Honoring those who are making a difference
● By Steven Hoffman
The Southern Chester County Chamber of Commerce and the Oxford Area Chamber of Commerce recently honored a few individuals, businesses, and organizations for making extraordinary contributions to the world around them, especially the local community.
This year’s winners illustrated that dedicated, supportive, and selfless business leaders are an important part of a healthy and vibrant community.
Peter Kjellerup was honored with the Southern Chester County Chamber of Commerce’s Outstanding Citizen of the Year Award. Kjellerup, the founder of Dansko, has set a good example for how a business leader can make a positive impact that ripples out in many different directions. Kjellerup and Mandy Cabot have supported many different nonprofit organizations in the community. They have also made sure that Dansko is a model for how a business can operate in a manner that leaves a legacy of social and environmental responsibility.
In Oxford, the Citizen of the Year, the Business of the year, and the Organization of the Year all have different ways of impacting the community, but what they all have in common is a commitment to making Oxford a better place for everyone who lives and works there.
Scott Brown was selected as the Citizen of the Year. He volunteers his time with several different organizations, but his duties as a police officer require him to serve and protect the Oxford community regularly. Helping others is just part of the job.
The first thing that a Business of the Year must do is provide a service that is needed to the community. For more than 40 years, McCormick Orthodontics has provided high quality orthodontic care to patients.
Now under the direction of Dr. Michaela McCormick, McCormick Orthodontics has always been very supportive of community activities. Staff members make it a practice to volunteer in a variety of ways.
The recipient of the Organization of the Year Award is working to support research to find a cure for childhood cancer. The Eli Seth Matthews Leukemia Foundation illustrates what can be accomplished when a community comes together for a cause. During his too-short life, Eli Seth Matthews inspired everyone who got to know him during a courageous battle against cancer. By the time he passed away in 2011, he had already raised thousands of dollars for the fight against childhood cancer. Eli’s father, Paul Matthews, leads the Eli Seth Matthews Leukemia Foundation, which has raised and donated more than $250,000 to support the cancer research of Todd E. Druley, MD, PhD, the associate professor of pediatrics, genetics, and developmental biology. The work being accomplished will have an impact that extends far beyond the area.
Congratulations to Peter Kjellerup, the Eli Seth Matthews Leukemia Foundation, McCormick Orthodontics, and Scott Brown for the well-deserved awards.