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Building Community : Empty Bowl Dinner

Posted on: December 10, 2018

Elfant Wissahickon Realtors was a major sponsor of the 20th Annual Philadelphia Interfaith Hospitality Network‘s Empty Bowl Dinner.  The Empty Bowl Dinner is a fundraising event benefiting PIHN.  The event is a family-friendly, lively evening with entertainment and activities.  Held right before Thanksgiving at the start of the winter holiday season, a time when people reflect on their good fortune and the needs of others, PIHN’s Empty Bowl Dinner raises awareness about family hunger and homelessness. Guests choose a hand-made bowl, donated by local students or professional potters, in which to eat their meal. Soups, stews, breads, desserts and beverages have been graciously provided by local restaurants and cafes. After the meal, guests take their bowls home as a reminder that every night hundreds of families go hungry in the City of Philadelphia.

Elfant Wissahickon Realtors hosted the event’s raffle table.

Pictured above is one of the beautiful bowls donated by Neighborhood Potters.

Since 1991, Philadelphia Interfaith Hospitality Network (PIHN) has has moved “325 families—910 individuals— from homelessness to stability”.  The PIHN program provides assessment and referrals, emergency housing, supportive service, and transitional housing in Northwest and Northeast Philadelphia.

EWR’s has been a longtime supporter of this event.  According to Executive Director Rachel Falcove, “this year’s Empty Bowl dinner raised over $40,000! An alumni family said the experience of being at the dinner was” like being in a roomful of love.”

Elfant Wissahickon Realtors volunteers for the evening included: Melinda Coughlin, Michelle Shlomo, Kate Shlomo, Bob Elfant, Karen Carrero, Karrie Gavin, Connie Gillespie, and Larry DiFranco, former PHIN Board Member.

Pictured behind table are Melinda Coughlin and Michele Shlomo

Kate Shlomo

Pictured speaking above is pottery made by Nina Gordon.

To learn more about Philadelphia Interfaith Hospitality Network, click here!

Photography credit Elizabeth Hasier Photography

 


Building Community : RTP Kensington Block Build and Donation

Posted on: October 23, 2018

Elfant Wissahickon Realtors’ fundraising goal of $10,000 was surpassed! EWR committed to sponsoring repairs to a home during the Rebuilding Together Philadelphia October Block Build in Kensington. The Block Build took place last week, on October 19th and 20th. Realtors, staff, and friends donated to reach the $10,000 goal over the past several weeks and the check was presented in person on Friday during the first of the two Block Build days.

Pictured from left from Elfant Wissahickon Realtors: Chas Hendricksen, Eric Moore, Paul Walsh, Miriam Martinez, Asher Kahn, and from Rebuilding Together Philadelphia, Stefanie Selden, Executive Director.

The mission of Rebuilding Together Philadelphia is to bring volunteers and communities together to improve the homes and lives of low-income homeowners. Each year, RTP and 1,200 volunteers provide free safe and healthy home repairs for 75 to 100 homeowners. RTP executes three Block Builds a year in April, June and October. Each Block Build is two or three rebuilding days that utilize between 100 and 250 volunteers, neighbors, and homeowners per day to repair 10 to 30 clustered homes in a targeted neighborhood.

EWR’s two part commitment to RTP was realized last week when 12 volunteers from our company worked at the houses for the Kensington Block Build.

Elfant Wissahickon Realtors volunteers included: Asher Kahn, Miriam Martinez, Eric Moore, Paul Walsh Jr., Paul Walsh, Bob Elfant, Denise Chapline, Louise D’Alessandro, Jan LeSuer, Deb Stanitz, Leo McElroy, John O’Connell, and Richard Goldstone. Special guests in attendance on Friday were Congressman Dwight Evans and Police Commissioner Richard Ross, Jr.

Pictured speaking above is Stefanie Selden, Executive Director, Rebuilding Together Philadelphia

Pictured speaking above is Congressman Dwight Evans

Pictured speaking above is Police Commissioner Richard Ross, Jr.

Pictured above Elfant Wissahickon Realtors Founding Partners Louise D’Alessandro and Bob Elfant. Photo courtesy of Jan LeSuer

To get involved, click here!

Please enjoy some additional photos below. Photography credit Elizabeth Hasier Photography



Practical Energy Saving Tips

Posted on: October 16, 2018

Here are some practical energy saving tips to make note of!

Energy Saving Checklist from Lightbulb Wholesaler

Get the Homestead Exemption Before the Deadline Ends

Posted on: September 6, 2018

Did you know that you could save up to $550 on your 2019 Real Estate Tax bill with the City of Philadelphia’s Homestead Exemption tax relief program? You are eligible to claim Homestead for your primary residence in Philadelphia, which lowers the taxes for your property. Don’t miss out on big savings and sign up before September 13, 2018!

There are more than 200,00 households enrolled in the Homestead Exemption since 2012. Around 76% of eligible homeowners have taken part in saving on property taxes as of December 2017, making it one of the City’s most successful tax relief programs. It is expected to provide Philadelphians even bigger savings next year.  If you are an eligible homeowner and haven’t applied so far, don’t wait any longer and apply today – it only takes 2 minutes!

You can apply to Homestead by:

Already enrolled in the Homestead Exemption program? No action is needed, simply enjoy your savings. Once you’re in the program, you stay in automatically, unless you sell your property or if the deed of your property changes.

This program is for everyone! Income is not one of the limitations for eligibility and there is no age requirement.

If you benefit from LOOP (Longtime Owner Occupants Program) or have a 10-year tax abatement, you unfortunately won’t be able to get Homestead until that existing program ends. Nevertheless, you can apply for Homestead even if you have an OOPA (Owner Occupied Real Estate Tax Payment Agreement) or the Senior Tax Freeze.

Don’t miss the opportunity to save up to $550 on property taxes starting 2019. Hurry, the deadline for these savings is September 13, 2018.

​Source: http://bit.ly/2Q8qOxt /phila.gov​


Labor Day Weekend Guide

Posted on: August 31, 2018

Don’t let the forecast get you down! This holiday weekend there are plenty of fun and exciting events to attend both indoors and out. Whether it’s a new exhibit at the Art Museum or roller skating at the Blue Cross RiverRink, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Below are just some of the many events Philly has to offer this weekend! Have a safe and happy Labor Day weekend!

Blue Cross RiverRink & Summerfest
August 31st – September 3rd
Celebrate the end of summer at the Blue Cross RiverRink! Monday is the last day of the season, so make sure to head over to the Delaware River waterfront for boardwalk eats, delicious craft beer and cocktails, outdoor activities like mini-golf, roller skating, the 60-foot-tall Ferris wheel and fun arcade games.


Philadelphia Museum of Art Special Exhibits
August 31st – September 3rd
Labor Day weekend is here and with it comes two special exhibits. Head over to the Philadelphia Museum of Art and get inspired by “Modern Times: American Art 1910-1950” and “Art Splash: Bright Lights, Little City”. Take advantage of the museum’s “pay what you wish” admission this Sunday.


Franklin Institute of Science
August 31st – September 3rd
This weekend marks the last days of the Franklin Institute’s Game Masters exhibit. Enjoy 100 video games, ogle original and transformative artwork, watch interviews with gaming pioneers, delve in to the classic arcade diversions and immersive multiplayer experiences, and learn the stories behind celebrity characters. There’s something for everyone to enjoy!


Labor Day Fireworks Penn’s Landing
September 1st
Head over to Penn’s Landing to attend the end-of-summer concert featuring the U.S. Army Band Downrange, followed by the amazing fireworks show that lights up the sky above the Delaware River. Enjoy these mesmerizing views to commemorate Labor Day.


Made in America
September 1st – September 2nd
Welcome to one of Philadelphia’s most popular music festivals! Another great year of live music. The Benjamin Franklin Parkway will host this great event with some of the biggest names in the music industry from Nicki Minaj, Post Malone, Meek Mill, Diplo, Zedd to Alessia Cara and many more. Made in America runs Saturday-Sunday of the Labor Day weekend.


Philadelphia Phillies vs. Chicago Cubs
September 1st – September 2nd
The Philadelphia Phillies start off the month of September with a two-game series against the Chicago Cubs at Citizens Bank Park. Don’t miss the chance to see two top teams of their respective divisions to compete against each other.

 


Last Minute Vacation? 6 Ways to Prepare Your Home Before You Leave

Posted on: August 24, 2018

Vacations are all about relaxing. The last thing anyone wants to come home to is a mess or worse, theft. By preparing your home before you leave, the risk of accidents or burglary will be greatly reduced. Follow these tips before hitting the road for a truly care-free getaway.

1. Give the impression someone is home:

  • Park your car in the garage (if available) and ask a neighbor to park their car in your driveway occasionally.
  • Have a neighbor collect your mail, packages and newspapers or have delivery paused.
  • Use a timer to turn on lights in the home regularly.
  • Mow your lawn before leaving or have someone cut the grass while gone.

 

2. Protect your home against criminal activity:

  • Install a motion activated sensor on an outside floodlight.
  • Make sure all windows, doors, and gates are locked.
  • Remove all spare keys from any hidden exterior spots and bring them inside.
  • Set your security alarm and monitor security devices.

 

3. Set your thermostat:

Make sure you program your thermostat to keep your home at a safe temperature range. The ideal temperature range to keep the home when on vacation is 82-85 degrees in the summer and 60-65 degrees in the winter. This will keep your home and humidity levels comfortable without wasting energy (and money) while you’re gone.

4. Unplug electronics and small appliances:

Unplug electronics like TVs, computers, kitchen appliances, etc. to prevent excess power usage and to reduce the risk of an electrical fire.

5. Check your water and plumbing:

Turn off the water valves to the washing machine, dishwasher, sinks and toilets to prevent accidental leaks or ruptures. Shut off the water heater or put it in “vacation mode”.

6. General home preparation:

  • Take out the trash before going on the trip.
  • Leave closet doors open to prevent musty air.
  • Go through your fridge and cabinets and throw away items that will go bad while you’re gone. Clean the refrigerator and place an open box of baking soda in the fridge to absorb odors.
  • Notify your credit card company and your security company (if you have one) that you’ll be going on vacation.
  • Make sure to leave your emergency contact information with a neighbor.
  • Have a neighbor water your plants and check on your home.

 

Source: www.servicemasterrestore.com


Winter is Coming, Prepare in the Summer

Posted on: August 16, 2018

With heat waves and beach trips still to come, it’s hard to believe colder months are right around the corner. Before you know it flip flops and sand shovels will be replaced with scarves and snow blowers. While vacation mode is in full swing, taking the time to prepare for winter could save your family and home from winter woes. Here’s how to get started.

1. Snow Plow Service Lists

Make sure to get your name on the snow-plow contractors list. Reach out to your neighbors to pitch in on a private company. By prepping now, you’ll have more options to choose from as schedules start to fill up fast come fall.

2. Schedule Your Furnace Service

With temperatures in the 90s, the last thing on anyone’s mind is heating the home. However, this is the perfect time to schedule service on your home furnace. Ask your HVAC company for a twice-a-year maintenance plan. If something does need to be repaired, you’ll have plenty of time to get the work completed before you need it. Giving you the opportunity to save money for the repair or find the best deal. HVAC companies often give discounted rates for larger repairs!

3. Schedule a Professional Energy Audit

Schedule a professional energy audit now. A professional audit will save you money and you will learn where your home is prone to energy loss. Check out energy.gov for info on how both professional and DIY energy audits work. You can also find energy auditors through the Residential Energy Services Network at resnet.us.

4. Plant a Tree!

Enjoy working in the garden but worried about the impending frost? Late summer, early fall is surprisingly the best time of year to plant trees. Planting them now provides adequate time for trees to establish roots before summer next year. Not only are trees beneficial to the environment, they increase the value of your home! Live in a Philly zip code? You can get one for free. Take a look at treephilly.org for more info.

 

Source: Kelley Walters/Houselogic.com