On most weekday mornings you can find Joe Dollak walking the business district in Fox Chase. On some mornings he grabs a sandwich at the local deli or coffee at the corner coffee shop. He may run into a few of the Northeast Lions on the corner and then return to The Carpet Shop, a business he has owned and operated in Fox Chase since the ‘70s.
Joe Dollak served as president of The Rockledge-Fox Chase Business Association for 12 years, (his term ended this month), and with the support of The Northeast Lions and Business Association, has overseen the dramatic renovation of Lions Park and business district in Fox Chase. Dollak had a vision and it has come to fruition in Fox Chase. The park, adopted by the Northeast Lions in the ’90s serves as an example for other parts of Philadelphia of how to revitalize a neighborhood park.
Lions Park is located at 7900 Oxford Ave., bordered by Loney Street and the Route 18 bus loop. The transformation began when the Northeast Lions adopted the once drab park. The park is now a jewel in the heart of Fox Chase.
The Fox Chase Clock, a local landmark and modern benches dot the park, offering plenty of seating to those who frequent the park, and a gazebo has been added to the landscape. The Northeast Lions maintain the park, and the grass is manicured to a plush green. The business district has new sidewalks and curbing, adding to the small town feel of the area.
The Business Association and Lions partner with other groups to sponsor events in the park during the year to include Art in the Park, Poets in the Park, craft shows and the annual Christmas Tree Lighting. The Lions meet in the gazebo on the second Tuesday of each month during the summer for fellowship and business discussion. There are plans to expand the use of the gazebo for musical concerts in the future.
Joe Dollak completed his final term as President of the Business Association this month. The people of Fox Chase owe a debt of gratitude to The Northeast Lions, the Business Association and the tenacious Joe Dollak for the beautiful park and scenic business district in the heart of Fox Chase.
G.E. Reutter resides in the Fox Chase. You can visit him at his website.