Saluting Chester Eastside’s volunteers in style – News from Chester Eastside

News from Chester Eastside, Inc.

Saluting Chester Eastside’s volunteers in style.


Those attending Chester Eastside’s Annual Christmas Program in December were treated to a dazzling
display of artistic talent. The year-end program and luncheon are Chester Eastside’s way of saying thank
you to the many volunteers who make its services to the community possible.

Along with inspiring renditions of traditional Christmas music was something called speed
painting, pictured above. Anyone who has not witnessed it first-hand can be left wondering if it’s even
possible. But there it was before the eyes of those attending the annual Christmastime event.

In front of the gathering in the sanctuary at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church stood a broad, brown
empty canvas on an easel. Then, as soul music with a special beat welled up, Desire Grover and her
young protege, Angel Pabon, began rhythmically daubing bright colors on the canvas in a seemingly
random fashion. But it soon became evident there was nothing random about it. Mary, Joseph, and the
infant Jesus were taking shape before their very eyes.

“It takes a lot of planning in advance,” said Desire, who’s been a mainstay for arts education at
Chester Eastside, Inc., over the years. “We’ve done everything from The Last Supper to a scene from
Harry Potter,”

For more examples of Desire and Angel’s artistry, see

Discovering and nurturing the talents of young people from Chester like Angel is in so many
ways what Chester Eastside is all about. Several years ago, one of the young men in a theater arts
program at the agency was picked to play the lead in a production of The Little Prince at People’s Light
and Theater of Philadelphia. Several of those who started out in the After School Program at Chester
Eastside have gone on to college and in one case earned a doctorate.

By timmreardon