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

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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.

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.

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.

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.