In late November, 2016, our next Children’s Grant recipient is the Lehigh Valley Hospital Children’s Wing. This specific project was chaired by incoming PWS President, Dick Ressel. One of Dick’s initial ideas to further support the original PWS grant of $500 was to approach the large Dick Blick store in Allentown to see if they would partner with PWS on the grant. After numerous contacts with various store employees and managers, the proposal for Blick to match our $500 grant was taken to Blick corporate headquarters. Dick Ressel and PWS anxiously awaited the corporate answer. After what seemed like a long wait, a positive answer came down from Blick corporate; Blick agreed to match our $500 which meant that the grant to the Children’s Wing was now $1,000! Dick continued to move the project forward. He was in close contact with the hospital to learn what types of art materials they needed and allowed. When this data was accumulated, Dick, with lists in hand, headed again to the Blick store in Allentown to pick out the $1,000 worth of art supplies for the hospital. In addition to matching our $500 grant, Dick Blick provided generous discounts on the materials selected. With the help of Dick Blick’s Tara Santoro and Emily Ahn, several large boxes of art supplies were gathered for eventual transporting to the hospital.
Dawn on Monday, November 28, 2016, broke cool and calm with a hazy sun. Current PWS President John W. Walker and incoming PWS President Dick Ressel met in Lancaster, Pa, shortly after 9:30 am and proceeded to the Dick Blick store in Allentown, PA. Again with the help of Tara Santoro and Emily Ahn, the art supplies were carefully loaded into Dick’s car. After a few more miles of travel and a quick bite of lunch, the PWS Presidents arrived at the Lehigh Valley Hospital where they were met by Vanessa Gramm Mackey, Child Life Specialist, who escorted them along with several large boxes of art materials to the 4th floor Children’s Wing. Vanessa and Administrative Partner, Lisa Annunziato, helped unload the boxes in preparation for the materials’ dispersal. Although Dick and John were not able to actually hand out any of the art supplies to the children because of security regulations, they were assured that the children would be more than enthusiastic when the supplies were dispersed. The hospital provides services to children from infant to over 18 and treats all maladies from severe burns to cancer. PWS and Dick Blick only hope that our gift of art supplies may bring some joy and pleasure to the children who get to use them!