Once inside the Duncan Autobody repair shop on Route 313 in East Rockhill Township, you know you’re in a quality business. The floors and reception area are open, bright and tidy. Floors inside the shop are spotless. Tools are neatly tucked away, and everyone is suited up in Carstar Duncan Autobody Repair shirts.
Reliable transportation – our own wheels – is something we often take for granted.
But having an independent way to get to work, run errands, take our children and ourselves to doctor’s appointments or out for an afternoon movie matinee, can make the difference between living a full independent life, or struggling with each day’s demands.
Duncan Autobody, a Legacy Autobody Group company made a single mother’s life a lot easier on May 22.
Duncan partnered with Keystone Opportunity Center in Souderton and Geico Insurance Company to provide a donated car through the Recycled Rides National Council program to Kristen, who lives in Norristown with her three young children: Jordan, 6, Brooklyn, 4 and Kane, 2.
But it was Duncan staff that did the hands-on priming and replacing, fitting and contouring to transform an otherwise scrap-yard car for a new family.
Duncan Manager Chris Moser said the vehicle with 61,000 clocked miles on the odometer, has “a lot of life left.”
The 2008 silver Ford Taurus was involved in a car accident, but did not sustain major damage that would have rendered it unusable.
The repair bill tally exceeded the value of the car.
“That’s why it came to us. It wasn’t un-repairable, it’s just the cost of the repairs would have exceeded the value of the car, and the insurance company totaled it,” Moser explained.
Keys to the shiny Taurus with light gray interior were passed to a broadly smiling Kristen at a morning event, also attended by Geico representatives at the East Rockhill Township facility.
“I just started a full time job at Walmart and having the car will make things much easier to get the kids to their appointments and baby sitter. I am so grateful,” Kristen said.
Elizabeth Bertolet, Keystone housing case manager and supervisor, said independent transportation can make the difference between working or being unemployed and is often a huge factor in where a person can look for work as well as the type of work they can secure.
“We found Duncan through our network,” Bertolet said, of how the pieces stitched together.
Kristen was being served by Keystone and Duncan was within the Bucks/Montgomery geography available and sourced by Keystone.
Legacy is owned by partners Matt DeWalt and Eric and Mike Horvath.
They operate four locations: Duncan Quakertown and Allentown and Scott’s Collision Center in Easton and Stroudsburg.
This is Legacy Autobody Group’s third car rehabilitation, but the first for the Duncan Quakertown shop in East Rockhill Township.
“Our shops are community based, and we want to give back to the community. Our fathers started the business in 1971, so we are the second generation,” Mike Horvath said.
Inside the Duncan shop, after the unveiling, Moser said “the credit for this really goes to our guys. They did all the work and [used] the elbow grease.”
To help or make a donation contact Keystone Opportunity Center at 215.723.5430 or visit the website at www.keystoneopportunity.org.
Jim Lukens is a crusader with an artist’s vision, a palette knife, and a mission to showcase Quakertown.
Lukens attended the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia and carries forward the tradition of Pennsylvania Impressionists from the turn of the 20th century. These artists found inspiration and a place to call home in Bucks County’s lush pastoral landscapes, river towns, livestock and wildlife and plein air, or outdoors painting methods.
But more than recreating well and not-so well known scenes across Upper Bucks Luken’s envisions his Main Street Gallery and workspace as a signal of change and cultural revitalization in Quakertown and beyond.
“Upper Bucks County is still Bucks County, but it is really untapped,” Lukens said of more well known artist enclave towns like Doylestown and New Hope. These laid claim to a healthy, vibrant and expensive arts community and market.
And while Lukens is represented by a Doylestown Gallery, he chooses to live and work here. “I want to respect Quakertown by having a gallery here,” Lukens said.
He noted Quakertown as a “confluence” of markets, which include Central Bucks, Philadelphia, Lehigh and Berks counties, all within an hour or less drive, making Upper Bucks an easily accessible day trip.
His refurbished gallery space with a barn red metal roof and updated colonial colors is a corner herald to motorists and pedestrians, announcing “you are in Quakertown. People from all sides (of traffic) can see it,” Lukens said.
Lukens isn’t content only to paint what he sees. Like most artists, he wants to share what he’s discovered because it’s just too much to keep to himself. “I want to make art accessible to everyone,” Lukens said.
He acknowledged fine art often carries an exclusive aura; something he said can create divisions – much like the current political climate across the U.S. - rather than encourage inclusiveness. “This is a place where there isn’t turmoil, where people from both sides [who otherwise disagree], and can come and feel good,” Lukens explained.
Lyn Treffinger from Milford Township has studied with Lukens for the past three years.
She loves taking classes from him because “I learn something every week, and he makes it a lot of fun.”
Not only has Treffinger learned about using oil paints and creating art, she said she sees the world differently, thanks to having studied with Lukens.
“My work has evolved. I have a better understanding of values and color intensity – lights and darks- and it informs how I see the world. Jim is very motivating,” Treffinger said.
Lukens credits McCoole’s owner Jan Hench for being a long-time and steadfast supporter of the arts; for helping him launch the Main Street Gallery, and providing classroom space nearby on the second floor of McCoole’s Arts and Events Place.
Open Friday, Saturday and Sunday, or just about any time with advance notice, The Main Street Gallery is located at 1236 West Broad Street, Quakertown (Corner of Main and Broad streets). Free parking is available at McCoole’s Arts and Events Place (next to McCoole’s at the Red Lion Inn) and Upper Bucks Chamber of Commerce, 21 N. Main Street. Art is for everyone! For information about classes for all levels, visit the website at www.jimlukensart.com, or call 610.442.4112.
Who doesn’t love a great deal?
From a great deal on shoes, discount or VIP cards at a favored restaurant to deep discounts on airline tix or hotel stays, we are always looking for value.
Tangibles are easy: $100 bucks off a fine rug, the first month’s payment, free (though it never really is free- look for those strings), or value – the rug is an Oriental and the discount is 50 percent off, or the first month is free on a new car lease. Those benefits are immediate, and pretty real.
Intangibles like a professional membership to the chamber can be a little harder to nail down.
When you join the Upper Bucks Chamber of Commerce, you’re joining an organization and tapping into an array of resources.
Today, we’re going to talk about membership and specifically how to use the “Members Only” section on the UBCC website.
The Members Only section provides a gateway to reach others with a few simple clicks.
New to Members Only?
Here’s how to use it:
Go to www.ubcc.org, and select the Membership Tab at the top of the navigation bar.
Click on the drop down and at the bottom, click Members Login.
Once at Members Only you’ll be asked for your log in credentials. If you can’t recall or don’t know them, contact Tracy Kline at tkline @ubcc.org, or call the office (during business hours, please) at 215.536.3211. It just takes a minute, and we’re happy to help.
Great!! Now you’re inside. Once there you can post, navigate your membership, pay a bill - in fact here’s the short list of actions you can take, for Members Only.
*On Members Only home, you’ll see what events you’ve signed up for, as well as the full calendar to add to yours!
*Change your user name and or password, or assign your members only maintenance to a staff member.
*Update your contact information- Important if you want other member businesses and UBCC staff to find you quickly and effectively. Add new or additional employees you’d like to be active in your membership. Here’s where you can also add your Facebook or other social media platform links, as well as keywords about your business.
*Enhanced listings – Become a premiere member for $75 with an upgraded listing in the online membership directory on www.ubcc.org. Appear in the top of any search for your primary category listing, similar to “Sponsored Listings” in Google search results, appear with an increased font size, highlighted color & border, the addition of your logo and a premier member icon, long business description including bulleted text, ability to insert YouTube video, and the ability to add photos. (This is available on a first-come, first-served basis, per category.)
*Stay informed about chamber news and happenings – like our current Just One campaign, aimed at doubling the chamber’s membership with one real new conversion per existing member.
*Pay bills from your annual membership renewal to events, sponsorships and advertising – you can Pay a Bill online here.
*Take surveys and tell us how we’re doing. This could be feedback on chamber events, programs like breakfast or lunch and learn workshops, chamber offers, or events like the Golf Outing or Foodie.
*Pull referral reports. This part helps you understand how your membership analytics are working, and ask questions if you don’t understand. Analytics work hard to promote your business. And you’ll retrieve this information right from our database. This function also shows you what kinds of referrals you’re getting.
*Add a coupon for a special or business promo. Running a sale? Offering a discount for product or services? Here’s where to push out that information and see results.
*Submit an event- to your calendar or community. Running a promotion? Hosting a 5K race to benefit a worthy cause? Participating in something you want others to know and care about? Here’s the space to do that, and much more.
Only available to UBCC membership, check out the Members Only section, and put it to work for you.
Upper Bucks Chamber of Commerce
An economic development agency for Upper Bucks County, Pennsylvania.
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