of Devon memorabilia on the ground floor, a couple retail shops along Lancaster Ave., and some desperately needed storage.
An added bonus: The ugly old gas station on Rte. 30 that the Horse Show (below) uses for storage finally goes bye-bye.
The L-shaped garage would have frontage along Lancaster and extend partway down Dorset, ending where the main grandstand ends, according to Grafton. What’s left of the current volunteer lot will stay grass and gravel so trailers and trucks can park there.
Grafton says the new garage can’t come fast enough. “Parking has been an issue for as long as I’ve been going to Devon – and that’s 40 years. We’re always getting complaints – from spectators, exhibitors and township people. If Devon is going to remain viable in the North American horse show market, it has to offer these types of facilities and services.”
The garage won’t completely solve the show’s parking crunch or traffic snarls, Grafton cautions. Nor will it put its neighbors out of the parking business. The Horse Show will still need enterprising folks to rent out their lawns and driveways, he says.
With the township-approval process looming, the Horse Show has already engaged the services of a guy who knows a thing or two about what flies in Easttown, Devon Yard developer/owner Eli Kahn. Unclear at this time: Whether visitors to Devon Yard will be able to use the garage when the show grounds aren’t in use. All Grafton would say is that the Horse Show likes to be “a good neighbor.”
If it all goes off without a hitch – perhaps a big “if” in this, ahem, feisty neighborhood – the garage would open in three years.
Gruesome discovery at Philadelphia Country Club
The battered corpse dumped last weekend at Philly Country Club near the Shooting Lodge now has a name and an alleged killer – his son. Police arrested Robert Coult III, 30, for the brutal murder of his 59-year-old father, Robert Coult Jr. on Sunday.
The younger Coult repeatedly bashed his father in the head with a hammer and stabbed him, according to Delco DA Kat Copeland, who says the two were fighting over money. Coult III then strapped his father’s corpse into the front seat of his Ford Explorer, drove 16 miles to Spring Mill Rd. in Gladwyne, and dumped the body by the side of the road, authorities say.
A country club employee found the corpse around 7 a.m. Saturday morning. Management emailed club members later that day to explain the morning’s hubbub and road closures.
Montco and Delco detectives cracked the case quickly, recovering surveillance video, blood-stained towels and clothing from two dumpsters in Havertown and freshly-cleaned blood splatters at Coult’s home, according to charging documents. Confronted by the evidence, Coult confessed on Sunday.
The younger Coult has a history of mental instability and was once involuntarily committed to a psychiatric unit by his father, police say. They’d been called to the Coult home for domestic disturbances in the past but neither father nor son had arrest records.
Parents whose kids – for whatever reason – aren’t cutting it in traditional middle and high schools have a new, out-of-the-box option: Fusion Academy, where every class is taught – get this – one to one.
Fusion calls itself “the revolutionary way to school.”
Every class is tutored in a cozy classroom for two. No peer pressure, no class rank, no falling through the cracks, no distractions.
Education is completely personalized, the coursework customized. Before they even open a textbook, teachers get to know students – their interests, their learning styles, their strengths and struggles – so they can plan and pace lessons accordingly.
To break down social barriers, everyone goes by their first names at Fusion – from the youngest student to the school director. Teachers mentor and motivate as much as they instruct.
“Our guiding mantra is love, motivate, teach,” explains Corina Hart Jenkins, outreach and admissions director of Fusion Ardmore (which is technically in Haverford until its Suburban Square space is ready next spring). “You can’t teach without motivating and you can’t motivate without truly understanding your students. We’re called ‘fusion’ because we focus on bringing together the social, emotional and academic components of learning.”
Also revolutionary: how Fusion defuses homework hassles. All assignments are done at school in silent or social “Homework Cafés.” Backpacks go home empty.
Another plus for parents: Communication doesn’t wait for conferences. Teachers e-mail home short progress reports after every single class.
And schedules are super-flexible. School is open into the evening and year-round. Students enroll during the semesters that work for them. Late risers can sleep in. Elite athletes can plan courses around practice schedules. Gifted kids can load up on advanced classes and graduate early.
“I love being able to meet students where they are,” says Doug Albright-Pierce, a master teacher at Fusion Ardmore. “We can focus on them as human beings, as opposed to ticking off marks in a curriculum.”
Who’s choosing Fusion? All kinds of kids facing all kinds of challenges, according to Jenkins and her counterpart at Fusion Malvern, Samantha Ballard.
Some are stressed-out high achievers, some have learning differences, some were bullied at their old schools, some are dealing with physical or emotional issues, some are simply creative souls who felt stifled by traditional curricula.
If there’s one common thread among students – at least at the Haverford campus – it’s anxiety, says Jenkins. “We see a lot of bright, anxious kids who can push themselves intellectually here because their relationships with their teachers mitigate that anxiety. It helps them be less hard on themselves.” Fusion’s antidote for anxiety: chill time in the school’s “Zen Den” or yoga studio.
Of course, one-to-one classrooms don’t come cheap. Parents pay by the course and tuition is on par with some private colleges. Figure upwards of 45K for a full-time, two-semester load – more than area private schools but less than boarding schools.
The company deliberately clusters its campuses in zip codes with top-notch private and public schools – places like the Main Line. “We like places where families are invested in their kids,” explains Ballard.
By design, both local Fusions are starting slowly. “We’re building a culture here,” says Jenkins. The Ardmore campus – which will double in size when it moves to Suburban Square’s Station Row – currently has 16 full-time students. Another dozen or so are enrolled full-time at the Malvern campus near Wegmans. (Fusion accepts part-time students for tutoring and supplemental classes.) Full-time enrollment will top out at 70 – 80 per school.
Fusion Academy Ardmore, 354 Lancaster Ave. Haverford, 610-365-7795. Fusion Academy Malvern, 700 Steel Lane in Uptown Worthington near Target, 610-616-5106.
****The public is invited to a free event, “Building the Executive Function Skills Your Child Needs” with BeyondBooksmart founder Michael Delman, Sept. 27 at 7 p.m. at the Malvern campus. Click here for details and to register.****
Empowerment is everything at the new Bryn Mawr boutique Grove 1.2.1, a shop that sells self-confidence alongside sweaters, that builds community as it builds your fall wardrobe.
The store motto: Own who you are. If you love yourself, you can take on the world. (Talk about retail therapy.)
A handpicked assortment of sportswear, accessories and notions (brands you won’t find in nearby stores) surround the room’s focal point: a comfy seating area. The message: take a load off, talk to us, tell us what you’re looking for.
As conceived by its petite powerhouse owner, Sandy Edelstein, Grove 1.2.1 believes shopping should be one to one. Personal. Customized. Practical.
If a style doesn’t flatter or feel good, forget it.
So button-front blouses at Grove 1.2.1 don’t gap, bell sleeves don’t graze dinner plates, distressed denim hides thighs with discreet patches. Fabrics are soft. Leathers are washable.
Clothes are classic but not preppy, on trend but not faddish. (Edelstein says she tried on every garment herself before deciding to carrying it.)
But Grove 1.2.1 is about more than making you look good. In keeping with its girl-power mission, the store will host after-hours talks on wellness, civic life, or, our personal fave: the secret to a 102-year-old’s staying power, when the guest speaker will be Edelstein’s inspiring grandmother, Rosalie Goldstein. At evening events, cash registers will be closed. No shopping allowed. Refreshing, right?
Retail runs in Edelstein’s DNA. Her great grandfather owned the iconic Philly department store, Silverman’s.
A woman of wide-ranging talents, Edelstein has been a portrait photographer and personal trainer, managed a fashion store at the mall, and, until it closed last year, was a stylist at Ella’s Grove in Haverford Square.
What’s in store: casual and out-to-dinner duds including quality tees and camis from $50, separates (pants, jeans, blouses and sweaters) from $160. Jackets and blazers top out around $700, belts and bags $72 – $1,000; fashion jewelry, gifts and organic skincare under $100.
Grove 1.2.1, 484-380-2540, 821 W. Lancaster Ave. (across from Bryn Mawr Film Institute), is open Mondays, noon to 5, Tues. – Sat. 10 to 6, Sundays noon to 4. Evening hours by appointment. Dogs welcome.
More Bryn Mawr comings & goings
Perennial Philadelphia Flower Show contender Robertson’s Flowers & Events is up and running next to Grove 1.2.1. We peeked inside (below) and, no surprise, the new digs are delightful.
Completing the 1-2-3 punch on the block opposite Bryn Mawr Film Institute, Arrowroot Farmacy & Café, an updated concept for the long-running health-food store, hopes to open next to Robertson’s in late fall. (Delicious details in a future SAVVY.)
A couple blocks away, Mrs. Marty’s has served its last corned beef special. The old-school Jewish deli next to the Bryn Mawr post office closed Aug. 23, likely to be replaced by a bagel shop. Owner Marty Godfrey, 74, tells SAVVY he’s focusing on his original Broomall location where he continues to kibbitz with customers, three meals a day, seven days a week.
One of the Main Line’s most sought-after skin gurus just opened a luxurious new flagship off Rittenhouse Square. Clinical aesthetician Beth Cardarelli, creator of the award-winning Avery Graham Noble Skincare line, is now seeing patients at Avery Graham Aesthetics on Walnut Street.
In the AG Aesthetics arsenal: “Best of the best” rejuvenating lasers like tried-and-true Pixel and IPL and newer machines with proven results like EndyMed RF micro-needling and pain-free Soprano laser hair removal.
Another way AG gets your skin glowing (and our personal fave): Regular dermaplaning with “layered” chemical peels, a Cardarelli signature.
After 26 years in the skin biz, Cardarelli knows her stuff. “My patients trust me to give honest advice,” says Cardarelli. “If I don’t think a treatment will give them the results they’re hoping for, I say so.”
She’s also happy to be your beauty concierge. She’s worked under – and gives high marks to – plastic surgeons Louis Bucky, Steven Copit and Kevin Cross but has relationships with top docs from Penn Medicine to Manhattan.
“We want to build a long-term relationship with you,” Cardarelli says. “I’m not here to sell you on our services. We make a plan together. Many of my patients have come to me for decades.”
The AG flagship also offers brow microblading, eyelash enhancements and permanent makeup with aesthetician Janine Slater. Certified Nurse Practitioner Jill Murphy handles Botox and dermal injections.
Philly too far? Avery Graham operates a satellite location at the Ardmore offices of plastic surgeon Kathy Rumer on Thursdays.
Avery Graham Aesthetics, 215-544-2212, offers clinical-grade skincare services and beauty treatments at 2212 Walnut St., Philadelphia. Satellite location at 105 Ardmore Ave., Ardmore, on Thursdays only.
High spirits in Malvern
Pennsylvania Distilling Company just opened next to Locust Lane Brewery. A “grain-to-glass” distiller, it makes all of its small-batch, all-natural spirits in house: rye and white rye whiskeys, white and gold rum, vodka and juniper-and-coriander infused gin.
For now, spirits are only sold on site but owners – Delco guys Richard Buoni and Joseph Amoroso – hope to get into PA state stores soon.
Pennsylvania Distilling Company, 50 Three Tun Rd., Malvern, opens its bar/tasting room at 4 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays and at noon on weekends. Distillery tours are by appointment only.
The curtain has risen on a new career for Main Line philanthropist, mom, and former monogram merchant Jane McNeil.
And we do mean that literally.
McNeil’s very first play, Dishman Springs, just debuted at Hedgerow Theatre Company and runs through September 30.
A comedy about McNeil’s grandmother, Ida Dishman, the play stars a grande dame of Philadelphia theater, Barrymore Lifetime Achievement honoree Penelope Reed. Fans of “Harvey in the Morning” will recognize local radio icon John Harvey as Ida’s lecherous love interest. Costumes were created by McNeil’s neice, Kelly Le Vine.
Written “from my heart,” McNeil calls Dishman Springs “a fun play about people who, even in the worst of times, find strength in family love.”
Ida’s story has been a long time coming. For McNeil, putting it on paper helped make sense of adolescent trauma. She lost both parents at age 13 and “bounced around boarding schools.”
Determined to write a memoir, McNeil enrolled in the MFA Creative Writing program at Rosemont College when she was 40. But four years in, the words weren’t coming – “I wasn’t ready yet” – so she switched to play writing. “From tragedy, comes comedy,” McNeil explains. With her keen ear for dialogue, sharp eye for human foibles, and lifelong love of physical comedians like Gilda Radner and Melissa McCarthy, the words came easily.
Still, with two growing kids, her Villanova farm and charity work, it took McNeil six years to get her master’s and four more to see her play brought to life at Hedgerow.
Coincidentally, she lives in the same house once inhabited by Hope Montgomery Scott, who inspired the iconic play, The Philadelphia Story. Playwright Philip Barry was a frequent guest at the Scotts’ farmhouse. “So many weird connections that I ended up in this home,” says McNeil, whose husband Rory is the son of Tylenol creator Robert McNeil.
Like the Kentucky resort that inspired it, her hope is that Dishman Springs feeds the soul. “I want everyone to forget the news, to feel good and just come out and laugh.”
Suitable for all ages, Dishman Springs by Jane A. McNeil continues through Sept. 30 at Hedgerow, 64 Rose Valley Rd., Rose Valley, 610-565-4211. Tickets are $20 -$37.
Friendly, down-to-earth home decor help at White Horse Fabric & Design
Paint or paper? Solid or striped? Leather or linen?
With so many choices, interior design – whether it’s reupholstering a chair or redoing a room – can be daunting.
What you know you need – but might be afraid to ask for – is expert advice.
Someone with a trained eye for style and proportion.
Someone who can show you what’s current but isn’t pushy.
Someone who pulls all the pieces together, keeps your project on track and within budget.
In short, someone like Felicia Layne at White Horse Fabric & Design in downtown Berywn.
Layne upends every notion you might have about snooty designers.
A mother of six, she’s down-to-earth. Tell her you’d like a white rug in your family room and she’ll suggest you wait until the kids are older.
“I’m 62, I’ve raised a family,” Layne says. “I’m going to take off my design hat and put on my mommy hat. I’m very pragmatic.”
And like every good mom, Layne listens. She won’t talk you into a style just because it’s in vogue. “We like to say we’re timeless but we touch on trends. We don’t want our clients to have to re-do their rooms in five or ten years,” Layne says.
Her mission? Take the fear out of hiring a designer. “I can’t tell you how many times we go into a home where the husband and wife are scared. They want to make sure they get the look they want, not the style the designer wants to put there.”
And if you’re not sure what you like, she’ll help you figure that out, too. White Horse’s fabric and furnishings showroom studio is stocked with inspiring vignettes in a range of styles: traditional, contemporary and everywhere in between.
When Layne visits you at home, “there’s no judgment” about your housekeeping or décor. “I’m not looking at that. I’m looking at the bones and architecture and imagining possibilities,” she says. But expect lots of questions: about your family and your lifestyle, about who will sit on the couch, about how and when the room will be used.
Drop by the showroom for a pillow or new room or just to say hi – you’ll be treated the same. “We want people who walk through here to feel comfortable,” Layne says. “Kindness is a thing here. And we’re kid-friendly. People tell us all the time that White Horse doesn’t feel like a store; it feels like home.”
White Horse Fabric & Design, 654 Lancaster Ave., Berwyn, 610-647-3141 is open weekdays 9 to 5, Saturdays 10 to 5 and Sundays by appointment.
Stoga Lax Fest remembers Pete “Superman” Kienzle
The local lacrosse community will once again honor the fighting spirit of the late Peter Kienzle at the 5th annual Stoga 5v5 Lax Fest Oct. 14. A longtime lax coach, Tredyffrin resident and onetime Conestoga athlete lost his valiant battle with cancer on Christmas Day 2014. He was just 47.
For the last few years, Lax Fest proceeds have supported the Peter Kienzle Fund of the Fighting Back Scholarship Program. Based in Malvern, the Fighting Back program gives physical therapy “scholarships” to people battling life-altering illness or injury with grace and grit – in other words, people with the same can-do attitude as Pete Kienzle.
“All he wanted when he left this world was to be known as someone who had an impact, who gave back,” his widow, Amy Kienzle, tells SAVVY. “People who receive Fighting Back scholarships are so grateful for the chance to work hard to become the best they can be, as Pete did.” When Amy and her brother-in-law, Randy Kienzle, choose the fund’s recipients each year, they look for never-quit fighters who embody Pete’s fortitude in the face of daunting odds, she says.
Also driven to be the best they can be: Kienzle’s daughters, Amelia and Piper, both standout lax players like their dad. Amelia plays D-1 lacrosse at the Univ. of Delaware (her father’s alma mater), and Piper, an 8th-grader at Valley Forge Middle School, plays for the ultra-elite lax club, NXT.
Stoga 5v5 Lax Fest will be held at Conestoga’s Teamer Field Oct. 14. The day features clinics, round robins, skill competitions, food and fun for girls in grades 1 to 6 and boys in grades 1 to 4. Proceeds support Conestoga Lacrosse and the Peter Kienzle Fund of the Fighting Back Scholarship Program.
This and That
Old McDonald had a … credit union? The long-shuttered McDonald’s in Strafford has finally been bulldozed. Taking its place: Ardent Credit Union, its fifth local branch. Thrilling, we know.
After a 14-year run in Berwyn, Jennifer is no longer on the Avenue. The affordable fashion boutique, Jennifer on the Avenue, closed in early summer and opened a month later in Delray Beach, Florida. Owner Jennifer West tells SAVVY she moved south to be near her daughter but misses her Main Line customers.
For the first time in forever, a Sweetman won’t be running the show at Jenkins Arboretum and Gardens. Executive Director Harold Sweetman is calling it a career after 32 years.
Sweetman took over from his father, Leonard, who oversaw Jenkins’ first plantings in the mid-1970s. In his long tenure, Harold Sweetman directed the arboretum’s dramatic growth in specimens, staff and community support. Launched in honor of the Sweetmans, a “Forever Jenkins – Endow an Acre” capital campaign will ensure that Jenkins’ 48 acres remain a free, public garden in perpetuity.
Another sign of our challenging times: Malvern Public Library will host “Just Talk about it! Suicide Prevention” at 6 p.m. Monday, Sept. 24. Andrew Onimus, one of Minding Your Mind’s standout speakers, will share his personal mental health journey and discuss suicide risk factors and warning signs. Advance reservations required. Call 610-644-7259. (Next time out, we’ll tell you more about Minding Your Mind’s awesome Oct. 28 Blue Gene Gala, SAVVY’s getting the nonprofit’s 2018 Media Advocate Award. Needless to say, we’re tickled.)
And while we’re talking mental health, DMAX Foundation will host a Casino Night fundraiser Oct. 4 at The Shipley School. Founded by the family and friends of Dan Maxwell, the Radnor scholar-athlete who died by suicide in 2013, DMAX works to end the stigma and create caring conversations about mental health on college campuses.
Kudos to the Elmwood Park Zoo, for really rolling out the welcome mat for kids with autism. The Norristown zoo is creating “sensory packs” with noise-cancelling headphones, fidget toys, sensory maps and guides, and “thinking putty” (created by the local company, Crazy Aaron’s). In case you hadn’t heard: Elmwood was the first zoo in the U.S. named a Certified Autism Center. The zoo says visitors can begin asking for the packs by late September.
How sweet it is. PA’s first Kilwins is now whipping up hand-paddled fudge, homemade ice cream and killer caramel apples – and free samples! – in the King of Prussia Town Center near Founding Farmers. Local owners are Delco natives Gary Simpson and his son and daughter-in-law, Glenn and Sarah. The Michigan-based chocolatier/creamery now operates more than 120 stores in 23 states.