Open to the ideas of others
Jessica Brubaker first met Louis Appell, Jr. during her tenure on the Board of Central Market. She remembers him as being very supportive and understanding the need to evolve the visitor experience at the Market. He wanted everyone to “be brave” and bring fresh, young perspectives to the idea of change at the Market… and downtown York.
Following his inspiration, the Board facilitated changes at the Market with brighter lighting, enhanced seating that encourages everyone to sit and visit and offers incubator space for emerging entrepreneurs. Now, Central Market is once again the vibrant hub of the downtown Market District.
He shopped at the Market every Saturday and attended every shareholder meeting. He was omnipresent in the best possible way.
As her Board term was ending, Mr. Appell met with Jessica for lunch. He asked, “What is downtown York missing?” Her reply was the genesis of a new idea – “A destination for kids and families.” When he responded, “I think you’re right! If you can make that happen, I’ll support you”, the concept for Keystone Kidspace was born.
Opening to the public in 2020, Keystone Kidspace, located in the York Armory, a Late Gothic Revival brick fortress built in 1913, will offer a mash-up of science, technology and arts giving kids permission to get messy, tinker, experiment and create. Jessica notes, “We want it to be a place that lights kids up!”
The modern concept of an “armory” was that of a community center. They housed Boy Scout meetings, dances and chicken dinners. Keystone Kidspace will bring York’s 106-year-old armory building back to public use, making it a “valuable addition to the City’s landscape”.
Grateful for his support, Mr. Appell holds a special place in Jessica’s heart.
He was the biggest cheerleader. He trusted me, watched and mentored me. But he also asked the tough questions and was open to the ideas of others. We are stronger for having his support.
Mr. Appell’s legacy is now carried on by the work of the Powder Mill Foundation through many initiatives. In addition to early funding for researching due diligence, Jessica appreciates the Foundation’s mentorship and the connections it fosters.
While it’s easy to see the Foundation’s passion for long-standing institutions, it is not focused on one segment. Powder Mill Foundation is an incubator for new ideas, encouraging collaboration and communication between community stakeholders. It’s where new ideas are heard and supported.