Cheryl graduated Bucks County Community College in 2013 with an Associates of Arts degree. Before attending college, Cheryl ran her own home daycare for seven years, and then moved on to work in customer service and accounts receivable for 10 years. She went back to her passion of working with children with her in-home daycare and then as an instructional assistant at the Bucks County Intermediate Unit #22 for the last thirteen years. While working full time is when she received her degree and founded her own 501(c)(3) called The Christmas Gala, a non-profit that serves low income senior citizens throughout Bucks County. Cheryl began the organization out of the living room of her home and has since outgrown it and moved to an office in Bristol Borough. Growing from one program to three, starting with a handful of volunteers to over 50, and as of March 2017, she has resigned her day job and now works full time as the Executive Director of the company.
Cheryl has been nominated for and won many awards for her success with this organization. She and the Gala were finalists for 2017 Bucks Happening List for Power person, volunteer and the annual Christmas Gala event. The Christmas Gala was a finalist for community service from Lower Bucks Champions of Commerce in 2017. She won Bucks County Do-Gooders in 2014, a candidate for the Women of Distinction award in 2015, Bucks Happening Mover and Shaker award 2015, Bucks Happening Best Charity in 2014, and Bucks County Courier Times Emerging Leader 2016, Best of Bucks from Bucks County Courier Times for Non-profit and one of the Best of Bucks for Fundraiser, Bucks Happening 2018 awards for finalist for Best Non-profit, finalist for Best Senior Care, finalist for Best Fundraiser.
Jennifer Morse Anderson, Vice President – Wesley Advanced Living
Jennifer has worked for Wesley Enhanced Living for over 10 years – first starting out as an Activities Director and most recently moving into Sales two years ago. Jennifer enjoys helping senior citizens find a new home where their lives are enhanced. Jennifer’s grandfather, Harry Bodkin, created the Stocking for Seniors Program 25 years ago when he was a resident at Wesley Enhanced Living. He would fill Christmas Stockings for his neighbors that he noticed didn’t have much family. This grew and grew. Since his passing Jennifer and her mother, Jeri Morse, have grown this project to reach over 600 local senior citizens who live in Personal Care and Nursing Communities. Jennifer attended Eastern University in St. Davids, PA and majored in Communications. She has done internships with Disney and Fox News. Jennifer now lives in Northeast Philadelphia and is a busy mom to two boys who also volunteer with the Stocking Project. She is very excited to have The Stocking for Seniors Program In Memory of Harry Bodkin merge with the Christmas Gala.
I hold a Masters Degree in Education and Certification in Elementary Education, Early Childhood Education, and Special Education. I was a teacher for the School District of Philadelphia for seven years. During those years and following early retirement, I helped to set up and run the Pen Pal program with Senior Citizens and supervise the co-op work program. I have volunteered and taken part in the programs The Christmas Gala has since it originated. As Cheryl’s daughter, I grew up with the example of helping to take care of our elderly and understand the impact it has on them. I have a 6-year-old daughter who chose to help the animals of senior citizens for her school service project and Gobie’s Stocking was created. I live in Levittown, and if I’m not at a softball field with my daughter and niece, I can be found spending time with family, friends and my dog Finnegan Aldea.
Lori has worked in the Skilled Nursing field for 25 years. She is responsible for overseeing the daily business office functions, as well as handling residents’ funds and assisting residents in obtaining Medical Assistance for the nursing home. She resides in Langhorne, Pa with her husband and two children.
Elisa lives and breathes social media! Elisa is an accomplished social media freelancer and digital photographer who is well-known in the local retail, hospitality and tourism community. She moved to Bucks County twelve years ago and has become one of the area’s biggest cheerleaders. She enjoys supporting small businesses, especially local farms. Elisa and her husband recently bought a house in historic Bristol Borough where they are both members of Bristol Borough: Raising The Bar. Elisa is also a member of the art group #BristolBoroRocks. Her hobby is exploring and taking photos all over Bucks County and Elisa’s role with The Christmas Gala will be taking photos and helping with social media. She has volunteered for Bucks County-based Reuseyourshoes and United Way of Bucks County in the past. Follow Elisa’s photo blog at www.only-in-bucks.blogspot.com
Colleen Prendergast, Graphic Design Manager – CSP Designs #DesignerOnDuty email@example.com
Colleen has over 20 years experience in graphic design: 3 years for Bucks County Community College and 18 years for the Bucks County Courier Times, Intelligencer, Burlington County Times (Calkins Media). She currently works for a media marketing company in Horsham. Colleen was responsible for all of the marketing materials at the college and performed in many college events as well. At the newspaper, she won over a dozen awards for her work in news, features and sports design. As a freelance designer, she has extended her expertise into social media advertising, as well as logo design, advertising, branding, social media and more. In her free time, she and her family run Croydon Haunted Hollows, a local Halloween nonprofit in Croydon. Colleen is really excited to be a part of The Christmas Gala. She lives in Croydon with her husband, two children and one very spoiled Boston Terrier.
Deb Shields, Board Member at Large
Deb has a Bachelors degree in Social Work and was a social worker in Philadelphia for 8 years before she returned to school to pursue a Bachelors degree in Nursing from Thomas Jefferson University. Deb worked as an RN for 35 years in a variety of settings before her retirement in 2015. In 2013, Deb began the Birthday Buddy program at Family Service homeless shelter. The program, staffed by volunteers, provides monthly birthday parties for the children residing in the shelter. In 2016, Deb was awarded the Champion of Youth award by Family Services. Deb, her husband & daughter resided in Churchville, PA until September of 2015 when she & her husband downsized & moved to Bristol Borough. In November of 2016, Deb began volunteering for the Christmas Gala’s Angel tree program. Since that time, Deb has expanded her role at the Christmas Gala, assisting with the EPIC program & other daily functions as needed. She continues to be an active volunteer in several local organizations. Deb is excited to be part of the Christmas Gala board & looks forward to helping to carry out the Christmas Gala mission.
Helene Kelly, Board Member at Large
Jeri Bodkin Morse, Stockings for Senior Program Manager