Marnie Melvin

Marnie Melvin

Wanting a dog, Marnie Melvin was happy when her boyfriend, Keith Kling, called and told her he found a rescue for them. Marnie was leaning towards a small or medium size dog.

Keith showed up with a Bull Mastiff, which, when full grown, weighs 90 pounds and up.

She is named Wendy and has been living with them for four years. Somewhere before being adopted, Wendy lost one eye — “the one-eyed wonder dog” — but she does very well. She holds another title of “big couch cat.”

Marnie comes from the Collegeville area. She hopped around, living in several place and having different jobs. She settled in Phoenixville about five years ago, living a few streets from the downtown. No snow days for Marnie as she can walk to work, which is quite convenient as she just started a new job back in September 2018 at Citizen Advocacy of Chester County on Church Street near Main Street. Before this, Marnie worked with nonprofits for several years after leaving the corporate world.

The mission of Citizen Advocacy is “to initiate voluntary one-to-one relationships between a person with a disability and someone else from their community who has complementary qualities and resources. This advocate will promote and defend their person’s welfare and interests.”

Citizen Advocacy, once statewide, has dwindled down to the one in Phoenixville being the only one in the state of Pennsylvania. Next year, it will be celebrating its 40th anniversary.

It amazes me that so many people are not aware of Citizen Advocacy. It is not funded by the state, the county or local governments. it is self-efficient and needs to raise funds on its own. It has received grants from the Phoenixville Community Health Foundation and the Phoenix Federal Savings & Loan.

To learn to what you can do to lend your help, contact Marnie, who is the program director, at 610-933-1299 or email her at

Breaking her back in August has slowed her a little. A lot of her time has been taken up with rehab. She enjoys yoga and is a runner, as well as enjoying reading. Marine is energetic and eager to learn, especially when it comes to her new job. Marnie has an older sister, Caitlin, who has three kids, whom Marnie adores.

When at home, Marine enjoys cooking along with Keith — and let's not forget about Wendy!

Chicken Broccoli Casserole

2 cups cooked chicken

1 cup chopped cooked broccoli

10½ oz.-can condensed cream of onion soup

¼ cup chopped onions

¼ cup mayonnaise

1½ tsp. Worcestershire sauce

½ cup grated cheddar cheese

8 oz. can refrigerated biscuits (Pillsbury)

For Casserole Topping:

¼ cup sour cream

1 egg

1 tsp. celery seeds

½ tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Combine chicken, broccoli, soup, onions, mayonnaise and Worcestershire sauce. Mix well, and placed in an ungreased 1½-quart casserole. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Remove casserole from oven and sprinkle with cheese. Cut biscuits in half length-wise. Arrange biscuits, cut side down, on top of casserole. Combine topping ingredients, blend well and spread over top of casserole. Return to oven, and bake for 25 to 30 minutes until golden brown.


Let Bette hear from you: Search YouTube for “Look Who’s Cooking with Bette Banjack,” as well (search bar: Banjack) for this column. Find Bette on Facebook by searching “Bette Banjack’s Downtown Kitchen.” Her book, “2 Cups of Yesterday,” is available at Gateway Pharmacy or by contacting her.

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