This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
. Don’t clean it up too quickly.
Looking back at 2012, what was a highlight of your year?
interviews and photos by michele buono
Moving here and getting a job with Bucks County Library in April. I’ve just started as Youth Services librarian in Quakertown.
milford toWnship I went to Disney with my kids and husband. It was exhausting, but very fun!
QuakertoWn I’ve finished several good books that I set out to read. I’ve also learned to play a few new songs on my guitar.
QuakertoWn I ran the Grand Canyon, rim to rim to rim, 46 miles in total, with my family.
• Upper Bucks Free Press • December 2012
Upper Bucks Community Events
Lighting Festival, Park Downtown, erating on multi-deck layout), Adm. by donation, 215-538-0501 www.casme.org December 1, 6, 7 & 8 Free Benefit Show “Best Christmas Pageant Ever” 7pm (also matinee 2pm Dec.1 & 8), tickets free, donations taken at show. Reservations needed, call 610-923-6742, benefits Allentown Rescue Mission, 330 Schantz Road, Allentown December 2 All-U-Can-Eat Breakfast Buffet 8am-12noon, Lower Milford Fire Co, 1601 Limeport Pike, Coopersburg. Adults/$8, Kids age 5 and up/$4.50, 610-965-5166 Holiday Open House at Animals in Distress 12noon-4pm, music, crafts, bazaar, food, Basket Social (winners drawn Dec. 16), 5075 Limeport Pike, Coopersburg, 610-966-9383 animalsindistress-pa.org Holiday House Tours, quakertownalive.com “Make A Joyful Noise” Concert 3:30pm at Christ UCC, 101 N. Main St, Trumbauersville, piano, organ & comtemporary singing group, free will offering, info at 215-538-0142 Penny Party 1:30pm at St. Luke’s Old Williams Church, 20 Church Rd, Hellertown, $2/ number, kitchen open, info at 610-838-0897 Qtn, 267-347-4674 (Lahaska celebrates Dec. 7, 215-794-7425) December 7 Winterfest 7pm, Trumbauersville Veterans Park, FREE music, s’mores, hot choc., cider, etc. Bring own marshmallow stick. Donate hats, gloves, mittens or scarves to decorate our tree, benefits local charities, r/d Dec. 8 Telford Tree Lighting 7pm at the Marketplace at Telford Station, more info at www.soudertontelfordevents.org December 7 & 8 “Alice in Winterland” by North Pennsmen Barbershop Chorus, (Fri. 7:30pm) (Sat. 2pm), BranchCreek Community Church, Rt 63 in Harleysville. Details/Tickets 215-393-1940 or www.NorthPennsmen.org December 7, 8, & 9 Kringle Christmas Shoppe, (Fri 1pm-8pm) (Sat 10am-4:30pm) (Sun 12:30pm-4:30pm), local artisans, free music, refreshments, raffle. Latvian Baptist Church, 1142 Apple Rd, Applebachsville, haycockhistoricalsociety.org December 8 Milford Twp Fire Dept. “Pictures w/Santa” 9am-1pm, 2185 Milford Sq. Pike, (also Christmas Eve Santa Run on Dec. 24, details at 215-536-1765 or www.mtfd5775.com) Annual Cookie Walk & Craft Sale at Eastern Upper Bucks Senior Ctr, 9am-3pm, homemade soup for sale, raffle (60+ prizes), 8040 Easton Rd, Ottsville, info: 610-847-8178 Christmas Cookie Sale 9am until sold out, Christ UCC, 101 N. Main St, Trumbauersville, 215-538-0142 Christmas Cookie Sale 9am until sold out, Sine’s 5 & 10, 236 W. Broad St, Qtwn “Santa Express” arrives at Quakertown Train Station 10am. Greet Santa & have your picture taken with Santa from 10am-1pm inside the Station. Children’s Christmas Party 3pm-5pm held annually at Lower Milford Fire Co., 1601 Limeport Pike, Coopersburg. Free to community, puppets & Santa will be there. 610-965-5166 Annual Christmas Bazaar, 9am-5pm, Zion Lutheran, 2966 Old Bethlehem Pike, Zionhill. Crafts, vendors, raffles, baked goods, white elephant table. Food! Vendors? Lisa: 610-282-0460, Charlie:484-695-5504 Dublin Holiday Gathering 5:30pm-9:00pm at Dublin Fire House. Free horse & carriage rides, hot chocolate & cookies, live Nativity, Santa arrives 6:15pm, music, fireworks. Bring toy or non-perishable food item to donate. 215-249-1133 www.DiscoverDublin.org Wincsh Walkers Holiday Cookie Sale 9am to sell out. Lines form early Pennsburg UCC, 775 Main St, Pennsburg. Homemade $7.50/ lb. Benefits American Cancer Society Indoor Craft/Flea Market, 9am-2pm at Tylersport Fire Co., 125 Ridge Rd, (tables $10, call 215-257-5900 x6) Holiday Lights Festival at Fischer’s Park, Towamencin, 5pm-9pm, book a Surrey Ride at www.towamencin.org, fun & food, bring canned goods, winter wear, baby needs for donations
Quakertown Tree 7pm Triangle quakertownalive.com Nov 30 - December 7
QMPO Annual Holiday Craft Show 9am-3pm at Quakertown Freshman Ctr, 9th St, benefits Qtwn HS music program, 215-538-1683 or firstname.lastname@example.org Christmas Tree Lighting, 5pm-8pm downtown Souderton, fun for the family, lots of music, refreshments, etc. 215-725-0818 or www.soudertonborough.org Used Clothing Collection by Scouts 10am-2pm at Zion Mennonite, 149 E. Cherry Lane, Souderton, (all wearable clothing, shoes, handbags, linens, toys), put in tied plastic bags or box 24”x24”x17” only Holiday Breakfast 7:30am-11am at Qtwn HS Cafeteria, Park Ave, crafts, Santa pix, food, music, etc. $5/person St. Agnes Christmas Bazaar 9am-6pm, raffle, theme baskets, candy, crafts & vendors, etc. kitchen open all day, Santa will be there. 445 North Main St, Sellersville, 215-804-5234 December 9 Pet Photos with Santa Paws at Animals in Distress 1pm-3:30pm, no appt needed, welcome to bring props & pose w/your pet, 5075 Limeport Pike, Coopersburg, 610-966-9383 www.animalsindistress-pa.org Buffet Breakfast, 8am-1pm, lots of good food, $7/adults, $4/kids 6-12, under 6 Free, Silverdale Fire Co, 111 West Main St, Silverdale Holiday Festivities for the Family, FREE at Fonthill & Moravian Pottery Tile Works, 12noon-4pm, call 215-348-9461 for details December 10 Christmas Party 7pm at West Rockhill Historical Soc., 1028 Ridge Rd, Sellersville. December 11 Holiday Open House: Santa, Cider & Song at Mercer in Doylestown, 7pm-9pm, FREE, www.mercermuseum.org December 12 Indoor Flea Market 9am-3pm at Upper Bucks Senior Activity Ctr, 2183 Milford Sq. Pike, Milford Square next to firehouse. Refreshments available, $10/table, Mary Beth 215-536-3066 Pennridge C of C Annual Breakfast Meeting/Elections, 7:45am regis/network, 8am buffet, 8:30am elections. Revivals Restaurant, 4 South Ridge Rd, Perkasie. $25/members & associates, email@example.com December 13 Pork & Sauerkraut Dinner 4:30pm-7:00pm (or until sold out), $8/adults, $4.50/kids 6-12, $8.50/take-out, Lower Milford Twp Fire Co., 1601 Limeport Pike December 14 Holiday Dinner Dance at Pennridge Commun. Ctr, buffet begins 6pm, music 7pm-10pm, all are welcome! Details and ticket info at 215-453-7027, firstname.lastname@example.org December 14 & 15 Pictures w/Santa at Trumbauersville Fire Dept, 142 N. Main St, info at 215-538-1880
Pennridge F.I.S.H. Toy Drive, collecting unwrapped new toys & clothing to benefit families in the Pennridge area, 215-257-5390 or www.pennridge.com December 1 “Christmas in Quakertown Concert” 7:30pm (pre-concert at 7pm), First UCC, 4th & Park, Qtwn. Festival Choir, Qtwn Band & many more. Free will offering. Info 215-536-4447 or Carol 215-538-0698 3rd Annual Christmas Craft Show 9am4pm at Quakertown Train Station, 15 Front St. Local artisans, bake & nut sale sponsored by Woman’s Club of Qtwn. 5K Reindeer Run, 8am at Generations of Indian Valley, 259 N. Second St, Souderton, also “Rudolph Relay” & Walk Category. Details & info at 215-723-5841 or email@example.com Christmas at the Y, 10am-1pm, Santa photos $5, Little Shoppers opens 9:30am, balloon animals, etc. 401 Fairview Ave, Qtwn, www.ubymca.org
Fonthill Castle’s 100th Anniv. Tower Tour, 10:30am & 11:45am, call 215-348-9461 for ticket details, Doylestown Meet Santa Claus 1pm-5pm at Saucon Masonic Lodge, 323 Charles St, Coopersburg. Free picture w/Santa for bringing unwrapped toy (Toys-for-Tots) & canned food (Betty Lou’s Pantry), music/refreshments Holiday Bazaar 9am-3pm (r/d Dec 8), Marlborough Elem. Sch, Rt 29, Green Lane. 50+craft tables, pix w/Santa, raffle, bake sale, our café food, etc. 215-541-7299 Souderton Annual Holiday Parade, 11am, www.stmainst.org for info Perkasie Holiday Tree Lighting, call 215-2574989 or www.perkasieoldetowne.org Coopersburg Christmas Tree Lighting w/ Fire Co., 5:30pm-8pm, next to Borough Hall, State & Main Sts. Join us for music, ice carving & food Annual Holiday Bazaar 9:30am-2:30pm at Mountainview Moravian Church, 331 Constitution Ave, Hellertown. Light lunch, crafts, baked goods, 610-838-9380 December 1 & 2 21st Annual Open House Minsi Trail Flower Club, (Sat 9am-3pm) (Sun 12noon3pm), crafts, displays, baked goods, Springfield Historical Church School, 2165 Rt 212, Pleasant Valley December 1 & 2 and 8 & 9 Coopersburg Area Soc. Model Engineers Open House, noon-5pm, Borough Bldg, 15 North Main St. (10-12 H.O. model trains op-
Vera Bradley Bingo (ticket/$20), 3pm-7pm, St. John the Baptist Sch, Rte 412, Ottsville. Also local vendors, refreshments, door prizes. 610-847-5523 Community Christmas Concert w/Souderton Alumni Men’s Chorus, 7pm at Zwingli UCC, 350 Wile Ave., Souderton. Free will offering. Breakfast 8am-12noon at Amer. Legion, 75 N. Main St, Sellersville. $4.50 donation, 215-257-9801 sellersvillelegion.com Indian Valley Holiday House, 12noon-5pm, self-guided tour of 7 local homes of charm. $20 day of tour. Sponsored by Zwingli UCC. Call 215-723-1186 for tickets. December 4 Make Victorian Ornaments Workshop at Mercer Museum, Doylestown, 6:30pm-9pm, details at www.mercermuseum.org Sellersville Winterfest 2012, 6:30pm-9pm along Main St, tree lighting at Firehouse, visit from Santa Claus 7pm, music, trolley rides, crafts & giveaways. Free, accepting donations for Pennridge Food Pantry December 5 29th Annual Festival of Lights, Dedication Ceremony 7pm, holiday music, tree lighting, refreshments, etc. Fundraiser at Grand View Hosp. Main Lobby, Sellersville December 6 “100th Year Celebration of Bucks County SPCA” Holiday Open House, 6pm-8pm, tours, refreshments, pet photos w/Santa, adoptable animals, leave a toy/treats for a shelter pet under our tree, 60 Reservoir Rd,
December 2012 • Upper Bucks Free Press •
December 15 Live Outdoor Nativity Presentation, 5pm & 7:30pm, Trinity Lutheran, 2170 Rte 212, Pleasant Valley, 610-346-7282 www.TrinityPV.org Fonthill Holiday Lights Meander, 6:30pm9:30pm, candlelight tour & holiday refreshments, $20/$15 members, Doylestown, www.mercermuseum.org December 16 Christmas Concert & Hymn Sing, 6:30pm at Ebenezer New Reformed Church, 3221 Bingen Rd, Bethlehem, 215-536-7303 Quakertown Neighborhood Assoc. Monthly Meeting, 7pm at Quakertown Library, www.quakertownna.org December 21 Family Movie Night at Benner Hall, Richlandtown. Door open 6:30pm to make cards for our troops, Free movie & popcorn at 7:15pm after visit from someone in Red! Dinner available! www.bennerhall.com December 24 Milford Twp Fire Co. Christmas Eve Santa Run, Call 215-536-1765 or www.mtfd5775.com for details! December 29 Candlelight Holiday Tours, 6:30pm-9pm, Fonthill Castle, Doylestown, $15/$12 members, www.mercermuseum.org December 31 New Year’s Eve Party at Benner Hall. Live music by “Flirtin With The Mob”, catered buffet by Bon Appetit. $75/couple benefits Playground Fund. Tickets at 215-536-6716, www.bennerhall.org
Wassail is from the Old Norse ‘ves heill,’ which simply means ‘good health.’
Dec 1 to 19 – “Horticulture Holiday Sale” Upper Bucks Tech. School, (wreathes, sprays, etc. grown & created by students), 3115 Ridge Rd, Perkasie. Order by Dec. 10. Items/prices? Call 215-795-2911 x233 Dec 1 to 31 – “Winter Wonderland Holiday Tours” at Fonthill Castle in Doylestown, call 215-348-9461 for details
Ongoing Community Activities and Resources
Gamblers Anonymous meets every Saturday 11am-1pm, St. Luke’s Hosp. Education Ctr, Rm 111, Ostrum St, Bethlehem, 215-872-5635 Overeaters Anonymous meets every Thursday 10am-11am, West Swamp Mennonite Church, 2501 Allentown Rd, Quakertown, No dues, fees, and free babysitting. www.oa.org or Bob 610-762-3779 Alcoholics Anonymous meets every Sunday at 7pm, Grand View Hosp. info at 215-453-4699 Bedminster Nar-Anon Support Group meets every Tuesday 7:30pm at Deep Run West Mennonite Church, 1008 Deep Run Rd, Perkasie. Support for family & friends with loved ones struggling with addiction, firstname.lastname@example.org A Woman’s Place (support for domestic abuse & violence) 24-hour Hotline – 1-800220-8116, www.awomansplace.org Kiwanis meetings 2nd & 4th Wednesdays of each month, 12:30pm at Dominick’s Pizza, Quakertown
Dec 1 to Jan 13 -“Under the Tree: A Century of Holiday Trees & Toys”, Mercer Museum, Doylestown, details at www.mercermuseum.org EVERY weekend in Dec.- Bucks Co. Pronking Pacas 4-H Club fundraiser, Buy alpaca “bird nesting ball” & Christmas cookies at Harley Hill Farm, 451 Kellers Rd, Qtwn Jan 5,6 and 12,13 - Coopersburg Area Soc. Model Engineers Open House, noon-5pm, Borough Bldg, 15 North Main St. (10-12 H.O. model trains operating on multi-deck layout), Adm. by donation, 215-538-0501 www.casme.org First Sunday every month Community Hymn Sing, 6pm, Saucon Mennonite Church, 6639 N. Main St, Coopersburg, All invited, refreshments provided, 610-282-0514 Every 2nd Saturday, Quakertown PetSmart Pet Adoption Day! 11am-3pm email@example.com
Model Trains Provide Traditional Fun for All Ages
One of the most enduring images of the holiday season is a Christmas tree with a model train circling around the base. Model railroading is a family hobby that spans generations. The Coopersburg Area Society of Model Engineers (CASME) invites you to come experience the fun of model trains. Their Open Houses begins this month on the first two weekends of the next two months, December 1 – 2 and 8 – 9 then again January 5 – 6 and 12 -13. The display is open from noon – 5pm each day.
Free Community Meals in Qtwn, 6pm at Richland Friends Quaker Meeting on second, fourth & fifth Weds. every month. Mill Rd & Main St off Route 309. 215-536-0395 Community Meal-every third Thursday of the month, 5:30pm-6:30pm, First UCC, 4th & Park, Qtwn, 215-536-4447
Support Groups & Medical Resources
Miller-Keystone Blood Center Mobile comes to Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church in Quakertown, call 800-223-6667 for days and times. Volunteer Doctors Care at Upper Bucks Clinic offers free primary medical care to adults in Upper Bucks County with no medical insurance and meet income eligibility guidelines. Info: 215-538-4774 Alzheimer’s Assoc. Support Group, 3:30pm-5:00pm, meets 2nd Thursday every month, Phoebe Richland Health Care Ctr, 108 S. Main St, Richlandtown. Free, more info: Social Services 267-371-4517 NOVA (Network Of Victim Assistance) Support Groups, Information, Guidance, Hotline 1-800-675-6900. NOVABucks.org Tourette Syndrome Support Group for adults over 21, 7pm-8:30pm, 2nd Thursday every month, Doylestown Hospital, contact Susan 215-527-7229 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Bingo at Richland Twp Fire & Rescue every Tues. doors open 5:30pm, 64 Shelly Rd, Qtwn. 215-536-7226 Bingo at Great Swamp Fish & Game every Sat. night, open 4pm, games 6:30pm, kitchen open. Free coffee, 2650 Schukraft & Camp Rock Hill Rd, Qtwn, 215-536-8820 Bingo at Plumsteadville Fire Co. every Monday, opens 5:30pm, games 6:30pm (refreshments avail.) 5064 Stump Rd, 215-766-8250 Bingo at Sellersville Fire Co. every Thurs. (except July) opens 5:30pm, 2 N. Main St, 215-257-4028 Bingo at Tylersport Fire Co. every Tues. opens 5pm, games 6:40pm, 125 Ridge Rd, 215-257-5900
Admission is free, but they do ask for a free will donation. David Long, who has been with CASME since 2004 and owns J&D Whistle Stop in Quakertown, says that the group is always expanding its layout. They’ve added a lot of scenery and operating track side signals. The display is located in Coopersburg at 15 North Main Street, the ground floor of the borough building. “Come on out and get some ideas. Start a family tradition of your own,” encourages David.
• Upper Bucks Free Press • December 2012
Where can I get my Free Press?
QUAKERTOWN A-Plus Mini Market Bottom Dollar Foods Beer City Brick’s Sales Classic Temps Chick Fil-A Earl Bowl Lanes First Niagara Bank Frank’s Pizza Giant Food (309/313) The Grundy House Hen & Hog Hampton Inn Holiday Inn Independence Court James Michener Library John’s Plain & Fancy Karlton Cafe Liberty Thrift Store McDonalds Melody Lakes Philly Soft Pretzel Factory Quaker Cleaners Quakertown Family Restaurant QNB Bank Quaker Bakery Quaker Cleaners Redner’s Market Roma Pizza Sal’s Pizza Randa Seven-Eleven Sine’s 5 & 10 SNAP Fitness Spinnerstown Hotel St. Luke’s Hospital Swann’s Pantry Tom’s Help Desk Wawa Upper Bucks Sr. Ctr Upper Bucks SPCA Upper Bucks YMCA Upper Bucks Chamber Yum Yum Donuts TRUMBAUERSVILLE Borough Hall Fino’s La Cantina Spor’s General Store SELLERSVILLE A & N Diner Grandview Hospital Hidden Meadows Roy Ann Diner Suelke’s Roadstand Village Market PERKASIE Dam Good Cafe Emil’s Diner First United Methodist Giant Food Markets Landis Food Markets Mirage Hair Salon Olde Towne Convenience Pennridge Chamber Pierce Library QNB Bank Revivals Restaurant TELFORD Grundy Manor Indian Valley Library Landis Supermarket Lisa’s Pizza SOUDERTON Care & Share Shoppes Generations Main Street Java Mr. B’s QNB Bank Vincent’s Pizza Wawa COOPERSBURG Coopersburg Diner Giant Food Markets The Inside Scoop QNB Bank Turkey Hill Minit Market Weis Markets SILVERDALE Detlan Equipment Green Street Barber Shop HARLEYSVILLE Henning’s Market Landis Supermarket Walmart Wawa Also available at lots of other high traffic locations between here and there. Want to have the Free Press available at your business? Have a suggestion for a place you’d like to pick up your Free Press? E-mail email@example.com
Christmas is the season when you buy this year’s gifts with next year’s money.
The Bucks County Opportunity Council, a local non-profit agency serving low-income families and individuals, is seeking additional volunteers for its free tax-preparation program called Buck$Back. Retired and practicing accountants, college students and individuals with no prior tax-preparation experience who complete our training program are welcome. Training is free and available in person or online. Volunteers are also needed for non-tax assistance roles, such as greeters. Operated in partnership with the Internal Revenue Service, Bucks$Back provides tax
BCOC Seeks Volunteers for Free Tax Filing Program
preparation assistance to low-income residents of Bucks County including e-filing, direct deposit for refunds and convenient preset appointments. Our clients include low-income working individuals, families, the elderly, and those with disabilities. The BCOC program has assisted struggling families and individuals to obtain crucial refunds that can be used for debt reduction, savings, education costs, or reliable transportation. Over the past eight years, Buck$Back volunteers have assisted in preparing more than 6,000 returns for low-income taxpayers,
providing a value of $10.5 million in refunds, credits, rebates and fee savings. For specific information about the program or to volunteer, call Jill at 215-345-8175, ext. 221 or sign up at bcoc.org/volunteer/. Bucks County Opportunity Council, Inc. is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping low-income people in Bucks County achieve and maintain economic self-sufficiency. For more information, contact Jessie Marushak, Director of Development, at (215) 345-8175 ext. 204.
Richlandtown Parks & Rec Board to Host New Year’s Eve Party
Richlandtown will be rocking out on New Year’s Eve once again as the Parks Recreation Department at Benner Hall hosts their annual NYE party. This year’s event is the first to feature live music by the Lehigh Valley’s award nominated ensemble “Flirtin’ with the Mob”. Dinner will be a catered buffet provided by local favorite Bon Appetit Caterers. At $75 a couple, it’s a quality event at an affordable price! Ticket price includes: dinner, dessert, coffee/tea/beer/soda/water, and a champagne toast at midnight. All proceeds benefit the Playground Fund. Please call 215536-6716 to order tickets, visit us online at www.bennerhall.org, or check us out on Facebook by searching for Benner Hall, Richlandtown PA
December 2012 • Upper Bucks Free Press •
Social Security Come 2033, unless Congress acts, the Social Security Trust Fund will be bankrupt; it will be unable to pay scheduled benefits in full on a timely basis. In fact, come 2033, Social Security would only collect enough tax revenue each year to pay about 75% of benefits. Make no mistake about this: The solutions are readily known. A nip here and a tuck here and there could easily solve this problem now. To remain solvent throughout a 75-year projection period, the Social Security trustees recently recommended that lawmakers could: (1) increase the combined payroll tax rate (2) reduce scheduled benefits (3) draw on alternative sources of revenue; or (4) adopt some combination of these approaches. But the longer we wait, the more drastic the problem becomes and the more Draconian the solutions will be. We shouldn’t leave this problem to our children to fix. Medicare Medicare is a problem much larger than Social Security, especially since the solutions to fixing it aren’t nearly as neat. With Social Security there is, for instance, some degree of certainty. We know how much money is coming into the system and how much will be going out and for how many years. In contrast, as the Medicare trustees said in their most recent report, “Projections of Medicare costs are highly uncertain, especially when looking out more than several decades.” One reason for this uncertainty is that scientific advances will make possible new interventions, procedures, and therapies. “Given these uncertainties, future Medicare costs could be substantially larger than shown in the Trustees’ current-law projections,” the trustees wrote. “Growth of this magnitude, if realized, would substantially increase the strain on the nation’s workers, the economy, Medicare beneficiaries, and the federal budget.” But just because Medicare is a big problem doesn’t mean we shouldn’t search for ways to fix it. In fact, the trustees are urging that reforms be considered. The good news is that we already know some of the approaches that seem promising and the ideas worth considering. We know about cutting Medicare costs by reductions in reimbursement rates. Others have proposed reforming Medicare through a premium support model such as offering seniors the opportunity to choose among comprehensive private health plans offered on a regulated exchange. And congressional Republicans have proposed plans where seniors would use federal funds to purchase insurance on the private market—and the Romney-Ryan campaign made a similar proposal. Suffice to say, if we able to find minds bright enough to conceive Medicare in 1965, surely we can find minds bright enough to fix it now. Retirement Security Speaking of the impending disaster, some 53% of Americans are at risk of being unable to maintain their pre-retirement standard of living in retirement, according to a new study by the Center for Retirement Research. Now some of this problem is due to recent economic stresses: the bursting of the housing bubble, falling interest rates and continued low
The Four Retirement Problems our Nation Must Tackle
stock prices, say the authors of the study. But there are other issues, too: Defined benefit plans have become a thing of the past, which means more and more people must now save for retirement on their own through 401(k) plans and the like. Unfortunately, just half of working Americans have access to a 401(k) or similar plan at work. We need to have more people saving for their own retirement using employer- or government-sponsored plans. The auto IRA, which is a plan that would require all medium and large firms to create a payroll deduction option, with worker’s funds to be directly deposited in a low-cost, diversified retirement account, is a step in the right direction. Such a policy would benefit more than 42 million employees whose employers don’t offer retirement savings plans,” according to report from the New America Foundation. The other big problem with retirement in America is that as defined benefit plans go the way of the dodo bird, younger Americans will need to save at least twice as much as they do now to replace the sort of retirement income retirees now enjoy. I don’t foresee Americans doing that, so maybe we need to explore some ways to help them spend less and save more. Caring for a Nation of Elders Helping young people save is one issue, but helping the growing number of older Americans already in retirement is another issue. Consider: Some 78 million baby boomers in the U.S. will turn 65 at the rate of one every eight seconds for the next 16 years. And by 2030, one in five Americans will be over the age of 65. Supporting the unprecedented number of seniors entering this ‘new retirement’ will require more and different services than are available today. What might those be? Research shows that the longer seniors can live independently in their own homes or in senior housing communities, the healthier they are and the lower their health care costs. Expanding community-based supportive services, including home health care and wellness programs, is a major step to supporting seniors in their own homes. What’s more, there is also nowhere near the supply of senior housing across the country to meet the coming demand. Supportive housing is critical to keeping seniors healthy, active and socially engaged. Also, there are only 7,000 geriatricians in the U.S. and we need 26,000 just to meet the current demand for services. The lack of geriatricians in the U.S. is so alarming because those over the age of 65 are often the most challenging medical patients; they can’t be treated with a single intervention or drug, and every intervention carries additional risks. We need geriatricians who specialize in treating this age group and focus on allowing seniors to remain as independent as possible for as long as possible. Until next time…Be well! -Howard
Howard Peck is tHe owner of senior insurance solutions based in Green lane Pa. He’s a Pennsylvania licensed insurance broker wHo since 2005 Has focused His insurance Practice on tHe senior and retiree MarketPlace wHile sPecializinG in Medicare. srinsurancesolutions.coM, 267-923-5281, or HnPeck@coMcast.net
American Legion Post #242 Monthly Notes
We all would like to thank the restaurants in our area as well as businesses that gave special discounts on Veterans Day to our area Veterans. We are thankful to you for remembering our services. We who served our country are also thankful for the opportunity that we had to serve our country to preserve our freedoms and way of life. As our guest speaker mentioned, “Now you young people have to grab the torch we pass to you and you are responsible to continue to preserve and protect America as we did.” Our Post Commander, Isabel Giordano, spoke at the ceremony over at Palisades Middle School explaining the role of “Women in the Service” from colonial times to present. I noticed that the students paid close attention to her presentation. I was surprised to learn that there is a restriction of 18% given to women serving. I also was
surprised to see the smaller attendance of private citizens at the service. Remember, the Veterans served you, and it is important to honor the years of unselfish service they gave to protect you. Some gave their life! By the time you read this we had our youth drawing and Veterans, Thanksgiving Dinner at our Post. We thank all that bought tickets even though our response was somewhat disappointing. We plan to send Christmas Gifts to Southeastern Veterans Center. Les Walters and his wife do a bang up job to provide happiness to those in Veterans Homes. Always remember those far away in harms way during this season. Remember that without them we would not have the freedom to celebrate the various holidays in our country. Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year from the officers, membership, and staff at Wallace Willard Keller Post 242! Yours in Patriotism, Dick Helm
• Upper Bucks Free Press • December 2012
I started when I read an article in the newspaper and learned that October is National Cheese Month. A dairy over in Pipersville had a big festival to celebrate it. There was taste testing of all the different kinds of cheese they make (you’d be surprised, there are must be ten thousand kinds of cheese). When I read about it my mouth actually watered. “A National Cheese Month festival?” I said to myself. “What a great idea!” I’d never suspected there might be a whole month set aside to party about cheese. It makes sense, though. Almost everybody likes some sort of cheese. I thought about heading over to check out the free samples at the dairy, but my wife already had plans for the weekend. We’ll definitely put it on the schedule for next year, though. Then, while I was listening to the radio on the way to work, an ad came on for Joe’s, Happy as a Clam, Oyster Shack down in Lower Bucks somewhere. Joe announced that October is National Seafood Month. “How can that be!?” I cried in bewildered amazement. “It’s already National Cheese Month!” I was bemuddled and perplexed. In my world, October was already ‘National’ World Series Month, and ‘National’ Opening Day of Squirrel Hunting Season Month, and now…National Cheese Month. Then again, I like most seafood as much as I like cheese. So, what the heck? After I calmed down, another festival seemed like a great idea. I doubted if Joe would be giving away free squid or lobster samples, though. I thought about the ‘National Month’ thing for a while and decided to investigate. Celebrating both National Cheese Month and National Seafood Month at the same time sounded a little hokey. I was beginning to suspect somebody was jerking my chain; was just trying to sell me something. I get conned into buying stuff I don’t want or need all the time. I figured I might get my fair share of free samples at the dairy, but I’d probably come home with a pile of expensive cheese, too. You can find out about almost anything on the Internet, so when I got home I looked it up. I was shocked. Not only were the claims true, October really is both National Cheese Month and National Seafood Month, but among other things, October is also: National Apple Month, National Applejack Month, National Caramel Month, National Cookbook Month, National Cookie Month, National Dessert Month, National Pasta Month, National Pizza Month, National Pickled Peppers Month, National Pork Month, National Pretzel Month, and National Popcorn Popping Month.
It’s not Easy being Cheesy
a bunch of things, but almost every day is a National (something) Day, too! October 4 is National Taco Day, October 5-National Apple Betty Day, October 6National Noodle Day, October 9- National Dessert Day (it’s also National Moldy Cheese Day—we cleaned out our refrigerator to celebrate), October 10- National Angel Food Cake Day, October 11- National Sausage Pizza Day, October 13- National Peanut Festival Day, October 13- National Pumpkin Festival Day, October 15- National Mushroom Day, October 17- National Pasta Day, October 18National Chocolate Cupcake Day (my wife’s favorite), October 20- National Brandied Fruit Day, October 22- National Nut Day, October 23- National Boston Cream Pie Day, October 24- National Bologna Day, October 26National Mincemeat Day, October 28- National Chocolate Day (my wife’s second favorite), October 29- National Oatmeal Day, October 30- National Candy Corn Day. Then, for crying out loud, it’s Halloween! That’s just October! Every month on the calendar looks the same. Almost everyday of the year is National (something or other) Day. I asked myself, “Who dreams all this stuff up?” There’s undoubtedly a government agency that oversees the National Day List and has a billion dollar budget to work with. I suspect they all take a holiday go to a festival on October 22nd—National Nut Day. After thinking about too long, I got mad. While I was eating my taco (on the 4th), I realized that I was just frustration over not knowing this stuff before and missing out on all the fun. I decided to try to catch up. Like I said, we ‘honored’ National Dessert Day (quite a few times), and National Moldy Cheese Day. I popped some pop corn and we put pumpkins on the porch. I had a slice of sausage pizza at Dominick’s instead of the usual pepperoni. One day I excelled. I had oatmeal for breakfast, a bologna sandwich and an apple for lunch, then pasta with mushrooms and angle food cake at supper. We almost went to Hershey on the 28th, National Chocolate Day, but it was too close to Halloween. We bought a couple of big bags of Fun Size candy bars and pigged out, instead. I’m sorry I missed the cheese tasting festival, but I got a burger with a slice of white American at Sine’s 5 & 10 lunch counter that Saturday. I didn’t go to the Happy Clam Oyster Shack, but I had the seafood platter special at John’s Plain and Fancy when we went out for National Boston Cream Pie day. Next year, the dairy is in…maybe. After all it is squirrel season. If I do have to cut the cheese again, November is almost as good. It’s National Fun with Fondue Month! I can think of a few exciting things to do with fondue—if it’s not too hot. Read more by Jack H. Schick at: www.jack-h-schick.wrytestuff.com
I had trouble digesting it all. Then I thought: if they have a festival for all of them it could be a great, if busy month. There was bound to be free samples at a lot of them. I ‘clicked’ on another link (I was actually trying to find out where all the local festivals were), and discovered that I’d only scratched the surface. Not only is October the National Month for
Giving So Others Can Have Panera Bread to Replace a Merry Holiday Closed Sonic Restaurant
John Kunes, volunteer coordinator, affirms that there are many cheerful moments while “shoppers” chooses presents for their loved ones.”People are so happy to be able to give presents to their families,” he said. Last year, Gift Day allowed 35 people to find gifts for their children and loved ones and this year promises to show an increase in the amount of people participating. Kunes said that the pantry has added over 100 new clients needing food assistance this year. If you’d like to help, donations can be brought to the food pantry at 2155 Milford Square Pike before December 12. If you’d like to send a gift card, the address is PO Box 208 Milford Square Pike, Milford Square, PA 18935.
James C. Ott, former administrator of Quakertown Community Hospital, passed away at his home in Hayesville, North Carolina on October 23rd. Mr. Ott directed major improvements at the hospital.during his tenure through the mid 1970s. He is survived by his wife of 27 years Bertie Cox Ott and two sons Daniel of Fernandina Beach Florida and James of Los Angeles, one step daughter, and four step grandchildren. NiCk e. Umberger, 23, of Quakertown died October 28. Born in Sellersville, he was the son of Nina (Parzych) Wolfinger of Quakertown and Eric Umberger of Coopersburg. He was a 2007 Quakertown High School graduate and member of the football team. He was a member of St. Isidore’s Catholic Church. In addition to his parents, Nick is survived by his stepfather, Jeff Wolfinger, and stepmother, Kelly Umberger. Also, two brothers, Brett Wolfinger at home and Carson Umberger of Boyertown; maternal grandmother, Grace Parzych of Trumbauersville and paternal grandmother, Beverly Umberger of Coopersburg; paternal step-grandparents, Richard and Shirley Wolfinger of Quakertown; several aunts, uncles, and cousins. FraNCes r. myers, 97, of Allentown, formerly of Quakertown, died October 31 in Country Meadows, Allentown. She was the wife of the late Reuben R. Myers. She was a 1933 graduate of Quakertown Community High School and a member of Trinity Lutheran Church, Quakertown. Frances is survived by her children: Robert, and his wife, Sandy, of Quakertown; Sarah Jane Ratzell and her husband, Lynn, of Nazareth; and Richard and his wife, Donna, of Graham, Washington. Also, seven grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren. Charles a. FOrd, 69, of Quakertown, died November 4 in St. Luke’s Hospital, Quakertown. Born in Philadelphia, he was the son of the late Alfred and Gladys (Fairbrothers) Ford. He was a former member of the Quakertown Fire Company. Charles is survived by two sisters, Muriel Casias and Carol (Robert) Homick; two nephews, Cory Homick and William Wilburn. gerhart e. arNdt, III, 52, of Milford Square, died November 5 in St. Luke’s Hospital, Quakertown. He was the husband of Kathi E. (Parcheski) Arndt. They were married 12 years last January. Born in Abington, he was the son of Gerhart E.,Jr., and Patricia E. (Hildreth) Arndt. He was employed in customer service at both Quakertown Wawa and Frederick’s Meats in Q-mart. In addition to his wife and parents, he is survived by his son, Gerhart E. Arndt, IV, his daughter, Katie Harbison, his step-daughter, Jamie Harbison, and his sister, Patricia “Liz” Arndt, a grandson due in January, and his loving extended family. PaUl e. martiN Jr., 69, of Richlandtown, died Monday November 5, 2012 in his home. He was the husband of Kathy M. (Tress) Martin with whom
he celebrated 44 years of marriage. Born in Quakertown, he was the son of Miriam (Mann) Martin and the late Paul E. Martin, Sr. Paul was a 1961 Graduate of Quakertown High School. He was a member of Grace Bible Fellowship Church, Quakertown. Surviving with his wife are: Son, Ray Gesualdo and his wife Samantha of Dacula, GA, Brother, Dale Martin, wife Sheila of Birdsboro, PA, Sister Nancy Kerver, husband Edward of Pennsburg, PA, grandchildren Emilie, Sarah, Ray, Nathaniel. heleN m. Crist, 68, of Coopersburg, died Friday, November 9 in the St. Luke’s Hospice House. Born in Bucks County, she was the daughter of the late Clifford and Margaret (Ernst) Crist. She is survived by two sisters, Barbara Heaps of Allentown and Mary Weaver of Quakertown, her brother Clifford Crist of Macungie, and four nephews. regiNa ZaveCZ, 90, of Quakertown, died November 13 in the home of her son Terrence. She was the wife of the late Edward Zavecz. Born in Philadelphia, she was the daughter of the late Waclaw & Victoria (Hucko) Janiszeski. She was a member of the Quakertown Historical Society Quiltmakers and St. Isidore’s Church. Regina is survived by her son Terrence E. and his wife Donna, of Alburtis, and four grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren. She was predeceased by her brother Walter and three sisters, Mary Dotschkal, Helen Skedoski, and Florence Tarantino. CatheriNe C. WyNN, 81, of Richlandtown, died November 15 in Phoebe Health Care Center, Richlandtown. She was the wife of the late William W. Wynn. Born in Philadelphia, she was the daughter of the late William and Catherine(Kenny) Murray. Catherine is survived by two sons, Mark of New Jersey and Patrick of Massachusetts, and her daughter, M. Karen, also her sister, Jane Bozzi of Philadelphia, and four grandchildren. CatheriNe O. headmaN, 100, of Quakertown, died November 15. She was the wife of the late Charles L. Headman. Catherine is survived by two daughters, Janice Grim and her husband, Larry of Quakertown, and Joan Headman Miller and her husband, Robert of Sunnyvale, CA; also four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. mariON l. mOOre, 85, of Perkasie, formerly of Quakertown, died on November 17 at Grandview Hospital. She was the longtime companion of the late Franklin Sell. She was a member of Jerusalem Lutheran Church. There are no immediate survivors.
Giving and receiving gifts is a big part of the holiday season. Unfortunately, not everyone has the financial capability to give gifts to their loved ones. Each year the Bucks County Housing Group (BCHG) offers its Milford Square food pantry clients the opportunity to choose gifts for their families at their Community Gift Day event. To have a successful event, BCHG requests your help. They have an increased need this year for new, unwrapped donations and gift cards. Donations can be toys, clothing (for adults and children), household items, or electronics. Gift cards are also very welcome. The Community Gift Day provides a holiday to people who need a helping hand.
Missouri-based bakery & cafe chain, Panera Bread, and the owners of Quakertown Plaza have confirmed that they have an agreement whereby Panera will open a new restaurant at the shopping center on Route 309. The two year old Sonic Drive-in restaurant, now defunct, is expected to be razed and replaced with a free-standing Panera Bread restaurant by late Summer next year. Construction may begin as early as April and the restaurant could be open by August or early September according to Panera’s regional marketing director Theresa Clark.
Representatives for both parties presented plans to Quakertown’s borough council on November 26th. Plans will also be presented to the Quakertown Area Planning Committee as well as to the Bucks County Planning Commission. Approval is not anticipated to be an issue. The site was home to Sherman Brothers Shoes for many years before that business moved to their current store in Montgomeryville. Prior to that, it was the location of the long defunct Rustler Steakhouse, which like Sonic, was abruptly shuttered without warning.
December 2012 • Upper Bucks Free Press •
If you’re in your sixties, you probably know that the age to receive full retirement benefits has changed. But it’s important to remember that the age to begin receiving Medicare has not — it is still 65. Even if you have decided to wait until after you are age 65 to apply for retirement benefits, most people should start getting Medicare coverage at age 65. If you would like to begin your Medicare coverage when you first become eligible, we suggest that you apply within three months of reaching age 65. You can do it online in as little as 10 minutes at www.socialsecurity.gov/ medicareonly. At the website, you’ll find more than just the online Medicare application. You’ll also find information about Medicare, and have the opportunity to watch some short videos about applying for Medicare online. One is a family reunion for the cast of The Patty Duke Show. In another, Patty Duke and George Takei go boldly where you should be going — online. Why go online to apply for Medicare? Because it’s fast, easy, and secure. You don’t need an appointment and you can avoid waiting in traffic or in line. As long as you have ten minutes to spare, you have time to complete and submit your online Medicare application. People who started receiving Social Security retirement or disability benefits before age 65 do not need to apply; they will be automatically enrolled in Medicare. There is no additional charge for Medicare hospital insurance (Part A) since you already paid for it by working and paying Medicare tax. However, there is a monthly premium for medical insurance (Part B). If you already have other health insurance when you become eligible for Medicare, you should consider whether you want to apply for the medical insurance. To learn more about Medicare and some options for choosing coverage, read the online publication, Medicare, at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/10043.html or visit www.Medicare.gov. To learn more about applying for Medicare Only using the online application, please visit www.socialsecurity.gov/medicareonly.
The “Medicare Age” is Still 65
Social Security Q&A
Question: I applied for a replacement Social Security card last week but have not received it. When should I expect to receive my new card? answer: On average, it takes approximately 10 to 14 days to receive your replacement Social Security card. However, if we need to verify documents you present as proof of identity, it could take longer. For more information about your Social Security card and number, visit www.socialsecurity.gov/ssnumber.
Question: I’m reaching my full retirement age and thinking about retiring in early 2013. When is the best time of year to apply for Social Security benefits? answer: If you are planning to retire in early 2013, you can apply now. You can apply as early as four months prior to when you want your monthly benefits to begin. To apply, just go to www.socialsecurity.gov/applytoretire. Applying online for retirement benefits from the convenience of your home or office is secure and can take as little as 15 minutes. It’s so easy! Question: I am 57 years old and I currently receive Social Security disability benefits. Can I still get my regular Social Security retirement benefits when I reach full retirement age? answer: If you are still receiving Social Security disability benefits when you reach your full retirement age, we will automatically switch you from disability benefits to retirement benefits at that point. The money amount will remain the same. For more information, visit our website on disability benefits at www.socialsecurity.gov/disability. Question: I’m 38 years old and have been approved to receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability benefits. I was surprised to learn that my payment will be reduced because I live with my mom. Why’s that? answer: SSI is a needs-based program, so any other income you receive — including non-monetary income such as help with your bills or other expenses — can have an effect on your benefit payment. Your SSI payments may be reduced if you are receiving food, shelter, or monetary assistance. If you move, or if the situation in your mom’s household changes, be sure to contact Social Security. For more information, visit www.socialsecurity.gov/ssi. Question: I am trying to save up for a truck. I have $1,200 in the bank now and need a little more. How much cash can I have in the bank without affecting my Supplemental Security Income (SSI) eligibility? answer: The resource limit is $2,000. Unless you have other valuable resources, this means you could save up to $2,000 before you would become ineligible for SSI. We generally do not count your primary car, the home you live in or certain amounts set aside for burial expenses as resources. In some cases, if the vehicle you’re saving for is part of a plan to return to work, you can have higher resources — but Social Security would need to approve your plan in order to exclude those resources. For more information, you can visit our webpage about SSI at www.socialsecurity.gov/ssi. tom reiley is the social security district manager in the allentown, pa office and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
QCSD Receives Support, Guidance in Project RED
Project RED, of Mason, Michigan, named the Quakertown Community School District one of just 20 districts to participate in a cohort to collaborate and learn from each other about technology issues. As the leader in 1:1 technology implementation research, Project Red is committed to bringing its research practices to action. The company will support the districts as they implement education technology in the 1:1, student-to-laptop initiative. QCSD is now in its third year of the program. Students in the Freshman Center, 10th and 11th grades carry laptops with them to every class, all day long. They can take their laptops home, to continue their anywhere, anytime learning. During the 2012-2013 school year, Project RED will offer the signature districts customized guidance and collaboration opportunities to learn from each other. Project RED will review QCSD’s implementation plan and help the districts to align their plans to the researchbased strategies of the Project RED Design, a blueprint for implementing technology-based school reform. Districts will then publish findings to the signature district community for a three-year period and will become best-practice models for other districts. “It’s a big deal,” said Tom Murray, QCSD Technology and Cyber Program Director. Leslie Wilson, a Project Team member, said, “Quakertown Community School District has made a definitive commitment to improve student learning and provide personalized instruction through a meaningful integration of technology, ongoing professional development and administrator support. We were impressed with their initial plans and look forward to helping them use outcomes of our research to move their initiatives to the next level.” Tom Greaves, a member of the Project RED Team, said, “We know that districts are challenged by large-scale project planning. We will provide the entire community with both tools and a timeline for implementation. The signature districts will get extra help through our mentoring process.” Southern Lehigh and Salisbury Township schools, in Lehigh County, are the only other Pennsylvania districts selected to the cohort. The others are from South Carolina, Arizona, Missouri, Washington, Nevada, New Jersey, Iowa, California, Alabama, and Michigan.
“A Ragamuffin Christmas” Offers Perspective and Inspiration for the Holidays
In 2008, when the mortgage industry collapsed, Craig Daliessio lost his career and his livelihood, becoming homeless. During that time, he began writing a series of Advent stories for his 10-year-old daughter, wishing to capture the joy of Christmas and attempting to look past the dark times in which they were living. Daliessio’s collection of short stories, “A Ragamuffin Christmas: An Advent Journey,” provided him with hope and helped him to overcome his struggles. Written to touch the hearts of families and adults alike,“A Ragamuffin Christmas: An Advent Journey” relives the Christmas story in a new way, providing a fresh perspective on the timeless tale. This book answers questions, such as “Why did Jesus come to the Earth as a newborn baby?” and “Why did the King of Kings live a life of poverty instead of a life of royalty and riches?” “A Ragamuffin Christmas: An Advent Journey” highlights the lives of 24 unique characters and their holiday stories. Daliessio depicts individuals with varied backgrounds and problems, with each one laying their worries, fears, and troubles at Jesus’ feet during the celebration of His birth. From a Roman soldier to a murderer, a broken-hearted mother to a patriarch, each one experiences a life-changing moment of redemption through Christ. Craig Daliessio is a native of Philadelphia Pennsylvania, and now resides in Franklin, Tenn. He is an author, speaker, and father, and he discovered his love for literature and writing at a young age. He is a masterful storyteller and communicator who draws from the expertise of his favorite authors. Daliessio has a passion for the truth of Jesus and sharing God’s work through his life. He is a Liberty University graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in religion, having completed his degree while homeless and living in his car.
Synergy Project Receives Life Support
Shane Burroughs of the Synergy Project receives a $10,000 check to cover emergency funding from Ron Bernstein of Foundations Community Partnership. Bucks County Commissioners also recently approved $60,000 in stopgap funding for the Synergy Project. The organization works with homeless and runaway youth ages 18 – 21, providing them services, including food and sundries. Shane, Synergy’s outreach coordinator, said that the group still needs about $25,000 to operate at their previous level. For more information, or to make a donation, please visit www.valleyyouthhouse.org or find the Synergy Project on Facebook. submitted photo
• Upper Bucks Free Press • December 2012
When I entered private practice twenty six years ago fresh out of the University of Virginia, the cost of hearing aids were extremely expensive. In 1987, a behind-the-ear or full shell in-the-ear analog hearing aid cost $695! To purchase an in-the-canal device was $975. How could anyone afford them? It seemed like an insurmountable mountain of money to gather so you could hear better. Those prices were for each hearing aid. Analog hearing aids have come and gone. Programmable devices, too. Since 1998, digital (computerized) hearing aids have arrived on the scene. In fourteen years, research & development, consumer preference, and demand by more wearers have pushed the technological advancements into the 15th generation. Prices, initially, were high and have decreased because more people are acquiring hearing aids. However, the approximate price range of digital hearing aids from entry level to premium level is $1600 to $2800 each. This quite a jump from 1987, but we are looking at something completely different from the old amplifier type. With these prices, another hurdle has been placed in the path of the prospective wearer. How do they afford them? Some write a check. Others use a credit card. Still others tap a home equity line of credit with interest being deductible on the annual tax return. A line of credit with a specialized medical care financial services company is available. This last avenue not only will cover hearing aids, but also cosmetic surgery and vet bills for your family pet. I am not kidding. Beyond those alternatives, there is not much else available for a patient to utilize in paying for new hearing aids. There is one idea. It is called The Gift of Hearing. It is not a gimmick or finance
Your Special Christmas Gift
agency charging 36% annual interest. The Gift of Hearing is you, your family, and your friends. An older person such as a mom, dad, aunt, uncle, or grandparent may not have the funds available to buy hearing aids. They suffer from poor receptive communication (understanding others), requiring the television volume control placed at a higher than normal level, asking for repetition, shying away from conversation and social activities, and being affected by miscommunication that leads to strife in personal relationships. The Gift of Hearing can be provided by one or more persons joining together, pooling financial resources, and pitching in as a team to pay for the required equipment. This Gift of Hearing will last eight to ten years maximum and give thousands of hours of joy and happiness to the wearer. All because they can now hear and join in all the fun and activities that were out of the question before because of poor hearing. The Gift of Hearing. Think about it. Think about giving someone the Gift of Hearing during the Christmas Season, birthday, anniversary, or anytime during the year. If you or someone you know has difficulty hearing, get it checked. The road to better hearing with an audiologist is only a phone call away. mr. murphy knows first hand about hearing loss.
has had a bilaeral mild-to-moderate sensorineural hearing loss all of his life and is a binaural in-the-canal hearing aid user. been in practice in
The inaugural meeting of the Richlandtown Historical Society was held on November 11, coinciding with the 122 year anniversary of the borough’s incorporation. The following are charter members of the newly formed historical society: Bob Shinn, elected president; Mary Herbst, elected recording secretary; Trudy Shinn; Joan Bless, Lynette Lampman; Jason Steinbecker; Ethel Reichenbach; Larry Benner; Cindy Youst; Bud Osthaus; Mayor Carl Raub, Cindy Raub, Karen Fides;
New Historical Society in Richlandtown Holds First Meeting
Denise Kandel, Dani McClanahan; Bobi McClanahan; Rea Benner; and Stanley Benner. Their first guest speaker was Vic Stevens, president of the Richland Historical Society, who discussed the one-room schoolhouses used in the area, prior the institution of the Quakertown Community School District. Also in attendance were the Haycock Historical Society and the Richland Library Company.
article and photo submitted by bob shinn
mr. murphy has pennsylvania since receiving his master of education in audiology from the university of virginia in the spring of 1987. mr. murphy is affiliated with a number of hearing
related nationaland international organizations and can be reached at email@example.com and by phone at
December 2012 • Upper Bucks Free Press •
Local Boy Exemplifies Concept of Giving
Inspired by the hunger and desperate need he saw while visiting a friend in New York, Michael Terra, 12, started C the Difference: MichaelCares to raise funding to give to the local food pantry. For Terra, an aspiring actor, computer guru and self-described football fan, seeing the need was “life changing.” Since its inception, the goal has been to raise at least $100 each month. He, along with his mother, grocery shops each month and makes sure that the food gets to the pantry. Terra has set up a website for donations which further details his goals: WWW.miChaelterraCares.COm. In an effort to recognize Terra’s efforts, his
older sister Lindsay explained how Michael’s project “took a slight turn this month. With the effects of Hurricane Sandy surrounding us, he felt many people would be in need of food and water. With his October donations, he purchased food and water to help locals that have been affected by the hurricane.” Michael’s mother, Brenda Terra said of Lindsay’s want to recognize her brother, “what surprises her (all of us actually!) the most about Michael’s endeavor is that he took $150 of his own money to purchase bracelets that he gives out to everyone that donates!” Upper Bucks Free Press is pleased to recognize the efforts of Michael Terra to help make our hometown a better place in which to live.
Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation has awarded a $10,000 grant to Upper Bucks County Technical School for a front entrance sign replacement project. The replacement project will add more visable entrance signs. The project is a joint effort among UBCTS students, Lowes and an area sign company. The Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation provided thirty two grants to Career and Technical schools across the nation. The Upper Bucks County Technical School is one of two Pennsylvania
Upper Bucks County Tech School Receives Lowe’s Grant
Technical Schools to receive the grant. “The grant in Perkasie represents Lowe’s commitment to career and technical education,” said Marshall Croom, chairman of Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation. “By supporting schools like Upper Bucks County Technical School, we believe we are contributing to a cause that’s important to our customers and employees by helping provide improved learning environments and build stronger communities.”
(left to right) UBCTS SkillsUSA officers; Mr. Chuck Beecher, Lowes Commercial Sales Specialist; Mr. Joseph Dixon, Lowes Store Manager; UBCTS student sign participants from Construction Technology, Electrical Technology, Carpentry, and Horticulture curriculums. submitted photo
Quakertown Alive! hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony November 29 to celebrate the completion of the conversion of a vacant property on Front Street from an industrial building to 6 new loft-style apartments. The project was done by the partners of Bucks Preservationists LP. This project is noteworthy in that it was redeveloped within the guidelines of the National Trust for historic preservation. The Bucks Preservationists are excited about the completion of a project that they have been working on in Quakertown. This project is the first to convert a vacant factory building into residential apartments as part of a redevelopment effort in Quakertown. Even though this is a small project, it is the first of its type to occur in Upper Bucks County. This project received financial assistance and support from all levels of government including federal, state, county, and local. Over the past several years, the partners have redeveloped a number of buildings in Quakertown. In 2009, Bucks Preservationists LP reactivated an application by Quakertown Borough to the National Park Service by providing the funding to complete the nomination of 1,600 properties in the core of Quakertown to the National Registry. With the assistance of
Factory Conversion to Living Space Marks Landmark Event for Quakertown
Historical Consultant, Kathy Auerback, they were able to complete that application and receive approval from the National Park Service in 2011 preserving the historical character of Quakertown. With that nomination completed, they were able to begin renovation of the industrial building and apply to the federal government for a National Historical Credit. This is the first building in Quakertown after the nomination was approved to receive that certification. As such, the funding created by the National Historic Credit was central to the completion of this project. In addition to receiving the Federal Historic Credit, the county and local governments, in an effort to revitalize the community, approved a Local Economic Revitalization Tax Assistance (LERTA) tax credit to reduce property taxes in the borough of Quakertown for renovations on commercial properties. The renovation of Bucks Preservationists’ project at 114 Front Street in Quakertown is the first project to take advantage of the LERTA credit. Without the assistance of federal, state, county, and local governments the completion of this project would not have been possible. subMitted by quakertown alive! staff
The structure was built in 1893 as a cigar factory and used for that purpose until the 1920’s. The building has recently been listed on the National Historic Register and in accordance with the guidelines of the National Historic Trust, all exterior improvements reflect the building architecture of that period. submitted photo
• Upper Bucks Free Press • December 2012
Mothers, Sons Mix it Up at St. Isidore School
Shop with a Cop is a national program pairing police officers with children to afford them a better Christmas. For police officers this allows children to view officers in a different light but builds relationships in a fun light. This program is geared to Quakertown School District children typically from the ages of 6 years to 12 years of age. Children that participate are recruited from the School District where they are faced with life challenges such as a parent losing a job, deployment, economic shortcomings, and other hardships. The program is funded through generous donations in our community from private sponsors to our local businesses. Volunteers are recruited from the community to help with gift wrapping, hosting, and registration. Each child is allotted a $100.00 gift card to purchase gifts for themselves and families for the holiday. Police officers volunteer their own time to support the program.
Quakertown, Richland Police to Hold Second Annual “Shop with a Cop” Event
Last December 2011 was the first “Shop with a Cop” program started by Officer Robert Lee –Quakertown Borough and Officer Ryan Naugle – Richland Township Police Departments. The children were recruited by Quakertown School District allowing 14 children to benefit from this program. In 2012, the program grew to 19 children. A special thanks to Walmart for hosting the program and providing supplies and snacks to everyone, and to many local business for their financial support.
Boys and their mothers from St. Isidore School in Quakertown recently attended a Mother-Son Mixer at the school. They enjoyed different activities and crafts and everyone had a good time together.
photo by donna devlin
On Friday, November 30th, Penn Foundation began the process of moving into its new Dr. Norman L. and Esther B. Loux Healthcare Center. Over the next two weeks, more than half of the agency’s 370 employees will change offices. Construction on the new 36,000 square foot facility began in August 2011. The Loux Healthcare Center was designed to enhance the warm, welcoming, home-like feel Penn Foundation strives to provide for its consumers. “The spacious and light-filled environment will make the Loux Center very welcoming and provide a comfortable experience for our clients,” describes Marianne Gilson, Executive Director of Quality and Operations. Key features include private waiting rooms, expanded community space, a private chapel for prayer and reflection, and an onsite, full-service pharmacy offering a convenient way for clients to fill prescriptions for themselves and their family members. “Our vision was to create flexible workspaces, improve efficiency, protect the privacy of our clients, and enhance integra-
Penn Foundation Begins Move into New Loux Healthcare Center
tion and communication among teams and departments. We also carefully considered current trends and how they will impact the way we provide care in the future. The interior layout of the Loux Center was designed to reflect these priorities,” adds Gilson. Founded in 1955 and located on a 30-acre campus in Sellersville, Pennsylvania, Penn Foundation is a not-for-profit organization providing innovative services to address the mental health, substance use, and intellectual disability needs of individuals in our community. The agency serves over 10,000 children, adolescents, and adults each year, offering a wide-range of distinct programs designed to meet various types and levels of mental, emotional, behavioral, and spiritual healthcare needs. Penn Foundation’s tradition of compassionate care combined with a strong belief in the healing power of hope and the possibility of recovery enables it to help individuals navigate their lives with confidence, conviction, and courage. To learn more, visit www.PennFoundation.org.
Appraiser Ellen Schroy inspects a vase at the recent What’s It Worth? event hosted by the Richland Library Company. Ellen is showing Polly Martin how to date the piece. The vase, which is cranberry glass with a silver overlay can be dated to 1844. photo by michele buono
December 2012 • Upper Bucks Free Press •
Joseph Koch, a senior from Pennridge High School, has been named Student of the Month for October at the Upper Bucks County Technical School (UBCTS). Joseph has been enrolled in the Diesel Technology program for three years. Joseph has been named to the Distinguished Honor Roll at Pennridge High School and also earned First Honors at UBCTS. In addition, he was awarded Outstanding Level I and Level II student in the UBCTS Diesel Technology program. Joseph is employed by Blooming Glen
UBCTS Names Koch Student of the Month
Contractors as a diesel mechanic and has received his state inspection license for passenger and heavy trucks. He also has completed a safety and pollution certification in the following areas: mechanical safety, mechanical pollution prevention, heavy duty safety and heavy duty pollution prevention. He has earned the rank of Eagle Scout and is a member of the Pennridge High School Wrestling team. Upon graduation, Joseph plans to attend college and continue to major in Diesel Technology.
On Friday, November 9, QNB employees paid $5 to wear their Jeans to work. The 180 employees collected a total of $1,000 for the American Red Cross Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund.
QNB Employees Raise $1000 for Hurricane Relief
Three Quakertown Students Commended by National Merit Scholar Organization
Three Quakertown Community High School seniors have been recognized by the National Merit Scholar organization as Commended Students for performances on the PSAT they took in their junior year. Mara Imms-Donnelly, Heidi Kern, and Derek Maseloff received certificates from QCHS Principal Rod Stone and guidance counselors Patty Sabol and Erica Henry. Mr. Stone explained that the three students scored in the top 5% of the 1.5 million students across the country who took the test. The trio joined 34,000 other students in the category. While they do not qualify for scholarship rewards, the Commended Student designation will put them in good stead for acceptance at most top colleges. A month ago, QCHS senior Matt Basile was named a National Merit Scholar semifinalist. “You all serve as great role models for our other students,” Mr. Stone told them. “Your results will encourage more students to make concerted efforts in taking the PSAT and SAT.” A common love of foreign language links Heidi, Mara and Derek. Heidi wants to major in Spanish and study abroad. She’s not sure where she wants to go to college but is applying to small schools such as Swarthmore. Mara wants to double major in Spanish and math and study abroad. She is considering several majors, including architecture. Derek applied to Cornell University’s CAPS program, which will allow him to return to China, where he went to meet his Quakertown Community School District Cyber Program Mandarin Chinese teacher. He wants to study economics, politics and foreign relations.
Pictured with check are Brian K. Schaffer, QNB Vice President of Marketing and Dale A. Wentz, QNB Senior Vice President, Retail Banking submitted photo
(left to right) Derek Maseloff, Heidi Kern, and Mara Imms-Donnelly
• Upper Bucks Free Press • December 2012
Holiday Fruits in Home Decor
Along with festive sights, a major part of the holidays is aromatic smells. From evergreens to the holiday meal, the holidays offer a feast for the eyes and for the nose. Some of the most popular scents derive from holiday decorations like fruit wreaths, citrus pomanders, and evergreen garlands. The models for these luscious holiday elements all have roots in art history. Renaissance Wreaths The works of art by the Renaissance artisan and master, Luca della Robbia served as the impetus for today’s version of the holiday fruit wreath. Aptly called the della Robbia wreath, fruit wreaths decorate homes and hearths all over the world. Della Robbia’s 15th Century architectural medallions were often highlighted with fruit wreaths and decorative garlands of green and red apples, berries, pineapples, lemons, limes, and oranges. Based on these Renaissance decorations, the della Robbia style wreath was reintroduced during the late 1800s in a time period known as the Renaissance Revival. Traditionally, fruit wreaths were lovingly hung on the exterior doors of homes at holiday time. Fruit wreaths gave the winter greenery a bright, colorful contrast. Fruits often appear in the paintings, prints, architectural, and furniture designs of the 18th and 19th centuries based on Renaissance iconography. The type of fruit chosen for such living wreaths was symbolic. For instance, ornamental apples symbolized the family and this fruit played a major role in holiday decorations. Apple ring wreaths were associated, at Christmas time, with the Holy Family and the Nativity. Other related wreaths featured fruits such as lemons, pineapples, and oranges. Wreaths made of whole lemons symbolized friendship and were typically hung on doors at the back of homes (where close friends enter), rather than on front doors. For the holidays, fruit-inspired decorations remind us of the bountiful harvest and the joy of sharing with family and friends. Also, pineapples were symbolic fruits associated with the holiday season. The pineapple represented the tradition of hospitality at holiday time and all year long. The hospitable pineapple form was typically carved into Chippendale and Federal furniture including bedposts, mantles, dining room sideboards, etc. Today, pineapples are the fruit of choice for home décor items ranging from silver candelabras to front porch welcome mats. Fancy Fruit Like fruit wreaths, fruit pyramids and aromatic pomanders dating back to the Colonial period were among the delights
Give a Christmas to a Child in Need
The Angel Tree is up again this year in the lobby at Belle Haven Nursing Home on Main Street in Quakertown. Approximately 50 ornaments are on the tree waiting for “angels” to come make a child’s Christmas wishes come true. Linda Lokay, activities director at Belle Haven said that children’s name and wishes were submitted to them from the Children’s
Developmental Program in Quakertown, Open Line of Pennsburg, and the Upper Bucks Senior Center. These are children that may not have much of a holiday without the generosity of others. The public is welcome to come choose an angel from the tree, purchased the wished-for gifts, and return them to Belle Haven by December 14 for distribution. Residents of Belle Haven decorated the ornaments and the tree.
A traditional della Robbia style fruit wreath featuring symbolic holiday fruits. photo courtesy of staff of www.drloriv.com
Angels are standing by... (left to right) Elizabeth Nolan, Ginny Wishcheusun, Ruth Roberts, and Louella Minninger show off this year’s Angel Tree. photo by michele buono
A&T Chevrolet-Subaru and Auto Dealers CARing for Kids Foundation are Driving Away the Cold by providing new winter coats to the Bucks County Opportunity Council for local children in need.
of a holiday home. Scents of fresh fruit and spices lingered from the tabletop fruit pyramids suggesting architectural examples in miniature. In the 19th Century, sweet smelling fruit pomanders had yet to be relegated to the hall closet, but instead they were prominently hung front and center in a Victorian home’s entry foyer. Enhanced with whole cloves, orange, lime, or lemon pomanders were suspended over doorways and in stairwells to give busy areas of a home a lovely scent. Made by pushing cloves into whole oranges or other citrus fruits, a pomander was a welcomed and popular hostess gift. They were used in the 1700s and 1800s to ward off foul odors that were thought to bring illness into a home in wintertime. In colonial America, fruit wreaths, pyramids, and pomanders were popular in holiday homes. These antique holiday handicrafts not only smelled delightful with the scents of apple, clove, and citrus, but they were pretty, natural additions to the interior decor. The pleasing aroma of the fruit decoration allowed the pomander to maintain a prominent place among holiday decorations. Happy Holidays! Ph.D. antiques aPPraiser, author, anD awarD-winning tv Personality, Dr. lori Presents antique aPPraisal events nationwiDe. Dr. lori is the exPert aPPraiser on Discovery channel’s auction kings airs thursDays at 9 PM. visit www.Drloriv. coM, www.Facebook.coM/Doctorlori or call (888) 431-1010.
(left to right) Stacy Kaiser, Bucks County Opportunity Council supervisor of self-sufficiency services; Erin Lukoss, BCOC director of self-sufficiency services; Chris Burcik, A&T Chevrolet general manager. submitted photo
December 2012 • Upper Bucks Free Press •
Alpacas Leave Lasting Impressions on Community
It is a busy time of year for the alpacas at Harley Hill Farm near Quakertown! “Christmas at the Alpaca Farm” is open to the public every Saturday and Sunday in December until Christmas. There you will find four varieties of trees, over 35 alpacas to visit, a decorate-your-own-wreath station, and lots of unique gifts, all made from alpaca fleece. You can enjoy a complimentary cup of hot cocoa and warm up in front of the fireplace. When Bill and Lori Oraschin purchased their first three alpacas in 2006, they had no idea of the opportunity that awaited them to have their farm and alpacas make such a positive impact on the community. Bill and Lori’s real love is sharing their alpacas. Here are some of the community outreach and events with which they have become involved: bUCks COUNty 4-h PrONkiNg PaCas ClUb Harley Hill Farm has sponsored the very first Llama/Alpaca Club in Bucks County PA. There are over 20 club members. Most of these children do not live on a farm or have an alpaca or llama of their own, so they are assigned a “Harley Hill” alpaca as their project. The Mommy and Me Alpaca Extravaganza. This is an annual event which is always the last full weekend in June. The Mommy and Me event is designed for new and perspective alpaca breeders to come and take part in the 2 days of free seminars, and if they are ready to buy, there are eight local alpaca breeders present under a great tent. bOy & girl sCOUt aNd hOme sChOOl visits Harley Hill Farm Alpacas opens their doors “and gates” with an educational opportunity for parents to bring their children to the farm to learn about farming and alpacas. The only admission fee is that each child is asked to bring an item of non-perishable food that is then donated to the Quakertown PA Food Pantry. delta ePsilON beta sOrOrity WOrk days There is a wonderful group of Animal Science and Agricultural majors from Delaware Valley College that come help with the farm work about once a month. These girls are not afraid to get dirty! They help with everything from cleaning pastures and stalls to toenail trims and medication. They even helped to clean and repaint all of the twenty seven windows in the alpaca barn last fall. easter seals alPaCa visits Bill and Lori have developed a relationship with the Easter Seals of Eastern PA in Bethlehem. They bring alpacas to the ES center several times a year to let the children with disabilities experience the feel their very soft fleeces, gentle nature and the big brown eyes of the alpacas. riChlaNd tOWNshiP Fire dePartmeNt Harley Hill Farm Alpacas, and “Romeo” delivered a donation, and alpaca boot inserts to the local volunteer fire department last winter to help keep their feet warm on the fire calls in the cold weather. QUakertOWN, Pa OUr hOme tOWN! Harley Hill Farm Alpacas is very involved with the “Quakertown Alive” community group. This group has community events throughout the year, and alpacas are one of the main attractions at several of them. In the spring alpacas delight the crowds at the Arts Festival. There is also a Quakertown Alive Autumn Festival, and Harley Hill Farm Alpacas has donated the Christmas tree for the annual tree lighting ceremony in December. PiCNiC With the alPaCas Each summer, on the last Saturday in July, the local community residents are invited to come spend some quality family time on the farm. This is a FREE event. Bill and Lori feel that they are so very fortunate to be able to enjoy quiet summer evenings sitting in the backyard watching their herd, and they wanted to share this with other families. Here are some other ways that Harley Hill Farm Alpacas stay involved with the local community: They had a “pasture side picnic” for an assisted care facility that brought a group of wheelchair bound residents to enjoy an afternoon on the farm. They also have brought alpacas to visit residents at assisted care facilities. Harley Hill Farm alpacas have play “camel” several times in a local church’s live nativity. This year’s performance will be on Saturday, December 15th at Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, (Pleasant Valley) Coopersburg. On March 25th, 2012, Harley Hill Farm was featured on the national television program “CBS Sunday Morning” with Charles Osgood. All of this activity keeps Bill and Lori Oraschin very busy as you can imagine, but seeing the face of a child light up and folks that have never had the joy of being with livestock makes all the hard work worth it! Harley Hill Farm is located in Upper Bucks County, just outside of Quakertown. The farm’s website address is www.harleyhillfarm.com.
Grad Project Benefits Local SPCA Shelter
Quakertown Community High School seniors Miranda Goepfert and Tori Gandy presented a check for $3029.97 to Bucks County SPCA – Upper Bucks Shelter last month. The girls raised the money by hosting a Coach Purse Bingo event as their senior project. The expected goal was just $2000, but, as Miranda said, “everyone was so generous”. Participants were also asked to bring items that the shelter needs, too. Again, people were very generous. “Instead of bringing a can of dog food, people were bringing cases of food and
boxes of supplies,” said Miranda. The event was a success with a full house of 143 people participating. Shelter manager Melissa Frank was grateful for the girls’ efforts and the community’s generosity. “We’re overwhelmed,” she said, “This money will go into our general fund and be out to very good use taking care of the animals’ needs.” Meghan Garber, the shelter’s volunteer coordinator, was very impressed with the young ladies’ efforts. “There are people who will just sit and do nothing, but look what these girls have done. It’s wonderful.
Miranda Goepfert presents shelter manager Melissa Frank with a check from the bingo proceeds. The tables are loaded with supplies that were also donated to the shelter from the Coach bingo event. Pictured (L-R) Meghan Garber, Tori Gandy (holding Jasmine), Miranda Goepfert, Melissa Frank, Megan Ambrose, Dena Ceneviva. photo by michele buono
Milford, Trumbauersville Focus of Pictorial History Book
Bill and Lori Orashin take a moment to fraternize with some of their fuzzy residents at Harley Hill Farm near Quakertown. submitted photo
Did you know that seven out of ten dog owners say that they buy their pets Christmas gifts?
Local authors Dr. Robert Leight and Thomas Moll are promoting their newest book, “A Pictorial History of Milford and Trumbauersville.” The book is a photographic history of the Milford Trumbauersville area. The duo have written several books on local history and Dr. Leight described this book as the “next logical step.” Notable people and places are chronicled in this now volume of area history, including David Spinner; the Setman family, whose farm became the Quakertown airport; John Oberholtzer, newspaperman, preacher, and locksmith; as well as Mennonite and church histories. photo by michele buono
• Upper Bucks Free Press • December 2012
At this time, I want to let all of you know that this column is a joy to write. I continue to pick subjects about happenings in our area and memories of my pre-teen and teen years and that don’t always reflect to my class of ’61. I chose that title because I will always be proud of my “special friendships” with the class and hopefully many of my personal memories of the simple life back then, will also be the same as my classmates’ memories. This brings to mind my memories of the holiday seasons in my pre-teen years, back when I lived on the farm outside of Richlandtown and later over in Milford Township near Brick Tavern. Our holiday season started with Thanksgiving. My dad would take my brothers and me to the football game, either at Quakertown or down at “Sell-Perk” High School in Sellersville. Basically, it kept us busy so my mother could have free reign at home to prepare the big feast. (Many people could not prepare the turkeys in the coaloil or wood stoves as the ovens were not big enough, so they would have their turkeys prepared at Yeakels Bakery in Quakertown.) After the game everyone would gather around the table and after a prayer of thanksgiving given by one of our parents, the feast would begin. After the dinner, we would usually take a walk while our parents would clean up the dishes. Around my birthday (Dec 5th), my Uncle Harvey would take our family down to Philadelphia on the Reading Passenger Train from Quakertown. He worked for the railroad and got us discount tickets. Going to the city was always special. Highlights were the multi-story light display in at Wanamakers with the sound of Christmas music from the magnificent organ in the store. I also remember going to see the display at Gimbels. For lunch, we would be given nickels, dimes, and quarters so we could buy food in the modern styled-help yourself vending slots at the Horn and Hardart Restaurant. One time Uncle Harvey took us by car to eat at The Old Original Bookbinders. I can still remember my dad saying he never thought he would see the day that a cup of coffee would cost a quarter! We also would make an annual trek to Allentown to see the animated displays and wonderfully decorated Hess’s Department Store. We also would go to Leh’s and usually would buy our gifts for family members at the large Woolworth’s 5 & 10 on Hamilton Street. My dad then would drive out to the Sears Roebuck Store to pickup the
Holiday Seasons of the Past
items he bought on lay away from the Sears Christmas Catalog that we received in the fall. We also would receive a colored catalog from Firestone with all kinds of toys shown. We would spend time looking at the many toys we wished we could have. Quakertown had a Firestone Store located on Hellertown Avenue near Franklin Street and we would get a chance to visit it on one of the Friday grocery shopping trips. As I mentioned in my article about Broad Street we also were allowed to see the American Flyer train display on the second floor of Smith’s Furniture Store. When I was 10 years old, my parents gave me a Lionel Train set, which they bought in Quakertown. Christmas was always special. The Sunday before Christmas, us little kids would have to stand up in front of church and say “our piece” in the annual pageant. We would go to the Christmas Eve services at St. John’s Lutheran in Richlandtown. I was always proud of my sister Shirley Helm Rupert as she annually sang “Oh, Holy Night” at the services. We would go home to our farmhouse and go to bed. Next morning our Christmas Putz and Tree were up in the large living room with wrapped gifts beneath it. Hung on the Putz - a farm scene, handmade by my grandfather for my father when he was a boy, with German figurines and miniature cars (we were never allowed to touch) with a Marx Electric Train going around the outside – on the table were stockings with our names on with a single orange in them. You see, my dad, as a boy only got a Florida Orange at Christmas in the period around the First World War. We would gather around the tree and sing “Oh, Christmas Tree” to celebrate our Pennsylvania German Heritage. After opening our gifts, we would have a light lunch then go to our Grandmother’s house on Axe Handle Road for the big Bleam family Christmas. My cousin Jack, who lived there, could be playing with his toys that afternoon and evening and we all were jealous because our toys were sitting at home waiting to be played with. Santa (my dad) would visit and once again give everyone an orange. After a big meal we would all gather around my Aunt Doris’ piano and sing Christmas Carols. Back then, Christmas was all about the true celebration and most important being with family! May you remember and cherish those thoughts of yesteryear with your family and enjoy your FAMILY this Christmas Season.
It’s me again. My name is Warren Storck and I have been campaigning for a Senior Center in Quakertown for several years now. I must admit that I have failed so far, but I am not about to give up. I feel that I owe it to the senior population to keep on going and if by chance the manager and the council members come to realize that they have made a big mistake, it is not too late to correct it. Let’s go back to the beginning. The Senior Center in Quakertown was a valuable asset not only to the seniors who took advantage of it, but also to the borough who then supported it. The fire that day changed everything. I do not know how the borough decided to not keep the center in Quakertown – their decision was to not keep the center in town but rather to support whoever takes it over. Sounds good on paper, doesn’t it? It gets the borough off the hook – so to speak – and it shows their support to seniors, at least on paper. Let’s see how that’s worked out. It’s been approximately five years since that fire which forced the seniors to find a new home. The first year it was a local church who volunteered their facility to the seniors, but that did not appear to be satisfactory. The result was now the center is operating in the small community of Milford Square. Problem solved. The answer is below. During the time the center opened and now, it has been a disaster. Things have gone from bad to worse. The center has deteriorated so that now there is doubt as to whether it can continue. During the past year it has had to drop bingo, most dances, and money-making projects. How
Campaign Must Go On
~We Get Letters~
long this can continue is anybody’s guess. It has gotten to the point where there are not enough members to fill the needs of a variable center. Now is the time to act – to the seniors in Quakertown, do you want a center in town or are you satisfied with the present situation? To the Borough manager and Council Members, are you positive that you made the right decision or did you just find an easy solution without really thinking what this has meant to the many many seniors who may have a car, but their children do not want them to use Route 663 at any time or those who do not have a car and since there is nothing they can do if they want to take advantage of their remaining days, but to spend money to hire county transportation or if wealthy enough to hire a taxi. Evidently the Borough of Quakertown has made their decision. They decided the best way is the easiest way. Their decision not to support bringing back the center, but to find another option – which they did. Now it’s up to the seniors and residents to decide the future. I would suggest that before they do to visit Souderton with its magnificent building. Pennridge, Doylestown, and other centers in the area. I am not about to give up. I too am a senior and with the time I have left I will not abandon my fellow seniors. But I need your support. If you decide that this issue needs to be resolved or if you believe I should cease my efforts please call me. My telephone number is 215-529-4624.
Warren Storck Richlandtown
Young, Old, and In-Between
I can never go through the Christmas seasDo you have a book-loving kid in your house? Maybe your kid is a reluctant reader? Since the holidays are here, I thought I would give you my top ten book-related gifts that are good for kids both young and old! 1. A Gift Card to a Local Independent Bookstore – I think independently owned bookstores are awesome to look around in. They also have great programs and clubs. Plus, you will be supporting a local business! You can find the nearest independently owned bookstores near you by visiting www.indiebound. org. 2. A Signed Book or Book Plate – Signed books by a favorite author are always a thrill to get! Many times bookstores have copies of signed books, but if you can’t find the one you want, sometimes if you email the author, he/she will mail you a book plate so you can put it in your copy of the book. 3. A Classic Book – With many choices for books out today, some people don’t think about classic books. Whether it’s abridged or not, a classic story is always a good thing to get your child into reading! You could try Peter Pan, The Jungle Book, Gulliver’s Travels, The Count of Monte Cristo, The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Robin Hood… I could go on and on! 4. A Book Light – The perfect thing for reading in the dark! I keep a book light in our car so I can read while we’re traveling. 5. A Journal – Does your child want to be a writer, English teacher, poet, or just a doodler? Then a journal is a great gift! They can record their thoughts, stories, doodles, and ideas in it! 6. A Subscription to a Comic Magazine – Comics are great for getting your kid into reading at a young age. I remember being 4 years old and waiting every month to get my Marvel Kids: Avengers comics. Kids love comics and it is fun to get something in the mail. They are a great gift for a reluctant reader too. There is a huge variety of comic books and you can find an appropriate comic for any age child (make sure you check the age rating on them). 7. A Book App – Do you have an iPhone, android, iPad, or maybe you or your kid has an iPod? Book apps are reading and video games combined! They are interactive, colorful and fun to read. Most apps are pretty inexpensive and some you can even get for free. Instead of getting more video games for your kids to play with, try book apps! 8. The First Book in a Series – There are some great kid book series to really get your kids hooked on reading. Some of my favorites are The 39 Clues, Percy Jackson Series, Boxcar Children, Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew, Wimpy Kid, Magic Tree House, NERDS, Warriors, Redwall, and Origami Yoda. There are many more choices out there! 9. An Audio Book – This type of book is good for long car rides, for young kids learning to read, or kids that have trouble reading. They can follow along in the book as it is read to them. A lot of the time kid’s audio books have sound effects or music which makes it a lot of fun. 10. An eReader – A lot of people don’t think about giving a kid an eReader but eReaders are very kid friendly. Many of them have a read-aloud feature and color. They have built in dictionaries so if you don’t know a word you can click on it and it will tell you what they word means and how to pronounce it. They are light and you can carry around thousands of books in one little device! I hope everyone has a great holiday and that you all keep reading! for book reviews and discussions, Please visit My website at thiskiDreviewsbooks.coM.
Gift Ideas for Readers
Mistletoe (Viscum album) is from the Anglo-Saxon word misteltan, which means ‘little dung twig’ because the plant spreads though bird droppings.
December 2012 • Upper Bucks Free Press •
Pennridge FISH Eases Christmas Concerns for Those in Need
In these sometimes harsh economic times, the Christmas holiday can cause anxiety as the gift-giving season approaches. Fortunately, there are organizations that are dedicated to aiding those in their communities who need some help with the holidays. And, in turn, these organizations depend on the generosity of the community to do it. One such group is Pennridge FISH (Fellowship In Serving Humanity). Pennridge FISH of Perkasie will be helping with the effort to give children gifts this holiday season. More than 435 children, babies through teenagers, are registered to receive Christmas presents through the organization. The Pennridge Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring its 19th Annual Toy Drive to support the efforts of FISH to make Christmas morning brighter for children. The Chamber has donation boxes set up in throughout the Pennridge School District for the collection of new, unwrapped toys, wrapping materials, and new clothing accessories
such as scarves, hats, and mittens. Toys and gift cards can also be brought to the FISH building at 306 North 5th Street in Perkasie before December 12. Please call for hours of operation. For information about box locations, you can call FISH at 215-257-7616 or the Chamber of Commerce at 215-257-5390. Along with gifts for children, FISH are also collecting for Christmas food baskets. Approximately 270 families will be given holiday meal baskets during this holiday season. The group can use some help stocking the bags full and will be accepting Christmas food donations until December 12. Non-perishable items such as boxed stuffing mix, canned yams and other vegetables, as well as red or green Jello are all welcome for the baskets. FISH will also accept store bought cookies and treats, but cannot accept homemade treats for distribution. In other news for FISH, they have begun their capital campaign pledge drive. The group needs funds for a new home. To help with this endeavor, please visit their website at www.pennridgefish.org.
Happy YOU Year!
So you made it through Thanksgiving! Good Job. Now you only have two more holiday weeks to get through. These Holidays are always full of sweets and food. This makes for a very difficult time to be “good”. With all the homemade cookies and pies, it is not an easy time for a struggling appetite. But who cares, right? This kind of attitude is NOT acceptable. Let’s change that right now. You are probably thinking “How’s he going to change my thinking?” I’m not, but you are. First of all, you have to take responsibility for all your actions that got you to this point now. Good and Bad. Next, you need to tell yourself that you are worth it. Let’s focus on making this new year “Your Year”. I know it’s only December and we haven’t had New Year’s yet but why wait!! This is why I am saying to you, START NOW!! You don’t have to wait for a Holiday where you make new promises to yourself that only last a month or so. You can start now by telling yourself I am worth it and I am going to do something about it and I am going to do it NOW!! It only gets harder to change the longer you sit and think about what you should be doing to get yourself into the best shape of your life. Have you ever looked in the mirror and thought to yourself “I wish . . . “only to walk away from it feeling let down and depressed? Well, WHY do you want to keep feeling that? There is only one way to overcome this, and that is to take charge of your own body. Think of it as you having a driver but you just aren’t getting to your destination. You know where you want to be, so take the wheel and go there!! Here are a few ways to be successful. #1 Discipline: Without discipline you have nothing. This is the hardest thing to develop. It is the life style change that is crucial to your overall success. Our daily choices make who we are. When you are craving that snack you know you should not eat, wait 5 minutes and make a healthier choice. Instead of going home and propping your feet up at the computer or on the couch for hours, go to the park for a jog or walk or go for a bike ride, but just get out and get active. Remember it is all about mind control. YOU are in control of your actions; now help your body by choosing the right ones to direct you towards your goal and not away from it. Discipline, discipline, discipline, I can’t stress this enough. #2 Consistency: Set up your workout schedule like you would a work meeting. Be on time and show up every time. This will increase your chances of reaching your goal. #3 Motivation: You need to focus on what your goal is. Why do you want to succeed? Use that to drive you. It’s not what you do but how you do it. Go into your session ready to give your best effort and then a little more. Get into your mind and “see” yourself completing the task at hand. #4 “Off Days”: Working out with a trainer may leave you with days that you are on your own. When people work with me they generally are with me at least 2 days a week or more. This leaves you 4 days for you to stay motivated and active on your own. Remember the first Key to success? DISCIPLINE!! That’s where this comes into play. Get up, Get out, Get active. Don’t quit until you have given your best effort for each day. It’ll only get you that much closer to your goal and THAT is where you want to be headed. #5 Nutrition: Nutrition accounts for about 50% of your training program. You can’t out-train a bad diet. “You are what you eat” is a saying that is so true. If you eat a lot of bad food you will feel and look bad. Your body is a machine and needs the proper fuel to operate. Give it the right quality and quantity and you will begin to feel amazing. Water is part of healthy living as well. You should get half your body weight in ounces a day. Water is needed for life. Everything in moderation is ok, but be careful what you choose. There are always better choices. #6 Sleep: Here is something to think about. Why is sleep so important? Without it, your body won’t rebuild and heal your muscles and bone strength. During your workout, the goal is to break down your muscles. That is what the “burn” feeling is. After the workout, have a small bite to eat, something such as an apple, orange or slice of watermelon. Then get plenty of sleep (7+ solid hours). Remember, discipline and consistency. No excuses! Go to bed earlier. Remember, Start Now. Don’t wait, it only gets harder the longer you put it off. Make this next year YOUR year. Take the wheel in your driver seat and take charge of your body. Keep focused or find someone to help you keep on track. It is in your court now and it is up to you. If you really want to make a change in yourself then don’t wait. A quote I saw recently sums it all up, “If you are tired of starting over, then Stop giving up!” From your coach at GetReal Training, Happy Holiday and Happy YOU Year!
Corbin is a graduate of the National Personal Training Institute (NPTI). He is a certified strength and conditioning coach and a certified nutrition coach. He is the owner of GetReal Training, LLC in Sellersville, PA. Contact him at 215-416-5757 or visit his web site at getrealtraining.net for more information.
Surefire Holiday Gift Ideas:
To your enemy, forgiveness. To an opponent, tolerance. To a friend, your heart. To a customer, service. To all, charity. To your children, a good example. To yourself, respect.
Penn Foundation has named Jonathan Labman, LPC, MA as Director of Training and Education, a newly established position that reflects the organization’s commitment to providing professional development opportunities for staff that keep pace with changes in healthcare. As Director of Training and Education, Labman will be responsible for identifying Penn Foundation’s specific educational and training needs, developing an annual training plan, coordinating trainings, and assessing the outcomes of educational programs. “My vision for training and education at Penn Foundation is to build community among employees by offering collaborative learning experiences they can participate in, both as students and teachers,” says Labman, “and to increase their expertise in the use of evidence-based practices and cooccurring specialties.” Labman has been with Penn Foundation
Penn Foundation Announces New Director of Training, Education
since 2008, most recently as Director of the Trauma Treatment Project. He earned his Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology from Vermont College. Founded in 1955 and located on a 30-acre campus in Sellersville, Pennsylvania, Penn Foundation is a not-for-profit organization providing innovative services to address the mental health, substance use, and intellectual disability needs of individuals in our community. The agency serves over 10,000 children, adolescents, and adults each year, offering a wide-range of distinct programs designed to meet various types and levels of mental, emotional, behavioral, and spiritual healthcare needs. Penn Foundation’s tradition of compassionate care combined with a strong belief in the healing power of hope and the possibility of recovery enables it to help individuals navigate their lives with confidence, conviction, and courage. For more information, visit www.PennFoundation.org.
• Upper Bucks Free Press • December 2012
Heritage Conservancy, an accredited not-for-profit conservation organization that specializes in preserving our natural and historic heritage, is proud to welcome five new members to the Heritage Conservancy Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees assists Heritage Conservancy in achieving its mission of land and historic preservation, financial goals, and regional prominence. Their combined extensive experience and dedication to preservation establish a diverse and knowledgeable Board of Trustees for Heritage Conservancy. Listed in order of start date of service, the new members are: JeFFrey h. NiChOlas, esQ. joined the Heritage Conservancy Board of Directors on January 1, 2012. A partner with the law firm of Fox Rothschild LLP, he focuses his practice on helping entrepreneurs through the entire life cycle of business formation and growth. He has experience in all stages and types of finance and works closely with intellectual property lawyers in IP strategy, licensing and monetization. Mr. Nicholas serves many clients as general counsel, combining the broad legal experience and practical business knowledge of an effective business advisor. He is particularly interested in open space preservation, sustainable agriculture and alternative energy. briaN g. Firth, md, Ph.d. joined the Heritage Conservancy Board of Directors on April 3, 2012. Born in South Africa, he studied Medicine at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, obtained a Ph.D from the University of Oxford, and is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, American Heart Association, and American College of Cardiology. He was a tenured Professor of Medicine at the University of Texas before entering the business world. Previous positions include Executive Director of Cardiovascular Strategic Product Planning at Bristol Myers-Squibb, Executive Vice President and C.O.O of G.H. Besselaar, Vice President of Research and Development at Johnson & Johnson Interventional Systems, and Worldwide Vice President of Medical Affairs and Health Economics at Cordis Corporation. He is married with three grown children, and his interests include music and African wildlife. maria t. rieders, Ph.d. joined the Heritage Conservancy Board of Directors on April 17, 2012. She holds an adjunct full professor position at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania where she teaches courses on stochastic processes, queueing theory and operations management. She earned
Heritage Conservancy Welcomes Five New Members to the Board of Trustees
a M.Sc. degree in Applied Mathematics from the Universität Ulm, Germany, and a Ph.D. in Business Administration from the University of Rochester. Previous employments include a scientific staff position at the Allensbach Institute for Public Opinion Research in Allensbach, Germany, a standing faculty position at the Department of Industrial Engineering and Management Sciences at Northwestern University, and a visiting researcher post at the Institute for Operations Research at the Universität Bonn, Germany. She has been living in Bucks County since 1995 on a property that she and her husband preserved through Heritage Conservancy. J. Jay beldiNg joined the Heritage Conservancy Board of Directors on June 19, 2012. He holds a B.S. degree in Industrial Arts and Technology and a M.Ed. degree in Special Education from Trenton State College (now the college of New Jersey). In 1977, he founded Associated Production Services, Inc., a not-for-profit vocational training and employment facility that serves developmentally disabled adults and currently serves as Executive Director. He is active in the Doylestown Presbyterian Church. JeFFrey P. liNdtNer joined the Heritage Conservancy Board of Directors on October 1, 2012. He is Vice President of International Sales and Operations of NovaTech LLC, a company that designs and manufactures power measurement, communication, and automation technologies. Mr. Lindtner has a keen interest in history and land preservation. He is currently Chair of the Springfield Township Open Space Committee and founding member of the Bucks County Horse Park. Based out of historic Aldie Mansion in Doylestown, PA and with operations in Port Murray, NJ, Heritage Conservancy is an accredited not-for-profit conservation organization that specializes in open space preservation, planning for sustainable communities, natural resource protection, property stewardship, historic preservation, adaptive reuse of existing structures, wildlife habitat restoration and biodiversity.Since 1958, Heritage Conservancy’s mission has been to protect and preserve our natural and historic heritage. Learn more at www.heritageconservancy.org.
One of my favorite words associated with Christmas is “Emmanuel”. It’s a Hebrew word, and it means “God with us”. We begin hearing this wonderful word in Advent, when we sing, “O Come, O Come Emmanuel”. We are waiting, watching, hoping, for the coming of Emmanuel, for the coming of God with us. When most of us Christians are in church on Christmas Eve (more Christian folks are in church on Christmas Eve than any other day of the year), we sing the line, “Jesus our Emmanuel”, in the famous carol “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing”. Michael Card has written a beautiful song called “Emmanuel”, and in it he sings, “Emmanuel, our God is with us. And if God is with us, who can stand against us? Our God is with us – Emmanuel!” God with us. This is what Christmas is all about. God with us, in the flesh. In this tiny baby lying in a manger in a stable. God is with us in the baby born to a poor young couple forced to travel to Bethlehem by an empire that gave orders, but showed little compassion. God is with us, in the person of Jesus. God is with us in the reality of our lives. God is with us in the depths of our humanity. The one who made us has now become one with us, indeed, has now become one of us. This is the great truth of Christmas. This is the great joy of Christmas. This, as we hear more and more, is the reason for the season. Mind you, I have nothing against the other parts of Christmas. I enjoy shopping for my wife and daughter, and I enjoy receiving gifts on Christmas Day. I have no problem with Santa (my daughter firmly believes in the jolly old elf), and if you stop by my office during the holiday season, you will likely find a plush Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer in there. I love to hear (and sing) “White Christmas” as much as “Silent Night”. But all of that other stuff is secondary to Jesus. The holiday is not about Santa with us, it’s about God with us. God becoming one of is in order to save all of us. Christmas is the first step in the
Remembering the “Reason for the Season”
journey of Jesus that leads ultimately to a cross and on to an empty tomb. Which means Christmas is the beginning of our salvation. It is the beginning of grace, indeed, the Christmas is grace. God is with us, not because we are so wonderful and so deserving, but because God simply loves us so much that God cannot leave us lost in sin and enslaved to death. Christmas is about the love of God for each and every one of us, without exception. God with us means all of us, without exception. God is with all of us, every one. Which is immense good news for all of us. If God is with us, who can be against us? If God is with us, we are never alone, we are never forgotten, we are never unloved, and we are never without hope. Because God is with us, always and forever, all the time, everywhere, in every circumstance – no matter what. That’s Christmas, and that’s why we should celebrate the day, and more importantly, celebrate the gift of Jesus, the baby who is also the Savior of the world (and of us who are in the world). Which leads me to this thought – if God is with us in Jesus, and if we are with Jesus through baptism, then it follows that we are to be with one another, as well. God is with us, and now, because of that, we are to be with us. We are to care about one another and care for one another. We are to reach out and help the poor and the hungry, the oppressed and the suffering. We are to be agents of God’s love and messengers of God’s grace to all the folks around us, even the ones we don’t like, even the ones who don’t like us. We are to be with us because God is with us. If God cares about them, so should we – and God cares about everyone. So should we. Think of it as our yearround Christmas gift to the world. God is with us – the joy of Christmas. We are with us – the responsibility of Christmas. Merry Christmas!
Christ Lutheran Church
1 Luther Lane • PO Box 569 Trumbauersville, PA 18970 215-536-3193 Pastor: Carolann Hopke
Good Shepherd Church
9:00am Worship, 10:15 Sunday School Free Drive-in Movies Friday evenings June through August, Handicapped accessible, Family Friendly Church
1634 Hilltown Pike Hilltown, PA 18927 215-536-3193 Pastor: Harper Turney
10:00am Sunday Eucharist
Evangel Assembly of God
401 Arch Street Perkasie, PA 18944 215-453-1565 • www.perkasieag.org Pastor: Rev. Gary Saul
Where God’s Love Changes Lives
December 2012 • Upper Bucks Free Press •
I can never go through the Christmas season in Quakertown without thinking about Jon Roberts, especially now that he’s gone. For decades, stores up and down Broad Street employed Jon to design and build their holiday window displays. All his ‘artistic creations’ had a unique flare and personality that were easy to recognize. Then, there was Jon’s personal Christmas Tree. It was famous throughout the region. Inspired by the organ and tree performances at the old Wannamaker’s store in Philadelphia, Jon’s choreographed ‘shows’ of synchronized lights with classical and Christmas music awed and thrilled friends, family and other Quakertonians for nearly half a century. Jon Roberts was a life long friend; of my parents, of me and of my children. He was like an older brother as I grew up. When he was a teenager, Jon got a job at my grandfather, Toby Hinkel’s, store in downtown Quakertown, Hinkel and Biehn Shoes. Jon’s talent as a creative artist was recognized from an early age so he was eagerly encouraged to decorate the shoe store window displays and interior for the holiday season. As a high school student, he produced scenes and settings of pleasing, professional quality. John designed his own technology. I remember being at the shoe store behind one of Jon’s massive creations trying to figure out how he got the lights in the wreath/reindeer display to continually change colors. I discovered he used an Erector Set motor to turn a steel can. Bent wires touched the can completing a circuit that lit the lights. He put pieces of masking tape on the surface of the can so when the wires crossed over them the circuit broke and the lights went out. Jon would occasionally add more tape as it wore away. Jon created displays for all seasons, not just Christmas. Each one inspired people to stop and look in the Hinkel and Biehn store windows. For years, my grandfather, above and beyond his regular salary, paid Jon generously to exclusively have his artistic services. Shoppers often came into the store just to see what Jon had done this time. When my grandfather retired and the business closed, Jon moved on; first to Fields’ Shoes then finally to Moyers’ where he finished his career. Jon’s talent was impossible to corral. He was too good and too popular. Kulp’s Jewelry, Sine’s 5 & 10 and many other businesses ‘contracted’ Jon to decorate for the holidays. Citizens of Quakertown could stroll the sidewalk and quickly pick out which ‘windows’ were done by Jon. He had a personal style in stage set design, in his Halloween costumes and masks, which were renowned, and in every sketch, drawing or craft he produced. He helped to design and decorate the Black Orchid dance hall in Downtown and even helped me with my science projects. Jon’s Christmas Tree will never be forgotten by any who saw it. Jon used to help my mother decorate our tree, which was always huge and beautiful. He frequently went to The
Jon Roberts and his Christmas Tree
City with us and would never miss a chance to see the Wannamaker’s Christmas show. Thus inspired, he decided to do his own Tree in the second floor apartment on West Broad Street that he and his mother occupied for most of their lives. I can’t forget helping him on his first attempt. Dozens of strings with thousands of lights had to be placed in a precise, pre-planned pattern. They were of the highest quality only, because once the tree was done, it was impossible to change anything. The spray-on snow-like flock was of uniform thickness on each branch and needle. The ornaments were consistent and exactly placed. The original, cigar box, toggle switch controls that Jon played like a musical instrument with the enthusiasm of the Wannamaker keyboardist, often broke down during performances. But, as trial and error dictated and technology advanced, Jon’s Christmas Tree ‘shows’ became dazzling and in many cases breathtaking. From grandmothers to toddlers, no one left Jon’s apartment after seeing his Tree without a smile, a strong sense of the Christmas spirit, and an appreciation for just how talented the man was. Jon Roberts was a fixture in Quakertown for over a half century: sitting on a stool fitting shoes, having his ‘regular’ at Sine’s lunch counter or enjoying a slice of pizza at Dominick’s. Jon was important in the lives of innumerable people in Quakertown. As an employee/co-worker and great friend of my parents, Jon took me skiing for the first time, took me to a Beatles concert, and taught me to drive a car. He went to ballets, shows and concerts in New York with my mother and, decades later, with my wife. He joined us at Great Adventure with my kids. My father was like a father to Jon (whose own dad died in the 1960’s), and was with him when he suffered his fatal heart attack. As I stroll the streets of Quakertown during this Christmas season, I will appreciate the spirit and the decorative celebration, but there will be something missing. Something will seem not quite right about the Christmas trees and displays in the store windows. The spirit will be there, for sure, but they will lack the flare, the personality and the precise perfection of a Jon Roberts artistic expression. One of Quakertown’s most talented artists and well-liked citizens no longer graces us with his presence or his inspired work. His departure left an empty place in the hearts of all who knew him. Tarnish has formed on Downtown since Jon Roberts no longer helps spiff, polish and decorate it. Jon was one of Quakertown’s greatest assets and personalities during his lifetime. I hope all that who knew him will smile and remember him this Christmas season, as they notice the slightly less than “Jon Roberts’ Standard” of the decorations while they’re shopping and enjoying the holidays in our wonderful town. see otHer articles by Jack at: HttP://Jack-H-scHick.wrytestuff.coM
CANDLES CELEBRATIONS CHRISTMAS DECORATE ELVES FAMILY FRIENDS
GOOD CHEER HANUKKAH MERRIMENT NEW YEAR’S EVE PARTIES PEACE REINDEER
SANTA SHOPPING STOCKINGS WINTER WRAPPING GIFTS YULETIDE
• Upper Bucks Free Press • December 2012
Invite a Furry New Family Member Home this Holiday Season
Reagan is a 7 year old Pomeranian. She’s likes to keep busy. She is “a perfect little dog” according to staff and loves to play with material and squeaky toys. She walks nicely on a leash. PRecious is a perky Pekingese/Poodle mix. She’s 9 years old and gets along well with other dogs. She would be good in a home with other kids. Muffin is a shy Chihuahua who would love some time to get to know you. She’s very mellow at 6 years old and would do best in a home with older children. These and many other animals are available for adoption through the Bucks County SPCA – Upper Bucks branch. The shelter is located at 60 reservoir Road (just off California Road) in Richland Township. You can also reach them at 267-347-4674 or at their website at bcspca.org. Lightning is a 6-12 month old American Bulldog mix. He was picked up as a stray. As you can imagine Lightning is a big goofy ball of energy. He is very playful and gets along great with other dogs. He would do best with an active family who would be willing to teach him some manners. saL is a 1-2 year old Pug/Chi mix. He was picked up as a stray. Sal is a happy go lucky young man who could stand to gain a couple pounds. He is food possessive, this could be due to having not enough food to eat. Because of this we would not recommend a home with young children. BeBa is a happy little Pomeranian who didn’t want to pose for her photo. She’s about 6 years old. Beba was brought in with another Pom named Puchy. Last Chance Ranch has many animals ready and waiting for their new forever homes. Ranging in age from babies to seniors, sizes small to extra large. Please make room in your home and your heart for a rescued animal. Contact Last Chance Ranch at 215-538-2510 if you are interested in any of our dogs, cats, horses or birds available for adoption!
December 2012 • Upper Bucks Free Press •
WOW, what a month THAT was! Hope all my friends out there are all OK now. We didn’t have any power at our place for four days! We have a well, so we didn’t have running water either. Hope everyone enjoyed the Turkey Day and gave thanks for ALL the good things in your life. Always think positive. Don’t think about what you DON’T have but what you DO have. Even if you lost a home in the storm, you can be thankful that you didn’t lose your life, or a loved one. Remember possessions can be replaced. Momma Jean lost a home in 1979 to a tornado, (I wasn’t even born then… Not even my PARENTS were born then.) She lived in Texas and she said they replaced their things with insurance and a federal disaster loan from the government. Just think, there are homeless people out there who feel that cold everyday not just for a week. Remember to help out those great organizations like the Red Cross and the Salvation Army. They were out there helping in this disaster and they help the homeless. On the brighter side, I would like to mention that CHRISTMAS is this month!!! I like this time of year. Humans think about each other and try to keep secrets about what they bought for whom. I, of course, being a dog, get to hear ALL the good secrets because they think I won’t repeat it. Some humans feel lonely this time of year but there is no reason for that. Even if you don’t have blood relatives you should join a local church. They will welcome you and be an extended family. A good church is full of activities you can get involved with to meet people. In fact, I am inviting you to Momma Jean’s church. Come join us at Morningstar Church . We have added on to our church so it is big enough for all to
come. We will have the new sanctuary open for December services so please come. Just try us out for the Christmas season and see if you don’t fall in love with us. I say “us” because I do things for my church too. I am a Canines For Christ Therapy dog. We visit people who can’t have dogs, like those humans in nursing homes. It’s rewarding to help make other people smile. Have a great month! Love M.J.
Even Pets Can Use an Angel’s Help
This story didn’t have to have a happy ending. In fact, if it weren’t for the kindness of a Good Samaritan who stopped on the highway when she saw a hurt dog, there wouldn’t even be a story. There would just be another dead animal by the side of the road. But it didn’t happen that way this time. On a Monday morning in early November, this Good Samaritan brought a hurt Bloodhound into the Quakertown Veterinary Clinic. She had found the dog along the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Dr. Phil Svor was between appointments when the injured dog was brought in to the clinic. “She was shocky and covered in ticks. We made her comfortable, treated her shock, and gave her pain meds,” said the doctor. “and waited for her owner to claim her.” Nobody did. Fortunately for Sweetie, as she became known around the office, the Angel Fund was there and paid for her needs. She had a couple of pelvic fractures either from her fall from or being clipped by a moving car; fortunately they did not need surgery or casting. She wasn’t underweight, so staff figures that she must have belonged to someone recently. She seemed just a little uncomfortable being inside, so she may have been a backyard dog. It just makes Sweetie’s story that much sadder that someone didn’t want her anymore and dumped her on the highway. Funded by private donations the Angel Fund can be a lifesaver for abandoned or dumped animals in distress, like Sweetie,
Boy Scouts’ Food Drive Restocks Keystone Food Pantry
Local boy scout troops participated the annual “Scouting for Food” Drive on November 17 to help area food pantries restock shelves and serve the needs of the community. With the generous contributions from neighborhoods in Souderton, Telford and Franconia, the scouts collected over 13,000 lbs. of products, more than doubling previous years’ totals. According to Food Pantry Coordinator, Cindy Dembrosky, the response from the community was overwhelming. “We have been putting out the pleas for the past several months because our shelves have been empty. The need is increasing and our government contributions have been significantly reduced. This food drive was an answer to many prayers and we are truly blessed,” she said. Troops who helped with collecting included 214, 401, 461, and Cub Scout Packs 10, 14, and 16. Other church and community groups worked at the food pantry warehouse weigh-
ing in, sorting and processing the donations. Several groups represented included Grace Bible Church, Souderton Area High School FBLA, KidzKan community service group and several Girl Scout groups. With the holiday season, the pantry is always a busy place, providing Thanksgiving and Christmas meals to clients in addition to the usual monthly distributions. Each month approximately 240 households use pantry to supplement their limited food budget. Clients must be residents of Souderton School District and provide proof on income to determine eligibility. According to Dembrosky, the pantry has seen and increase in applications through the fall months. For more information about the Keystone Opportunity Center Food Pantry and ways to help with its work, go to www.keystoneopportunity.org. Donations are accepted all year long at the 104 Main Street Food Pantry.
or who would benefit from medical attention that their owners simply cannot afford in these difficult economic times. Adele Averill, patient advocate and customer service manager, says of the Angel Fund, “Sometimes just a few hundred dollars here and there can make a difference.” Doctors can and do donate their time and services in some cases, but equipment and medications cost money. Angel Fund money is distributed in special cases after the case has been brought before a board. “Our doctors do what they can. People sometimes have tough economic decisions to make and sometimes we can help,’ says Adele. The clinic relies on private donations and raffles to maintain the Angel Fund. Adele recalls a client who would round up his bill and donate that money to the Angel Fund every time he would bring his chronically-ill dog in for a visit. Also, the woman who donated money after she heard a family in the waiting room tearfully trying to make a decision as to what they could afford to do for a family pet. Just a little bit donated here and there can make a difference. If you would like to donate to the Angel Fund, you can stop by the office or mail it to Quakertown Veterinary Clinic at 2250 Old Bethlehem Pike Quakertown, PA 18951. Mark it to the attention of Adele. And proving that there are still happy endings, Sweetie was quickly adopted by new owners who are determined to give her the loving home that she deserves.
Girls Scouts helped weigh in and sort the tons of food pantry donations collected on Saturday by the local Boy Scout troops.. submitted photo by michele buono
Dr. Phil Svor and Adele Averill with Sweetie, the bloodhound rescued from the side of the highway. While Sweetie was okay to walk a bit, Dr. Svor gave her a little extra support for the picture anyway. photo by michele buono
• Upper Bucks Free Press • December 2012
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