Twilight Wish Foundation: Granting wishes to deserving seniors

by June Portnoy

Alice, an 81-year-old Fairless Hills resident living in senior subsidized housing, slept on an old uncomfortable mattress, unable to afford a new one. J.J., a 69-year-old resident living at Grundy Hall in Doylestown, was forced to endure the hot summer months without the funds to buy an air conditioning unit.

Don, a 68-year-old resident of Neshaminy Manor in Warrington, had no way of returning to his hometown of Bristol. After becoming suddenly ill and wheelchair-bound, he had no money to rent a handicapped-accessible vehicle to see the place he was born and raised.

“Sadly, a lot of times our older generation is forgotten, so it is our privilege to grant their wishes to help make the world a nicer place to age,” said Mary Farrell, Director of Community Relations at Twilight Wish Foundation.

This non-profit organization grants wishes to seniors across the country, but is headquartered in Bucks County with just three part-time employees. It was founded by Cass Forkin, who recognized the need to grant wishes to seniors in need in 2003.

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Troop 29 honors Dave Clark

Newtown’s Boy Scout Troop 29 recently honored Dave Clark for 20 years of leadership as their troop’s scoutmaster at their annual picnic. Over 150 Troop 29 scouts and their families attended the event at Core Creek Park.

A number of the troop’s alumni scouts traveled from as far as Denver to surprise their beloved scoutmaster. Dave is unique among scoutmasters in that he has stayed with the troop long after his own son Jon earned the rank of Eagle in 2001.

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A sweet sixteen helps The Humane Society

Here is some food for thought: imagine if everyone would use just one birthday to raise awareness and hold a benefit for their favorite charity whatever it may be.  Imagine how many nonprofit organizations could benefit!

And what better way to celebrate a “Sweet Sixteen” party and the beginning of young adulthood than taking the opportunity to make a difference in the world around us? Council Rock student Grace Porter recently turned 16 and did just that.

Like many girls her age she was looking forward to planning her Sweet Sixteen Party. But Grace wanted her party to be different, and for her party she made a very mature and selfless decision to have a backyard fundraiser for a cause near and dear to her heart – helping animals.

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Hink children host LimeAid stand and raise $500+ for Family Service

Earlier this month, Hayley, Mikey and Tessa Hink of Doylestown hosted a LimeAid stand to raise money to help children in need in Bucks County. The three children offered LimeAid and baked goods to customers in exchange for donations to benefit Family Service Association of Bucks County, a private nonprofit social service organization with locations throughout Bucks County.

When Mikey guided a potential customer to the LimeAid stand, the customer asked, “How much is the LimeAid?” “It’s free, but we accept donations,” replied Hayley. “Yeah, all of the money goes to children and families in need,” chimed in Tessa.

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Eleven-year-old Langhorne resident publishes first book

by June Portnoy

It typically takes adult authors many years to get their first book published, and a significant number of writers never accomplish this feat. Yet at the young age of 11, Julianna Musser, the only child of Jennifer and Brian Musser of Langhorne, has already achieved this success.

A fifth-grader at Maple Point Middle School, Julianna is thrilled to call herself a published author. Her full-length children’s book, “Bored Dog,” was published by Tate Publishing & Enterprises, LLC and released this past March in print and electronic formats. Tate’s marketing department is currently scheduling local book tours where Julianna will promote her book.

“Bored Dog” tells the story of Charlie, a dog who is bored all the time. It is written from Charlie’s point of view, so readers get a first-hand account of how Charlie thinks about anything and everything around him: how he feels, what he thinks of his human parents, and his general attitude toward life. Written with great imagination, this book attempts to show readers how pets feel about the world around them and how pet owners’ behaviors and actions affect their pets in different ways.

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Langhorne woman to walk ‘18 Miles for Dave’

Joan Zalot and David Walls met at Holy Family College (now University) in Northeast Philadelphia and graduated together in 1990. They’ve remained friends since then, and when Joan heard about Dave’s recent cancer diagnosis, she knew she had to find a way to help.

Long Beach Island is the 18-mile-long New Jersey barrier island where Joan and her family vacation every summer. Joan decided to challenge herself while helping her friend by collecting pledges and walking the entire length of the island, from Holgate at the south end, all the way to the iconic Barnegat Lighthouse.

Thus “18 Miles for Dave” came to be.

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Update from A Woman’s Place

by Lisa DeAngelis

Ifeoma (Ify) Aduba radiates hope and optimism, even at the end of a year that could have undone many of those responsible for operating nonprofit organizations.  As the Executive Director of A Woman’s Place (AWP), Ify struggled last year for funding to keep AWP operating during the long Pennsylvania budget battle.

That battle has left Ify bloodied but unbowed. She gives the credit to her very supportive Board of Directors for ensuring that AWP weathered the storm.

On May 12th, Ify was honored as one of the YWCA of Bucks County’s Salute To Women Who Make A Difference award winners.  Last October, she accepted the NAACP Bucks County Branch’s Freedom Fund Community Service Award in recognition of her leadership in the community in education, human rights, and the NAACP organization at the 64th Annual Freedom Fund Banquet at Parx Casino.

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Father-son duo lead Ninth Annual Kidney Walk in Central New Jersey

Three years ago, Stockton resident Kevin Losch was diagnosed with IgA Nephropathy and end stage renal failure. After months on dialysis and failed matches among his family, Kevin sent an e-mail out to his closest friends asking them if they would consider donating their kidney.

Over 100,000 people in the United States are waiting for a kidney transplant; fewer than 17,000 people receive one each year and New Jersey’s seven-year transplant waiting list had Kevin discouraged and depressed.

“I made sure to state in the e-mail that those that couldn’t donate were not obligated to respond,” explained Kevin. “I wasn’t looking for anyone to feel bad for me. But within 45 minutes, my college roommate responded saying he’s willing to get tested and go from there.”

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Big Oak Citgo’s 15th Annual River Clean Up Day

River Clean Up Day has been a tradition for the crew at Big Oak Citgo for the past 15 years. One day each spring they close up shop and spend the afternoon removing tires and garbage from the various islands on the Delaware River in Yardley/Morrisville.

This year, their Clean Up Day took place in April. Big Oak Citgo owner, Tom Cooper, an avid fisherman, first began the clean up with his then young sons to teach them respect for the river that he loves.

Pictured from left are Ethan Bray, Tom Cooper, Bob Weng and Pete Kraemer.

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Kelsey Smith receives President’s Volunteer Service Award

Kelsey Smith of New Hope, a senior at New Hope-Solebury High School, has been honored for her exemplary volunteer service with a President’s Volunteer Service Award.

The award, which recognizes Americans of all ages who have volunteered significant amounts of their time to serve communities and their country, was granted by The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program on behalf of President Barack Obama. New Hope-Solebury High School nominated Kelsey this fall in recognition of her volunteer service.

Kelsey did most of her volunteer service through the Trinity Youth Group of the Trinity Episcopal Church in Solebury. This past summer she helped to build playgrounds and gardens throughout the West Philadelphia community.

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