Spring has burst into bloom everywhere, Earth Day is almost here, and there are lots of neighborhood activities, many related to the season

  But before I tell you about things to do and places to go, I want to tell you about a neighborhood hero…………….

If you watched the local news this past weekend, you know about the awful incident in which an infant was stabbed in the head. Details are still unclear. I had the TV news on, but was listening rather than watching, until I heard a familiar voice ………. my friend,Rev. Chester Williams, was being interviewed. He had heard screams coming from a house across the street from his, and he rushed outside to see what was happening. He saw 2 young adults and a badly-injured baby. He immediately gave them first aid instructions, got them all into his car, and drove to the hospital as quickly as safety would permit. He may have saved that baby’s life.

As the interview went on, and the reporter asked questions about what happened, it was clear that Rev. Williams’ only concern was about the condition of the baby. If you know him, this won’t surprise you.

As head of the Chew & Belfield Neighbors Club (CBNC), he works tirelessly for the benefit of southern East Mt. Airy and northern Germantown. He organizes activities ranging from block clean-ups, to crime prevention and emergency preparedness workshops, to tutoring, to free outdoor movies during the Summer. Public recognition is not important to him --- and he could be a little upset with me for writing this. But people who run toward a potentially dangerous situation to try to help, rather than away from it, deserve a little recognition.





          Public education is important not only to our students and their families, but to the overall health and growth of communities. EMAN, WMAN and MAUSA are working together to support the 5 public elementary schools in Mt. Airy --- Emlen, Houston, A.B. Day, C.W. Henry and Linglebach.

          We’ve formed a new Mt. Airy Schools Initiative, and have applied to become an EITC (Educational Improvement Tax Credit)organization. We don't know yet if we'll be approved, but we should hear soon, and we're optimistic.

           Businesses can apply to participate, and either 75% (for a one-year commitment) or 90% (for a 2-year commitment) of your PA business taxes will be redirected back into the community, through a grant fund which will support our neighborhood schools. Marilyn Cohen (WMAN), Anuj Gupta (MAUSA), Abby Thaker (MAUSA) and I have visited the schools and have spoken with principals and teachers to explore their needs.

          If you pay certain business/corporate PA taxes, (including partnerships and S corporations and businesses that file Form 1120, 1120-S, and 1065), you may be eligible to participate. Check with your tax professional, and if you’re eligible and interested, contact Abby Thaker at MAUSA (athaker@mtairyusa.org or 215-844-6021) by April 26th.

          And, whether you’re eligible or not, please help us spread the word!

          The application process is easy, and we’ll walk you through it. But there’s planning required, as credits are awarded on a first-come, first served basis. Applications must be made on July 1st.






This Friday, April 19th, from 4 – 5 PM, First United Methodist Church of Germantown (FUMCOG) will be the location of a special program titled “What’s Next? A Forum on the Future of Germantown High”. Innovative ideas for the use of the building will be discussed. The forum will be moderated by Solomon Jones of AxisPhilly and streamed live by NBC10. Panelists will include Councilwoman Cindy Bass, as well as representatives from community organizations, faith groups, the Germantown United CDC, Pew Charitable Trusts and more.

To register to attend, go to http://gtown.eventbrite.com.


Center on the Hill will hold its 3rd annual Health and SeniorResource Fair on 4/23rd from 10 till 2, at the Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill (8855 Germantown Ave., parking lot at the rear of the building). There’ll be health screenings and info provided by 45 vendors. For more info, call 215-247-8855.






Sustainability and environmental awareness are part of Mt. Airy’s culture. You might be interested in 2 nearby electronics recycling events this weekend.

State Rep. Cherelle Parker’s office will be collecting unwantedelectronics for responsible recycling this Saturday, April 20th, from10 AM till noon, on the parking lot behind the office (1536 E. Wadsworth Ave.) You can also bring papers and documents for shredding, which is the best way to dispose of papers that contain personal info, to protect against identity theft.

Green in Chestnut Hill (GRinCH) will be holding a Weird Waste Day this Saturday as well, from 1 till 4, on the  parking lot of theNorwood-Fontbonne Academy at 8811 Germantown Ave. They’ll help you get rid of “anything with a plug”! Items will be responsibly reused or dismantled. The suggested donation of $10-20 will help fund GRinCH’s Green Warrior student grant program.

Note: no large appliances at either event, please!


Awbury Arboretum will be celebrating Earth Day with a “Bee Aware” event on Sunday 4/21st, from 3 – 5 PM. Herbalist Bethany Linden will present info about herbs, bees and honey. A “make & take” beeswax Earth Day gift will be part of the activities. Tickets are $20; call 215-849-2855 or visit www.awbury.org for details.


As part of the Philadelphia Science Festival, Dr. Fred Schaefer will be doing “Table Top Science” at Earth Bread + Brewery, onTuesday 4/23rd from 5-9 PM. The event features hands-on interactive demonstrations that are fun even if you don’t have a ton of scientific knowledge.


How about celebrating Spring through the arts? Mt. Airy Art Garage’s upcoming exhibit, “Earth Day Through the Artist’s Eye”will open on Friday, 4/26th. The opening reception will start at 7 PM.


It’s always Earth Day for Friends of the Wissahickon (FOW).A series of nature walks and hikes with FOW Trail Ambassadors will take place on weekends. There are activities for all levels of experience and interest. For more information or a schedule of events, go to www.fow.org or e-mail marley@fow.org





Quintessence Theatre Group has begun its new “Chocolate and Champagne” repertory series, featuring Shaw’s Arms and the Manand Moliere’s The Misanthrope. Tickets are available for individual performances or in special packages. All performances take place at the Sedgwick (7137 Germantown Ave.). For a schedule of performances, ticket info and other details, go towww.QuintessenceTheatre.org

For more contemporary work, Allens Lane Theater (at the Allens Lane Art Center, Allens Lane and McCallum) will produce When The Rain Stops Falling by Andrew Bovell, a generation-spanning family saga. The play opens on May 3rd. For ticket information, visitwww.allenslane.org





On Saturday, May 4th, from 11 AM till 5 PM, the whole community will come together for a day of “food, fellowship & fun”. There’ll be live entertainment on 2 stages, 150 tables with merchandise and information, food trucks, valet bike parking, some new children’s games, the Philadelphia Zoo on Wheels and much more.

We still need some volunteers to work at the event. If you have a few hours to contribute, we’d love to hear from you. And it’s a great community service opportunity for high school students. Contact Cindy Lees (cmlees220@gmail.com or 215-621-6193).



Community organizations like EMAN and WMAN can't continue to bring you events like Mt. Airy Day without your support. If you haven't already joined us, we urge you to become a member of EMAN. We have rolling memberships, so you can join at any time of year. You can join at our website (www.eastmountairy.org) using PayPal, or download and print a membership form if you'd rather pay by check.

Our regular Community/Board meetings happen at the EMAN Office the first Tuesday evening of the month at 7:30, from September through June. (When that presents a conflict with a holiday or election day, we switch to the 2nd Tuesday; check our website for a listing of dates and for directions to our office on the campus of the Lutheran Theological Seminary.) 

Meetings are open to the public and we'd love to meet you!


Enjoy the start of Spring!