Ann's Choice Residents Wrap Gifts for Children in Need Just in Time for the Holidays at Gift Wrapping Extravaganza!

Residents Also Wrap Gifts in Competitions to Raise Awareness for Giving

WARMINSTER, PA - Ready, set, wrap! That was the mantra at Ann's Choice earlier today as residents participated in the Second Annual Ann's Choice Holiday Gift Wrapping Event, Fastest Fingers and Most Beautifully Decorated Present Extravaganza. Today's gift wrapping special event had three components---a contest to see who was the fastest gift wrapper, who could wrap the most beautifully designed present and it also featured a gift wrapping party where many residents wrapped more than 600 gifts for needy children throughout the region. Five residents - Nancy Bowers, Nancy Lee Breece, Elise Bratis, Charley Gysi and Jane Levy had exactly five minutes to wrap as many holiday gifts as they could in the Fastest Fingers competition. In the most Beautifully Decorated Gift Wrapping competition, the three competitors were Jerry Byrnes, Deanna Dvorak and Anita Mihalchik - who had loads of colorful wrapping paper, bows, ribbons and unique holiday themed decorations to help them create the most beautiful looking gift box. Next, more than 600 presents, which were donated by the public to the YWCA of Bucks County, The Pajama Program and Child, Home and Community, were wrapped by some of the 150-200 residents on hand at the holiday party.  These gifts were collected by the agencies and will be distributed to children just in time for the holidays. For three years Ann's Choice residents have wrapped presents for the YWCA of Bucks County during the holiday season.  Now, they also wrapped for The Pajama Program and Child, Home and Community. After a fast and furious five minutes, the winner of the Fastest Fingers competition was Nancy Bowers, the reigning champion from last year.  Mrs. Bowers wrapped an astounding eight gifts in five minutes. Anita Mihalchik had the most creative eye, winning the most beautifully designed present competition. "The Ann's Choice Holiday Gift Wrapping Event serves to highlight one of the many exciting happenings at our community," said Joseph LoCascio, Ann's Choice executive director.  "The most important part of this contest is that everyone who took part were winners - those who wrapped for a great cause, the YWCA of Bucks County, The Pajama Program, Child, Home and Community and most of all the children who will receive the presents." "At Ann's Choice we have a mission to serve not only our residents, but to share our gifts with those within the community outside of Ann's Choice," said Susan Abtouche, Ann's Choice philanthropy director.  "The annual gift wrapping event is our way of reaching out to help underserved children at a time that many people take for granted - when people enjoy family and friends during the holiday season.  Our residents look forward to being part of a network of helping the children." "We are very pleased and proud to have such a wonderful partnership with Ann's Choice," said Catherine Behrmann, chief operating officer of YWCA Bucks County. "From providing nutritious meals to hungry YWCA families, to hosting and sponsoring our annual Bucks County Teen Volunteer Awards Program, to wrapping gifts for needy children at holiday time, Ann's Choice has consistently been there for us.  As we reach out to help even more children and families in our community, we are blessed to have such a committed and giving partner." Pajama Program Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter President Christina Auld-Kadri said, "One of the top priorities of the Pajama Program is to raise awareness of children in need within our community who we serve.  Our partnership with Ann's Choice in this wrapping event is one project that will make this happen, and we thank the residents and staff for their ongoing support of our efforts." "Child, Home and Community is very grateful that the resident volunteers of Ann's Choice will be wrapping children's books that we will be distributing to our teen parents and their children at the annual holiday party," said Kathleen Dwyer, Child, Home and Community program director.  "As a non-profit agency, we rely greatly on the kindness and generosity of others. Thank you, residents of Ann's Choice." The YWCA Bucks of County is a nonprofit organization serving children, women and families since 1954.  Its mission is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.  Through the YWCA Holiday Hearts Program, and through collaboration with the Marine Corps' Toys for Tots Program, YWCA Bucks County has worked through the years to bring happier holidays to children and families in the communities it serves. The Pajama Program is a non-profit organization that provides new books and new pajamas to children in need, many who are waiting and hoping to be adopted. These children live in various settings including group homes, shelters and temporary housing and are shuffled often from one place to another.  Many of them have been abandoned, abused or neglected.  Most of these children have never enjoyed the simple comfort of having a mother or father tuck them in at bedtime with warm, clean pajamas and a bedtime story.  Some of the children we serve are living with their families below the poverty level, in desperate need of food, clothing and shelter. Child, Home and Community is an organization whose goal is to ensure healthy births, enhance  family stability and promote self-sufficiency.  The organization's core values are; that all children have a right to a healthy start in life, every expectant teen parent is entitled to quality healthcare and education, young parents need support in order to develop healthy children and that all families are valued. More than 2,000 people live at Ann's Choice, an Erickson Living full-service retirement community that promotes a vibrant lifestyle.  Erickson Living develops and manages 16 full-service retirement communities that provide worry-free living for America's seniors - the country's fastest-growing population segment.  Erickson Living's refundable entrance deposit and predictable monthly service fees provide residents across the country financial peace of mind. Comprehensive health and wellness services, integrated into every community, lead to demonstrated resident benefits.  For more information, visit www.ericksonliving.com.