Neighborhood Stories01 Oct 2013 08:26 am

gary tumolo 4.jpg

This month, Gary Tumolo is our featured neighbor. I sat down with Gary a few weeks ago to learn more about him and all that he has done for the neighborhood (We met at Stateside, and had some excellent small plates of gnocchi and cauliflower…kudos to the friendly staff!).

Gary volunteers for the Zoning Committee for Passyunk Square, which meets monthly. All neighbors are welcome to attend the monthly meetings (see the PSCA website for information), during which they review zoning applications in the neighborhood. They then send letters to the zoning commission of Philadelphia, which makes the final decisions. In this way, Gary and other zoning board volunteers make sure we have a say in what happens in our neighborhood.

Gary also helps out a lot with other neighborhood activities, like the Christmas tree sale, and the Annual Home Tour (which is coming up October 12th!). Gary has attended very Home Tour every year since its inception 10 years ago, was on the Home Tour Planning Committee in 2009 and 2010, and continues to volunteer the day of the event. Gary moved to the Passyunk Square neighborhood in 2002. He is originally from South Philadelphia, but spent several years in San Diego before moving back to the Philadelphia area. Angel D’Ippolito, PSCA VP and head of the Neighborhood Ambassador Program, had this to say about Gary: “When asked to help promote our holiday tree sale, Gary went above and beyond expectations. Not only did he write a custom holiday song for PSCA, but he somehow managed to organize a group of casual shower-singers into a real-life caroling extravaganza. We had so much fun and brought a whole lot of smiles to the neighborhood that day. I’m not sure we could have done it with such pizazz without Gary’s positive attitude.”

Gary’s day job, for which he actually gets paid, is for The Office of Housing and Development in Philadelphia. Gary manages the Redevelopment Authority of Philadelphia’s contracts as well as Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) contracts. The HOPWA program is a Federal program dedicated to address the housing needs of persons living with HIV/AIDS and their families.

Gary was awarded a certificate of appreciation in August from the City of Philadelphia Operation Town Watch Integrated Services in recognition for all the volunteer work he has done for the neighborhood. It is neighbors like Gary who make Passyunk Square such a wonderful place to live and work.

-Melissa Rosato
(contact me on facebook or twitter: Melissa Rosato@myrrr03)


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