Rena Graves

photo by Mitch Borden

photo by Mitch Borden

94 and ‘Working, As Usual’

Deacon Rena Graves wants you to vote. If you live in her Germantown neighborhood, she may have called you to invite you to attend  the “All Candidates Forum” tonight at 6pm in the Wissahickon Charter School gymnasium. And if Graves convinced you to attend the event, she will greet you and serve you some supper before the forum begins.

“It’s important for people to get out to vote,” says Graves. “I’ll be there. Working, as usual.”

“As usual,” in Graves’ world, encompasses at least half a century. Graves doesn’t know when she became block captain of 5800 Chew Avenue, but remembers “giving out the papers and going to meetings in 1965.”

During the decades as a community leader, she also had three successful careers – the first as a line supervisor at the Honeywell Plant in Ft. Washington. She became an ordained as an Episcopalian Deacon in the mid-80’s. Graves retired from Honeywell at 64, and went back to college to become a hospice chaplain. She worked for 10 years as an on-call hospice chaplain, responding to calls at any hour.

“I’d get a call late at night.” Graves remembers, “I’d put on my slacks on top of my pajamas and go out.”

Remaining energetic in her 80’s, she achieved her Master’s Degree in Theological Studes in 2003.

Graves stresses personal responsibility in all she does. As a citizen, she expects us all to vote. “People need to elect leaders who can help our children get a good education and help create more jobs.”

All Candidates Forum provides the opportunity for citizens to ask questions of candidates running for mayor, city council, and the courts It is organized by Chew and Belfield Neighbors Club.

6:00 pm, Wissahickon Charter School – Awbry Campus

815 E. Washington Lane

For more information: 215-849-8021

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