Name: Cathie Polakowski
Occupation: I design and sell girls special occasion dresses. I started at Nanette Manufacturing in Harrowgate and worked there until they closed. An owner’s son wanted to branch out on his own and asked me to join him. We built a start up in New York City 20 years ago and have been doing it ever since. He’s recently retired so I’ve taken on a larger role and am in NYC three days a week.
How long have you lived in Bridesburg?
I bought my house in 1992 and have been here ever since!
Favorite street/place in Bridesburg:
The Bridesburg Outboard Club. I was a two-year probationary member until September when I officially became a permanent member.
Running is my biggest hobby right now, I’m currently in training for my first trail marathon that I’m running with two friends in January. I also love to knit, spend time on my boat, and travel both afar and around the Philadelphia area.
Favorite Bridesburg event/tradition:
Memorial Day Parade for sure! Bridesburg people love their parade! It’s something we can all really get behind and it really showcases the best of the community.
Most looking forward to with the new park:
I’m most excited about having another outdoor green space that gives access to the riverfront. Many people in Bridesburg don’t realize that we have this wonderful riverfront here along our stretch of the Delaware River. I’ve been fortunate to experience that through my membership in the boat club and look forward to the public access to the river.
What got you interested in this park work?
My love of the riverfront. When a friend told me on the park development and the search for committee members, I was immediately interested. I knew it was something I could do, and was passionate about and felt like I should be a part.
What kind of work/volunteering before led you to this role?
The Outboard Club is a working club, so while it’s member-based, we all pitch in to make it operational, enjoyable and safe. Additionally, I was always in the Home and School Assoc. when my daughter was in school.
What is something specific you are looking forward to seeing in the park/in the community because of the park?
I’m excited to bring people to a new green space. While the Rec offers a ton of programming, it is very kid and family oriented, I’m hopeful to bring a voice to this process around creating a place and programs that are just as welcoming to adults and older people.
What’s your favorite part of Bridesburg?
There’s a sense of community like no other in Bridesburg. For me, it started at All Saints Parish, it was 95% of our social life. We were there for Tuesday night lottery, St. Patrick’s Day party, the Christmas bazaar, etc. Now that it’s closed and my daughter is grown, it centers around the Outboard Club. It seems that everybody in Bridesburg has something they do and get involved in. I see the Riverfront Park as an evolution in ways to connect and collaborate within our community.