Doylestown Historical Society celebrates 50th Anniversary of Operation 64

As the world in the tumultuous 60’s was focused on civil rights and anti-war, the people in Doylestown were rising up to reject a federally funded Urban Renewal Program to remove a number of “obsolete” buildings in the town center and replace them with parking lots and modern buildings. During the first week of June, 1964 citizens such as those who participate in the Nature Club, the venerable Village Improvement Association, merchants and politicians joined together with local residents. The plan, called “Operation 64,” was begun to preserve declining structures and renew the beauty of Doylestown.

In commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of Operation 64, an in-house exhibit of memorabilia, including the exchanges between top federal and state officials with the community leaders. This will be open to the public from mid-May on Saturdays from 11:00am-3:00pm in the Doylestown Historical Society exhibition area. Out-of-doors before and after posters will be viewable around town and in stores as Doylestown businesses display the Operation 64 logo, photos and the displays by artists. The events will culminate on Sunday, June 8th, the 50th Anniversary week, with a celebration offering music and food at the DHS park behind 56 S. Main Street.

Operation 64 resulted in the renewal of many buildings in the center of Doylestown through local volunteerism. Within a year, the ambience of Doylestown’s downtown improved, attracted consumers, and businesses reportedly saw sales increases from 11% to 50%. Officials from across the country began to arrive to consult with Operation 64 leaders to apply the Doylestown model to their own towns.

Today, Doylestown is ranked by Travel and Leisure magazine as #13 of “America’s Favorite Towns.” Doylestown’s Historic District is listed in the National Register of Historic Places for the architecture of multiple blocks of businesses and single-family homes.

DHS visiting hours are Saturdays from 11:00am-3:00pm. DHS is also seeking volunteers and new members. Help with Operation 64’s 50th anniversary events by calling 215-345-9430 or e-mailing info@doylestownhistorical.org.

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Central Bucks theater students fight AIDS

 

Hundreds of kids from Central Bucks School District’s three high schools and four of its middle schools raised more than $4,500 in their Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS benefit concert in February. The event, hosted by Central Bucks High School West, featured numbers from “Aida,” “Pirates of Penzance,” “The Little Mermaid Jr.,” “Dear Edwinna,” “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” and “Bye-Bye Birdie.”

Pictured are Mary Callum and Sami Evans in a dance number from CB West’s “Crazy for You. Photo by Jade Hebling.

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Budzynski Studios presents performance open to the public

Budzynski Studios will present a performance open to the public at Tohickon Middle School on Sunday, April 27th at 4:30pm. 

The program will include: “Mother Goose Suite;” “The Fairies” segment from world-renowned choreographer Matthew Neenan’s “MidSummer Night’s Dream;” contemporary works by Heidi and Felicia Cruz; with a special guest appearance by contemporary dance company, “Dance Spora,” also directed by Heidi Cruz; a new original work by Francis Veyette of Pennsylvania Ballet; and finally the “Prologue of Sleeping Beauty,” rehearsed by dance greats, Barbara Sandanato and Gabriella Yudenich. 

Tickets are on sale for general seating at $12 and are available as of April 2nd. For auditions, tuition, classes and general info, call 215-345-0926 or visit www.budzynskistudios.com.

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Vendor alert

The Buckingham Flea Market is registering vendors for their Sunday, April 27th event from 8:00am-2:00pm. Spaces are $25 for 25’x25’, and the rain date is Sunday, May 4th. Location is Holicong Park, Route 202, Buckingham.

For info and to reserve a space call Leah at 215-345-5355.  For more information visit www.buckinghampacivic.org. The event benefits the Buckingham Community Garden, supporting students growing fresh vegetables for local food banks.

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Actress and author Mary Lou Quinlan featured at “The Ladies of Mount Carmel” event

Actress and author, Mary Lou Quinlan, was the featured attraction at an April 8th evening event at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church in Doylestown. The special Program was sponsored by the Church’s women’s group, “The Ladies of Mount Carmel”. Ms. Quinlan brought life to her book-reading performance of her New York Times Bestseller, “The God Box: Sharing my mother’s gift of faith, love and letting go”. The audience of over 200 was totally captivated by the heartwarming and at times, emotional performance.

Ms. Quinlan lost her mother and best friend, in 2006. Mary Finlayson, kept “God Boxes”, containing little slips of petitions and prayers to God, that contained her concerns and hopes for family, friends, and even people she did not personally know. She felt that by then letting go of those concerns, and placing them in a box, God would then handle them. Mary Lou Quinlan’s New York Times, Bestseller was written in memory of her mother and has evolved into an off-Broadway, one woman play, that has been performed worldwide. Ms. Quinlan has donated over $200,000 to charities, church groups, hospices and schools with her performances.

The true story has been an inspiration to many, who have also started their own God Boxes. Ms. Quinlan, who is a product of Catholic education, has very generously donated her performance as a gift to OLMC and proceeds from her book signing after the performance were for the benefit of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Community.

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‘The Treasures of Casablanca!’ A benefit for the kids of the Bucks Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired

As the days get longer and warmer, we close the book on this frigid winter and look forward to an annual passage of spring – the Bucks County Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (BCABVI) Spring Fashion Show. The Fashion Show originated in 2012 as a means to sustain the many programs and essential screening services the association provides to the Bucks County community.

This year’s Fashion Show will be held at 2:00pm on Sunday, May 18th. The event will once again be held at the Doylestown Country Club, 20 Country Club Lane, Doylestown.

The Association will be entertaining guests with a “Casablanca” theme for this year’s catwalk! Elegant fashions from across the decades will be highlighted and many vintage pieces will be available for sale. Treasures from all over the world will be available for purchase at the auction. Just a few of the featured items include theater tickets, gift certificates for chosen restaurants, Philadelphia Eagles tickets and luxury items for the home. 

The Fashion Show procession begins promptly at 2:00pm and the silent auctions and live bidding will begin shortly thereafter. Like last year’s event, all attendees will enjoy premium hors d’oeuvres, small plates and cocktails.

BCABVI strives to provide resources, answers and support for people with blindness or other visual impairment that maximize their ability to meet life’s daily challenges and realize their continued self-worth and value to our community. With this mission in mind, this year’s proceeds will be directed to pre-school children, a group dear to all our hearts.  BCABVI currently provides free vision screenings for over 3,000 children in Bucks County each year at over 100 community preschools. Early bird tickets (prior to April 30th) are $50 each and single ticket price is $55. Group tables of eight are available at a discounted rate. Tickets can be purchased online at www.bucksblind.org or by calling 215.968.9400.

For additional information about this event or about services provided by BCABVI, contact Anne Marie Hyer at ahyer@bucksblind.org.

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Twilight Wish welcomes new board member

Twilight Wish Foundation, headquartered in Doylestown, has announced that John Uetz recently joined their board of directors. John is a recent graduate of Villanova University School of Law and is currently an Associate Attorney with the law office of Haviland Hughes in Philadelphia.   

During his time at Villanova, John participated in various pro bono and public interest law programs including the Homeless Advocacy Project, an organization that provides a variety of legal services to Philadelphia’s homeless population free of charge. John also participated in Villanova’s Civil Justice Clinic, which serves indigent members of the community by providing pro bono representation in civil matters, including landlord-tenant disputes and civil forfeiture cases.

“When I first heard about Twilight Wish Foundation, I knew it would be a great fit for me because I had seen firsthand the impact that granting a wish can have on a senior’s life,” said John. “My grandmother is an amazing cook, but she had only ever cooked at home. Her wish was to be a sous chef in a local restaurant for a day. When her retirement home granted her wish, she talked about how much she enjoyed the experience for months. I saw how much joy it gave her to have that experience and I am very excited to have the opportunity to play a part in making a positive impact on my community by being involved with Twilight Wish.” 

PHOTO CAP: John Uetz

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Hepatitis B Foundation to host Annual Crystal Ball Gala

The Hepatitis B Foundation, the only national nonprofit organization solely dedicated to finding a cure for hepatitis B and improving the quality of life for those affected worldwide, will host its Annual Crystal Ball Gala on Friday, April 11th, from 6:00 to 11:00pm, at Warrington Country Club, 1360 Almshouse Road, Warrington.

Each year, the Crystal Ball attracts hundreds of leaders from the community, academic institutions, government, health care industry and biotech executives. The gala evening is a fundraiser for the foundation, with all proceeds benefitting its global research, outreach and patient advocacy programs.

This year’s event, the “Cherry Blossom Extravaganza,” includes an evening of dinner, dancing, a silent auction and awards ceremony. The Foundation will honor Dr. Thomas Starzl with the 2014 Baruch S. Blumberg Prize for pioneering the first human liver transplant in 1963.

Foundation leaders also will announce the recipients of the 2014 Community Commitment Award, Teri and Jim Holton, of Doylestown. Both have provided generous support to the Hepatitis B Foundation, with Teri serving as chair of the Crystal Ball auction committee for the past four years and making it a tremendous success. In addition, Teri volunteers regularly in the community and her church, and Jim supports many local food pantries with donations from Kellogg, where he is a senior vice president.

The Hepatitis B Foundation is accepting auction items and sponsorship opportunities are still available. For more information regarding the Crystal Ball, call 215-489-4900.

Headquartered in Doylestown, the Hepatitis B Foundation is the only national nonprofit organization solely dedicated to finding a cure for hepatitis B and improving the quality of life for those affected worldwide through research, education and patient advocacy. To learn more, go to www.hepb.org, read their blog at wp.hepb.org, follow them on Twitter @HepBFoundation, find them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/hepbfoundation, or call 215-489-4900.

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Bucks County Symphony Orchestra Spring Concert

The Bucks County Symphony Orchestra (BCSO) announces our Spring Concert at 3pm, Sunday, April 27th at Central Bucks High School South. Headlining the program is the extraordinary violinist Nancy Bean, performing Saint-Saens Violin Concerto No. 3 in B minor. The BCSO will open the program performing Carl Neilson’s delightful Helios Overture, and we’ll conclude with Jean Sibelius’s monumental Symphony No. 2 in D major.

Nancy Bean, former Assistant Concertmaster of The Santa Fe Opera Company, and the Philadelphia Orchestra from 1986 until 2009, now devotes her talents to Chamber Music. In 1987 she founded the Wister Quartet, and performed in its chamber concerts with Wolfgang Sawallisch, Christoph Eschenbach, Emanuel Ax, Alicia de Larrocha, Radu Lupu, Yo-Yo Ma and Garrick Ohlsson. The Wister Quartet has earned high praise for its superb musicianship from critics and audiences alike in the U.S., China, South America and Europe. She is also Artistic Director of 1807 & Friends chamber ensemble; and performs regularly with Lenape Chamber Ensemble, Amerita Chamber Players, Trio Montage, The Barnard and FlorianTrios, Duo Paganini and Duo Parisienne.

Tickets are $18 per person in advance, $20 at the door, and $15 for senior citizens. Students are admitted free of charge. For directions, further information or to order tickets, please visit the website at www.buckscountysymphony.org or call the BCSO at 215-348-7321.

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Sandy Ridge Garden has personal plots available

Sandy Ridge Community Garden, located at the corner of Sandy Ridge Road and Broad Street in Doylestown, is looking for gardeners to join them for their fourth year. Personal plots will be available for the first time, as well as cooperative gardening for individuals, families or groups that wish to get involved.

A kickoff meeting is planned for Wednesday, April 9th, at 6:30pm. There are less than 10 personal plots available so interested parties should RSVP to claim a space or learn more. Come enjoy pizza and help plan for an exciting year of gardening. 

Call Doylestown Mennonite Church office at 215-345-6377 for any questions. You can also find them on Facebook by searching “Sandy Ridge Community.” 

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