the bright side We are Northern Children’s Services FALL 2012

bright side
FALL 2012
We are Northern Children’s Services
If you have driven down Ridge Avenue
past our beautiful hilltop campus recently,
you may have noticed that something was
different—a little sunnier and brighter—
about us. New bold red flags and a main
entrance sign proudly display our new
name: Northern Children’s Services.
“Our name change from Northern Home
for Children to Northern Children’s
Services reflects our core mission and
response to the emerging needs of the
children and families we serve and allows
us to more effectively work throughout the
“Over the years, our organization has
evolved greatly from the refuge and
respite for children that it was founded
as in 1853 to the comprehensive social
service agency it is today, providing a
continuum of services to 3,000 children
annually,” says Tracey Lavallias, President
and CEO, Northern Children’s Services.
Although our name and logo have
changed, our commitment to keeping
children safe, strengthening families, and
providing high quality services in the
most compassionate, professional and
cost effective environment of excellence
remains the same.
Merrick Hall Renovation Underway
A new name and signage are not the
only things abuzz here. On June 4,
2012, in addition to announcing our
new name to the public, we marked
the beginning of construction to
completely renovate Merrick Hall, the
oldest building on our six-acre campus,
at a ceremonial groundbreaking. The
project also includes the construction of
new permanent housing for homeless
teenage mothers and their children.
The festivities were sponsored by our
longtime partner Wawa, Inc. Wawa
President Chris Gheysens presented
a $430,000 check at the ceremony in
support of the Merrick project. Our
partnership with Wawa spans 25 years
and represents contributions of close to
$1 million.
Craig Spencer, Vice President of the Board
of the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation,
attended the groundbreaking and
announced the foundation’s $100,000
commitment, specifically to support
the permanent housing portion of
the project. The Honorable Curtis
Jones, Jr., City Councilman for the 4th
District in Philadelphia, also attended
the ceremony and extended greetings
and congratulations. Numerous friends
and supporters of Northern Children’s
Services attended the event, which also
kicked off the public phase of the $4.6
million Generations Campaign.
Once renovated, the three-story Merrick
Hall will encompass 15,000 square feet
of residential space that will double the
number of mothers and babies served,
including service to pregnant teens. The
building will include both transitional
and permanent housing in a supportive
living environment for the families.
To make a gift to the Generations
Campaign, call 215.482.1423 Ext. 1202 or
email [email protected]
Pictured (l to r): William C. Morsell,
Chairman of the Board, Northern Children’s
Services; Joseph P.
Christ, Advocacy
Council member,
former Wawa
executive; Tracey
Lavallias, President
& CEO, NCS; Vicki
Schwartz, Area
Manager, Wawa;
Chris Gheysens,
President, Wawa;
Craig Spencer,
Vice Chairman,
Jon Bon Jovi Soul
Make All the
At Northern Children’s Services, our
volunteers are a valued and integral part
of the work that we do. From cleaning up
the grounds, emptying storage spaces and
planting trees to hosting holiday parties,
science fairs and tennis clinics with our
youth, we have come to depend on the
kindness, generosity and compassion of
every volunteer who comes to our campus.
“I am extremely privileged to get to
work with amazing groups of outstanding
volunteers almost every week of the
year, particularly in the summer,” says
Donna Bolno, Director of Community
Partnerships. “Our volunteers make all the
difference,” she adds.
In the fiscal year that ended June 30,
2012, we had 1,374 volunteers come to
our campus. This includes everyone from
corporate groups of up to 100 people, to
college students who tutor the children
in our after school Partial Hospitalization
Program to hundreds of people who
donate Thanksgiving baskets and
Christmas gifts to our children each year.
The dollar amount associated with our
volunteers’ time, services and donations
totaled $173,465.
Many of our donors and board members
began by volunteering their time, getting
to know us and then making the decision
to get more involved. “We couldn’t do
what we do without them,” says Bolno.
“Our kids benefit enormously from this
support and help,” says Kevin P. Weber,
Director of Recreation and Volunteer
Services. “We are truly grateful for our
volunteers’ generous time and energy,”
he says.
Partnerships for the
Children Award
On September 13, 2012, Northern Children’s Services recognized
Beneficial Bank and the Beneficial Foundation for their longstanding
commitment to the Philadelphia community, at the 3rd Partnerships for
the Children Awards at The Union League of Philadelphia. Beneficial
President and Chief Executive Officer Gerard P. Cuddy, a 30-year
banking veteran, was also honored for his outstanding work and
commitment to improving the communities that the bank serves.
FUN IN THE SUN On June 15, 2012, Northern Children’s Services hosted its
Annual Staff Appreciation Day, this year at Neshaminy Picnic Park in Bensalem,
PA. More than 100 staff and consultants, as well as a few mothers and babies
from our Generations Programs, attended the picnic and enjoyed a full day of
great food, music, swimming, paddle boat rides and other activities.
OUTING Wednesday, June 20, 2012, Northern
Children’s Services hosted the first Women for
Women Benefit Tennis Outing at Chester Valley
Country Club. Twenty women participated in a tennis
round robin and dinner to benefit our Generations
mother and baby program. Special thanks to
Jennifer Rosenberg for all of her hard work, and to
Chester Valley Country Club for their hospitality.
“Beneficial Bank and the Beneficial Foundation have supported and
partnered with Northern Children’s Services for several years,” says Tracey
Lavallias, President and CEO of Northern Children’s Services. “From
volunteering around our campus and hosting various holiday parties
for our children, to Gerry and his team personally meeting with a group
of our kids in his office, the support and dedication that Beneficial has
shown to our agency has been tremendously invaluable,” says Lavallias.
Northern Children’s Services not only shares a commitment to
Philadelphia and children with Beneficial, but we also share a rich
history and “birthday”; we were both founded in Philadelphia in 1853.
Thank you to all of our event sponsors, including Beneficial Foundation
(Gold Star Partner); Sandler O’Neill & Partners, L.P. (Bronze Star Partner);
Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP (Sunshine Partner); and Jacobs Wyper
Architects, LLP, Keystone Mercy Health Plan, KPMG and TN Ward Builders
(all Partner level).
Pictured above (l to r): Tracey Lavallias, President & CEO, Northern Children’s Services;
Gerard P. Cuddy, President & CEO, Beneficial Bank; William C. Morsell, Chairman of the
Board, Northern Children’s Services.
Vanguard volunteers helped spruce up our campus.
Our youth at a July Philadelphia Freedoms tennis clinic and
match sponsored by Beneficial Bank.
Ways to volunteer
Volunteer as a group: Whether you’re
10, 20, 50 or 100, we always have
projects that can meet your needs.
Volunteer as an individual: How do you
want to help? Tutor 10-14 year-olds in
school subjects, help younger children
with phonics and reading skills, or
use a “special skill” to help meet the
needs of the children in our Residential,
Behavioral Health, and Foster Care
To learn about volunteer opportunities,
contact: Kevin Weber at [email protected] or call
215.482.1423 ext. 1299.
Kids4Kids: With Kids4Kids children
can take part in activities or drives
at the Northern Children’s Services,
at home, or at school. To learn more
about Kids4Kids contact: Donna Bolno
at [email protected] or call
215.482.1423 ext.1216.
the bright side
FALL 2012
Ho pe for the Holidays
Above (l to r): One of our youth conducting a blood-typing experiment
as part of 365 Merck Days volunteer science fair on August 3, 2012.
Several Merck interns helped make the day a success.
The holidays will be here before you know it!
We will be collecting Thanksgiving baskets
and holiday gift cards for our children and
families. Please contact Donna Bolno at
[email protected] or 215.482.1423
ext. 1216 to learn how you can help.
from the office of
Tracey Lavallias, CEO
This summer I attended Harvard University’s
Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management
program, thanks to a scholarship opportunity
provided by the Harvard Business School Club
of Philadelphia. This week-long Executive
Education program provides an opportunity for
senior leaders to step away for a brief, but very
intense, period of time to examine their missions
and social impact, develop new strategies for
the global economy, and interact with peers who
challenge their thinking and introduce new ideas.
During the program, I was afforded the opportunity to meet, interact with
and learn from outstanding Harvard professors and more than 140 other
nonprofit CEOs from around the world who were also participating in the
program. Harvard’s gathering of a rich group of international leaders-representing healthcare, human services, agriculture, the arts and more—
along with its ability to affect long standing societal issues one agency
at a time is truly an ambitious endeavor, true to its goal of global impact.
While at Harvard I learned about the effective implementation of many
new organizational theories and practices. Most importantly were effective
strategies to demonstrate high performance within our organization. As you can
imagine, upon my return I was eager to implement this newfound knowledge
and have begun with many of the theories and practices that I explored at
Harvard. Even more encouraging is that the board and staff of Northern
Children’s Services have been extremely receptive to this new information.
Overall this experience was truly transformational and could not have come
at a more important time in our organizational development. There are very
few times in my life that I have pointed to an experience that provided growth
for me both personally and professionally. I can say without a doubt that this
has kindled my desire and ability to become a high impact professional in the
nonprofit industry.
can you pick out our president and CEO?
William C. Morsell, Chairman
Tracey Lavallias, President and CEO
Lesly L. Attarian
James C. Crumlish III, Esq.
David R. Fair
Stacey J. Graham, Esq.
Kia Green
Christopher J. Jud
Elizabeth A. Kane
Colette Kleitz
Bradley Rainer, Esq.
Paul Rovner
Jesse R. Shafer
Sylvia Spivey
Thomas Sulpizio, Jr.
Sandra C. Vasoli
Russel T. Hauer, President
Christopher Jud, Vice President
Diallo Johnson
Willam Lane, III
William C. Morsell
Denean Williams
Cynthia Zickel
Northern Children’s Services
Newsletter Editor: Brianna Downing
For further information contact:
[email protected]
or call 215.482.1423 Ext. 1323
the bright side
FALL 2012