Some sad news

East Mt. Airy Neighbors lost a long-time friend & Board member last weekend. Elvira Evans died on Saturday, July 26th. Elvira, (known to many as Ms. Puddin’) was a community activist her entire adult life. When she saw a problem, she acted to solve it. Years ago, she became aware of people in need & hungry in the southern part of our neighborhood. Her response was to start a food pantry out of the trunk of her car. It grew as she solicited donations from supermarkets & restaurants, & became a weekly activity, providing food for hundreds of people, recognized in the neighborhood as “Puddin’s Pantry”.

          When she saw the disrepair that Pleasant Playground had fallen into after years of neglect, she became a member of the playground’s advisory committee, & worked for over a decade to make the repairs & renovations happen. We are so glad she lived long enough to see that project completed.

          She was a fixture at EMAN activities & events, despite failing health. She always did what she could, working around her physical limitations.

          Having been one of the first African American children to be educated in the Philadelphia Archdiocesan school system, she remained an active alumna, keeping in touch with the orders of the priests & nuns who educated her, & raising funds for various Catholic charitable activities.

          Her funeral Mass will be on Monday, August 4th at 10 AM, at Holy Cross Church, 140 E. Mt. Airy Ave.

          Elvira’s generosity of spirit has always been, & will continue to be, an inspiration to everyone who knew her. We will miss her terribly.

In other neighborhood news……………..

          Do you know a low-income family or a senior who doesn’t have air-conditioning or a fan? Summer hasn’t finished with us yet, & we know heat & humidity will return. State Rep. Cherelle Parker’s fan distribution program is accepting applications from residents of the 200th legislative district until August 6th. The supply is limited, so call Rep. Parker’s office to sign up: 215-247-7300.

          If you have an overhead projector (remember those?) stashed away in your garage or basement, we can help you put it to use. While it’s not exactly a “smart board”, it can be used by classroom teachers in our local schools. Let us know, & we’ll arrange to get it from you (

          And, while purchasing school supplies for your children, (many stores are already having sales!), if your budget allows, please consider picking up a few extra things to donate to our neighborhood schools. Budget cuts continue, & it’s hard to educate kids when you don’t have enough paper, pencils, pens & other basics. A formal school supplies drive has not been scheduled yet, but if you bring supplies to the office of your local elementary school in September, I guarantee they will be happy to see you!

          There’s a new Farmers Market in the neighborhood. It’s atPleasant Playground on Wednesday afternoons from 2 till 6, & the farmer is selling locally-grown organic foods. ACCESS cards are accepted. The Community Art Collective has a Food Play Table for children, offering 30-minute activity sessions that promote healthy eating & creativity --- your little ones will be entertained while you shop!

          We’re hoping the Market will grow in coming years. One way to encourage more farmers to come is to patronize the Market, so stop by!

          The Chestnut Hill Community Association (CHCA) is making a special offer to EMAN & partnering in a Summertime fundraiser. You can support EMAN by becoming a member of the CHCA. This offer is for new CHCA members only, & for every 2-year membership purchased at $100, EMAN will receive $20.

          The CHCA offers a lot of programming in Chestnut Hill, including publishing the Chestnut Hill Local. A CHCA membership offers discounts to some local businesses & restaurants, & includes a subscription to the Local.

          This special offer ends September 30th. To support EMAN through this partnership, send a check for $100 (with EMAN on the memo line), along with your name, address, phone number & e-mail address to: CHCA ~ 8434 Germantown Ave. ~ Philadelphia, PA 19118.

          We thank our friends at the CHCA for their generosity!

      Of course, you can support EMAN directly, by becoming a member. You can join online using PayPal at our website (, or get membership info there & send us a check. If you prefer, we’ll be happy to send you a membership form; just let us know!

      We update the calendar of events on our website regularly, as we hear about events & activities, so check from time to time for things that might interest you.

Hard to believe it’s already August………………enjoy the rest of your Summer, & stay cool & safe!