NEWTOWN SQUARE–Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels' education charity, The Hamels Foundation, is moving its offices and signed-memorabilia gift shop to a vacant Bryn Mawr retail building, representatives of the foundation and Lower Merion Township told Patch on Wednesday.
The relocation from Center City to 880 W. Lancaster Ave. should happen sometime around mid-November, said GN Kang, the foundation's director of Philadelphia-area operations. Hamels and his wife, Heidi, are expected to attend a grand opening tentatively set for January.
The famous couple started the foundation in 2008 with the goals of helping inner-city schools and establishing a school in the impoverished African nation of Malawi. In its first three years, according to tax returns, its annual revenue grew from roughly $250,000, to $360,000, to just over $1 million through mid-2011.
The foundation is based in Missouri, where Heidi Hamels is from. The couple now live in Newtown Square, and Kang said the prospect of having the foundation's office closer to home was attractive to them.
Getting more space for offices—about 3,000 square feet, Kang said—and being closer to their many Main Line sponsors and donors were other motivating factors, the director said.
Kang said the foundation's new proximity to Villanova University could help in another way. She is looking to bring on five or six unpaid interns to perform a variety of duties, including event planning, starting in January.
The foundation signed a three-year lease with an option to renew at the end, Kang said. In July, Hamels, the World Series MVP for the 2008 world champion Phillies, signed a six-year contract extension with the team for $144 million.
The lease was signed Tuesday, said Heidi Tirjan, the township's retail coordinator. Lower Merion Commissioner Scott Zelov announced it to the Bryn Mawr Business Association that night.
The building is the former location of Dan Brody Photography, located at the Merion Avenue intersection, across Lancaster Avenue from the Bryn Mawr Fire Company.