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YWCA Bucks County honors two local women

Fund-raising and volunteer efforts earn them award

Created date

August 21st, 2012

This spring, the YWCA Bucks County honored Ann s Choice residents LJ Herman and Yoli D Archangelo as two Women Who Make a Difference. Erickson Living s community in Bucks County, Pa., nominated them for their campus volunteerism, especially for conducting programs that raise thousands of dollars for the Ann s Choice scholars fund. This year, the community awarded 33 college scholarships to students who work as servers in its restaurants.

Bringing people together

Although they have volunteers to help them, LJ and Yoli each do a lot of the work themselves, says Ann s Choice Director of Philanthropy Susan Abtouche. Besides raising a lot of money for the scholars fund, their programs bring great enjoyment to their friends and neighbors. Through the years, LJ, who moved from Lehigh County, has raised $23,681 by screening her extensive collection of videos, some nine shows a month, in the community s performing arts center for a nominal fee of $1 or $2. Her four series include sentimental, opera-dominated Schmaltz, Nostalgia Night movies and musicals, Les Cohen Memorial Classical Concerts, and an armchair travel series, LET S GO! LJ presents the same programs, with no admission fee, in the Ann s Choice continuing care neighborhood. The award stunned me, she says. This is my hobby. I love bringing people together and making them happy. I d be doing these things regardless. Yoli launched a Bingo program in the community s caf after she moved to Ann s Choice from Warrington nearly ten years ago. Now up to 100 Bingo players gather in the community s large multipurpose room. She s raised more than $35,500.

Changing lives

Why the scholars fund? My mother and father went to school on scholarships in middle age, which was unheard of in the 1940s, says LJ. I went to Penn on scholarship. I m very fond of the idea of providing scholarships for young people. I think books are important, says Yoli. She turned the second bedroom of her Fallston apartment home into a library/den. I want to help the students buy their books. What I can contribute can help change their lives. Both women say Ann s Choice makes volunteering easy. Maintenance-free, one-level living has relieved them of homeowner responsibilities. And because most of their commitments are on campus, they rarely cope with traffic, rising gasoline prices, or dicey road conditions. Their days begin with birdsong serenades during al fresco breakfasts on their respective patios. Then LJ might work on her video schedule or on Meet Your Neighbors, a show she created and hosts on the community s in-house TV station. Yoli might be off to the campus entertainment committee, the thrift shop, or to help host marketing luncheons as an Ann s Choice ambassador. She also works part time at Kohl s. There aren t enough hours in the day for me, she says. I m sampling everything there is to do here, and I love every minute of it.

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