The Owen J. Roberts Education Foundation recently presented two annual awards honoring three individuals.
The Education Foundation has been giving the Outstanding Community Service and Distinguished Alumni Awards since 1997.
The Distinguished Alumni Award is presented annually to an Owen J. Roberts alumnus who enhances the quality of life by preserving, promoting and carrying out positive and quantifiable traditional values and traits. This individual’s leadership and integrity should result in significant accomplishments in his business and professional life in the community.
Kirk Brown was honored with the Distinguished Alumni Award this year. Brown started a landscaping and lawn care business when he was 12 years-of-age. He studied horticulture and computer at Owen J. Roberts High School. Kirk’s Lawn Care now employs three full time employees and services more than 125 customers. His business has been featured in national magazines and he was Total Landscape Care Magazine’s 2015 Landscaper of the Year.
Brown is an active community servant and role model for community giving. He assists with Green Allies and has been critically active in creating the Althouse Arboretum and the Children’s Forest Trail. He has stayed involved with Owen J Roberts School District by starting an Excellence in Horticulture scholarship award designated for a horticulture student who has displayed exemplary attitude and extraordinary skill development.
The Community Service Award is given annually to honor an Owen J. Roberts resident who enhances the quality of life by preserving, promoting and carrying out positive and quantifiable traditional community values and traits. The Owen J. Roberts Education Foundation honored two residents for their work to make our community and world a better place: Jay Erb and Kim Malmstrum.
Erb is an Owen J. Roberts alumnus and lifelong Owen J. Roberts resident. He is a Chester County Park Ranger and owner of a Tae Kwon-Doe school located in North Coventry Township. He is an active community servant and an advocate for nature and clean environment. He volunteers for countless education programs, both at our schools and in the community organizing and leads stream studies, wildlife programs, bird watching programs and night hikes for learners of all ages. He is involved in adventure challenge and High Ropes work teaching self-esteem, confidence and teamwork. He is an advocate for healthy lifestyles and combines nature walking with physical fitness tips as well.
Malmstrum established the Kyle’s Quillows Foundation seven years ago following her son’s diagnosis and treatment for aplastic anemia. She has grown this foundation to share the warmth of personalized fleece quilt-pillows for those in need. Kyle’s Quillows makes home-sewn quillows (the cross between a pillow and blanket) to brighten and cheer children.
The soft, warm fabric works as a reminder that many people are cheering for their recovery and Kim hopes it inspires patients to know the quillow is given by a survivor. She inspires her own children, their friends and other community members to donate time, skills, money and efforts toward a cause to bring comfort to others.
Kyle’s Quillows has donated more than 7,000 quillows to CHOP and has also sent them to patients in other hospitals in the U.S. and abroad.