A handful of Northwest Philadelphia community groups have benefitted in recent weeks from activity grants sponsored by Fourth District Councilman Curtis Jones, Jr.
On Monday night, Josh Cohen, special assistant to Councilman Jones, presented the East Falls Community Council with a check for $1,000 to be applied toward the East Falls Fall Festival, which features various events scheduled throughout the month of October.
“It pays for publicity,” said Tom Sauerman, president of the EFCC. Pointing to various examples of festival-related signage present at Monday’s meeting, Sauerman added, “These are the results of this annual donation that we get from the Councilman.”
The EFCC isn’t the only organization in East Falls to benefit from city coffers: The East Falls Historical Society and the East Falls Tree Tenders both received $1,000 in funding.
Ellen Sheehan, president of the East Falls Historical Society, said her organization will use the funds for the Kelly Family dedication ceremony on Oct. 27.
“The East Falls Historical Society is extremely grateful for the Activities Fund Grant arranged by Councilman Curtis Jones,” said Sheehan. “This money made it possible to offer all of the events associated with the Kelly family Pennsylvania historic marker ceremony free and open to the public.”
Cynthia Kishinchand, coordinator of the East Falls Tree Tenders, said the money awarded to her group will provide in-school programs and trips to nature centers for students at Mifflin Elementary School. Since 1997, approximately 7,000 local school students have participated in such programs and trips.
“EFTT appreciates this funding, which enables us to introduce local school students to the world of nature,” said Kishinchand.
Investing in the community
The previous week, Cohen presented the Wissahickon Neighbors Civic Association with two checks: A $50,000 grant to be used for cost overruns related to the rehabilitation of Neighbors Park and an additional $1,000 activity grant to be used for programming efforts at the park, which is located at Terrace and Hermit Streets.
“We had authorized $200,000 to revitalize the park, but in the last couple of months, it came to our attention that [these funds] will not be enough,” said Cohen at WNCA’s meeting last week. “The additional money will make sure that the park project is where it was originally supposed to be as far as safety standards.”
Cohen said after the meetings that additional civics stand to benefit from activity grants, but delayed announcement as the formal presentations have yet to take place. In addition, various community organizations and recreation programs stand to gain from the Councilmanic largesse.
“Activity grant funding are investments back into our communities,” said Councilman Jones. “I am always seeking opportunities that are ventures for our next generation, that improve our corridors and recreation centers, and truly reinforce our neighborhoods.”