The WC Press First Responders Issue - July 2017

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“A hero is someone who walks voluntarily into the unknown.” –Tom Hanks


COLUMNISTS Suzanne Adams Becca Boyd Jamie Jones Andrea Mason DJ Romeo Dr Geoff Winkley Published By... Mathers Productions 12 E Barnard Street West Chester, PA 19382 610-344-3463 The WC Press is a monthly magazine distributed free of charge to more than 250 businesses. For a free digital subscription, visit For more information about specific distribution locations, visit



Our no-nonsense table of contents


THE LOOK Quality Summer Fashion from Phineas Gage


A LIFETIME OF SERVICE Meet the chiefs of West Chester’s fire, police & EMS


NOT ALL HEROES WEAR CAPES The Chester County Hero Fund helps those who protect and serve


PHOTO HUNT Find the five differences between the two pictures and win!






from the


Dan Mathers shares some personal insight about this month’s theme

One summer in my early childhood my family drove to Myrtle Beach for a week-long vacation. The decision was made to drive through the night, partly influenced by my father’s hatred of traffic and my mother’s desire that the kids sleep through most of the trip. I’m told we made great time on the way down, and 25 years later I still have memories of looking out across the ocean from our hotel balcony. But it’s our drive home that I remember most clearly. In the middle of the night, while cruising along I-95 through North Carolina, the driver beside us fell asleep at the wheel. As her eyes shut, her car swung a sharp left, clipping our SUV in the right rear wheel, spinning us sideways. At 65+ MPH we flipped, barrel-rolling twice, and stopped only because our Cherokee slammed into the trees as we flew off the highway. I know the details of this story because my dad saw the whole thing out the window of his truck. With so many people and so much luggage, the decision had been made to take two vehicles. My dad loaded me and my sister into one car with my mom, and he drove the other. He watched as his entire family crashed down the interstate and into the forest. I can only imagine the horror. It’s at this point that my memories of the event begin. I’d been sleeping in the backseat just as Mom had hoped, and I awoke with blood running down my face into a growing pool in my lap. I’d been unconscious for awhile, because EMTs were already on the scene. They told me not to move and carried me carefully from the car, strapped to a rigid stretcher. I remember the lights of the police and fire vehicles that had secured the location as the paramedics calmly explained how I’d experienced a head injury but was going to be okay. Our best guess is that one of the hard-edged cases we’d loaded into the back of the Jeep came loose as we flipped. This fractured my skull and tore a large chunk of skin from my head that hung like a flap. The injury required an initial 99 stitches to secure, followed by more than 100 a year later in the ensuing plastic surgery. I still sport a six-inch scar across the back of my head and a divot where my skull fused back together. Who knows what may have happened if help had been delayed. There’s little chance I’d still be here if trained professionals hadn’t been working ‘round the clock, and I’m just one of the millions of people in this country who owe their lives to the selfless individuals who’ve dedicated themselves to helping others. At a time when protests arise around the country, when difficult and legitimate questions are being asked of our law enforcement, it’s crucial to remember all the good our first responders do for the world. It’s important that we take a moment to pay tribute to the men and women of West Chester who put others first. The recognition we offer in these pages is just a sliver of what they deserve, but it’s our best effort to show them we understand. We owe our lives to those who serve. —



Near and Far

Jamie Jones of Whirlaway Travel explores some travel options abroad and highlights their local counterparts

Every summer I attend an annual Board of Directors retreat for Signature Travel Network. Our board is made up of 11 travel agency owners throughout the US who meet a few times a year to dig into issues, financials, and trends. As you can imagine, getting 11 owners together with varying models, ages and personalities can be the perfect storm… either wreaking havoc or totally magical. Last summer we all headed up to Stowe Mountain Lodge in Vermont for five days of “work.” The highlights from our retreat were two team building activities that would be great for friends and families alike. They did not feel like your typical trust falling, blindfolded theatrics to see who really likes you. They were fun, included fire and wine and really great bonding moments that brought us all together to help the meetings run smoother. Our first adventure was an easy kayak down the Lamoille River (keyword being “easy”). The river itself was wide, relatively slow-flowing, and only presented a few shallow spots and river splits along the way. Attempting to synchronize paddle strokes with a partner who felt no urgency to reach the tasting at Boyden Valley Winery a few miles downstream was my only real challenge. Luckily, we all made it relatively dry and in good spirits. The second adventure was much more challenging. We were only told ahead of time that we would be going on a hike. A few members opted to golf instead, so there were only nine of us whisked away by two mountain men, aka professional wilderness guides with years of military experience. We were given a bucket, two eggs, a topography map, a compass, an avalanche transceiver, and a piece of paper with leaves. Our instructions were to reach the remains of an old resort deep in the Vermont backcountry, completing tasks along the way. We had to locate an avalanche casualty, identify trees by their leaves, start a fire out of nothing, and keep the egg intact along the way. Some activities helped us identify our strengths, others weaknesses, and our individual and group leadership capabilities. Only one of the eggs made it back intact. A bit closer to home, your group could take advanage of TreeHouse World. Located right off Phoenixville Pike, TreeHouse World is the perfect venue for team building without having to drive eight hours into New England. They offer ziplines, rock climbing on trees, and even some unique and challenging activites like archery tag. Escape West Chester has also been quite popular. Locked in a room with only one hour to figure out how to... well... escape, up to 10 participants have to work together to find clues, work through puzzles, riddles, locks, codes, and plenty of other tasks to figure out how to get out. Although there isn’t any wine involved—and you are not finding avalanche casualties—Escape West Chester offers a great local way to build a team and bring people closer together. —





Look One

Quality Summer Fashion from Phineas Gage The best summer clothes are the ones that keep you cool when the weather is hot, and these two looks are no exception to the rule. Jaime Weisbrot, owner of Phineas Gage, suggests trying the following for July because they are composed of lightweight cotton fabrics. They can be layered to wear them for casual days, cool nights, and even professional work hours. “They’re versatile," she says. "You can use them anytime.” Accessories really complete a look, so don’t forget about sunglasses and bags. The featured glasses are a varieties of Sunski frames. Their styles offer a classic, clean look, and at $60 a pair, they're a steal for this designer brand.

Coal Island Sport Shirt Rodd & Gunn, $168 Khaki Y-Pack Topo Design, $99 Blue Smoke Brixton Jean Joe's Jeans, $125 Foothills Sunglasses in Tortoise Forest Sunski, $60

Look Two

SS Ventura Shirt Faherty, $138 Blue Smoke Brixton Jean Joe's Jeans, $125 Madrona Sunglasses in Tortoise Brown Sunski, $60

And, just like a good pair of shades, bags are a great way to add some functionality to your personal appeal. Topo Designs backpacks offer utility and style, all at an affordable price point. So, get to Phineas Gage for quality, breathable warm-weather fashions that'll keep you looking and feeling cool all summer long. PHOTO Sabina Sister STORY Skye McDonald







Suzanne Adams shares info on local food and the upcoming West Chester Food Co-op

Americans eat a lot of chicken. We’re told that poultry is a healthier alternative to red meat, and it’s cheap and versatile. But, most chicken purchased in the US is produced by factory farming methods, raising questions about just how healthy it really is. People looking for a more sustainable, beneficial, and tastier choice seek out pasture-raised birds. Fowl are foragers, and their natural behavior is to spend the day strolling around and filling themselves with a varied diet of bugs, seeds and other plants, not the grain and antibiotics that are pumped into them in factory farms. The natural and varied diet, fresh environment, and active lifestyle of a pastured bird produces a more flavorful, interesting meat that is doubtless healthier. Nearby, in York County, PA, Keiser’s Pheasantry is raising birds the old fashioned way: outdoors, in a pasture, no cages—just free access to a shelter if they choose. There are no hormones, no antibiotics, and forage comprises the majority of their diet. Proprietor Earl Keiser raises ducks, pheasants, and small turkeys, mainly for the high-end restaurant market. You can taste Earl’s birds at fashionable dining spots in Philadelphia and Washington, DC, and soon you may be able to order them on-line and pick them up in West Chester through the Food Co-op’s Local Food Program. Check out Earl’s Instagram page @keisers_pheasantry to see his birds in action and on the plate. West Chester Food Co-op is currently assessing community interest, so if you would like to be able to pick up some tasty local pheasant, duck, or turkey, fill out our survey at Pheasant and turkey produce very low-fat meat, if that’s what you’re after. Duck, on the other hand, has a thick layer of fat under the skin, providing the insulation to keep water fowl warm in the winter. Duck fat is liquid gold—it’s a fabulous cooking fat with an unctuous animal richness for which there is no substitute. Use it to sautée or confit and dishes take on a whole other dimension of flavor. You can easily render the fat from a Keiser duck and freeze it for your kitchen pantry. That’s just part one of the joy of duck. The classic treatment for duck extremities (legs and wings) is confit. I know it’s a fancy-looking word, but it’s relatively easy to prepare; it’s two steps—curing and poaching. The cure is salt and herbs: rub legs and wings with the cure, place in a zip-loc bag and chill for 24 hours. Then, poach the cured parts in duck fat at a very low (<200F) temperature, for about three hours. The parts can then be stored in the fat under refrigeration for two weeks or longer. When ready to eat, remove from the fat, heat some of the fat in a sautée pan and gently brown the skin for a crispy, salty, savory meat. – West Chester Food Co-op promotes access to healthy, fresh, local food for everyone. We advance sustainable and humane agriculture, support local farms, and strengthen the community through cooperative enterprise. We are working to build a community-owned, full-service grocery store in West Chester. Learn more at






FIRE, POLICE & EMS story Skye McDonald

photos Sabina Sister






CHIEF BOHN West Chester Police Department For as long as he could remember, Scott Bohn—the longest tenured police chief in the borough’s history—has always been attracted to public service, and in his 17 years on the force, he has seen West Chester bloom. Chief Bohn has watched this borough transform from a town entirely devoid of street festivals and fairs to one with multiple events every week. He has seen so much growth in West Chester throughout the years that he recalled West Chester University having approximately 5,000 students, but today the university teaches around 17,000. This development, both financial and demographic, has been exciting for Chief Bohn to witness, and he’s very honored to have been part of that development. “I take a great deal of pride in what West Chester has become today, and I think that the police department has played a significant role in that transition,” Chief Bohn stated. “This town is a very unique area; I often refer to West Chester as a community of neighborhoods.” Chief Bohn’s expression no doubt resonates with West Chester’s residents—the history, diversity, and opportunities that per-

meate the town are common knowledge. Out of all of the components of his work as police chief, Chief Bohn takes the greatest pride in the roughly 50% reduction in West Chester’s crime rate. This has been achieved in part by the application of more advanced technologies, which are continually enhancing the police department. For instance, the proliferation of cheap video technology has allowed officers and civilians alike to take advantage of readily available security cameras. “We have to evolve or change as the community changes so we can address everyone in the community,” Chief Bohn said. “That can be a challenge in an environment where people want their news instantaneously.” Another one of those leaps in technology comes, in part, as a response to the public’s desire for instant updates. Chief Bohn is excited for the upcoming of CrimeWatch, a software program that will allow the police department post updates on crimes, cases, and allow users to post leads, comments, and videos. “When we’re publishing informa-

tion, it will populate Facebook, Twitter and various sites,” said Chief Bohn, “It’s our hope that people will turn to our site for information. In addition to that, they will also be able to track crime and see anything associated with that particular area.” In 2017, it isn’t enough to receive news the next day;people want to be in-the-know the minute something happens in West Chester. And, it’s of paramount importance that the Borough of West Chester can control and channel their narratives to prevent uproars over false or misleading information. Chief Bohn firmly believes that effective policing requires a people-oriented approach, as well as life experience, an in-depth education, and the ability to communicate effectively. But if all of those needs are met, Chief Bohn believes that potential new recruits would have a multitude of opportunities to connect with the people of West Chester. “The job can be challenging, but it has also been extremely rewarding,” Chief Bohn added. “It really is my privilege and honor to be able to serve the community.”






SHERIFF WELSH Chester County Sheriff’s Office Unlike their counterparts in police departments—who are most often appointed or promoted to a secure position at the head of their departments— Sheriffs hold elected office. That means that every four years the citizens of Chester County have the opportunity to vote in a new sheriff… which makes Sheriff Carolyn Bunny Welsh’s tenure so remarkable. Sheriff Welsh is now in her fifth term and 17th year as Sheriff, and she is both honored and humbled by the continued support. “It’s just a privilege to serve and a privilege that the citizens permit me to serve them,” Sheriff Welsh stated. Sheriff Welsh attended the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and ran her own company in the 1980s called HERCON. In 1999, Sheriff Welsh was a Pennsylvania state constable with an insatiable interest in local politics. When she heard that the sheriff was retiring, she did not hesitate to run for elected office, defeating the men who were running and becoming the first female sheriff in Chester County. “Throughout my campaign, I worked diligently to educate the voters on the role of the sheriff,” she explained, “and to assure them that I was the most qualified for the position.” Sheriff Welsh currently manages 92 employees, comprising 72 deputies, eight security personnel, and 12 civilian employees. The Sheriff’s Office also manages any paperwork issued from the court, including warrants and civil processes, which can be complaints, notices, summons, papers, or subpoenas. “You need to be dedicated and committed to wanting to serve,” Sheriff Welsh emphasized. “If you have the heart

to represent and you want to help, I think it can be very rewarding.” She was always fascinated by the law and courts, but she has not found a similar interest shown by other women across the country.“There are only about 40 women sheriffs in the whole nation, out of 3,020 sheriffs,” Sheriff Welsh lamented. “That’s a little more than one percent.” Though Sheriff Welsh takes pride in everything the office has achieved, she might be more gratified by its decade-long canine unit—which serves in all disciplines, including detection of drugs, explosives, arson, cadavers, and accelerants, while also providing courthouse comfort—than anything else These services are provided to Chester County and beyond, and the dogs are a huge help to sniffing out crimes and calming children and adults in distressing situations. Other crowning moments in Sheriff Welsh’s career include her office’s switch from the Bicentennial Courthouse to the justice center, as it is a far more secure facility, with only one public entrance, and state-of-the-art cameras in use. But no

matter which building the Sheriff’s Office is located in, it continues to have a life-altering impact. “People’s lives change in this building,” she said. “In a criminal court, you can lose your freedom; In a civil court, you can lose your fortune; And in a family court, you can lose your children. It’s a very dynamic building.” In addition to the typical duties of a sheriff, the Chester County Sheriff’s Office provides outreach services for local children. During the holiday season, they hold a “Shop with the Sheriff” event, where Sheriff Welsh and her deputies take approximately 110 children holiday shopping for their families to show the children that officers are not people to be feared, but rather compassionate and helpful members of the local community. At the beginning of the day, the children are often a little hesitant about socializing with deputies in uniform. However, by the end of the day they’ve become pals. As Sheriff Welsh says, “It’s a wonderful bonding experience to be able to let young children and families know that law enforcement is their friend and that they’re there to help, and it’s not something they should fear.”






FIRE CHIEF McDONALD West Chester Fire Department Michael McDonald revels in all facets of his role as chief of the West Chester Fire Department. Whether it’s the excitement of the calls or the camaraderie that is kindled by more than just flames, Chief McDonald has always aspired to better himself in his career, despite the lack of compensation. Drawing inspiration from his older brother, who volunteered at Fame Fire Company, Chief McDonald followed in his brother’s footsteps and rose to the top after 30 years. It’s not easy work, and he does it on top of his job at a structural steel fabricator and being a father. And, despite the fact that the Fame is 100% volunteer (yes, even the chief) he wouldn’t change a minute of it. Chief McDonald is extremely gratified by working with his firemen. “The fire station is one big brotherhood,” Chief McDonald stated. “We’re together a lot. And the thing that you take from being a volunteer fireman is to know that you served your community. The [firefighters] never ask for praise or want to be heroes. Being a product of this department and being able to serve the community in the highest form—it’s incredible.” The most memorable and ineffable part of his fire career was the action that he took on September 13, 2001. One of his co-workers had a contact in New York from his job selling firefighting equipment, so Chief McDonald, along with four other Fame volunteers, headed up to the edges of Manhattan to repair fire trucks and re-service them. Chief McDonald described his experience re-purposing material from a “fire truck graveyard,” a site where damaged vehicles piled up. “It was kind of eery because some of the trucks still had personal belongings in them,” Chief McDonald illustrated. “Someone would bring a truck in and he would tell you ‘I’m the only guy that’s left on my whole shift.’ That put everything into perspective.”

In the end, Chief McDonald and his team repaired roughly 20 fire trucks to be used in the efforts to clear debris and rescue survivors. It was solemn enough for them to make those repairs under the omnipresent military helicopters, but it was absolutely heartbreaking to attend 12 different funerals. “Usually a fireman’s funeral is a big deal, but a lot of them were still working, so a lot of people weren’t going to these funerals,” Chief McDonald remembered. So, Chief McDonald and other firefighters from around the region stood in at these funerals, taking the places of the dedicated men and women who were still on the frontlines

and unable to attend the services for the fallen from their own department. “It was quite sombering,” he remembered. In 2016, Chief McDonald returned to Ground Zero for the first time since the events of 9/11 with his team. It was touching for him to pass through the museum and remember the names of the trucks he repaired and the men whose funerals he attended. Nothing will ever diminish his memories of 2001.“The sights, the smells. It was an incredible journey,” Chief McDonald depicted. “What you see on see something like that live and in person, you are just taken. And we were just in awe.”



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CHAZ BROGAN Chief of Operations Good Fellowship Ambulance We could say Chaz Brogan, chief of operations at Good Fellowship, is a selfstarter, but considering that he began working as an EMT while still in his teens and landed the most senior position at Good Fellowship at 29 years of age, simply calling him a self-starter might not be complimentary enough. And, for someone yet to break into his third decade, Brogan has a whole lot of important decisions on his hands. “I oversee all operations as executive director,”Brogan affirmed. “My responsibility is to the operation of the company and overseeing about 38 employees and 125 volunteers.” While Brogan was growing up, his father was a volunteer at Goodwill Fire Company. That work inspired him to obtain his EMT certification when he was just a junior in high school. By the time he was 18, he was hired as a part-time EMT at Good Fellowship. After a brief recess from the company— during which time he was an EMT and, later, a manager with the Honeybrook Fire Company— Brogan returned and worked his way up the ladder at Good

Fellowship. Brogan’s early EMT training came in handy in high school when he witnessed one of his fellow students get run over by a bus. He took immediate action in the situation, and was thereby nominated by Henderson High School’s then-principal Alicia Ozer for an award through the Rotary Club. But, for Brogan, it was all in a day’s work. Out of all of the perks that come with being the chief of operations, what Brogan loves most is just getting to know the people he serves. “We often go to nursing homes just to talk to the people there,” Brogan stated. He even uses his gift for gab when answering emergency calls. “We get them laughing—makes for a more positive experience in the ambulance.” And for Brogan, this is just a further extension of how he believes emergency services should always operate. “Everything we do here is about the patient,” he said. “It’s not the money.” Though Brogan loves his position— which he was promoted to in November

of 2015—he still occasionally misses being a paramedic. That’s why he volunteers for 12 hours every other Sunday at the Brandywine Hospital. He also enjoys attending national conferences to incorporate the teachings of various speakers and learn everything he can about new advances in medical science. In turn, Good Fellowship brings speakers to Chester County annually for their own conference. “It’s nice to learn something new,” Brogan said. “Everything’s changing in medicine and science, and it’s important to keep up.” For anyone interested in a career in the burgeoning healthcare sector, becoming a certified EMT is a great first step, and one Brogan wholeheartedly recommends. Good Fellowship actually offers EMT training programs, as well as a four-person dorm room that can be lived in rent-free in exchange for 18 hours a week of volunteer service.“It’s a phenomenal thing to have on the resume,” Brogan stated. “You get in the experience of dealing with absolute chaos and being able to manage that.”





CHIEF GLEASON West Goshen Township Police Department Some people figure out what they want to do for the rest of their lives when they’re in college. Some even later than that. Others figure it out when they are just six years old. Joseph Gleason, chief of police at the West Goshen Police Department, is currently living and working his childhood dream. “When I was in grade school, I would walk a mile to school, and in the middle of this four-way intersection, there was this police officer who was stopping traffic. We would run out to him and show him our report cards and test scores. And the world stopped for those kids, and for me, because of him.” That officer’s name was Dick Chatfield, Chief Gleason’s first inspiration. Chatfield’s amiable demeanor and his making a priority of engaging with children inspired Chief Gleason to emulate those attributes. Chief Gleason—who has been an officer with the West Goshen Police Department for 36 years—was appointed chief six years ago. He is responsible for managing 30 officers and responding to the calls of 23,000 of West Chester’s residents with objectivity and professionalism. Chief Gleason is very pleased to work with such professionals, describing them as a big family. “We don’t have people that come here as a stepping stone to another job,” he emphasized. “We have people that come here and stay for 35 or 40 years. We’re doing something right.” While some departments across the nation have been marred by bad publicity and bad policing, West Goshen has maintained a respected standard. “People used to ask why you would want to become a cop, and now it’s a very sought-after profession because we made it that.” Chief Gleason emphasized. “It’s an honorable profession for the honorable person.” Chief Gleason has accomplished much during his time in the police force, includ-


ing an acceptance to the FBI National Academy in 1999, an honor than only one percent of police officers achieve. And when Chief Gleason donated a kidney back in 2012 and received a humanitarian award, the familial support in the department was palpable. His desire to go above and beyond is constantly on display. For example, Chief Gleason and his department have developed and managed a vacation

house program over the last four years. “If someone goes on vacation, they tell us and we check on their house every day,” Chief Gleason stated. “That’s the little stuff our residents appreciate. Our residents deserve to know that when they go away, their houses are safe.” Just as Chatfield put him first years ago, Chief Gleason is doing the same for West Goshen and giving back to his community.






ADRIANNE POHAR Director of Paramedic Services Medic 91 Adrianne Pohar’s passion for the paramedical has served her well through 25 years in the clinical profession, from landing a full-time job just four months out of medical school at Lancaster’s St. Joseph Hospital to her rapid promotion to Director of Paramedic Services for Medic 91, the rapid-response arm of the Chester County Hospital. But, it wasn’t until she found her passion that Pohar really hit her stride.She realized partway through her college career that her field of study might not be setting her up for the job she really wanted. That’s when she asked an EMT friend what the job was like. The job description was enough to prompt a change of course for Adrianne, and after training at EMT school, she fell in love. As the director of paramedic services for Medic 91 and EMS liaison at Chester County Hospital, she loves what she does every day. “The most rewarding part is, honestly, helping patients,” Pohar stated. “I like when I can talk to a patient and establish a good rapport and understand each individual needs.”

Building that rapport has always been important to Pohar. It’s how she received a Practitioner of the Year Award for Chester County back in 2005, as well as a clinical excellence award for stabilizing the vital signs of a just-born infant. “The infant was delivered before EMS arrival,” described Pohar. “I arrived and found the premature infant on the ground of the bathroom. I asked the crew to retrieve an OB kit and the pediatric gear from the Medic unit. I clamped and cut the umbilical cord, warmed her and assisted with ventilations due to her not breathing adequately. Her color improved immediately with assistance. She spent numerous weeks in the neonatal ICU and she did very well. I believe she will be 13 this year.” Pohar loves working at Medic 91, Chester County’s first medic unit, which was established in 1982. Most of the care they provide is on-the-street, acute, life-saving measures similar to when she saved that infant. It’s a process, one that requires several team

members and departments in that chain of survival. It’s an extremely dynamic position. “A lot of people don’t understand what paramedics do,” she said. “They think we’re ambulance drivers, when we actually take the emergency room to the street.” The constant collaboration with the cardiac team at the Chester County Hospital provides some of Pohar’s most rewarding interactions. “We have a strong relationship with the ER and the CATH [Cardiac Catheterization] lab with heart attack patients,” she stated. “I’m very proud of the department because it improves the patient’s chances of recovery.” Pohar is particularly adamant about working for the Chester County Hospital. “It’s a community hospital and you have that community feel,”Pohar emphasized. “We’re a big family here, not just within the department, but also within the emergency room and in the entire hospital. That’s kept me here all these years.”





YOU NEVER HAVE THE SAME DAY TWICE. CHIEF BERNOT Westtown East Goshen Police Department Nothing is set in stone, as Brenda Bernot learned from her brief time as a Penn State journalism major 32 years ago. The longer she stayed in the major, the more she realized it wasn’t the career path she was destined to follow. Now as the Chief of Police at Westtown East Goshen Police Department, she knows she’s exactly where she was always meant to be. “One day, I was getting a ride up from my hometown in Hummelstown, PA to Penn State and one of the individuals in the car was talking about how she was in the criminal justice program. She talked about how it not only challenged her because there were so many different skills that were required, but she felt like it had meaning,” Chief Bernot recalled. “That’s what I was looking for: something that would challenge me in a lot of different ways and at the same time have meaning.” Chief Bernot has always needed meaning to drive her. She spent 28 years with the state police, retired, and became a college professor teaching criminal science. However, she hated it because it didn’t fill her with a sense of purpose. Her husband told her she was miserable since she retired and to go back to what she loved. So that’s exactly what she did. “The one thing I love about the Westtown East Goshen Police Department is how they do community-based policing better than just about anybody I’ve ever met,” Chief Bernot stated. Chief Bernot loves being out in the community and being able to engage West Chester residents. To her, community-based policing is what law enforcement is all about. “People feel comfortable enough to call me up and say, ‘Hey, Brenda!’” Chief Bernot stated. “It isn’t just a position. We talk about family. I love it. You have to understand what community-based policing means. It builds trust.” Chief Bernot often laments the lack of women in law enforcement. She

stated that the numbers have always been traditionally low for no foreseeable reason, despite women making up more than half of the general population. It’s a shame to her because she feels that most women are very good communicators, and she feels the dynamic nature would suit is ideal for anyone with the right personality, regardless of gender. “You never have the same day twice,” Chief Bernot expressed. “It’s an ideal position for someone who doesn’t want to be confined at a desk. It does challenge you.” If there was one thing Chief Bernot is most proud of during her entire career in law enforcement, it would be the accreditation of the police department. Accreditation is given when a police depart-

ment is “operating to the goal standard of law enforcement.” A crucial part of the accreditation involves increasing the overall amount of community outreach and community-based policing by compelling a department to interact more often with its citizens and implement a standardized policy on how it handles complaints and investigations. It’s a vital departamental accomplishment. It “shows the public that, not only are we professional, but we’re trying to do something that benefits you,” Chief Bernot explained. “Being a police officer means you live your entire life—on and off duty—under a microscope. If you’re not willing to do that, then don’t become a police officer.”






Dr. Geoff Winkley is a board-certified emergency medicine physician who operates Doctor’s Best Immediate Medical Care

What is diabetes, really? Diabetes is an illness caused by the difficulty or complete inability of the body’s cells to absorb and use glucose. Glucose is a carbohydrate (or sugar) and is the main form of energy used to power all our cell's functions. The end result is chronic, abnormally elevated blood sugar levels. However, we really should think about diabetes as a blood vessel disease and understand that it impacts every part of the body. Why is diabetes so dangerous? When blood sugar levels are chronically high the blood vessels, especially the small blood vessels, are not able to function properly. The organs for which proper blood flow is most critical (the brain, heart and kidneys) are the organs that are most likely to cause dangerous health impacts for diabetics. As such, stroke, heart attack and kidney failure are the major causes of complications and death for diabetics. It is all about the blood flow, or lack thereof, in uncontrolled diabetes. That's the reason a simple wound on the foot can be so difficult for a diabetic to heal and why many diabetics end up with diabetic vision loss (retinopathy) and amputations of toes, feet and even legs. Why do so many people have diabetes? There are two main types of diabetes: Type 1 diabetes, which starts in childhood, and Type 2, or adult-onset diabetes. In the US, over 90% of diabetes sufferers have Type 2, and one of the primary risk factors leading to diabetes is obesity. Throughout the last several decades, obesity has become epidemic, and during that time period, the incidence of Type 2 diabetes has skyrocketed. How can I make avoid becoming diabetic? Maintain a healthy body weight by reducing your caloric intake and exercising regularly! Also make sure to follow your doctor’s advice on the timing of routine health screening evaluations, including fasting blood glucose levels. What can I do if I am diagnosed with diabetes? See your doctor exactly as they recommend to quickly gain control of your blood sugar levels through diet, exercise and medicine, if needed. Even if your doctor recommends medicine, caloric intake control and exercise are still very important and many patients with Type 2 diabetes are able to reduce or eliminate the need for medicine as a result of weight loss. Follow the diabetes “ABCs” to control the impacts of diabetes complications: A The A1c blood test indicates how often blood sugar is out of the normal range and therefore needs to be controlled. B It's important to keep your blood pressure under control. C Like, B, it's also important to keep you cholesterol in check. Managing and monitoring the ABCs and seeing your doctor as directed will go a long way to help you avoid life-shortening diabetes complications. —



Design Dilemmas Andrea Mason of Perceptions Interiors is a professional interior designer who wants to help you upgrade your space

I'm often asked about the most common design faux pas I come across. Often they're small mistakes that are easy to overlook, especially if you have been living with them. But, a few simple fixes can make your rooms look bigger, brighter, and brand new. Below I have listed a few of the most popular design dilemmas and explain how to get them right. Highwater Curtains Just like the pants we wear, I see this problem time and time again when curtains are raised off the floor. Your drapery should be either skimming the floor or have a 1”-2” puddle. The puddle gives a more elegant and glamorous feel and if you are wanting a more modern look, then just touching the floor should be your aim. By following this simple rule, your ceilings will look taller and your walls will not look so choppy. Pro Tip Hang your curtain rod high and close to the ceiling. This will also help to make your ceilings look tall. Postage Stamp Rug I see small rugs everywhere. Rug size depends on the size of the room and what furniture it sits under, but there are rules that you can follow to determine the correct dimension: In living spaces, if your furniture is against the wall, then you want at least the two front legs of every chair/sofa on the rug. If you have floating furniture then you want the entire sofa and chair to sit completely on the rug. In a dining room your rug should be large enough so that when you pull out your dining chair you are still on the rug. Pro Tip If you just found out that you have a small rug but you want to keep it, then you are in luck! Layering rugs is a great look. Put a larger rug underneath your existing one in the correct size. I love using a simple rug, like a sisal, underneath a patterned rug to make it pop! Matchy-Matchy Have you been tempted to buy an entire bed, nightstand, and dresser collection for your bedroom? Stop right there. Nothing is more redundant looking than all matching furniture in the same finish and same style. One of the most rewarding things from my job is making a room look like its components were collected over time when really we purchased it all at once. We buy from different sources with different finishes and fabrics and textures. Of course, it’s important to have a common element in the space to bring it all together—whether it be a wood tone or the style—but purchasing differening pieces adds character. Pro Tip Remember to mix textures. Not all furniture is wood and fabric. Examples includee rattan, metal and glass. Slight changes in a room can make it beautiful again. Trust your instincts—if something doesn’t feel or look right, then you're probably correct! A great resource for gathering concepts is They have brilliant ideas and examples of beautiful spaces. You can even share my inspiration by following my Houzz profile ( and use it to create a space you love. —






Not All Heroes Wear Capes How the Chester County Hero Fund helps those who protect and serve by Kate Chadwick





ere’s the thing about heroes:


They not only do the things other people don’t, they do them without patting themselves on the back for it. Ask me, I know: I interviewed John DiBuonaventuro for this article, and getting him to talk about himself was nearly impossible. That’s not because he’s difficult—far from it. It’s really more that his concern for the well-being of others far outpaces his need to discuss his part in helping them. John (or JD, as most people know him) served 13 years as a firefighter, currently works with the sheriff’s office, and— among many other responsibilities past and present—is the man at the helm of the Chester County Hero Fund, a nonprofit 501(c) charitable organization that acts as a safety net for first responders— firefighters, emergency and rescue, law enforcement officers—and their families. The Hero Fund steps in to help if those first responders are injured or killed in the line of duty, filling in the delays and gaps left by insurance and benefits. The Hero Fund was founded in February 2001 after a Tredyffrin police officer friend of JD’s approached him for help in getting something started. He was prompted by the 1998 death of a Lionville firefighter in the line of duty. “He came to me because he knew that I could handle incorporations, finance, things of that nature. He told me, ‘There’s no lifeline, no safety net for us,’” JD says. Out of the nearly 6,000 first responders in Chester County, the majority of them are in the EMS community. By JD’s estimate, maybe 600-800 are in law enforcement. This ratio is important, because many of the firefighters and paramedics are volunteers. “Their level of benefits is completely different and predicated on what a particular department may want to do outside of workman’s comp, which is supplied by the township,” says JD. If JD was going to be in charge of the Hero Fund, he had several stipulations. “If I was going to attach my name to it, a couple of things had to occur,” he said. “One of them was that one hundred percent of every dollar had to go to the Hero Fund’s mission, to a recipient in need. Another was that we be able to execute a request quickly, because most of the cases of need in the first responder community are not years after an event—it’s an immediate

We’ve been in service together since 2013,” says JD of his K-9 partner Leo. Leo works in accelerant detection, primarily in the case of arson. need. Processing insurance claims and benefits is time consuming, and that is where and why the Hero Fund steps in.” JD’s third stipulation was that donations would be tax-deductible, so the Hero Fund was designated as a 501(c) charitable organization. Larger, nationally-known aid organizations use at least part of contrib-

utors’ funds to offset costs of running the business, for such things as marketing and public relations. This is not the case with the Hero Fund. “Anyone who has ever done anything for us has done it for free,” JD said. “Our printing, our attorney, and our accountant have all worked for free. We literally have maybe $400 or $500 a year in expenses. And that’s basically for hosting the website. Right now, as we speak, midway through 2017, we have no expenses.” Case in point: “If you look at our stationery, you’ll see an old phone number,” he said. “I was getting most of my calls for assistance on my own phone anyway, so after 18 months or so, I had the number disconnected.” The Hero Fund doesn’t market or advertise. “We have a website and a Facebook page where we post fundraising events. That’s it.”



The bottom line is that any money earned by the Hero Fund is used for what little expenses they have. “Any interest on bonds that we’ve invested in, for instance, we use that money on Fund expenses.” The Hero Fund was in its infancy in 2001, and then 9/11 happened. The Hero Fund subsequently received thousands of dollars in contributions earmarked for New York first responders, which illustrates one of the principles of the Hero Fund, according to JD. “We can direct the money. We collected that money, and we went to New York, and based on the recommendations of the police and fire organizations there, we gave that money to the family of a fallen firefighter.” That was the first donation made by the Hero Fund. It had been JD’s goal to get things organized, maybe oversee the first few recipients, then pass the reins. “Initially I expected to get it set up, get it up and running and funded, and then I’d step aside after a year or two once it was on its feet.” Fast forward 17 years: JD is still there, and the organization is not only on its feet, it’s an unmitigated success. So, the question becomes, with everything established and functioning properly, what happened to that whole “getting it going and stepping aside after a year or two” thing? “It’s not that I specifically wanted to leave after two years—that wasn’t set in stone,” JD says. “But it did become kind of a mission for me, and also it just grew—in its scope and in its capacity to assist others.” After a decade, though, he began to think about stepping down. “At the 10-year mark, I started to say things to the Hero Fund’s board along the lines of ‘It’s time—it’s been years.’ I’m not sure that it landed with them though, not because I wasn’t serious, but because I didn’t phrase it as, ‘Okay, end of this year, I’m throwing you the keys, and I’m out.’” As it happened, though, 2010 turned out to be a very busy year for the Hero Fund: Firefighter Jay Wustner was blown off a roof in Malvern, shattering his feet and ending up wheelchair-bound for six months; firefighters in Coatesville were involved in a building collapse; Jay Raffetto, a Chester County veteran, stepped on an IED. “So the next five years, from 2010 to 2015, were pretty busy,” says JD, “And a lot of that was with Jay Raffetto.”

After 9/11 we had thousands of dollars coming in for first responders who died,” says JD. “Florence Foti and her children were the first recipients of the fund. Her husband Robert was a firefighter who died on 9/11.” Jay Raffetto’s situation—he was military—was a new one for the Hero Fund. He was a Conestoga High School graduate who suffered unthinkable injuries while serving in Afghanistan in August 2010, losing both legs above the knee, his left arm, and three fingers on his right hand. “He was outside our box,” JD said. “He was a Chester County native who was a medic in the Navy for a Marine recon unit. When he was injured, the community really wanted to help, but no one knew how to go about it. So I got a call. And initially I said, ‘No—

he’s not within our bylaws and parameters.’” But JD started thinking about it. “I went to the Board and asked if there was a way for us to act as ‘the back room.’ What if we simply facilitated all of these events, these fundraisers?” JD structured a new piece of the Hero Fund, which allows it to act as a ‘back room,’ as he calls it. “In other words, we ensure that 100% of the funding reaches the intended recipient. The Hero Fund does the depositing of the money and the writing of the checks and the accounting and the marketing.” All of this is possible because the Hero Fund has become a trusted and recognizable brand. “As soon as we put our logo on an event, people get comfortable with donating, because they know that we’re not taking any money out of that,” JD says. One of those events featured Dick Vermeil, the former Philadelphia Eagles head coach and owner of Vermeil Wines, hosting a wine-tasting fundraiser. People even went as far as to sell horses to help raise funds for Jay. The West Chester Bartenders Ball, an annual fundraising gala hosted by The WC Press in conjunction with the West Chester restaurant industry, also donates much of





Photo Courtesy of Campli Photography

the proceeds from their party to Over the course of the Hero Fund. “The least we can three or four years, do is help provide for the families of the people who base their lives JD and his networking helped around protecting and serving,” them immeasurably.” said Frank Herron, owner of Saloon 151 and one of the founders of the Bar- instance it assisted with copays of a fortenders Ball. “Giving to the Hero Fund feels mer fire chief who was battling cancer, not like going a step beyond donating to other an in-the-line-of-duty medical situation, organizations—you know all that money and therefore outside its bylaws. “The fire is going to people, to families who really company came to us and asked if we could help with the thousands of dollars he had need it,” he said. in copays, so I brought it to our board,” JD To say that those families appreciate said. The money that was not used to pay the work that the Hero Fund does would off the copays and other medical expenses be a significant understatement. “The was utilized by the family for the man’s biggest thing for us, as a family, was the funeral when he ultimately passed away. total dedication to the mission of helping “That money kept the family whole.” our son and daughter,” said John Raffetto, A commanding officer or department Jay’s father. “Over the course of three or four years, JD and his networking helped head in the first responder community can them immeasurably.” John and his wife approach JD and ask the Hero Fund to act have moved to Maryland to be closer to as a facilitator in certain situations. “This Jay and his wife Emily, who relocated their is one of the ways in which the Hero Fund for work, so they don’t see JD as much as has developed over the last 17 years,” JD they’d like. However, that doesn’t change said. “It’s adding and subtracting, it’s blockone thing: “He’s a member of our family ing and tackling, it’s strategy, it’s work. I now,” says John. stayed for 17 years because…well, there This newer “piece of the fund” works was just stuff to do.” in completely unanticipated ways. In one

And now? “Well, now, the templates

JD is pictured with Jay Wustner to his right and Jay Raffetto to his left. are in place, the system is there, we’re closing in on three-quarters of a million dollars in the bank, and we’ve raised much more than that for recipients over the years,” JD says. “Now it’s time for some new energy, a new set of eyes and ears, possibly heading in new directions if that’s where the board wants to go.” I wondered if the work hasn’t taken a personal toll on JD. “To say that I’m not affected by some of the things I’ve seen would be truly insincere,” he said. “Part of the reason I’ve been here so long is that I have been affected by it, no question. But not in a ‘depressed by it’ type of way. It’s been motivational. That may sound strange, that I get motivated by these circumstances.” It hardly sounds strange; it would be difficult to drown in negativity when you’re charged with distributing the generous donations of a caring community. “I literally have elderly ladies who send me $10 gifts. It happens all the time,” JD said. “My own mother used to do it before she





passed away.” Each and every one of those donors gets a personal thank you note from JD. That’s about the extent of anything resembling drawing attention you’ll see from JD. “I’m not the type of guy who’s too public, because we’re dealing with people in crisis, and with kind of intimate details of their lives. I take that seriously.” JD says. “I try to stay under the radar and just execute.” He’s given only one public speech on his Hero Fund work, and that was at a Service and Leadership Recognition event at Conestoga High School. “The principal called and asked me to speak to the class about giving back. I did it on one condition: since you rarely see the real impact these organizations make, I said I’d do it if they’d split my time with Jay Raffetto’s father.” JD will be stepping down from his position with the Hero Fund at the end of 2017, having served as founder and president for the past 17 years. Chester County Sheriff Carolyn Welsh is chair of the search committee to replace him—a task which she acknowledges is no easy feat. “Because JD has been on both sides of the first responder situation, he brings a broad and unique understanding—and more importantly, compassion—to the table,” she said. “These attributes have made him particularly effective, not just in the founding of the Hero Fund, but in the administering of it. At the end of the day, it really only exists because of him.” As for his successor, at the time of this interview, JD said he’d met with the candidate recommended by the search committee. “I gave him 17 years of history in two hours— he may have been a bit over-

whelmed! But I made it very clear to him that he can do it, because everything is already in place... but I told him that the pay’s no good.” [Editor’s note: there is no pay.] “If a person can add and subtract, they can do this job,” JD says, “but the most important thing is that it’s got to be somebody who’ll have the public’s trust, because donors need that; the same goes for the recipients. And that’s a sacred trust, because you go into their lives with such a high degree of intimacy.” Just because JD is stepping down from his position doesn’t mean he’s stepping away. “We have a spot—a board-approved emeritus position, non-voting—and I told them I’ll stay on as long as they want me and be there for any questions that the new president might have.” JD anticipates that the transition will take at least a year, and he’ll stay committed to preserving the integrity of the system for as long as it takes. “I’m a phone call away,” he says. It seems unlikely, given his drive to serve others, that JD will be sitting in a rocking chair any time soon. “I’ve retired from firefighting, I chaired the committee to build the Chester County Task Force, and I still have a K9 with the Sheriff’s Department,” he said. “But I’m 61, and there are other things I want to do. I’ll still be there, I’ll just be there in a different capacity.”

Benny’s Pizza organized the Ride for Heroes,” says JD. “We’d ride through Chester County and end up in downtown West Chester.” All the money raised through sponsorship of the event was donated to the fund.

In the research I did for this article and in my conversations and correspondence with him, it became clear to me that JD has been the obvious choice to head up a fund that assists those who assist others—it takes a hero to know one.

Please visit the Hero Fund’s website for more information or to make a tax-deductible donation:




Becca Boyd shares tips on life and cooking on her blog at


You know the ol' adage “food is love?” It’s never more fully realized than in a crisis, when your friend or family member shows up, dinner in hand. When everything else is crumbling, that lasagna isn’t just dinner, it’s true kindness in action. In this age of food allergies and specialty diets, bringing a meal can seem daunting to even the most practiced cook. Below you will find two dairy- and gluten-free dishes that also happen to be downright delicious. Remember to bring the food in disposable pans... and also, a bottle of wine makes a great side.

Dave's Automotive Repair has served the West Chester, PA area with a commitment to service and value for over 40 years. We appreciate your interest and look forward to earning your business.

Chicken, Quinoa and Cashew Casserole serves 4 2 red/yellow/orange bell peppers, diced 4 raw chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces 1 c. quinoa, rinsed 1 white onion, diced 1/3 c. Hoisin sauce

2 tbsp. soy or Tamari sauce 1 tsp. Sriracha, or more to taste 1 c. water 1 tbsp. minced fresh ginger 1 tbsp. minced garlic 1 c. toasted cashews 1/3 c. sliced scallions 1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 9x13 or 8x11 in. baking dish with nonstick spray. 2. Spread quinoa in bottom of the dish. Top with onions, then bell peppers. 3. Top with chicken, then sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper. 4. Mix Hoisin, soy/tamari, Sriracha, water, ginger and garlic until blended. Pour evenly over chicken. 5. Bake uncovered for 45 minutes. Sprinkle cashews over the top and bake for another 10 minutes. Remove and top with scallions; serve. White Bean Chicken Chili serves 8 6 (14 oz) cans Cannelini beans, drained and rinsed, divided 1 tbsp. vegetable oil 2 jalapeno peppers, minced 4 poblano peppers, chopped 2 onions, diced 8 cloves garlic, minced 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste 1/4 tsp. black pepper


2 tbsp. cumin 1 tbsp. ground coriander 2 tsp. ancho chili powder 6 c. chicken broth Juice of 2 limes 6 c. chopped, cooked chicken (2 small rotisserie chickens) 1/2 c. chopped cilantro Tortilla chips and sharp cheddar cheese for serving

Purée beans from three cans in food processor or blender (add a bit of water as needed to blend). 2. Heat vegetable oil in large soup pot over medium high heat. Add jalapenos, poblanos, onions, garlic, salt and pepper and stir to combine. Cook until softened, about 10 minutes. 3. Add cumin, coriander, and chili powder and stir to combine. Cook two minutes. 4. Add chicken broth and lime juice and bring to a boil. 5. Reduce to simmer and add beans (and bean puree). Simmer for 20 minutes. 6. Add chicken and cilantro and stir. Taste for salt. Cook until heated through and serve, topped with chips and cheese. —

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Visit our website to make an appointment online.

610-696-7153 301 S. Bolmar Street, West Chester, PA 19382 8:30-5:00 Monday-Friday | 8:30-4:00 Saturday



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Spot the five differences between these images, and send your answer to for your chance to win a Barnaby’s gift certificate. Congrats to our June winner, Dr. Raj of West Goshen Chiropractic





Summer Playlist DJ Romeo curates a list of the tracks you’ll be enjoying all summer long The following is a list of songs that will take over the radio stations in the next few months. You’ll soon know them by heart and play them ‘til they’re tired. But, good news: you can download them first and look like the cool musical genius to all of your friends. | @DJRomeo24

Calvin Harris ft. Pharrell Williams, Katy Perry & Big Sean – “Feels” David Guetta ft. Justin Bieber – “2U” DJ Khaled ft. Rihanna & Bryson Tiller – “Wild Thoughts” Martin Garrix & Troye Sivan – “There For You” Moon Taxi – “Two High” French Montana ft. Swae Lee – “Unforgettable” Bleachers – “Don’t Take The Money” All Time Low – “Good Times” Liam Payne ft. Quavo – “Strip That Down” Shania Twain – “Life’s About To Get Good” Major Lazer ft. Travis Scott, Camila Cabello & Quavo “Know No Better” Sigrid – “Don’t Kill My Vibe” MO – “Nights With You” The Revivalists – “Wish I Knew You” Kendrick Lamar – “D.N.A.” Skip Marley – “Calm Down” Camilia Cabello – “Crying in the Club” Drake – “Signs” Brook Chivell – “Hot Country Girl” Bruno Mars – “Versace On The Floor” Ayo & Teo – “Rolex” Foster The People – “Doing It For The Money” Fifth Harmony ft. Gucci Mane – “Down” Shawn Hook ft. Vanessa Hudgens – “Reminding Me” Cashmere Cat ft. Ariana Grande – “Quit” Khalid – “Young Dumb & Broke” James Arthur – “Can I Be Him” Lorde – “Homemade Dynamite” Julia Michaels – “Uh Huh” Bebe Rexha ft. Lil Wayne “The Way I Are (Dance With Somebody)”







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