When asked to give a brief description of "WHY" her and Jeff were so compelled to give to the GVCO Captital Campaign, this was Michelle's response.
"Jeff and I are both attorneys. We actually met in law school, at Villanova. Jeff owns his own practice
that focuses on workers' compensation matters, and I have been working with Rubin Fortunato for the past 20 years.
We have 3 kids: Brian (20), Lauren (17), and Zach (14). We moved to Malvern in 1999, when our oldest was 2 and we were expecting our second. Candidly, I needed a little convincing to move west, but have not regretted the decision. We love Malvern. We're here to stay, and because of that, we feel like we have a personal stake in making sure the place we call home continues to thrive.
Believe it or not, our first introduction to GVCO was when Brian attended a Philanthropy Club dance held at what was then the GVBL Center. But, soon after, we were heading over to Bacton Hill at least twice weekly for bake sales, birthday parties, and of course, basketball games with such notable teams as the Pistons, Buccaneers, and Suns, among others. One of our kids even helped work on a Boy Scout Eagle Project, building a walkway/stairs leading from the GVCO parking lot to the sports fields. The programming has always been so varied that there isn't a kid out there who couldn't find something of interest: volleyball, football, summer musicals. But even better than the programming was the truly palpable sense of community we felt every time we walked through the doors - probably driven by the fact that someone was always standing there holding the door open and we'd immediately run into a group of friends and neighbors right inside. We love, love, love the fact that it is a volunteer driven organization - everyone should be so be so lucky to wear a ref uniform and run up and down a court with a whistle -- and have always admired the people who not only had the vision but devoted so much time and energy making it a reality.
One of my favorite movie lines is from Field of Dreams: "If you build it, they will come." But that isn't really GVCO's problem. People have been coming in droves because they love the idea of turning neighbors into friends, and it's no secret that community centers anchor people to a community - so getting people there isn't the issue. It's space. In order to expand the programming and meet the needs of our vibrant, energized, growing community, we need a new center - and we want our family to part of that. So, for us, it was easy to get behind GVCO in its mission to grow. We are really excited about it - I mean it's not even built and it has already exceeded our expectations!"
Thank you, Michelle and Jeff for your support!