Ladies of Mount Carmel entertained by Fitzpatrick Irish Dance

 

The Fitzpatrick Irish Dancers of Doylestown were the featured program entertainment for the women’s organization at Our Lady Of Mount Carmel Catholic Church during the group’s monthly meeting in on March 11th.

The dance group, consisting of 16 young ladies, ages 11 to 17 years of age, delighted the ladies and guests with their Irish tap, talent, music and most of all, their tremendous energy. The dancers were accompanied by their parents and the Fitzpatrick Dance School’s teacher and director, Maggie Fitzpatrick Guenther.

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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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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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Chapman Gallery presents Spring Group Show

Chapman Gallery presents a Spring Group Show featuring a great mix of landscape and still life paintings in oil, pastel, and watercolor. The show begins on Saturday, April 5th with an opening reception from 6:00 to 9:00pm. 

It’s time to say goodbye to winter and take in a breath of spring, including lush landscapes and freshly cut floral still lifes. 

The show will feature the work of over 20 artists including Ray Overpeck, Susan Ketcham, Dean Thomas, Betty Minnucci, John Mertz. Jim Lukens, Don Kaiser Jas Szygiel, Jo-ann Osnoe and more. Check out their website for more information about the show, as well as participating artists and biographies.

Chapman Gallery is located at 46 E. State Street, Doylestown. Hours are Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10:00am until 5:00pm; Fridays and Saturdays from 10:00am until 7:00pm; and Sundays from noon until 5:00pm. For more information call 215-348-2011 or visit www.thechapmangallery.com.

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Blue Flame Gas Service: A family business offering premier customer service

 

by June Portnoy

In 1964, Eugene “Chuck” Charlton worked as a truck driver delivering coal. He worked his way up and throughout the years bought several area fuel companies specializing in home heating oil delivery and service, as well as diesel and gasoline delivery. Ultimately he added propane to his list of specialty services when purchasing Blue Flame Gas Service in 1988.

Today, he owns and operates this business with his sons, Chuck Jr. and Mike.

“Our family has been in the energy business our entire lives,” says Chuck Jr. “Unlike natural gas companies, in which you’re dealing with a large conglomerate, we are a small family business.”

As opposed to servicing 25,000-plus customers that are treated like just another number, Blue Flame makes a point of getting to know each customer by name. It has very loyal, long-term customers, many of whom have been with them since Chuck Sr. bought the business.

Blue Flame Gas is truly a business of local family owners, all of whom live in Bucks County. “We live in the area we service,” adds Chuck Jr. “You’ll see us in the grocery store and at your local bank. We are not living in some distant, remote location; we are your neighbors.”

Customer service is, and has always been, the cornerstone of the Charlton’s business. “That’s what we’re all about,” explains Chuck Jr. “We are here for our customers.”

Blue Flame is a full service propane gas company providing propane delivery, service, and installation. It offers continued automatic delivery, meaning its drivers will come to your house when it’s time to replenish your propane, so you don’t have to worry about it.

Service technicians are available 24/7, every day of the year for emergency needs, such as a disruption to your heat or hot water service. Many of Blue Flame’s employees have worked there for 15- to 20-plus years, developing a comfortable rapport with their customers.

Service technicians and drivers arrive in uniform, clean and professional, and are trained to answer any of your questions. 

“We have no hidden costs or gimmicks,” says Chuck Jr. “We are kind, courteous professionals. What you see is what you get, and most importantly, we are a local business that stands by our work.”

Blue Flame Gas Service meets your propane needs throughout Bucks County and in portions of Montgomery County. In addition to residential service, the Blue Flame staff are experts in all uses of propane, including forklift cylinders, gas grill exchanges, bottle and bulk deliveries, and service for commercial and agricultural needs as well, servicing many local retail stores, restaurants, and small businesses you probably frequent. Lastly, through its sister companies, the Charltons can handle your heating oil, diesel, and gasoline needs, as well.

If you’re looking for a quality company to handle your propane needs, contact Blue Flame Gas Service, a local family business located right in your own community.

Call 215-249-3575 or visit www.blueflamegasservice.com.

PHOTO CAP: The folks at Blue Flame Gas Service, from left, Josh Knepper, Loren Byelich, Dave Patton, Ben Cheshire, Nate Knepper, Debbie Mayes, Chuck Charlton, Jr., Donna Snider-Sitler, and Chris Fulk.

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Misperceptions about selecting cremation arrangements

submitted by Jason “Oz” Oszczakiewicz, Owner/Supervisor, Varcoe-Thomas Funeral Home of Doylestown, Inc.

When a family chooses cremation it does not limit their funeral choices.  There are several misperceptions that many families believe, but families can be just as creative as families selecting traditional arrangements.

While advertising makes it seem like direct cremation is the only choice, when you choose cremation you can have any kind of service or any kind of memorial you wish. That means you can have a traditional service and a cremation, direct cremation followed by a memorial service, a scattering and a permanent cemetery niche, or space in a cremation garden. A permanent place to remember loved ones fills an important need that a scattering just can’t.

Many families don’t realize that with a direct cremation, when the body is removed, they can view a loved one again prior to cremation. Many funeral homes require positive identification before cremation occurs, especially when family members are not in attendance at the place of passing. Many states also require 24 hours to pass prior to cremation for any investigative purposes or before a death certificate can be signed by a physician and a cremation permit issued by a coroner’s office.

Many religions also accept cremation as a form of disposition. Today, there are some families that still do not think the Catholic Church allows cremation, but the Cremation Rite has actually been around since the 1960’s. Families should check with their individual clergy or church regarding cremation and religious restrictions.

Cremation also has the connotation as being the “inexpensive” type of funeral. In many ways, cremation can be less expensive than traditional burial expenses, but can also be as equally as expensive if a family selects traditional visitation, selection of a wooden or rental casket, urn selection and burial of the urn or placement in a niche.

Families should consider all options before making hasty decisions when it comes to cremation arrangements, because there are many different options available today to meet the needs of each family.

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Quinoa brings a Peruvian-Mexican culinary and cultural experience to Doylestown

 

by June Portnoy

Jack Egoavil and his family were born and raised in Peru, moving to this country in 1992. Today they bring a taste of Peruvian food to Doylestown at their family-owned and operated restaurant, Quinoa, located at 762 N. Easton Road. While Jack’s mother, Carmen Egoavil, cooks the Peruvian food, his brother-in-law, Said Anguiano, born in Mexico, is the Mexican chef. 

Although the majority of food served here is Peruvian, there are numerous meals that combine the best of both these worlds, plus many Mexican lunch items on the menu. According to Jack, there is no other Peruvian restaurant in the area.

“We encourage our customers to try something completely new because eating here offers a unique dining and cultural experience,” says Jack. “This is what I ate my whole life in my native country, and I want to share that culinary experience with my customers.”

According to Jack, traditional staples of Peruvian food include corn, potatoes and chili peppers. He describes quinoa as a protein packed grain from the Andes. “To me quinoa represents Peruvian food,” says Jack, explaining the origin of his restaurant’s name. 

Try quinoa for yourself by ordering the quinoa and vegetable soup, taboule quinoa or quinoa flan, just to name a few of the many dishes consisting of this Peruvian grain. The Peruvian sampler is a great way to taste a variety of Peruvian creations.

Jack also recommends the Ceviche, a hugely popular dish in South America.  “Ceviche is actually a style of cooking raw fish marinated with lime juice and Peruvian peppers,” describes Jack. “The fish is cooked by the acidity of lime juice.”

There are several Ceviche entrees on the dinner menu from which to select. Jack characterizes Peruvian food as having lots of flavor. It is made with healthy ingredients and offers many options for vegetarians. As an added benefit, most Peruvian food is gluten-free.

If you’re interested in a fusion of Peruvian and Mexican cuisines, try the Tacu Tacu de Falda de Res en Rahas, one of Quinoa’s many specialties. Traditional Mexican food served here includes choices like the taco salad and guacamole de casa.

Whatever you order, you can be sure it’s made fresh on the premises with only the highest quality ingredients. Weekly specials are available, so you’ll always discover something new to order, or return to Quinoa to enjoy one of your favorites from the menu.

All waiters are familiar with everything served at Quinoa and are happy to explain each dish and offer recommendations.

This restaurant offers a warm, welcoming ambience where you can come to relax while enjoying an authentic Peruvian or Mexican meal.

“We carefully designed our decor with ornaments and antiques that we brought with us from Peru in order to inspire questions from our customers about our culture,” says Jack.   

Quinoa is owned and operated by the same family that owns El Tule Mexican & Peruvian Restaurant in Lambertville, NJ. However, Jack comments that their original restaurant serves primarily Mexican food, as opposed to the large selection of Peruvian food available at Quinoa.

Quinoa, a BYOB, serves traditional Peruvian and Mexican non-alcoholic beverages. On Saturdays, enjoy live music with a jazz guitarist or Flamenco music. Reservations are suggested on weekends. For more information about Quinoa, call 215-348-2826 or visit www.quinoarestaurantbyo.com.

PHOTO CAP: Peruvian Chef Carmen Egoavil (left), Mexican Chef Said Anguiano, and inset, a Peruvian sampler food dish.

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Alliance Française de Doylestown

In 2014 the Alliance Française de Doylestown will celebrate its 25th anniversary with a series of monthly special events. These will include guest speakers, a screening of a French film at the County Theater with a wine-and-cheese party afterward, and a catered dinner. 

Members meet for conversation in French every other Wednesday. There are both morning and evening sessions. Before the summer break there is a picnic to celebrate July 14th, the French national holiday.

Twice a year Central Bucks West students in Advanced French classes are invited to join Alliance members for lunch at a restaurant near the high school, during which French is spoken.

Some of the students also enjoy visiting evening tables rondes during the school year.

In June, the Alliance presents an award for excellence in French to one senior at each of the three Central Bucks high schools. The membership includes beginners, native speakers and everything in between. 

Many of the participants studied French years ago and are now brushing up on it for travel, study, work or personal reasons. Newcomers, always welcome, often prefer to just listen at first. They soon gain the confidence to join in.

The Alliance is part of the Federation of Alliances Françaises USA, Inc., an international organization dedicated to promoting knowledge of French language and culture and fostering friendly relations between the American and French people. 

One-year membership is $45 for those 18 to 59, $35 for those 60 and over, $55 for a couple, $15 for full-time students over 18. 

The website afdoylestown.org lists meeting dates and times, and also the topics of conversation for morning and evening sessions. For more information, email anne.shultes@verizon.net or phone 215- 345-0618. 

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Bucks County’s Moravian Pottery & Tile Works

Back in the 1960’s, before the preservation of historic properties was as common as it is today, farsighted elected and other concerned parties within Bucks County saw through the deteriorated condition of the Moravian Pottery and Tile Works on Swamp Road in Doylestown. What they saw beyond cracked and spalling concrete and through the mass of wisteria covering much of its exterior was what was to become a National Historic Landmark and a “must see” place of interest for residents and tourists.

By 1968 thits site, the second of Henry Chapman Mercer’s three concrete structures, had been purchased and opened as a public museum under the administration of he Department of Parks and Recreation. In 1974 an effort to reactivate tile making was undertaken, and with its success, the production of Mercer’s Moravian Tiles continues today, using processes as faithful to Mercer’s original methods as possible. The clay is native to Bucks County, the glazes are mixed on site, and ceramists press, cut and color the tiles, preserving Mercer’s craft.

Tours, which can be taken every day except major holidays, include an orientation video followed by a self-guided walk through the museum, highlighted by tile making demonstrations and displayed artifacts.

A special place within the museum is its Tile Shop, offering for sale dozens of tile designs and glaze finishes as well as numerous tile mosaic panels – all reissues of Mercer’s original line of tiles.

As an educational institution, the Moravian Pottery and Tile Works Museum instituted a ceramist apprenticeship program with the reactivation program in 1974, and has, since then, seen close to 200 students of ceramic art participate. Additionally, classes in tile-making and workshops have been taken by approximately 300 persons. The annual Tile Festival, May 17th and 18th, is a great time to visit not only the Tile Works museum but to view and perhaps buy the work of upwards of 50 tile artisans and vendors of historic tiles.

For information on the Tile Festival and other programs and tour information, call 215-348-6098, email mptw@co.bucks.pa.us, or visit www.buckscounty.org/visitors.

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Peace Valley Nature Center

Peace Valley Nature Center (PVNC) is an environmental education center and sanctuary dedicated to providing outdoor educational opportunities for people of all ages to promote a better understanding and appreciation for the world of nature.

Along many miles of nature trails surrounding Lake Galena, guests can visit diverse habitats and spot animals, tracks and abundant plant life. The Nature Center offers a wide variety of programs, including Sunday Naturalist Walks, Moonlight Walks, and birthday parties.

The Solar Building hosts a children’s library and puppet theater, as well as the Sunflower Shop, which sells an assortment of nature-themed items and books, proceeds from which benefit The Friends of PVNC’s environmental education programming.

PVNC has several special events on tap for 2014. The Maple Sugar Festival, an annual celebration, will be held on March 1st from 11:00am to 1:00pm. Naturalists will lead free ongoing walks, discussing the historical significance of and methods for processing this sweet bounty. After walking, warm by the fire and enjoy maple treats and waffles. 

Celebrate spring during PVNC’s annual Plant Sale, held May 10th and 11th from 10:00am to 4:00pm. Native perennials, shrubs, and trees will be available. Knowledgeable folks can help you plan your garden to create your own backyard habitat to attract wildlife and create biodiversity in your community.

A variety of nature discoveries are available on weekdays during the summer, including Parent and Preschool Programs, Summer Nature Adventures for elementary-aged children, and Full Day Camp held at Tohickon Valley Park for fourth through sixth grade students.

For more information and to view a full calendar of events, visit www.peacevalleynaturecenter.org or call 215-345-7860.

Peace Valley Nature Center is located at 170 North Chapman Road in Doylestown. The Solar Building and Sunflower Shop are open Tuesday-Sunday from 10:00am to 5:00pm.

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