Virginia Wilks-Sweat to be Honored at 21st Annual Richard Allen Homes Reunion and Picnic, for 29 Years of Tenant Council Leadership

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Thousands of Former and Current Residents of Richard Allen Homes Gather for the 21st Annual Reunion

Original Richard Allen Committee

More than 2,000 persons are expected to attend as long-time Richard Allen Homes resident Virginia Wilks-Sweat is honored with a community service award for her 29 years as the housing development’s Tenant Council President, at the 21st Annual Richard Allen Homes Reunion and Picnic, Saturday, August 6, 2011. The event will be held from 12 noon to 7:00 pm, at Lemon Hill, 33rd and Poplar Streets, in Fairmount Park, here.

The day-long event will feature free food for all guests, college scholarships and U.S. savings bonds awards, competitive music performances by current and former residents, and the community award presentation.

Under Wilks’ leadership, since 1982, the Richard Allen Homes has had the first PHA on-site Head Start Program, Dollar Store, Computer Lab, Social Service Agency, WIC Office, flu shots and a Child ID Program, which was done in partnership with the Philadelphia Police Department and the Philadelphia Housing Authority Police.

During the Reunion and picnic, the organization will also be awarding 18 kindergarten-through-eighth-grade students, a boy and a girl from each class, with U.S. Savings Bonds. The K-through-seventh-grade students will each receive a $50 bond, while the two eighth-grade students will each receive a $100 bond.

In addition, two college-bound students, James Frederick Royster, III, and Fatima Swann Williams will receive a $500 scholarship, each, to assist them in purchasing school supplies and books, for the upcoming school year. Royster, who graduated from Plymouth Whitemarsh High School with a 3.4 GPA, will major in Political Science at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Williams, who attended Parkway Center City High School, will attend the restaurant school at Walnut Hill College

The Original Richard Allen Committee, Inc. was founded 22 years ago by a small group of former residents of the housing development, which is located between 9th and 12th Streets, from Fairmount Avenue to Poplar Street, in North Central Philadelphia.


  •     Frank Williams, president, Original Richard Allen Committee, Inc.
  •     More than 2,000 former and current residents and their families
  •     Virginia Wilks-Sweat, president, Richard Allen Tenant Council
  •     Bootsie Barnes, Jazz tenaor saxophone legend, former resident

WHEN:    Saturday, August 6, 2011
    12:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
    Award Presentations – 4:00 pm
    Musical Competitions – 5:00 pm

WHERE:         Lemon Hill, Fairmount Park
        33rd and Poplar St.
        Philadelphia, PA 19130


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Billy Brown
Original Richard Allen Committee
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Dominique Landry
Millennium 3 Management
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