Collingswood, New Jersey

First Tuesday Fundraiser for the Holiday Parade

Support the 2013 Collingswood Holiday Parade and enjoy some great food!

On Tuesday, May 7, 2013, dine at The Tortilla Press, 701 Haddon Avenue, Collingswood or The Tortilla Press Cantina, 716 Maple Avenue, Merchantville between 4pm and closing.  Mention "Collingswood Holiday Parade" and 15% of your bill will benefit the Parade.

We'll be having a monthly dine out event the first Tuesday of each month. Mark your calendar now to enjoy some of the best food Collingswood has to offer AND help the Holiday Parade!

CYT presents "Jack & the Giant" this weekend!

The Collingswood Youth Theatre's 19th season will highlight 65 students in grades 2-6 in the children's musical "Jack and the Giant", which is based on the story of "Jack and the Beanstalk". The performances will be held at the Collingswood Middle School auditorium on Friday & Saturday, April 26 & 27, 2013 at 7:30pm and at 1pm on Saturday, April 27th.  It's fun for the whole family.  Tickets are $6 per person and are available at the door.

The giant is making life pretty miserable for Jack, his mother and sister, and the entire kingdom.  Jack is even forced to sell his beloved dancing cow for magic beans.  And where does Jack go?  That's right! Jack goes up the beanstalk and into the castle where he not only fights the meddlesome giant, but the malicious Troll as well.  By the end of this special tale, the queen is rescued and ........

To find out what other wonderful surprises are in store, bring the entire family to see this magical, musical tale come to life on the Middle School's stage.  Our entertaining actors from grades 2-6 will be singing and dancing to a variety of songs.  So remember that "Good Things are Bound to Happen" when you and your family attend our show the last weekend in April!

For more information, contact Mrs. Annemarie Dunn at 856-858-1514.

2013 Town Book announced

Each year, Collingswood chooses a town book that is read by thousands of residents. The author of the official town book selection is a guest at the annual Collingswood Book festival to discuss his work and take questions from readers.

Get ready for your summer reading with this year’s pick for the Collingswood Town Book. Organizers of the Collingswood Book Festival have announced that this year’s read is The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe.

The End of Your Life Book Club is an inspiring true story of a son and his mother who start a book club of two that brings them together as her life comes to a close.  The books they read generate discussions about faith, courage and gratitude.  Throughout it all, the characters and the reader are constantly reminded of the power of books to comfort us, astonish us and teach us.

The End of Your Life Book Club author Will Schwalbe will discuss his works at the Collingswood Book Festival on Saturday October 5th. Copies of the book are available at the Collingswood Public Library.  Books can also be purchased at the Collingswood Book Trader, 825 Haddon Avenue.

Collingswood OM team State champs!

Congrats to the Collingswood Oddysey of the Mind (OM) Team who brought home the big prize in April – they’re heading to the WORLD championships! From organizer Kenneth Allendorfer:

Our Collingswood Rec Odyssey of the Mind team traveled to the OM
State Finals on Saturday 4/13 at Ewing High School.  They competed
against five other teams in their problem group, called Pet Project, and age division (elementary school kids).  Across all the problems and divisions, about 50 teams competed at the state finals.  Our team qualified for states after taking third place in the South Jersey regional final last month.

I am thrilled and proud to announce that our team, consisting of Elizabeth Allendoerfer (4th grade), Claudia Celia (5th grade), Lila DiMasi (4th grade), Nick Eimer (5th grade), Ellie Routzahn (5th grade), and Amanda Yeager (5th grade), came in FIRST PLACE and was crowned NEW JERSEY STATE CHAMPIONS.  They received an invitation to the OM World Finals, which will be held next month at Michigan State University.  The kids pulled off an absolutely amazing achievement, especially considering that this was all of our first year doing OM - coaches included.  As a parent and coach, it just blew me away to see how much these kids accomplished in such a short time.  Their imaginations, teamwork, perseverance, and humor really came alive at the tournaments and the judges seemed to agree!

The Collingswood OM Team will be hosting some fundraisers to raise money to send the kids to the World Finals next month in Michigan. For information on how to contribute to their trip, please contact Kenneth Allendorfer at

Odyssey of the Mind is an international educational program that provides creative problem-solving opportunities for students from kindergarten through college. Team members apply their creativity to solve problems that range from building mechanical devices to presenting their own interpretation of literary classics. They then bring their solutions to competition on the local, state, and World level. Thousands of teams from throughout the U.S. and from about 25 other countries participate in the program.



Sharp School PTA Spring Fling

Avoid the malls and come have a ball at the Spring Fling vendor event sponsored by Thomas Sharp Elementary PTA on Sunday April 21 from 2 to 5pm (doors open at 1:30pm) at the Collingswood Community Center (30 W Collings Ave, next to the fire station). There will be light refreshments, fountain drinks, raffle baskets and over 30 participating vendors. Admission is free.

Sheets of tickets will be sold at $10 apiece at the event. Drawings will be held at 4:30pm. 

The list of more than 30 vendors includes: Park Lane Jewelry, Discovery Toys, Miche Bags, Stampin' Up, Stella and Dot, Scentsy, IGC metals precious metal buyers and many, many more! Come support a good cause and support Thomas Sharp Elementary PTA.

Collingswood hosts public tai chi class for World Tai Chi Day

Beginners and experts encouraged to fill Powell Lane for demonstration

Nathan Spivey is a man on a mission. A very calming mission.

Spivey, a tai chi instructor both regionally and at Collingswood’s ExtraordinaryED, approached borough officials about hosting an event for the 15th annual World Tai Chi Day on April 27 with the hopes of informing people about the benefits of tai chi.

The concept behind worldwide event is simple: Tai chi & qigong groups form mass gatherings in public parks or other public places around the world at 10 a.m. (local time) to provide demonstrations to the community, increase public knowledge and introduce people to the ancient art. Thanks to Spivey, this year Collingswood is on board and hopes to gather a mass crowd of both beginners and experts for a town wide exhibition on Powell Lane. The event is free.

“We want as many people as possible to enjoy the peace of mind and well being tai chi can bring into your life,” said Spivey.

World Tai Chi Day, always held the last Saturday in April, begins in the earliest time zones of New Zealand at 10 a.m. The event spreads across the globe as participants across each continent take part, with celebrations in sixty nations and several hundred cities, ending with the final events in the last time zones of Hawaii almost an entire day later.

Local participants can arrive at 9:15 a.m. on Powell Lane for some basic instruction on a short routine from one of several instructors. At 10 a.m., guests will perform their routine together, along with thousands of other participants in the Eastern Time Zone. After the public routine, each instructor will demonstrate a tai chi or qigong routine for the public and guests will then have the opportunity to meet and talk with instructors for more information on the practice. In the event of rain, the demonstration will move under the LumberYard garage, at the end of Powell Lane, behind the public plaza. Ample parking is available in the LumberYard garage.

Tai chi is a form of exercise derived from the martial art traditions of China over 400 years ago. The practice melds Chinese philosophy, Chinese medicine, inner energy techniques and martial arts. It is a moderate intensity exercise suitable for adults as well as those with chronic illnesses and rehabilitative needs. It is designed to cultivate focus, develop the body-mind connections, balance health and provides fluidity, flexibility, balance and strength. Studies have shown that tai chi can increase psychological well-being including reduction of stress, anxiety, and depression. Participants of all skill levels are encouraged to be a part of the Collingswood event.

“Everyone can use a little less stress nowadays,” said Collingswood Mayor Jim Maley, who will be on board for the demonstration. “We’re happy to host this. Being a part of something so global is humbling. We hope a lot of people come out to take advantage of what Nathan can teach us. Maybe it will inspire a larger tai chi movement in town.”

The event’s official page at describes World Tai Chi Day: “…a peaceful soothing event will unfold around the Earth throughout the entire day, time zone by time zone. Gently and effortlessly the world will breathe together in a Tai Chi & QiGong relay of calm. We all may have experienced the soothing calm of witnessing others doing Tai Chi or QiGong; and on World Tai Chi & QiGong Day, the entire planet will have that opportunity.”

Nathan Spivey has been a practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine for more than thirty years. Since 1977 he has been a student of Grand Master Bow Sim Mark, founder of the Chinese Wushu Research Institute, and teaching and demonstrating Tai Chi and Qigong as a Bow Sim Mark certified instructor since 1983. He is a graduate of the New England School of Acupuncture, and further studied at the Zhejiang College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Hangzhou, China.


April 17 Town Forum to be held jointly with schools

For the past 20 years, Collingswood has held a yearly or twice yearly Town Forum. No agenda, no parameters - just an open Q&A session between residents and elected officials.

“It’s as open and transparent as government gets,” said Commissioner Joan Leonard. “We ask everyone to attend and bring their questions and we’ll give your our answers. It makes for a very productive dialogue. Some of our best ideas have come from these events.”

This year the Borough has added an additional element to the next event on April 17 and will include the superintendent and school board members and as part of the forum.

“The School Board and Board of Education, not your local government, make policy in the schools,” said Mayor Jim Maley. “But we do work very closely to support what’s going on in the schools. There is overlap in our roles so it’s really important to work together.”

Because of that overlap, the Borough has invited Superintendent Scott Oswald, School Board President James Hatzell and additional members of the board to field questions as well. Over the last few years, Borough officials have worked to prioritize partnering with the schools where possible and strengthening communication between the two entities.

“We love the idea of being part of this conversation,” said School Board President James Hatzell. “This is another avenue to communicate with parents and residents. That’s always a good thing.”

Topics at Town Forums range from stop signs to taxes to trees to business – any concern or idea that residents have is valid. The forum begins at 7 p.m. at the Community Center (30 W. Collings Ave). For more information call 856-854-0720 x125.

Mark Newbie School PTA Basket Raffle

Mark Newbie Elementary School PTA will hold a Basket Raffle on Friday, April 26, 2013, 7pm at the Collingswood Community Center. Admission is $5 and includes coffee, tea, soda and light snacks.  Presale tickets are 5 sheets for $15.  At the door tickets are 1 sheet for $5 or 3 sheets for $10.  There will be a 50/50 drawing, basket raffle and drawings for some larger prizes.  

There will be over 50 baskets raffled, including gift certificates from Pop Shop, Casona, Tortilla Press, passes to the Academy of Natural Science, Adventure Aquarium, National Constitution Center, Sesame Place, Coco Keys Water Park.  Special Raffles will be held for an American Girl Doll, Phillies tickets and Collingswood Pool Pass.  

This is just a small listing so come on out and win some prizes!  For more information or to order pre-sale tickets contact Brenda at or by phone at (856) 745-9690.

Collingswood honors volunteers for National Volunteer Month

To celebrate National Volunteer Month in April, Collingswood asked residents to submit essays nominating outstanding Borough volunteers. As part of the April 1 Commission meeting, officials will honor winner Michelle Miller and all the nominees and nominators and thank them for their service to Collingswood. 

The winning essay was submitted by Michelle’s mother, Sherry Harvey. Miller was raised in Collingswood and is the current president of the Collingswood Junior Women’s Club. She is active in fundraising and other organizations as well.

A portion of the winning essay reads, “Michelle has helped to raise thousands of dollars through projects such as the Night Out for Charity, Fall Festival in Knights Park, the pollination garden in Knights Park, the Santa Brunch, the Kids Walk, the 4th of July bike parade and many other projects…Michelle and her daughter Brea set up an Alex’s Lemonade Stand and raised over $1,200…She volunteers every Thursday at Tatem School library to help students choose reading material.” 

“All the essays told a story of someone that does a lot for our town,” said Commissioner Mike Hall. “It’s not an easy job to pick one of so many good people but Michelle is really a standout. Her efforts with Junior Women’s Club alone are impressive but her work goes far beyond that.”

As thanks, Michelle and her mother each win $50 Collingswood Cash and Michelle will receive a proclamation, a makeover package donated by Beau Monde Hair Design and a massage from Spa Beau Monde. The winning essay will be published in the Town Crier as well.

There were five eligible nominees in the contest: John Rossi for community service and work with Musicians on Call - nominated by his son Jake Rossi; Chuck Jackson for involvement in community theater - nominated by Patricia Nigro; Peter Pernice for acts of kindness and community service - nominated by Janet McCarthy; Mary Johnson for work with various organizations including PTA and the Library Board of Trustees - nominated by Christine Nannery; and Michelle Miller nominated by her mother Sherry Harvey.

”Thanks to Michelle and all the volunteers that make Collingswood a really exceptional place,” said Mayor James Maley. “The way people give back tirelessly to our community is one of the most outstanding things about our town.”

Summer Mummers are back!

The free Summer Mummers concert series is back in Collingwood! On the fourth Wednesdays of the month from April to August you can catch Philadelphia Mummers string bands performing live in Collingswood for free from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Catch the first performance on April 24 on the Powell Lane plaza, right off Haddon Ave at the LumberYard Condos. Grab food or gifts at one of our sponsors, The Powell Lane businesses, before you enjoy the concert.  It’s a great, summer evening out for the whole family.

Mummers String Band schedule:
April 24 - Fralinger String Band
May 22 - South Philly String Band
June 26 - Hegeman String Band
July 24 - Quaker City String Band
Aug 28 - Ferko String Band

It’s the perfect way to spend a great night in Collingswood. This event is BYOC – Bring your own chair. Concerts are cancelled in the event of rain. Check for weather updates and additional information. This music series is presented by the Borough of Collingswood and 1st Colonial Community Bank.

Powell Lane is Collingswood’s newest street, just off Haddon Avenue which boasts a plaza for concerts and entertainment as well as shops and dining in the town’s newest development, the LumberYard Condos.

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