COVID-19 has turned lives upside down since its appearance on the horizon causing cancellation of events everywhere.
It has moved in quickly and quietly to take hold and along with it a new normal was inadvertently created. The Village Improvement Association (VIA) has nevertheless carried on taking it in stride. Meetings are now held through teleconferencing, the first ever for VIA on May 5. The last live event, which occurred on Feb. 23, was the Empty House Party at Creekside, held in preparation for the Designer House Tours, enjoyed by over 400 guests on a beautiful Sunday afternoon.
Opening day of the Designer House on April 26, a major VIA fundraiser, coinciding with the 125th anniversary of the founding of VIA was canceled. Disappointing, yes it was.
The VIA rose to the occasion on April 26 under the leadership of Joyce Hanson, president. Events were replaced with the creation of a caravan to honor health-care heroes and the VIA’s 125th anniversary.
Members of the caravan assembled at the Bucks County parking garage where they met a Pine Run Shuttle sporting a banner on either side highlighting VIA’s 125 years, which led them through the town past the James Lorah Memorial House, the first and second hospitals, Sara James’ gravesite at Doylestown Cemetery and ended with circling the perimeter of the hospital grounds. Escorted by regional police, 25 cars threaded through town with flashing lights.
The pandemic was thwarted on all sides by the ingenuity of the VIA through a meaningful tribute and memorable milestone. At the same time, parade enthusiasts were overjoyed by a replacement for the Memorial Day Parade, the oldest in the country. The original 14 women who started the VIA in 1895 had to be grinning ear to ear.
Remaining true to its mission to enhance the health and welfare of Central Bucks County, the VIA hosted two blood drives at the James Lorah Memorial Auditorium April 8 and April 9 with a total of 75 blood donations received, exceeding Red Cross goals, circumventing traditional donation points.
In the midst of all the hustle and bustle the Bucks County Women’s History Month Awards ceremony was canceled. The award is granted to a Bucks County woman who best exemplifies social, intellectual and creative contributions to the future and quality of life for Bucks County residents.
Celia Sharp, member of the League of Women Voters of Bucks County who deals with social justice in the community and advocates for the disenfranchised, was selected.
The VIA June luncheon has been re-scheduled for Sept. 15, when installation of officers will take place.