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Happy Holidays from All of Us Here at The Free Press!

photo by frank direnzo

photo by frank direnzo

photo by frank direnzo

What is your favorite holiday tradition?

Interviews and photos by Frank DiRenzo

Jacob Hein

Jessica O’Donnell

Belinda Rose Anderson and Rachel

Ning Yan and Alisa Jia

Quakertown

Coopersburg

Quakertown

Quakertown

Spending time with my family and watching Christmas movies!

My favorite tradition is doing secret Santa and exchanging gifts with family and friends!

Doing all my shopping early so I have lots of time to stay home and bake while the stores are busy!

The kids having time off from school and being able to spend more time together as a family!


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• Upper Bucks Free Press • December 2011

Upper Bucks Community Events Now thru December 9

December 2 & 14

December 3 & 4

December 8

18th Annual Pennridge FISH Toy Drive (Fellowship In Serving Humanity) benefits families in Pennridge area. New toys, clothes, etc. Call 215-257-5390 for list of drop-off sites

Christmas Craft & Gift Sale, 2:30pm9:30pm, American Girl Doll, crafts, baked goods, etc., Upper Bucks Christian School, 754 East Rockhill Rd, Sellersville, 215-536-9200 x115, lbrittingham@ upperbucks.org

Pearl S. Buck Intl “Annual Juried Craft Show”, 10am-4pm, Area’s best artisans come together for one-stop holiday show, $2/person, 520 Dublin Rd, Perkasie, 215-249-0100 ext. 110

“Discover the Legacy of Pearl S. Buck” 8am-9am, Pearl S. Buck Intl, 520 Dublin Rd, Perkasie, register at 215-249-0100 x133

November 28 Keystone Quilters Monthly Meeting, ”Charity Night”, 7pm at Quakertown Christian School, 50 East Paletown Rd, Qtwn, $5 guest fee, 267-354-1491, www.keystonequilters.org Now thru December 22

December 3 “Christmas in Quakertown Concert”, 7:30pm, 151 S. 4th St, Qtwn, Festival Choir, Qtwn Band, First UCC Bell Choir, First UCC Women’s Quartet, (pre-concert music at 7pm) Freewill offering, Carol 215-538-0698 or cedge50@gmail.com

Christmas at Harley Hill Alpaca Farm, 10am-4pm (also open weekends until Xmas), (Santa visits Dec. 11 from 1:30pm-2:30pm), 451 Kellers Rd, Qtwn, 215-536-2841 Holiday Festival, 10am-4pm, Linden Hill Gardens, Ottsville, 610-847-1300

Holiday Sale by the Horticulture Program at Upper Bucks Tech. School, studentgrown projects, etc. 3115 Ridge Rd, Perkasie, Call for hours and pricing at 215-795-2911 or see flyer on website: www.ubtech.org

December 1, 2, & 3 “A Little Princess” benefit show for Allentown Rescue Mission, (Thur. & Fri. 7pm) (Sat. 2pm & 7pm), free reservations required, donations accepted, 330 Schantz Rd. Allentown, 610-923-6742, tgbembus@yahoo.com December 1, 5, 8, 13, 21 & 22 St. Luke’s Qtwn Hospital December fundraisers take place in Lobby, 1021 Park Ave, 9am-4pm, Call 215-538-4846 to find out what is featured on each day. December 2 Quakertown Tree Lighting Festival at 7pm, festivities begin 5:30pm Triangle Park, downtown Qtwn, ice sculpting, alpacas, Victorian carolers, holiday vendors, Santa arrives by firetruck, complimentary snacks. 215-536-2273 Evening Dance w/The Promises, 7pm10pm (doors open 6:30pm), Generations of Indian Valley, 259 N. Second St, Souderton, www.generationsofiv.org December 2, 3, & 4 Kringle Christmas Shoppe, Haycock Historical Soc., (Fri. 1pm-8pm) (Sat. 10am4:30pm) (Sun. 12:30pm-4:30pm), 40 of the area’s finest crafters, Free music, cocoa, cookies, & prizes, Latvian Baptist Church, 1142 Apple Rd, Applebachsville

Winter Fest at Trumbauersville Park Pavilion, 7:00pm, Friends, neighbors, hot chocolate, & marshmallows around a bonfire. Free fun for kids of all ages, bring your own marshmallow roasting stick & dress warmly. Please bring a nonperishable food item to be donated to local charities. Contact Robbie at 215-538-8245 for more information. Holiday Open House at Bucks County SPCA in Lahaska, 6pm-8pm, enjoy home-baked goods, etc. Bring the family and take pictures with Santa Paws. The new Richlandtown SPCA on California Rd in Qtwn will open in mid-January.

December 1 to 3 5th Annual Rotary TV Auction to fund Medical Rotaplast Missions to Repair Cleft Lips & Palates, pre-bid opens online Dec.1 at rotarydistrict7430. org, live auction Dec.3, 7pm-10pm on Channel 69, WFMZ, Contact Maria 215-740-8250, Jill 610-597-4559

December 9

Generations of Indian Valley 5k REINDEER RUN, (register 7:15am7:45am), 8am Fun and Games begin, 9am Brunch & Prize Ceremony, 259 N. Second St, Souderton, Benefits community & Meals on Wheels, astover@generationsofiv.org Annual Holiday Bazaar, 9:30am-2:30pm, Mountainview Moravian Church, 331 Constitution Ave., Hellertown, lunch, crafts, bakes goods, Sharon 610-838-9380 Craft Fair & Pictures w/Santa, 10am4pm, Milford Twp Fire Co, 2185 Milford Square Pike, Qtwn, 267-446-2651 Christmas Craft Show, 9am-5pm at Quakertown Train Station, 15 Front St, Qtwn, local artisans, apple dumplings, bake & nut sale, Sponsored by Woman’s Club of Qtwn, benefits local charities. Perkasie Carousel at Menlo Park will be open at 5th & Park Ave., Perkasie Perkasie Holiday Tree Lighting, contact Perkasie Olde Towne at 215-257-4989 or www.perkasieoldetowne.org “Breakfast with Santa” at Grand View Hosp. cafeteria, (seatings at 8, 9, & 10am), Reservations accepted beginning Nov. 1, Call 215-453-4084, gvh.org “Christmas at the Y”, 10am-1pm, 401 Fairview Ave., Qtwn, www.ubymca.org Souderton Holiday Parade begins 11am top of Main St. in Souderton, Activities for the family, Meet Santa at the Scout Cabin on Wile Ave. www.stmainst.org

Mad Science: Winter Holiday Event, 6pm8pm in Pennridge HS cafeteria, (Family Friday) www.perkasieborough.org

December 3, 4, 10, & 11 Train Club Show Open House, Coopersburg Area Society of Model Engineers, 12noon-5pm, free/donation, fun for all, HO scale model train layout, Coopersburg Borough bldg, 5 N. Main St. 215538-0501 or www.casme.org December 4 St. Luke’s Christmas Tree www.quakertownalive.com

Tour

Quakertown Christmas House Tour, 2:30pm-7pm, Welcome reception at McCoole’s Arts Ctr, Tour begins 4pm (7 homes & churches), Burgess Foulke House, Liberty Hall, ticket info at 215-536-2273 or quakertownalive.com Upper Perk Hometown Christmas – Santa Land and the Christmas Parade, upperperk.org Philadelphia Handbell Choir, 4pm at Trinity Lutheran Church (concert series), 19 S. 5th St, Perkasie, 215-257-6801 Holiday Festivities at Fonthill Castle, 12noon-4pm, Open House, hot cider, visit Santa free at the Tileworks, East Court St & Rt 313, Doylestown, 215-348-9461 December 5 Candlelit Christmas Party at Generations, 6pm-8pm, hot & cold appetizers, cider, desserts, Serenity Dancers, Clarinet Ensemble, Souderton HS Choir, $10/ticket supports Meals on Wheels, register at 215-723-5841 astover@generationsofiv.org, 259 N. 2nd St, Souderton December 5 & 19 Quakertown Blood Drive at Trinity Evangelical Lutheran, 3pm-7pm, 102 N. Hellertown Ave, Qtwn December 6 Free Internet Safety Workshop, 7pm8pm, Learn how to keep your family safe online, Quakertown Library, 401 W. Mill St, Qtwn, www.buckslib.org December 7 28th Annual Festival of Lights at Grand View Hosp. in Sellersville, Dedication ceremony at 7pm, Details at 215-453-4381 Christmas Party w/Joe Vitale Due & The Toe Tappers, starts 11am, $10/tickets bought in advance. Upper Bucks Senior Ctr, Milford Square, 215-536-3066, upperbuckssac.com

December 10 Santa Claus visits the Quakertown Train Station, 10am-2pm, he will arrive by Diesel Locomotive Pet Adoption Day at Quakertown PetSmart (near Target), 11-3, benefits Last Chance Ranch Rescue, lastchanceranch.org QMPO Annual Holiday Craft Show, 9am-3pm, Strayer Middle School, Ronald Reagan Drive, Quakertown, benefits Qtwn High School music program, 215-837-3759 or craftfair@qmpo.org Telford Tree Lighting, 7:30pm, Mayor will speak, carol singing, entertainment, Santa arrives by firetruck to visit with the kids, Main & Penn Ave, Telford Dublin Holiday Gathering, 6:30pm-9pm, Horse & carriage rides, petting zoo, live music, Santa, and lots more. Dublin Firehouse, www.dublinborough.org Cookie Walk, 9am – 3pm, Eastern Upper Bucks Senior Center, 8040 Easton Road, Ottsville. Cookies, Crafts, Soups, Raffle. 610-847-8178. December 10 & 11 Weekend Christmas Bazaar, (Sat. 9am7pm) (Sun. 12noon-5pm), Zion Hill Evangelical Lutheran Church, 2699 Old Bethlehem Pike, Qtwn, silent auction, Holiday shoppe for kids, food, etc., Vendors call Charlie 484-695-5504 December 11 9th Annual Worldwide Children’s Memorial Candle Lighting, 6:30pm at First UCC, 151 S. 4th St, Qtwn, Sponsored by Compassionate Friends-Qtwn Chapter, info at 215-536-4447 AAOTE’s Holiday Gathering, 12noon4pm, Local artists, food, music, live demos, bring can or dry food to donate, 174 S. Main St, Dublin, Tari 267-337-1817 Holiday Portrait with Pets, 12noon-3pm at Richlandtown Fire Co. on Rt. 212, live music, food, raffle, etc. (this event replaces the cancelled Wags & Wiggles Dog Walk), check to confirm event at www.lastchanceranch.org Pennridge Community Bus Trip, “Hershey Highlights,” depart 8:45am, return 9:30pm, Details: 215-258-0799, pennridgetours@gmail.com.


December 2011 • Upper Bucks Free Press •

Find the Upper Bucks Free Press! QUAKERTOWN A-Plus Mini Market Bottom Dollar Foods Beer City Classic Temps Captain Bob’s Seafood Chick Fil-A Chilkoot’s Restaurant Dairy Queen Dominick’s Pizza Express Food Mkt (former Wawa) East Swamp Church Faraco’s Pizza First United Church of Christ Frank’s Pizza Giant Food Markets Giovanni’s Pizza The Grundy House Hen & Hog Hobo’s Bar & Grill James Michener Library John’s Plain & Fancy Karlton Cafe McDonalds Melody Lakes Clubhouse Pep’s Ice Cream Parlor Power & Grace Dance & Gymnastics Quaker Cleaners Quakertown Family Restaurant Quakertown Produce QNB Bank Quaker Bakery Redner’s Market Sal’s Pizza Randa Sine’s 5 & 10 Wawa Swann’s Pantry Upper Bucks Senior Center Upper Bucks YMCA Yum Yum Donuts Sellersville A & N Diner Village Market Perkasie Bravo’s Pizza Giant Food Markets Landis Food Markets Pierce Library Trumbauersville Fino’s La Cantina Silver Shears Spor’s General Store Trum Tavern United States Post Office Coopersburg Coopersburg Diner CVS Pharmacy Giant Food Markets Good Earth The Inside Scoop Paradise Tanning QNB Bank Weis Markets Also available at Spinnerstown, Milford Square, Coopersburg, and Zionhill post offices as well as lots of other high traffic locations between here and there.

More Community Events December 17 “Teens Against Mean Dance” hosted by Anna Packer Project, 7pm-9pm at UBYMCA, 401 Fairview Ave., Qtwn, $5/tickets at door, refreshments, prizes, music by DJ Shawn Storm, 267-573-9808 or www.annapackerproject.org December 17 to January 31 “Under the Tree: A Century of Holiday Toys” exhibit featuring decorations and toys from 1860 to 1950, Mercer Museum, 84 South Pine St, Doylestown, admission is $10 and under, 215-345-0210 x131 December 21 Spirit Journeys: Longest Night Observation, 7pm at Generations of Indian Valley, 259 N. Second St, Souderton, Dec. 21 is the shortest day of the year, refresh and prepare your spirit for the winter season, $10, register 215-723-5841

DECEMBER 25

Merry Christmas! December 31 New Year’s Eve Party at Benner Hall, Richlandtown, doors open 7:30pm, Dinner, DJ, $30/person, call Polly to reserve tickets 215-536-6716, bennerhall. com January 6 Wine & Cheese Art Show at Generations of Indian Valley, 6pm-8pm, come see our new Café mural, etc. done by The Community Arts Initiative. $5/ticket includes unlimited wine, cheese, fruit, and funding. 259 N. Second St., Souderton, astover@generationsofiv.org January 13 Ray Owen: Childrens Music Entertainer, 6pm-8pm in Pennridge HS cafeteria, (Family Friday), www.perkasieborough.org

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• Upper Bucks Free Press • December 2011

QNB Banker Builds Habitat For Humanity Home

Members of the American Bankers Association, including Dave Freeman, President and Chief Operating Officer of QNB Bank (QNB) and his wife Arden, gathered in a new San Antonio community recently to build a Habitat for Humanity home for a family in need. With support from the Texas Bankers Association and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas, as well as donations from bankers across the country the ABA Housing Partners Foundation built its eleventh home. “The banking industry came together to build a home for Lorena Magdaleno and her four daughters,” said Mr. Freeman. “Arden and I were honored to have been a part of the effort and look forward to a continuing commitment from my bank and others across the country.” The home was built in Coleman Ridge, a new development that will be composed entirely of Habitat homes and include a newly constructed elementary school. The previous ten homes were built in New Orleans, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Washington, Orlando, Fla., San Diego,

Chicago and Boston. Overall, ABA members have contributed $1.9 million and dedicated more than 5,000 volunteer hours. The foundation’s mission is to promote and provide affordable housing in all communities, specifically those cities that host ABA’s Annual Convention. Supported entirely by donations, the foundation has been making a difference for 20 years. Learn more about the ABA Housing Partners Foundation and make your contribution by visiting the website at aba. com/HousingPartners.

START BUILDING YOUR BALANCE

GVH Retired Presents Nurse LOVE Donates Award Hats for Newborns

Grand View Hospital received a donation of 50 knitted hats for newborns from Ruth Titus, a retired nurse of North Wales who worked many years in the nursery and maternity departments of area hospitals. Titus, a 1941 graduate of Hahnemann University School of Nursing, also worked in geriatrics before retiring in 1979. Titus says it takes about one day to make each hat and estimates she has knitted more than 250 in recent years. The hats donated to Grand View are made of soft yarn in pastel colors with pairs made especially for twins. However she is quick to point out, “Just like babies, no two are exactly the same.” When she counted the hats before coming to Grand View she discovered there were 49. “So I had to make one more. This colorful one is made from the last of the yarn,” she said. Asked why she knits the hats Titus replies, “Why I love babies!” She also makes infant blankets and lap covers delivered to hospitals and her church with the help of neighbor Grace Farrell.

Grand View Hospital recently presented Marian Balaicuis of Hatfield with the LOVE (Life of Volunteer Excellence) award. Marian has been part of Grand View Hospital’s volunteer program since 1979, contributing over 3,950 hours of service. During a time in her life when she faced a number of personal challenges, she decided to help others rather than dwell on herself. Her decision to support GVH brought her a welcome diversion that blossomed into a meaningful experience. Marian is valued for her willingness to learn, adapting to change, and volunteering to cover extra shifts when other volunteers are absent. On a weekly basis, she serves as a unit assistant in the Emergency Room and as a facilitator at the Patient Registration desk. She also supports the Hospice program as a friendly visitor, calling on patients in their homes. In her spare time, Marian enjoys expressing herself through dancing the jitterbug, waltz, disco, and polka. She has one daughter, four grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

Quakertown Community School District’s Cyber Program received an international award last night in Indianapolis from the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL). QCSD staff members accepted the award during a membership meeting at the iNACOL three-day annual conference. QCSD’s Cyber Program won the Innovative Online Learning Practice Award. The program has seen a 178 percent growth in student online course enrollments within a three-year period. Serving as a model for other online learning programs, more than a dozen schools approached QCSD administrators during the 2010-2011 school year to seek guidance. “QCSD continues to be a leader in cyber education in the region and state. This international recognition affirms that QCSD is a world class operation,” said Dr. Lisa Andrejko, Superintendent, who initiated the idea for an in-house cyber school. “We need to thank the sitting school board members for their support of visionary leadership and the agility of the outstanding staff who make it happen. QCSD students are prepared for a future of cutting edge technology, no longer residents of just the Quakertown community, but as citizens of the world through best online practices.” Chris Harrington, the 2010-2011 Cyber Program Director, accepted the award on

behalf of the many administrators, teachers and students who have worked to make the program successful. In the photo with him are Todd Silvius, Cyber Technical Coordinator, and Nicole Pappas, Cyber Academic Mentor. Also on hand for the award was Tom Murray, current Director of Technology and Cyber Education. Harrington has moved on to become the Director of Bridges Virtual Education Services, a partnership with Bucks County IU #22 that is helping other school districts develop their own cyber programs. Five other iNACOL Online Learning Innovator awards went to a National Online Teacher of the Year (a woman from Colorado), an outstanding individual contributor (a woman from Florida), and a researcher (a woman from Florida). Additionally, two members of iNACOL’s Board of Directors were presented with leadership awards for outstanding service. “It is an honor to present the Online Learning Innovator Awards to some of the most dedicated, inspiring and innovative leaders in our field,” said Susan Patrick, president and CEO of iNACOL. “As online and blended learning programs continue to grow, with more than 4 million K-12 students enrolled in programs in the US, these individuals and the organizations that we’ve presented the awards to have played a key role in ensuring that every student is given the opportunity to succeed.”

Quakertown School District Receives International Cyber Learning Award

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Click: www.QNB.com Call: 888.MYBANK9 Or stop by: Any of our 9 convenient branches *Annual Percentage Yield (APY) accurate as of 06/01/11. Minimum to open account is $25 with no minimum balance requirement thereafter. Rate tiers are as follows: Tier 1 Bonus Rate of 1.75% APY applies to balances of $0.01 - $24,999.99 and 0.50% APY applies to balances $25,000 or greater if qualifications are met each qualification cycle. Base Rate of 0.15% APY applies to all balances if qualifications are not met. Balances will earn 1.75% APY to 0.50% APY if qualifications are met. Rates may change after the account is opened. Fees may reduce earnings. Qualifying transactions must post and clear during the qualification cycle. Qualification cycle is a period beginning one business day prior to the first day of the current statement cycle through one business day prior to the close of the current statement cycle. Check Card purchase means any PIN or signature based transaction performed at any location other than an ATM. Transactions may take more than three business days to post and clear from the transaction date. Customer must be enrolled in QNB-Online Banking in order to receive eStatements. Available to personal accounts only. Limit two accounts per household. **ATM fee refunds up to $25 provided only if qualifications are met within qualification cycle. Patent Pending, BancVue.


December 2011 • Upper Bucks Free Press •

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Coopersburg Railroad Pennridge “Pink Out” Completion Celebrated Raises $2840 for GVH Model railroad enthusiasts of all ages met on Sunday, November 13, to celebrate the completion of the main-line track at the Coopersburg Area Society of Model Engineers (CASME). The project has taken 5 years and includes almost 13 H.O. scale miles of track. The organization held a Golden Spike Ceremony to mark the occasion. The Golden Spike recalls the 1869 meeting of the Union Pacific and Central Pacific Railroads at Promontory Summit, Utah, completing the United States’ first transcontinental railroad. And yes, there were “golden spikes” to complete the track in Coopersburg, too. Ron Stigler and Eric Rotenberger, representing the two groups that were brought together to form CASME, each affixed scale golden spikes to finish the track. CASME formed with the merger of two model railroad groups in 2005. The Emmaus-based East Penn Model Railroad Club and the Bux-Mont Model Engineers of Quakertown came together when offered the basement of the Coopersburg Borough Building as a central location. Members of CASME have been working on the layout ever since February 2006. It’s a multi-level arrangement that’s easy to walk around and admire. According to the group, the layout loosely represents the old Reading Line’s Bethlehem

Branch with such familiar locations as Coopersburg, Quakertown, Perkasie, and Souderton. While the main track laying is completed, the group is still working on the scenery and some track work. Nevertheless, it is an impressive sight to see. And you are invited to take a tour of CASME’s facility. The group is hosting several open houses in the next few weeks. Visitors are welcome to come see the layout on December 3 – 4, 10 – 11; January 7 – 8, 14 – 15 at the borough building at 5 North Main Street, at the corner of Main and State Streets, in Coopersburg. The hours are noon until 5pm each day of the open house. photo by frank direnzo

Students raised the funds by selling 300 pink T-shirts with a goal post design and by collecting donations from local businesses. Fans were encouraged to wear the shirts to a recent football game where pink replaced some of the traditional green and white school colors. Football players wore pink socks while cheerleaders and band members wore pink ribbons and the stadium was adorned in pink bows. Student council president Chris Reynolds remarked, “I really enjoyed working on this. It’s a great way to give back to the community.” Seiler added, “Hopefully the event will continue. I’ve organized the planning details in a binder to assist underclassman prepare for it in coming years.”

QCHS Makes College Board’s AP® District Honor Roll

QNB Coopersburg Office Donates Almost $800 To Food Pantry

As QNB Bank’s annual Halloween dress-up day approached, QNB Bank’s Coopersburg Office employees were concerned by the huge increase in the number of area residents needing assistance in order to adequately feed their families. So they decided to be “Bakers for a Benefit”. Instead of just dressing up, the Coopersburg staff became Bakers and brought in baked goods on Friday, October 28. Customers were notified prior to the date and not only bought the delicacies; they also donated their own home-baked goods. The customers and staff were

Pennridge High School students raised $2,840 through a “Pink Out” 2011 event benefitting breast cancer care in the community at Grand View Hospital. Pennridge High School junior Sarah Seiler organized the event with the help and support of fellow student council members for the second year, raising a total of $4,340. Seiler was especially inspired when a close family member was diagnosed with the disease earlier this year and treated at Grand View. “We are so appreciative to these young people for their efforts,” said Grand View’s Breast Care Coordinator Cathy Haberle, RN. “Through this event, they’ve helped raise awareness of breast cancer and that early detection can help save lives.”

extremely generous: $781.07 was donated to the local food bank, Betty Lou’s Pantry, located at St. James Evangelical Lutheran Church, Oxford Street & Route 309.

Quakertown Community High School was named to the College Board’s 2nd Annual AP District Honor Roll for Significant Gains in Advanced Placement® Access and Student Performance. The high school is one of 367 public school districts in the nation being honored by the College Board. The award recognizes the school for simultaneously increasing access to Advanced Placement coursework while maintaining or increasing the percentage of students earning scores of 3 or higher on AP exams. Achieving both of these goals is the ideal scenario for a district’s Advanced Placement program, because it indicates that the district is successfully identifying motivated, academically-prepared students who are likely to benefit most from AP coursework. Since 2009, QCHS increased the number of students participating in AP by 42 percent to while improving the percentage of students earning AP Exam scores of 3 or higher from 63% in 2009 to 70% in 2011. The majority of U.S. colleges and universities grant college credit or advanced placement for a score of 3 or above on AP exams. “It goes without saying that we are very proud of this achievement,” said QCHS Principal Anita Serge. “In the past several years, we have committed ourselves to giving ALL students the opportunity to enroll in our AP courses, and our teachers are doing everything they can to help students raise their achievement, and our students are responding.” Serge noted that adding Springboard to the English curriculum has helped student performance in AP courses. “Additionally, our AP teachers continue to utilize strategies that help ensure success on the AP test while also supporting higher order thinking skills.” The 2nd Annual AP Honor Roll is made up of only those public school districts that simultaneously expand opportunity and improve performance. The list include school districts across 43 states and Canada. Pennsylvania led all states with 34 public school districts named to the

2nd Annual AP Honor Roll, followed by Massachusetts and New York, both with 30. “Participation in college-level AP courses can level the playing field for underserved students, give them the confidence needed to succeed in college, and raise standards and performance in key subjects like science and math,” said College Board President Gaston Caperton. “The AP Honor Roll districts are defying expectations by expanding access while enabling their students to maintain or improve their AP Exam scores.” Helping more students learn at a higher level and earn higher AP scores is an objective of all members of the AP community, from AP teachers to district and school administrators to college professors. Many are experimenting with a variety of initiatives and strategies to determine how to expand access and improve student performance simultaneously. The College Board’s Advanced Placement Program® (AP®) enables students to pursue college-level studies while still in high school. Through more than 30 college-level courses, each culminating in a rigorous exam, AP provides willing and academically prepared students with the opportunity to earn college credit, advanced placement or both. Taking AP courses demonstrates to college admission officers that students have sought the most rigorous curriculum available to them. Each AP teacher’s syllabus is evaluated and approved by college faculty from some of the nation’s leading institutions, and AP Exams are developed and scored by college faculty and experienced AP teachers. AP is accepted by more than 3,800 colleges and universities worldwide for college credit, advanced placement or both on the basis of successful AP Exam scores. This includes over 90 percent of four-year institutions in the United States. In 2010, 1.8 million students representing more than 17,000 schools around the world, both public and nonpublic, took 3.2 million AP Exams.


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• Upper Bucks Free Press • December 2011

Upper Bucks Salvation Army Needs Your Help As we approach the Christmas Season in the Upper Bucks area, it is essential that we consider the less fortunate and needy in our area. The Salvation Army, through its Upper Bucks Service Unit (215-529-6547), which has its offices at the Emmanuel Episcopal Church, 560 S. Main Street in Quakertown, has the following kettle locations in our area: the Acme in Doylestown, the Wal-Mart in Hilltown, and the Wal-Mart in East Greenville during the hours of 9 to 5 on Friday, November 25, and Saturdays November 26, December 3, 10, 17, and 24. Students have volunteered to ring the bell at these kettle locations. The Central Bucks West High School National Honor Society will ring the bell at the Acme in Doylestown, the Pennridge High School National Honor Society will ring the bell at the Wal-Mart in Hilltown, and the Upper Perk High School Leo’s Club will ring the bell at the Wal-Mart in East Greenville. In addition, at the Wal-Mart in Quakertown, the Quakertown High School Key Club will be ringing the bell from 4 to 8 each Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday starting November 21 through December 21. All of the money collected at these kettles by the students will go to help needy families and people in our area.

It is particularly heartwarming to see these exemplary students give of their time to help the less fortunate in our area. Both the students and their respective schools should be commended for their participation in this very worthwhile program. Your support of the students and this kettle program is appreciated. Anyone wishing to donate directly to the Salvation Army Upper Bucks Service Unit can send a check (please no cash) to the Salvation Army, P.O. Box 955, Quakertown, Pa. 18951. Any contributions made in this manner will be acknowledged with a receipt suitable for tax purposes. The Salvation Army Upper Bucks Service Unit has helped thousands of people in our area in the last year alone and has dispensed thousands of dollars in much needed assistance. In addition to its regular programs, the Salvation Army has a Christmas program, and also provides a summer camp program for children. Given the current economic condition the need is greater than ever. The Salvation Army is always at or near the top of charities in terms of low administrative and operating expenses as a percentage of donations living up to its motto of “Doing the Most Good”.

Revivals Restaurant Recognizes Need Often Close to Home The amount of need just in our local area came as a surprise to Sue Scott, as it might come to any of us. Sue is determined to do what she can to help out. Michael and Sue Scott are the owneroperators of Revivals Restaurant on Ridge Road in Perkasie. Revivals has been open for six years now, serving “American cuisine with international flavors”. Previous to Revivals, they owned and operated a restaurant in Green Lane for 17 years. When she realized that there are so many people in this area that need a helping hand this holiday season, Sue started thinking about what she could do to help. She knew that she wanted to keep it local and that the platform of the restaurant would help publicize the effort. As Sue explains, “This is not going to pay someone’s salary, not going out of the area; this is to help those in need in Upper Bucks.” Revivals’ Community Giveback has three branches: An Angel Tree. People can choose a paper angel from the tree to make a disadvantaged child’s Christmas more merry. Written on the backs of the paper angels are the age and gender of a child along with his or her wish list for Christmas. Bring the wrapped gifts back to Revivals by December 16, so that they can be delivered. Food Drive. Revivals will be collecting non-perishable food items for the Quakertown Food Pantry. A box will be set up inside the restaurant for donations. The food drive may not just be for the holidays. Sue is considering future food

drives as well. “With Loving Tags”. Everyone has something in his or her closet that after a few years still has tags on it. It’s never been worn, and let’s face it, probably never will be. It may look good hanging in your closet, but perhaps someone else could actually use your new-with-tagsstill-attached clothes. Sue is working with a local agency that provides clothes for people who need them. Men’s, women’s, and children’s clothing will be accepted. The kick-off for these Christmas-time helping hands is December 11, although the Angel Tree is already set up and filling with Christmas wishes waiting for angels to claim them. Quakertown High School’s choir hosted the Westminster Choir from Westminster Choir College. This amazing group, under the direction of Dr. Joe Miller, performed live at the high School on November 19 to a packed house - QHS’s own graduate Maggie Montoney was among the performers. It was a great night of music for all. photo by frank direnzo

The Angel Tree stands ready for harvest in the lobby of Revivals Restaurant on Ridge Road in Perkasie. photo by christopher betz

Did you know that the Salvation Army collection kettle evolved from a large stewing pot set out in the streets of San Francisco in 1891 to collect money to provide Christmas dinner to 1,000 of the city’s poorest residents?


December 2011 • Upper Bucks Free Press •

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Happy Holidays from the Animals of Last Chance Ranch Karli is a gorgeous medium sized shepherd/terrier mix. She was actually going to be euthanized due to behavior at the city shelter after being found in an abandoned building. Lucky for her they pushed it off to the next day, when they found her in labor! No wonder she was upset, she was just protecting her puppies! After coming to Last Chance Ranch realized that we were there to help and she let us play with her and her puppies. She is now weaned from her puppies and is looking for a new home. She is a sweet young girl who is between 1 and 2 years old and about 35lbs. Please consider making room in your home and in your heart this holiday season for Karli or one of the many other dogs at Last Chance Ranch! Calling all bird lovers! Last Chance Ranch recently received 57 birds whose owners were unable to keep them. We have 23 Love Birds (pictured), 20 Diamond Doves, 2 Cockatiels and 2 Parakeets. 10 canaries have already been adopted! If you are interested in adopting a pet, please call 215-538-2510 or go to www.lastchanceranch.org

Did you know that an all-time high of 226 million Americans flocked to stores and websites over the Black Friday holiday weekend this year, spending an estimated $52.4 billion?


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• Upper Bucks Free Press • December 2011

WOW Program Heads to Haycock This year the Bucks County Intermediate Unit (BCIU) Life Skills program – W.O.W., short for We’re Outstanding Workers – moved to its new location at the old Haycock Elementary School building. The program is for special needs students between the ages of 18 and 21 years old, emphasizing employment and life skills. The Quakertown Community School District is leasing the space to the BCIU as “fair share” classroom space for the special needs instructional program, according to JoAnn Perotti, Executive Director of the IU Education Foundation. Also, classrooms in the building are being leased to the BCIU for its Early Childhood Services Program, which is for children aged 3 – 5 years old who have or may have special needs. The W.O.W. program recently hosted an Open House to share its new space with the public. The program now has an “apartment” where students can sharpen practical living skills or just have some

2nd Annual Performing Arts Fest Slated Quakertown-based nonprofit organiza-

tion justCommunity, Inc., is hosting the 2nd Annual Performing Arts Festival on Sunday, Dec. 11 at 3:30 and 7 pm at the James Lorah House in Doylestown. In the spirit of their work promoting positive youth development, the organization has chosen the theme of this year’s festival as “What’s on Your Mind?” Selected teens from Bucks and Montgomery Counties will answer this question through the performance of original songs, poems and plays. Suggested donation is $10 per person. Doors open at 3:00 p.m. Handmade gifts by local artists will be available before and between shows.

down time and hang out after completing lessons. Enthusiastic guides gave tours through the space and let visitors know all about the different areas in the building. Instructor Doreen McNamara is excited about the larger space and for future plans that are posted on a “wish list”. Doreen hopes that the students will be able to clear the overgrown walking path behind the school, making it accessible for public use. Being a part of the community is important to the Life Skills students and teachers. There are several businesses run by the program, including a very successful We’re Blooming yardwork/ gardening business and We’re Scantastic, a multimedia business that has students transferring videotape to DVD format. On the day of the Open House, visitors could see students transferring slides. The students also help to deliver Meals on Wheels and food donations to the Quakertown Food Pantry. This year, the students will be assisting with the local Toys for Tots program, sorting the gifts according to age range and gender for distribution.

QCSD Teens Get Seriously Funny Message:

Fun without Substances Comedian and motivational speaker Dr. Matt Bellace drew big laughs from his Strayer, Milford and Freshman Center audiences recently. He wanted to convince teenagers to enjoy life on a natural high, rather than by indulging in alcohol or drugs. “I believe everyone can make a healthy choice but you’ve got to want it,” he told students. He said his parents leaned on him to be good because his older brother was “out of control.” His parents sent him to a camp, where he learned to have fun with teen peers without getting “wasted.” He met some of his best lifelong friends at the camp. As a student at Bucknell University, he got tired of watching students get drunk every weekend. He and friends started Calvin & Hobbes House, eventually winning the use of a former fraternity house, where they hosted substance-free parties for college students. He went on to earn a Ph.D. in clinical neuropsychology from Drexel University. He travels across the country as a member of the National Speakers Association, specifically to talk to more than 100,000 students a year promoting his “How to Get High Naturally” message. He wrote a book, called A Better High. He also appears on Tru TV’s Smoking Gun and Sirius Radio. Strayer teachers Chris Deily and Pete Jarrett and guidance counselor Lillian Eskicirak took some Street Team mem-

bers to a leadership conference last year, where they saw Bellace in action. The students asked the staff members to bring him to QCSD. Bellace started the three presentations with a demonstration that required students to literally lean on each other. Four girls sat on specifically arranged chairs in one group and four boys sat in the same configuration on another set of chairs. Bellace told them to lean back on each other’s legs. He started pulling the chairs out, one at a time, until each group stayed afloat, without chairs, simply by supporting each other with arms, legs and lots of will! “Lean on strong friends in hard times,” Bellace told the appreciative audience. “I can tell within five minutes if this stunt will work. In a negative environment, the kids all fall down.” Bellace found audience members who could share the way they get high naturally. Athletes raised their hands and talked about the “runner’s high.” Bellace explained the science of natural highs and shared statistics that show that teens who delay use of alcohol until they are 21 have better memories and less chance of becoming alcoholics. Students followed up the presentations with activities in Strayer Strong, Milford Matters and Pride groups. It appeared that most of them got Bellace’s message, “You can have fun and be substance free.”

Grand View Hospital Holds Festival of Lights

The 28th annual Festival of Lights celebration at Grand View Hospital will begin on Wednesday, December 7, with a dedication ceremony at 7 pm. The grounds surrounding the hospital will be lit ever night throughout Christmas and Hanukkah and into the early days of the New Year. The lights not only add a festive touch, but they are significant of donations made to honor or memorialize loved ones or an organization or to recognize the birth of a baby. The Festival of Lights program is sponsored by the Grand View Hospital Auxiliary to raise funds for the hospital. For a contribution of $20 white lights are lit in honor or memory of someone or something and red lights are lit to recognize cancer patients. The tree in the circle in front of the main hospital entrance is also decorated with red lights, which honor the courage and spirit of cancer patients. A contribution of $100 will illuminate a light this year and for years to come as well as allow the honoree’s name to be placed on a permanent plaque which is displayed in the hospital.

In addition to the outside lights, a small “Baby Tree” in the hospital lobby is decorated with special ornaments commemorating babies born at Grand View Hospital throughout the year. For a $20 donation an ornament with the newborn’s name and birth date will be hung on this tree. For a $100 contribution, the baby’s name will be on an ornament on the tree each year and the name will also be put on a permanent plaque in the maternity department. The public is invited to the dedication. Holiday music will be provided by pianist Dave Kenny and country singer, songwriter Jenna Myers. Refreshments will be served. For more information about making contributions or about the dedication ceremony, contact the Grand View Hospital Auxiliary office at 215-453-4381. The funds raised through this holiday fundraiser become part of a substantial gift to support specials projects in the Hospital. This past June, the Auxiliary made a gift of $150,000 towards the renovation and expansion of the Emergency Department.


December 2011 • Upper Bucks Free Press •

5 Year Old Michener Library Renovates and Retools Resources Patrons of the Michener Branch of the Bucks County Free Library (BCFL) in Quakertown have noticed some big changes in the past weeks. Gone is the reference desk that used to command attention upon entering the building. Furniture, computers, and books have all been moved to make the library a more welcoming place for families and other library regulars. It’s a leaner, cleaner look for the five year old building. When the James A. Michener Branch of the Bucks County Free Library opened its larger building in September 2006, there were 90,000 items on its many shelves. Now, five years later, with just over 77,000 items available to patrons, the library is more open and easier for people to navigate. Also, the library now has a more extensive audio-visual section, full of Blu-Ray discs, DVDs, CDs, and videogames, which are very popular with the patrons. Executive director Martina Kominiarek is excited about the renovation. “We want to leverage the good and change up what wasn’t working, “she said. Libraries have evolved from the stereotypical picture many of us have in our heads of a place where the librarian would shush loud voices and perhaps scold children who returned books after the due dates. Today’s library is a vibrant building that is oftentimes filled with the sound of children playing in the new Family

Discovery Center area. Many local community groups use the spacious Schweiker Room for regular meetings. There are areas for computer use – the building provides free wi-fi access, too – and areas for quiet study. Today’s library is designed for people, not for books. Library Board member Maryann Beltz points out, “Libraries need to change, freshen things up, to keep people interested.” And it seems to be working. Since the inside of the building has been reworked, the librarians have noticed an uptick in circulation as well as people spending more time in the library. There are several areas which almost invite people to relax with a book or magazine and, of course, the computers are very popular because of the free Internet service. The cost of the library redo was approximately $9,000 coming from the branch’s saving account, funded patially by the continuing in-house booksale. The Quakertown branch has seen an increase in its circulation numbers and as Martina says, patrons are”voting with their feet” as more people are discovering their local library. She’s also gratified by the support of the Library Board of Directors in this project. Martina feels the library redo has “dramatically improved” the interior’s appearance and the visibility of the materials available to patrons. Sometime in 2012, the circulation desk will be reworked. At present, the desk is a bit on the high side for many people and needs to be more user-friendly.

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People came from all over with their family treasures, yard sale finds, and other memorabilia to the “What’s It Worth?” event sponsored by the Richland Library Company. Ten appraisers were on hand to set values on artwork, old books, collectibles, and many other items. The Richland Library Company is working to raise $250,000 so they can build a new addition to the present library building at 44 South Main Street in Quakertown. The library is one of the oldest in Pennsylvania and contains many works on the history of the area as well as many books on local family histories and genealogical charts. As appraiser and library Board member Ellen Schroy notes, “The library is a special place for all of us.” Virginia Wisler brought in a pen & ink drawing of Mary, Queen of Scots. She had received it as a gift for her 16th birthday over 50 years ago. Recently the piece had been inhabiting a closet in her home. She decided to bring it to be

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New to St. Luke’s Quakertown Hospital St. Luke’s Quakertown announces the addition of Steven Falowski, MD, Neurosurgeon. Dr. Falowski’s interests include Deep Brain Stimulation for Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders, surgical procedures in the treatment of Epilepsy, Spinal Cord Stimulation for the treatment of various pain syndromes, peripheral nerve stimulation for headache disorders, pain and baclofen pumps, as well as radio- frequency ablation for the treatment of trigeminal neuralgia. Dr. Falowski is located at the St. Luke’s Bone & Joint Institute at 1534 Park Avenue in Quakertown. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call St. Luke’s Neurosurgical Associates at 484-526-6000 or visitwww. slhn.org/neuroscience.

Richland Library Lets ‘em Know What’s It Worth appraised because, as she said, “it was so ugly it’s got to be worth something”. Janice Grim of Richlandtown toted her Renoir pencil sketch to be appraised. She figured that after 20 years, it was

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time to see what it’s worth. Donna Malloy had a family heirloom tabletop game board valued. She wasn’t concerned too much with the monetary value, but was curious about the history of the piece. photo by frank direnzo

The trouble with weather forecasting is that it’s right too often for us to ignore it and wrong too often for us to rely on it. -Patrick Young

Mercer Museum to Hold Holiday Open House

The Mercer Museum will hold a Holiday Open House on Tuesday December 13th, 2011 from 7 until 9 pm. Delight in the sounds, scents, and scenes of the holidays at the Mercer’s traditional Holiday Open House. The festivities kick-off with a musical parade escorting St. Nick to the museum’s Log House. In the Log House, Santa spends the evening listening to children’s wishes and gifting keepsake ornaments. Sip hot cider, sing along with carolers, listen to musical performances, wish your troubles away with the “burning of the greens,” and make a simple ornament to help adorn one of the holiday trees featured in the upcoming exhibit, Under the Tree: A Century of Holiday Trees and Toys. Across the street are more holiday festivities at the Michener Art Museum. Free and open to the public. 84 South Pine Street in Doylestown. For general information and directions: www.mercermuseum.org


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• Upper Bucks Free Press • December 2011

Toys for Tots Saved Again Bucks County’s children need your help. Bucks County’s Toys for Tots Program helps ease the financial burden by placing toys in the hands of children who need simply to play, but whose family can barely afford basic needs. This year especially, the economic crunch has placed continued pressure on those with the least. Many dedicated volunteers make the Bucks County Toys for Tots Program a reality. Two years ago, the Upper Bucks Toys for Tots Program, coordinated by Staff Sgt. Kevin Miller was extended to Central Bucks when the Marines closed out of Willow Grove Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base, and there would have been no program there. Last year between 3,600 and 3,700 children were served in Central and Upper Bucks alone and “the program keeps growing,” Miller said. What’s different from last year, he explained, is that “I personally have now taken on all of Bucks County.” This year, there was not a planned Toys for Tots Program in Lower Bucks, so Miller took on the coordination of all of Bucks County, pressing for volunteers and space in which to operate for that area. His commitment to make the program work is clear. “Maybe I’m taking on too much, but it needs to be done,” he firmly conceded. You can help by donating toys in the bins, donating money to the local program, or volunteering to make sure that every family in need is served. Toys for Tots collection bins are placed at local businesses, banks and post offices. A complete list of drop-off local locations can be found on the website at www.upperbuckstoysfortots.org. When asked whether older children get “left out” of the mix by toy-buying donors, Miller said that the bulk of the toys they receive are for children ages 3-9. “[One of] the groups that we struggle with are 0-3,” he explained, because “maybe 85 percent of the toys on the shelves, unless you walk down the PlaySchool or Fisher-Price aisle,” are not suited for children under three. The other group that’s tough to buy for is “absolutely the 10 and up, 12 and up—you know we struggle with as well.” The challenge of toy-buying for this age level is that the type of toys available and that children often want, are the high end electronic toys and games. While generous donors may choose to put a Wii® or PlayStation® into the hands of a child in need, this can present a problem for volunteers to determine who gets them during distribution. A wonderful alternative is to use those same funds to purchase a greater quantity of more moderately priced items.

Another excellent way to make a bigger impact for local children is through monetary donations. All donations are forwarded weekly from the local branch to the Toys for Tots Foundation in Virginia and credited to the local account for local children. This allows Toys for Tots to use the purchasing power of the 730 U.S. campaigns, to control cost and increase volume of toys purchased. If, for example, you are able to donate 50 dollars worth of toys that may allow you to buy five 10 dollar toys, by donating money directly, Toys for Tots may be able purchase 12 or more, and as a non-profit, they do not have to pay tax on the toys. According to the website, “All proceeds collected are then used to fund expenses and buy toys to distribute to children in the local area,” and in doing so, all monies are “spent in local stores.” Donations can easily be made online, at www.upperbuckstoysfortots.org. Just remember to select “PA-Milford Square.” If you do not have online access, you can make a check or money order payable to: “Marine Toys for Tots Foundation,” and mail it to: Marine Toys for Tots Foundation Attn: SSgt. Kevin J. Miller P.O. Box 149 Milford Square, PA 18935 Toys that are donated in Lower, Central or Upper Bucks go directly to children in those areas. The majority of families in need are referred through local social services like Bucks County Opportunity Council, Head Start and the Salvation Army. Individual local families also have one last chance to register with Toys for Tots this coming week at the below times and locations: Central Bucks Family Registrations Doylestown Library 150 S. Pine Street Doylestown, PA 18901 Monday, Dec 5, 2011, 7 pm – 8 pm Upper Bucks Family Registrations Quakertown Library 401 W. Mill Street Quakertown, PA 18951 Tues, December 6, 2011, 7 pm - 8 pm The absolute deadline for toy drop off is Sunday, December 11, 2011. This will allow volunteers time to sort and distribute the remaining toys and get them to the children in time for the holiday. A complete list of Upper Bucks drop off locations can be found at: www.upper-bucks-pa.toysfortots.org. More volunteers are needed and welcome. Just click on “Volunteer for Toys for Tots,” or call SSgt. Miller at 267-718-0636. You can help Toys for Tots achieve its mission for Bucks’ children in need, because “Every Child Deserves a little Christmas.”

Quakertown Freshmen Create, Share Books with QE Students Scientists can be creative! Just ask Meagan Calhoun about the fiction book she wrote and illustrated about clouds. She blended fiction with facts and wove them into a story about a pirate ship. Meagan and classmates in Mellinda Joseph’s Freshman Center science class created picture books about clouds. Readers needed to be able to learn something. To test the results, Joseph invited QE fifth graders to the Freshman Center to listen to the stories. Fifth grade teachers Ryan Wieand and Kim Casale walked their students over for the Nov. 2 gathering in the Freshmen Center library.

“The birds mistake the clouds for a pirate ship,” Meagan explained about her extensive effort. “I love to write. This was a great project.” Fifth graders appreciated her book. They also liked a nonfiction book with photos, clip art and kid-friendly facts by Kelly Londino. Zac Metz, Tyler Andreacchio and Matt Clifford created their books on the computer and read them to fifth graders from their laptop. “This project was a great way for my students to show their learning,” Joseph said. “They worked hard and had fun creating children’s books. My students really took pride in their work and they loved getting the opportunity to share with the 5th graders.”

Plenty to Do at Upper Bucks Libraries

The following programs are offered at the Michener Branch, BCFL located at 401 W. Mill Street in Quakertown. To register, please visit www.buckslib.org or call 215-536-3306. Dec. 3 Reading Goes to the Dogs 2 – 3:30pm Come read to certified therapy dogs at this free program sponsored by the Friends of the Library. Bring along your favorite stories from home or find some new books from the library shelves. No registration is needed to attend. Dec. 5 & 12 Preschool Storytime 10:15 – 11am OR 1:30 – 2:15pm Join us for themed stories and activities for children ages three and older. Dec. 6 & 13 Bouncing Baby 10:15 – 10:45am Join us for books, music, and movement for you and your infant ages six months to twenty-four months. Dec. 6 & 13 Toddler Time 10:45 – 11:15am Join us for stories and lots of noise as we navigate through life with toddlers. Dec. 6 World Wide ….Wait a Minute! 7- 8pm Join the Bucks County District Attorney's Office, Bucks County Free Public Library, Quakertown Community School District, Quakertown Police Department, and the Upper Bucks Chamber of Commerce for this Internet Safety presentation about Internet threats and how to keep your family safe online. Dec. 17 Creation Station All day activity. Join us in the center of the library and get your creative juices flowing! Make a variety of crafts, play some games, and win prizes too! No registration is needed, just drop in anytime during the day! Dec. 20 Teen Gaming Night 7 – 8pm Like to compete? Bring your friends to the library to see who will earn the title of videogame champion. Not a gamer? That's okay we will have board games and Twister too. Dec. 24 CLOSED Dec. 28 Sciencetelling: Storytelling with Science 1:30pm A combination of wacky science experiments and stories.

The following programs are offered at the Pierce Branch, BCFL located at 491 Arthur Ave. in Perkasie. To register, please visit www.buckslib.org or call 215-257-9718. Dec. 1, 8, 15 Baby Storytime 10:15 – 10:45am Children ages 6 months to 24 months and their caregivers are welcome to come and join us for a half hour of stories, fingerplays and activities Dec. 7, 14, 21 Toddler Storytime 10:15 – 10:45am Ages 2-3. Come join us for stories, songs, games, and much more! Dec. 7, 14, 21 Preschool & Toddler Storytime 11:15 – 12noon Ages 2-6. Come join us for stories, songs, games, and other fun activities! Dec. 7, 14, 21 Preschool Storytime 1:15 – 2pm Ages 4-6. Come join us for stories, songs, games, and other fun activities! Dec. 10 Winter Wonder Crafts 10 – 11am Grades 5 and under. Join us for a morning of winter themed crafts. Make snowmen, noise makers and more! Dec. 13 Bingo for Books 7 – 7:45pm Children grades K-5 and their families are invited to join 45 minutes of bingo. Win books as prizes! A different theme each month. Dec. 24 CLOSED Dec. 28 Piccirillo Sciencetelling 4 – 4:45pm A combination of wacky science experiments and stories! Fun for the whole family! Dec. 29 Board Game Bonanza 3 – 4pm Bring a friend or two and join us for an afternoon of fun and board games. A variety of games and prizes will be available! Dec. 30 Family Storytime 10:15 – 10:45am Up to age 6. Come join us for stories and songs! Dec. 31 CLOSED


December 2011 • Upper Bucks Free Press •

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TEA Party Group Gives Presentation on Property Tax Elimination Before the Occupy Wall Street movement and its offshoots became the darlings of the media, another grassroots group was born of the frustration with the direction of our country. The summer of 2009 saw the emergence of TEA (Taxed Enough Already) Party groups across the country. In April of 2009, Jaime Faucette was invited by her sister-in-law Terri Brooks to go to a rally in Harrisburg. Jaime went and was inspired by the thousands of people standing in the rain protesting rising taxes and big government that seemed to have forgotten its way. She felt compelled to help inform people about how the government works and how they could learn to take an active role. The Citizens for Constitutional Government (CCG) is a local TEA Party organization that has been meeting regularly at the Quakertown Branch of the Bucks County Free Library for the past two years. The group, like so many other TEA Party organizations, seeks to educate people on the original intent of the Founding Fathers and to help get the country back to its Constitutional roots. “Our Constitution makes our country unique. Its principles limit government, encourage the free market and individual freedom so that people can live the American Dream. Now, our government is too big, it’s intrusive; limiting freedom and burdening business, “says Jaime. Last month, CCG welcomed David Baldinger to speak to the group about Pennsylvania property taxes. Baldinger, a Berks County resident, is a leader in the movement to eliminate property

taxes. More than 50 people came to hear him speak at the Quakertown Branch of the Bucks County Free Library about why the property tax is not working as a means to fund Pennsylvania schools as well as a viable alternative to the current tax. Baldinger maintains that the current system is unsustainable and needs to be replaced. “It is ludicrous that we are still taxed as if our property generates income for us, “said Baldinger. He told the group that over 10,000 Pennsylvania homeowners were forced out of their homes last year because of taxes. Baldinger is advocating passage of House Bill 1776, also known as the Property Tax Independence Act, which would eliminate the need for school property and local school nuisance taxes and replace those taxes with funding from a single state source. It would also limit school budget increases to the rate of inflation. Baldinger points out that property tax relief through the Homestead Act and gambling revenue doesn’t work because property taxes keep rising. He states that tax relief is doomed without a complete restructuring of the system. HB 1776 would eliminate the property tax while increasing the state sales tax from its current 6 percent to 7 percent; it would also increase the personal income tax to 3.99%. Baldinger believes that the passage of this bill would help revive the sagging housing market as well as raise home values. Baldinger administrates the Pennsylvania Taxpayers Cyber Coalition site, which describes itself as “dedicated to equitable tax funding of Pennsylvania schools”.

QCSD, Area Agencies to Present Internet Safety Workshop Quakertown Community School District and community agency personnel want area children to be safe online. For the second year in a row, they will present a workshop to help parents keep their children safe. The December 6 workshop is called, “World Wide… WAIT A MINUTE! Internet Threats and How to Keep Your Family Safe Online.” It will run from 7 to 8 p.m. at the Bucks County Free Library on Mill Street. It will address concerns for children of all ages. QCSD librarian Bekci Kelly, one of the presenters, said, “As students have more opportunities to utilize technology inside and beyond the classroom, we all have a responsibility to help them make responsible decisions with online resources. These organizations have come together to help educate parents and the community

with ways to keep their families safe while online.” Presenters from the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office, Bucks County Free Library, Quakertown Police Department and Upper Bucks Chamber of Commerce will join Kelly. The coalition of agencies is called “Community Connect.” Research showed that preteens and early teenagers educated on the importance of Internet privacy through school, parents, or the media were more likely to practice online safety than those who weren’t. Among teachers, peers, and parents, parents were the most influential in delivering that education. For more information, contact Bekci Kelly at rkelly@qcsd.org or 215-529-2081 in the QCHS library.

Tohickon Valley Students and Staff Happily Spend a Couple Cold Days of Learning School By Flashlight. School by Glow Stick. School by Blanket. Potential book titles? Tohickon Valley Elementary students stayed home an extra day after the Oct. 29 snowstorm that left hundreds of thousands of facilities in the Northeast without power. They were happy to return to school Wednesday, Nov. 2, even if they did have to sit bundled up in hats, coats and mittens. In Janet Weihbrecht’s first grade classroom, students felt warm when they got off the morning bus. So they took their coats off and continued moving, playing a good-morning game by tossing a ball around in a big circle. In Tom Campion’s room, students kept their coats on while the first grade teacher pointed out a pile of blankets in the middle of the room, ready for reading time. Front-of-the-building classrooms were lit by daylight streaming through the windows in the morning. Back-of-thebuilding classrooms remained a bit darker! Facilities Director Kelly Harper dug up as many flashlights as he could to light the restrooms while glow sticks worked in adult lavatories. Students wore headlamps into the bathroom stalls! By Thursday, the lights had been restored but the heat was still not working. Fifteen inches of water flooded the basement. By Friday, everything was back to normal and Marycarol Swanson, secretary, was able to turn off her lantern and remove her striped scarf. Beth Davco was about to start explaining how generators work in her kindergarten classroom, when Joshua raised his hand to offer what he learned during the power outage at his house. “I turned on the air conditioner and turned it up to hot,” he said. Understandably, teachers worried they would lose too much learning time if the school remained closed for a whole week

while other district buildings were open. TV Principal Scott Godshalk credited many QCSD staff members as heroes for their efforts to re-open the building. He said the No. 1 hero was Dennis Rothenberger, the always smiling building custodian, who arrived at 3:30 a.m. Tuesday to start the generator. “I was here about 14 hours [Tuesday],” Rothenberger humbly admitted. “On Sunday I came over to clear the snow around the building and a contracted plow came to clear the parking lots. The lights came on about 8 p.m. Tuesday night, which set off the alarms. I got the call and came back to school to reset everything.” On Wednesday, many teachers and students left powerless homes behind as they made their way to school. They all seemed pretty happy to be there, willing to brave the elements to leave their “boring” houses and to “see my teacher!” Some students who normally pack lunches ordered school box lunches. (TV lunches are always prepared at Milford.) “How many of you are happy you came to school today?” first grade teacher Misty Armstrong asked. Every student enthusiastically raised a hand.


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• Upper Bucks Free Press • December 2011

Ambyr Thomas (11) of Sellersville serves homemade pierogies at the recent 6th Annual Homeschool International Day event. Ambyr chose Poland as her country to research for the project.There were 30 countries represented at this year’s event. photo by michele buono

The 2011 Pop Warner QMFA 105-1 team finished the season as the Bux-Mont champions for this season. They are second in the state and fourth in the Eastern Division of Pop Warner Football.

back row Coach Bennett, Michael Friel, Coach Hillaert, Coach Terra, Coach Ciarrocchi, Will Chenoweth, Coach Herd middle row Luca Frinzi, Sean Kratz, Zack Mulkiewicz, Max Russell, Nick Levinski, Ashton Herd, Quinn Schmidt front row Matt Esch, Michael Terra, Gavin Hillaert, Bayne Bennett, Matt Ciarrocchi, Nick Frasch, Delbert Ross, Brad Bryan front center Nick Smith not pictured Jacob Barndt. submitted photo

Did you know that the only female deer to grow antlers are reindeer? Each summer, both males and females grow their wonderful racks, but males usually shed theirs in late November to mid-December. Females keep their antlers until spring. Because all of Santa’s reindeer are depicted with antlers, one might conclude that every one of them, including Rudolph, is female.

Dave ‘Bugsy’ Woglom and notorious associate, Mike ‘Knuckles’ Cygan, play a few hands at the Children’s Developmental Program Casino Night fundraiser held November 12th at Saucon Valley Country Club. Over 100 people attended to make the event a huge success. photo by christopher betz

After 27 years working as a librarian for the Bucks ty Free Library in Quakertown, Virginia Steeb is r this month. “I’m going to miss the people the most” Virginia, “I know many of them by their first name have seen some of them grow up.” Virginia will be ke busy. She’s looking forward to have time to go kay do yoga, and volunteering at the new SPCA when it

photo by michele


Counretiring ”, said es and eeping yaking, opens.

e buono

December 2011 • Upper Bucks Free Press •

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Thanksgiving means it’s time for the annual Lawrence family reunion and football game in Spinnerstown. Family members gather from all over to enjoy each other’s company and play football in the mud. photo by robin lawrence

Quakertown students ‘occupy’ the stands at the annual Rams vs. Panthers Thanksgiving Football Game.

photo by frank direnzo

Warm spirits kept this enthusiastic crowd of midnight Black Friday shoppers from freezing at the Target store in Richland Township. photo by frank direnzo

Allison and Abbie enjoying the last of Autumn’s ‘no-jacket’ weather.

photo by christopher betz


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• Upper Bucks Free Press • December 2011

Marching Band, Color Guard Wow Crowds in Hershey The QCHS Panther Marching Band finished in second place at the Cavalcade of Bands Championships in Hershey, Pennsylvania. The band received a score of 93.7 and also received awards for “Most Improved” and “High Auxiliary (Color Guard).” The 2011 show was entitled “Clowns” and featured music by former Quakertown band director Andrew Yozviak, percussion by Zach Schlicher and Andrew Markworth and visual design by Brad Denoris and Franko Robinson. The band is directed by Frank Parker and assisted by Joe Santanello, Jim Dugan, and John Zettlemoyer. The color guard is directed by Franko Robinson and assisted by Nellie Youn, Jon Moyer, and John Osinski . The drumline is directed by Zach Schlicher and assisted by Jon Kline, James Lewis and Michelle Solla. The band was led onto the field by QCHS Senior Drum Majors Ryan Bittner and Jessica Schury. Cavalcade championships featured the performances of more than 100 bands from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland. The “Panther” Band earned their best placement ever in a championship event with a second place finish.

Historical Society Undergoes a Changing of the Guard The Quakertown Historical Society is poised for a rebirth of sorts. And new effort is underway to bring the organization to the forefront of the borough’s and surrounding area’s consciousness. Craig Gillahan, a local certified public accountant and principal at Hutchinson, Gillahan, and Freeh in Quakertown, was appointed as the Society’s interim president after the former Board of Directors “graciously resigned” to allow the appointment in late October, according to Quakertown Borough Manager Scott McElree. While McElree stresses that the Board of Directors has done a “great job” and is a very dedicated group of people, it was unanimously agreed at the Board meeting on October 26 that the Society would “benefit greatly from a fundamental change in leadership.” The former Board of Directors was recognized for its outstanding years of service in preserving the history of Quakertown Borough and the surrounding communities. “They (the former board members) realized that it was time for a change,” said Gillahan. The organization could not continue as it had been. With dwindling membership, the upkeep of the buildings and archives was looking to be more and more unsustainable. Gillahan, a resident of Quakertown of over four decades, realizes that he has his work cut out for him. An Upper Bucks resident his entire life, he’s excited at the opportunity before him. The Historical Society has been largely

unregarded by many who may not know what the organization is or their purpose; hence, Gillahan’s “campaign of visibility” to bring a new awareness of the Society to local residents as well as much-needed fundraising efforts. The Quakertown Historical Society was formed in 1965. It has three buildings and their contents under its care. The Marketplace building where the organization would hold its meetings and other events; Liberty Hall, a National Historic Landmark, where it is commonly believed that the Liberty Bell was sheltered on its way to safety in 1777; and the Burgess Foulke House, the group’s “showcase museum”. Liberty Hall fronts Broad Street near the intersection of Main and Broad Streets. The Marketplace and Burgess Foulke sit across the street from one another on Main Street near Broad. The Burgess Foulke House is festooned for Christmas once again. With help from Jan Hench of McCoole’s, Nancy Janyszeski of the Haycock Historical Society, and retired local art teacher Lynn Kraft, the historical house is looking festive this holiday season in readiness for the Christmas House Tour sponsored by Quakertown Alive!. Craig Gillahan is hoping to bring the Quakertown Historical Society to work more closely with Quakertown Alive! and tap into their volunteer resources as he works to bring back the society to public attention. While Quakertown Borough owns the property, the Society is responsible for the upkeep of the buildings and their contents. Gillahan hopes

ANGELS BELLS BOWS CANDY CANE ELVES GIFTS HEAVEN HOLIDAY HOLLY JINGLE JOLLY

Interim President Craig Gillahan looks forward to the challenge of revitalizing the Quakertown Historical Society. Gillahan, 59, considers himself a student of history. photo by michele buono

to win a few grants to help revitalize the Society’s buildings. The immediate goal is to stabilize the organization and review the by-laws and original organizational documents. He’d also like to have the Burgess Foulke House open to the public during community events such as the Arts and Autumn Alive street festivals. As mentioned earlier, the house will be open for the Christmas House Tour on December 4.

JOY LOVE MANGER MERRY CHRISTMAS MISTLETOE NEW YEAR’S EVE PEACE POINSETTIA REINDEER SANTA

SNOWMEN STAR STOCKING TINSEL TOYS TWINKLE LIGHT WISEMEN WREATH XMAS TREE


December 2011 • Upper Bucks Free Press •

15

Despite Funding Cuts, ICF Still Answers the Call

Even with a 6% loss in their state funding, Indian Creek Foundation continues to answer the unmet needs of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. This time the need is providing services to individuals with a dual diagnosis of an intellectual or developmental disability and a mental health challenge. To meet these needs, Indian Creek Foundation joined forces with Penn Foundation in 2009 to open the Outpatient Mental Health Center. Since the Center is the only one of its kind in the area, the number of clients requesting services far exceeded the originally projected amount of individuals. In order to accommodate that greater necessity for services, Indian Creek Foundation is in the process of undergoing renovations to their existing facility. To meet the unique needs of this group of people, the Foundation is: ·Relocating the training department

from the space it shared with the center to the main building on campus ·Increasing the number of counseling rooms in the center to six ·Developing a safe room for individuals with special needs ·Modifying entrances and restrooms to make those areas ADA compliant These renovations will help facilitate the Foundation’s long term goals of adding dual diagnosis services for children and growing the existing number of adult clients. Due to the 6% state funding cut, Indian Creek Foundation received, the organization needs the community’s support more than ever to make these necessary campus improvements. To donate, to this worthwhile project, visit Indian Creek Foundation’s website at www.indcreek.org, stop by the campus at 420 Cowpath Road in Souderton, or contact Jennifer McGorry, Development Coordinator at 267-203-1500 ext. 307.

Basics of Nutritional Balance

OBITUARIES

and a member of Lehigh Consistory – Valley of Allentown. Survivors: Beloved daughter, Eileen Riddell and her husband Jed of Narberth, Montgomery County; sister, Betty Wolfe and her husband Leo of Sellersville; 3 grandsons, Tad, Rob and Ed. He was preceded in death by a brother, Ralph. Contributions: In lieu of flowers, donations to the Wounded Warriors Project, C/O 441 Brookhurst Ave., Narberth, PA 19072 would be appreciated.

Willard K. Beck, 86, formerly of Bethlehem, passed away on Tuesday, November 22, 2011, in Fellowship Manor. He was the beloved husband of Catherine (Cesanek) Beck who died in 1991 and later the beloved husband of Maryellen (Custer) Beck who died, March 13, 2010. Born in Passer, Bucks County, he was a son of the late Freeman and Eva (Mease) Beck. He served with the U.S. Navy in the South Pacific during World War II and was a member of St. John’s Lutheran Church, Richlandtown where he was a former member of Church council. Willard worked in communications and was the owner of Purosky and Tuckerman Inc. for 20 years before retiring in 1996. He was a 32nd degree member of the Quakertown Lodge 512 of the F & AM

Joseph Liberati, 57. Southern Lehigh School District (SLSD) Superintendent Joseph Liberati passed away on the morning of Monday, November 28. He was 57 years old. Liberati had recently announced plans to retire in March. He had served as superintendent since 2003, but had worked at the school district for 22 years. His service to the district was characterized by “a strong sense of educational direction, a compassion for students and an obsession with serving Southern Lehigh Community” according to a public statement. The school board had accepted his retirement on November 7 and appointed Assistant Supervisor Leah Christman as “substitute superintendent”, to be effective on December 10. Liberati was to have retired on March 16, 2012. The school district is currently setting up a scholarship in Joseph Liberati’s memory. Details about the scholarship are yet to be worked out and will follow at a later date. According to the SLSD website, Mrs. Mariann Liberati and her children, Liz and Joey would like the SLSD community to know that in lieu of flowers, folks should consider making a donation to the scholarship fund.

When it comes to your training program, nutrition plays a large part in your results. About 50% or more of your program should revolve around your nutritional intake and energy expenditure. Most people get confused by what, how much, and when to eat. Let’s simplify the thought process by focusing on three basic macro-nutrients. Macro-nutrients are the largest form of nutrient we consume. The three major ones are carbohydrates, fats, and proteins which are the energy sources in order of importance for energy needs. Carbohydrates are the main energy source. Without these your body will eventually shut down. Fats are second to carbohydrates, they store in your body as “ready to use” carbohydrates. Protein is last, as it’s a very small energy source and ONLY a back up for when carbohydrates and fats are depleted. Let’s start with carbohydrates. They are sugars and starches. Sources of carbohydrates are fruit, vegetables, dairy products, and concentrated sweets. To illustrate how carbohydrates work, think of your body as a car. What makes your car go? Is it the water in the radiator? Is it the oil in the engine? No, it’s the fuel in the tank. When the tank runs dry the car will shut down and not run. Carbohydrates are fuel for your body. Without them your body will eventually shut down. Just like filling your car, you want to fill your body with fuel and make sure to NOT to overflow the tank. It is recommended that 45% to 65% of an adult’s total caloric in-take should be from carbohydrates. The best choices are whole grain cereals, legumes, vegetables, and fruits. Limit added sugar to no more than 25% of total calories consumed. Remember to fuel and then “start the car”. Increase your activity level everyday to utilize the energy potential you have provided it. Next we have fat. A lot of products say “fat free” and “low fat”. Many diets are “No fat” and “Low fat” diets. Fat is a vital energy source. Why do people “cut” it out of their diet? Because it’s FAT, and they are trying to lose FAT!! Fats (aka Lipids) are an essential part of your diet. A diet without fat is just as unhealthy as one who consumes excess amounts of fats. The recommendation is not to exceed 20% to 35% of your total calories in fat and less than 10% should come from saturated fats. A sponge full of water is heavier than a dry sponge, right? Saturated fats are dense, heavy objects that are hard to move around in your system and eventually build up in your body causing blockages. Stick to consuming more

un-saturated fats found in fish, nuts, and vegetable oils. When selecting your fats in proteins, make lean choices such as lean meat, poultry (without the skin), dry beans, and dairy products low in fat. Remember limit the intake of Saturated fats and Trans fats and get more Un-saturated fats into your diet. The last macro-nutrient is Protein. Why is protein so important if it is not a significant source of energy? Protein helps us to heal and rebuild. The primary function of protein is tissue building. This is important for someone who is training and trying to lose weight and build muscle. During your workouts you are trying to get your body to break down so it can be built up stronger. Protein comes into play when it begins to recover and build and heal. It also acts as a vehicle in which nutrients are carried throughout the body. Without protein, nutrient delivery would not occur and the body would not run. Think back to the car illustration. Protein can be likened to fuel lines. What good is a fuel tank without fuel lines to deliver fuel to the engine? But don’t overdo it. Just because some is good doesn’t mean more is better. Don’t take this as a license to go drinking large protein drinks after every workout. It only takes a small amount of fuel to be supplied at a time. Once the protein needs are met, any additional protein is stored as fat. This is why the “high protein diet” is not recommended as well. It doesn’t work. It is recommended that children and adults should get 10% to 35% of their caloric intake from protein. Protein can be found in both animals and plants. Consuming food from each food group is best to obtain your protein needs. In conclusion, carbohydrates are the primary energy source, fats are the back up and protein is how the nutrients are delivered. Each of these macro-nutrients is necessary in your diet. If you cut any one of them out altogether then you are asking for trouble. Try to balance them and cut back on your total calories consumed while increasing your activity level. Utilizing those calories sitting in your body begging to be used will keep them from being converted to fat and stored on the couch for another day. Corbin Williams is an NPTI Certified Strength and Conditioning Coach, a certified nutrition coach and owns and operates

GetReal Training, LLC.

He

can be reached at corbwms@yahoo.com


16

• Upper Bucks Free Press • December 2011

Quakertown FCA Thanks High School Staff with Breakfast The Quakertown chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) held its first Faculty Appreciation Breakfast on November 18 in the Quakertown Community High School cafeteria. Staff members from the high school and Freshman Center were invited to attend the breakfast. More than 40 students, parents, and youth pastors helped serve at the event. Eggs, bacon, sausage, donuts, bagels, and, of course, coffee were some of the breakfast foods served hot for the hardworking staff. The FCA organized the event to show teachers and faculty how much they appreciate the hard work and

the dedication they put forth every day. Having this breakfast for the teachers was a way for the FCA Huddle to bless their day. The FCA team woke up extra early and started to set up at 6am. The teachers spent the morning with a hot meal and the chance to spend time fellowshipping with their colleagues. With more than 80 teachers and staff at the breakfast, it was considered a success! The FCA Huddle wants to thank all the local supermarket and businesses who provide food for the breakfast. In addition, special thanks go out to cjbetz Graphics for the awesome t-shirts that the FCA Huddle wore during the event. For more information or photos, visit our website at qfca.org

Milford Township Historical and Preservation Society Holds Tavern Night

On Thursday evening, November 3, the Milford Township Historical and Preservation Society held their Tavern night at the Spinnerstown Hotel. After a wonderful colonial dinner, the Tavern Players presented a theatrical play based on the last 275 years of the Spinnerstown area. In 2009, Great Swamp U.C.C. and St. John’s Lutheran Church celebrated their 275th anniversaries together. For almost 30 years, 1734 1762, the reformed and Lutheran congregations in the “Great Swamp” shared the same simple log church, even thought the pastors were different. It was for this reason that they thought it to be most appropriate to celebrate together. The same presentation was performed to the Milford Historical Society for their Tavern Night. Co-written by Sally Defuccio and Arlene Lawrence, the play was based on various historical resources; letters, stories, folktales. Some of the monologues were written by those who presented them. Elizabeth Seas’ character was actually based on the letters written by her son William when he was a soldier in the Civil War. Dressed in period costumes, Pastor John Henry Goetschy, David Spinner and his son David Junior, John Barndt, and Florence “Mammy” Kline all came

Chuck Lawrence portrays Spinnerstown founder, David Spinner, during a play at Milford Township Historical Society’s Tavern Night. photo by hal heath

back to life to describe what life was like in their time. Elder Michael Eberhard reminisced why and how the church property that had been acquired from Thomas and Richard Penn in 1762 went to the “Reformed Calvinist” congregation and why the “Lutheran Brethren” withdrew and founded Scheetz’s Church in Spinnerstown. The women of the church were also represented. They described how they were always working behind the scenes, but not recognized in the church records until much later. It was actually in the 1960s when “Great Swamp” had their first woman in the consistory. Many questions were answered that evening, such as: How did Spinnerstown get its name and why was it renown all over the world? Why was it called the “Great Swamp” and what does that mean in German (Grotom Schwamm)? What were times like over the last century? “Grotom Schwamm” actually means “frog swamp”. The name was used because of the abundance of frogs and toads in the area. This bottomland was very fertile and good for agriculture. It was a very enjoyable and educational for the Milford Township Historical and Preservation Society members and their friends. submitted by Arlene Lawrence

Did you know that snow is typically made up of approximately 80% air?


December 2011 • Upper Bucks Free Press • You have probably heard the old saying, “Denial is not a river in Africa.” Actually denial is a living, breathing hurdle for just about anyone confronted with hearing loss for the first time. Hearing loss can creep up on a person and not even know it. For many decades, an individual travels through life with normal hearing. Then one day difficulty arises in receptive speech communication. They have trouble understanding what is being said. The afflicted one does not realize the change; others do. The smart and easy thing to do is have them get their hearing checked and get hearing aids if recommended. Most times, this does not happen. What should you do to assist him or her? One thing is for certain, you can’t beat it into their head because all they will do is resist change. For someone to find out there is an abnormality is a shock. Once this person finds out there is a problem, denial sets in and can last upwards of seven years. As long as a person is in denial, they aren’t ready to accept any help. Why not? They feel there is nothing wrong and no help is needed. Once the hearing impaired person experiences ‘pain’ from their problem, the incentive is there to finally do something. When they are accepting of the problem, psychologically they are

Denial is Not a River in Africa

ready to wear hearing aids. Forcing that person to get their hearing checked and be fit with hearing aids is not the way to go. Often times the wearer, uses the device begrudgingly for a short period of time, and tosses it in the dresser drawer. The time and money is wasted. The person has a bad experience and may never accept their hearing loss and become a successful candidate. You need to be supportive, but not an enabler. In other words, be informative, kind, and encouraging to the person to seek help. Enabling would be to buy into their reasons, excuses, and drama that saturate their daily living. In this case, the person needs to hit rock bottom and expe-

rience the setbacks that come with unaided hearing. There needs to be a personal cost and loss. They proceed through bargaining, anger, and depression. Then, when acceptance is realized, their own personal motivation is the number one factor in their success as a hearing aid wearer. During my first year in private practice, a new patient sought my assistance. His audiogram showed a hearing loss that could be helped with hearing aids. He said that he wanted to think about it. Over three years later, I received a call from the gentleman. He asked me to recheck his hearing and wanted to be fitted with new hearing aids. I inquired as to what event occurred that spurred him to do something

17

about his hearing loss. He said that he and his wife rode with another couple to New York City to have dinner and see a Broadway show. He did not understand anything that was said in the car to NYC, at dinner, at the show, or in the car coming home. It was a waste of several hundred dollars and he did not enjoy himself. The next morning, he contacted me for help. This man took the easy way out. Once he accepted the fact that he had a hearing problem, he sought help. For me, it wasn’t that easy. I have had a hearing loss my entire life. To confront my denial and obtain assistance, I enrolled at the University of Virginia, earned a Master’s degree in Audiology and went into private practice. For twenty-five years, I have been helping people who are like me. I can identify with the some problems, difficulties, and struggles other people have with hearing loss. If you or someone you know has hearing difficulty, get your hearing checked today. The road to better hearing is just a phone call away. I wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year in 2012!

Did you know that the only female deer to grow antlers are reindeer? Each summer, both males and females grow their wonderful racks, but males usually shed theirs in late November to mid-December. Females keep their antlers until spring. Because all of Santa’s reindeer are depicted with antlers, one might conclude that every one of them, including Rudolph, is female.


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• Upper Bucks Free Press • December 2011

100 High School Students Play “Senator for a Day” at DeSales

On November 3, high school students from all over Pennsylvania’s 24th Senatorial District came together at DeSales University to learn more about how the state legislature works. One hundred students attended this year’s event, hosted by State Senator Bob Mensch (R-24). The students were there to learn how the government works by role-playing. After being welcomed and briefed on how state government works by Senator Mensch

and State Representative Justin Simmons (R- 131), they were assigned to different committees (for example: Education, Judiciary, Public Health and Welfare) and tasked with bringing hypothetical bills to the floor. Both Senator Mensch and Congressman Simmons hoped that the young people would come away from this exercise with a fuller appreciation of how government works. Senator Mensch reminded the students that government is not “just an old man’s game” and exhorted them to become involved with their local

government. Congressman Simmons is a good example of young people getting involved; he’s the youngest member of the Pennsylvania State Legislature. A 2004 graduate of Southern Lehigh High School, Simmons is serving his first term in the State House after first defeating incumbent State Representative Kathy Beyer in the primary and then winning the 2010 general election. Simmons and Mensch told the students that it’s their responsibility to vote when they come of age and, more than that, to understand how the government works. “It’s a small price to pay to live in a free society”, said Simmons. While Senator for a Day is a statewide program, not every state senator elects to host it in his or her district. It’s generally well-attended by district high schools, mostly at the 11th and 12th grade level. This year, 18 students from the Southern Lehigh District and another 18 from the Pennridge School District participated. Students from Palisades were signed up, but could not attend because of recent power outage issues caused by the October snowstorm.

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Autumn Alive, Brew Fest a Success

Hundreds came out to Quakertown for AUTUMN ALIVE and the Grapes n’ Hops Brewfest. With over 150 vendors at Autumn Alive and over 35 Breweries at the Brewfest, there was definitely something for everyone on October 22 all brought to you by Quakertown Alive! This year, The 2nd Annual Talent Showcase was on the Main Stage at the 12th Annual Autumn Alive! Festival. 10 Contestants competed in three categories for great prizes. First Place, Electric Group: Apostles’ Creed Four Piece Christian Band: T.J. Merwarth, Cody Weisel, John Merwarth, Chris Fiedler First Place, Vocalist w/ Instrument: Gabriela LoBasso Second Place: Olivia and Mariah Reichley First Place,Vocalist: Melanie Loveless Second Place: T.J. Merwarth One lucky ticketholder won $230 in a 50/50 raffle at the Brewfest, presented by event sponsor Paul Rose of Wells Fargo Advisers. For more pictures go to www.quakertownalive.com.


December 2011 • Upper Bucks Free Press •

19

Easy Tips to stop China damage When it comes to fine china, the phrase ‘handle with care’ couldn’t be more important. Everyone knows that china is fragile yet we still want to use it as if it were paper. Fine china—be it Meissen, Wedgwood, or Royal Copenhagen— should be used with care. Rule #1: Don’t place fine china in the dishwasher, refrigerator, or microwave. If you chose to display your fine china in a china cabinet, give your collection breathing room. Do not stack plates more than six plates high and place separators in between each piece. Display teacups atop their saucers. Don’t hang teacups on hooks within a china cabinet since that display option places undue stress on the teacup’s handle and forces you to screw a hook into your wooden china cabinet, damaging the furniture. A full set of fine china should be displayed by itself in one china cabinet. Display other collectible objects (figurines, ceramic bells, etc.) elsewhere. Don’t crowd fine china; it needs room to prevent damage and to show off its beauty. If you must move your china, wrap each piece individually. Do not use newspaper as wrapping as the newsprint may bleed onto your china and leave gray streaks or dark stains. Individually wrap each piece in acid free tissue, then wrap it again in a white cotton cloth (small terrycloth face cloths or hand towels work well) or bubble wrap. Do not store your china in bubble wrap long term because bubble wrap traps heat. Heat may damage the glaze or the decorative pigment. When moving your fine china, prepare for the worst. I use the old adage ‘wrap, wrap, and reinforce.’ Wrap the piece once in tissue paper, wrap twice in bubble wrap or a terry cloth towel, and then reinforce the inside of the box with packaging material (newspapers, Styrofoam peanuts, etc). You will use a lot of material but it will protect your valuable china. Another solution for wrapping china is to use dis-

Selling Your Home During the Holidays

It is that time of year again. The classic question brought to me traditionally is if the holiday season is a good time to list your home for sale or if you should wait until the new year. In my opinion there is no benefit to waiting. Here are 9 reasons why putting your home up for sale now could benefit you! 1. People who look at your home over the holidays are serious buyers. 2. Since the supply of homes will drastically increase in January, there will be less demand for your particular home. Less demand means less money. 3. Houses show better when they’re decorated over the holidays. 4. Buyers are more emotional during the holidays and tend to spend more money on getting your price. 5. Buyers have more time to look over the holidays and can come during the weekdays. 6. Some people must buy before the end of the year for tax reasons. 7. January is traditionally a month where employers have to move so they can’t wait until springtime. They have to buy now so you’re there to capture that market. 8. You can still be on the market and you can have the option to delay your close or restrict your showings during those six or seven days if you want to celebrate the holidays. 9. You can sell now for more money and provide a way for you to delay that closing and extend your occupancy until next year. I hope everyone has a terrific holiday season. Submitted by Debbie Orzel, Realtor with Keller Williams Real Estate. She can be reached at (215) 631-1900 or by cell at (215) 982-8485.

posable diapers because they are cushiony and have sticky tabs attached; no need for extra tape. Remember that breakage to any one piece in a china set will negatively impact the value of the entire set. When packing or shipping fine china vases, bowls, tureens, chandeliers, etc. it is wise to pack Styrofoam or foam peanuts on the inside as well as on the outside of the piece. The internal and external packaging will protect the body of the china. One last tip… take as much time and care unwrapping your china as you did wrapping it. Celebrity Ph.D. antiques appraiser, author, and award-winning TV personality, Dr. Lori presents antique appraisal events nationwide. As seen on NBC’s The Tonight Show, Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, and Lifetime Television, Dr. Lori gives information

about

your

antiques

at

www.DrLoriV.com, www.facebook.com/

DoctorLori or call (888) 431-1010.

Rare Meissen fine china chandelier from Peter the Great’s Kadriorg Palace in Tallinn, Estonia. Photo credit: www.DrLoriV.com

St. Luke’s Hosts Annual Christmas Tree Tour Come out to see fabulously decorated

trees. Civic and community groups have decorated themed trees that have been placed throughout St. Luke’s facilities. Enjoy hot chocolate and cookies and get in the mood for the holidays! The American Cancer Society Relay For Life of Upper Bucks is partnering with Quakertown Alive and St. Luke’s Hospital to light up the holiday season at St. Luke’s annual Christmas Tree Tour. The Relay For Life has donated luminaria bags to light the entrance of the hospital in honor of those affected by cancer, in memory of those who have lost their battles with cancer, and in appreciation of those who support cancer patients on their journeys. If you are interested in making a donation to honor or memorialize someone in your life who has been affected by cancer on a luminaria bag at St. Luke’s, please contact Susan at susan.shafer@cancer.org or 404-329-5123.

Belle Haven Keeps Angel Tree Tradition Alive

Every holiday season for the past twenty years or so, there has been an Angel Tree at Belle Haven Nursing Home. Angel Trees help to brighten disadvantaged children’s Christmas by bringing their “wish lists” to the notice of others. The short wish list is written on a paper angel along with the child’s gender and age and hung on a tree in the hopes that an “angel” will make Christmas wishes come true and the child will have gifts to open on Christmas Day. It’s simple way to practice the spirit of giving and make the holiday special for someone. In today’s economy, there’s more of a need for angels than ever before. The tree in Belle Haven has about 80 paper angels decorating it, waiting for people to divest the tree of wish lists to make children’s Christmas list wishes a reality. The residents of the nursing home made the paper angels, festooned with glitter and color; the children’s wish lists glued to them. The Angel Tree benefits children from the Open Line Children’s Developmental Program in Pennsburg and from the Quakertown Community School District. The ages range from 2 months old to teenagers who are hoping for a Christmas miracle. The lists ask for toys, warm clothing, radios, books, even personal hygiene items. Activities Director Janice Brannen says

Evelyn High, Mildred Moyer, Edith Cunningham, and Ida From are just some of the Belle Haven residents made the angels for the tree. photo by michele buono that any help would be greatly appreci- donated gifts, so they know what gifts ated. She reached out to the Upper Bucks belong to which children – by December Free Press in hopes of making more in the 16. Bring them back to Belle Haven and community aware of Belle Haven’s Angel place them under the tree. It’s that easy to Tree because it is so full this year. brighten a child’s holiday. If you would like to help, please stop Gifts for parents are welcome, too. by Belle Haven Nursing Home at 1320 Mill Road in Quakertown soon. Purchase Giftcards to supermarkets, department and wrap the gifts that are on your chosen stores, or even salons, are a kind gesture angel – be sure to attach the angel to your to those in need of a little Christmas cheer.


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• Upper Bucks Free Press • December 2011


December 2011 • Upper Bucks Free Press •

21

Cost of 12 Days of Christmas Up 4.4% Inspired to give the one you love the “12 Days of Christmas” as holiday gifts? If so, be ready to write a hefty check or max out your credit card. According to the PNC Christmas Price Index, a True Love would pay out a whopping $101, 119 for a complete set of items (repeated through all of the songs verses), up 4.4% from last year. However, should you choose to only give one set of each gift, the cost drops dramatically to a mere $24,263. Quite the bargain! What would you get for should you opt for the True Love complete set of the 12 Days of Christmas? A total of 364 items: 12 drummers drumming, 22 pipers piping, 30 lords-a-leaping, 36 ladies dancing, 40 maids-a-milking, 42 swans-a-swimming, 42 geese-a-laying, 40 gold rings, 36 calling birds, 30 French hens, 22 turtle doves, and 12 partridges in a pear tree. But let’s not be too extravagant, one set of each gift ought to be enough for anyone. After all, where would you put all of those birds? The most expensive items on the list are

the swans at $6,300. Contrast that with a pair of calling birds for only $125. For the True Loves shopping online this year, don’t expect you’re going to pay any less for shopping from home. The cost of one set of each gift is $39,860, almost $16,000 more than if you just schlepped out to the stores and employment agencies to find the gifts.

So you’re goin’ for it? Just be prepared to pay this guy... that’s right, it’s the Piper! the bagpiper,

There’s that Banana Car Again...

1624, wallraf-richartz museum, cologne

The Big Banana Car and Crew started making appearances in May of this year. Shortly thereafter, came an invitation to Wilmington, Ohio for a Banana Split Festival. On our way home, we stopped in Cincinnati, Ohio the headquarters of Chiquita. We were fortunate to find a downtown parking spot right in front of the building. They were quite impressed, which led to a weekend in Ohio for a Chiquita sponsored golf tournament. On an impromptu trip to Rhode Island, we stumbled upon “Bananagrams.” A number of bananas covered signs on the side of a building prompted us to stop. Upon entering the business, we noticed word games packaged as fruit, mainly one packaged as a banana. We were invited to be part of Waterfire in Providence. The Big Banana Car was a huge success. As a result of that chance encounter, we have since returned to Rhode Island and Massachusetts for several of their events. At this time, we are getting things in or-

der for “The Big Banana Car World Trip” Much to our delight, “Bananagrams” has offered to fund the journey. In a casual conversation, Rick Willens – air-brush artist for the BBC, mentioned The Big Banana Car World Trip to a colleague Chris Sweeney. Chris, a transplant from Britain, was surprised to hear that the guys behind the project were also from Britain. Intrigued, Chris stopped by to see the Big Banana Car. Steve, Liz, and Spade were impressed with Chris’ enthusiasm, ideas, and general quirkiness invited him to come on the entire trip. Still in need of a chase vehicle, Chris suggested Kickstarter.com, an online idea incubator. With his help, we are in the process of producing a video to post on ‘Kickstarter’ and hopefully, seek the necessary funding. The Big Banana Car is in the workshop - oil change, charged battery, etc. The mechanic is busy checking to make sure it will be ready for the WORLD TRIP!

It can get chilly riding around in a big banana. Steve Braithwaite, Liz O'Neill, and Spade Braithwaite show us their cold weather gear. photo by liz o’neill

He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree. - Roy L. Smith .


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• Upper Bucks Free Press • December 2011

Mental acuity is crucial in creating an effective speaking presentation. Whether you speak for a living, give an occasion dinner speech, or M.C. an event, you need to take care of the tools of your trade. The tradesman keeps his tools sharp, the computer programmer keeps their computer running smooth, and the writer keeps their mind sharp and flowing with ideas. The sharper and more skilled you are with your tools, the easier and more effective your trade is. The speaker’s tools are their mind, their voice, and their body. In this segment, I will be teaching about the mind as a tool in your speaking. An effective speaker relies on a three-fold formula for a good presentation. It is like a three-legged stool. You need all three legs for the stool to stand. The first is the voice, the second is the mind, third is the body. Have you ever known anyone who was very mentally sharp, a true intellectual, and very learned, but froze up when a microphone was put in front of them or when they had to give a presentation. Likewise, you might know someone who has a great voice and can technically speak well, and when they do…they really don’t say anything. Simon Cowell from American Idol once commented to a contestant, that their performance was a “completely forgettable performance. There was nothing memorable about it”. The performance may have been technically perfect, but there was no soul in it or they were physically awkward. Speaking is very similar. Your mental acuity puts the soul into your “performance”. How can you improve the soul of your presentations? I will give you three actionable ideas to improve your soul. Soul can take a technically perfect presentation from forgettable to absolutely memorable. Daily practice #1. Yes, the first key is the word: daily. These tactics have to be practiced daily. Actually, they should be incorporated into your lifestyle. Not just practiced the day before your speech. Read something in your industry every single day. Read from top authors and practitioners in your craft. It could even be listening to a tape/CD on your way to work. Show me how much you invest in audio programs and I’ll show you how committed you are to your industry and the honing of your craft. This exposes you to people who think differently than you and do things differently than you. It increases your comfort level for “different”, and that is the one thing that will make you grow. Stretching a little out of what you already do. I remember my yoga friend doing an exercise with me and helping me stretch WAY beyond what I was comfortable doing

Mental Acuity is Crucial to Effective Speaking or could even imagine doing. It was one of those “hurts so good” exercises. Now I do it like I have been doing it my whole life. That first painful move was three years ago. Studying in your field is the same thing. Never did cold calling? Never structured a joint venture? Never pitched at a meeting planner’s association meeting? Do it. Get someone to coach you, go with you, practice with you, drill you, etc. Listen to the audio program that you wouldn’t normally reach for. Don’t just go to the easy one or the most comfortable one. Books and tapes that will merely tickle your ears are a dime a dozen, but they will not help you grow. Daily practice #2. Listen to or read material out of your field. Some of the best business and personal growth will happen when you go outside not just your industry comfort zone…but out of your industry as a whole. You may benefit from the manufacturing field and how they incorporate “lean” and efficiency methods. It will help you get from A to B quicker rather than taking the long way around to B. It could shorten or flatten your learning curve. As you have heard it said, “Why reinvent the wheel?” I love watching interview shows and reading biographies/success stories of how others overcame obstacles and mastered a new technique, response, or gained a new skill. Become a student of others success methods. When you do it on a daily basis, some of those things unconsciously work their way out into your practice. It becomes second nature to you. Your mind is like a computer hard drive that is always processing. The more you access certain material, the easier it becomes to access in practice or while you are the platform. Case in point: You try to think of a name. You cannot remember it. Then you wake up at 2am remembering it. That was your mind’s hard drive processing the inquiry. When you give a speech presentation, the mentally acute and lubricated mind can access more information quicker. To the listening audience, that looks like spontaneity and sharpness. For you it is just the result of the daily practice of investing in

yourself mentally. It pays off when you need it most…on the platform, during the pitch, proposal, or interview. Daily practice #3. Feed your brain. Most of us agree that our “mind” resides in our brain. The brain is an organ that has conditions for optimal functioning. It is the same as our heart, our kidneys, our liver, etc. They all need certain things to function well and to participate and cooperate daily and hourly. If you are over 30, you know how taking care of your body in your 20’s paid off. It is said that you currently are the sum total of what you have done to your body in the past ten years. If you spend night after night drinking and killing brain cells, your mental acuity and sharpness will reflect that. I used to have a friend who described going out at night as “going out and killing a few brain cells”. He was right. That’s exactly what he was doing. Your mental acuity doesn’t just happen at a systemic or organ level. It happens at the cellular level. Your health is a cellular issue. You are no healthier than the single cells in your brain. Bottom line: alcohol kills brain cells. It also dehydrates your cells. It has a double whammy effect on your brain. If you ever had a hangover, the real reason why is that you are dehydrated. Your brain is desperately trying to pull moisture out of other areas of your body to function. Your body goes into “brain-sparing mode”, but everything else suffers too. That is why you feel achy and slow and “fuzzy”. Am I telling you to quit drinking? Only you can answer that. What I am saying is that you will be a better speaker if you take care of your mind. The addition of dehydrating foods and fluids in your body does not work in your favor as a speaker. Coffee and caffeine also take fluid out of your body as well as add a bio-chemical jolt to your system that you may seem to enjoy…temporarily. In order for you to be sharp, spontaneous, funny, acute, and effective as a speaker, you have to take into consideration how you treat your brain. I also believe that the older you get, the more important this is. With all that we take in…the

processed foods, the dehydrating foods and fluids, the chemicals in our waters, the air we breathe, the more we need to be conscious of their effects on our brains. You have seen that the most effective way to bring someone back from delirium is to get them water. Most headaches are the result of dehydration. It’s not aspirin we should take. It’s more water we should drink. That should be our first line of defense…and offense. I am not one who is preaching the eight glasses of water a day doctrine. I am just preaching that you need to drink more water than you already are if you want to be a better speaker. Only you can determine what that amount is. When I was in sales, we were taught to share the features and the benefits. One incredible trainer showed me that it shouldn’t stop at benefits, but share the impact of those benefits on your life. Now I want to mention the impact of taking care of your mind on your speaking. When you practice all of the fore mentioned daily strategies, you can’t help but be an improved speaker. There is no downside to the daily practice. On the platform, you will be mentally sharper; you will have more control over your vocal tone, volume, cadence, and enunciation. Your skin will be clearer. Your eyes will be brighter and wider and have a sparkle. You will make a better connection with your audience. Your eye contact will be bolder. Your confidence will be improved. You will feel better about your kinetics and how your body moves in front of the crowd. Ultimately, you will be more memorable. You will sell more books, tapes, and back-ofthe-room material. You will get the contract. You will get more hits on your website. And best of all, you will be invited back next year by that group. You will get more bookings because the meeting planners and decision makers will say, “Wow, they were great!” Audience members will tell the decision makers to bring you back. You will magically hear things like, “You should talk to my brother in-law who has a radio show” or “Have you ever been on TV?” or “Give me your card, my sister is a producer in New York”, etc, etc. The impact of your daily practice will pay off in concrete terms. Toast me with a big glass of sparkling water! Here’s to your daily practice!


December 2011 • Upper Bucks Free Press •

On November 1, I had a major seizure on my right side that did not stop as my previous spells had. Pam, for some strange reason was still inside, when usually she would have left an hour before to spend the night in her van (for Pam’s story, please see the October issue of UBFP). Pam called 911; the EMTs arrived about 12 minutes later, and transported me to St. Luke’s Quakertown. A CAT scan showed a tumor in my left frontal lobe which was causing my neurological symptoms. I was then transferred to the ICU trauma unit at St. Luke’s Bethlehem for observation. The next day, the chief neurologist came in to talk with me. After a short conversation about what was going on in my head, he asked if I wanted to consider hospice care. I looked at him, and said bluntly, “So I have between six weeks to six months, that is what you are telling me?” After he retrieved his jaw from the floor, he nodded and said, “Yes, that is the time prognosis for recommending hospice care.” A hospice care worker came in to explain how home hospice worked, with a team of workers trained in palliative care. The goal is to never have me return to the hospital; but to keep me as comfortable and lucid for as long as possible in my home. Needless to say, I was very grateful that Pam was in my life. We submitted all requested information and documentation to allow Pam to move in as my live in aide, per Federal guidelines. Needless to say, we expected immediate approval. Much to my surprise, we received a short refusal to allow Pam to move into my home. She would be allowed to take care of me so long as she left every evening to sleep in her van. If I was in need of full time care, I could hire an agency that would come in 12-hour shifts to do so. No reason or way to appeal was given. It didn’t take long to decide what to do. Since Federal Guidelines allowed what I was asking, I felt I was being treated unfairly. I wrote a letter to the Intelligencer explaining my situation. A very nice reporter contacted me, and interviewed both Pam and me. A photographer showed up that afternoon. I told Pam I thought we would have a resolution by the end of the week. The article was posted online that afternoon and I shared it widely on Facebook. Within an hour, a massive phone campaign had been organized by my friends to call both Bucks County Housing Authority and every politician from Governor Corbett, to Senator Toomey.

The next day had a front page article and picture about our story. Within an hour, I got a call from Nora Muchanic, from the ABC-6 station in Philadelphia. She wanted to come to the apartment for an interview. We agreed, and she and her cameraman arrived before noon. She asked me about my diagnosis and my thoughts on it, and why I needed Pam to be in my home full time. My honest reply was that I am now afraid to be alone, and I would rather have a friend be with me as opposed to shifts of strangers, that would cost a lot money. Pam was willing to take care of me for free. Nora then asked Pam about being homeless and why she wanted to care for me. Pam explained she had done hospice work in the past, and it seemed like a perfect solution for us both. Then Nora revealed her surprise; while on her way she received news that BCHA had reversed their decision and would allow Pam to move in with me as a fulltime live in aide, assuming she cleared the background check. While Pam and I were very happy with this news, we were not pleased with how it was revealed to us. It felt like a trick to get our surprised reactions. The report that evening made it sound as if Channel Six had resolved the issue for us. In reality, it was the article in the Intelligencer, the masses of phone calls from Facebook friends, and the investigation by Senator Toomey, as well as Bucks County Commissioner Diane M. EllisMarseglia who intervened on our behalf. I now can spend my remaining days in comfort with someone I can trust and feel at ease with. Now my greatest hope is that when my time is done, that Pam can find a way to find a new place to stay and a job so that she never has to move back into her van. She has been so good to me. I want to see her find her way into a new life. Beth Coulter is a long time resident and historian of the Quakertown area. She holds degrees in Communications and American Studies. Follow her writings on Facebook @ Beth Coulter Writings and Thoughts. Email her at betheqt@gmail.com

Dear Aunt Lola:

Is it ridiculous to just want to leave town for the holidays? My family is like the dictionary definition of dysfunctional. I want to enjoy the time, but I dread it. My mother insists on making Christmas dinner and gets hurt if anyone cannot come. My married sister and her kids alternate between celebrating with our side and her in-laws—a point which mom cannot handle. My other sister lives at home and thinks she’s above helping mom with any of the preparations, because “she works hard in retail all week long.” She has both mom and dad completely snowed. I get to moms as early as I can to help. If I say anything to my sister about helping, I get accused of being insensitive to her royal highness. My brother and his high-maintenance wife and three kids show up last minute or late, don’t bring anything, eat and leave. I stay to help clean up afterwards and by the time I get home I am exhausted (as is mom) and I have enjoyed nothing. Strangers would be more appreciative. I’m seriously considering going on a long vaca-

tion just to avoid it, but I’d feel guilty if I let down Mom. What do you think? Stressed for the Holidays, Quakertown, PA

Dear Stressed, A “vacation” may be the best thing for you, especially if sister number one is dining with her in-laws this year. At my count, that will be at least five less people there for mom to prepare for, making her job easier. Without your help this year, perhaps Dad or sister number two will have to pitch in if they want to eat. But consider this: a better alternative may be to volunteer to serve holiday meals at a homeless shelter. Giving to others may help you find the joy you lack. You said yourself, “Strangers would be more appreciative.” Make it a point to call and wish your family well on the holiday. Gird yourself for a guilt-laden comment from Mom. Good Luck,

Aunt Lola auntlola@ubfp.org

23


24

• Upper Bucks Free Press • December 2011

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Upper Bucks Free Press • December 2011  

Upper Bucks Free Press • December 2011

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