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.”
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.
Photos, Video, Story: Neshannock falls short in PIAA title game
The Neshannock High softball team came up short in its bid for history yesterday. The Lady Lancers were gunning for consecutive PIAA crowns in different classifications, which would have been a first across the state. They would have become the first softball team in the WPIAL to win back-to-back state championships as well.
No tax hike for Neshannock schools
The Neshannock school board adopted a $16.6 million budget for next year with no tax increase. The 2013-14 spending plan is $464,067 greater than the current year’s budget.
District accepts assessment compromise
The Neshannock Township school board has accepted the negotiated tax assessment appeal compromise with BFH Development Co. The compromise settles the property value at $2.9 million for the company that leases property to Giant Eagle on Wilmington Road.
Lady Lancers fall hard in PIAA title game
It just wasn’t Neshannock’s day. The Lady Lancers were hoping to win their second straight PIAA softball title, but Williams Valley denied the dream with a 13-0 victory.
PIAA title game highlights
New Castle News staffers Andrew Petyak, Ron Poniewasz Jr., Erica Galvin and Ashley Hautala deliver updates from the Lady Lancers' battle with Williams Valley in the PIAA championship game.
PIAA Championship Preview: Neshannock to take on Williams Valley
For the second straight season, a team entering the PIAA softball finals has ambitions of its first state title. Last year, Neshannock High was looking for and found its first state gold, a 4-3 triumph over Warrior Run in Class AA.
High School Softball: Neshannock's Furst to play for Robert Morris
The Neshannock High softball team just won the first WPIAL championship in its history. Now the Lady Lancers have their first Division I player.
Photo Gallery, Story: Neshannock softball team advances to PIAA title game
Pack your bags, the Neshannock High softball team is heading for the state championship — again. The Lady Lancers clinched their second championship game appearance in as many seasons, getting plays when they needed them in a PIAA Class A semifinal-round triumph over Southern Huntingdon, 4-1.
Athlete of the Week: Meet Alexandra Fischer of Neshannock
The zone. It’s that special place batters can sometimes find themselves during the course of a season. The ball seems to be the size of a beach ball, a pitch left in the zone is greeted with authority and every hit seems to find a gap.
Neshannock reaches state final
The Neshannock High softball team has reached the state championship game with a 4-1 victory Tuesday over Southern Huntingdon. Check out our inning by inning updates.
- More Neshannock Headlines
- Photos, Video, Story: Neshannock falls short in PIAA title game