West Mt. Airy Neighbors aims to nearly double its membership

The residents association in West Mt. Airy is about to embark on a major fundraising campaign. Beginning on March 21, West Mt. Airy Neighbors (WMAN) hopes to raise 400 new members by the end of the year. It’s current membership base is about 600.

Marilyn Cohen, WMAN’s executive director, said to do that she and others will go door-to-door explaining how the association benefits.

“We want to encourage people to spring into action,” she said.

Membership is key to WMAN’s livelihood. Cohen said it is the largest source of funding, since outside money has become scarce.

“People have had to tighten their belts,” she said. “There used to be grants and funding available for community organizations, but [because of] cuts in government spending at the state level and changes in federal practices, there aren’t those kinds of public and government grants available.”

Cohen said the organization is limited to perform operations it already does by a lack of funds. Those operations include helping fund crime watch groups, plant more trees and eliminating blight. 

“When we have more resources, there are a number of things that we would like to do more of, [but] we can’t at the moment,” she said.

Cohen wants to establish programs—such helping older residents rehab their homes.

Cohen encourages community members to come to WMAN’s general board meeting this Tuesday at 7 p.m. at 6703 Germantown Ave, 2nd floor — that’s where the meeting will be to learn more about what her group does.

WMAN Membership is $30 annually for individuals and $60 for families.

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