NEWTOWN >> The historic Temperance House in the heart of Newtown Borough has been named “Business of the Year” for 2020 by the Newtown Business Association.

The award was one of a handful of recognitions the organization doled out during its Jan. 28 Zoom Awards Breakfast meeting.

“This is our opportunity to thank the people who made 2020 a great year,” said NBA President Bill Sheffer of The First National Bank of Newtown. “I don’t have to tell you what a challenging year 2020 was. We had many people step up and we thank them for what they have done to make the year a success.”

Business of the Year

The NBA singled out The Temperance House as its 2020 Business of the Year, commending proprietress Kathy Buczek for giving back to the community even while struggling through a devastating year for the hospitality industry.

“Few industries have suffered more due to the pandemic than the food and hospitality industries,” said Sheffer. “In the face of adversity, one local business chose to help othersrather than dwell on the negative.

“Soon after the pandemic emerged, this local restaurant, bar and hotel created a program to provide free meals to local firefighters, first responders, paramedics, doctors, and nurses,” said Sheffer. “Thanks to donations from friends and local businesses, well over 1,000 meals have been provided to the local heroes who put their lives on the line for us.

“Kathy and The Temperance House also launched a food drive and has collected over 1,000 pounds of groceries for local food pantries.”

Buczek joined the call to accept the recognition on behalf of The Temp, which dates to 1772 when Andrew McMinn first opened the Inn.

“This is an honor,” said Buczek. “It’s been a challenging year for all of us. We’re all striving to be the best that we can be. The Temperance House has been creative in trying to help everyone we can.”

Buczek said it started with a fundraiser scheduled for March 15. “We were closed down the day before due to the pandemic. So instead of having that event, we donated the food to our police and firefighters. And then it just continued from there. It was an honor just to be able to do that.

“We just launched another food drive. If you’re able to stop by, grab a can or two and help out,” said Buczek. “Everything makes a difference.”

The Business of the Year Award is given annually to an “exemplary” NBA-member business for helping fulfill the NBA’s mission of promoting Newtown as a great place to live, work and play.

Humanitarian Award

Keeping with the pandemic theme, the NBA presented its Brian Gregg Humanitarian Award to the Newtown Area First Responders for navigating through a very challenging year in 2020 and keeping everybody safe.

The first responders were represented on the call by Newtown Ambulance Squad Chief Evan Resnikoff, Newtown Borough Police Chief James Sabath, Newtown Emergency Services Chief Glenn Forsyth, Newtown Fire Association President Warren Dallas and Newtown Township Police Chief John Hearn.

“No one probably knows better than our area First Responders how challenging last year was,” said Sheffer. “Today we honor our friends and neighbors who have worked so hard to keep us safe throughout the pandemic.”

The NBA’s Humanitarian Award honors an individual or group that embodies a selfless commitment to serve others with a generosity of spirt and a heroic dedication. It is named in memory of Newtown Borough Police Officer Brian Gregg who died in the line of duty.

“On behalf of our career and volunteer staff I’d like to thank you for honoring us,” said Resnikoff. “It’s been quite a year. I’ve been doing this 25 years and I’ve never worked under these conditions or even dreamed we would be in a situation like this for a prolonged period of time.”

Forsyth added his thanks to the NBA for the award. “It’s been a challenging year for all of us. I’ve been doing this a long time and like Evan, this has been a challenge. But we have had a lot of successes. And this award is very appreciated by the Newtown Emergency Services.”

“These have been interesting times for sure,” said Dallas, speaking on behalf of the Newtown Fire Association. “We respond to calls for help now with open windows in our fire trucks. We wear masks, practice social distancing and we conduct virtual meetings and training. The NFA is made up of volunteers who freely give of their time to support Newtown and we continue look for new members. If you, your son or daughter would like to become a firefighter contact us.”

And Chief Hearn added, “On behalf of the Newtown Township Police Department I would also like to extend my appreciation to the NBA for recognizing our police officers and our fellow first responders. We cannot do what we do every day without your support and your partnership.

“I want to thank you for your friendship, your dedication and your constant support,” he continued. “2020 has been a trying year for us all but I think together we can make a difference in everyone’s life and continue to progress Newtown and each other’s lives.”

President's Award

The NBA presented its President’s Award to Denise Alexander of the Bucks County Community College and Dan Petty from Edward Jones Investments. They co-chair the NBA’s Emerging Leaders Committee.

The award recognizes an NBA member whose dedicated leadership and outstanding service exemplifies the spirit of giving back to the community by making the services of his business available to support charitable and nonprofit endeavors.

“Every organization and business needs a succession plan,” said Sheffer. “With that in mind, two years ago Dave Marcolla launched the NBA Emerging Leaders group. In the face of the pandemic, the EL got creative and held new successful events - the Virtual Scavenger Hunt, the Virtual Business Expo and a Virtual Thanksgiving Day Parade. The EL group also transitioned the ‘Coaches On Couches’ to ‘All-Around Newtown.’ This morning we honor the two dynamic members who led the EL to new heights last year.”

Alexander thanked the NBA for the award. “I am truly honored,” she said. “Being an active member of the NBA has been so beneficial to me both professionally and personally. I want to thank Bill, Dave and the entire Emerging Leaders Committee.”

Petty added, “I’m honored to be part of this organization. What we’ve done to build business, foster friendships and connect community is invaluable, especially in the trying times we saw last year. I’m receiving this on behalf of a really great crew, but also the committee. None of us stopped. We just decided to pivot. Last year was hard in so many ways for all of us and we just decided to move forward.”

Unsung Hero Award

The NBA’s Unsung Hero Award went to Kelsey Jordan of KGD Films. The award is given to an NBA member or nonmember whose selfless acts of giving without seeking personal gain or attention exemplifies the highest levels of community service.

“The use of video to promote one’s business has grown exponentially in recent years and video became even more important due to the world-wide pandemic,” said Sheffer. “The NBA is very fortunate to have a member who is a skilled professional videographer who generously gave of her time and talent throughout 2020. Her amazing work has taken the NBA to a new level.”

Jordan said it’s been “a wonderful few years getting to know everybody in the NBA. It’s been particularly great in the past year. Obviously times were tough for everybody and business was slow, but it was a great opportunity to come in and get to know some pretty amazing people through the NBA.”

Distinguished Service Award

The next award, the Distinguished Service Award, went to newly-elected NBA President Dave Marcolla of the Dave Marcolla Group and Keller Williams Real Estate Newtown.

The award recognizes NBA members whose service to the NBA has gone above and beyond to further the growth, development and professionalism of the NBA.

“If you look up ‘creative’ and ‘innovative’ in the dictionary, you’ll likely find a photo of our award recipient,” said Sheffer. “Since leaving the corporate rat race, in a few short years our winner has become a top performing Realtor. It was his idea to form the ‘Emerging Leaders’ group as well as the NBA’s ‘Coaches On Couches’ now in the form of ‘All Around Newtown.’

“He was also the driving force behind the ‘Virtual Scavenger Hunt’ and ‘Virtual Business Expo.’ That’s just to mention a few of his positive contributions to the NBA,” said Sheffer. “I’m sure he has many more ideas that will benefit our organization and our members.”

Marcolla said the opportunity to get involved and to look at different ways of doing things “is something we all have the ability to do everyday in our jobs and our lives.

“I’m excited to see what’s next. I’m excited to see where this year goes,” he continued. “We have some great stuff and the organization is going to keep on going and powering through. Thank you to all the members and for all of your support.”

Community Service Award

Matt Peters, the owner of Weedman Bucks County, accepted the Community Service Award, which recognizes an NBA member whose dedicated commitment and meritorious service exemplifies an outstanding contribution to the community through benevolent acts and dedication of significant volunteer hours.

“This year’s award goes to one busy guy,” said Sheffer. “Not only is he president of his LeTip group and the Chair of the Newtown Township Economic Development Committee, he also hosts and produces the NBA’s ‘All Around Newtown’ interview program, which can be seen on Facebook. And in his spare time he also runs his business.”

Peters thanked the NBA for creating the opportunities “that allowed me to serve my community ... It’s been a great distraction from everything going on. I’m glad that what I was doing is appreciated.”

In addition, Sheffer recognized two outstanding members who are leaving the board - Laura Webber-Carnevale from Klatzkin & Company and Ken Ogborn from Action Karate.

“Thank you Laura and Ken for your energy, hard work, wisdom and commitment to the NBA,” said Sheffer.

The mission of the NBA is to promote Newtown as a great place to live, work, shop and do business, thereby enhancing the economic vitality of the community for member businesses through networking, education, community involvement and coop advertising opportunities.

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