Tag Archives: Penn Clubs

Penn Serves LA: Serving the Environment and LA Leadership Academy

By Kiera Reilly, C’93  @KieraReilly

Penn Serves LA, the community service initiative launched in 2012 by Jane Gutman, CW’73, PAR’14, PAR’16, Leanne Pyott Huebner, W’90 and Denise Winner, W’83, continues to offer events to bring Penn Alumni in Los Angeles together to serve.

On August 24th, a group of Penn Alumni and their children gathered for a day of environmental cleanup and nature restoration at the Canyon at Chadwick School on the Palos Verdes Peninsula. The group learned about the local habitat, wildlife, conservation and environmental challenges impacting the community from the leading Southern California bird expert and past President of the Southern California Audubon Society.

The Penn Serves LA crew as we start the day.

The Penn Serves LA crew as we start the day.

We started our efforts by bringing cleared brush up the canyon to a holding area at the top of a steep hill. It was steep and sometimes difficult to grab the prickly branches, but we developed an assembly line and quickly moved a huge pile to the top of the hill. Then, we hiked into the canyon for shade, a water and watermelon break (thank you Denise!) while we learned about efforts to bring back the natural habitat of the canyon and rid it of invasive vegetation. After our break, we set out with shears, clippers and other gardening tools to clear back plants, bushes and trees from the trail. I tasted some of the wild lemonade berries – tart and sweet. The sun was hot, but many hands made quick work.

DSCN0731

You can see more photos of our work that day here.

Next up, Penn Serves helped at the L.A. Leadership Academy in the Lincoln Heights area of Los Angeles on September 28th. Our mission was to help move classroom supplies into the new school building and interact with some of the college bound students and their families. The school is a charter school that is devoted almost solely to serving children in poverty, 95% of its student body is on free and reduced lunch.

How many Penn alumni does it take to lift this heavy desk onto a dolly?

How many Penn alumni does it take to lift this heavy desk onto a dolly?

Three plus one (representing the College, Wharton and Engineering no less!).

Three plus one (representing the College, Wharton and Engineering no less!).

Although we initially thought we’d be painting, it turned out that the school scheduled our Saturday to be a move day, and we would be helping the students, their families and school staff move fifteen classrooms worth of furniture and supplies from the front building into the new middle school in the back. The Penn group, which included many former Penn Serves participants, quickly got to work moving desks, chairs, books and science supplies. Down a long hall, then a flight of stairs and through the old school, into the courtyard and into the new building – things that seemed light when we started became heavy pretty quickly. But everyone was in good spirits. We stopped for a lunch break, and the school principal gave a special shout out to our group as other than the families that were there, we were the only ones helping. In the course of moving things up and down the stairs, we learned that the school’s founder, Roger Lowenstein, was the college roommate (at the University of Michigan) of Wharton Professor Michael Useem! What a small world. After lunch, we got to work setting up the science classroom (and reminiscing about our own science classes as we unpacked lots of glass beakers).

Everyone in the school community helped with the move.

Everyone in the school community helped with the move.

DSCN1065

Here some of us take a lunch break (the others were still moving!).

You can see more photos of the day here and on the Penn Club of Los Angeles’ Facebook page.

If you live in Los Angeles, I encourage you to join us at an upcoming Penn Serves LA event – the service activities planned benefit a variety of non-profits in the area, and each service project is in a different part of the city. This provides an opportunity for alumni to join in a project that is of particular interest, or in a more convenient location, and also offers the opportunity to learn about the many organizations serving the Los Angeles community.

The next event is planned for Sunday, November 17. We’ll be writing letters to American troops at the Red Cross. For more information and to RSVP, visit the PennClubLA website.

About Penn Serves LA – Started in 2012, Penn Serves offers a way for direct community service for local Penn alumni and their children to serve Los Angeles’ most needy populations. We partner with established nonprofits and grassroots organizations for one-time volunteer opportunities. So far, we’ve served meals to the homeless, delivered food to low income families, planned activities with immigrant children, and so much more. Please contact us if you’d like to help at a future event: pennservesla@gmail.com.

Read about our past events:

May, 2013 – One on One Outreach

March, 2013 – Habitat for Humanity

January, 2013 – Inner City Arts

September, 2012 – The Midnight Mission

June, 2012 – Turning Point Shelter

2 Comments

Filed under Alumni Perspective, Clubs, Events, GAN, Kiera R., Los Angeles, Penn Clubs, Penn Serves LA, Photos, Volunteering, West Coast Regional Office

First September with the Penn Club of Northern California

By Beth Topor, W’80, and Jenny Zhan, C’10, W’10

NorCal First Sept_0865

The Penn Club of Northern California welcomed the Class of 2013 to the Bay area with what else – a wine tasting! This First September celebration was held on Saturday, September 7, at DogPatch Wine Works, the newest winery to open in San Francisco. The crowd of just under 100 wine tasters included undergraduate and graduate school alumni with more than half of the attendees from the Class of 2013! We enjoyed seeing classmates reunite, not knowing each had been fortunate to land in San Francisco. It was great occasion for Quakers to mingle, nosh and sample wines; white and red, but alas no blue.

NorCal First Sept_0878-1

Tom Eliaz, ENG’02, president of the Penn Club, welcomed the new alumni to the area with a toast, and encouraged all to get involved with local Penn activities which include interviewing high school students and volunteering with the Club. Tom introduced the Club Board members and Interviewing Chairs who were enjoying the tasting but also ready to answer questions about how all alumni can become West Coast Ambassadors for Penn.

Tom concluded by inviting all Northern California alumni to “Time to Shine” on Thursday October 10th, hosted by Penn President Amy Gutmann. This reception will be followed by a YPenn happy hour for our young alumni classes 2004 – 2013. Over 400 alumni registered to attend.

NorCal First Sept_0853

Each year, Penn Alumni Clubs around the world host First September events to welcome the most recent graduating class and alumni new to the area. Be sure to join your local domestic or international club and learn more about their upcoming events.

Leave a comment

Filed under Alumni Perspective, Alumni Programming, Clubs, Events, GAN, Penn Clubs, Photos, West Coast Regional Office

Penn Cares with the Penn Club of Northern California – Habitat for Humanity

By Betty Huang, ENG’12, GEN’12, and Jenny Zhan, C’10, W’10

Donning hard hats at 8:30AM on a chilly and grey Saturday morning, volunteers from the Penn Club of Northern California joined in on ground-breaking work with Habitat for Humanity of Greater San Francisco. The work was more physically challenging than usual because we were doing foundation work, that is, a lot of shoveling, waterproofing, wheelbarrowing, and moving dirt around. Despite the difficulties, it was very gratifying getting in on a project from the very beginning: Habitat had just received permits for a 28-unit single family development named Habitat Terrace, an ambitious project in the Oceanview neighborhood and the organization’s largest development yet in San Francisco.

NoCal Penn Cares 2 - 1

We are proud to contribute to Habitat’s mission to provide a helping hand to families in need of improved living conditions. The homes that we helped lay the foundations for will be sold to families at no profit and financed with 0% interest mortgages. In addition, new owners will put 500 hours of work into their own homes. It will take over 100,000 volunteer hours to finish this Habitat Terrace development in the next 2 years, and the Penn Club of Northern California is looking forward to seeing the project through. Thank you to all our volunteers on August 17th, and if you live in the area, please join us in serving our community!

NorCal Penn Cares 2 - 2

NorCal Penn Cares 2 - 3

NorCal Penn Cares 2 - 4

Read about our experience helping at the San Francisco Food Bank here.

Read about Penn Serves LA helping at Habitat for Humanity here.

The Penn Softball team volunteered at Habitat for Humanity in New Jersey last year – here’s the link to a story and video about their experience.

Leave a comment

Filed under Alumni Perspective, Alumni Programming, Clubs, Events, GAN, Guest blogger, Penn Clubs, Photos, Volunteering, West Coast Regional Office

Penn Cares with the Penn Club of Northern California

By Betty Huang, ENG’12, GEN’12, and Jenny Zhan, C’10, W’10

On Saturday, June 15th, we held our inaugural Penn Club of Northern California community service event with eight Penn alumni at the San Francisco Food Bank warehouse in the Potrero Hill neighborhood. The San Francisco Food Bank delivers 100,000 meals worth of food every day to senior and families in need, and relies on volunteers year-round to help package and distribute the resources. Our Penn Cares volunteers spent three hours that Saturday afternoon manning the apple juice table – that is, we were responsible for filling each food donation box with two bottles of apple juice. Packed additionally with cereal, canned fruit, and other pantry staples, these boxes would go out to the 11,000 low-income seniors in San Francisco, where approximately one in four seniors live at the risk of hunger.

NorCal Penn Cares 1

We were blown away by the efficiency of the Food Bank staff in directing all the volunteers, for many of whom this was a first-time experience at the warehouse. We all gathered around an assembly line in an orderly fashion, and worked at such a rapid pace that we had to constantly switch positions because our arms would get sore (lifting bottles of apple juices was quite a workout)! Nevertheless, everybody had a great time, and our three-hour shift passed by quickly as we all chatted away while multi-tasking on the packaging. Volunteers like us work in shifts to provide the Food Bank with the equivalent manpower of 70 full-time workers – this in turn allows the Food Bank to save on salaries and turn 96% of all donations directly to their programs. At the end of our shift, we were asked to guess how many food boxes we had packaged – we were all astonished to hear that together with the other volunteers, we had packed exactly 1,377 boxes in three hours, helping 1,377 seniors for one entire month – It was such an instant gratification knowing that each box we packed would go to one senior and alleviate some of his or her food security-related stress for the next month!

NorCal Penn Cares 2

If you live in the San Francisco area, we encourage you to join the Penn Club of Northern California, and sign up for their free email newsletter to be notified of other Penn Cares events. www.ncpennclub.com

NorCal Penn Cares 3

NorCal Penn Cares 4

1 Comment

Filed under Alumni Perspective, Alumni Programming, Clubs, Events, GAN, Guest blogger, Uncategorized, Volunteering, West Coast Regional Office

It’s #PennTimeToShine

By Kiera Reilly, C’93  @KieraReilly

Did You Know…that Penn’s Making History campaign celebration, Time to Shine, is tomorrow? Over 14,000 alumni, students, faculty, staff and guests will celebrate on Penn Park with headlining acts Train and John Legend, C’99. The event is free, but registration closes at noon EDT tomorrow, April 19th. Register here. The show will go on, rain or shine. Please note backpacks and umbrellas will not be allowed in Penn Park.

Read the article in The Daily Pennsylvanian today about the event.

During the event, screens around the park will showcase your Instagram photos with the #PennTimetoShine hashtag. Can’t make the event? Share your Penn Pride with us – post your photo of you and your friends or your clubs on Instagram (wearing your Penn gear) with the hashtag #PennTimetoShine and you’ll be featured during the celebration (and of course you can follow along on Instagram and twitter too).

The Regional Clubs team already got into the spirit:

Penn Alumni Regional Clubs director Tara Davies' post.

Penn Alumni Regional Clubs director Tara Davies’ post. L-R: Molly Rand, Marge Tinsley, Laura Foltman, Tara Davies, Kiera Reilly and Casey Ryan (not pictured: Denise Bowden).

 

 

Casey Ryan, C'95, post. Follow Casey on Instagram @IrishWombat

Casey Ryan, C’95, post. Follow Casey on Instagram @IrishWombat

Kiera Reilly, C'93, post. Follow Kiera on Instagram @KieraReilly

Kiera Reilly, C’93, post. Follow Kiera on Instagram @KieraReilly

Please like our photos on Instagram!

Penn Alumni (PennAlumni)

University of Pennsylvania (UofPenn)

Penn Alumni Regional Clubs team:

Tara Davies (TaraAnnDavies)

Kiera Reilly, C’93 (KieraReilly)

Casey Ryan, C’95 (IrishWombat)

 

 

1 Comment

Filed under Campaign, Casey R., GAN, Kiera R., Making History, Molly Rand, Penn Clubs, Photos, Social Networking, West Coast Regional Office

Penn Club of Utah Fourth Annual Day of Service

Author: Art Warsoff, W’83

The Penn Alumni Club of Utah had their Fourth Annual Day of Service on February 23rd. Each year, we donate canned goods and help sort food at the Utah Food Bank followed by a networking lunch at Red Iguana, our favorite Mexican restaurant in the city. Other Ivy League and East Coast alumni clubs are invited to this annual tradition. This year, the Diplomats of Franklin & Marshall again joined the Quakers for a fun event. Everyone looks forward to this great tradition.

Utah IMG_1394

Utah IMG_1395

Utah IMG_1396

Utah IMG_1397

Hurrah, Hurrah, Penn Club of Utah! Thank you for your service!

Submitted by Kiera Reilly, C’93

Leave a comment

Filed under Alumni Programming, Clubs, GAN, Kiera R., Penn Clubs, Photos, Volunteering, West Coast Regional Office

Happy 307th Birthday Ben Franklin!

Ben Franklin

By Kiera Reilly, C’93  @KieraReilly

Every year, Penn Alumni clubs around the world gather to celebrate Penn’s founder, Ben Franklin. Many clubs celebrate on Ben’s birthday, January 17th, but others celebrate throughout the month of January.

The Penn Alumni Regional Clubs website lists all of these celebrations. There is still time to raise a toast to Ben in Baltimore (Jan. 31st), Seattle (Jan. 27th) and Westchester and Rockland Counties, NY (Jan. 31st).

The Penn Club of Portland (Oregon) gathered on January 17th to raise a toast. Here’s how they notified members:

Benjamin Franklin visited Ireland in 1771 and was invited to sit with the members of the Irish Parliament rather than in the gallery with other visitors. He was the first American to be given this honor. While touring Ireland, he was moved by the level of poverty he observed. Since Ireland’s economy was governed by the same trade regulations and laws of Britain that governed America, Franklin feared that America could suffer the same effects should Britain’s colonial rule continue. So, we are honoring this event on Benjamin Franklin’s 307th birthday on Thursday, January 17th, at where else?

Kells Irish Brew Pub

210 NW 21st Avenue

Portland

Join in celebrating Ben Franklin’s 307th birthday with Penn alums and friends. Beer lovers have long claimed that Franklin’s love of beer led him to say: “Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.” Wine lovers and Walter Isaacson know that the actual quote was: “Behold the rain which descends from heaven upon our vineyards, there it enters the roots of the vines, to be changed into wine, a constant proof that God loves us, and loves to see us happy.” The good news is that both will be available (along with a happy-hour menu until 6:30pm) to continue the proof.

Look for friends, smiling faces and/or small Penn flag.

RSVPs, while not required, are always appreciated.

Club president John Vosmek, C’61, said, “We never had more than 10 at one time – people came and went, but it was all fun.”

Here’s a toast to dear old Ben!

The Penn Club of Portland celebrates Ben Franklin on January 17, 2013.

The Penn Club of Portland celebrates Ben Franklin on January 17, 2013.

Leave a comment

Filed under Alumni Programming, Ben Franklin, Clubs, Events, GAN, Historical, Kiera R., Penn Clubs, West Coast Regional Office