The Administration Building's board room was overflowing Wednesday night with community members who came to support three separate parties, each with something great to share.
First Supervisors Chairman George Komelasky called down Veterans Advisory Vice Chairman Pete Palestina to present Navy Lt. Peter Busillo with his military flag for returning home safely.
Busillo was deployed to Iraq last October and was also the only patriot to place his own flag in the display in the board room. Because he returned safely, Busillo's flag will be replaced with an American flag in the display of 70 total flags. Only four patriots remain serving in active duty now.
"I just want to thank everybody for doing this. I really appreciate it," Busillo said. "Most of all I want to thank my family ... Sorry for putting you guys through that."
The Board wasn't finished with accolades yet. Next Komelasky summoned three Northampton girls to each receive a Distinguished Citizens Award. The girls organized an effort this summer to raise money for the Child Life Department at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Sarah Mannherz, Jalah Rocco and Lauren Dougherty set up a table outside the Richboro Shop n Bag selling lemonade, homemade cookies and CHOP Silly Bandz, in addition to donated gift certificates. The girls raised more than $1,000 in just three days, Ted Robinson, Mannherz's grandfather, wrote in an email.
"It's great to have a community where you have people start at a very early age to get things done," Komelasky said.
The girls, hesitant to speak at the microphone, smiled and held their plaques. Finally, Rocco stepped up to explain.
"When we saw [our friend] at school with a feeding tube because she couldn't have food go through her esophagus, we thought about this stuff," she said.
Though the scheduled portion of awards was over, there was one more group signed up during public comment who had something to share and a few words of thanks.
The Northampton Swim Team brought their trophy, awarded to them for winning their division and going undefeated 8-0 this summer.
"It's a fun summer event," Janine Grogan said. "This is what they won and worked hard for. We just wanted to show you, the township, by having this program what you allow us to do."
In other agenda items, the board passed a resolution requesting the DEP to pass an exemption to new regulations governing the Neshaminy Creek Watershed that would allow property owners to build small projects of less than 1,000 square feet on their properties without the hassle of extra fees. This exemption was in place before, and the supervisors passed the motion to request it be reinstated.
The next regular Board of Supervisors meeting will be Wednesday, Sept. 21 at 7:30 p.m. in the Administration Building.