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PFP Expands Board for 2017

Philadelphia Family Pride, a local nonprofit group for LGBTQ parents, prospective parents, grandparents and their children, expanded the board of directors for 2017 from 10 to 16 members at a meeting in late December. The new board was elected at the group’s annual New Year’s Day Brunch at Congregation Mishkan Shalom on January 2. The new board held its first meeting on January 29 and discussed goals and plans for the year.

Kelly Durand is in her second year as Board Chair. Vice-Chair Sandra Telep in her fourth year in that role

All of the 2016 board members carried over into 2017 including Gina Cline, who will now be the group’s Secretary, Sandy DiBerardino who will remain as Treasurer and commitee chairs Gregory Hedler (Membership) and Paula Estornell (Education and Advocacy). Other board members staying on will be in “Member at Large” slots, including Bryan Berchok, Gregory Yorgey-Girdy, Joel Nichols and Nijah Newton-Famous.

The board has six new members for this year: Phyllis Chamberlain, Events Planning Committee Chair, Terinae Holland, Fundraising Committee Chair and Members at Large Adam Podowitz-Thomas, Angel Brice, Ruby Augustus and Tariem Burroughs.

“With 100% retention from 2016 and more people interested in joining the board, we wanted to expand the number of board members. This will also allow PFP to hold more events and reach more LGBTQ parent communities in 2017,” commented Board Chair Kelly Durand.

For more information and a schedule of upcoming events, please visit and look for us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


10 Places to Take Your Kids During Creating Change 2017

Welcome to all the folks visiting Philadelphia this week for Creating Change 2017! If you brought your kids, Philly Family Pride, the regional LGBTQ parents group, has a few tips for you on where to take the little (and not so little) ones. All are LGBTQ-parent friendly. First we’ll go through 5 indoor places for those under five and then five places for the older kids.

Feel free to email PFP director Stephanie Haynes with questions at

5 places for under the under 5 set

It’s chilly, so we’re starting with three indoor places to keep warm and have fun.

  1. Please Touch Museum – This is Philly’s children’s museum, located in the historic Memorial Hall in Philly’s Fairmount Park. It’s a little way from the hustle and bustle of Center City, but well worth the trip for the miniature grocery store, carousel, real bus to “drive” and much, much more. For parents interested in history, be sure to check out the Centennial exhibit downstairs for lots on the 1876 Centennial celebration in Philadelphia. (Memorial Hall is one of the last surviving buildings constructed for that HUGE event.)
  2. Academy of Natural Sciences – Find this gem of a natural history museum on the Ben Franklin Parkway across from the Swann Memorial Fountain at 19th Street. Your little dinosaur enthusiasts will find a lot to love in the Dinosaur Hall. The best spot for the five and unders here is the third floor and their “Outside In” area where there’s lots to touch and explore including a rotating cast of live animals.
  3. NEST Center City – Check out the air-conditioned, eco-friendly, and safe playspace at the corner of 13th and Locust Streets, a short walk from the Marriott. Non-member day passes to NEST are offered for $15 for the first child, and $5 for each additional child. The playspace is open Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m.-6:00 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The 3,000 square foot playspace is designated for kids ranging from 6 months to 6 years.
  4. 3854068351_c0ea121e2e_bSmith Memorial Plaground & Playhouse – The five and under set in Philly LOVE the Smith Playhouse for indoor, cold weather play. This spacious three floor historic building is worth the drive to Fairmount Park. (Be sure to use their directions.) Although they do ask for people to donate on their way in or out, Smith Playhouse is free with free parking. As an outdoor bonus, if it’s not too cold, there’s a HUGE playground outside as well with a 100 year-old wooden slide and a big toddler playground including baby swings. The playground is for for 10 and under.
  5. Fireman’s Hall Museum – This wonderful little museum is fantastic for all future fire-fighters and truck enthusiasts. It’s located at 147 N. 2nd Street and open Tuesday through Saturday, 10am-4:30pm. Admission is free, donations appreciated. The museum presents and preserves the history of firefighting in Philadelphia, paying tribute to its firefighters, both paid and volunteer, through the museum’s exhibits, public programs and award ceremonies

5 places for the 6 and up crowd

  1. Franklin Institute – This is our science museum, located at 20th and the Ben Franklin Parkway, right near  the Academy of Natural Sciences. Older kids will love the new brain exhibit where you climb up and through neural pathways as well as trick your brain with a whole series of optical illusions. The IMAX movies are always fun, and there are two great special exhibits there now as well: Robot Revolution and Jurassic Park: The Exhibition. Finally, don’t miss a walk (or run) through the giant heart –  it’s a right of passage for all Philly-area kids. The Franklin Institute is open every day, 9:30am-5:00pm.
  2. Independence Hall & the Liberty Bell – Especially if you are traveling from far away, your school-aged kids should see these historic places. Get your timed tickets in advance to minimize waiting for the Hall. Both are located at 6th and Market Streets, six blocks from the conference location. Visitors should arrive at the security screening area approximately 30 minutes prior to the time on their timed entry ticket. The tour begins at the time on your timed entry ticket. Independence Hall tickets are FREE. There is no charge for same day distribution (non-reserved) tickets obtained at the Independence Visitor Center on the day of your visit. There is a handling fee of $1.50 per ticket for advance reservations. For the Liberty Bell, no tickets are required. It is also free and right across the street from Independence Hall. Check the web sites for hours.
  3. U.S. Mint – Want to see coins being made? This is only one of two places in the country where you can see it in person! Take a free, self-guided tour in 45 minutes, right next to Independence Hall. Open Monday through Friday, 9am-4:30pm.
  4. National Constitution Center – Lots to see and do here for older kids, including watching yourself take the Presidential Oath of Office on TV and the “Headed to the White House” exhibit. The museum is right up Independence Mall from the Liberty Bell, so an easy one to add on to a day of history tours.
  5.  Ice Skating – There are two great places to ice skate outdoors in Philly this time of year. One is VERY close to the Marriott conference location: the Rothman Rink at Dilworth Park on the west side of City Hall. It’s open Monday-Thursday Noon-9pm, Friday Noon-11pm and Saturday 11am-11pm. Kids under 10 are just $3 plus a $10 skate rental. If you’re up for traveling a little bit further, you can visit the BlueCross RiverRink at Penn’s Landing for a scenic Winterfest. Surrounding the regulation-sized ice rink, you’ll find outdoor seating area with fire pits, cozy warming cabins, the Franklin Fountain Confectionary Cabin, the Kids Lodge with arcade games, and a chalet-inspired Lodge with food and beverages from Garces and Chickie’s and Pete’s. With the Delaware River to the east and the Ben Franklin Bridge to the north, it makes for a spectacular winter scene! They are open 1pm-11pm Monday through Thursday and until 1am Friday and Saturday nights.

We hope you have a great time in Philadelphia with your family! Feel free to contact PFP Director Stephanie Haynes with any questions at

Annual meeting and proposed bylaw updates for 2017

Philadelphia Family Pride’s annual membership meeting will take place as part of our January 2nd Potluck Brunch on Monday, Jan. 2nd, from 11am-2pm at Mishkan Shalom, located at 4101 Freeland Ave. in Philadelphia.

The annual meeting will consist of informal conversations about plans for 2017 and election of board members for the new year.

As required in our bylaws, this email serves as notice for the annual meeting as well as the seven day notice required before the board can vote to make the following changes to the bylaws.

In an effort to expand the amount of work PFP can take on, the current PFP board is proposing to amend the bylaws and expand the number of seats on the board of directors from the current 10 members to 16 members for 2017 and beyond.

All 10 board members from 2016 are interested in staying on for 2017. The returning board members are:

– Bryan Berchok
– Gina Cline
– Gregory Hedler
– Gregory Yorgey-Girdy
– Joel Nichols
– Kelly Durand
– Nijah Newton-Famous
– Paula Estornell
– Sandra Telep and
– Sandy DiBerardino

The new board members nominated for 2017 are:

– Adam Podowitz-Thomas
– Angel Brice
– Phyllis Chamberlain
– Ruby Augustus
– Tariem Burroughs and
– Terinae Holland

Note that while we are adding all six of the new board positions as “members at large” our plans are to pair people with committee chair positions to spread the responsibilities and knowledge of the organization.

Here are the details of the four proposed changes. (Find our current bylaws here.)

1. The last sentence of Article IV, Section 1 currently reads: “…The board shall have ten directors, directly elected in the following positions:”

We propose changing that sentence to: “The board shall have sixteen directors, directly elected in the following positions:”

2. In the same section Article IV, Section 1, change “Member at Large (2)” to “Member at Large (8)”.
3. The last sentence of Article IV, Section 5 reads “Members at Large will be elected on a single ballot and all members will be eligible to vote for two candidates for that position. ”

We propose changing that to read “…vote for eight candidates for that position.”

4. Article IV, Section 6 (Quorum) says that “At least five board members must be present for quorum to permit business transactions to take place and motions to pass.”

We propose changing that to read “At least nine board members must be present for quorum…”

Thank you, and we look forward to seeing you at the Jan. 2nd brunch!


Kelly Durand
Chair, Board of Directors
Philadelphia Family Pride