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Our History

BUX-MONT MEALS ON WHEELS HISTORY

 

As read by Betty Shepherd at our 20th Anniversary Celebration on April 27, 1997

Prior to there being a Bux-Mont Meals On Wheels program, some of us from the Hatboro area had been volunteers with the Eastern Montgomery County program, operating out of Abington Hospital. In 1976 Abington was serving approximately eight clients in the Hatboro area. They  had reached their maximum client load based on the number of meals the Hospital could provide and there was a waiting list.  The coordinator of the Eastern Montgomery program was Fran Ward. Fran approached some of the Hatboro volunteers about the possibility of setting up a separate program for our area.

 

We had just celebrated the Hatboro Bicentennial and had an active committee which had produced many events. Some of us on the Bicentennial Committee were also Meals On Wheels volunteers and we agreed to explore the possibility of establishing a separate program.

 

Our first meeting was convened at the Hatboro Baptist Church on 10/4/1976. Sixteen people attended and seven volunteered to serve on a steering committee. Mrs. Ward had advised we could start a program with about three or four thousand dollars. We met again three weeks later. Betty Mattes was there and many of you may remember Ann Mitchell. We had explored various sources for food preparation, office space and legal assistance with incorporation. Nora Argue and I taste-tested the food at several facilities.

 

We began meeting monthly and became an incorporated non-profit organization as of 1/13/1977. We would be known as Bux-Mont Meals On Wheels and our target date was set for 4/11/1977. We actually served our first meals on 4/25/1977. Our office space was in the Seventh Day Adventist Church and Carole Kelcher was our paid coordinator. Warminster Hospital was preparing meals at a cost of $3.50/day and our bank account totaled $2,358. The money had been contributed by the local churches, civic organizations, governmental bodies and businesses.  

 

Most of our volunteers were women who did not work outside the home. There were many of us who took our young children along on meal delivery days. Both the clients and the children enjoyed the interaction.  

 

Our first anniversary was  celebrated  0n 4/25/1978 and our first annual meeting was held on 9/5/1978. Our bank account had grown to $3,300 but our costs were running about $4,000. Fund raising was destined to become a continued problem.

 

Our office moved to the Warminster Township Building in November 1978 and we were there until the move to Hatboro Borough Hall in November 2000. Marge Lethbridge became our coordinator in 1978. The program was running smoothly and we were able to add a fourth route. The Board still needed to meet monthly to iron out details. In 1981, Sylvia Larson became our coordinator and the Board began meeting three times per year.  

 

Nora Argue succeeded me as chairperson and she was followed by Betty Mattes in 1982. Marian Demcisak, Patty Ward and Flos Sterner joined us in 1983.  Margie Lethbridge came back as coordinator in 1985 and has remained an invaluable part of our program. (*Marge retired permanently in 2005 followed by Donna Homilier until 2013 and we have been fortunate to have Jeannine McKeogh since then)

 

The Rev. George Rigby was serving as Chairman of the board when we celebrated our tenth anniversary in April 1987. Harry Nixon succeeded George in 1990. Our 15th anniversary was celebrated at Warminster Hospital. Our 20th anniversary brought us back to the Hatboro Baptist Church where we first began. Today we celebrate our 30th anniversary as an organization providing a much needed service to the community.  It is our volunteers, however, that we celebrate today and every day since, without you, such a program would not be possible.

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