Thursday, April 08, 2010

Mayfair hopes to use $$$ from bond for playground (From Northeast Times)

Mayfair hopes to use $$$ from bond for playground

By Diane Prokop

Times Staff Writer

Mayfair Civic Association president Joe DeFelice updated members on the Mayfair Memorial Playground, the sale of civic-group property and the transfer of a 1957-issued $500 savings bond from the Mayfair Improvement Association to the Mayfair Civic Association.

While the missions of the MIA, which disbanded in 1959 after the death of its president, Amos B. Scott, and the Mayfair Civic Association are the same, the transfer is complicated because of the different names of the organizations and the board.

DeFelice contacted U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter's office for guidance in the matter and expects the transfer to be granted.

The MIA's former financial secretary (treasurer), Beatrice A. Seybold, wrote a notarized letter to the U.S. Treasury Department, notifying it of her wishes to bestow the bond, which has accrued to $3,700.

"The Mayfair Civic Association appears to be an offspring of the MIA and they are interested in rebuilding the Mayfair Memorial Playground at Lincoln High School. This playground was initially built because the MIA donated the ground for the building of Lincoln High School with the understanding that there would be a playground built there. I feel, as the financial secretary of the former MIA, that this bond will go to the exact use for which it was originally intended many years ago," Seybold wrote.

DeFelice told the group that the MIA bond fund is good news for the playground project at Rowland Avenue and Vista Street.

"We'll be able to add the $3,700 to the $3,000 we already have," he said.

However, the group needs $50,000 to complete the project. Toward that end, DeFelice has also submitted a grant application to the Philadelphia Activities Fund for $6,000, as well as a second application for funding from Kaboom, which recently built a playground at the Northeast Community Center. He also has contacted Home Depot about a possible grant that could award a $5,000 gift card for the purchase of supplies for the project, as well as an application for trees from the Northeast Tree Tenders.

In other business, DeFelice submitted a letter from the civic group to the Mayfair Community Development Corp. to show its support for the organization as it seeks funding. DeFelice pointed out that hours at the John Perzel Community Center have been cut back because of financial issues.

The second annual Mayfair Fallen Heroes 5K Run will be held on Saturday, May 15. This year the run will honor the memory of firefighter John Redmond, who lived with his family on the 3400 block of Shelmire Ave. He died in 1994 while fighting a fire at a South Philadelphia church.

The run will begin at 8:30 a.m. at Ryan Avenue and Sackett Street, go once around the park and finish at the playground site.

The civic association has worked closely with Firefighters Local 22, which has pledged $1,000. To date, 30 sponsors have stepped up to support the run with at least a $100 donation. (The civic group is hoping someone will donate soft pretzels for the event.)

The first $5,000 will benefit the Hero Thrill Show; with the balance aiding the Mayfair Memorial Playground, which was originally named in tribute to Redmond and others who have died in the line of duty.

The run is one of three neighborhood events to be held on May 15. Also scheduled is the third annual Mayfair May Fair, which will feature sidewalk sales and live bands up and down Frankford Avenue, and the 15th Police District and Police District Advisory Council Community Day.

The organization is waiting on one more resident to send in a check to cover the cost of a survey of a group-owned lot behind 3400 Ryan Ave., 3400 Cottman Ave. and 7300 Crispin St. The civic association plans to sell portions of the lot behind homeowners' properties to the homeowners for $1 per portion.

The civic association has also sold its radar detector to the Mayfair Town Watch for one dollar.

The Mayfair Civic Association will meet 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 25, at the John Perzel Community Center, 2990 St. Vincent St.

Reporter Diane Prokop can be reached at 215-354-3036 or

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