CIVIC ENGAGEMENT AWARD OF EXCELLENCE 

Ross Mitchell 

Glen Foerd 

Glen Foerd Mansion and Community Garden enable individuals in the community to make valuable choices in their lives. The staff members work diligently to preserve this historical cornerstone’s history, horticulture, and architecture. Visitors can be taken back in time, experiencing the ambiance of a simpler time and place in Philadelphia. It is a safe space for individuals of all abilities to develop their love of waterways, horticulture, and art and to participate, handson, in the preservation of the land

Glen Foerd has a rich and extraordinary history in Philadelphia. This 18acre estate has a formal rose garden, vineyard, and oak trees dating back almost 300 years. Ross Mitchell and staff have opened this beautiful space to enrich the lives of individuals with disabilities and give the entire community a chance to experience a productive garden. The Community Garden provides a wonderful seasonal activity for individuals with developmental disabilities and autism spectrum disorder. They participate in the planning, building, curation, and care of their own piece of the environment. Each person is responsible for the choices regarding their individual plot. They chose what to grow, how to protect, and when to harvest their crops. These questions allow participants to interact and learn from one another while developing a sense of community and pride in their accomplishments

Activities held throughout the year boost community inclusion and provided meaningful learning opportunities focusing on the arts, environment, and local community history. The main house includes historical artifacts as well as art by local artists. The main floor and most outside space are accessible. Ross and his staff are currently raising funds to make all floors and outside space accessible for wheelchairs and walkers

 

CULTURAL ARTS AWARD OF EXCELLENCE 

Daniel McGee 

Top Hat Dance Studio 

Daniel McGee provides a safe and inclusive place for individuals to explore their passions and sense of self through the art of dance. He offers a variety of classes for all ages regardless of ability. His dedication is apparent in the confidence and pride exhibited by his students

He offers individual and group lessons to all, charging only a minimal fee. Daniel hosts special events throughout the year benefiting those in the community with disabilities. He has recognized the need for individuals to have a safe place to socialize and work together in a group environment. He consistently works on other activities to engage more individuals with meaningful everyday lives. His showcases, proms, and dance nights provide the community with a safe and inclusive space to highlight talents and socialize with friends

Daniel has always supported the need for inclusion in the community. He is an advocate for Philadelphia’s LBGTQ+ community and for those with disabilities. He partners with many schools, adult day programs, and individuals throughout the community to ensure everyone can participate in their love of dance and gain appreciation for the creative arts in a safe space. He offered creative solutions during the COVID19 pandemic and recognized the need to keep creative outlets open to community members

Daniel’s studio allows meaningful relationships to develop. He teaches valuable team-building skills and the importance of working together to create something beautiful. He developed his passion for dance and theater in Philadelphia. For 25 years he has continued to teach, perform, and compete in ballroom, Latin, and hustle dance forms. His accomplishments and awards in the field of dance and theater are outstanding

Beyond the impressive resume, Daniel is known in the community for his kind soul and willingness to help. He is open to new ideas and expanding his current offerings to complement the community’s needs. His studio is available for all community events