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Ty Pennington teams with Cynwyd School students to paint new Brodsky Enrichment Center mural

On March 21, TV Host/author and designer, Ty Pennington, worked side by side with third graders from Cynwyd Elementary School on a mural for the new Barbara and Harvey Brodsky Enrichment Center of Jewish Family and Children’s Service on the Main Line. The state-of-the-art, 18,000 sqare-foot center at 345 Montgomery Ave., Bala Cynwyd will open April 3.

Pennington has overseen the design of a mural for the entire 13.6’ x 3’ wall by the Children’s Den at the center. He worked with 10 third graders to actually “paint-by-numbers” to bring the mural to life through their creativity.

Pennington, who was volunteering his time, has a strong to connection to Philadelphia because he rose to stardom as the host of “Trading Spaces,” the cable television program that was produced by Philadelphia’s Banyan Productions. Happy to give back to this community, he said, “Helping children and families is so important to me, which is why I teamed up with JFCS. My vision to use Paint-by-Numbers art helps to make it interactive. Children add color to our lives and they will literally be adding color to this work. JFCS is doing great work in the Philly area to support those who really need it and I am proud to be a part of this project.”

For 161 years, JFCS has assisted countless individuals and families in the Philadelphia region at every stage of life. And, now these services will be much more convenient to those in the western suburbs as the new Barbara and Harvey Brodsky Enrichment Center of JFCS. The $8 million project becomes the fifth branch of JFCS of Greater Philadelphia adding to those in Center City, Elkins Park and North and Northeast Philadelphia, offering therapeutic services and educational programs.

The state-of-the-art building was designed by Jason Wilhelm of J. Wilhelm Consulting and has been custom-built to meet the needs and programing for a wide range of clients extending from Holocaust survivors, older adults, children, LGBTQ communities, people living with disabilities, parents seeking to adopt a child, family counseling, to food insecurities and helping individuals to gain financial stability. Its social services range from foster care and adoption, to family support and education, to financial assistance and healthcare and much more. In the lobby, visitors will find very large black and white portraits (12’ x 8’ in size) of 18 Holocaust Survivors with a supportive and much more throughout the space.

Pennington, who started as a carpenter on Trading Spaces ultimately became a nationally recognized star, and released his first home-improvement book. In 2004, he left Trading Spaces to head up his own show, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.