Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Valley Youth House Backpack Challenged Kickoff and How You Can Help Foster Youth

On Thursday, July 30, Valley Youth House (VYH - Valley Youth House, 1500 Sansom Street, Suite 300A, Philadelphia, PA  19102,) kicked off their annual “Backpack Challenge” at Dilworth Park. It’s a 30 day community effort to collect backpacks, school supplies and funds for Philadelphia's foster care youth heading off to high school or college (You can help them reach their goals http://www.vyhphila.org/backpackchallenge/).
 Vanessa Garrett Harley, DHS deputy commissioner, a partner with VYH, addresses the crowd gathered at the kick off press conference.

 Jennifer Hill, a client of Valley Youth House, tells her story and how she was able to utlize the programs offered by VYH to help fund her dream of working in the medical field, and to graduate from Community College of Philadelphia.
 There was a great turnout to support the annual Backpack Drive, 
The Backpack Challenge raises funds and collects essential back to school items for foster care youth. From its humble beginnings, the Backpack Challenge has grown from a small collection drive to a national program due to the strong partnership between the Philadelphia Department of Human Services, Five Below, 96.5 Amp Radio & 92.5 XTU, and Valley Youth House.
Matt Smith, Beasley Broadcast Group and VYH Board Member spoke about the great success about the Backpack Challenge. This year they're taking the program nationally in Atlanta, Baltmore, Cleveland & Detroit area Five Below stores will run from July 24 to August 9.  
 Bennett and Bex from 96.5 Amp Radio with the Valley Youth House standout students who are receiving scholarships, computers and other tools to help them further their education.

Young people ​in foster care are given the tools needed to pursue and achieve their educational goals through the support of their own communities. From 2013 to 2014 in Philadelphia, the number of collection site partners more than doubled, 5,173 backpacks were collected, and over $36,000 was raised.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Pittsburgh Pictorial - My Quick Trip To The City of Steel

If you were following along on Twitter, FB, Periscope and Instagram you saw I went to Pittsburgh last weekend to check out the Andy Warhol Museum.

Over the past year I was reading The Andy Warhol Diaries, or actually re-reading it. It was great. I might read it again. It's a good chronicle of the 70's, fame, the creation of fame and being humble. A lot of his work influenced the work I do.

Mike and I capped off our July, which was chock full of birthday's, anniversaries, and milestones with a road trip to Pittsburgh. We love our road trips.
Pittsburgh has more bridges than Venice, the Duck Boat operator told us. There are a lot of water activities on the rivers around Pittsburgh. I was impressed, so many tour boats, kayaks, jet skiing, water taxis, lots to do on the water.
The Andy Warhol Bridge
We headed to the Pirates game at PNC Stadium.
They close one of the bridges so folks can walk over from downtown. At the foot of the bridge, outside of PNC they have fun things for the fans to do before going into see the game.
During the games and concerts at the stadiums, boats hang nearby to hear the events.

We didn't have a lot of time as we were only there two days. We walked to this park at the end of Liberty Ave. It's where the three rivers meet.

The last day we took the Duck Boat tour. Wish we had taken it the first day. We saw and learned so much. Plus it was fun. 
I think I'll take a duck boat everywhere I visit.
I was excited to see the Mister Rogers Statue. Seems he was from Pittsburgh, who knew?
There's a museum too:

Fred Rogers & Us - Children's Museum of Pittsburgh

Born Fred McFeely Rogers
March 20, 1928
Latrobe, Pennsylvania, United States
Died February 27, 2003 (aged 74)
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States


Duquesne Incline

So fun. 

Great view of Pittsburgh from the top of the incline.

 We stayed at the Hotel Monaco, which was centrally located downtown.

Then it was time to go home. It was a great trip.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Fox29's Philly Live American Idol Tryouts and Information for Sunday's AI Tryouts at Liacouras Center 8/2/15

Thursday Fox 29 held tryouts for American Idol hopefuls. If you were the one chosen by their esteemed panel of judges you would skip the line, for a guaranteed audition with producers, and a meet and greet with the judges!
Briana Marshall
There were a lot of very talented people waiting for their chance for stardom.
The line stretched around the block
Judging was based on talent, style and personality. Only a handful met all three qualities.

Erin Doherty with dad Dennis Doherty - She was one of the finalist pick. She sings country with a really nice style
Quincy Harris, Mike Jerrick, Jen Frederick,  Kenny Gamble, Leon Huff, Alex Holley and DJ Cosmic Kev,
Talking about style, I liked the style that some of the contestants brought

Even though it was hot, the line was still alive with a lot of hopefuls.

And the winner Jami . The other two ladies said they were still going to be at the  Liacouras Center 8/2/15 TOMORROW for tryouts.
Here's info on the American Idol Auditions.
Check out more photos from the Fox 29 Philly Idol Tryouts