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.
Neshannock updates student handbooks
Neshannock school district student handbooks are being updated.
- Neshannock OKs raises, personnel moves
Board, staff bids farewell to superintendent
Dr. Mary Todora will retire Monday from the Neshannock school district. “I remember eight and a half years ago when Dr. John Dietz (then-board president) called to tell me I got the job. I was thrilled,” Todora said at her final board meeting.
National title? Neshannock grad hopes to become America’s Distinguished Young Woman
New Castle will be represented next week in the 57th Distinguished Young Women National Finals. Miranda Nichols, who last year was crowned 2014 Lawrence County and Pennsylvania Distinguished Young Woman, left Sunday for Mobile, Ala., where a national winner will be determined June 26-28 at the Mobile Civic Center.
‘Great Honor’: Sansone competing in premier Cape Cod league
John Sansone will play with the best of the best this summer.The Neshannock High graduate and current Florida State University starting second baseman will play for the Brewster Whitecaps during the 44-game Cape Cod Baseball League regular season, which ends Aug. 3.
A reason to ‘Believe’: Autumn Paolini’s personal battle delivers inspiration to teammates
Autumn Paolini has never been one to complain. But over a month’s span earlier this spring, the brown-haired, blue-eyed Neshannock Township teenager had migraine-like headaches and frequently went to her parents Jim and Cheryl for help.
Photo Gallery, Story: Neshannock girls softball team wins second straight WPIAL title
The Neshannock High softball team did it again yesterday. This time, the Lady Lancers had to overcome a feisty South Side Beaver squad as well as a determined Mother Nature.
Neshannock runner honored for positive attitude
Lizzie Manickas was rewarded for her great disposition. The Neshannock High senior cross country and track and field standout received western Pennsylvania’s Most Positive High School Athlete Award.
Athlete of the Week: Meet Madison Shaffer of Neshannock
Madison Shaffer nearly was unbeatable last year. The scary thought for opponents of the Neshannock High softball team is the junior pitcher may be even better in her second year inside the circle.
Fees divide Neshannock school board
Members of the Neshannock Township school board displayed disagreement over various items when they met this week.
- More Neshannock Headlines
- Neshannock updates student handbooks