Riverfront North Partnership last week held a spring fling and silent auction at Glen Foerd on the Delaware, honoring a park advocate and accepting a big check to further its work.
Linde Lauff, president of the former Friends of Pennypack Park, was recognized with the Outstanding Volunteer Award for her park advocacy.
Meanwhile, U.S. Rep. Brendan Boyle announced $2.5 million in Community Project Funding (formerly known as earmarks) in support of completion of the 1.8-mile Tacony-Holmesburg bicycle and pedestrian trail, with work to be done from Princeton Avenue to Pennypack on the Delaware (near Rhawn Street).
In addition, Riverfront North chairman Bob Borski, a former congressman, presented flowers to Maida Hanson Wrigley, the nonprofit’s development coordinator, who is moving back to Wisconsin.
Riverfront North executive director Stephanie Phillips said Lauff was being honored for taking part in waterfront tree plantings and working to pass a state bill to protect volunteer groups from frivolous lawsuits.
The Friends of Pennypack Park had to go dormant in 2020 when it lost its insurance following the settlement of lawsuits it had nothing to do with. Attorneys included FOPP in lawsuits against the park system because the group had “Pennypack Park” in its name.
Lauff has worked with Rep. Mike Driscoll on a bill that has passed the House of Representatives that would remove liability for volunteer organizations. The bill is expected to pass the Senate and be signed by the governor.
“Keep your fingers crossed,” Lauff said.
Lauff indicated that FOPP might return, but not yet.
“We can’t take the risk of potentially being sued again,” she said.
Borski and Boyle praised Lauff.
“I can’t think of anyone in Northeast Philadelphia who deserves recognition more than you,” Borski said.
Boyle was amazed to hear that Lauff has taken part in more than 1,300 tree plantings in the last four years at Pennypack on the Delaware.
“I still haven’t even mulched our yard yet,” he said.
State Rep. Joe Hohenstein and former Riverfront North executive director Tom Branigan were among those in attendance. ••