Friday, July 6, 2012
In this week’s Upper Moreland Historical Association Presents, see how Willow Grove’s sesquicentennial compared to its tercentennial.
By this time last year, the final event of the Willow Grove 300 celebration had wrapped up, and took its place in the history books. In all, the celebration produced over 56 events, spanning a three-month period. According to members of the Willow Grove 300 Steering Committee, the celebration’s success was measured by the hundreds, and in some cases thousands, of people who participated with the events. Such well-attended events included the 2,400 spectators at the May 10, 2011 US Marine Drum and Bugle, Silent Drill Team event and the 3,500 participants of the May 21, 2011 Davisville Road Block Party. According to the late Dick Sayer, who chaired the Willow Grove 300 Steering Committee, he wanted to ensure that the Willow Grove 300 topped …
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
The Township Building now has a plaque hanging with the names of the people who made the Willow Grove 300 Celebration possible.
Willow Grove 300 steering committee members Richard Booth and John Connell presented to the Township a plaque that both commemorate the historic occasion, as well as those closely involved with organizing the celebration. The presentation took place at the Jan. 9 regular meeting of the board of commissioners. The plaque holds the names of the 21-member steering committee, most of who were in attendance. The plaque also holds the names of the sponsors of the celebration, which held over 50 events from April to June last year. The top name on the list of steering committee members, is the committee’s chairman, the late Dick Sayer. “Without his leadership, the tri-centennial celebration would not have been as successful as it was,” Booth said…
Friday, December 2, 2011
Upper Moreland - Willow Grove Patch editor Gerry Dungan reflects on a brief but lasting experience covering the Willow Grove 300 Celebration with Dick Sayer.
I had the pleasure of working with Dick Sayer through the Willow Grove 300 celebration. My first impression of Mr. Sayer was that he was tall. This feature stuck with me, because throughout the WG 300 celebration events, Mr. Sayer could be easily spotted at whatever well-attended tri-centennial event I had the pleasure of covering that day. Yet, with someone so recognizable, it seemed that he only wanted to remain out of the spotlight. Despite his position as the chairperson of the Willow Grove 300 steering committee, he often redirected any questions I had about an event to other committee members, encouraging them to have their say. And, he always redirected me with a smile. After the last Willow Grove 300 event, I finally had a chance …
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Upper Moreland Historical Commission vice-president and longtime friend Mariann O’Connor reflects on the life and work of Dick Sayer.
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Editor's Note: The following letter is by Upper Moreland Historical Commission vice-president Mariann O'Connor. --- Many of you may have had the good fortune this year to attend one of the wonderful events and programs celebrating Willow Grove’s 300th Anniversary. But what many of you did not know was that Dick Sayer, President of the Upper Moreland Historical Commission, the person who gave birth to this Tricentennial celebration, was facing his own monumental event. On Sat., May 7, 2011, Dick, with his ever-spirited nature and smiling face, came to see us off at one of our Tricentennial kick-off events, the Historic Sites Trolley Tour. The day before that event, Dick had been given the grim news that he had only 2-3 months to live. …
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
Members of the Willow Grove 300 steering committee were awarded certificates of appreciation at the regular meeting of township commissioners last night.
During last night’s Regular Meeting of the Upper Moreland Board of Commissioners, the township honored the 19 members of the Willow Grove 300 Tri-Centennial Steering Committee for their service in organizing the nearly 50 events associated with the tercentennial celebration. Sam Valenza, board president and Ward 6 commissioner, was joined by Ward 4 commissioner Joseph Lavalle in presenting certificates of appreciation to the Tri-Centennial Committee members. Valenza recounted how the township empowered the Upper Moreland Historical Commission to put together a steering committee that would lead the planning of the many Willow Grove 300 celebrations. “They were able to present to our community a celebration that will be remembered for a …
Friday, June 17, 2011
Three members of the Willow Grove 300 Celebration steering committee take a time out to reflect on the 50-plus events that were held from April to June.
This week, Patch had the opportunity to sit down with three members of the Willow Grove 300 Steering Committee to talk about how the celebration went. The steering committee members featured in this article are: These steering committee members were holding one of the final Willow Grove 300 meetings inside a small room, located on the second floor of the township building. A little over a year ago, that room was filled with 21 Upper Moreland community members and their hopes and ideas on how the celebration would turn out, which they wrote down on sticky notes, plastering the walls of this room, like a mosaic of neon paper. Sayer added that nearing the first of the events, meetings became bi-weekly. “I think everyone in the committee has…
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Nearly 300 people got a chance to ride the rails in a trip to New Hope for the Willow Grove 300 celebration.
A couple of mishaps could have stopped the Historic Train Ride to New Hope on dead in its tracks. First, at the last minute, a diesel engine train had to be subsittuted for the advertised steam engine one. Second, it was raining. "By the time we rattled and bumped our way to New Hope, the sun was out, and it was a perfect day," Dick Sayer, Willow Grove 300 steering committee chairman, said in an email. The train-ride event, which is a part of the Willow Grove Tri-centennial celebration, reconnected participants with origins of a phrase familiar to Willow Grove residents, "the hub of the suburbs." The two-hour ride brought a full load of passengers, 297 people in all, back and forth to New Hope from Willow Grove Station, riding the …
Sunday, May 8, 2011
The Willow Grove Tri-Centennial steering committee announces its three chosen posters to represent the celebration.
Sunday, May 8, 2011
The Willow Grove Tri-Centennial steering committee invited Upper Moreland High School students to design a poster to represent the Willow Grove 300 celebration. Dick Sayer, the steering committee's chairman, had this to say about the artwork: Back in March, I talked with Kate Nuss about having the art department conduct a Tri-Centennial "signature" poster competition to come up with something that represented the spirit of Willow Grove, its history and its future—basically an overall theme poster. It was decided to have the high school students conduct this competition, and the entries were completed a couple of weeks ago. The judging took place early last week, and it was decided to have one winner from the painting and drawing room, and …
Friday, May 6, 2011
As part of the Willow Grove 300 celebration, Dr. Millie Wintz provided a lecture on the history of the Willow Grove area.
Dr. Millie Wintz gave a presentation this week on the history of Upper Moreland, tracing its roots to the very beginning. “As you can see, one of the important things about Willow Grove is its position,” Wintz explained to a packed house. “As the African plate slid off, it stopped where the Wissahickon [creek] is now.” She was referring to the Plate Tectonics Theory, and its relation to how it shaped the landscape of Willow Grove. Comparing the merger of continental plates hundreds of millions of years ago to dried-up chocolate pudding, Wintz explained that the Willow Grove area is carved with many ridges that have since collected water to form the familiar creeks of today. “That’s where the water mills were located,” she said of the …
Friday, April 29, 2011
In a more than year-long effort, the Willow Grove area community comes together to celebrate their 300th anniversary.
After the April 28 heavy rains dissipated, many regarded a rainbow that appeared over the Huntingdon Valley Country Club as a sure sign. “It’s a sign that the celebration will go well,” Renee Bates said with a smile. “And, there will be no rain during any of the Willow Grove 300 events.” Bates, who is the captain of operations at Second Alarmers Rescue Squad, is also a member of a 21-person committee tasked by Upper Moreland Township to organize the Willow Grove Tri-Centennial Celebration. She, along with members of the steering committee, politicians and local business leaders, gathered at the country club in an evening social event to recognize and thank the many supporters of the tri-centennial celebration. The celebration, which is …