New Castle News

Local News

December 18, 2012

Gift of Caring: Girl raises $550 for hospital by asking for donations instead of presents on her birthday

NEW CASTLE — At its heart, Christmas is about a child.

For Julia Germond-Loudon, though, this holiday season has been about two.

The 10-year-old Neshannock Township resident couldn’t shake the memory of a pair of young girls – their heads bare from chemotherapy – talking with actress Jennifer Anniston about their cancer in a TV spot for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

“I’ve heard about it but I’ve not really seen anybody like that,” the fourth-grader said. “I started to cry.”

Her mom, Lucinda, recalled that after seeing the ad, Julia asked her, “Mommy, do those kids get to come home?”

“I told her some of them would never come home,” Lucinda Loudon said. “That’s when she said we really need to help them.”

That help came in the form of a $550 donation the family is sending today to St. Jude’s. It was collected Friday night at Julia’s 10th birthday, after Julia had asked her 20 guests not to buy her presents, but instead, to make a donation to the hospital.

“The two girls (on the ad) said they wanted to be princesses, and I already feel like one,” Julia said, “so I wanted them to feel like one.”

Originally, Julia’s mom said, her daughter had wanted to send toys to St. Jude’s, but a call to the hospital revealed that corporate donors supplied more than enough of those; what the facility really needed was research money.

“I went back to Julia and told her that,” Lucinda Loudon said, “and she said, ‘Well, then money it is, mom.’ ”

Lucinda and her husband, Russ, said that Julia’s friends and their parents all were excited about the idea, and stressed that they, too, deserve credit for their generous donations.

Little sister Jenna, 7, couldn’t help but be impressed as well.

“I was really happy for her because she cares about others,” she said of Julia. “I like how she was caring and loving for the people.”

Even though she received no gifts of her own, Julia’s birthday didn’t pass totally unobserved. She hosted her friends at a party with dinner, a DJ and dancing Friday night at Faraone’s on South Mill Street, where she arrived in style.

After claiming she had to go to the store, her mother called home a bit later with instructions for Julia to get her shoes on and go outside. When she did, she was met by a Hummer stretch limo, as well as all of her friends holding “Happy Birthday” signs.

 “It was cool,” Julia said. “The roof was all like zebra print and there was like neon lights and stuff. Before we went to the party, we went to see Cascade of Lights.”

Julia’s family has been touched by its own medical issues. Her 17-month-old brother R.J. once had to be rushed to the hospital when he stopped breathing. He later was diagnosed with asthma.

“When you look at asthma, that’s nothing compared to what these poor kids (at St. Jude’s) are going through,” Lucinda said. “These girls have lived a life lesson that you give to others – that you appreciate what you have.

“We’re just really impressed and very proud of her because there’s not many 10-year-olds out there that would want to do what she did.”

(Email: d_irwin@ncnewsonline.com)

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • PipeDreams.jpg Concert to feature sounds of ’60s

    This week’s Friday Night Live at Riverwalk Amphitheater will feature a 1960s theme. Entertainment will be provided by Pipe Dreams. The group performs a tribute to the British Invasion and American rock ’n roll with music from The Beatles, Stones, Doors, Monkees and hits from Motown and Philly.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • well.jpg Environmental groups oppose forced pooling

    An effort by local landowners to have forced pooling declared unconstitutional is getting some outside support. Two environmental groups — Delaware Riverkeeper Network and Mountain Watershed Association — have filed a friend of the court brief with Commonwealth Court. They are asking that the court review forced pooling, which is part of a 1961 Oil and Gas Conservation Law, before scheduled hearings take place.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • CashMob.jpg Cash Mob returns Saturday to downtown

    The New Visions Destination Downtown Action Team will host a cash mob Saturday in downtown New Castle.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • wampum_gazebo.jpg Wampum Homecoming draws near

    The 22nd annual Wampum Homecoming Weekend is scheduled for this weekend. It is sponsored by the Wampum Area Business Association.

     

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • money.jpg City imposing new regulations for vendors

    The city of New Castle is tightening regulations and imposing new ones for mobile food and transient vendors.

     

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • money.jpg New recreation fees adopted

    New Castle City Council has adopted a new fee schedule for Cascade and Darlington parks. The new schedule runs from 2014 through 2016.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • HolidayInn.jpg Union Township getting another hotel

    Union Township is getting a Holiday Inn Express. John McClure, owner of McClure Realty, said he had closed a transaction Thursday on 3.8 acres on West State Street for the venture, a couple hundred yards west of the Hampton Inn.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • audit.jpg Shenango pension fund audit due ‘this summer’

    The audit report of the Shenango Township pension funds are expected to be released this summer.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • HIShands.jpg Local youths team up with His Hands Ministries to do home repair for those who can’t afford it

    Area youth from various Lawrence County churches started lending a helping hand Wednesday to residents in need. The annual Lawrence County Youth Ministries service event brings together students and adults for three days of volunteering. It is part of His Hands Ministries, an initiative involving local churches and volunteers who split into work groups to perform  home improvement tasks for elderly and low-income homeowners in the community.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Blight.jpg Funds would target Lower East Side demolition

    The Lawrence County planning department and New Castle officials are partnering to wipe out neighborhood blight. They plan to start with the city’s Lower East Side.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo