Children’s services and new facility come to low vision non-profit

The Bucks County Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired is expanding to include more services for children experiencing vision problems.

“This is something we’ve invested time and money and resources into,” said executive director Anne Marie Hyer. “Kids are an essential part of our community.”

Many students could benefit from Low Vision Evaluations and being matched with the right technology to encourage their success at school. Services will include support groups, recreational activities, a resource guide of services available in the community and a new Children’s Services Coordinator and Committee, which is looking for local volunteers.

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‘Art in the Garden’ at Paxson Hill Farm: Bringing over 70 artists together

“Art in the Garden” at Paxson Hill Farm is scheduled for Saturday, September 3rd, and Sunday, September 4th, from 10:00am to 4:30pm, rain or shine.  Now in its 17th year, this annual exhibit and sale of fine art and fine craft is set among Paxson Hill’s 32 acres of landscaped gardens featuring various themes.

Bruce Gangawer, owner/operator of the nursery at Paxson Hill Farm, is the sponsor and originator of the event.

Art in the Garden brings together a field of over seventy artists working in various media: painting, printmaking, jewelry, photography, woodworking, fiber arts, stained glass, blown glass, and more.

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Sixteen students participate in Foundations Summer Youth Corps

Sixteen college students from Bucks County have been chosen to participate in Foundations Community Partnership‘s 2016 Summer Youth Corps, which offers paid student internships at local non-profit human service agencies in Bucks County serving children, youth and families.

The program provides students the ability to gain practical experience while helping to effect positive change in the community by working at non-profit human service agencies. This is the ninth consecutive year that Foundations has offered the internship program, expanding from 11 students in its inaugural year to 16 students this year.

Non-profit agencies have the benefit of additional helping hands and the students gain meaningful work experience with groups that are making a difference in Bucks County, as well as earning college credit through a partnership with Bucks County Community College.

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The Phoenix rises from the ashes

On May 22nd, 2015 famed curator Peggy Knowlton passed away. Her internationally famed collection of African stone sculpture from Zimbabwe is a compilation of sculptures created by the most respected master carvers from three generations of the contemporary movement, which she collected after more than 30 trips to Zimbabwe.

That curated collection of over 1,350 pieces rose once again after a one-year renovation that created two showrooms. The gallery is located at 4961 River Road in Point Pleasant, PA and showcases a revolving series of 500 works from more than 100 artists.

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Garden Conservancy’s ‘Open Days’ includes private gardens and plant sales

On Saturday, August 13th, visit two private gardens in New Hope and Doylestown, open to the public through the Garden Conservancy’s Open Days Program, from 10:00am to 4:00pm.

Admission to each garden is $7, benefitting the Garden Conservancy. Children 12 and under are free. Open Days are rain or shine and no reservations are required.

Visitors can start the Open Day at Paxson Hill Farm, 3265 Comfort Road in New Hope or Fordhook Farm of W. Atlee Burpee Co., 105 New Britain Road, in Doylestown. Paxson Hill, consisting of 10 acres of landscape, is notable for several unusual and rare plants.

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Habitat ReStores: Not just thrift stores

Habitat for Humanity ReStores sell new and gently used furniture, cabinets, appliances, building supplies, housewares, and decor at a fraction of the retail price. The Bucks County ReStores alone keep 100,000 pounds of materials out of landfills each month while financially supporting Habitat for Humanity’s mission to build affordable homes for local families.

But what you may not know is that the Habitat ReStores in Langhorne and Chalfont aren’t just thrift stores. They also serve special needs, seniors, students, and low-income individuals through employment, work-study, and charity initiatives.

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Locally produced film wins ‘Best Supernatural Thriller’ award at New Hope Film Fest

by June Portnoy

During the New Hope Film Festival’s Award Ceremony last month, Guy Quigley had the honor of accepting the Jury Award for Best Supernatural Thriller of “Apparition,” a feature film shot and produced by his Doylestown-based media company, Thundersmoke Media. The film was also nominated for the festival’s Danny Award (Best Picture) and for Best Director.

“Apparition,” which has won many awards at film festivals around the world, was one of 89 films from 11 countries at New Hope’s Seventh Annual Film Festival. It was shown to a captivated audience on July 23rd at The New Hope Arts Center during the festival.

“Apparition” has many local ties to this area. Not only was Guy the film’s executive producer, but his son, Jody Quigley, a Doylestown native and a multi-award winning actor, had the lead role.

“Many area residents will recognize The Knight House, a restaurant located in historic Doylestown where this film’s engagement party scene was shot,” said Guy. “We also shot many exterior shots along the streets of Doylestown, in addition to using a New Britain property for several scenes.”

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Bucks County Singers begins fall membership drive

Having just completed its 31st year of singing, the Newtown-based Bucks County Singers hopes to continue expanding its membership as it begins a new and busy year.

Under the direction of Terry Boyle Greenland, Yardley voice teacher and University of the Arts professor, Bucks County Singers (BCS) currently boasts a membership of about 35 energetic men and women who embrace the chorus’ unique style, which blends singing with fun-to-watch “riser choreography,” making for concerts that are unlike those of most other choirs.

The group is accompanied by local pianist Tom Baust.

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SPOTLIGHT: New Hope Academy

New Hope Academy (NHA) is a non-traditional private school for kids in grades six through 12 who cannot thrive in a traditional school environment. Its student population consists of kids with emotional and learning disabilities, gifted and creative individualists and children suffering from anxiety and behavioral disorders.

The school specializes in students with Attention Deficit Disorders (ADD), Oppositional Defiant Disorders (ODD), Obsessive Compulsive Disorders (OCD), Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD) and Asperger Syndrome.

Although NHA has a campus in Yardley and Doylestown, both locations operate as one school.

NHA provides individualized education, not only for students with documented Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) but for all of its students.  The ratio of students to teachers is two to one, and in some cases NHA offers one-on-one personalized teaching.

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SPOTLIGHT: NHS Cares

Back to school is a great time to get back to basics when it comes to talking with your children about drugs and alcohol.

NHS (New Hope-Solebury) Cares, a nonprofit community coalition whose mission is to prevent and reduce substance use in young people, is a great resource for parents and our community at large. The local organization is moving towards completing its first year under a federal grant, entitled The Drug-Free Communities Support Program (DFC), awarded in late September 2015.

The approach is multi-pronged: community education, community collaboration, and environmental change.

This past year, accomplishments include the coordination of the semi-annual Medication Take Back Days and numerous ads in local newspapers highlighting facts about marijuana use in young people.

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