On the evening of Dec. 19, 2014, a small army of volunteers converged on St. Ann School in Emmaus to sort food, pack boxes and wrap presents.
The volunteers were participants in the St. Ann Helping Hands program.
Through the program, parishioners, school children and Knights of Columbus provide food and gifts to folks in need.
Mike Elwert, Nicole Freeman and Ben Servagno co-chair the Helping Hands committee which celebrates Christmas by providing identified families with holiday dinners and presents. Everyone is encouraged to pitch in.
The Jefferson Elementary School Drama Club sponsored a fundraising bingo party Jan. 10 at the school.
Participants enjoyed lunch, snacks, camaraderie and, if lucky, prizes.
The drama club is parent run and mainly self-sustaining. This year, for the first time, the organization received a contribution from Jefferson's PTO.
Volunteers Lisa Edelman and Kami Reinhard will co-direct the production and Maia Geiger will arrange the choreography. Parents create costumes, devise sets and coordinate lighting.
In addition to providing their clients with healthy, attractive smiles, Dr. Aejaaz Issa and the staff of Ai Orthodontics are also practitioners of the art of giving.
Each year the Ai Orthodontics team chooses a cause to support. The Pediatric Cancer Foundation of the Lehigh Valley became the 2014 focus.
Shirley Klotz, of Salisbury, appreciates opportunities and capitalizes on second chances.
Originally from Schuylkill Haven, Klotz moved to the Allentown area circa 1968. For approximately 50 years, she has worked as a hairstylist and beautician. For much of that time she ran a salon in Allentown; eight years ago she moved her business to the 15th Street Salon in Emmaus.
Original and symbolic, the United States Marine Corps monument greets visitors to Cedar Beach Park in Allentown.
On Nov. 10, Marine Corps veterans from Bethlehem Detachment #284 and Lehigh Valley Detachment #296, some accompanied by families and friends, met at the monument for the Lehigh Valley 24th annual United States Marine Corps birthday celebration.
In recognition of the Corps 239th birthday, Marine Joseph Malia presented General Lejeune's iconic 1921 birthday message.
The debut Jefferson Elementary School Duck Fest and Derby paddled and waddled into Emmaus Community Park Oct. 18.
Jefferson's PTO, led by President Brandi Bazella, has put the fun back into fundraising.
Instead of sponsoring the usual catalog sales of wrapping paper, jellies, candles and the like, Bazella and company developed a student/parent/community interactive plan to generate monetary support for the school.
The project began when each class received a duck bank to decorate.
Over 500 rain soaked bicyclists began arriving at Emmaus Community Park Oct. 11 where food, showers and tent accommodations awaited them.
At 7 a.m., participants in the 2014 Structure Tone Ride to Conquer Cancer had attended opening ceremonies at Philadelphia's Belmont Grove. They then mounted their bikes and pedaled the 75 miles to Emmaus. After an evening of food, music and fellowship and a night in one of the 250 tents lining Community Park, they cycled the 75 miles back.
The mission statement for St. Ann Women's Club emphasizes sprititual development, community service and social interaction.
The annual bags and baskets bingo Oct. 10 meets several of these goals. Local businesses and generous individuals sponsor refreshments and prizes such as Longaberger baskets and Vera Bradley bags.Volunteers and club members provide the manpower and participants enjoy fun and fellowship.
The proceeds are distributed to numerous worthy causes.
In case of emergency, dial 911. The advice is sound; the number is memorable. The caller is usually experiencing some level of distress. So, who takes the call?
Dan Bellesfield, Lehigh County's 911 operations and training coordinator, trains the operators and designs the procedures to keep the emergency communications system reliable and efficient.
Bellesfield grew up in Allentown and later lived in Salisbury Township. The son of an Allentown firefighter, he views his involvement with emergency services as a "natural transition."