Spotlight: Village Improvement Association

It was a very good year!

Village Improvement Association (VIA) members are looking back on 2022 with a great sense of accomplishment. As the world began returning to a new normal following two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Organization’s members resumed work with energy, enthusiasm, and a renewed sense of purpose.

Founded by fourteen forward-thinking local women in 1895, the group’s mission is to enhance the health and welfare of the Central Bucks Community. For many years the VIA’s largest fundraiser has been the Bucks County Designer House & Gardens.

When supply chain issues forced the rescheduling of the 2022 Designer House, delaying funding to local organizations, a Neighbors in Need NOW campaign was launched. The new initiative raised almost $45,000 for local non-profit organizations supporting area residents impacted by dramatically rising food, fuel, and housing costs.

In mid-September, Broadhurst, the 47th Designer House opened with an elegant Gala. Located in Holicong, the updated farmhouse garnered great reviews, with visitors proclaiming it the best Designer House ever. The event’s primary beneficiary was Doylestown Health’s Interventional Radiology Department.

December saw the James-Lorah Memorial Home, the VIA headquarters, hosting a very successful series of holiday tours showcasing the 17-room mansion decorated in its best Victorian holiday finery. The year concluded with VIA members and Doylestown Hospital staff bringing holiday greetings and specially prepared meals to the residents of Grundy Hall and other community members.

Throughout the year VIA committees also supported veterans and awarded scholarships to teens and women, among many other activities. Yes, it was definitely a good year, and 2023 promises to be an even better year! In addition to a full calendar of fundraising and community support activities, plans are underway to celebrate the centennial of Doylestown Hospital.

Opened by the VIA in 1923 as an 8-bed facility at Pine and Oakland Streets, it is the only hospital in the US to be founded and, for 100 years, governed by a non-secular women’s organization.

For more information about VIA activities or membership in the organization, please go to

PHOTO CAP: Bucks County Designer House & Gardens Advisory Committee members and VIA Immediate Past-President Barbara Ann Price present a check to Doylestown Health VP and Chief Advancement Officer Laura Wortman. (l. to r. Kathleen Krick, Laura Wortman, Barbara Ann Price, Joyce A. Hanson, Donna Schuman, Whitney Chandor and Sara Moyer).

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