Downingtown-Thorndale Chamber holds 73rd annual dinner

The dinner was held with a packed house at Downingtown Country Club.

DOWNINGTOWN — The Downingtown-Thorndale Regional Chamber of Commerce held its 73rd Annual Chamber Dinner & Awards Program on April 24 at the Downingtown Country Club.

The Chamber’s 2018 Civic Awards were presented to Virginia “Ginny” Pierce (Citizen of the Year), Downingtown Country Club (Business of the Year), Housing Partnership of Chester County (Community Organization/Non-Profit of the Year), and Jay Fischer (Chamber Service Award).

“All of these award winners are very deserving and have served our community well”, said Michael Glover, Chamber President.

Pierce was awarded the 2018 Citizen of the Year.  She is a lifelong resident of Downingtown, and has contributed immeasurably to the success and welfare of our community for decades, through delivering meals to the elderly and infirm through the Meals on Wheels program; serving on the Downingtown Area High School Alumni Association and Borough Historical Commission; helping with upkeep and events at the Downingtown Log House; fundraising for the Minquas (Civil War) Cannon project; caretaker of the public Kiosk and Gazebo in Kerr Park; helping to coordinate the annual Memorial Day Service at Marinelli Park; and much more!  Ginny let everyone at the Chamber know that she is part of a team of volunteers who work tirelessly to make Downingtown such a great place to live!

The Downingtown Country Club received the 2018 Business of the Year, being recognized for their long standing contributions to the community.  They have made a significant commitment in commercial growth with facility and golf course expansion efforts, reflecting many of the great features of classic Philadelphia golf courses.  Owned by legendry Philadelphia Eagles Quarterback Ron Jaworski, the Downingtown Country Club offers a pro shop, a full-service restaurant and bar, Seven Tap Tavern, along with world class wedding, corporate and social event facilities, attracting thousands of guests each year.  They are proud members of the Chamber of Commerce and serve on the Board of Directors.

The 2018 Community Organization/Non-Profit of the Year Award recipient was the Housing Partnership of Chester County, whose mission is to improve the quality of life for low-to-moderate income people of Chester County, by providing the ability to acquire and maintain decent affordable housing.

Celebrating 30 years of service this year, the Housing Partnership of Chester County has coordinated 400 settlements for first time home buyers representing $3 million in financial assistance, completed $5.59 million in repairs for home owners in Chester County, completed over 500 weatherization and home maintenance projects for senior citizens at a cost of 4.3 million, made 160 homes handicap accessible utilizing $2.06 million in grant funding, helped approximately 18,000 clients improve their credit worthiness, conducted pre-purchase workshops for more than 4,500 potential first time home buyers, submitted over 300 Homeowner Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program (HEMAP) applications to save homes from foreclosure, conducted financial literacy workshops in 5 school districts, (8 high schools), and purchased, renovated and sold 8 distressed properties to first time home buyers.

The James “Hank” Hamilton, Chamber Service Award is presented each year to a Chamber member who excels in service to the organization.  The 2018 Chamber Service Award was presented to Jay G. Fischer, Esq.

Jay is a dedicated member of the Chamber Board of Directors, serving as Vice President and is on multiple committees including Civic Awards, Budget & Finance, FallFest, Legislative & Government Affairs, Scholarship and Friends of the Flag.

He is a partner in the Downingtown law firm of Valocchi & Fischer and is a proud graduate of Penn State University, and the University of Toledo College Of Law.  Jay is a member of the Chester County Bar Association, Chester County Estate Planning Council, Pennsylvania Bar Association, Pennsylvania Bar Association Probate Committee, and Solicitor for the Borough of Downingtown Zoning Hearing Board.  Jay has received numerous awards including the Law Review, American Juris Prudence Award in Truest & Estates, and was named the Chamber’s Downingtown Citizen of the Year in 2003.

Established in 1945, the Downingtown-Thorndale Regional Chamber of Commerce was formed to provide leadership in the business community to ensure continuing economic prosperity. In present day, the Chamber strives in setting the standard for excellence in member service by advancing the civic, economic and business interests of the Downingtown-Thorndale region, by promoting commerce, education and employment.  For additional information about the Chamber contact Executive Director Steve Plaugher at 610-269-1523,, or visit

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