Showing off "Windblown Flowers," a quilt they are raffling, are members of the Newtown Quilters Guild, from left, Jane Nadig, President Regina Apuzo, Christy Stephenson, quilter and designer Sallie Lloyd and Barb McClintock. Mark your calendar for their upcoming Quilt Show, "A Stitch in Time," Oct. 14 to 15 at the Lower Bucks Masonic Hall in Lower Makefield. Raffle tickets at $1 each or six for $5 will be sold at the show with the winner drawn on Oct. 17. INFO: NewtownQuiltersGuild.org.
By Jeff Werner
@jefwr1982 on Twitter
Lower Makefield >> Together, Lower Makefield celebrated the unofficial end of summer on Sunday with fun, food and fireworks.
From the picnic pavilion to the basketball courts and from Kids Kingdom to Edgewood School, smiles were everywhere from the kids taking a whirlwind ride on the Gyro to adults enjoying the sounds of the Bucks County Singers and browsing by booths promoting the local community.
From the time the event opened to the time it closed with a dazzling display of fireworks set to music by the Zambelli Brothers, hundreds enjoyed a day of community togetherness as the final weekend of summer came to a close.
“Everybody’s smiling. Everybody’s happy. And everybody is enjoying their community,” said Kristin Tyler, who chairs the Lower Makefield Board of Supervisors. “It’s just great to get everybody off of Facebook and looking eye to eye with each other in a fun and enjoyable atmosphere.”
The big crowds were a welcome sight for newly-hired Parks and Recreation Director Monica Tierney and her predecessor Donna Liney who organized this year’s event for the township.
Needless to say they didn’t get much sleep in the days leading up to the event as the remnants of Harvey churned their way to the Middle Atlantic.
“There’s been a lot of praying and a lot of positive thought - not willing to admit that bad weather was a possibility,” said Tierney.
For Liney, it was deja vu. Last year she also faced an uncertain forecast, again from remnants from a hurricane. But just like last year, the rain moved out as the event was about to begin, giving Liney a much deserved retirement gift in the form of clearing skies and breaks of sunshine.
“To see all these people coming out and having a great time and enjoying the township, that’s the best part of the day for me,” said Tierney.
“This is a great way to showcase Lower Makefield and to really see what we’re good at,” she adds. “We have a lot of local vendors here selling everything from food to raffle tickets. And it’s just really great to see what Lower Makefield is all about. And it’s personally a great way for me to get to know everyone.”
Monica comes to the township from the marketing department at St. Mary Medical Center. Prior to that she was a Parks and Recreation Director for the U.S. Army at Fort Drum in New York.
One of the more popular attractions of the day was the dunk tank, which saw Pennsbury Principals Donna McCormick Miller and Stephanie Hultquist along with Director of Elementary Education Michelle Spack taking a turn in the tank to raise funds for their designated charities.
Several township supervisors also braved the cold water, including Judi Reiss, who raised funds for the 9-11 Garden of Reflection, Jeff Benedetto who designated his time in the tank to the SPCA, and John Lewis.
“I’ve got to be crazy to do this,” said Reiss moments before taking her turn.
Benedetto took so many plunges during his turn on the hot seat that supervisor Dave Fritchey joked that Benedetto had set a new North American record of being dunked 247 times in 47 minutes.
Benedetto just smiled, encouraging kids who hit the target, but not with with enough force to send him into the drink to push the manual release bar.
“Okay, here we go,” he said clapping. “The next Arron Nola,” he remarked as a youngster stepped to the plate and wound up with three chances to dunk the supervisor.
Not many throws later, a waterlogged Benedetto emerged from the water enjoying the fun and knowing he was doing it all for a good cause - the animals.
Meanwhile over at the picnic pavilion, Colin Marsh and members of the Yardley Lions Club were busy selling mouthwatering entrees including smoked brisket, pulled pork and chicken and white bean chili.
Marsh and 23 seniors from the Bucks County Technical High School whipped up the food on their first day back to school to benefit the local Lions and their charities, including the blind and visually impaired.
“They stepped up and did an awesome job,” said Marsh, of his class.
“The brisket was done 20 hours with hickory and the pulled pork was 16 hours with pecan,” said Marsh. “I smoked it and the kids pulled the pork and sliced it,” he said.
The food proved to be a huge hit, with the waiting line at least 10 people long at times.
Two and a half hours into the event, they were already in the black, said Marsh. “Now everything is on our side,” he said.
“We still have a lot of food left, but we’re about to run out of brisket,” he said. “We did 75 pounds of brisket and 75 pounds of pulled pork.”
Not far away, Supervisor Fritchey was making his way through the food court checking out the offerings.
“It’s a wonderful thing for community building,” he said of the event. “I’m seeing lots of smiles and lots of people of all ages mingling. It’s one of the highlights of the year,” he said.
“I love the fireworks. They are awesome,” he adds. “I love the bands. And the dunk tank is always fun. It’s just good seeing everyone together having fun.”