Welcome to the tropics!

If you're a fan of heat & humidity, your season is off to a good start......           Extreme heat & humidity can combine to create a life-threatening situation for some. The elderly, the very young & people with chronic health conditions can be seriously affected by the weather. We've all heard the standard tips for trying to stay cool. Stay out of the sun; wear a hat or visor if you can't find shade. Light colored clothing really is cooler than dark. Slow down, & drink plenty of water, even if you don't feel thirsty. If you have an air conditioner or fan, use it. You can also stay cool in places like malls, libraries, & senior centers. We've already had our first heat advisories, & it's only June. The City's Office of Emergency Management has info & suggestions about staying comfortable, where to get help if you need it, etc. Visit their website for details. http://oem.readyphiladelphia.org/heat You can also sign up to receive year-round emergency alertsabout weather conditions, local emergencies, etc., by text or e-mail. "ReadyNotifyPA" has become "ReadyPhiladelphia". to sign up, go tohttps//member.everbridge.net/index/453003085612339#

The first round of EMAN Community Fund grants has been announced! The EMAN Community Fund is a donor-advised fund of The Philadelphia Foundation. Reflecting EMAN's motto, "Making A Good Community Better", the Fund seeks to help nonprofit organizations that are actively providing innovative & sustainable programs to support the health, welfare, prosperity & quality of life for Northwest Philadelphia communities, with a focus on those that serve East Mt. Airy. All of us at EMAN are very excited to have this fund in place! The priority areas for grants were: aging; building community; children & youth; and mental health/intellectual disabilities. These reflect the mission of EMAN Community Living, the nonprofit whose sale (toSpecial People in the Northeast, or SPIN) created the Community Fund.

The recipients of the first year's grants are:

  • Awbury Arboretum ($9,500), for improvements to trails & paths, providing handicap-accessibilty

  • The Business Center for Entrepreneurship & Social Enterprise ($17,500), for general support

  • Emlen Elementary School ($12,995), for an Early Literacy Initiative

  • Mt. Airy Art Garage ($5,000), for the "Make Art, Grow Food" project

  • Mt. Airy USA ($20,000), for general support

  • Northwest Philadelphia Interfaith Hospitality Network ($5,000), for family rental assistance

  • Urban Resources Development Corporation ($5,000), for its Owner-Occupied Repair Program

  • Weavers Way Community Programs ($15,000), for general support

  • Youth Services, Inc. ($10,000), for the Sally Watson Crisis Nursery

          EMAN is planning an event in October to celebrate the recipients' work, & we look forward to hearing updates about how the funds are being used!

Despite the oppressive weather, there are community activities throughout the Summer, & we'll try to keep you in the loop. We try to keep our website calendar up to date, listing activities as we hear about them (http://www.eastmountairy.org/calendar.cfm)

What's your vision for Mt. Airy?  You're invited to be part of the strategic planning process! A public "visioning meeting" on Wednesday, June 24th, from 6-8 PM, will kick off "Mt. Airy 2025: An Action Plan For Our Future".  Mt. Airy USA, in partnership with EMAN, WMAN & other community groups, will be launching a comprehensive, resident-driven neighborhoodplanning process, funded by the Wells Fargo Regional Foundation. The strategic planning process will be guided by Urban Partners, a Philadelphia economic development consulting firm. A large part of the neighborhood plan will address needs in the southern half of East Mt. Airy, focusing on children & families, economic development, affordable housing & several other important aspects of neighborhood building. Your input is valuable. This is an opportunity to have a say in building our community. What's important to you? The planners really want to know. For more info on the process, & how you can be involved, please come to the meeting. Since it's at dinnertime, pizza & snacks will be served. More info at www.mtairy2025.org

      Mt. Airy Reads! (But, you knew that, right?) It's important to pass along a love of reading & learning to our children, & the Mt. Airy Schools Coalition (MAUSA, EMAN & WMAN) wants to make it fun for kids to spend time with good books this Summer. Literacy is not seasonal. We'll host a kick-off event at Lovett Library on Thursday, June 25th at 11:30. Speakers will include Marjorie Neff, Chair of the School Reform Commission. Following the presentation, the "Moonlight Movies Book Club" will launch. Books will be tied in with the family-friendly movies shown in Lovett Park, next to the Library, on Friday nights during the Summer. A schedule of movies can be found at www.GoMtAiry.com

    We'll bet most of you have attended "Street Fare", the Fall food truck festival in the heart of the Germantown Avenue commercial corridor. And we'll bet you enjoyed it! The event will be on September 17th this year, from 6-10:30 PM. This is an expensive party to put on, & MAUSA's looking for funding help through "crowd-sourcing". You can donate at levels as low as $5, & there are perks for each donation level. www.indiegogo.com/projects/street-fare-2015/x/10860817#/story

Looking for volunteer opportunities this Summer? Awbury Arboretum is seeking volunteers for several programs & activities. It's a beautiful space with a friendly staff, (all of whom will be happy to meet you!).You can help neighbors connect with both nature & history. Visit www.awbury.org for information. If you'd just like to help out occasionally, without committing to a regular volunteer schedule, we have information about several older East Mt. Airy residents who would deeply appreciate some help with gardening tasks. Send us an e-mail (info@eastmountairy.org) & we'll connect you.

    I had an e-mail, & then a follow-up phone call the next day, from a  casting producer in Los Angeles. (I am not making this up.) Her company,Popular Productions, is working on a "reality" TV show, (she called it a "docu-series"), to be set in a diverse, middle-class urban multi-family dwelling or an apartment building. She was hoping I could put her in touch with people who might be interested in participating.      I told her the best I could do would be to include the info in my next e-news, so here it is. If you'd be interested in being part of this, send an e-mail (including your contact info, a photo, & info about the property/residents), to wherewelivecasting@gmail.com. (They may have already found a site, as it's been a couple of weeks since she called.)

To end on a much more serious note.............. Everyone at East Mt. Airy Neighbors shares the sadness, shock & horror felt across America following the hate-inspired murders on Wednesday night at the Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. We are proud to be part of an organization that has, for almost half a century, stood firmly against hatred & discrimination based on race, religion, gender, sexual orientation & socio-economic status.    EMAN may not wield enormous power in the grand scheme of things, but we work to maintain & enhance the quality of life in our uniquely diverse & active community. We are committed to justice, fairness & cooperation, to working in partnership, & to "making a good community better." For all of us.

We're all in this together.