Ted Lindeman Outreach Foundation recognizes five Bucks County humanitarians

by June Portnoy

The Ted Lindeman Outreach Foundation announced the recipients of its 2015 Humanitarian Awards on November 4th at the Warrington Country Club during an awards breakfast. The five honorees were chosen for setting the standard for leadership, and have each made remarkable humanitarian contributions to their local community. This fourth annual award ceremony was hosted by Don Polec, best known for his segment, “Don Polec’s World,” which used to air on Channel 6 Action News.

Don commenced the ceremony explaining that the Ted Lindeman Outreach Foundation “was brought into being as a result of the tragic death in 2004 of Ted Lindeman, a young husband and father of two children: Taylor, age five, and Luke, age three. His wife, Ellen Lindeman, responsible for launching the Foundation, frames the beginning of its work a bit differently than other organizations.

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Venezuelan dentist now international cake maker from Newtown

by Gina Vitolo-Stevens

Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote, “The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.” Destiny is fickle though, and obstacles can create hardships for some or new paths of endeavor for others. The latter is true in the case of Venezuelan-born Kleiza Rojas Fitzgerald.

The once successful South American dentist fell in love, married and moved to the United States, only to discover that restrictions made it difficult to obtain further licensure in this country. So, she pursued her new love of cake decorating and in a short time has made a name for herself as an internationally-recognized designer of desserts.

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Working dogs ‘paws awhile for love’

by Maura McCormick

When people think of “working dogs,” they might be quick to recall a German Sheppard police K-9, a Dalmatian on a fire truck, a Border Collie herding sheep on a farm, or a guide dog helping a blind person.

Sometimes it’s easy to forget that there is another kind of working dog. There is no standard breed when it comes to these dogs and they are all ages and sizes. They are therapy dogs and they “have the unselfish desire to ‘paws awhile for love,’” according to the home page of Therapy Dogs International.

Bob Wharton, of Holland, and Jackson, his three-year-old Golden Retriever, had been visiting nursing homes and adult day care facilities for about a year. Researching on the Internet, Bob came across Therapy Dogs International (TDI), a New Jersey-based nonprofit that was founded in 1976. Realizing that he could offer more services by starting a Bucks County TDI chapter, he did.

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New book offers breast cancer education

by Judi Biederman

Susan Tschepik’s newly published book gives women an easily-obtainable published resource to help guide them through the detection and treatment of breast cancer. She feels good about the end product of her writing efforts but will never forget the less positive aspects of their genesis: the book details her own journey through the deadly disease.

A registered nurse case manager and transitional coach living in Doylestown, Susan says she wrote “Got Breast Cancer?” to offer education. “I was a nurse and missed my own symptoms of breast cancer,” she remembers, adding, “The lack of knowledge regarding my own personal risk factors for breast cancer and the benefits of early detection was the impetus for my desire to educate other women.”

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A ray of sunshine

Carrie Ayala (center) shares a happy moment poolside holding her daughter Errica, a Sunshine Foundation dream child, with her brother Daniel, during a special Lower Southampton Township end-of-summer camp pool party and celebration which hosted the family at the Dolphin Swim Club in Feasterville, for a day of swimming, lunch and games.

Sharing the moment are Kristin Falstick (left), Executive Director of the Sunshine Foundation and Matt Gilbert (right) Director of the Lower Southampton Township Parks and Recreation Department.

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Bucks Artist in Residence introduce kids to arts in the summer

by Rachel Romano

Over 100 children from the Trenton, NJ area explored the arts this summer at Trenton’s three UrbanPromise summer camps thanks to a donation of four artist residencies from Bucks County Artists in Residence (Bucks AIR). The residencies included bookmaking with Gabrielle Kanter, an interactive folk music concert by David Fry, Capoeira martial arts and dance program with Leigh Roberston and a clay project taught by Jayne Puccio.

AIR artists worked with the campers on various days throughout the five-week camps. One of the goals of AIR has been to expose children to the arts by bringing professional visual, performing and literary artists to regional schools. Many of these are enhancement art programs for schools that already have strong art curriculums. Recently, the non-profit organization has been broadening its scope to include afterschool programs and summer camps in an effort to reach more children through its growing outreach program.

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Twilight Wish receives donation from BCWSA

Twilight Wish Foundation was recently chosen by the Bucks County Water & Sewer Authority (BCWSA) to be one of two beneficiaries of their annual golf fundraiser. Dennis Cowley, chairman of the board of the BCWSA, presented a check for $18,000 to Mary Farrell, Director of Community Relations at Twilight Wish Foundation.

“We are so grateful to have been chosen by the BCWSA this year,” said Mary. “Thanks to their generosity, we will be able to make a difference in the lives of many deserving seniors.”

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Bike the Basin: A one-of-a-Kind cycling event to help cure retinal blindness

by June Portnoy

Michael Smedley, a 15½-year-old sophomore at Council Rock High School South, wants nothing more than to drive, but he must put that dream on hold because he has lost most of his vision.

His brother, Mitchell Smedley, 12, a seventh grader at Richboro Middle School, can no longer play for Northampton Baseball due to his significant vision impairment.

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Ryan Tarapchak and his ‘Run For Isabella’

by June Portnoy

Every single day from August 9th through September 8th, 11-year-old Ryan Tarapchak could be seen running through the streets of his Langhorne development, and often into Penndel. It didn’t matter if there was heat wave, a rainstorm or if Ryan didn’t feel well, he was committed to running 30 consecutive days.

Ryan’s dedication to run was completely selfless. It wasn’t to train for a sport or compete in a race. Ryan ran for Isabella O’Brien, the seven-year-old sister of his friend, Nick, diagnosed at age six with stage 4 Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma, a relatively rare type of cancer.

“I was shocked when I found out Isabella had cancer, and I felt really sad,” said Ryan. “I knew I wanted to so something to help.”

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A commendable way of celebrating sweet 16

On July 25th, a Central Bucks East High School junior, Alekhya Gunturi, conducted a charity show at Bharatiya Temple in Chalfont to benefit A Woman’s Place, a local non-profit organization that provides shelter and support for victims of domestic violence, as well as education and prevention programs for the entire community.  At this performance, an Indian classical dance and musical concert were conducted to raise funds.

Alekhya has been involved with various volunteer services, and to celebrate her 16th birthday she wanted to do something different to raise funds, and awareness, for an organization near to her heart – A Woman’s Place.

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