You must work – we must all work to make the world worthy of its children.
— Pablo Casals
Since returning to Abington Township in 2002, our honoree Ellen De
Stefano has taken the words of Pablo Casals to heart by volunteering tirelessly for the benefit of our children and their future. She believes strongly that all of our children should receive the encouragement, support and tools they need to become successful adults no matter what path they choose. She stated that she became a volunteer in order to help give back in some of the areas that benefitted her son and to meet her neighbors and make new friends. Raised in Ardsley, PA, Abington Township, our honoree attended Queen of Peace, Bishop McDevitt and the Eastern Center for Cosmetology. Her training at Eastern has shaped her professional career as a self-employed barber for the past forty-one years.
For the past thirteen years Ellen’s community involvement has included membership on the Citizen’s and Police Together (CAPT) Board, serving as a tee-ball coach with the Ardsley North Hills Athletic Association (ANHAA), as Copper Beech Elementary School Parent Teacher Association President,
as Abington School District Parent Council President, as the newly elected recording secretary on the Abington Educational Foundation (AEF) Board,
and membership on the Abington Community Taskforce (ACT) Board, where she was recently elected treasurer. Our honoree stated that she is most proud
of the work she did with the Copper Beech (CB) PTA in revitalizing Science Day, fundraising to have special programs for students, hosting two successful adult events for CB parents, starting the prize booth at the CB Spring Fair so the students could try to win a substantial prize, and being a member of the 6th grade committee helping to ensure a successful 6th grade year, complete with events for the students to remember. She further stated that she is proud of being a Police Athletic League (PAL) volunteer and enjoys getting to know
the PAL kids by leading cooking classes with them and hosting trivia contests. Ellen also shared that she is proud of working with the Abington Educational
Foundation (AEF) to promote their brand within the community and raise funds to supplement the district budget for some of the extras to assist in the students’ education.
She believes that all the community organizations, many of which are represented by ACT, our strong school district, our community- involved police department, the many adult volunteers who support our community all work together to make Abington and the Borough of Rockledge strong and vital. Ellen’s vision for our community is to keep all of our organizations involved and growing by practicing inclusion, bringing in new volunteers, and by carrying on the efforts to support and protect our children and citizens. She would also like to see PAL build its own facility, the Jim Sheldon ACT Teen Council become even more community- oriented and include students from other schools in our community, and AEF to establish a strong presence within the district to keep the education of our students in the forefront of research- based models.
Ellen lives with her son, Joseph, age 16, in Ardsley, where he attends Abington Senior High School and enjoys participating in the theater. She loves to travel to new places with her son, tour historical sites, and relax on the beach. Our honoree also owned a boat for several years and enjoyed taking it out on the water with friends and family. She loves waterskiing and was an active bicyclist, riding the Schuylkill River trail a few times a week. She also noted that she
loves to cook and treasures her ability to volunteer and meet new people in the community.
When asked how she feels she has been welcomed into the community, Ellen stated “I have met a lot of wonderful, warm, giving, accepting people and some true, good, dependable friends. I love when the kids smile and say hi to me! I love having such a network of friends from all walks of life.” Abington Township and the Borough of Rockledge are fortunate that such a caring and devoted volunteer has chosen our community in which to share her gifts of
support to better the lives of our children and their families. Tonight we honor her and say thank you!