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Holmesburg holiday party

Holmesburg Civic Association invites the community to its annual holiday party on Tuesday, Dec. 12, at 7:15 p.m. at Holmesburg Recreation Center, 4500 Rhawn St. Light refreshments will be provided. Raffle tickets will be available for purchase for a chance to win prizes and gift certificates for neighborhood businesses. ••

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Live nativity at St. James

St. James Lutheran Church, Castor Avenue and Pratt Street, invites the community to a live nativity on Sunday, Dec. 17, from 5 to 6:30 p.m. ••

Somerton Civic to meet

Somerton Civic Association will meet at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 12, at 1290 Southampton Road, the Walker Lodge. Zoning appeals at 851 Red Lion Road, 11600 Roosevelt Blvd. and 488 Byberry Road will be discussed. ••

Free help available during holidays

For the 13th year, International School of Coaching’s Master Coach Paula Michele Boyle and her team of trained Life Coach specialists are reaching out to support the community for those feeling frustrated or unsatisfied with their relationships, careers and wellness. Enjoy a free opportunity to figure out where you are and where you want to go. The session you will receive with a certified Life Coach is available through New Year’s Day. There is a 10% discount to those who want to become certified as a Life Coach to help others in need. To register or learn more, visit lifecoachphilly.com. ••

Get your North Catholic gear

The Northeast Catholic Alumni Association is having a Christmas sale of North Catholic gear and merchandise on Saturdays, Dec. 9 and 16, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the alumni office, 2700 Rhawn St. All are welcome. ••

Israel is meeting topic

The Sisterhood of Congregations of Shaare Shamayim, 9768 Verree Road, will be hosting a meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 12, at 1 p.m. The guest speaker is Sigal Kanotopsky, Northeast Regional Director of The Jewish Agency for Israel. Sigal was born in Ethiopia and is a strong advocate for Israel. She will tell her story and speak on the present situation in Israel. Chanukkah refreshments will be served. Admission is free. Call 215-677-1600. ••

Toys for Tots event

The community is invited to drop off a new, unwrapped item for Toys for Tots on Sunday, Dec. 17, from 1-6 p.m. at Gallo’s Seafood Burger Bar, 8101 Roosevelt Blvd. The Marines will be placing the toys in an Eagles bus. ••

Santa Ride in Fox Chase

Community business leaders who are also St. Cecilia parishioners will present the fourth annual Santa Ride on Saturday, Dec. 16, starting at 4 p.m. behind Fox Chase Cancer Center. There will be an escort by the Philadelphia Police Department, a vehicle for music driven by the Pinkls, Santa’s Sleigh provided by the Comly’s Sound and lighting by RGB, Liberty Roofing and the white Fox Chase Lock & Key Inc. service vehicle. The ride will cover the Fox Chase portions of the 2nd and 7th Police Districts, traveling on Rhawn Street, at 5 Points, near the CSX tracks and on side streets. You can like and track the Santa ride on Fox Chase Lock & Key, Inc. | Facebook. ••

Chanukah quiz on Saturday

Join Congregations of Shaare Shamayim, 9768 Verree Road, on Saturday, Dec. 9, for a Chanukah Quiz Bowl with Rabbi Sandi Berliner following Shabbat services. Lunch will be served. Call the synagogue office at 215-677-1600 to RSVP or for more details. ••

Write to Santa, get a response

Anthony “Stitch” Picariello, a mail carrier from Bustleton Post Office, is inviting children to write letters to Santa Claus. The mailbox for kids to drop off their letters to Santa and get a response is in the lobby of Bustleton Post Office, 9925 Bustleton Ave. As long as the kids include a legible name and return address, Picariello will make sure they get a personalized letter from Santa back. No postage is necessary. The deadline to drop off a letter and hear back is Dec. 16. ••

Christmas tree lighting

A Christmas tree lighting will take place on Saturday, Dec. 9, at St. James Lutheran Church, Castor Avenue and Pratt Street. The lighting ceremony, which includes hot chocolate and music, will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Pratt Street. ••

Santa coming to Holmesburg

Santa Claus is coming to Holmesburg Library, 7810 Frankford Ave., on Tuesday, Dec. 12, at 5 p.m. Kids can enjoy cookies and make-and-take holiday crafts while they wait to talk to Santa and get their picture taken. The program is sponsored by the Friends of Holmesburg Library. ••

Breakfast with Santa

United Methodist Church of the Good Shepherd, 10901 Calera Road, will be hosting Breakfast with Santa on Dec. 9, from 8 a.m. until noon. Breakfast is pancakes, sausage, juice, milk, coffee and tea. Children under 5 are free, over 5 is $5. Adults are $10. This is also a Toys for Tots event. Come see Santa and bring a toy. ••

Holiday craft fair

The Villages of Pine Valley will host a holiday craft fair on Saturday, Dec. 9, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at its clubhouse at 900 Pine Valley Blvd. (access off of 8540 Verree Road). The fair will feature homemade candy, jewelry, wreaths, candles, artwork and more. Call Kathy at 215-722-1501. ••

History meeting tonight

Northeast Philadelphia History Network will meet on Wednesday, Dec. 6, at 7 p.m. at Pennepack Baptist Meetinghouse, 8732 Krewstown Road. The topic will be Northeast Philadelphia Rowhouses. Historian Lou Lescas will present a pictorial history of the evolution of the Northeast Philadelphia rowhouse, from the 1870s to the 1980s. ••

Holiday shows at Katharine Drexel Library

Katharine Drexel Library, 11099 Knights Road, will offer holiday shows for children to learn about the customs and origin of each holiday through storytelling, puppets, music and magic presented by Mlanjeni Magical Theater and the Amazing Mr. Q. The shows will take place on Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m. The show schedule is Dec. 12 (Christmas) and Dec. 19 (Kwanzaa). All ages are welcome. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Call 215-685-9383. ••

Events at Ryerss

Ryerss Museum & Library, 7370 Central Ave. in Burholme Park, will hold a number of upcoming events.

Here is the schedule: Friday, Dec. 8, 1-3 p.m. (Fibercraft Friends); Saturday, Dec. 9, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. (Ryerss annual Christmas open house); Sunday, Dec. 10, 1-3 p.m. (Manga Club); Friday, Dec. 15, 1-3 p.m. (Book Club); and Friday, Dec. 22, 1-3 p.m. (Fibercraft Friends).

Call 215-685-0599. ••

Hat, scarf giveaway for kids

Heather Miller’s annual hand-knitted hat and scarf giveaway will take place on Wednesday, Dec. 6, from 6-8 p.m. at Lawncrest Recreation Center, 6000 Rising Sun Ave. All are welcome to select hats and scarves for kids age 2-12. To make a donation or for more information, call 215-645-2589 or email heatherleemiller429@gmail.com. ••

See Santa at St. Hubert

St. Hubert, 7320 Torresdale Ave., will host Breakfast with Santa on Saturday, Dec. 16, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. There will be gifts, an indoor snowball fight, a craft corner, a coloring station, letters to Santa, a selfie station, make your own reindeer food, a Christmas bean bag toss, dancing and face painting. The cost is $30, or $25 for kids 12 and under, or free for kids 2 and under. Pictures cost $5. There will also be raffles. Register at Huberts.org/BreakfastWithSanta. For more information, email SHSanta@Huberts.org. ••

Free services for moms, moms-to-be

The Zoning Board of Adjustment last week voted 4-0 to give a temporary variance, through Dec. 1, 2026, to Magnolia Women’s Center, 7811 Frankford Ave., a faith-based nonprofit that provides free services to pregnant women and mothers of small children. The Holmesburg Civic Association board opposed the variance due, in part, to what it called Magnolia being “anti-choice” for not referring women for abortions. The civic board wrote a letter of opposition and attended the Zoom hearing. Voting in favor of Magnolia were ZBA members Bill Bergman, Jim Snell, Thomas Holloman and Ismail Shahid. Magnolia services include pregnancy testing, an ultrasound to determine the viability and dating of the pregnancy, a support system, resources and educational classes. ••

Remembering Fred Maurer

A memorial event for Fred Maurer will take place on Saturday, Dec. 16, at 10 a.m. at Pennepack Baptist Church, 8732 Krewstown Road. Maurer, 86, died in July 2022. He was active with the Northeast Philadelphia History Network and Frankford Historical Society. The program will start with an hour-long performance of Maurer’s favorite operas, followed by reminiscences by friends and associates. Contributions in Maurer’s memory can be made to Pennepack Baptist. Guests are also welcome to bring snacks. Call 484-452-6881. ••

Half-price clothing

The Classroom Thrift Shop, 4301 Tyson Ave., will hold a half-price clothing sale through Dec. 24, with merchandise added daily. Shop hours are weekdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The shop is closed Saturdays. Call 215-624-9130. ••

Buy a lottery calendar

St. Martha Parish is selling its 2024 lottery calendar for a $25 donation. Choose a three-digit number and you have 365 chances to win, based on the Pennsylvania daily number (straight) that is pulled at 7 p.m. The daily prize is $25. There is one bonus day each month worth $100. Calendars can be bought after Mass or by mailing a check made payable to St. Martha Parish, with “2024 Calendar” in the memo, 11301 Academy Road, Philadelphia, PA 19154. ••

Bingo at Loudenslager

Corp. John Loudenslager American Legion Post 366, 7976 Oxford Ave., is offering community bingo every second and fourth Friday evenings. Doors open at 6:30, games start at 7:20. Refreshments available. ••

Happy Chanukkah

Congregations of Shaare Shamayim, 9768 Verree Road, will host its annual Chanukkah celebration on Thursday, Dec. 14, at 6:30 p.m. Latkes and doughnuts will be served, with entertainment by Ken Ulancey and the building of a 9-foot, Lego-like menorah. To RSVP, call 215-677-1600. ••

Upcoming opera performances

Amici Opera Company will present Puccini’s La Boheme on Tuesday, Dec. 12, at 6 p.m. at La Piovra Trattoria, 7901 High School Road in Elkins Park. The cost is $54.95 and includes dinner. Make a reservation at 215-606-3800.

Meanwhile, Amici will present Verdi’s Don Carlos on Sunday, Dec. 17, at 2:30 p.m. at Dock Woods, 275 Dock Drive, Lansdale. La Boheme will be performed on Saturday, Dec. 30, at 4 p.m. at United Methodist Church of the Redeemer, 1128 Cottman Ave. Don Carlos will be performed on Saturday, Jan. 6, at 4 p.m. at United Methodist Church of the Redeemer. Call 215-224-0257 or visit the Amici Opera Company page on Facebook. ••

Donate blood

The American Red Cross is encouraging people to donate blood. Those who come to give blood in December will be automatically entered to win a holiday prize package. Those who come to give through Dec. 17 will get a $10 Amazon.com gift card.

The Northeast Philadelphia Blood Donation Center, 1401 Rhawn St., is open Monday-Wednesday, 11:45 a.m. to 8 p.m., Thursday, 10:15 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., and Friday-Sunday, 7:15 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Other dates are Dec. 10, from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., at St. Thomas Indian Orthodox Church, 1009 Unruh Ave.; Dec. 13, from 2-7 p.m., at Our Lady of Calvary, 11024 Knights Road; and Dec. 15, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., at Nazareth Hospital, 2601 Holme Ave.

Schedule an appointment to give blood by downloading the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 800-RED CROSS. ••

Parkinson’s support group

Temple University Hospital – Jeanes Campus is offering a Parkinson’s disease support group for those who have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s and their families. The group will meet on the second Wednesday of every other month from 6-7 p.m. at the Cheltenham Friends Meetinghouse, 7604 Central Ave. The schedule is Dec. 13 (holiday party) and Feb. 14. The group is led by nurse practitioner June Ro, and will include guest speakers. To register, contact Ro at 215-707-2619 or Jungyoon.Ro@tuhs.temple.edu. ••

Trip to Brooklyn

The Bristol Cultural and Historical Foundation is sponsoring a “Brooklyn Christmas Lights” bus trip on Thursday, Dec. 7. The itinerary includes a full-course dinner at Tommaso’s Restaurant, followed by a tour of the decorated homes in the Dyker Heights and Bay Ridge sections of Brooklyn. Cost is $172. Call 215-788-7537. ••

Trip to Bethlehem

The Polish American Cultural Center Museum is sponsoring a trip to Bethlehem, “The Christmas City,” from Dec. 14-16. The tour includes two night accommodations at The Windcreek Hotel and Casino; two $20 vouchers; $70 slot play; a visit to Pines Dinner Theater to see Holly Jolly Christmas, with lunch (BYOB); a tour of “The Lights on the Parkway;” a free day to gamble and shop at the outlets; a visit to the Christkindlmarkt (Christmas shopping and artisans craft markets); and round-trip motorcoach. The cost is $525 per person double occupancy or $700 single. For information and reservations, call Theresa Romanowski at 215-922-1700. ••

Bingo for a good cause

The Leigh Leckerman Foundation will hold an all-ages bingo on Sunday, Dec. 17, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Bristol Moose Lodge, 2229 Radcliffe St. in Bristol. There will be prizes, raffle baskets and 50-50s. The cost is $30. Tables of 10 are available. Proceeds will benefit the foundation, which assists those in need of financial support for substance use disorder treatment, aftercare and sober housing. For tickets, visit leighshelp.org. ••

Trip to Northern Europe

The Bristol Cultural and Historical Foundation is presenting a Northern Europe: Iceland, Norway, Netherlands, Belgium and London cruise, July 25 to Aug. 4, 2024, aboard the new “Norwegian Prima.” Rates per person are $6,261 and $6,495, which include roundtrip airfare from Philadelphia. Deposit of $350 per person double occupancy is required when booking. Final payment by Feb. 27. Call 215-788-9408. ••

Apply for artist residency

Glen Foerd is accepting applications for its 2023-2024 Artist-in-Residence program. The closing date for applications is Dec. 18. Glen Foerd will be accepting one regional visual artist (or artist collective) to complete a site-specific work during their residency. The selected artist will receive a stipend of $3,000 to create their works. Once selected, the Artist-in-Residence will have from Feb. 1, 2024 until Sept. 30, 2024 to complete their residency. The selected artist will create works that engage Glen Foerd’s audience and collections, which includes architecture, material culture, art and natural landscapes. The opportunity offers area artists access to Glen Foerd’s historic collections, grounds and the Delaware River. Outcomes must include a public engagement component. For application information, visit www.glenfoerd.org/artists-in-residence or email Alice Thompson at athompson@glenfoerd.org. ••

Chinese dinner

Congregations of Shaare Shamayim, 9768 Verree Road, will host a Chinese dinner on Monday, Dec. 25, at 5 p.m. The cost is $23 per person. Send your payment along with the number of people attending to the address above. Call 215-677-1600 for more details. ••

Food donations wanted

KleinLife, 10100 Jamison Ave., is seeking food donations to fill breakfast bags for homebound seniors as part its annual Subaru Share The Love Program. Items requested are tea bags, instant coffee, hot cocoa and instant oatmeal packets and boxes of dry cereal. In addition, KleinLife is asking for donations of juice packs, boxes of raisins, cranberries and nuts, pudding and fruit cups, canned fish, granola bars and peanut butter crackers. The foods can be dropped off at KleinLife through Dec. 29. Call Fredric Byarm at 215-698-7300, Ext. 196. ••

Donate baby items

The annual Baby Shower Mitzvah Project hosted by Sisterhood of Congregations of Shaare Shamayim, 9768 Verree Road, will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 9, at 1 p.m. Members can purchase and donate baby and toddler items or gift cards for clients of Jewish Family and Children’s Services. Light refreshments will be served. Call 215-677-1600. ••

New roles for Fox Chase doc

Dr. Sanjay S. Reddy, co-director of the Marvin & Concetta Greenberg Pancreatic Institute and an associate professor in the Department of Surgical Oncology at Fox Chase Cancer Center, was recently appointed to a volunteer position with the American Board of Surgery and a position with the Society of Surgical Oncology.

“I’m very excited to be taking on these new roles and am honored to be considered among my peers as a leader in my field,” said Reddy, who is also the Marvin S. Greenberg, MD, Chair in Pancreatic Cancer Surgery.

Reddy was appointed an inaugural editorial board member for the Education/Training Section of Surgical Oncology Insight. This journal is a new initiative from the Society of Surgical Oncology and publishes articles that showcase innovative surgical techniques and treatment methods.

In his new role, Reddy will be responsible not only for promoting the journal, but providing editorial content related to surgical practice. He will also be tasked with reviewing manuscripts and identifying field experts who may contribute quality content to the journal.

“With this role I’ll be able to see the continuity of this journal moving forward from conception, to inception, to completion. To be recognized as someone who is considered a thought leader in pancreatic cancer surgery was humbling, and I’m excited to begin this appointment,” Reddy said.

Additionally, Reddy has received a two-year appointment to assist in developing complex general surgical oncology Entrustable Professional Activities for the Complex General Surgical Oncology Board of the American Board of Surgery.

The ABS is a nonprofit organization that has been promoting surgical excellence since 1937 and leads the way in surgical education and practice by promoting professionalism, lifelong learning and certification of surgeons.

Reddy was nominated among his peers to be part of the CGSO EPA Scope Council, which consists of a volunteer group of surgeons who are charged with identifying the EPA topics to be addressed during a CGSO fellowship.

“Surgical education is a substantial part of my practice. As the program director for our Complex General Surgical Oncology Fellowship, I believe that exploring objective ways to judge a fellow’s competence both in and out of the operating room is something that needs to be more fairly assessed,” Reddy said.

“By developing these EPAs, it gives us a unique opportunity to understand and know what trainees need to have learned during fellowship and give them guidance as to where they can improve as they move along in their training careers. These programs are an essential stepping stone for future surgeons, and I’m proud to be part of that.” ••

Program on critical thinking

Critical Thinking will be the main subject of a five-part series for active adults to be held at KleinLife, 10100 Jamison Ave., on Tuesday, Jan. 2. Other sessions will be held on Jan. 9, 16, 23 and 30. All five programs will begin at 10:30 a.m. The public is invited to join with members. All five programs will be led by Steve Pollack, entertainer, singer, lecturer, voice teacher, actor and director. Cost for all five sessions will be $50 per person, to be paid at the front desk at KleinLife prior to the start of class. Email info@kleinlife.or or call 215-698-7300, Ext. 193. ••

Book club on Zoom

The Book Club of Congregations of Shaare Shamayim will be hosting a Zoom session on Monday, Jan. 8, at 7 p.m. The January book is The Personal Librarian by Marie Benedict. For further information or to register for the book club program, call Lynn Ratmansky at the synagogue office at 215-677-1600. ••

VFW looking for members

Bustleton-Somerton/CTR1 Michael J. Strange VFW Post 6617 meets on the third Wednesday of every month at American Legion Post 810, 9151 Old Newtown Road. Meetings start at 7:30 p.m. If you are a military veteran who served in a designated combat zone, you are eligible to join the VFW. Contact Commander Israel Wolmark at 215-725-0630 if you would like to join the post. ••

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