Holiday season in the Northeast [Northeast Times]

[Originally posted by the Northeast Times Dec. 13]

From Frankford and Cottman to Settlement Music School to the FOP, the holiday spirit was in the air last week.

The Mayfair Business Improvement District on Saturday held a tree-lighting ceremony at Frankford and Cottman avenues. Santa and Mrs. Claus posed for pictures with children in attendance. DJ John McBride played holiday music. Guests were invited to drop gifts in a Toys for Tots box. City Councilman Mike Driscoll and state Rep. Pat Gallagher were among those on hand.

Meanwhile, the Settlement Music School Kardon-Northeast Branch, 3745 Clarendon Ave., on Saturday presented Tchaikovsky’s ballet The Nutcracker. The performance featured music, costumes, a storyline and dancing by Kardon-Northeast’s young dancers, under the instruction and choreography of new dance teacher Brittany Johnson. Settlement will host a free holiday concert, featuring performers from the Kardon Center for Arts Therapy, on Tuesday, Dec. 19, at 7 p.m. The choir, rock band and individuals will perform. Light refreshments will follow. The public is invited. To learn more about Settlement’s dance program, visit settlementmusic.org/dance or email branch director Matthew Clayton at matthew.clayton@settlementmusic.org. Follow Settlement on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Gov. Josh Shapiro, interim Police Commissioner John Stanford and Eagles mascot Swoop attended last week’s FOP Lodge 5 survivors holiday breakfast. Families of police officers who died in the line of duty were also given holiday dinners and gifts to take home at the Dec. 6 event at the FOP, 11630 Caroline Road. Also on hand were Highway Patrol Officer Andy Chan, who was severely injured in an accident as he headed to work on Rhawn Street in 2019, and John Marynowitz, who was shot and seriously injured by an illegal Haitian immigrant in 1993 in West Oak Lane. That shooting incident claimed the life of Marynowitz’s partner, Robert Hayes. New Lodge 5 president Roosevelt Poplar told the gathering that they were the FOP’s “extended family.” Poplar also recognized his predecessor, John McNesby, who will soon start a job with the state. Stanford told the families they are just “a phone call away” from getting help from the police department.

Shapiro lauded McNesby’s stewardship and said he expects Poplar to continue his good work, adding that officers deserve the public’s respect.

“Policing is a noble profession,” the governor said.

The Rev. Jim MacNew, the FOP chaplain, offered a blessing. State Sen. Jimmy Dillon was also in attendance. The morning included holiday music. Among the families at the breakfast were those of Chuck Cassidy, John Pawlowski, James O’Connor, Christopher Fitzgerald, Isabel Nazario and Brian Lorenzo.

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