Upcoming EventsView all events →
Giving Back: Valerie Jester
VALERIE HAYES JESTER IS A WEST CHESTER NATIVE, and her roots go back generations. It’s where she lives and bases her business, Brandywine Capital Associates Inc. She grew up and went to school in
the borough and has seen it change and grow. “I bought my first pet guinea pig at Woolworth’s 5 & 10 where Iron Hill is now,” she says with a laugh.
Energetic and direct, Valerie is living proof of the saying “If you want to get things done, ask a busy person.” She’s a tireless worker for local causes. She’s volunteered and/or sat on the boards of virtually every non-profit in town. “Volunteering gives me such a sense of connection and community,” she says. “I also get to spend time with my friends and make new ones as I do it.”
One of her beloved projects is the annual West Chester Charity Ball, now in its 28th year. Valerie’s been involved since 1999, and helped it grow. “It’s become one of the largest single-event fundraisers in Chester County,” she says.
In its early years, proceeds from the ball went to various charities benefiting women and children in the greater West Chester area. But it now exclusively raises money —more than $180,000 this year—for the Friends Association for Care and Protection of Children. “My dear friend Glenda Brion partnered with me to bring the event to Friends Association, and it’s through that collaboration that the event has grown exponentially,” says Valerie.
“I’ve been incredibly fortunate, and I’ve always thought it’s your job to give back,” she says. “But when I think about it all, I know I’ve gotten much more than I gave.”