Around Town

Santa Claus is coming to town

St. Hubert High School’s faculty scholarship fund committee will sponsor Brunch with Santa on Saturday, Dec. 14, from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The school is at Torresdale and Cottman avenues.

The cost is $15 for brunch and $5 for pictures with Santa. The menu consists of eggs, pancakes, bacon, chicken nuggets, french fries, juice, coffee, tea and water. Activities will include coloring, letters to Santa, ornament making, a selfie station, dancing, reindeer food making, face painting and a performance by Anna Marie’s Academy of Dance.

For more information, email SHSantaBrunch@gmail.com. ••

SPIN choir performing on Dec. 8

The SPIN Choir – an inclusive group of singers, including those with disabilities and autism – will perform on Sunday, Dec. 8, at Bucks County Visitor Center, 3207 Street Road, in Bensalem.

The choir will perform at the center’s holiday trees installation, 3 to 4 p.m.

The public is invited. ••

Come see Santa on Saturday

Emmanuel Resurrection Episcopal Church, 8201 Frankford Ave., will host Lunch with Santa on Saturday, Dec. 7, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The cost is $5 per person. Visitors are welcome to bring their cameras for pictures with Santa. ••

Trolley tours of Tacony

Guided historical trolley tours of Old Tacony will be given at the Tacony Winterfest, which will be held on Saturday, Dec. 7, from noon until 4 p.m.

The tours are free and will take place at noon and 1 p.m. Preregistering for the tours is recommended and can be done by visiting Tacony Library at 6742 Torresdale Ave. or by calling the Historical Society of Tacony at 215-338-8790. The tours are not recommended for children under 7 years of age. ••

Winterfest at Tacony Library

Tacony Library, 6742 Torresdale Ave., will host its annual Winterfest on Saturday, Dec. 7, from noon to 4 p.m.

The afternoon will include crafts for children; a holiday centerpiece-making activity for adults; historic trolley tours; outdoor games and firepits; a Christmas puppet show; Kwanzaa storytime; a Hanukkah celebration with folk dancing; a children’s holiday singalong; winter-themed science activities; a virtual reality experience; and a visit from Santa.

For information, call 215-685-8755. ••

Breakfast with Santa

United Methodist Church of the Good Shepherd, 10901 Calera Road, will host a breakfast with Santa on Saturday, Dec. 7, from 8 to 11 a.m.

Breakfast is free for children under 5, $3 for ages 5-12 and $7 for anyone over 12. Pictures with Santa are $8 or $17. A bakery box of homemade cookies costs $7. Call 215-632-1929. ••

History meeting Wednesday night

The Northeast Philadelphia History Network will meet on Wednesday, Dec. 4, at 7 p.m. at Pennepack Baptist Church, 8732 Krewstown Road.

The guest speaker will be Peter Kurtz, the longtime director of Pennypack Environmental Center. ••

Tribute brunch for Jacques Lurie

Congregations of Shaare Shamayim, 9768 Verree Road, will host a Chai Light Brunch in tribute to executive director Jacques Lurie on Sunday, Dec. 8, at 11 a.m. The cost is $36.

Call 215-677-1600. ••

Tree lighting on Sunday

The Mayfair Community Development will hold a Christmas Village & Tree Lighting on Sunday, Dec. 8, from 2 to 6 p.m. at Frankford and Cottman avenues.

The event will feature artisan crafts, food trucks, vendors, live music and Santa Claus. Local music legend Mike LeCompt will light the tree. ••

Santa is coming to Holmesburg Library

Santa Claus will greet children and pose for pictures on Wednesday, Dec. 11, from 5 to 7:30 p.m. at Holmesburg Library, 7810 Frankford Ave. The event, sponsored by Friends of Holmesburg Library, will include cookies and make-and-take holiday crafts. Call 215-685-8756. ••

Christmas bazaar at All Saints’ church

All Saints’ Torresdale Episcopal Church, 9601 Torresdale Ave., will host its 47th annual Christmas bazaar on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 6-7. The hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Dec. 6 and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Dec. 7.

There will be a craft room, Christmas store, white elephant, religious items, a country store, Santa’s workshop, a 50/50, photos with Santa, raffles and food. Pets are welcome to sit on Santa’s lap. Parking is in the rear of the church. Call 215-637-8787. ••

Christmas bazaar at Ryerss Museum & Library

The Friends of Ryerss Museum & Library will sponsor a Victorian Christmas Bazaar & Open House on Saturday, Dec. 7, from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The museum is located at 7370 Central Ave., in Burholme Park.

The day will include a visit from Santa Claus, crafts, gifts, lunch, live music, raffles, festive decorations, home-baked goods, used book sale and fresh wreaths and holiday decorations for sale.

Call 215-685-0544 or visit ryerssmuseum.org. ••

KleinLife is going on the road

Travel with KleinLife will visit the National Museum of American Jewish History in Center City to take in the new exhibition of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, among other prominent museum exhibits, on Friday, Dec. 13. The trip includes admission to the museum and roundtrip motorcoach accommodations. Cost is $55.

The series concludes with a four-day, three-night trip to Newport, Rhode Island from June 8-11, 2020. Highlights of the trip are a tour of the Scenic Ten Mile Drive, a visit to the Touro Synagogue, America’s oldest, a visit to Olde Mistick Village and a harbor cruise. The excursion features three overnight stays at the Foxwoods Casino-Great Cedar Hotel, which includes a $30 slot play, three full breakfast buffets, two dinner buffets or a food credit and one dinner in a Newport restaurant as well as roundtrip motorcoach transportation. Cost for the trip is $750 double occupancy, with a $190 supplement for single occupancy.

For additional details and reservations and a free Travel with KleinLife brochure, contact Andrea Kimelheim at 215-698-7300, Ext. 176 or akimelheim@kleinlife.com. ••

Redemption Lutheran services

Redemption Lutheran Church, 8001 Bustleton Ave., will celebrate the birth of Christ on Tuesday, Dec. 24, at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.

The services will include the singing of Silent Night by candlelight.

The 4 p.m. service will be geared toward families and offer a puppet show sermon.

The 8 p.m. service will include a string quartet.

The organist and guest musicians will play festive carols before each service.

All are welcome.

Visit redemptionphiladelphia.org. ••

Block Gives Back opening office

The Block Gives Back will open The Block Shop, 6831 Torresdale Ave., on Saturday, Dec. 14, at 11:30 a.m.

The public is invited. There will be discounted merchandise, raffles, refreshments, activities and a tour.

Anyone bringing an item for the less fortunate will be entered into a raffle. ••

KleinLife offering STEM

KleinLife, 10100 Jamison Ave., announced that its Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics program is being expanded to accommodate more students.

New students will be able to join the program as of Jan. 6.

Classes will run on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 4 to 6 p.m.

The new educational opportunity has been designed to prepare students for their advanced-placement courses in high school.

Parents must go through an interview, and there is a short qualifying written exam for interested students.

Cost is $30 per session.

Anyone interested in joining the STEM program may contact KleinLife at 215-698-7300, Ext. 148 or kleinlife.stem@gmail.com. ••

Veterans needed to volunteer

Crossroads Hospice & Palliative Care is seeking veterans to volunteer to help support patients who are veterans.

“At Crossroads, we honor all veterans, and this is a great opportunity for them to volunteer to support their fellow veterans at the end of life by offering companionship and that special veteran camaraderie,” said volunteer manager Kimberly Mumper. “We call our Crossroads volunteers ‘Ultimate Givers’ because they give the greatest gift of their time and gain the satisfaction of knowing they helped make a fellow veteran’s day a little brighter.”

For more information or to sign up as a volunteer, contact Kimberly Mumper at 215-956-5110 or Kimberly.Mumper@crossroadshospice.com or visit CrossroadsHospice.com/Volunteering. ••

Fitzgerald wants gun reform

State Rep. Isabella Fitzgerald has introduced a series of bills designed to protect law-abiding gun owners, children and residents in the commonwealth.

The bills introduced by Fitzgerald would require driver’s licenses and photo identification cards to indicate a person possesses a concealed carry permit; all firearms be safely stored whenever they are not in use; and would establish a 72-hour waiting period for purchases of semi-automatic assault rifles.

Fitzgerald is a member of the PA SAFE Caucus, which is made up of 70 members of the state House and Senate who believe in reducing all types of violence in society. ••

Driscoll bill encourages retirement savings

State Reps. Mike Driscoll (D-173rd dist.) and Michael Peifer, a Republican representing Pike and Wayne counties, introduced legislation that would make Pennsylvania the latest state to enact an auto-IRA program.

The legislation would establish the Keystone Saves Program, a voluntary program that aims to expand access to private retirement savings plans to more than 2 million Pennsylvanians who currently do not have a workplace retirement plan.

“We must do more to ensure retiring Pennsylvanians aren’t plagued with financial burdens as a result of rising costs and unforeseen expenses during what is supposed to be their golden years,” Driscoll said. “I am proud that this legislation transcends partisanship and allows lawmakers from both sides of the aisle to focus our attention on doing what’s right for residents of the commonwealth.”

Driscoll said the program would allow enrolled employees to have a portion of their income automatically deposited into an account overseen by the state Treasury. There, the state treasurer would manage the accounts like the previously enacted 529 College and Career Savings Act, while also consulting with private financial planners to ensure the maximum return and minimal risk for enrollees.

Additionally, employees will be the sole proprietor of all funds they deposit into these accounts, meaning the money cannot be used or become property of the state. ••

Service will offer hope during the holidays

Immanuel Lutheran Church, 14100 Worthington Road, will host a “Hope for the Holidays” service on Sunday, Dec. 22, at 2:30 p.m.

The worship experience is meant to give encouragement and hope for people, especially those coping with the loss of a loved one, who find the Christmas season difficult.

There will be prayers, scripture and music, followed by light refreshments and fellowship.

Call 215-464-1540 or visit ImmanuelPhilly.org. ••

Fitzgerald wants gun reform

State Rep. Isabella Fitzgerald has introduced a series of bills designed to protect law-abiding gun owners, children and residents in the commonwealth.

The bills introduced by Fitzgerald would require driver’s licenses and photo identification cards to indicate a person possesses a concealed carry permit; all firearms be safely stored whenever they are not in use; and would establish a 72-hour waiting period for purchases of semi-automatic assault rifles.

Fitzgerald is a member of the PA SAFE Caucus, which is made up of 70 members of the state House and Senate who believe in reducing all types of violence in society. ••

Change in lottery will help seniors

Legislation to amend the State Lottery Law to reduce the statutorily mandated rate of return is on its way to the governor’s desk, said Rep. Thomas Murt (R-152nd dist.), who authored the measure.

“By slightly increasing the lottery’s profit, we are supporting our senior programs with extra funding through those gains,” Murt said. “In the end, this is truly a win for our seniors and their quality of programs in the commonwealth.”

House Bill 956 would reduce the mandate rate to 23% on a temporary basis for the next three fiscal years until June 30, 2022. Act 201 of 2014 most recently reduced the mandate from 27% to 25%, which gave the lottery the opportunity to raise prices and match consumer demand to increase their profits. ••

More money needed for transportation

A state House task force investigating how to better fund transportation infrastructure concluded that shortfalls in funding for transportation improvements is linked, in part, to the spending of Motor License Fund money on non-transportation-related projects.

The task force was headed by Rep, Martina White. Specifically, the report cited $4.5 billion diverted to the Pennsylvania State Police from the fund since 2012-13.

“Our review of the state’s transportation infrastructure revealed crumbling roads, failing bridges, aging railcars and buses, along with congested highways and inner-city gridlock,” White said. “Yet, despite legislation, like Act 89 of 2013, to raise funds for transportation, many projects have stalled, and maintenance has been delayed.”

The task force recommended expediting the transfer of state police funding to a general fund obligation.

Read the task force report and see the bills for implementing the report’s recommendations at repwhite.com/HouseTransportationInfrastructureTaskForceReport. ••

Santa at Philadelphia Mills

Santa Claus is available for photos at Philadelphia Mills through Christmas Eve. Santa is in the Grand Court. To reserve a time or for more information, visit simon.com/mall/philadelphia-mills/stores/santa-photo-experience. ••

Grant will improve streets near Holy Family

Holy Family has received a state grant of $866,000 for improvements on the streets surrounding the university.

The grant will be used to improve safety and circulation for pedestrians, bicyclists, transit users and vehicles along Frankford Avenue, Grant Avenue and Stevenson Street.

The improvements include replacing and upgrading approximately 1,700 feet of sidewalk and ADA ramps, conversion of 650 feet of sidewalk to an 8-foot-wide multi-use side path, pedestrian bump-outs at Frankford and Grant avenues, upgrades to bus shelters and the construction of a drop-off and pick-up zone on Stevenson Street.

“Student safety is a top priority, so it’s important to fund measures to improve accessibility around campus,” said state Rep. Mike Driscoll. “Congratulations to Holy Family University for receiving a grant that will make the necessary improvements to the thoroughfare around campus to ensure students can safely get around.”

The project is anticipated to take two full years, including design, construction and permitting. Construction is expected to begin next fall, with the project complete by the summer of 2021. ••