From the Independent • Mt. Airy News Stories

December 3, 2009 • Mt. Airy Independent.120309.pdf

In This Issue

Bears Get Decisive Win in Thanksgiving Showdown

Grant Enables FOW to Step Up Park Work

EMAN Won’t Oppose Deli Reopening – On Condition

Customers, Neighbors Rally to Support Walk a Crooked Mile

Review: ‘The Matchmaker’ at Stagecrafters

Germantown YMCAMembers Meeting


Food and Coat Drive at Trolley Car

Maxwell Mansion Party

Variety of Holiday Events at Historic Sites

Holiday Workshops at Wyck

Support MLK Association Party for Kids

Arts Garage Showcases Northwest Artists

Edward Jones Office is Toys for Tots Drop-Off Site

Wyndmoor Tree Sale

Concert at Grace Baptist

Lecture on Spirituality/Healing

‘Ancient Voices”

Holiday Bazaar

Weatherization Assistance

Presentation on Town Hall

Bears Get Decisive Win in Thanksgiving Showdown


Staff Writer

With 1:43 left in the first half and no timeouts remaining the Germantown Bears were playing hungry in their Thanksgiving Day matchup against Martin Luther King High School.

Both sides of the stands were crowded and noisy as Germantown quarterback Ramadan Abdullah moved a no-huddle offense 40 yards up the field in 39 seconds. Then a penalty flag stopped the clock but not the momentum. His next play was a 40-yard pass to William Parks, who the Cougars brought down at the one-yard line.

A few plays later Abdullah managed to run the TD in without being touched, and the half ended with a 22 to 0 lead for the Bears.

But the score wasn’t all that was important at this game. After 33 years these two schools and the fans that support them have learned to be thankful for the opportunity to come together and show their pride, no matter what the scoreboard may say after the final play.

Between the dueling cheer squads and drum corps, and the ubiquitous on-field fight of the mascots (always good for laughs) fans were full of cheer.

“Even if we do lose, which it looks like we might, it will still be hype,” said King senior Diamond Hinton about her school’s support for their team.

Norma Hart agreed. As a member of the King class of 1979, which had a strong showing at the game, and the mother of player Jashon Hart she had double the reason to be there for her school.

“It’s exciting, I wouldn’t miss it,” she said. “It’s a lot of family fun.”

This year Germantown may have had a few extra reasons to celebrate, like the fourth quarter 50-yard touch down pass by Abdullah that sealed Germantown’s 36 to 0 victory and twelve months’ worth  of bragging rights. But even the most partisan of supporters had to admit this event is never really about the game.

“You come back to things like this when you’re 35 because you love the school,” said Germantown Principal Margaret Mullen-Bavwidinsi.

And in that sense, there is always next year.

Grant Enables FOW to Step Up Park Work


Staff Writer

Over the next two years the Friends of the Wissahickon (FOW) will undertake its large Wissahickon Stormwater Mitigation and Sediment Reduction Project to restore five sediment-damaged sites in the creek and, hopefully, protect parts of the park and key areas of the watershed for years to come. A $780,000 grant from Merck & Co. is, in large part, to thank for the new effort.

“We didn’t expect this money… what it does, it kind of changes our menu,” said FOW Executive Director Maura McCarthy.

Every year FOW does a large nature restoration project. Last year it spent $420,000 on Sustainable Trails, an effort to improve some of the eight miles of trails around the creek so they don’t contribute unnecessarily to soil degradation from water runoff. But this effort will be even bigger. In fact, the grant will about double the organization’s yearly budget.

The project is so big it will likely take center stage for FOW over the next two years, putting portions of ongoing projects like Sustainable Trails on hold unless some aspects of both efforts can be folded together, McCarthy said. And, because of the nature of the work, this merging is a possibility.

The work will target five sites in the Wissahickon where stream sediment has accumulated so heavily that it threatens the health of the waterway.

But this will mean more than simple dredging. FOW plans to hire a team of engineers to design a top-to-bottom reinvigoration of these areas so that water that runs down through the gorge to the creek doesn’t take sediment with it. Essentially it will be slowed down and allowed to seep into the ground as it flows.

That’s how you make the fix last. And it’s also how the new project relates to Sustainable Trails – the core of both is about keeping soil in the park and out of the creek. This is also a good way to help safeguard the water supply too.

“The way we protect our drinking water is to create green space zones surrounding our water ways,” McCarthy said.

But those zones have to have an abundance of hearty native plants helps as well. Native plants are more likely to hold the soil together than many invasive species, McCarthy said.

Money for the new project comes from a $20 million settlement related to a series of Merck chemical spills into the Wissahickon in 2006. One of them, a June 13, 2006 release of potassium thiocyanate, caused extensive fish kills in the creek, forced the Philadelphia Water Department to close its Schuylkill River drinking water intake for two days and caused a ban of recreational activities in the creek from June 14 through July 10, 2006, according to the United States Department of Justice.

Given that kind of a track record it seemed right to McCarthy for Merck to fund work that is so important to protecting local drinking water.

“We would expect polluters to pay for this type of restoration work,” she said. “It really makes sense to have a lot of that funding come to Philadelphia, come to the lower Wissahickon - because Philadelphians are the ones who are drinking this water.”

Unfortunately, though, the gully repair work is just a “drop in the bucket,” McCarthy said.

According to her there are at least 20 other similar trouble spots along the Wissahickon in need of attention.

EMAN Won’t Oppose Deli Reopening – On Condition


Staff Writer

The Corner Deli at 6645 Germantown Avenue has been closed for two years. To some it has an infamous name. But as of Monday, November 30, it may have turned an important, well, corner.

“We’re trying to open as soon as possible,” the business owner, Adam Xu, said to the East Mt. Airy Neighbors (EMAN) Land Use Committee that night. “It’s been a tremendous loss to the family [being closed for that time]. But anyway, we’ve been waiting so long, we’ll try to do it right.”

Xu had just finished the presentation that earned him the committee’s nod and an agreement that EMAN would not oppose his bid for a zoning permit to sell takeout food at the location and reopen the business.

But there are provisions to the agreement, all aimed at keeping the loitering and drug activity that has cropped up over the summer on nearby Germantown and Springer Street (outside a takeout Chinese food establishment called the Five Star), from moving back to Germantown and Hortter outside the Corner Deli - where many say it began. 

“The Corner Deli was like a number of takeout delis across the city, it was a nuisance,” said Steven Masters, a City Council attorney and the point person for Council’s Nuisance Business Task Force. “It was plaguing the entire neighborhood.”

Earlier complaints included public drinking outside the business, loitering, fighting, harassing pedestrians, drug dealing and public urination, according to Masters. And the complaints went on for years before the neighborhood could get any results.

The basic problem, he and others have said, was that the business insisted on certain practices that encouraged these troublesome elements. Those included keeping late hours, selling “forties” (40-ounce beers or malt liquor), selling “loosies” (loose cigarettes), “blunts” (loose cigars) and rolling papers, which allegedly send a message to drug users and dealers that they were welcome. Masters called it operating with disregard for the neighborhood.

Through the Nuisance Business Task Force, a coalition of community advocates that included Mt. Airy USA, EMAN, West Mt. Airy Neighbors and the Pelham Town Watch put pressure on Xu and the Corner Deli to change these things.

That didn’t work. Eventually the deli wound up on a police list of the 50 worst beer- selling establishments in the city. With the help of a 2005 state law called Act 39, which gives Philadelphia some sway over takeout beer licenses, the state Liquor Control Board finally put numerous restrictions on the Corner Deli’s liquor license. That forced the business to close.

Now, two years later, Xu made a list of his own to prove he and his family-owned business are serious about fitting in with the neighborhood. Top among the items on it was to abandon beer and liquor sales at that location and to agree not to sell the liquor license to any establishment in the Mt. Airy zip code.

“It’s a huge decision for us,” Xu said. “It’s a sacrifice,” one that he hopes will indicate how seriously the family is committing to opening a food-oriented business there.

In addition, Xu agreed to reduce the hours to follow most restaurants in the area. He agreed not to sell loosies, blunts or rolling papers though he will still sell cigarette packs.

And contributing to what Dan Muroff, president of EMAN, referred to as the ongoing effort to make the Avenue more pedestrian-friendly, Xu agreed to put in larger storefront windows and make other improvements following Mt. Airy USA’s façade design guidelines. He will also limit the amount of bullet-proof plexiglass inside the restaurant and will “seriously consider” removing the roll-down security gates from in front of the store.

“It’s always very striking how much it improves the neighborhood when people take down plexiglass and take down grates,” Muroff said.

In addition, Xu said, he will follow a long-standing security recommendation for businesses with loitering problems by installing video cameras inside and outside the store.

Eliminating the liquor sales should cure most of the earlier problems, said Xu, who is also the president of the Asian-American Licensed Beverage Association. He thought the other improvements would help, too. But he didn’t want to shoulder the blame for all the neighborhood fears.

“The whole city of Philadelphia, it doesn’t matter which corner, it has to deal with the same situation,” he said in a separate interview.

The zoning hearing for the Corner Deli will be December 9 at 2 p.m. at 1515 Arch Street.

Editor’s note: this is the first part of a two-part article on troubled corners along Germantown Avenue. Part II will appear next week.

Customers, Neighbors Rally to Support Walk a Crooked Mile

Left, Greg Williams amid the 80,000+ plus books at Walk a Crooked Mile.

Among the neighbors helping decorate the store Sunday were Dan McDevitt ( at the base of the ladder), his son Henry McDevitt, Lisa Burns (on ladder) and an unidentified woman.



When somebody has difficulties in a close-knit neighborhood, other neighbors pitch in to help out.

What’s been happening for the last month or so at Walk a Crooked Mile Books in the R7 Mt. Airy train station is a good example of that.

When owner Greg Williams, faced with big rent bills and declining sales at his 15-year-old store, sent out an e-mail to customers and friends saying that he didn’t know if he would be able to continue in business much longer, he didn’t know what kind of response it would evoke. He soon found out.

‘I had the best Saturday in sales I’ve had in 15 years,” says Williams. His customers bought gift certificates and even chipped in with more than $300 dollars in donations.  And it didn’t stop there – he’s had offers of free business consulting and a group of Devon Street neighbors came by last Sunday to pitch in and spruce up the store and decorate it for the holidays.

Perhaps what’s happened is not too surprising, though, because for many people Walk a Crooked Mile has become one of the things that makes Mt. Airy the community it is.

Williams got into the book business by accident. He was a schoolteacher and principal by profession when he attended an education conference in New Mexico. While there, he says, “A friend said, ‘Do you want to go booking?’ I was like, ‘what’s that?’ ” They went around to bookstores in search of rare and interesting books and Williams got hooked on the book trade.

He opened the store in 1994 and lived upstairs there for a few years. “I wanted it to be a community service and something the community needed, “ he says, “and it’s worked out well – it’s been all of those things.”

The wide selection of used books on his shelves account for only some of the popularity of the store. Williams began his free weekly summer concert series almost ten years ago and has hosted innumerable community yards sales and other events in that time.  But as with so many other businesses in this climate, times have been tough lately for the bookstore.

“Rent’s always the bugaboo for used bookstores, and we had some two- or three-month periods that were really slow over the past year. Coffee sales, internet searching, walk-in sales - everything flattened out,” Williams says.

His top priority now is to make progress on the debt he owes to SEPTA. He’s planning a benefit concert after the holidays with some of the many bands and groups that have performed at the store over the years.  The venue is yet to be decided, he says, but it will likely be in Mt. Airy.

More immediately, a First Friday celebration is planned at the store this Friday, December 4, from 5:50-9 p.m. It will be a holiday party with Devon Street neighbors to support the store, with  holiday treats, hot chocolate and coffee, caroling and entertainment and children’s activities.  Walk a Crooked Mile will also be open late on Fridays, December 11 and 18, as part of DecemberFest.

Williams is very grateful for the help he has received from the community. “The response has been great,” says Williams. “To get that kind of loyalty has been humbling and makes me want to make it all work out even more.”

For more information about Walk a Crooked Mile Books call 215-242-0854 or visit the website at

Review: ‘The Matchmaker’ at Stagecrafters


Guest Writer

“The Matchmaker,” a play by Thornton Wilder, directed by Yaga Brady, is the current production of The Stagecrafters, 8130 Germantown Avenue, now through December 13.

A skinflint, a couple of eager clerks, a put-upon niece and ward, her betrothed, a widow who supports herself by arranging marriages, a milliner filled with joie de vivre, and eight other actors playing nine characters, currently keep the Stagecrafters theater hopping in Thornton Wilder’s 1954 farce “The Matchmaker,” the comedy better known today as “Hello Dolly without the music.”

Set in 1895, “The Matchmaker” was playwright Thornton Wilder’s second shot at a failed piece he had written earlier in his career, “The Merchant of Younkers.” Based on some classical Roman comedies and a 19th century British novel called A Day Well Spent, it is the story of what happens when a penny-pinching Yonkers, New York businessman tries to quash the engagement of his niece to a landscape painter, while at the same time trying to arrange a marriage for himself. Out of this emerges the famed character Dolly Gallagher Levi, the matchmaker, a charming yet practical woman who decides to bag the aging Yonkers tight-wad for herself.

This non-musical “Dolly” is well-suited to The Stagecrafters. It is a full-on farce, meaning it is filled with slamming doors, characters in bad disguises, actors listening to others from behind potted palms, cases of mistaken identity, a young man going after an older man’s intended, the possibility of fortunes made, and a nearly impossible happy ending.

The part of cheapskate businessman Horace Vandergelder is played by David Ehrenkrantz, a veteran Philadelphia-area player who makes his first appearance in a Stagecrafters’ production. The beloved Dolly character is vibrantly played Doff Meyer, formerly a Boston-trained repertory actress who last appeared at Stagecrafters in a production of “Butterflies Are Free.” The clerks are portrayed by Timothy Urian and Andrew Mooers, fellows who picked up the acting bug at Drexel and Temple, respectively.

In the late 1950s, “The Matchmaker” was produced as a movie starring Shirley Booth. In that cast, the part of the milliner was played Shirley MacLaine, star of such 1960s hits as “The Apartment” and “Sweet Charity.” This film casting is only brought up to hint at how strong, vital and charming Cathy Gibbons Mostek’s performance was in the same part on the boards at Stagecrafters. As the character Mrs. Irene Molloy, she takes charge of the adventures of the younger cast members and is a charmer.

John McKevitt, Susan Mooers, and Sonya Aiko Hearn, play supporting roles as an Irish itinerant, a society dame, and the milliner’s helper. All appeared at Stagecrafters within the last year in “Incorruptible” and “Night Watch.” Jackie Anderson appears as Vandergelder’s niece Ermengarde; Owen Williams plays her sweetheart. Jonathan Zell and Greg Pronko portray a couple of slapstick waiters. Mary Zell and Jacquie Duris play retainers. And finally Gerry Alexander plays two fun parts, as a distracted barber and as a horse cab driver.

Finally,  congratulations to the Stagecrafters in its 81st season. “The Matchmaker” is the organization’s 500th production. Few volunteer theaters can claim the distinction of putting on so many plays and of enjoying so much community support.

Remaining performances are December 3, 4, 5, 10, 11, and 12 at 8 p.m., December 6 and December 13 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $15, with Thursday performances two tickets for $20. 

Students with valid ID get $2 off general admission.  Groups of 15 or more are offered a reduced rate of $12 a ticket. Reservations are available at 215- 247-9913.

Germantown YMCAMembers Meeting

Annual meeting of the Germantown YMCA membership will be held Wednesday, December 16, 7 p.m. at First United Methodist Church of Germantown  (FUMCOG),  6023 Germantown Avenue. The meeting will be held to choose a new corporate name, amend corporate by-laws, provide an update on organizational plans, and discuss the nomination process for board members.


Food and Coat Drive at Trolley Car

For the past nine years Trolley Car Diner and Deli has collected thousands of new and gently worn winter coats, which were redistributed to Philadelphia’s less fortunate citizens.  In response to the dire need for food donations, Trolley Car has been accepting food donations since last holiday season.

Greater Philadelphia Cares (GPC) started the Winter Coat Drive thirteen years ago as a way to help thousands of men, women and children in the Philadelphia area who do not have a coat to keep them warm throughout the winter season.  According to GPC, many people have coats in their closets which they seldom use or do not wear at all.  Helping those who are less fortunate can be as simple as cleaning out a closet.

In addition to collecting winter coats again this year, Trolley Car will continue to collect non-perishable items to help feed those who cannot afford to put a meal on the table. 

Anyone with a gently used or new coat collecting dust and taking up space in their closet, or non-perishable items in their pantry, are encouraged to bring them to Trolley Car Diner and Deli, 7619 Germantown Avenue, from now until Martin Luther King Day, January 18, 2010. 

 “Last year, the Diner collected more than 500 winter coats for Philadelphia’s less fortunate men, women and children,” explained Trolley Car owner Ken Weinstein.  “With your help, we can collect even more this year.”

Trolley Car Diner and Deli is located at 7619 Germantown Avenue and can be reached at 215- 753-1500 or  For more information call Po-Hong Yu at 215-848-1133, ext. 208, or e-mail

Maxwell Mansion Party

The Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion, 200 West Tulpehocken Street, will host its annual Dickens Christmas Party on Saturday, December 12 from 2 to 4:30 p.m.  You won’t see Ebenezer Scrooge, but rather his famed creator. 

“In the tradition of true Victorian hospitality, luscious cookies and Christmas punch will be served in the dining room,” says Diane Richardson, executive director of the 1859 Mansion.

Charles Dickens and Louisa May Alcott will read from their works.  Children can buy items from our gift shop, and an art teacher will help them wrap purchases and make holiday cards.  Guests can enjoy self-guided tours of the Mansion. Tickets are $12 adults, children under 10 free when accompanied by an adult. Call Ruchardson at 215-438-1861 for reservations and details.

The Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion is a restored historic house museum located in the Tulpehocken Station Historic District.  The museum offers 12 rooms furnished in the Victorian-era taste of its first inhabitants, the Ebenezer Maxwell family who lived in the house from 1859 to 1862 and the Hunter Stevenson family who resided in the house into the twentieth century. 

Variety of Holiday Events at Historic Sites

Whether it’s a workshop in arranging holiday greens, a festive tea, traditional carol sing or winter beer festival, there’s something for everyone this December in Historic Germantown - Freedom’s Backyard.   

Dec. 1 marks the opening of a month-long special exhibit, “Winter Wonderland: Work and Play in Germantown” at the Germantown Historical Society, 5501 Germantown Avenue, part of Germantown Works, a Historic Germantown project funded by the Pew Center for Arts and Heritage through the Heritage Philadelphia Program. The exhibit will feature historic toys, including the popular German “Belsnickel,” sleds, clothing and other items used for winter work and play in Germantown from the Society’s rich museum collection. For museum hours visit  

The historic Wyck house and gardens, 6026 Germantown Avenue,  will offer workshops on making holiday wreaths and arrangements on the following dates: Dec.4, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.; Dec. 5, noon-3 p.m.; and Dec. 6, noon - 3 p.m. To register call 215-848-1690. 

A full afternoon of Historic Germantown programs kick off on Saturday, Dec. 5, with a Holiday Open House and Craft Sale at Historic RittenhouseTown from noon - 4 p.m. (visit for details) as well as a St. Nicholas Day Gift-Making Workshop at Grumblethorpe from 1 - 4 p.m., where, in exchange for bringing a non-perishable food donation, visitors can make sachets, candles and woven gifts. Participants are requested to bring a non-perishable food item for site food drive.

The Dec. 5 festivities continue with a Holiday Tea and music at historic Stenton, 18th and Windrim streets, from 2 - 4 p.m. (RSVP to 215-329-7312 ), and a Winter Beer Festival hosted by Cliveden of the National Trust, 6401 Germantown Avenue, from 1 - 5 p.m. The evening will be capped off by a traditional Carol Sing from 7 - 9 p.m. at Germantown Mennonite Historic Trust’s 1770’s Meetinghouse, 6133 Germantown Avenue. 

On Saturday, Dec. 12, 2 – 4:30 p.m., Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion, 200 West Tulpehocken Street, hosts a Victorian style afternoon program, with “A Dickens Christmas Party,” complete with book readings, gift-making and holiday refreshments. Visit for fees and details.  

Awbury Arboretum will offer a free Winter Greens Festival on Dec. 12, 2 - 4 p.m., featuring strolls through Awbury’s evergreens, holiday crafts, seasonal sweets and Mexican hot chocolate, spiced with Awbury’s own homegrown dried hot peppers. 

And on Sunday, Dec. 13, Grumblethorpe, 5267 Germantown Avenue, hosts a Holiday Party from 4:30 - 7:30 p.m., offering light fare, seasonal cheer, tours by site youth volunteers, and over 300 ornaments and displays made by students in the Grumblethorpe Elementary Education partnership.

Annual Kwaanza activities at the historic Johnson House, 6306 Germantown Avenue, will take place on Dec. 26 and 27 from 2-5 p.m. Call 215-438-1768 for details. 

For more information on holiday events in Historic Germantown, check the calendar at or call the Program Office at 215-844-1683.

Holiday Workshops at Wyck

Practice the craft of designing and creating beautiful winter wreaths, centerpieces, and arrangements at the annual holiday-themed workshops in Wyck’s Education Center at 6026 Germantown Avenue (at Walnut Lane) on December 4, 5, and 6.  On hand will be a large array of both traditional and unusual seasonal greens and festive accoutrements to help create beautiful, long lasting decorations to enjoy for the holidays or give as gifts. This year there will be an expanded range of wreath sizes priced by diameter. Please bring a pair of hand-held garden shears or sturdy scissors. Space for these workshops is limited.

Workshops run Friday, December 4, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.;  Saturday, December 5, noon – 3 p.m.;  Sunday, December 6, noon – 3 p.m. The $44 fee includes all materials for a 23” wreath. Other sizes are available.

Then on Sunday, December 6, noon – 3 p.m., please join us for an Open House at Wyck.  Bring the family, tour the house and grounds, and enjoy light refreshments.

To reserve a spot in a workshop, email or call Wyck at 215-848-1690. Please specify which workshop you would like to attend.

Support MLK Association Party for Kids

Support the Philadelphia Martin Luther King, Jr. Association for Nonviolence Inc. as it hosts its 6th Annual Children’s Christmas Party and Toy and Food Give-away.  Because of the great need this year, the Christmas Party will take place on two days, Saturday, Dec. 19, noon and Wednesday, Dec. 23, 4 p.m.  Children attendees for this party are pre-selected, some of them coming from area homeless shelters and other programs for low-income families. Each year volunteers from corporations, local businesses and organizations, and concerned persons volunteer their time to make sure that we can serve as many children as possible. They are treated to a special Christmas show on stage produced by the King Association’s “College for Teens” program that embodies the meaning and spirit of Christmas, and will also see a parade of Sesame Street, Disney and Christmas characters along with superheroes.

Volunteers are needed to come help at the party in various capacities. Concerned and caring citizens can also drop off new, unwrapped toys for little boys, little girls and for teens as well.

The King Association will be distributing food baskets to pre-selected families in need at these events and toys will be given to each child through individual donations and the Philadelphia Marines “Toys for Tots” Program.  Only families that have applied and approved will get toys and/or food.  Application forms can be downloaded from the King Association’s website at

New unwrapped toys and non-perishable food items for children can be dropped off at King Association headquarters Mondays-Fridays, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., at 5398 Wynnefield Avenue, or call the office at 215-751-9330 for a location closer to you. 

For information about Philadelphia MLK Association programs, call 215-751-9300.  Joye Nottage is executive director and William Tucker is president of the Board of Directors.

Arts Garage Showcases Northwest Artists

Mt. Airy Art Garage, a community-based artist cooperative, is ready to open its doors at 542 West Carpenter Lane on Saturday, December 5. They will showcase juried artists from the Northwest who specialize in fine art and handcrafts and will be open every weekend through Dec. 20. Admission is free and open to the public.

Mt. Airy Art Garage will feature a place where you can come with friends and family, meet the artists, listen to music, and find unique one-of-a-kind gifts for the holidays. Each weekend will highlight new artists—both emerging and professional. The Mt. Airy Art Garage will have custom leatherwork, jewelers, mixed media and fiber artists, sculptors, photographers, painters, you name it. You may just find a rainbow of work, culture, and experience, a truly diverse and cooperative effort.

Mt. Airy Art Garage will be open Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. on December 5-6, December 12-13, and December 19-20, and is still looking for more artists to show. For more information, friend us on Facebook or visit us at

Edward Jones Office is Toys for Tots Drop-Off Site

Andrea Rinaldi, the local Edward Jones financial advisor, is supporting the Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program by using her office as a drop-off location for this year’s toy drive.

Local residents may help needy children in the area by bringing in a new, unwrapped toy to the office, 7151 Germantown Avenue, during regular business hours beginning Monday, November 30.

“With the holiday season around the corner, we are all getting ready for the festivities,” Rinaldi said. “And as this is the season of giving, now is a great time to remember the less fortunate in our community.”

For information about the toy drive call 215-242-2402.

Wyndmoor Tree Sale

The Wyndmoor Hose Company Annual Christmas Tree Sale has proven to become one of the company’s most successful annual fund raising events. All proceeds benefit Wyndmoor Hose Company. The sale began December 1 and runs through mid-December, 6-9 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. The lot is at 1043 East Willow Grove Avenue in Wyndmoor. For more information visit

Santa’s sleigh will touch down at Mt. Airy’s Rothe Florists, 7148 Germantown Avenue. On Friday, December 4 from 6–8:30 p.m., children can sit on Santa’s lap and make their Christmas wishes known, while parents snap pictures and create priceless holiday memories. This event is free to the public and all children must be accompanied by an adult.

Even Santa knows it pays to shop local in Mt. Airy. As part of the DecemberFest promotion sponsored by Mt. Airy, USA and the Mt. Airy Business Association, shoppers can cash in $250 worth of Mt. Airy receipts at local banks and receive a $25 gift certificate redeemable at participating Mt. Airy businesses (while supplies last).

Stores along Germantown Avenue will stay open as late as 9 p.m. for Late Night Fridays, December 4, 11 and 18. Each Friday, strolling carolers and other holiday entertainment will keep shoppers in a festive mood. For information on DecemberFest visit

Concert at Grace Baptist

On Sunday, December 6, at 4 p.m. the Men’s Chorus of Grace Baptist Church of Germantown, 25 West Johnson Street, under the direction of Ms. Marilyn P. George, presents “This Christmas,” a free concert to usher in the holiday season. The concert will be held in the sanctuary.

The Chorus will be joined by the Anwar Marshall Jazz Trio performing seasonal popular and sacred music including Donny Hathaway’s “This Christmas,” “Rudolf the Red-nosed Reindeer,” “Mary Did You Know,” “Betelehemu” (Nigerian Christmas Song), arrangements of traditional spirituals, and, “Silent Night” (a la The Temptations).

This annual event is presented by the Men’s Club of Grace Baptist Church. For information call the church office at 215-438-3215.

Lecture on Spirituality/Healing

International speaker Kari Mashos, a full-time prayer-based healer using the Christian Science system of healing, will present a talk titled “Christmas Joy!  Christ brings the closer view of God” on Saturday, Dec. 5, 11 a.m., at Second Church of Christ, Scientist, 3015 West School House Lane in East Falls.  

During her talk Mashos references the original sourcebook on Christian healing, the Bible, along with Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, a book of universal ideas on practical spirituality.

Mashos will explore how we can see the Christ more visibly in our hearts and minds and feel its healing effect.  Mashos speaks internationally as a member of the Christian Science Board of Lectureship.

For information call Nancy Batty at 610-544-5975.

‘Ancient Voices”

Ancient Voices, the University of Pennsylvania’s early music ensemble, presents Music of the Middle Ages and Renaissance at Grace Epiphany Church, Gowen Avenue and Ardleigh Street, on Saturday, Dec. 5 at 8 p.m.  Known for performing some of the most complex and beautiful music of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, the group’s program for the evening features Music of the Virgin Mary  by Praetorius, Dufay, Fayrfax, Verdelot and Sweelinck. A free-will offering to support the mission and ministries of the church will be gratefully accepted.  For information call  215-248-2950 or visit

Holiday Bazaar

The Presbyterian Women of Germantown Community Presbyterian Church, 6141 Greene Street, invites all to attend their Holiday Bazaar on Saturday, Dec. 12, from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. The bazaar will feature many great values for gift-giving. Fried chicken dinners will be served in the Holiday Café for $9-10. Space rental for vendors is $20.

For more information and vendor requests, please call the church office at 215-438-0500 and leave a message. All are welcome. 

Weatherization Assistance

On November 23 Mayor Michael A. Nutter announced that Philadelphia has been awarded almost $30 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding for the Weatherization Assistance Program, an investment that will create jobs, cut energy bills, and lower energy use for individuals and families across the city.  $15.9 million has been allocated to the Philadelphia Housing Development Corporation, a city agency, and $13.9 million allocated to the Energy Coordinating Agency, a non-governmental organization.

The additional investment will roughly double the total number of homes in Philadelphia served on an annual basis to approximately 4,000 homes this year, and increase the amount of money that can be spent per home from $2,500 to $6,500, allowing much more work to be done in each property.  It is expected that improvements made to these properties will result in energy savings for the homeowner of 30-40 percent in the first year.  Eligible homeowners must be high energy users whose incomes are below 200 percent of the federal poverty level, so the funding is targeted at the lowest-income Philadelphians.

Clients whose properties are weatherized also receive energy efficiency education at each step of the process and as well as receiving improvements to their home, they also receive a caulk gun, radiator key, and information on how they can continue to reduce their energy use.

State regulations require PHDC and ECA to first serve eligible residents (those below 200 percent of the federal poverty level) who appear on a list of previously identified high-energy users to ensure that the program achieves maximum energy savings.  When all residents on that list have had the opportunity to receive service, PHDC and ECA will serve clients who sought weatherization through the agencies’ standard intake process.

Homeowners wishing to find out whether they are eligible for weatherization assistance should call the Philadelphia Housing Development Corporation Weatherization Assistance Program Hotline at 215-448-2160, Monday-Thursday, or contact their local Neighborhood Energy Center, details to be found through the Energy Coordinating Agency:

Join Cliveden of the National Trust, 6401 Germantown Avenue, on Saturday, Dec. 5 for their annual “Winter Beer Festival.” The event is a craft beer tasting and fundraising event like any other and will showcase a special selection of seasonal and limited-edition holiday craft beers.

The event takes place in a heated tent on Cliveden’s historic battlefield from 1-5:30 p.m. 

Attendees will receive a 6 oz. souvenir tasting glass and are welcome to sample any beers being poured by the brewers.  Finger foods will also be available.

The general admission session is from 2-5:30 p.m. Tickets for the general session are $40 in advance or $65 at the door.  General session participants will have access to over 50 beers from 20 breweries. A special VIP session will be held from 1-2 p.m.  VIP tickets are available for $65 advance purchase only and include a sample of special seasonal beers as well as limited-edition Christmas brews from around the world.  VIP ticket holders will also receive the full benefits of the general admission session from 2-5 pm.  Designated driver tickets are available for $10, which includes admission to the site but does not include a tasting glass. 

Tickets can be purchased online at

Covenant Toastmasters Club provides a comfortable, instructive environment for developing public speaking and leadership skills.  Guests are always welcome.  The group next meets December 9 at New Covenant Campus, 7500 Germantown Avenue, Founders Hall, Room B-11 (2nd floor), from 7:30-9 p.m. For information visit

Presentation on Town Hall

Germantown residents, businesses and community stakeholders are cordially invited to a presentation by graduate students from Philadelphia University’s School of Architecture that will showcase their design concepts for Germantown’s Town Hall that incorporate energy efficiency and environmental sustainability.

The presentation takes place Tuesday, Dec.8, 4 p.m., at Vernon House in Vernon Park, 5800 Germantown Avenue.

If you are able to join us, please R.S.V.P. to the attention of John Churchville, chairman/CEO of Liberation Fellowship Community Development Corporation, at 215-848-8511, e-mail

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Left, Germantown quarterback Ramadan Abdullah scrambles to make a play with two Cougars in hot pursuit.

MLK-Germantown Game

Below, Cougars’ running back John Wilson looks for a hole in the Germantown defense late in the game.

This year Germantown may have had a few extra reasons to celebrate, like the fourth quarter 50-yard touch down pass by Abdullah that sealed Germantown’s 36 to 0 victory and twelve months’ worth  of bragging rights. But even the most partisan of supporters had to admit this event is never really about the game.

“You come back to things like this when you’re 35 because you love the school,” said Germantown Principal Margaret Mullen-Bavwidinsi. And in that sense, there is always next year.