Ward 7 - Page 6

Penn Branch Residents Launch Business Ventures


Escape the Oval Office located at 1322B, H Street NE, second floor and Urban Grown Veggies are just a few of the businesses owned and operated by Penn Branch residents located in Ward 7.    Business owners, friends, relatives, and customers gathered on Saturday, October, 17 at a reception held at the recently opened Escape the Oval Office, which is owned by Ayana Canty and Tim Smith.   Attendees welcomed the launch of Urban Grown Veggies by Lisa and Darrell Baker.  

Master gardener Lisa Baker,  who also launched the You Tube video series Lisa and Bean Stalk, offers consulting services and tips to healthy eating and a sustainable city garden that could reduce your food costs, feed your family, and teach healthy values and gardening skills.    12079416_969624529745558_4041050629141406199_n-1 12088198_726262430839374_8993541983081537329_n

Escape the Oval Office offers more than some of the ‘escape’ rooms that have been emerging nationwide.  In addition to the well-planned escape room, there are class rooms equipped for educational activities.  The two floor layout, which is also includes a well-laid out reception room, is perfect for team building and group activities.   Attendees included, Ward 7, Councilwoman Yvette Alexander, Penn Branch President, Jimmie Williams, many Penn Branchers and lots of families and children.

2015 Lloyd D. Smith Foundation Scholarship (Ward 7: Deadline April 16th)


The Lloyd D. Smith Foundation is pleased to announce scholarship opportunities for 2015 high school graduates of Ward 7.

Two scholarships will be awarded – applicants must meet all of the eligibility requirements. Applications must be received by the Lloyd D. Smith Foundation by April 16, 2015. To download an application should visit http://www.lloyddsmithfoundation.org or email the Foundation at info@lloyddsmithfoundation

Lloyd D. Smith Foundation
PO Box 10473
Washington, DC 20020-9994


Lloyd SmithLloyd Smith was a long-time Penn Branch resident and husband of Penn Brancher Mary Ann Smith.

Lloyd D. Smith was recognized as a pioneer and leader in housing, community and economic development throughout the Washington Metropolitan area. He also received national and international recognition for his many accomplishments and achievements. During the 1980s and 1990s, he served as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Marshall Heights Community Development Organization (MHCDO). Under his leadership, the organization grew from an annual budget of $115,000 to over $5 million and became known for developing single and multi-family housing and commercial properties, and for managing numerous social service programs. Prior to leading MHCDO, Mr. Smith had 27 years of federal and district government service. Mr. Smith was an organizing director of City First Bank of DC and was a mayoral appointee to the Board of the National Capital Revitalization Corporation. He became Chairman and served as Acting President of both organizations.

Mr. Smith was the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the 1993 Local Minority Business Advocate Award; 1994 Points of Light Foundation Community Leadership Award; the DC Building Industry Association’s Community Service Award; and the Local Minority Business Advocate Award presented at the 8th Annual Salute to Blacks in Business. Mr. Smith was a graduate of the Leadership Washington Class of 1991, a recipient of the 1996 Washingtonian of the Year Award, and was inducted into the District of Columbia Hall of Fame Society in 2002.

Mr. Smith has been featured in several documentaries, and his story has been chronicled in The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal. Mr. Smith was instrumental in arranging for former First Lady Barbara Bush and Queen Elizabeth II of England to visit Ward Seven in 1991. President William Jefferson Clinton toured the area in 1993. Mr. Smith had a passion for African-American history and genealogy. He founded The Pearl Coalition, which was formed to commemorate the escape attempt by 77 local slaves in 1848. He also did extensive research on his family ancestry and was compiling his memoirs prior to his death.

Penn Brancher, Mary Ann Smith is a founding member of the Lloyd D. Smith Foundation, and served as chairperson for five years. Recently, she assumed the role of treasurer. Mrs. Smith was married to the late Lloyd D. Smith for 25 years and is a long time resident of Penn Branch. We are proud of his contributions and legacy to the Penn Branch and Ward 7 community.


Ward 7 Happy Video Shows Diversity and Pride of Ward 7, Washington DC


For Immediate Release

August 6, 2014

Ward 7 Happy Video Shows Diversity and Pride of Ward 7, Washington DC East of River Logo

Today, Mae H.  Best, Executive Director of East River Family Strengthening Collabirative, Inc. (ERFSC), an 18 year old community based  agency located in Ward 7, Washington DC,  released a video capturing the essence of Ward 7 using the “Happy” song made popular by Pharrell Williams.  The video was shot over three weeks at various locations in Ward 7 including Fort Dupont Ice Skating Rink, The Shimp Boat, the new Park 7 Apartments, The Nats Academy, Francis Gregory and Dorothy Height Libraries, and The Chateau to name a few. The video is very colorful and depicts fun, diverse and Happy Ward 7 residents showing their happiness in various ways.

Even though all locations in the ward were not captured, Ms. Best feels that “we captured a new and improved Ward 7 where people love to work and live.  That was my original intention, and this video received so much community support that we feel it necessary to do something similar again because it really brought us together (and it was fun).  This video is the beginning of new ways we will showcase the work, pride and promise of our Ward 7.”

ERFSC would like to thank everyone who participated in the Ward 7 Happy Video including Mayor Vincent Gray, Councilmember Yvette Alexander and her team, the ERFSC staff, and all the stars that are too many to name. The video is being launched on ERFSC’s website, their Youtube page (EastRiverFamily) and their social media networks.  The Ward 7 Happy Video was videographed by Brandon Best and Nicole Whitmire and edited by Brandon Best with creative direction and coordination by Mae H. Best, Rosie Parke and Rudy Davis.

Click HERE to watch the video and visit ERFSC at www.erfsc.org.







Rosie Parke

Director of Communications & Community Services

East River Family Strengthening Collaborative, Inc.

3917 Minnesota Avenue, NE

Washington, DC 20019

Office: 202-397-7300, Ext. 104

Cell: 301-395-1013

Fax: 202-397-7882


Click HERE to watch the ERFSC Happy Video


Follow ERFSC on: Web | Facebook | Twitter | Youtube |  Donate  | Subscribe

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