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Richmond IGA earns honor

The Independent Grocers Alliance has announced John Hallinan, owner of the Richmond Shops IGA, 2497 Aramingo Ave., as an IGA USA Retailer of the Year.

The Retailer of the Year awards are the highest honors IGA bestows upon its retailer members. They are presented annually to grocers who have best provided leadership and excellence in their communities.

Hallinan will be recognized at the IGA Awards of Excellence Ceremony on Feb. 27 in Las Vegas. At the ceremony, one of the IGA USA Retailers of the Year will be named IGA USA International Retailer of the Year.

The Richmond Shops IGA is a founding member of The Retail Marketing Group, which provides a complete self-funded ad program including circulars for home delivery and in-store. RMG supports independent retail members with the advertising, promotion and merchandising guidance they need to compete.

This full-service supermarket has perishable departments, an in-store bakery, a bottle shop, Fresh Sushi & Boba Island, a full-service bank, Pennsylvania Lottery, public transit passes and a bill pay solution for customers. Moreover, the store carries a complete line of organic, vegan, natural foods and local products.

The shop is committed to local vendors, with Lancaster Fresh milk and eggs, Philly-brined pickles, locally sourced raw honey, handmade pierogies, a neighborhood Urban Winery and locally produced breads, cheeses and meats.

“Getting the word out on all of these unique offerings can be a challenge for the independent,” Hallinan said. “The conventional circular has taken a back seat to a new digital world, and we have worked hard to embrace this. We run our own robust marketing program that includes a loyalty rewards program, digital coupons, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, a weekly email campaign with 10,000 recipients and a weekly commercial that reaches the entire city of Philadelphia through TV and their digital devices.”

Hallinan said the store invests in multiple neighborhood associations for spring cleanups and green space revitalization, and helps sports clubs and veteran groups.

IGA CEO John Ross said, “John Hallinan and his team have established a reputation of local ownership and commitment to not only shoppers but their respective neighborhoods.” ••

Rhynhart details drug plan

Democratic mayoral candidate Rebecca Rhynhart held a news conference at McPherson Park in Kensington to discuss actions she would take to solve the crisis in Kensington fueled by the open-air drug market and the opioid epidemic.

“On my walk here from the Somerset station, I saw what residents and families of Kensington see every day: People injecting themselves with drugs in broad daylight, people leaned over and passed out, and trash piled up,” Rhynhart said. “This is not acceptable. Philadelphians are raising their families here. I am a mother and what I am seeing must end.”

Rhynhart’s strategies include:

• Deploying more police officers to Kensington and increasing foot patrols to provide safety for residents;

• Evaluating and improving the Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion for low-level offenders, a program that has been successful in other cities;

• Breaking up the open-air drug market through a Drug Market Intervention program focused on dealers, offering them a choice between a way out of the lifestyle assisted by city services or incarceration;

• Appointing a drug czar who will report directly to the mayor to coordinate the city’s response;

• Implementing community responder teams with representatives from appropriate city departments and community-based harm-reduction organizations to offer services to those suffering from addiction; and

• Streamlining intake at city-contracted facilities to ensure that those seeking treatment receive immediate medical assistance that can serve as a bridge until they can receive long-term care.

During her remarks, Rhynhart emphasized the need to have a compassionate response for those who are suffering with substance use disorder, while holding those responsible accountable with real consequences.

“To the residents of Kensington who have continually said enough is enough, I hear you. To those suffering with addiction on the street, I see you. We cannot let this continue. I will lead with the courage necessary to fix this. As mayor, I will act immediately to restore the quality of life here in Kensington, and at the same time, help those suffering from addiction,” Rhynhart said. ••

Flea market at St. Hubert

St. Hubert, 7320 Torresdale Ave., will be hosting its annual indoor flea market on Saturday, Feb. 4, from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the school cafeteria. Tables are $20 for vendors. Admission is free for shoppers. Email fleamarket@huberts.org ••

Bingo 3 times a week

The Ukrainian Cathedral, at Brown and Franklin streets, hosts bingo every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Doors open at 4:30 p.m. Games start at 6:30. Call 215-829-8103. ••

Remembering MLK at St. James

St. James Lutheran Church, 5185 Castor Ave., will host The Preacher, a service remembering Martin Luther King, on Sunday, Jan. 15, at 3:30 p.m. There will be music, reflections and quotes, followed by light refreshments. ••

Bingo on Saturday

St. Michael’s Lutheran Church, at Trenton Avenue and Cumberland Street, will hold bingo on Saturday, Jan. 14, from 1-4 p.m. Doors open at noon. Packages are $20 and include lunch. Call 215-423-0792. ••

Theater show at Glen Foerd

Glen Foerd, 5001 Grant Ave., will host the world premiere theatrical staging of Langston Hughes’ The Ways of White Folks, Jan. 11-22. A champagne reception will be held on Jan. 13. Published in 1934, The Ways of White Folks is a collection of 14 short stories by American poet, social activist, novelist, playwright and columnist Langston Hughes (1901-67). The collection addresses multiple dimensions of racial issues, focusing specifically on interactions between black and white people. Performances will be held Jan. 11-15 and Jan. 19-22, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Matinee performances will be held on Jan. 15 and Jan. 21, at 2 p.m. General admission tickets are $32, while the cost is $12 for students and industry professionals. Go to https://secure.egopo.org/ways-of-white-folks. Valet parking for all performances will be available. Masks are required to be worn during all performances. For more information, visit www.glenfoerd.org or call 215-632-5330. ••

Adult programs at Richmond Library

Richmond Library, 2987 Almond St., is offering adult programs in January.

Philadelphia Legal Assistance will take place on Tuesday, Jan. 17, from 3-6 p.m. Learn about free services from Philadelphia Legal Assistance such as tax refunds, unemployment compensation, small claims court and property tax issues.

Yoga is scheduled for Mondays at 5:30 p.m. on Jan. 23 and 30. Christiane runs the one-hour class. Bring a yoga mat if you have one; if not, the library will lend you one. Donations accepted but not required.

Crochet Circle is set for Wednesdays at 4 p.m. on Jan 11, 18 and 25. Learn how to crochet. Bring a project with you and join in crafting. For adults of all experience levels.

Call 215-685-9992. ••

En Vogue at Rivers

R&B group En Vogue will perform at Rivers Casino on Saturday, Jan. 14, at 8 p.m. The band has sold more than 20 million albums and consists of Terry Ellis, Cindy Herron and Rhona Bennett. Tickets start at $99. Buy tickets at RiversCasino.com/Philadelphia. ••

Ferko finishes sixth

Ferko String Band placed sixth among 14 bands at the Jan. 1 Mummers Parade.

Other local string bands are Polish American (seventh), Aqua (10th) and Duffy (11th). ••

Programs for children at Richmond Library

Richmond Library, 2987 Almond St., is offering children’s programs this month.

Silly Hat Day will take place on Tuesday, Jan. 17, at 4 p.m. Make your own silly hat and join in fun hat activities. For children and families.

Preschool Storytime and Play Group is scheduled for Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m. on Jan. 11, 18 and 25. Join Ms. Meghan for stories, songs and fun for ages 4 and under with caregivers. Stay after Storytime to play. Siblings welcome.

Read, Baby, Read Storytime and Play Group is set for Thursdays at 10:30 a.m. on Jan. 12, 19 and 26. Join Ms. Meghan for lap time with stories, songs, rhymes and bounces for babies with caregivers. Stay after Storytime to play. Siblings welcome.

Literacy Enrichment Afterschool Program (LEAP) will be offered Mondays through Thursdays from 3-6 p.m. and Fridays from 3-5 p.m. LEAP is a free, drop-in afterschool program that offers homework help and activities for students in grades K-12 every day after school.

Call 215-685-9992. ••

Celebrating 100 years of SMT

St. Martin of Tours Parish invites all school alumni, current and past parishioners and friends to a 100th anniversary Mass in the upper church, 5450 Roosevelt Blvd., on Sunday, April 30, at noon. The Mass will be celebrated by Archbishop Edward Adams. Afterward, there will be a “Past & Present — Building Our Future” celebration at Cannstatter’s, 9130 Academy Road, from 2-6 p.m. Tickets cost $35 and include food, soft drinks, music and door prizes. The event is for ages 21-plus. Tickets must be purchased in advance in the rectory, after all Masses, through Venmo (@smotphilly) or with check to St. Martin of Tours Church, 5450 Roosevelt Blvd., Philadelphia, PA 19124, Attn: Centennial Celebration. Proceeds will benefit church improvements. ••

Visit model railroad club

Chelten Hills Model Railroad Club, 8010 Old York Road in Elkins Park, will be hosting open houses from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 4-5. Admission is free. Donations are appreciated. Visit www.cheltenhillsmrr.org or Facebook. ••

Feb. book club meeting

The Book Club of Congregations of Shaare Shamayim will be holding its February Zoom session on Monday, Feb. 6, at 7 p.m. The book is The Henna Artist by Alka Joshi. For further information, or to register for the book club program, call Lynn Ratmansky at 215-677-1600. ••

Cruise the Mediterranean

Norwegian Cruise Line will host a Mediterranean cruise from Rome to Venice on Oct. 10-19. The trip is all inclusive with round-trip airfare, a beverage package, all meals, three specialty dinners, taxes, transfers and all gratuities. The cost for a balcony sea view cabin is $3,511 per person. For more information, contact Fillmore Travel’s Kevin Fries at 215-498-8294 or fkevin910@comcast.net. ••

South Phila. HS class of ‘68 reunion

The South Philadelphia High School Class of 1968 will hold its 55th reunion on Saturday, Oct. 21, from noon to 4 p.m. at the Waterfall Room, 2015 S. Water St. Tickets cost $60 and include buffet dinner and open bar. For tickets and more information, call Arleen Liberi [609-922-2419], Maria Leati [856-287-3734] or Stephen Michielli [267-252-2740]. ••

Upcoming cruise

The Bristol Cultural and Historical Foundation is sponsoring a fully escorted Holy Lands & Aegean Majesty cruise that will sail Oct. 6-17, featuring 10 ports-of-call. Rates, including airfare, range from $4,198 to $7,998 per person, double occupancy. Call 215-788-9408 for information and reservations. ••

Sisterhood meeting

The Sisterhood of Congregations of Shaare Shamayim, 9768 Verree Road, will be hosting a meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 14, at 1 p.m. A representative of Ivy Rehab Physical Therapy will be speaking about the use of strength bands in therapy. Light refreshments will be served. There is no charge. Call 215-677-1600. ••

Sisterhood meeting in March

The Sisterhood of Congregations of Shaare Shamayim, 9768 Verree Road, will meet on Tuesday, March 14, at 7:30 p.m. The speaker will be Rabbi Sandi Berliner. Her topic will be: “What’s on your seder plate – Updating your Seder.” Light refreshments will be served. Admission is free. Call 215-677-1600. ••

Bingo on Feb. 11

St. Michael’s Lutheran Church, at Trenton Avenue and Cumberland Street, will hold bingo on Saturday, Feb. 11, from 1-4 p.m. Doors open at noon. Packages are $20 and include lunch. Call 215-423-0792. ••

Broadway memories

The Congregations of Shaare Shamayim, 9768 Verree Road, invites the community to Together off Broadway: Merman and Martin on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2023, at 2 p.m. Ethel Merman and Mary Martin were off-stage friends, theater royalty and iconic personalities. The show gives a peek at their personal lives while celebrating a song list including I’ve Got Rhythm, The Sound of Music and Hello, Dolly. The price of admission is $36 per person and includes a dessert reception. Mail your check to the synagogue. Call 215-677-1600. ••

Enroll in early childhood education and care program

Registration is open for the second session of the Exceptional Bilingual Leadership Program, which starts Jan. 23.

The pilot program was completed in mid-December. The fellowship, created by Damaris Alvarado-Rodriguez, Obioma Martin and Aliya Johnson-Roberts, is accepting applications for its second cohort.

The 12-week program is designed for the personal growth of individuals involved in early childhood education and care. It provides new tools, strategizing techniques, opportunities for sharing and building bonds with like-minded individuals who have chosen to invest in their personal and professional development.

Maria Negron, a family advocate for Today’s Child Learning Center, was a participant in the pilot program. She said, “When I first began this training, I thought it was a regular class, but I got so much more out of it … the sisterhood, the strong women. It blows me away to know I can count on any one of these women — Damaris, Obioma, Aliya. Throughout this whole training, I told my boss every class is amazing. I left with so much more than when I started.”

Johnson-Roberts is executive director and owner of Bustleton Learning Center and Pratt Street Learning Center, and a business consultant pursuing a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership. She, Martin and Johnson-Roberts are graduates of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business Entrepreneurship Program.

Johnson-Roberts said, “Among the three of us, we have seen most of the childcare education programs that are offered and there is nothing like this out there — one that inspires other women, working together in a cohort, to share a vision for leadership.”

The next Exceptional Bilingual Leadership Program will begin Jan. 23. To learn more and enroll in the next session, visit https://latinoseducandojuntos.org/eblf/ or email omaxinstitute@gmail.com. ••

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