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Enhancing the Health and Welfare

of Central Bucks County and Surrounding Communities

Mission-Focused Committees

Community Recognition and Community Response
Chair – Marilyn Mele

Biannually, the Community Recognition Committee selects and recognizes an individual or group that has contributed to the community consistent with the mission of the Village Improvement Association. The recipients are honored at the June VIA Luncheon.

The Committee also awards one-time grants to other non-profit organizations which address unmet community needs. Grant requests should be consistent with the VIA’s mission to enhance the health and welfare of Central Bucks County and surrounding communities and may not provide permanent support, either total or partial, to an agency or individual.

Education Committee
Chair – Dr. Arlene O’Hara

The Education Committee awards three Hannah Pollock-Laura Haddock Scholarships to graduating Central Bucks School District seniors who demonstrate academic excellence and who are active in their schools and communities. Acceptance for further study in a human health-related field is required.
The Committee also evaluates and selects a graduating senior high school nursing scholarship recipient for the VIA Ruth Boland Memorial Nursing Scholarship, which is financially supported by the family of the late VIA President Ruth Boland.

To learn more click here.

H.O.B.Y (Hugh O’Brian Youth)
Chair – Liz Graham

The H.O.B.Y. award is given to a high school sophomore student to attend a leadership skills conference for a weekend in June. Working closely with guidance counselors, it is the committee’s responsibility to review applications and choose the recipient.

To learn more click here.

Home Life Committee
Chair – Kathy Lambert

Our committee enriches the lives of residents at the Pine Run Lakeview and Health Center facilities with various activities including bingo, holiday gifts, an annual tea and visitations. A bake sale at Pine Run is held by this committee and nets money to buy holiday presents.

Veterans Committee
Chair – Pat Shire

The Veterans Committee supports the mission of the VIA by providing information on military issues to the VIA membership and by collecting and coordinating VIA donations to selected military charities. The committee collects donations at the October and November VIA meetings and distributes the funds through the rest of the club year. The veteran-related charity is always consulted about its needs, and the committee purchases and delivers these selected items when possible.
The committee is also involved in additional VIA activities such as the coordination of the November Petite Luncheon as well as the Doylestown Veterans Day Parade and other military-focused activities in the Doylestown Community.

Welfare Committee
Chair – Marianne Chabot

The committee works with area agencies to provide funding for rent, fuel oil, food, car repairs, and prescription medications. In the fall, an annual coffee is held during which representatives of social service agencies meet, interact and report to the committee. Members of the committee, who receive and approve referrals seven days a week, donate over 3000 volunteer hours. Contributions are given to various agencies to aid their efforts in providing essentials and services to those in need.

To learn more click here.

Women’s Scholarship Committee
Chair – Dr. Sandy Homel

This committee was established in 1997. It is a program designed to provide financial aid to eligible women to obtain education and/or training to prepare them to secure employment or to improve their work status by upgrading their skills. The scholarships are based on need and must be used only for educational/vocational purposes.

The committee receives applications from women who are primarily referred through social service agencies, local college counselors, and community support groups. Applicants are generally adult women seeking to re-enter the job force, who are in need of support services for counseling and housing. Many of the applicants are single parents hoping to establish financial independence for themselves and their children. Applicants submit a goal statement, personal references and a plan of study. This committee does not review applications from graduating high school students.

Click here to download a scholarship application form.   To learn more click here.

Operational Committees

1895 Society Committee
Chair – Jean Upton

The VIA’s 1895 Society encourages and tracks contributions to the VIA and all VIA committees. These gifts initiate or support programs now and in the future that enhance the quality of life in our community or offset expenses or continuing costs of the organization. 

Donations to the VIA are accepted in any amount in any of the following ways:

  • Gifts in the form of cash or check
  • Legacy or bequest through a will or estate plan
  • Gifts of life insurance, retirement fund proceeds or other assets

Designer House Committee
Contact: Contact-BCDH@VIA-Doylestown.org

The annual Bucks County Designer House & Gardens, held each year in May, is the VIA’s largest VIA fundraiser. Designers and landscapers transform a local property to a splendidly decorated house and gardens. The event is attended by thousands throughout the region. Proceeds benefit Doylestown Hospital, Doylestown Health, and the missions of the VIA.

Finance Committee
Chair – Kathy Krick

The Finance Committee, which includes the treasurers of the VIA, Designer House, James-Lorah Memorial Home, and Welfare committees, is responsible for supervising the fiscal affairs of the organization, including making financial reports to the Board each month. They are charged with reviewing and establishing controls for revenues and expenditures and overseeing the VIA’s investments. This committee also prepares the annual budget, which is presented to the Board of Directors at the April meeting and to the general membership to be voted on at the May meeting.

Fundraising Committee
Chair – Dr. Sandy Homel

Our poinsettia sale at the holidays, a holiday cookie sale, restaurant events, other special events, and a small 50/50 raffle at membership meetings are just a few of the ways the Fundraising Committee raises money for the VIA. Tickets for sales and events are often available in the hospital Gift Shop and at general membership meetings.

Governance Committee
Chair – Lillian O’Connor

The Governance Committee is responsible for reviewing Bylaws and Policies, Board development and membership involvement.  Bylaws and Nominating are subcommittees of the Governance Committee.

Information and Technology
Chair – Jan Cope

The IT committee’s mission is to evaluate and manage the technology the VIA needs to operate in a safe and effective manner. Membership is open to any VIA member in good standing who has a solid understanding of current technology solutions or who plays a vital role in the organization managing technology, finances, or information.

James-Lorah Memorial Home Committee
Chair – Jeanne Sandusky

The mission of the James-Lorah Memorial Home Committee is to preserve, supervise and coordinate the operation and maintenance of the headquarters of the Village Improvement Association, its house/museum and the adjacent Auditorium; to restore and conserve the records of the VIA and the contents of the house/museum which is to be made available for tours in accordance with the terms of the Will of Miss Sara M. James when she bequeathed her home to the Village Improvement Association.

The home has a rich history as the birthplace of Henry Chapman Mercer and home of Miss Sarah M. James, the VIA member who donated the property to the organization upon her death in 1954. In addition to serving as a meeting place for members of the Village Improvement Association of Doylestown, the James-Lorah Memorial Home is also listed on the National Register of Historic Homes and considered a historic place by the Heritage Conservancy.

The James-Lorah Auditorium, attached to the historic James-Lorah Memorial Home, is available for your own special occasion whether it is a party, business, or social event. The air conditioned space seats XXX. The acoustics are excellent for musical performances or recording sessions. Bring your own caterer to the full kitchen or enjoy a short walk to nearby restaurants.

Marketing Committee
Chair – Pat Urban

The Marketing Committee supports the mission of the VIA through activities that promote the VIA to the hospital staff, patients and the community to help build awareness and VIA membership. Provides support for the maximization of the VIA’s fundraising commitment to benefit the hospital and community.

Membership Committee
Chair – Polly O’Brien

The Membership Committee encourages prospective members to join the VIA and current members to participate actively in the organization.  Committee members welcome all members and guests at the general membership monthly meetings. Every September an event is held to introduce women who are interested in the VIA. They receive a guided tour of the JLMH, a packet of information, and a warm welcome from the membership. In addition, committee chairs explain their committee’s responsibilities to encourage new members to join them. Our mentorship program helps new members settle in. This committee also includes Sunshine and Memorial activities.

Preservation of Records
Chair – Carolyn Kozakowski

This committee works to properly preserve records relating to the history of the VIA from the earliest days available to the present day.

Strategic Planning
Chair – Helen Hammes

We develop multi-year strategic plans to support the organization’s Vision, Mission and Core Values.

Social Committees

Conservation Committee
Co-Chairs – Nadine Baxter and Deborah Thorne

The Conservation Committee is involved in varied activities which support the VIA mission. Our fall Card & Game Party Luncheon, for example, brings our members, and members of our community together with an afternoon tea followed by groups of ladies playing all sorts of games from mahjong to pinochle. A portion of the proceeds raised at this annual event go to supporting selected projects for conservation of the gardens around our historic headquarters.

Floral Arts Committee
Chair – Ginny Riedley

The Floral Arts Committee provides floral arrangements on the refreshment table for monthly meetings, and centerpieces when needed for a meeting/luncheon. The committee also sells Christmas greens to help fund the cost of floral arrangements for the June luncheon and decorates an area at the Pearl S. Buck House in November for their Festival of Trees.

Hospitality Committee
Chairs – LaFaun Reed-Kahn

The Hospitality Committee is responsible for asking members to provide sandwiches or cookies for large VIA member meetings and for coordinating servers for those meetings.

Literature Workshop Group
Co-Chairs – Carolyn Kozakowski and Georgia Ford

The Literature Workshop (Book Club) meets once a month to discuss a book chosen by the members. Members agree to read the book before the monthly meeting and to be willing to discuss it with the group. Each month a new book is selected by the members at the meeting.

Program Committee
Chair – Helen Hammes

The Program Committee provides timely, interesting, and quality programs that educate as well as entertain the monthly VIA membership meetings from October through May. The June Annual Luncheon in odd years presents Community Recognition and Response awards and Human Health Scholarships to high school seniors.  In even years, the new Officers are installed and the high school seniors are awarded scholarships.

Social Committee
Chair – Mary Bachman

The Social Committee organizes social events for all VIA members to attend. These may include outings to museums, theaters, lunches, dinners or any social event that might interest a number of VIA members.