Yahaira Turner holds the Gwendolyn A. Smith Award for Community Service presented to her by Gwen Smith, left, Crozer CEO Anthony Esposito and Crozer COO Jenny Brenig. (love photo)
CHESTER – Yahira Turner, a behavioral health social worker in Crozier-Chester Medical Center’s emergency department, received the Gwendolyn A. 2023 recipient of the Smith Prize.
For community service, Gwendolyn A. The award is given to a current Crozer Health employee who has made a significant contribution to the community through time, skills, work and dedication.
Turner was chosen because she consistently exemplifies the same values that Smith lives by every day.
“Yahira and Gwen are amazing people who share great qualities that benefit our patients and our communities,” said Anthony Esposito, CEO of Crozer Health. “I am delighted that Yahaira has been recognized with this award. Well deserved. In the year Turner, who joined Crozer Health in 2018 as a drug and alcohol mental health therapist and transitioned to the emergency department, was shocked and surprised to hear she was the recipient. And being very humble, she was not comfortable admitting doing what she thought was “supposed to be done.”
This year marks Turner’s 20th year of service to the underserved and neglected, especially those who are homeless or have substance abuse and mental health issues in Chester and throughout Delaware County.
She currently works in the emergency room with patients and families in crisis, and her personal experiences allow her to relate to those she is trying to help.
“I know what it’s like to lose,” she said. “I knew it had to be for a greater purpose. Grieving not only the physical loss but the sufferings, I continued to give and give. But sometimes my change comes only through day-to-day interactions that we don’t see until maturity.
Growing up in Chester, Turner was a single mother who used her struggles as a tool to inspire others to push past the obstacles in her community.
She received her bachelor’s degree at age 32 and enrolled in Widener University’s Master of Social Work program in September 2020 with a 4.0 grade point average and will graduate in December.
She is first generation born in mainland America, mother from Puerto Rico and father from the Dominican Republic. Now married with three children and living in Delaware County, she has taken her life to think outside the box and question everything.
“If it wasn’t for my village, I wouldn’t be able to do everything I do. Without doubt or hesitation, I listened to my heart and said, ‘Let’s go,'” said the honoree. “If I followed all the rules that were thrown at me and never questioned them, I just smiled and shook my head, I wouldn’t be where I am now,” Turner said. “If we don’t help everyone, we have to do things differently.”
Turner began her volunteer career with Catholic Social Services when she volunteered at the Homeless Service Coalition of Delaware County (HSC of Delaware).
She recently spearheaded a coat drive that provided nearly 60 new coats to the homeless at their annual Point in Time speech. She was also an office worker and volunteer in Philadelphia assisting with community drug and alcohol risk reduction practices and education.
She is a state-certified drug and alcohol counselor and a certified medical interpreter, allowing her to better serve the Spanish-speaking population.
“I plant a seed for people and hope it grows,” she explained. “So many people were pulling me, and I picked them up.”
This spring, she created and funded Chester’s first sensory-friendly Easter Egg Hunt with close friends and family to share in a sensory-free environment, and is reaching out to various agencies to support the annual event. This will continue to give all children – especially those with special needs – the opportunity to enjoy and “be a part of the place and not just occupy a place”.
Turner was recently inducted into the Phi Alpha Honor Society at Widener and is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society.
Providence Animal Center offers a low-cost vaccination and microchip clinic in Woodlin
Providence Animal Center will hold a shot and microchip clinic at Pet Supply Plus, 1300 McDade Blvd., Woodlyn on Sunday, June 18, from 10 a.m. to noon.
Pre-registration is strongly encouraged. http://ProvidenceAC.org/VaccineClinics And click on “Pet Supplies Plus Appointment”. Limited places available.
Shots range from $10 to $30 and include dewormer, distemper, bordetella, rabies, lepto, lyme, and felines. $38 includes a lifetime subscription to the microchip.
Cash and major credit cards are accepted, but not personal checks or CareCredit. Pet owners should call 610-566-1370 if they need to cancel their appointments.
Penn State Extension announces the fall vegetable growing season
Delaware County Penn State University Master Gardeners will teach how to extend the growing season by starting seeds for fall vegetable crops in a special session July 8 from 10 a.m. to noon at the Smedley Park Environmental Center, 20 Paper Mill Road, Springfield.
Master Gardener Linda Colston shows how easy it is to start seeds and how vegetables and herbs can enhance farm-to-table cooking.
Each participant receives seeds, soil and container to grow their seeds.
The informative two-hour hands-on workshop is designed to teach people how to grow their own vegetables and herbs from home.
The cost is $15. To register, call 877-345-0691 or visit https://tinyurl.com/2p8zbzpn.
Linvilla Gardens announces strawberry and blueberry festival dates
Linvilla Orchards, 137 W. Knowlton Road, Middletown Township, has rescheduled its annual Strawberry Festival for Sunday, June 25, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., to celebrate the start of Linvilla’s pick-your-own season.
The fields will be open, and the strawberries will be ripe for the picker. It will be a good day to enjoy with family and friends.
The Strawberry Festival is hosted by Silly Joe, who is sure to entertain the whole family with high-energy songs about the everyday lives of children and families.
During the festival there will be games, contests, music, hayrides, horse rides and much more. Entertainment is planned to start at 11 am
Enjoy a feast of classics like the famous Roasty Toasty Corn and soft serve ice cream. Linvilla Bakery features the Delaware Valley’s largest strawberry shortcake.
Blueberries will be back at the Blueberry Festival on Saturday 8th July and the rain will be on 9th July.
Blueberries allow you to pick your own, crop and weather, and Linvilla Bakery offers a variety of blueberry treats.
Silly Joe, once again hosts and takes the stage, captivating children and delighting the whole family with his infectious songs and hilarious enthusiasm.
Get ready to be amazed by the bubble magic show at 11:00. This interactive experience is fun for all ages.
Two rounds of the Linvilla Blueberry Pie-Eating Time Contest will crown a Linvilla champion in two age divisions: 13-17 and 18 and over.
The winner in each category will receive a prize and bragging rights. Registration for the tournament begins at noon.
For music fans, the legendary Manatawnee Creek Ramblers, known for their amazing bluegrass and Indian tunes, will grace the stage at 1 p.m.
For more information about strawberry or blueberry festivals, visit http://www.linvilla.com Or call 610-876-7116.
Readers can send community news and photos to Peg DeGrassa at firstname.lastname@example.org.