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- New Hope Celebrates -

Four New Board Members Join New Hope Celebrates in 2024

New Hope, PA: New Hope Celebrates (NHC), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization located in Bucks County, PA, welcomes four new members to its Board of Directors – Shelby Bacorn, Kelly Beck-Kay, Paul Kokesh, and John McNeill. They will serve for a two-year term, effective immediately, in preparation for NHC’s 21st Annual PrideFest Celebration.

Melissa Patterson, President of NHC, said, “I am excited to have these new team members join the Board. All have been volunteers for NHC in the past and are ready to step into larger roles to support the organization. They each bring unique skills that will help fill some of our current gaps to help us be a more well rounded organization. I can’t wait to get to work on all our initiatives for 2024!”

Sharon Fronabarger, V.P. of Governance & Special Advisor, added, “As we welcome these new individuals to our Board, I am filled with immense optimism for what we can achieve together now and into the future. Their passion for equality matched with their lived experiences will bring invaluable perspective to our board, guiding us towards programs and initiatives that truly resonate with those we serve.”

Each of these individuals have been carefully selected after a thorough application and interview process. Taking into consideration their relevant experience, areas of expertise, and community involvement, they will help further the mission of NHC – to bring people together to share in a celebration of the LGBTQ+ history, diversity and the inclusiveness of New Hope, PA and Lambertville, NJ.

Shelby Bacorn will assume the role of Volunteer Coordinator. She is a dedicated individual with homegrown roots in Lambertville. From filling salt shakers at the former Lambertville/ New Hope Rescue squad banquet hall to sweeping the mud off flooded streets, Shelby is always doing something to serve and better the community. She has worked with the Lambertville Free Public Library for over ten years, giving her the ability to multitask and wear many hats. This includes, but is not limited to, organizing craft nights, assisting in the children’s summer reading program, and creating social media campaigns.

Kelly Beck-Kay is originally from Philadelphia and moved to Bucks County in 2003. She discovered New Hope in her early teenage years and has been an active member in the community ever since. Currently, she lives in Doylestown with her wife Angela, her twin daughters – Madison and Hailey, and her son, Billy. She began volunteering with NHC in 2020 and has a passion to give back to the LGBTQ+ community. Kelly has a commitment to teaching diversity, inclusion, and equal rights. She believes setting an example for her children is very important. Kelly will succeed Sharon Fronabarger as the VP of Governance as of March 31.  Sharon will remain with the Board as a Special Advisor in support of the organization.

Paul Kokesh is an entrepreneur with a passion for business, the arts, and community. As a Rutgers University alum in Business Economics, Paul has owned and operated successful companies including retail stores, vacation rentals, and B.A.M. – a boutique agency he runs alongside his husband, Chris. Together, they implement customized marketing and operational strategies for consumer brands. After a stay in one of New Hope’s historic properties, Paul and Chris fell in love with the town’s inclusive nature and now call it home. It’s with great enthusiasm that Paul joins the NHC team to serve and celebrate this diverse and vibrant community.

John McNeill grew up just outside of New Hope. After going to college in Rochester, New York and spending ten years living in Northern Virginia, they returned home to Bucks County in the summer of 2018. Following a career of video editing with Apple, The Great Courses, and Volkswagen of America, the move home was both a geographic and career shift, to one of John’s lifelong passions – woodworking. After spending three years working in a cabinet shop, John recently joined a local high-end furniture studio. As an ardent volunteer, John has been working with NHC for some time, helping out with Pride, the High Heel Drag Race, and other NHC events throughout the year. In 2023, John helped organize the Pride Fair alongside NHC Board Member, Eric Stephenson.

These new members join current Executive Board Members Melissa Patterson, Ryan Segura, Eva Guasconi, Rich Lucarini, and Sharon Fronabarger as well as Board Members Roger Green, Eric Stephenson, John Bell, and Fred White. The NHC Board of Directors as a whole is optimistic about the future of the organization. As The Board begins to plan for PrideFest 2024, which will include the Annual Pride Parade and Fair on May 18, volunteers who would like to get involved are encouraged to apply at www.newhopecelebrates.com/about-nhc/volunteer.

About New Hope Celebrates –

New Hope Celebrates (NHC) is a 501c3 nonprofit organization focused on highlighting the history and cultural nuances of New Hope, PA and Lambertville, NJ while stimulating the retail, hospitality, and professional community. NHC is comprised of a Board of Directors that drives activities and events that serve the diverse LGBTQ+ populace through the creation and promotion of marketing opportunities, educational activities, and cultural events. One such event is the annual, week-long Pride celebration held in May. Since 2003, NHC has organized events that recognize the strong LGBTQ+ presence in the New Hope area and celebrated the history and culture of the scenic river towns. Funding generated through New Hope Celebrates events is channeled back into the community to support collaborative business and cultural initiatives that make New Hope a great place for residents and visitors alike.

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For The Most Recent News, visit the NHC Newsletter
Mail in donations to: New Hope Celebrates, PO Box 266, New Hope Pa 18938
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