Mt. Airy groups to hold a “celebrity” cooking contest November 3

East Mt. Airy Neighbors (EMAN) met on Tuesday evening to discuss the progress of the event “Cookin’ with Who?,” which will take place on November 3 at the Brossman Center on the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP) campus. The co-hosts of the event will be Neighborhood Interfaith Movement (NIM) and LTSP. Three “celebrity” chefs from each organization have been chosen to submit recipes that will be prepared by a catering company and guests will be able to vote on the dish of their liking. Executive Director Elayne Bender said that invitations will be sent out by next week, and that sponsors are still being sought after.

This event, like many others hosted by EMAN, helps the group continue their work in unifying and celebrating Mt. Airy. In addition to reaching out to neighbors to come to the events, Bender urged board members to appeal to neighbors about joining EMAN.

“We are there when you need us,” Bender said.

While EMAN has been sending out newsletters to neighbors about membership, Bender said the response has been slow. Treasurer Dutch Klugman stressed this point in his report, saying that last year at this time EMAN had already raised $6,000 in membership. This year they have only reached $500.

The sustainability committee has also been working on generating money for the group while encouraging community involvement. Board member Kim Miller announced plans to hold a Christmas Tree recycling day a couple of weeks after the holiday season. Miller said that the wood-chipping company would require a flat rate of $200 for collecting the trees but all other proceeds will go to EMAN. Board members said they may ask for five-dollar drop-off fee for the event. Miller suggested producing a flier to be distributed to Christmas Tree venders to alert the public that there will be a collection of the unwanted trees after the holiday season.

As they move forward, EMAN will have to depend on partnerships with other groups, such as their sister organization, West Mt. Airy Neighbors (WMAN). Not only is funding an issue, but two diverse groups working together have a better chance at representing the community at large successfully. WMAN recently hired a new executive director, Marilyn Cohen, following Lizabeth Macoretta’s resignation in April.

Cohen started her new post this week, and Bender said she is eager to work with the new executive director, especially in planning Mt. Airy Day, a joint event that the two organizations co-sponsor annually in May.

“(Mt. Airy Day) reflects the best of both organizations and the community and I look forward to working with Marilyn,” Bender said.

One topic that wasn’t addressed was whether Mt. Airy Day’s location should be moved. In a recent EMAN meeting some local businesses expressed interest in the move, but no formal plan was put forth last night.

EMAN’s next meeting will be on November 1.

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