To many, Labor Day is just another 3-day weekend that we throw on the red, white & blue attire and fire up the grill. It’s the unofficial end to summer before the kids return to school. But as often the case, there’s more to it than that!

Labor Day was first celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882. It was created by the Central Labor Union of New York, and its purpose was to honor the American worker and create a day off for working citizens. In 1884, Labor Day was declared a federal holiday. Congress moved it to the first Monday in September, and designated it as a yearly tribute to the American Workers who have contributed so much to the strength, prosperity and well being of our country.

WE THANK YOU, THE AMERICAN WORKER!

Thank you for your contributions, your sacrifices, and your hard work. This year, perhaps more than ever, we recognize that not everyone gets to take a day off even if it is a holiday. And whether you’re an “Essential Worker” that’s been going to work throughout the pandemic, or you’ve been working from home while also maintaining some sense of normalcy for the people in your home … we’re all in this together.

While every profession makes a difference for your family and our community, we wanted to highlight just a few of the hardworking individuals.

If you’d like to nominate a worker to be added, email us at [email protected] Please include the person’s name, a photo, where they work/role, and what makes them great.

Christopher Ojeda, R.N. 

“The most rewarding part of the job for me is knowing that I’m making a difference.  Especially during covid, with strict visitation policies, family members were completely dependent on us to convey their love and emotion to their loved ones.”

Chris has worked at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania for 12 years now. As an ICU float nurse, he is responsible for filling in and working in all 5 of the ICUs and additionally all other units. During the height of the COVID admissions, he worked exclusively in the COVID ICU, which he described as an “incredible experience.”

Here, he talked about his experience in his own words:

The unit was a Temporary ICU operating in a step down unit, so it had challenges from a physical lay out, let alone battling something new and unknown like COVID. What made my time so memorable was being able to run a unit and work with my fellow float nurses for an extended period of time. We normally don’t get to work wit each other frequently and definitely not in these numbers.
None of us had even the slightest shred of hesitation to jump right into working the Covid icu.  There was anxiety and fears in waiting for Covid to arrive, but once it hit, it was business as usual. As float nurses we already have a come what may attitude.  Covid was new, but the “make it work with whatever it takes” attitude has been our mantra for as long as we have done the job.
The most rewarding part of the job for me is knowing that I’m making a difference.  Especially during covid, with strict visitation policies, family members were completely dependent on us to convey their love and emotion to their loved ones. We used face time to orchestrate virtual visits and had to hold hands and gently touch patients while their family comforted them and expressed their love. Often these meetings became emotionally overwhelming especially when it was end of life situations. It’s too hard to separate from that kind of raw and real situation. But the gratitude of the family made these situations worth the emotional toll it took on my coworkers and myself.

Lillian Paikin, Bookkeeper 

Lillian (Shapiro) Paikin of Jenkintown celebrated her 104th birthday on July 14! Born in 1916, she lived through the Spanish Flu pandemic, two world wars, the Great Depression, the Cold War, 9/11 and now … the COVID-19 pandemic! She currently does all the title work and paperwork for her grandson’s car dealership, Frank Paikin Auto (a Montco Happening List Winner). She has no plans to retire and insists that you must keep your mind busy.

“Enjoy the day no matter what because it will be gone and you will have wasted it on worry! And worry gives you wrinkles!”

Allison Boss, R.N. 

Allison is a mother of 3 and has worked at Lower Bucks Hospital as a RN in the ICU for 13 years.

“The most rewarding part is the positive impact I can potentially have on my patients’ lives and the difference I can make.”

Matthew Maier, Volunteer Firefighter

Matt graduated from William Tennent High School and Middle Bucks Institute of Technology for Public Safety – Class of 2020.  During a time where many young adults might have taken the summer off, especially after a stressful end to his Senior Year, Matt continued as a volunteer Firefighter with Southampton Fire Company – No. 1.  He has been active there for 4 years, ever since he applied at the age of 14. Matt signed with the United States Air Force at age 17 and plans to pursue Special Operations.  He leaves this November.

“I wanted to continue at the fire station during the pandemic and during summer off because simply put, firefighting is my passion.  This time was especially important to me because when someone calls 911, they expect help in any way possible, and I wanted to be that someone that is there by their side during possibly the worst day of that person’s life during the worst time in all of our lives. It is very satisfying to me to put the hard work into training and learning and put it to such an amazing cause.  No better feeling!!  That is the payoff to this job.  I am grateful to have the opportunity and I will do it until the day I leave for the Air Force.”

Junay Dennis, C.N.A. 

Junay has been working at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia since March 2015. The first 2-1/2 years, she was a medication technician on the CICU/CCU. She became a Nursing Assistant in September 2017 and has spent the past 3 years working the Complex Care Unit/NICU Step-Down Unit. Her role consists of taking vitals, feedings, bathing, diaper changing, transport, assisting nurses with patient care needs and giving them love and care so they can get healthy and strong.

“My most rewarding part is getting to spend time with the babies/kids and getting them healthy enough that they can go home with their parents and continue to be strong and stay healthy. Also, the smiles and laughs you get from a 6day old to a 18month old. I am known as “AUNT NAY” to everyone!!”

Chris Ebinger, Senior Network Technician

Chris Ebinger, who has worked in IT at Bucks County Community College for more than 12 years, says he started connecting his unused personal computers at his Hatfield home to IBM’s World Community Grid to contribute to scientific research. When the global pandemic closed his workplace to students, he proposed using the idle computers at the college’s Newtown campus to run simulated experiments for COVID-19 research. Now, nearly three dozen Bucks computers process 30 days’ worth of research every 24 hours. Find out more HERE.

“I am delighted that a project I joined in my basement and supported in my free time has become such a huge contribution to further science.” 

Labor Day Events & Activities

Labor Day 2020 won’t include the big firework events of years past, but you can still find fun ways to celebrate the holiday with your family! Here are a list of nearby events, places to visit and activities to do at home.

Say Farewell to Summer with a BBQ

Cooking outside is always a summer favorite. Read THIS article to get some tips on grilling, smoking and barbecuing.

Get the freshest produce and other BBQ necessities, at a local farm market. 

HERE’S our 2020 Farmers Market Guide.

OR, shop at Basil Bandwagon! 

Clinton- 38 Old Hwy 22 | 908-735-3822
Flemington- 276 US Hwy 202/31 | 908-788-5737
Lambertville- 239 N. Union St | 609-460-4500
Stock up on your favorite backyard picnic staples at Basil Bandwagon. Grilling meats, fresh produce, salads from their farm-to-market cafes, frozen treats, deet-free bug spray, natural sunscreen and more. Basil Bandwagon is open for in-store shopping, curbside pickup and delivery.
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If you can’t be at the shore, at least look like you are! 

Read THIS tutorial with tips from local hair stylists to get beachy waves at home.

Get away for the day (or at least a few hours!) 

Many families are skipping summer vacations this year, but we could all use some time out of the house to unwind and have fun. Read THIS list of “Staycation” ideas that are within a few hours’ drive from home.

You know what’s coming … #PUMPKINSPICEEVERYTHING! Get your fill of summer flavors before they’re gone.

Check out our 2020 Summer Food & Drink Guide for suggestions.

Attend the Reopening of The Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia

Huzzah! The Museum of the American Revolution will reopen to the public just in time for Labor Day weekend. Be one of the first visitors back in the building to experience the tumult and transformation of the Revolutionary era through their unmatched collection, immersive galleries, and powerful theater experiences.
Reserve tickets HERE.

Get Some Christmas Cheer to Hold You Over Until December

(Photo provided by Aversa PR)

Visit Tinsel in Philly’s Midtown Village for their final weekend open before the holiday season. Enjoy socially-distanced cafe seating, frozen and ice cold Christmas cocktails, boozy Grinch pops, holiday decor and festive tunes. Find out more HERE.

Visit Hellerick’s Family Farm in Doylestown

Hellerick’s Family Farm will be open all weekend long with tons of activities for all ages. Sign up for goat yoga. Zip line, climb and free fall through the Aerial Adventure Park. Try the Farm Obstacle Course. Let loose with over 45 activities in the Adventure Farm. There might even be some sunflowers left.

See Trolls at the Free Philly-Drive In Presented by T-Mobile

Come out to Fairmount Park for a free screening of Trolls on Friday, September 4. Click HERE for more information and to reserve your free ticket. (One needed per car.)

Go to a Concert Social Distance Style with Drive-In Concerts by Mid Atlantic Event Group

On Friday, September 4, you can see Big Whiskey and The Launch in a classic rock concert featuring classic Southern rock, and a tribute to Queen, Boston & Stx. Saturday night will be country music from Jimmie Allen. Both nights will feature food trucks and a full concert production. Concerts take place in the parking lot of Oxford Valley Mall. Get more info and purchase tickets HERE.

Kick off the Long Weekend at Foodzilla Friday in Fairless Hills

Funzilla in Fairless Hills is partnering with Mommy’s Lil’ Black Book to offer Foodzilla Fridays every Friday night in Septemeber and October. September 4 is the first event from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. There will be food trucks and vendors set up in the parking lots. You’ll also receive 25% off at Funzilla.

Visit Longwood Gardens for Beautiful Scenery and Illuminated Fountain Show

While this year’s fireworks show is cancelled, you can still enjoy the beautiful gardens and Fountain Show at Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square. The 30-minute performance takes place at 8:15 p.m. On Friday night, the theme is “American Songbook Reimagined” and Saturday night’s theme is “To Philly, With Love.” The Fountain Show is included with Garden Admission. Purchase timed tickets HERE.

Take a Train Ride on the Hunterdon Flyer with the Black River & Western Railroad

All aboard! Enjoy an extended length excursion, all the way from Flemington to Bowne and back. Features a stop at Bowne Station to stretch your legs and enjoy the scenery. Trains run Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. Purchase tickets HERE.

Come Out for  “Art on the Farm” at Patterson Farm in Yardley

Happening Sunday, September 6 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., this outdoor art sale in Yardley features over 30 local artists. Enjoy music, a bake sale, food trucks, and more. Social distancing and face masks required. Reserve a spot to attend HERE. Free parking.

Tune in for The National Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa VIRTUAL Polish Fest

You’ll have to BYO pierogi and golabki this year! Like many events, this popular annual festival is cancelled. However, The National Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa has planned a virtual festival/telethon for Labor Day in hopes to continue this important fundraiser for the shrine. There will be musical performances, interviews, cultural segments and more. Watch the LIVESTREAM on Monday, September 7 HERE and on Facebook from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

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