KENNETT SQUARE >> The authors of a new book about social services in the borough are hoping that the message takes on a life of its own.
Joan Holliday and Bob George this month published “The Story of Kennett: Shaping Our Future One Child at a Time” after several years of interviews and historical research. On Tuesday they held a reception at Kennett High School during which they greeted the people they had spoken with and signed books for them.
Holliday, a retired community nurse who served the Kennett area, said the idea came from conversations in Bridging the Community, a dialogue group that meets regularly to discuss what is going on and what the resources are in the community.
“We are proud of the grass roots programs. They are needed in the town,” she said. She added that in addition to surveying the beneficial agencies, they also wanted to examine the “red flags.”
“We want a small town feel to the culture, and now we hope (to establish) partnerships,” she said.
Her coauthor, George, said he has always felt safe growing up and living in the Kennett Square area. He said the book captures how Kennett works.
“We are having great success, now we want to publicize the book,” he said, adding that the next step is perhaps a cookbook based on the hometown recipes of the people featured in the book.
In all there were a bout 100 people at the gathering, including borough Mayor Matt Fetick, who arrived with his infant son.
He told the audience, “Last year at the (national) election cycle everything was negative. I was feeling ‘you ought to come to Kennett Square. ... We live well together.’”
United Way Executive Director Carrie Freeman said the book is a summary of the town’s uniqueness. “It’s a nice gift for newcomers and it shows how many places there are to get involved,” she said.
Sarahi Zamores, a 2011 graduate of Kennett High School, who came to Kennett Square from Mexico in her teens and is now a human resources assistant at Longwood Gardens said she had not really had her story told before.
“I was lucky to have come to Kennett Square. ... People have helped me overcome obstacles,” she said.
Zamores said in the future se would like to see a similar book in Spanish telling the stories of the local Mexican population.
Kennett Area Community Service Executive Director Melanie Weller said the book has given her increased respect for her community. “I think it’s important to take this to the next level as we improve the quality of life here.
Holliday called upon Kennett Square former Mayor and Borough Council President to express his reaction to the contents of the book. He likened the population of Kennett Square to a fine meal.
“They call this country a melting pot, but it is really a salad bowl that is both tasty and healthy,” he said explaining that the different backgrounds of the residents provided different flavors and elements of health overall.
The book is $14.95 with all proceeds going to the Kennett Educational Foundation. It can be obtained on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Story-Kennett-Shaping-Future-Child/dp/0998505501. Holliday said it can also be bought from her, and she would deliver it in person.