FLITE featured on Fox 29 program

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By Audrey Kim and Sophia Pan, Co-Editor-in-Chief and Copy Editor

The smell of pancakes and steaming coffee filled the air as visitors laughed, greeted and shook hands in the small space at Diane’s Sidewalk Deli in Chesterbrook. Between the table occupied by a Girl Scout troop, St. Norbert School’s STEM students in the front and the veterans sitting in the left corner, there was no shortage of people in the restaurant at 7 a.m. on May 13.

“It was exciting to see so many people out. There were a lot of different groups there from our community,” said TESD superintendent Richard Gusick, who attended the event. “Being in a room with a lot of folks who were excited to be in our community and represent how they do such good work was very rewarding.”

All organizations that attended the event gathered for one purpose — Fox 29 anchor Bob Kelly’s program “Town Takeover,” which gives various groups an opportunity to spread awareness about their work in the community. 

At the back of the room stood a display board featuring achievements and work of the nonprofit organization FLITE, which stands for the Foundation for Learning in Tredyffrin/Easttown. Members of TESD administration, the FLITE board and other community individuals arrived to support the organization.

Anchor Bob Kelly walked around the room with a microphone and cameraman. 

“Well, every Monday we go to a different town, and we call it the ‘Town Takeover’ and give the opportunity for all the great groups and organizations within that town to show off the positive side of the news,” Kelly said. “This is an opportunity for the community to showcase, whether it be the FLITE program, something that’s happening at Conestoga, the Girl Scouts, the grade schools or the library — all positive — and we give everybody the chance to do that on Fox 29 in the morning.”

Founded in 2006, FLITE backs and funds a variety of programs such as kindergarten enrichment, after school homework clubs, academic and leadership summer camps, and the purchase of  music and learning equipment for students in the district. 

“We (FLITE) are interested in helping kids make sure that they can take advantage of all the fine academic aspects of the district,” FLITE board member and co-founder Tom Colman said. “There are kids who have financial difficulties, difficult situations at home or a variety of things that may keep them from taking advantage of all the wonderful programs of the district. We want to make sure that every kid has a good shot in life and has an opportunity to succeed.”

After the segment aired live to the Philadelphia area, Colman said that they started to receive emails from individuals asking how to volunteer for the organization. 

“The community who saw it (the program) on TV got an awareness of the number of organizations in Tredyffrin/Easttown, what they do to support their community and that it’s a very vibrant and cooperative community with people with varied interests in supporting a whole variety of causes,” Colman said. “The increased visibility for all the local organizations was terrific.”