Stan Benton

Inaugural ‘Penn Brancher of the Year’ and ‘Distinguished Community Service’ Awards presented to Alberta Paul and Former President Stan Benton

Penn Branch President Stan Benton Receives award for Distinguished Service-

“Everybody can serve
regardless of what your skillset is.”

-Alberta Paul, 

Chair, Penn Branch Public Works Committee

During our December Holiday Gathering, PBCA  recognized outstanding examples of community service in our neighborhood. Alberta Paul, received the ‘Penn Brancher of the Year’ Award for her efforts in securing an $25,000 grant from PEPCO and Sustainable Maryland to continue renovations in 9/11 Memorial Park and the  ‘Distinguished Community Service’ award was given to outgoing President Stan Benton.  Stan will complete his successful two year term as president at the end of January 2023.

Outstanding community service should never be regarded as a thankless task, ‘ said incoming PBCA President Paul Grant as he presented the first award during PBCA’s Annual Holiday Gathering. ‘We must show those who give back that we also know how to say, ‘thank you’.”

‘I am very grateful to my community for recognizing the hard lifting that has been done on their behalf throughout the years,’ said Alberta Paul after receiving her Penn Brancher of the Year award. I’ll continue to do that. Everybody can serve, regardless of what your skillset is. And I encourage you. Step up or step out. Okay. Don’t complain. Please don’t complain. Help us to make this the greatest community in the nation. Not just the district -In the nation.”

In the future, PBCA members will be able to nominate their neighbors who have shown extraordinary community service throughout the year and vote for awardees.

Two Events, One Community

Stan Benton, PresidentThe First Annual Penn Ave East Main Street’s Art All Night and the Third Annual Porchfest SE events have come and gone.  However, questions and concerns remain.

Both music-filled events were held in the rear parking lot of the renovated Penn Branch Shopping Center. What a milestone!  Inside the shopping center, we now have thriving businesses (and non-profits) with multi-year leases. Art Art All Night and Porchfest brought music, minority-owned vendors, special presentations, food trucks, dancing, and dozens of smiles under KN95 face masks, outside of the building. The shopping center that bears our name is becoming both an economic beacon and gathering place for our community.

Last Sunday, Channel 9 News featured a story about Adams Morgan and Penn Branch Porchfest events. Then, tragically, just 72 hours later, Nikiesha Thomas was fatally shot by her boyfriend in the same parking lot. This generated a different type of news story. A story that adds to the stigma that East of the River communities are violent, crime-ridden, and generally unsafe. Bad things will happen. Still, the question remains: How do we change the narrative about our area? Do we want to be known for festivals and community gatherings? Or, crime stats? Finally, what more can we all do to outweigh bad news with stories about good events in our community? The choices are ours.

 We all want what’s best for our community—and naturally, passions will flare as we debate different methods. However, our association is only as strong as your level of involvement and support. Join a committee: Help PBCA to better coordinate and plan future community events that will reflect the best of who we are. Become a block captain: Help us to distribute our newsletter and keep everyone informed about what is being planned.

Please continue to be safe, take care of each other, and I’ll see you at the meeting!

Coming Together Again

Stan Benton, PresidentIt looks as if the smoldering heat of summer is over, and the hurricane season has begun. When I look at the impact of Hurricane Irma in New York and other hard-hit areas, I feel sad for their hardship but grateful that it hasn’t impacted us much. Hopefully our luck will continue.  Unfortunately, we’ve had three carjackings over the past few months. Please stay vigilant when you’re out and about, especially when entering and exiting your cars. Thankfully, Terry Clyburn, our neighbor on Texas Ave, has volunteered to become the Chairperson of the Safety Committee. He will be coordinating with the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) to keep us informed and he will develop ideas on how the neighborhood can deal with the increasing crime.  Now that summer is over, we’ll be coming together again for our monthly General Body meetings. Thanks to the Delta variant, our meetings will still be taking place on Zoom. If you haven’t done so already, please get vaccinated against COVID-19 to protect yourself and others in the community. Thank you.

Please continue to be safe, take care of each other, and I’ll see you at the meeting!

Stan Benton,

President, PBCA


Planting Cherished Memories

Stan Benton, PBCA President

As we move into the month of May, we celebrate the mothers, grandmothers, aunties, kinship caregivers, and other members of our community who provide love and guidance to us all.  For those whose mothers have passed, we hope this can be a time to reflect on cherished memories. Happy Mother’s Day!   A big ‘Thank You’ to the many neighbors who donated funds to improve our Penn Branch 9-11 Memorial Park! In the coming months, the PBCA Executive Committee will announce a fundraiser related to continuing to improve the park while celebrating families—past and present—who are connected to our community.  We really look forward to seeing everyone at the park planting on May 15th at 9 am. Although CDC and city guidelines for outside mask-wearing have changed, since we will be working in a small space, please plan to wear a face-covering to keep all of our neighbors safe.
Please continue to be safe and take care of each other and I’ll see you at the meeting!

Stan Benton,
PBCA President

Shall We Dance?

Stan Benton, PBCA President
Stan Benton, PBCA President

I’m starting to see a sliver of light at the end of this COVID-19 tunnel as more vaccines become available.

Perhaps we’ll soon be able to have our meetings in-person and maybe even bring to fruition one of the PBCA Board’s long-term goals for 2022: Bringing back The Annual Penn Branch Dinner Dance.

The Dinner Dance was started in 1987 by the former PBCCA President, Eloise Prince, and was held annually until 2015. The event provided an excellent way for new and longstanding neighbors to get to know one another.  I always enjoyed seeing the younger folks, along with our seniors, all on the dance floor performing the latest line-dance together.

After being held up in our homes for the past year, now is the time to start planning for this event–as well as other ways to get us back together again. To do this, we’ll need your help. Please make a donation to PBCA and share with us any creative ideas you may have. Until then, lets’ keep fingers crossed for continued progress in beating back this virus.

See you at the meeting!


The late Mrs. Eloise Prince was a former PBCA President and is believed to have organized the first Dinner Dance
The late Mrs. Eloise Prince was a former PBCA President and is believed to have organized the first Dinner Dance

PBCA Dinner Dance-Early 1990s

‘The Last Dance:’

A quick look back at images from past ‘ Dinner Dance’ events where Penn Branch residents came out looking their best to celebrate, mix and mingle with community and city leadership.