Northeast Times

Northeast Celebration is Aug. 24 in Castor Gardens

Jared So­lomon looked around Max My­ers Play­ground last Wed­nes­day night and saw dozens of young people play­ing bas­ket­ball, vol­ley­ball and soc­cer and us­ing the play equip­ment.

“This place is buzz­ing. Look at it,” he said.

So­lomon is pres­id­ent of the Castor Gar­dens-based Take Back Your Neigh­bor­hood civic as­so­ci­ation, and he ex­pects Max My­ers to be buzz­ing again on Sat­urday, Aug. 24, when his group will present its third an­nu­al North­east Cel­eb­ra­tion.

The event will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., both in­side the re­cre­ation cen­ter and un­der a large out­door tent.

There will be craft vendors, civic and com­munity groups, ser­vice pro­viders, polit­ic­al of­fices and his­tor­ic­al present­a­tions.

The day will in­clude food, live mu­sic, car­ni­val games, storytelling, face paint­ing, bal­loons, nail pol­ish ap­plic­a­tions, a ma­gic show, Zumba ex­er­cise classes, pinatas, a ca­ri­ca­tur­ist and ap­pear­ances by rep­res­ent­at­ives of the Phil­adelphia Zoo and the Academy of Nat­ur­al Sci­ences.

“We want to bring the com­munity to­geth­er,” So­lomon said. “Every year, we keep build­ing. It should be really nice. It should be a great event.”

Take Back Your Neigh­bor­hood has been in ex­ist­ence for more than five years. The group meets monthly at Max My­ers, at 1601 Heller­man St., though there will be no meet­ing in Au­gust be­cause of the cel­eb­ra­tion.

The next meet­ing will be on Monday, Sept. 16, at 7 p.m. at Max My­ers. The guests will be city elec­tions com­mis­sion­er Stephanie Sing­er, state Rep. and con­gres­sion­al can­did­ate Brendan Boyle and a speak­er on the na­tion­al Af­ford­able Care Act.

In its ex­ist­ence, Take Back Your Neigh­bor­hood has de­livered on a num­ber of ini­ti­at­ives and has plans for more neigh­bor­hood im­prove­ments.

Last year, So­lomon coached a sixth-to-eighth-grade boys bas­ket­ball team that com­peted in the Sonny Hill League. He wants to in­tro­duce a soc­cer pro­gram.

“Sports is a great way to en­gage kids,” he said.

The civic group also has worked to place trash/re­cyc­ling cans at Max My­ers and Big­Belly Sol­ar trash cans on Castor Av­en­ue.

Mem­bers have cre­ated a com­munity garden at the play­ground, or­gan­ized neigh­bor­hood cleanups, got­ten to­geth­er to knit and formed a com­mit­tee to call the city’s 311 none­mer­gency num­ber for vari­ous is­sues.

Thanks to the group, North­east Re­gion­al Lib­rary staff read to Max My­ers day­care stu­dents and Aria Health of­fers well­ness classes for the com­munity.

There is plenty to do, So­lomon said. There are plans to de­vel­op a youth tu­tor­ing ser­vice, of­fer Eng­lish as a Second Lan­guage classes and paint the ex­ter­i­or walls of the re­cre­ation cen­ter build­ing.

The grand­est plans in­clude pla­cing se­cur­ity cam­er­as at Max My­ers and on neigh­bor­hood streets and to find a way to im­prove the over­all look of the play­ground.

For more in­form­a­tion, con­tact So­lomon at 215-205-2167 or jaredg­so­lomon@gmail.com ••

You can reach at twaring@bsmphilly.com.

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