In Fishtown, Port Richmond and Kensington, various sustainable efforts have dominated the work of local groups. In order to continue to develop concepts like the Big Green Block and the Columbia Avenue Connector, members of the New Kensington Community Development Corporation (NKCDC) hosted an event last month called the Blight Busters Ball.

Blight will be busted

Blight that has been busted

“It helped to honor two civic leaders that have been instrumental … to our sustainable development,” said Diana Jih of NKCDC. The leaders were Howard Neukrug, Commissioner of the Philadelphia Water Department (PWD), and Tom Corcoran, President of the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation. The first annual fundraiser helped raise more than $11,000 through donations, sponsorships and ticket sales. According to Jih, the money will help contribute to NKCDC’s overall mission, developing innovative solutions to address local blight.

Big Green Block

NKCDC’s Big Green Block is an initiative with the PWD to develop the greenest block in the city and the nation through community-driven spaces, like the multi-component sustainability project that renovated the Shissler Recreation Center and constructed a new Kensington High School for the Creative and Performing Arts. The block is contained within a 20-acre site bordered by Front Street, Frankford Avenue, Palmer and Norris Streets.

And with projects like Moyer St. townhomes, an initiative to develop affordable and market-rate housing, still in the works and soon to be constructed, all of which require funding, these types of fundraisers will prove critical to the ongoing success of NKCDC. We look forward to learning about more innovative efforts whose brainstorms are partly enabled by events like this that are supported by community efforts. What are some other ways, besides online crowd sourcing, readers, that you all envision local civic groups can fundraise?

–Lou Mancinelli