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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Lions Club members fill purses for ladies in need

The Yardley-Makefield Lions Club recently organized a purse drive spearheaded by Jeanne Tal, to collect and fill gently used handbags for distribution to women in need. The drive was shared in a Facebook post on the “Lower Makefield is a Great Place to Live” page, which generated the donation of more than 60 purses and hundreds of unused wellness and beauty products, as well as treats.

Nine Lions Club volunteers gathered at the home of Jamie Fazzalore-Truelove to fill 65 purses, which were delivered to the Bucks County Emergency Homeless Shelter in time for Valentine’s Day.

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Gift of Life Donor Dash is April 17th

Can you believe that, on average, 21 people die each day in the U.S. waiting for an organ transplant? The Gift of Life Donor Dash was founded in 1996 by Claire Braverman to honor her late husband who died while awaiting a new liver that he desperately needed.

The Dash helped her turn her grief into something positive to help raise awareness about the critical need for organ donors and to acknowledge the more than 6,100 men, women and children in Philadelphia Gift of Life’s region who are currently waiting for an organ transplant.

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Military hero honored

Sage Loitfellner, of Feasterville, (second from right) a U.S. Army Specialist assigned to the 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum, poses with Michael J. Hughes (right) representing the Feasterville Business Association during special military and American flag ceremonies honoring him for his heroism and service to his country prior to a Lower Southampton Township supervisors meeting.

Sharing the moment are his brother Joseph (left) and his mother Michelle (second from left).

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NH-S High School raises over $13,000 at their version of ‘THON’

From 7:00pm through 7:00am on Friday and Saturday, January 8th and 9th, New Hope-Solebury High School students attended a 12-hour dance marathon.

This overnight event, in partnership with Four Diamonds, fundraised over $13,000 for Penn State at Hershey Children’s Hospital that will go to pay the medical bills of pediatric cancer patients and for cancer research to find a cure.

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Habitat for Humanity of Bucks breaks ground for first Morrisville homes

by June Portnoy

Tim Evans is returning to his roots in Morrisville Borough where he grew up and where his grandfather still resides. Today, Tim lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their seven-month-old son, Peyton, in a small two-bedroom apartment in Levittown. They plan to soon adopt a second child.

They were going to rent a larger apartment when they discovered that Habitat for Humanity of Bucks County was building two homes in Morrisville Borough at 35 and 37 Harrison Avenue. The Evans immediately filled out an application. Less than one week prior to the first home’s groundbreaking ceremony, held on January 14th, the Evans received the news that they had been selected as the homeowners of 37 Harrison.

“Had it not been for Habitat, we wouldn’t have been able to afford the down payment for a house,” said Jessica.

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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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