On the First Friday of every month 60-80 York City businesses (and restaurants) stay open until at least 9 p.m. so you can enjoy a night out and about in downtown York knowing there will be plenty of things to do and venues to visit. In our office First Friday is always an opportunity to see the latest local artwork displayed on our walls and often an opportunity to take in some local entertainment or activity related to this cool city.
Download and print a brochure by visiting www.downtownyorkpa.com a week prior to the FIRST FRIDAY you plan to enjoy. Each door you walk through will offer a unique experience and feature art, music, products and services that are second to none, brought to you by local families. Parking is free at metered spots and in the Central Market Garage after 5 p.m.
FIRST FRIDAY OCTOBER, NOVEMBER & DECEMBER 2015 were all about the kiddos. We are blessed to have a close relationship with the Salvation Army and the children they serve in their after school program. So whenever possible we invite those children over on First Fridays for an activity. The kids walk down with their adult mentors in groups of 10 or 15 at arranged times. We also have walk-in children of First Friday participants.
December First Friday was our 3rd annual Christmas Cookie Bake. This is also light-up night for the York City Christmas Tree. The prior two years had terrible weather so we hardly had any kids off the street. This year we had balmy weather so guess what…in addition to the 60 kids from the Salvation Army we had 40 off the street….that totals 100 right! Rich’s favorite night of the year. Each child cut out, painted and sprinkled 4-6 cookies. As the cookies baked they: met with Santa; picked out two books and a package of art supplies to go in their swag bag; sang Christmas songs with the Piano Man; raced 1/24th scale slot cars and operated O gauge trains; had a beverage and snack; then left with their cookies, a few extra we baked earlier in the day. This event is impossible without the volunteer help of 15 friends/angels. Thanks All!
November First Friday was new. Molly Adler and her crew from New Freedom Art gave the kiddos an art lesson. Each child was provided a T-Shirt to protect their clothing and each had a easel with a canvas to paint. The guided painting this night was a pair of owls on a branch. The gang from New Freedom Art inspired and guided about 60 kids to create some wonderful paintings that each child took home to much fanfare by parents who perhaps learned they have a budding artist.
October First Friday we had a total of about 50 children paint pottery. My family picked out 60 pieces of pottery that we had cleaned and fired. Most were Halloween related. This was our second annual Halloween pottery event. The kids left their work here to dry, Rich sprayed them with a gloss coating and delivered them on Monday. Most of the kids did an amazing job with creativity and detail.
FRIDAY, September 4th, 2015 5-9p.m./Boutique Week. What a magical night was Downtown York’s First Friday September (Boutique Week). So many friendly faces, wonderful experiences and building community. The generosity from the women of York County was absolutely beautiful, they provided so many beautiful clothing to help the less fortunate women of our community so they can dress for success while interviewing for jobs, gaining employment and providing for their children. Thank You Ruth Koup, CEO of Dress of Success of South Central PA for being here during our First Friday festivities.
FRIDAY, June 5th, 2015 5-9p.m./Brewhaha. Stop by and enjoy beer samples provided by Beer Mongers. We will also have root beer floats for the kiddos. Paint a beer mug for dad, Father’s Day is just around the corner (or for yourself – we promised we won’t tell) with New Freedom Art. Enjoy the beautiful artwork in our space by Michael Brothers and Cherie Taormina. They will be in the house again for a meet and greet.
FRIDAY, April 3rd, 2015 5-9 p.m./Spring Fling. Many enjoyed the beautiful artwork and a special meet and greet of one of our artists, Tony Jacquez. New Freedom Art was here for another fun painting party.
FRIDAY, March 6, 2015 5-9 p.m./Girls Night Out. Cosmos and chair massages by Desiree Van Wicklen were enjoyed by those who stopped by on this chilly night. Many beautiful paintings were created with the help of Molly and Traci from New Freedom Art.
FRIDAY, February 6, 2015 5-9 p.m./Date Night. What a quiet, romantic night by those who stopped by to have a glass of wine, decadent chocolate fondue and fabulous art and always great music!
Rubber Duckies for Schreiber Pediatric Center: Through the generosity of our neighbors, friends, family and clients we were able to raise $400! Thank you for joining in with us to support this worthy cause. Schreiber Pediatric Rehab Center is a not-for-profit organization that provides family centered education and therapy program for infants, children and adolescents with developmental delays and disabilities. Their goal oriented approach maximizes each child’s ability to function as independently as possible within the community.
Dress for Success Charity Event: We’ve done this event twice now, during the first event on First Friday May 2nd 2014, our office partnered with Pop-Up Yoga for an event to benefit Dress for Success South Central PA. which helps local women enter the workforce with confidence and style. Ruth Koup the founder and CEO of Dress for Success was present to partake of the festivities and witness the wonderful outpouring of generosity from our partners & guests. Jackie, of Pop-Up Yoga, led more than a dozen women in an hour plus invigorating Yoga session. Tutoni’s Restaurant (Downtown York’s up and coming restaurant) provided a delicious sampling of their food. EPIC (a Michael Allen Salon) spoiled the gals with hair artisty. Desiree Van Wicklen rejuvenated the gals and some guys with deep tissue massage. This Little Light of Mine displayed and sold soy candles. Lily Atlantic displayed and sold homemade jewelry. Walsh Writing displayed and sold beautiful photographs. Salubrious Soap displayed and sold homemade soap. And Cassandra Storm Photography made the memories with a fun photo booth. All together we raised over $400 dollars and collected a wide variety of nice clothing for D4S. Visit our Facebook page for photos.
Will’s Extravaganzas. We help folks prepare Wills. We are also Christians. So here’s a deal for you. If you have a worthy cause, we offer the full services of our office to raise funds for that cause. You will need to provide us with at least 10 (up to 20) individuals or couples that need Wills, Power of Attorneys and/or Living Wills, and who will visit us on a given Saturday, each for a half hour consultation. Each client will receive a draft of their documents in the mail, each will call us with any revisions/corrections, each will return to the office to sign (and walk away with) their original documents, and each client will pay our regular rates for the documents that are prepared. However, each client will make the full amount of their check out to your (and now our) worthy cause.
Our most recent event was held here in our office over two Saturdays (May 3rd & 10th) and benefited a young lady in the Northeastern School District. Thanks to the 25 or so couples/individuals from the Northeastern district that took time to have their Wills and other such documents prepared we raised $3,230 for Hope Westrick. We sadly note that Hope went to be with the Lord on December 26th, 2015.
First Night Cookie Bake. We have done this event three years in a row now.What a joy our office had on First Friday December 6th, 2013. It was light-up night for the York City Christmas Tree but the weather that night was miserable. But not here. Our neighbor’s Steve & Anna Williams of York Furniture & Appliances (845-1764) lent us an oven. Michelle Baker of The Salvation Army arranged for 30 children to visit that night. Aldersgate Church provided books for each child to take home. All day long (between the legal work) we baked chocolate chip and oatmeal raisin cookies. Late afternoon when the kids arrived we had Christmas music playing loudly and each child (and some of the staff) cut-out, painted, sprinkled and baked their own Christmas cookies. Each left with their creations, our cookies and a gift bag of other goodies. Our Facebook page has some good pictures of this event.
Community Partner. My wife Melissa & I wanted to offer what we could to help make a difference in downtown York. So after 20 years of renting office space we mortgaged our home and paid $125K (in August 2012) to buy 54 N. Duke St. For the prior 40 years the building was a Sir Speedy print shop and from 1900-1951 it was Brockman’s Drug Store. So now our family pays $7,500 a year taxes to York City and the York City School District. In addition, of course, to the taxes we already pay on our home in the York Suburban School District. We are enjoying being stakeholders in our city and doing our best to make York the best place to live, work & play. At a minimum we strive to make some good memories for the children we are blessed to interact with. At a maximum we hope to model Christ (and Buddha) in how we treat others.
Bob Reilly my brother is a personal hero of mine and is Deputy Chief of Staff for our Congressman Scott Perry. Bob is very involved in our community. He taught me something I have taken to heart and want to share. If you want to make a difference in our community it is not necessary to create anything new. You simply need to give your time and talent to any of the many pre-existing community organizations presently serving our city. To that end our hope, meditation and prayer as we finish this space is that it, and we, may find ourselves worthy of our goal to help the children of our city.