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.
PIAA Volleyball: Neshannock girls falls to Cochranton
The Neshannock volleyball team was feeling the love last night. The Lady Lancers received a standing ovation from their friends and family as they walked off the floor following a 25-9, 25-8, 25-20 loss to Cochranton in the opening round of the PIAA Class A volleyball playoffs at Meadville High.
WPIAL Playoffs: Neshannock to take on Monessen
The Neshannock High football team is in for a case of déjà vu. The Lancers will meet Monessen for the second-straight year in the WPIAL Class A quarterfinals at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Chartiers-Houston.
Homecoming: Former athlete Randy Crum returning to Neshannock as man of God
Randy Crum left Neshannock High School as a three-sport star. Now he’s going back with a triune God. Crum, pastor of Wayside Emmanuel Church and founder of Vision Ministries of Lawrence County, is planning his fifth quarterly crusade for 6:15 p.m. Nov. 9 in the Neshannock High auditorium.
WPIAL Volleyball Playoffs: Neshannock valiant in loss to top seed
The Neshannock High girls volleyball team opened some eyes last night. The Lady Lancers fell to Bishop Canevin 25-21, 25-11, 25-13 in a WPIAL Class A girls volleyball semifinal at North Allegheny.
WPIAL Volleyball Playoffs: Neshannock girls outlast Shenango in thriller
Jordan Wethli is not a fan of having her shots blocked. However, when her final one last night deflected off a pair of Shenango defenders and landed off the volleyball court, she and her Neshannock teammates celebrated.
WPIAL Playoffs: New Castle, Neshannock and Laurel learn first-round matchups
Three Lawrence County football teams are where they expected to be for the first round of the WPIAL playoffs. The Neshannock, New Castle and Laurel high squads were satisfied with the seeds they received when opening-round matchups were announced last night at a meeting at the DoubleTree Hotel.
WPIAL Volleyball Playoffs: Neshannock girls top South Side
The Neshannock High volleyball team wanted a third matchup with Shenango. And the Lady Lancers worked five games last night to get their wish. Twelfth-seeded Neshannock rallied from a 2-1 deficit by winning the final two games for a 25-14, 15-25, 22-25, 25-22, 15-11 WPIAL Class A first-round playoff decision over fifth-seeded South Side Beaver at North Allegheny.
Fish fare: County native, cookbook author Kathy Hunt to talk seafood in Pittsburgh
Area residents who like seafood will go for this hook, line and sinker. New Castle native Kathy Hunt — cookbook author and syndicated food writer — will appear at 11 a.m. Oct. 26 at the Pittsburgh Public Market.
Neshannock drill goes ‘without a hitch’
A disaster drill last week showed the Neshannock school district is prepared. Dr. Mary Todora, superintendent, noted the drill — which she said “went without a hitch” — was carried out with cooperation of the township police department and school’s security guards.
Homecoming 2013: Check out our video, interview from Neshannock!
It's that time of year again when the hard-hitting action of Friday night football gives way to the elegance and pageantry of homecoming. Every Wednesday, look inside for special photo galleries featuring all attendants on this year's courts. This week: Ellwood City!
- More Neshannock Headlines
- PIAA Volleyball: Neshannock girls falls to Cochranton