Across the spacious grounds of Playwicki Farm, located at 2350 Bridgetown Pike, Feasterville, colorful bounce houses were erected, a variety of food trucks assembled in an organized line, and musicians lugged their instruments to the stage on the evening of Friday, July 12.
This was the third event in Playwicki’s annual 2nd Fridays series, and nothing could put a damper on the festivities — not even the scorching heat.
Beginning at 5 p.m., locals began trickling in to enjoy several hours of relaxing music from artist Andrew Lobby; food and drinks from Chuck’s BBQ, Goodnoe, Naked Brewing and more; and information on specialty services from vendors and community organizations such as LulaRoe, Bayada Home Health, the Feasterville Rotary and Friends of the Lower Southampton Library.
At 5:45 p.m., Rose McMenamin, president of the Playwicki Farm Foundation and 2nd Fridays event chairperson, drew attendees’ attention to the main stage where a number of area police officers, volunteer firefighters and EMS personnel had gathered for a special ceremony.
Unique to this particular 2nd Friday, McMenamin took several moments to single out first responders and thank them for their brave efforts. Members of the Lower Southampton Fire Department, Feasterville Fire Department and the Tri-Hampton Rescue Squad were present, with the Lower Southampton Honor Guard displaying and carrying America’s colors.
“Tonight, we are paying tribute to the real heroes in our community – our police and our first responders and all those that have served our country. We’re paying tribute to our local protectors that give so much to us and for our community. Their hard work, dedication and sacrifice every day makes us safe and Lower Southampton a better place to live, work and play,” she said. “Their duty runs deep.”
Ray Weldie, chairman of the Lower Southampton board of supervisors, along with supervisors Ed Shannon, Deborah Kaplan and Keith Wesley, were present.
“We are so lucky in Lower Southampton to have such a dedicated group of young men and women. They volunteer to give their time 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. They sacrifice their holidays, time with their families, their leisure time to protect us and keep us out of harm’s way,” Weldie said. “While we all run away from danger, they’re running toward danger to keep us safe. Don’t ever forget that because without them, we wouldn’t have the safest community.”
In attendance with his newborn baby was Rep. Frank Farry, who, as a 30-year volunteer firefighter in Langhorne/Middletown, understands firsthand the demands and risks of the job.
“Whether they chose a career in EMS or law enforcement, or they’re volunteering in EMS or providing fire protection, they provide such a valuable service,” Farry said. “When you are at your worst moment, they are responding to be at their best moment. So think about that. When you are calling 9-1-1, chances are you are suffering one of the worst moments of your life and these men and women show up and they are at their best to put you in a better place.”
In Farry’s opinion, there’s nothing better someone can do than put themselves in harm’s way to save another human being.
McMenamin then returned to the stage, stating how when a resident is experiencing an emergency, “all we have to do is pick up the phone and they will be there.” To echo this sentiment, Lobby performed a touching, acoustic rendition of Charlie Puth’s “One Call Away.”
To conclude the ceremony, McMenamin invited 2nd Friday guests to decorate an evergreen “Tribute Tree” with special, red, white and blue ribbons, handmade by the Playwicki Farm Foundation. These are meant to honor the area’s dedicated first responders, and will remain on the tree, which sits proudly on the 110-acre farm, throughout the remainder of the summer.
For information, contact the Playwicki Farm Foundation at 215-357-7300, Ext. 340, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The 2nd Fridays series is sponsored by the American Heritage Credit Union in Feasterville. ••
Samantha Bambino can be reached at email@example.com