Designer bag bingo, for a wonderful cause


Lauren Savana, Centurion Staff

On Sunday, April 25, a group of Bucks students from The National Leadership and Success (NSLS) volunteered at a Designer Bag Bingo event hosted by the Peace Valley Holistic Center.
The Designer Bag Bingo event was held to support the charity-based center and involve supporters by providing a fun filled day of bingo, raffles, and cake.
The center bought the Coach and Kate Spade designer bags in anticipation of making that money back and gaining a profit.
“This is the first time we are hosting an event like this but, thanks to the great turn out, it sure won’t be our last,” said Mark McKee, the chairman of the board in Warminster.
He was dressed in a tuxedo with a wraparound microphone and acted as the emcee of the event. McKee, a cancer survivor, is living proof of the Peace Valley Holistic Center’s success.
The founders of the center, Dr. Christina Davis and daughter Donna Marie, are proud of the work that they’ve accomplished and of their significant impact on the community.
Dr. Davis had her own practice in Glenside for many years. When Davis decided to retire, her patients panicked. “She treated everything from broken hearts to cancer,” Donna Marie told the crowd of eager bingo players.
Her daughter, Marie, was a litigator that dedicated her work to helping children and families with autism. Due to the exhaustion of not seeing the results she wanted, Marie decided to go with a holistic approach, like her mother, to help these struggling children and families. “I was watching these children wait so long for proper litigation, that they couldn’t properly heal,” Marie said.
The Davis’s began the process of starting a charity-based holistic center. They filed paperwork to become a charity in 2009, and within in a year they were qualified. They found a building across from Peace Valley Park in Chalfont, hence the name Peace Valley Holistic Center.
Though the county owned the building, similar to a silo or an old farmhouse, it hadn’t been occupied in quite some time. They quickly began total reconstruction of the building.
“Since we were a charity we didn’t have the means to hire landscapers and contractors. But due to the relationships we’ve formed, and patients I’ve helped, there were so many people eager to help in any way they could,” Davis said.
By the spring of 2010, they were up and running. No one had ever seen anything like this before. A place for cancer patients, autistic children, or a soccer player with a torn rotator cuff, could come to this center for light therapy, sound therapy, nutritional advice, or needleless acupuncture.
Though initially the center started as a resource for those suffering with autism it has becoming a resource for many illness or ailments.
“We believe in integrating a natural way as a first option. Many of these children that were institutionalized are now living at home. We’ve even had eight or nine non-verbal children come in and now they are speaking,” Marie said.
The light therapy machine at the Center is the only one in the world that is patented. This has been used as a resource allowing many children and adults to unanimously benefit from.
The needleless acupuncture is “like 10,000 reiki masters working on you at once,” Davis said. She continued jokingly, “don’t let all the reiki masters I know hear that. A lot of them have been involved in the center.”
If you’re diagnosed with cancer, you can come into the center after filling out your medical history with the list of medicines you’ve been taking, and by the time the consultation is over, Davis can provide a list of vitamins you need and the proper way to get those vitamins.
“Dr. Davis told me when I started my chemo, ‘if you come by and see me, I will keep you up on your feet through this,’ and she did just that.” McKee said.
Davis and her daughter Donna have put together a great team of nutritionists, doctors, bucks county officials, and friends, to make this center run.
“It works and we have the measures of outcome to prove it,” Davis said.
The coordinator of the Designer Bag Bingo, Denise Mansell, is a nutritionist that is working on expanding the center with Marie.
The Peace Valley Holistic Center has gathered many local sponsors over the years, but one of their latest advocates is the NSLS.
The NSLS is a new leadership society that has become a part of the Bucks Campus. At the beginning of the fall semester the NSLS invited scholarly and academically inclined students to become members of the society.
Through a series of live broadcasts of successful speakers, success building team meetings, and community service, a large group of students have become members of this society.
Matt Kelly, President of the NSLS Chapter at Bucks, is heavily involved with the center. This was how the NSLS was able to volunteer at the bingo event.
Vice president Tyler Flannery, Emily Ahmad, Cecelia Johnstone, Meg Kiernan volunteered at the event as well.
Setting up cookie trays, organizing tables, greeting people at the door, auctioning off the bags, were just a few of the jobs the NSLS members took part in. All the members were just happy to be apart of such a wonderful cause, and to further demonstrate their skills as emerging leaders in the world.
Through out the day the members watched as 150 men and women take part in supporting the center and raising money for autism research.
The rounds came and went, bags were given away, raffle tickets were called, and baskets of goodies were won.
The final raffle was for the 50/50 pot. At a dollar a ticket, all of the money was thrown in a pot. Half went to the winner, and the other half to the center.
“Ticket 198566,” McKee called. A woman approached with her winning ticket. “I won, but I don’t want the money. Give it all to the center,” she said.
Just one of the many selfless people at this event. If there were more people like Davis, Marie, McKee, and Mansell, the world could be a much happier and healthier place.
All of these people share one similar goal: to help people. Here at Bucks, every student has the capability to do the same.
To learn more about giving back to your community, becoming a leader, or to be a part of something bigger than just your academic career, consider the NSLS. This is where leaders are created.