Category Archives: Uncategorized

Fall 2017 Newsletter

Like to plan ahead? Most events and meetings through December are included in Friends of Midtown’s Fall Newsletter, which was mailed to everyone in the 17102 ZIP code in the last week. A copy is linked if you don’t receive one.

If you live in 17102 and didn’t receive one in the mail, please contact our Communications Committee at media@friendsofmidtown.org so we can address this problem with the USPS. If your business would like to reach this same audience with an advertisement, please contact our Communications Committee. 

Seeking Board and Committee Members

As we proceed through 2017, we must plan for 2018 and the need to fill existing and expected voids in leadership and volunteer positions. Remember that  volunteering just two hours per week can improve your health. If you’re interested in filling one or more of the following positions, please contact us:

Beautification
This is a co-chair position with an existing Board member, so these duties would be shared. Runs monthly Committee meetings and organizes community service projects, including community cleanups, MLK Day of Service, graffiti removal, tree planting, and planting and maintenance of flower barrels. Oversees Dog Park Subcommittee. Representation of Friends of Midtown with Clean & Green Harrisburg preferred, but not required. This Board member position requires monthly Board meeting attendance. Expected commitment: 1-3 hours per month, plus monthly Committee and Board meetings.

Business
This is a co-chair position with an existing Board member, so these duties would be shared. Participates in monthly business meetings run by the City. Coordinates Local Lunches and #ShopMidtown and #DestinationMidtown campaigns. Recruits business members and discounts for FOM members. This Board member position requires monthly Board meeting attendance. Expected commitment: 1-3 hours per month, plus monthly business and Board meetings and seasonal #ShopMidtown solicitations. [tentatively filled]

Communications
This is a co-chair position with an existing Board members, but they have distinct duties. The applicant will publish weekly e-mail updates, monthly eNewsletters, and quarterly paper newsletters. Some level of familiarity with MailChimp and publishing software preferred. This is a Board position requiring monthly meeting attendance. Presently no Committee meetings, but this may change if Communications and Membership duties are combined into a proposed Outreach Committee. Expected commitment: 1-2 hours per week, plus monthly Board meeting. Must fill by November. 

Membership
Seeking two individuals to split several duties: maintaining membership database, issuing welcome packets to new members and new homeowners, notifying members of lapsed memberships, organizing quarterly socials, coordinating 3rd in the Burg and other information table participation. Proficiency with Excel required. These are Board positions and require monthly Board meeting attendance, but certain tasks may be delegated to a Committee volunteer, so non-Board volunteers are also welcome. Presently no Committee meetings, but this may change if Communications and Membership duties are combined into a proposed Outreach Committee. Expected commitment (if split between two people): 1-2 hours per week, plus monthly Board meeting. Must fill by October. 

Parents
This existed briefly in the past, but does not presently. It may be an independent committee or subcommittee of the Events Committee. The purpose would be to gather Midtown parents to pool resources on those challenges unique to an urban parent: safety, fun, and education. It could coordinate independent events or collaborate with other committees to make each event appropriate for both parents and children. If a Board position, would require a monthly meeting. Could have independent committee meetings or join the Events Committee meeting. Expected commitment: 1-2 hours per month, with potential meetings.

Safety
This is a co-chair position with an existing Board member, so these duties would be shared. Runs monthly Committee meetings and organizes Community Foot Patrols and other safety initiatives. This Board member position requires monthly Board meeting attendance. Expected commitment: 1-2 hours per month, plus monthly Committee and Board meetings and non-mandatory weekly Foot Patrol. [tentatively filled]

Neighborhood Organization Representatives
Friends of Midtown welcomes a representative from each active neighborhood organization in Midtown to serve as a liaison between organizations. We’re interested in your help if you live in one of the following Midtown neighborhoods and that neighborhood has an active organization, which we may or may not know about: Midtown Square Action Council, Hardscrabble, Engleton, Governor’s Square, Capitol Heights, Lotsville, Cumberland Court, New Fox Ridge, Old Fox Ridge. This would be a Board position and the only requirement is monthly Board meeting attendance, but assistance with committees is preferred.

Improvement District
This ad hoc committee is looking for up to fifteen interested individuals from broad economic, geographical, and racial demographics: homeowners, renters, non-resident property owners, business owners. and nonprofit representatives. The purpose of this committee is to explore the idea of creating a Midtown Improvement District, as has been proposed in different incarnations in the past. Expected commitment: 2-3 hours per month.

Help Bring Harrisburg’s First Dog Park to Midtown!

Friends of Midtown is partnering with the Vartan Group and the City of Harrisburg to bring a temporary dog park to Midtown. On any given day in our community, you’ll see many neighbors walking their furry friends, and soon we will have our own public space for pets and owners to enjoy! Our efforts have even been recognized by TheBurg in not one, but two pieces.

However, to make that happen, we need to generate awareness in the area and raise $18,000.

To make a tax-deductible donation now or track our progress, visit our YouCaring fundraising site. For larger donations, we recommend the PayPal Giving Fund to eliminate fees.

Prefer a check or money order? Make payable to Friends of Midtown and mail to

P.O. Box 5291
Harrisburg, PA 17110-0291

Here are some upcoming events where you can support this initiative in person:

  • Friday, September 15, 6:00 to 8:30 p.m., Third in the Burg at Broad Street Market
  • Sunday, September 24, 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., WoofStock in Riverfront Park

If you are interested in volunteering at these events or otherwise for this project, please contact the Dog Park Subcommittee Co-Chairs Andy & Annie Huges at dogpark@friendsofmidtown.org.

Summer 2017 Newsletter

Like to plan ahead? All events and meetings through September are included in Friends of Midtown’s Summer Newsletter, which was mailed to everyone in the 17102 ZIP code in early July. A copy is linked if you don’t receive one.

If you live in 17102 and didn’t receive one, please contact our Communications Committee at media@friendsofmidtown.org so we can address this problem with the USPS. If your business would like to reach this same audience with an advertisement, please contact our Communications Committee. 

2017 City Council Candidate Night

Do you know who you’re going to vote for to represent your interests on City Council? Four positions are open and all six active candidates have been invited to this event to share with you their ideas to improve Harrisburg. Five have confirmed attendance: Ben Allatt, Jeremiah Chamberlin, Dave Madsen, Shamaine Daniels, and Ausha Green. Anglea Kirkland has since withdrawn from the race. Here is some brief biographical information about the candidates: 2017 Candidate Bios.

The event starts at 6:00 p.m. on April 26 at Harrisburg Midtown Arts Center (1110 N. 3rd St.), but be there as early as 5:30 p.m. for the best seats. An engaged citizenry is necessary for the advancement of our City, so be sure to invite your neighbors.

We’ve received questions from the public and created a pool of questions that could be asked of the candidates: 2017 Candidate Questions. Each candidate will have one minute to answer a random question from each category: Financial Recovery and Economic Development; Public Safety and Quality of Life; Personal Background and Governance. Then each candidate will have two minutes to answer a question unknown to them, but based on their personal experience or statements. If time permits, all candidates will be asked up to five yes or no questions.

We let the candidates know the potential questions ahead of time because we want to educate voters based on thoughtful responses. Our goal is not to trip up the candidates or embarrass them. But they don’t know which question they’ll receive, so each must be well rounded.

Can’t make it? We’ll be streaming live on Facebook and posting regularly on Twitter. We’ll also permit candidates to provide written responses to all questions, which we will share here.

Wanted: Communications Co-Chair

The Friends of Midtown Board will have a vacancy for a communications co-chair that we will need to fill by the end of the April.

We’re looking for a Board member with the primary role of managing FOM’s social media accounts and update certain aspects of its Web site. A bonus would be willingness to take photographs at FOM events.

Expected commitment: 1-2 hours per week, plus one monthly meeting,

If you have the education or experience to fill this position, please contact us at info@friendsofmidtown.org by April 10.

Spring 2017 Newsletter

Like to plan ahead? All events and meetings through June are included in Friends of Midtown’s Spring Newsletter, which will be mailed to everyone in the 17102 ZIP code in the next couple days. A copy is linked if you don’t receive one.

If you live in 17102 and don’t receive one by April 7, please contact our Communications Committee at media@friendsofmidtown.org so we can address this problem with the USPS. If your business would like to reach this same audience with an advertisement, please contact our Communications Committee. 

2017 Outdoor Film Series Fully Funded

For the third consecutive summer, Friends of Midtown is partnering with the Midtown Cinema to bring a series of six free outdoor films to Midtown. Thousands of neighbors and visitors have taken advantage of these events, which were made possible only through the generous sponsorship of several individuals and businesses.

This year’s slate:

6/9: Who Framed Roger Rabbit, 1988, PG, 104 min
6/23: Superman, 1978, PG, 143 min
7/14: I Was a Teenage Werewolf (featuring Down in Front! comedy riffing), 1957, UR, 76 min
7/28: Jaws, 1975, PG, 124 min
8/11: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, 2001, PG, 152 min
8/25: Star Wars: The Force Awakens, 2015, PG-13, 136 min

The entire project will cost about $8000, but we won’t charge admission to the events, so we sought sponsors to offset the expected costs.

If all the pledges come through, we’ve exceeded our fundraising total with
So far, we’ve raised or received pledges for $8745:

$2000 sponsorship from Metro PCS
$1000 sponsorship from the Auchincloss Family Fund of the Foundation for Enhancing Communities
$1000 sponsorship from Audry & Andy Carter
$1000 sponsorship from the Form Foundation Fund of the Foundation for Enhancing Communities on behalf of Seward and Debra Ryan.
$700 sponsorship from Engleton neighbors
$500 sponsorship from GK Visual
$500 sponsorship from WCI Partners, LP
$500 sponsorship from Heinly Homes, LLC
$500 sponsorship from Tom Santanna Strategic Consulting
$500 sponsorship from Harrisburg Young Professionals
$500 sponsorship from TheBurg
$100 donation
$25 donation
$20 donation

Olimometer 2.52

Excess funds will be used to improve this year’s event or saved for next year.

You may also support us generally with a membership or purchase.

Midtown Person of 2016

Friends of Midtown is seeking nominees for Midtown Person of 2016.

A nominee should demonstrate the core goals of the Friends of Midtown: Strengthen the intrinsic physical structures of community by promoting a pedestrian-scaled streetscape that is safe and clean; stimulate Midtown’s economic revitalization by encouraging small business growth that contributes to a more livable community and quality of life for all; spark public participation through events and activities that celebrate Midtown’s diverse culture and contribute to community well-being.

To nominate someone, please send us your name and address, the nominee’s name and address, and a paragraph about the nominee before January 15. The winner will be announced on February 6 at our Winter Social and Annual Meeting.

Small Business Saturday and 2017 #ShopMidtown Coupon Books

As you plan to get up early to hit the major stores for Black Friday discounts, be sure to save some shopping energy for Small Business Saturday, which is this Saturday, November 26. Small Business Saturday is a day to recognize the benefits small businesses have brought to our community, so take some time to stop by your favorite Midtown restaurants and shops or visit a new location.

To celebrate Small Business Saturday, Friends of Midtown will be introducing the 2017 #ShopMidtown coupon book. Find us at the Broad Street Market from 7 a.m. through 4 p.m. Friends of Midtown will also be hosting a Local Lunch at the Market from 12 to 2.

For just $10, or $8 for FOM members, you’ll find a variety of deals from local vendors. See http://friendsofmidtown.org/shopmidtown/ to find out which businesses are participating. Plus, while supplies last, everyone who purchases a 2017 #ShopMidtown coupon book will also receive a complimentary copy of the 2016 book, with deals still valid through the end of the year. And you can give the gift of shopping Midtown, too – pick up a couple extra coupon books to give to friends and family members.

Also Saturday is the Odd Ones Bizarre, an alternative arts and crafts show at The Millworks.

We hope to see you supporting Midtown businesses on Small Business Saturday!