Did you know Bucks County will spend about $432.64 million this year to run the county and provide services to residents and businesses?
In the first of three annual legislative breakfast meetings held at McCoole’s Arts and Events Place in Quakertown business, municipal and non-profit leaders gathered for the annual Upper Bucks Chamber of Commerce series kick-off.
Reducing budget deficits while maximizing resources and providing public health and welfare resources to those in the greatest need praising volunteerism were among the topics at the “State of the County” address lead by Bucks County Commissioners March 29.
Commissioner Rob Loughery provided the budget big picture and said no county tax increase would be levied to make up a $1.23 million shortfall.
Money from the fund balance would offset the revenue difference, Loughery said.
“People don’t realize how big it is - it’s a big budget, nearly half a billion dollars,” he said.
Volunteerism is alive and well across Bucks County, with county employees offering their off time hours to help others.
“Government employees often get a bad rap, but our employees do extra things,” Ellis Marseglia said.
She said Bucks County Deputy Sheriff Gary Bruno started a small Uber revolution during winter storms, by offering free rides to AA and other substance use disorder support groups.
Bruno is a part-time Uber driver. A single free ride – offered by Bruno to a man struggling to get to a support meeting because of the weather – spread like wildfire when Bruno encourage other Uber drivers to do the same.
A network of community drivers stepped up to help.
Ellis Marseglia noted the efforts or another employee who makes sure those with special needs have display space for their art as well as one who offers kindly residents at Neshaminy Manor in Warrington.
And a drug and alcohol treatment program at Bucks County Prison has become a model for other facilities helping substance use disorder inmates receive recovery treatment.
“I get letters from people who have said they got better treatment here [in prison] than they did in rehab,” Ellis Marseglia said.
The program offers an intense recovery environment for about 52 men and 25 women at a time.
Commissioner Charles H. “Charley” Martin reflected at the county’s change during his past 24 years of service. Martin will not seek re election.
A few notable milestones:
Upper Bucks Chamber of Commerce appreciates our Bucks County Commissioners taking time to address our members and spending quality time in Upper Bucks with us!
The next legislative event in the series, “State of the State,” will be held April 12th at McCoole’s Arts and Events Place in Quakertown. UBCC will be hosting Senator Bob Mensch (R-24), Senator Steve Santarsiero (D-10) and Representative Craig Staats (R-145). Please visit www.ubcc.org/events to register.
Second generation family owned business tackles disasters with compassion
Fire, water, smoke, or mold?
Since 1965 Voce Cleaning, LLC in Milford Township and founded by Frank Voce continues to help the region’s home and business owners after disaster strikes.
From catastrophic clean ups to helping ready a home for sale, new construction move-in cleaning and routine carpet, upholstery, tile and grout maintenance, Voce Cleaning gets the job done.
Now in its second generation of ownership, Ed Voce continues the family’s compassionate, customer-first philosophy, often in the face of tragic and overwhelming circumstances.
“There’s a very human element to these kinds of disasters, and we do what we can to make our customers comfortable. We walk them through every step of the way,” said Sonja Walker, Voce office manager.
Voce was on the job after the initial clean up at the Richland Township property last year, after the killing of a teen-aged girl.
The brutal case horrified the mostly rural Upper Bucks County municipality, and continues to grip the nation with media coverage as her killers are tried and sentenced for first-degree murder in her death.
Walker said the work in Richland Township was among the most challenging her team has ever faced.
“It was very unsettling and very sad,” Walker said.
Voce was on the job during the aftermath in 2016 of a Palisades High School teacher in Williams Township, Northampton County, who was electrocuted by a downed live utility wire in his backyard.
“There a very human element to these kinds of disasters, we do what we can to make the family comfortable,” Walker said.
She added survivors are also in shock, trying to cope with property damage while dealing with intense emotional distress.
“We’ll be on the phone with them as many times as they need,” she said.
Known for quick response and great working relationships with insurance carriers, Voce Cleaning is the “go-to” firm used by Warren Weiss Insurance Agency in Milford Township, according to Leanna Knight, Warren Weiss vice president.
“They have great relationships with insurance carriers, and they’re really good at taking care of things and keeping things under control,” Knight said.
“When Ed is out with a client, I have nothing to worry about,” Knight said.
Honesty, great customer service and getting the job done correctly, on time and efficiently are hallmarks of Voce Cleaning’s work ethic, Walker said.
When Scott Wasser had water damage in his home in Lower Salford Township, Montgomery County, he called in Voce Cleaning.
A silent roof leak went undetected until the damage – and associated mold problems – became obvious in the Wasser’s infant’s room.
“Our daughter was six months old, and we discovered we had a roof leak that caused water and mold damage,” Wasser said.
From regularly monitoring the situation to working with the insurance carrier, the Wasser’s home is now healthy and safe to enjoy for family and friends.
“We’re young homeowners and Ed made the whole situation easier. He stopped in regularly and was available by phone or text any time,” Wasser said.
Walker said “mold is huge right now” and she noted last year’s heavy rains could cause problems homeowners may have missed until now.
Voce uses third-party mold testing firms, to keep the evaluation process neutral. Different types of mold can cause sickness or allergic reactions in some people, while others may be immune to them.
Proper ventilation, dehumidifiers in basements to promptly dry up moisture as well as checking air quality can keep home and business property owners ahead of problems before they get worse.
“We do removal, antimicrobial treatments, sealing and putting the area back together,” Walker said.
Voce works with area Realtors, too, to remediate mold when a home is made ready for sale, but can’t be put on the market because of mold.
“We all realize things happen. To help the customer get through it, that is the greatest thing,” Walker said.
Voce Cleaning, LLC is located at 2535 Eberhardt Road in Milford Township. For information call 800.794.4070 or visit www.vocecleaning.com.
Do you lend a helping hand?
From clay shoot to Foodie, golf outing to mixers, the UBCC Board of Directors to committees and events, volunteers are there.
It might surprise you that across Pennsylvania 28 percent of us volunteer, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry website.
That translates to a staggering 338 million – that’s millions of hours of donated time, with an estimated value of $7.7 billion in services donated throughout Pennsylvania.
“Volunteering with UBCC not only helps our chamber grow, but also gives you valuable access to the business community around you,” said Corey Armideo, a partner at PBR Productions in Perkasie.
Armideo volunteers on UBCC’s membership committee, which meets monthly to discuss member outreach and engagement, new member initiatives and recruiting.
Volunteers meet to discuss how local governance – from borough councils and township supervisors to county commissions and state representatives, help or bootstrap the business community – and what can be done to grow our economy.
Our members know about roads and infrastructure, because they use them to deliver goods and services – so who’s better suited to provide transportation insight?
When members volunteer their time, thoughts and concerns about transportation and logistics throughout the region, it can only make distribution better.
When they speak up about talent shortages and how to guide young people into good paying jobs, workforce development becomes significantly more meaningful – and making the connection to schools, college and universities creates opens easy communication channels.
Our business members provide opportunities to meet and network, through regular chamber mixers. They open their business homes and offer refreshment – and yes, that’s a form of volunteering, too.
“Volunteering with the UBCC is an important part of Comcast Spotlight’s membership because it allows me to meet and introduce myself to local businesses…,” said Pam Sawyer. She’s senior account executive for Comcast Spotlight, and a membership committee member.
Sawyer said she’s able to meet new people easier, because of Chamber mixers her committee work and the opportunities volunteering provide.
“It is also very satisfying, personally, to know that the time spent volunteering has helped with the goals and the growth of the UBCC,” Sawyer said.
When members head to central Pennsylvania to volunteer as mentors during Pennsylvania Free Enterprise Week summer camps, they’re volunteering their time, their talent and something they treasure most: sharing their professional experiences to help the next crop of business leaders.
Volunteer hours are the mainstay of our organization and any amount of time, talent or treasure truly makes a difference.
Armideo said volunteering with the chamber tells other members you care about helping your community.
Bruce Kinsey, of Bruce P. Kinsey Photography in Telford volunteers both time and talent: he’s a membership committee member, and he takes photos of events, ribbon cuttings and mixers for UBCC.
“It [volunteering] gives you the opportunity to be engaged, be informed, and be the difference,” Kinsey said.
For more information about how you can help and make a difference in Upper Bucks, call the UBCC at 215.536.3211.
An ounce of prevention is worth its weight in cure
BY Melinda Rizzo
Bats in the attic rafters? No problem.
Mosquitoes making your yard a tropical nightmare instead of an easy, breezy summer paradise? No sweat.
Mice running the gauntlet across the kitchen floors? Piece of cake.
Over two decades of experience as a pest control expert and exterminator, Shane Peev, owner of Sunset Pest Solutions, Inc., in East Greenville has seen just about everything.
He knows how to handle pest infestations – from bats (remember, they’re protected) to bees, groundhogs to termites, rats and mice, those pesky mosquitoes – the whole kit and caboodle.
Peev handles residential and business concerns with equal parts passion and concern for his customers and their needs, and to make the world a more pleasant place.
One of the most intriguing jobs he’s done involved a home property in Dublin, some years ago.
“In fact, it was a neighbor of the property owner who called me out,” Peev said.
It went like this: Thousands upon thousands of rats had infested the property in a chilling story more commonly associated with 1970s horror movies, than rural or small town Upper Bucks County private properties.
“The woods were moving,” Peev said, of the number of rats about the place. Rats breed quickly and often. Left unchecked a single mating pair can become a huge problem in short order.
Peev’s structural approach to pest control, his curiosity about tough cases and a realistic, calm point of view Peev said the rats took about three weeks to “get things under control.”
His advice to dealing with these “mischief” makers – mischief is the word for a group of rats - is to pay attention as soon as you see a single rat. “I’d rather prevent the problem than control it,” Peev said.
Besides wiping out a third of Europe during the Middle Ages in Europe (rats carry Bubonic Plaque), they are also a carrier of more common pathogens, including those causing dermatitis in people.
Because they’re omnivores – which mean they eat anything and everything, they can cause damage and contamination to plants, animal feed and human food and its sources.
While you’re more likely to find rats in outbuildings, under structures like decks or sheds or in basements, Peev said bats hanging out in attics should be treated with care.
Bats breed and have their young or “pups” in June, which means August is the time to consider evicting them.
“You have to wait until the pups are big enough to fly. Then it’s about getting them out of the building and sealing where they come in,” Peev said.
Bats are not only beneficial – they control insect populations, especially mosquitoes, they’re also a protected species.
According to the Penn State Extension Service, bats are protected under Pennsylvania law and should not be needlessly destroyed. For more information about bats visit https://extension.psu.edu/bats.
“I’d say the top three pests are mosquitoes, mice – which we have problems with year round and Carpenter ants,” Peev said.
Peev said ants present a unique problem because there are so many different types and a once-size-fits-all approach to bidding them good riddance, isn’t the best way to handle them.
“You have to know the type of ants you’re dealing with. For some bait works best, for others you need a different approach. The wrong approach to getting rid of them can, in fact, make things much worse,” Peev said.
“As technology gets better and improves all industries, so [methods] get better for us, too,” Peev said.
For more information about Sunset Pest Solutions Inc., or to schedule an appointment visit sunsetpestsolutions.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 610.428.1081.
Is hiring and employee retention an issue for your business? How about logistics and transportation? Would you like to hear more from business leaders in the area over breakfast, lunch, or an after work session? Maybe online training is the way you roll.
“We need your help to help you,” said Vickie McClatchy, a mortgage lender with Supreme Lending and UBCC member.
We’re canvassing the membership (did you take the survey yet??) to gather relevant information to bring in experts able to share what they know to move your business forward and meet your goals and needs.
The survey is open now and posted on the UBCC website. If you haven’t taken it yet, visit the link www.ubcc.org and take it today!
McClatchy is part of the Membership Committee. She said the surveys are an important resource tool for 2019 and beyond. “We’re taking the survey very seriously, and we want to make it a big part of our program planning,” she said.
What challenges does your business face and do you know where to find the tools to overcome them? Would others have the same questions you have?
“This is a valuable tool and a way to have your voice be heard,” said Corey Armideo, a partner of PBR Productions in Perkasie. Armideo is also a Membership Committee member.
Bob Podraza of Edward Jones Quakertown is the chairman of the Membership Committee. He believes the New Year is a great time to look forward and consider change, and a fresh approach.
“I think the survey reflects a renewed commitment to understand what members want and to further introduce our new leadership,” Podraza said.
UBCC Executive Director Danielle Bodnar took the reins from long-time Executive Director Tara King, who retired in October 2018. Bodnar’s experience and perspective will influence the Chamber’s direction. At the top of her “to-do” list is increasing membership engagement. She credits the Membership Committee with discussing and drafting topics they believe would appeal to most members for the survey.
McClatchy said UBCC had all the ingredients to become the go-to professional resource for Upper Bucks County and beyond. “We want members to come out to mixers and events because they’re afraid they’ll miss something if they don’t,” McClatchy said.
She believes creating that kind of urgency to make UBCC “the most important event at the top of the business social calendar” will attract new members and give existing members a vigorous reason to participate.
Made up of local business owners and leaders, UBCC’s Membership Committee meets monthly to support the UBCC staff and facilitate the Board of Directors goals to further the Chamber’s growth and sustainability.
What came out of the committee’s early morning meetings last year was the need to go directly to YOU, our membership, to see what topics you have the most interest in learning more about, as well as when those programs best meet your needs.
“Business is done differently now and businesses need to learn and grow. They want to stay relevant,” Podraza said.
Sales and marketing? Social media? Leadership? Webinars or simulcasts of national talent brought directly to your desktop?
If you don’t see a topic that fits your needs, write it in the Other space provided.
Find and take the survey on our homepage at www.ubcc.org. For more information on the Membership committee visit www.ubcc.org/committees.
After the confetti clears and the champagne glasses are put away, there’s nothing like a new year to inspire a fresh start.
Maybe it’s the clean slate and forward-thinking vision of 365 new days, filled with possibility.
We’re inspired by New Year’s Resolutions - both big and small.
From losing weight - that’s one of Hotter Painting Owner Chuck Hotter’s - to growing or expanding your business, we caught up with some UBCC members and staff for a peek at what made the list for 2019.
“I’m excited about working with the executive committee on future events and programs,” Hotter said. He’s also looking forward to recruiting new members to UBCC and helping retain existing ones through fresh education and ways to connect.
For Nancy Strauss helping her clients achieve success is her top priority for 2019.
Strauss is a certified lifestyle coach with Optavia, a product lifestyle/life cycle company based in Baltimore Maryland.
“My goal is to be laser focused and intentional about helping my clients and health coaches get what they want...which will ultimately help me get what I want,” Strauss said.
For Teresa Senatore, UBCC administrative assistant, it’s consistently honoring healthy eating habits.
Growing his business is what Shane Peeve of Sunset Pest Solutions, Inc. listed as a top 2019 resolution.
And expanding his business is one of Joe Wingert’s New Year’s resolutions. “Transforming” his family’s weekly Lahaska –based newspaper into a regional media outlet is Wingert’s professional resolution.
Wingert is the incoming UBCC Board of Directors president and publisher of Bucks County Herald. He also wants to travel to England this year.
Outgoing UBCC board President Jason Wehrung wants to “slow down and appreciate life as much as possible,” and Tracy Kline, UBCC operations director, wants to make more time at least weekly “to do something I enjoy.”
Brett Fischer, owner of Fischer’s Tuxedo in Quakertown, wants to quit smoking.
And UBCC Executive Director Danielle Bodnar said she realizes how single intentional small choices create big ripples of change.
With this mindset of small changes moving Bodnar said better personal organization was at the top of her to-do list.
“I want to work on being the strategic organizer I know that I can be when it comes to my desk, my ‘to-do list’, [my] inbox etc.,” Bodnar said. That “found” time can go toward pursuing interests she’s intrigued by, or those that get lost in the shuffle of everyday work and living. Cultivating both internal and external self-awareness is another of Bodnar’s resolutions.
What’s my New Year’s resolution? I’m Melinda Rizzo and as a UBCC member, freelance writer and the chamber’s blog, content and annual directory writer, I want to use technology more effectively to streamline my writing processes.
What’s your New Year’s resolution?
Let us know- email email@example.com and if we have enough responses, we’ll share another post!!
Did you know there’s nothing like it anywhere else in Bucks County?
Our annual Community Profile and Membership Directory provide more than a snapshot of the area.
It lists every single UBCC member. It’s a venue for advertising your business in print and online. It showcases our natural resources and destination amenities, and its outreach is crafted to cater to residents, business, educators and visitors alike.
Focused serves a three-fold purpose: A consumer “one stop” resource, a community outreach and advocacy platform and a visitor’s tourism resource.
We’re proud of the fact it’s unique, and we create and produce it ourselves.
The 2019 directory’s theme is water – and you can just about hear it tumbling over rocks and bubbling along crevices on this year’s cover.
Upper Bucks is rich with this essential resource, and we wanted to pay tribute to it.
Throughout Upper Bucks County’s 21 municipalities – which we define as Palisades, Pennridge and Quakertown Community school districts, you’ll find water everywhere.
Streams, rivers, ponds and swamps, you’ll see – and hear it in gullies, water worn ravines threading along the sides of our country roads.
From the vast water resource that is Lake Nockamixon to those back roadway trickles, our water tables are high, clean, and mighty.
Deep beneath the surface natural scrubbers like black shale rock, quartz, limestone and clay silt beds inform our water’s taste and mineral content, keeping it pure and unique, just like us.
Abundant water allows residential and business communities to survive and thrive.
Supporting the area’s business community is our prime directive. We want you, our business members to thrive, too.
Advertising dollars pay for the creation, production and distribution of the annual directory so it’s free to our end users.
This year we’re printing 7,500 copies - another record, and once again the directory will have a mirror image available online to anyone in the world, from an internet click away.
If you haven’t advertised before make sure to check it out when it arrives in late January.
Ask us questions about the book, its look, feel and its mission. And support UBCC’s directive to help grow your business footprint by becoming an advertiser.
If you’re already an advertiser, thanks! We value your support and we couldn’t do it without you.
Again, look for the 2019 directory in January, and let us know what you think!
We watched the Eagles win Super Bowl LII on February 4, and we’re wrapping up the year like a sure bet outside shot; rooting for the 76ers to take it all this time around.
This summer was wetter and warmer than usual and by now, most of us know what a pestilence the Spotted lantern fly has become.
In August we heard from the next crop of young entrepreneurs fresh from Pennsylvania Free Enterprise Week, and how they learned operating a business isn’t easy.
We co-hosted the first ever networking mixer with three regional Chambers of Commerce in September at Altek Business Systems, with a great turn despite more rain and lots of conversation and business card sharing.
We watched – sometimes with giddy excitement (if your stocks were performing well) and at other times catching our breath (if they weren’t) at a volatile stock market’s rise and fall, and rise and fall... and rise.
We marveled at a 3.7 percent unemployment rate in September - unheard of since 1969.
Throughout the year we supported new business owners with ribbon cuttings, with education, with networking opportunities and with a seat at the table and strong collective voice that is Upper Bucks County.
We shared in your delight and we felt your pain when things didn’t go according to your business plan.
Alongside our manufacturing communities we’re striving to expand professional and workforce development, during a time moment when skilled talent is hard to come, by and critical jobs remain vacant.
Like them we wonder, how can this be? What can we do to fix it?
We realize a skilled talent shortage is a bigger problem. It’s facing employers and educators throughout Pennsylvania and across the country. It needs to change.
We want to help change the perception that manufacturing is a dead end, or temporary career choice: Nothing could be further from the truth.
Closer to home and our collective heart, we bid long-time executive director, mentor and friend Tara King goodbye. We wish her nothing but the best in her retirement and fresh journey along the shores of Delaware.
We welcomed with open arms, and a big place in our hearts our next chief, Danielle Bodnar.
Danielle’s talents, strength and courage, along with her contagious energy and enthusiasm move us forward into 2019 and beyond.
And while 2018 slips into our rear view, we count our many, many blessings.
We wish you all the happiest of holiday seasons and a healthy, prosperous and invigorating New Year.
We’re taking a moment and looking at 2018 as the year rounds to a close.
DASH is making the rounds to area businesses – and bringing smiles, too.
We’re looking at what works and what we want to do better.
While death and taxes as the only sure bets in life have long been axioms since Christopher Bullock uttered a version of the phrase in 1716 – change is another of life’s certainties.
During the Upper Bucks Chamber of Commerce annual meeting held Nov. 20 at The Proper Brewing Company, members were formally introduced to incoming Executive Director Danielle Bodnar. They witnessed the “passing of the gavel” to new board leadership and heard a report from the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia about the economic outlook for 2019.
Bodnar replaces long-time Chamber director Tara King, who retired in October after leading and working with the region’s business community for nearly two decades.
Building on what UBCC does well, offering new educational opportunities, continuing and expanding workforce development initiatives and surveying members for new program opportunities were among Bodnar’s objectives.
“I want to get to know the board, members the community and stakeholders,” Bodnar said.
She said under King’s leadership innovative networking opportunities brought Chamber members together.
“I can’t think of another place where you have access to something like Foodie - it’s unique in the region. You can enjoy great food, wine, spirits, and buy a car all at the same time,” Bodnar said. The 13th annual Foodie was held Oct. 13, at Sands Chrysler Jeep Dodge in Richland Township.
Bodnar said the innovative second annual Clay Shoot held Sept. 17 was “hitting a great demographic and offering networking in a new way.”
Other leadership changes for 2019 included introducing Joe Wingert, incoming Chamber Board of Directors president.
“I know of few organizations that care as much about its members as UBCC does,” Wingert said.
Jason Wehrung, a two year board president, praised the chamber’s growth and outreach efforts during his tenure. Wehrung, who is a grandson of the late Woodrow “Woody” Wehrung, is the second Wehrung family member to hold UBCC’s top board position.
“One of the greatest things about entrenching myself into the chamber and serving as president for two years were the relationships I’ve had the pleasure of building both personal and professional,” Wehrung said.
Keynote speaker Ryotaro “Ryo” Tashiro provided an overview of region’s economic strengths, as well as outlining trade challenges in the coming year.
Tashiro is economic advisor and public outreach associate for the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia’s research department serving the Third District made up of Bucks, Montgomery and Chester counties.
Tashiro said “robust growth” during the second and third quarters of 2018, and the economy was performing at a 15-year high.
He was cautiously optimistic about continue growth - though likely at a slower pace through 2019.
“Consumer confidence [expenditures] feels optimistic now and will continue into 2019,” Tashiro said.
He noted Upper Bucks County’s business and industrial growth mirrors that of Pennsylvania and the nation.
Tashiro said recent “trade war” tariffs with China, Canada, Mexico and the European Union threw up a red flag for 2019.
Some $4 billion in goods exported from Pennsylvania are at risk because of tariffs, Tashiro said.
“Ninety-six percent of all exports from Pennsylvania went to China, so if you do business with China there is cause for concern,” Tashiro said.
Pennsylvania exports coal to China as well as personal computers and oak wood slabs. Coffee is exported to Canada from Pennsylvania; the European Union imports Harley Davidson motorcycles manufactured in its York, Pennsylvania, plant and Mexico imports metal alloy sheets from Pennsylvania companies.
According to Tashiro workforce development was the second area of concern moving into 2019. With a low jobless rate, employers continue to struggle to find appropriate applicants to fill positions.
“The unemployment rate for the nation was 3.7 percent, for Pennsylvania 4.1 percent and for Bucks, Montgomery and Chester counties 3.5 percent,” Tashiro said.
With vacant jobs outstripping those able to fill them Tashiro said a pattern could emerge where multiple employers compete for the same employees.
“There is a labor market skills mismatch right now, Tashiro said.
He noted health care and manufacturing as booming sectors, eager to find skilled candidates to fill available positions.
Photos © 2018 Anthony Serge
Hope and direction are central to the mission of a new Quakertown grassroots non-profit, which opened Oct. 15 to serve young people.
The Drop, located at the Quakertown Community Center, is a program geared toward middle and high school students who may find themselves aimless and faced with the temptation to cross into risky behaviors after school lets out.
Now they will have a safe place to go.
Located inside the former ice skating “log cabin” at Fourth Street, The Drop will be open two days a week in the afternoons for youngsters to gather, play games, and get to know others.
Quakertown Borough has provided the building and area businesses and individuals have stepped up offering funds and gear - like foosball and air hockey tables – as well as refreshments.
“Our plan is to coordinate services,” to best benefit these young people, said Vickie Landis, of Vickie Landis Team Keller Williams Realty Quakertown.
“As a company [Keller Williams Realty] we do a lot to shed some light and make people aware of non-profit [resources] in the community, “ Landis said.
Landis is on the board of directors of the Quakertown Community Center.
The center and its programs aim to provide a safe place with wholesome activities, resources and adult supervision but could also grow to offer academic tutoring, adult mentors and help with career or educational choices.
“The greatest need is to serve our young people,” said Bruce Eglinton-Woods, president of the Quakertown Community Center Board and pastor of Salem Mennonite Church in Richland Township.
Eglinton-Woods said training adult mentors and matching them with youngsters as well as such finding resources for academic tutoring could be part of the program’s future.
“For the first three months, we’ll be getting to know the kids and building relationships with them,” Eglinton-Woods said.
Ultimately, helping young people discover their “hopes, dreams and gifts,” and create plans to turn those dreams into reality is part of the program’s mission, Eglinton-Woods said.
Larry Serge is the Quakertown Community Center executive director. He said the program was the brainchild of area pastors. “We’ve been [exploring] this for the past three years,” Serge said.
He said making connections with students and offering them some structure and guidance to their day could make a huge difference in their lives. “Often kids without direction are hanging out at the parks,” Serge said.
Engagement was the key to success, Eglinton-Woods said. “If you look at youth programs in our churches, once kids go through them, they often don’t come back. Those that have an actual role in the worship, often do. Our goal is to give kids something that [appeals] to them” and creates investment, Eglinton-Woods said.
What: The Drop at Quakertown Community Center.
Who: Young people aged 14 to 18.
When: Open twice weekly from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., Monday and Wednesday.
Cost: Services to youth are free of charge.
Where: Former ice skating cabin at Fourth Street.
For information, to donate or volunteer contact Larry Serge at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Upper Bucks Chamber of Commerce
An economic development agency for Upper Bucks County, Pennsylvania.
|Upper Bucks Chamber of Commerce||