Believe & Achieve’s Kate Ryan Magee’s Favorite Things on the Main Line

Plus, how the Chester Springs native is helping feed impoverished children through her nonprofit.

Kate Ryan Magee, Chester Springs

Executive Director, Believe & Achieve Foundation

Launched five years ago by Fred Gunther, founder of Grand Sport Auto BodyBelieve & Achieve helps kids beset by poverty lead better lives. Among the programs Magee oversees is “B&A at the YMCA,” which pays for almost 100 children ages 5-15 to attend after-school and summer activities at the Oscar Lasko Youth Program Center in West Chester and the Brandywine Y in Coatesville.

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About the B&A backpack: We realized that many kids depend on school breakfasts and lunches because they don’t have enough food at home. With the Chester County Food Bank, we give elementary-school kids backpacks full of food to help sustain their families for the weekend. Last year, we provided 30,000 backpacks to 1,000 families at 18 schools. 

Favorite local event: The Chester County Valor Bowl, the all-star football game played by seniors from area high schools. Proceeds go to Chester County Special Olympics, and the day before the game, players do a camp with those kids. It’s now part of Believe & Achieve, and I think it’s a great match. 

Speaking of football: My brother is Matt Ryan, quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons

from left: The Chester County Valor Bowl, Matt Ryan

Where she exercises: Do I feel pressure to be super-fit because my brother is in the NFL? Nope. It’s his job to stay in shape. But I do like to exercise. I’ve done the Broad Street Run, but I’d say that I’m more of a jogger than a runner. On a pretty regular basis, I go to the YMCA’s Phoenixville branch to work out. During the summer, we spend a great deal of time at the Shore, and I love Stone Harbor Yoga, a power vinyasa studio.

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The region’s best-kept secret: Breakfast at the Station Bistro in Kimberton. It’s a little café inside the train station, which is about a hundred years old. 

Favorite place for date night: The famous buck-a-shuck night at Ludwig’s Oyster Bar in Glenmoore. 

from left: Breakfast at Station Bistro, ludwig’s oyster bar

Best local restaurant: White Dog Cafe in Wayne. We always have a good meal, and the restaurant is super kid friendly. 

Favorite thing to do with her kids: Hiking and paddleboarding at Marsh Creek State Park.

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Best chance of getting stuck in traffic: The 202 merge onto 76. 

If she had 30 minutes to herself, she would: Sit in the sun in an Adirondack chair with a great book. 

Coolest thing about living here: This is one of the only areas where it’s common to find a majority of people living less than a mile from where they grew up. It’s such a great area that people stay here to raise their families. Of course, I grew up in Chester Springs, and I’ve been here my entire life, so I don’t really know what it’s like anywhere else. Still, our region rocks.

Our Best of the Main Line Elimination Ballot is open through February 22!