In 1979, the Delaware County Press Club grew out of a conversation among Janet Shay, Dorothea Reynolds and Barbara Ormsby over tea in the basement snack bar of the Delaware County Courthouse. Janet had the idea for a club patterned after the National Press Club in Washington. The first official meeting was at Cavanaugh's Bar and Restaurant in Pilgrim Gardens and it soon moved on to bigger venues, national speakers and hundreds of members.
The Delaware County Press Club sparkles with names of celebrities who have contributed to our programs and services:
F. Lee Bailey
…to name just a few.
Along the way, big city mayors, nationally known journalists and broadcasters, best-selling authors and newsmakers were among the speakers and guests who helped form the history of this unique organization.
And yet, the real history has been made by hundreds of reporters, correspondents, photographers, editors, public relations specialists, publishers, writers, and other communicators who have lived and worked in the Philadelphia region for the past 40 years.
For more than 40 years, the Delaware County Press Club has hosted hundreds of informative and entertaining luncheon meetings and dozens of professional development seminars for members and the community.
Its legendary fund-raising events have endowed scholarships in memory of former members at area universities and through contests for high school writers and their student newspapers. The Club has awarded additional thousands of dollars to the most talented in its continuing mission to encourage communications as a career choice among young people.
Some of the events that raised the money for the scholarships and prizes are among the most memorable in Delaware County History:
The Wine on the Brandywine evenings at the Brandywine River Museum
An Off-White Christmas - a live, full-length parody of the movie
This is Your Life, a two-and-a-half-hour tribute to Jack Steck, the late Philadelphia Pioneer Broadcaster (and the man who selected Dick Clark to host American Bandstand when it went national)
The Great American Picnic
Juleps at the Mint on Kentucky Derby day at the Franklin Mint
Celebrity spelling bees
The Delaware County Press Club is one of the few organizations to welcome journalists and corporate and nonprofit Public Relations professionals. It makes for great information exchange, networking, and encouragement to young people to build communications skills.
To our own Magnificent Seven, Dorothea Reynolds, Charles Crist, Barbara Ormsby, Janet Shay, Chris Parker, Dr. Margaret Mary Kearney and Joyce Ellis, we look forward to continuing your tradition of bringing communications professionals together for at least another 40 years!
Excerpts of Club history by former Press Club Presidents Joe Biscontini and Barbara Ormsby were used for this page.