Orange = Healing

Healing our Community

Surviving a ravaging fire and multiple floods, it is the power of the New Hope community’s spirit and grit to come together in times of need. In the late ‘80s, the town was feeling the effects of the HIV/ AIDS crisis, which stood in harsh contrast to the high energy and excitement of the time. Fighting AIDS Continuously Together (FACT) Bucks County was founded and incorporated in 1988, offering funding to help those diagnosed with the disease. Today, FACT continues to provide financial support to our community via numerous fundraising events throughout the year.

In 1996 Bucks Villa, a group residence for single men and women living with HIV/AIDS opened in New Hope and remains open to this day. Organized by Family Services of Bucks County and a HUD grant, the residence offers dignified housing. ​FACT Bucks County and its volunteers continue to provide assistance and financial support.

While we cherish the memories of those lost to HIV/AIDs, we celebrate lives saved. Together we shine as a community of hope, healing, and action.

Events

The 1960s

Once the premier gay bar and disco in New Hope, the Cartwheel along with Joe Black and Friends hosted numerous fundraising events to help those in the community in need. It was lost to a devastating fire in 2005.

The 1990s

Quarterly Bingos are the fundraising lifeblood of the FACT Bucks County organization. Hosted by Miss Pumpkin and friends, this spirited event raised over $500,000 since its inception.

1999

The first FACT AIDS Walk was, at the time, FACT’s greatest fundraising achievement marching strong until the last AIDS Walk in 2015.

1996

BucksVilla, a group residence for single men and women living with HIV/AIDS, opened in New Hope Borough.

2003

The annual Pumpkin Ball, hosted by the one and only Miss Pumpkin, is one of the most anticipated events of the year, raising money for numerous organizations including FACT Bucks County.

2005

NHC. led by its founder Dan Brooks, rallies to assist LGBTQ+ victims. In addition to media awareness, NHC set up a section of its website for people seeking shelter to get in touch with those donating space.

2016

St. Philip’s Episcopal Church and NHC held its first Service for Justice “Sharing Our Stories” featuring guest speaker Angela Gimpolo and members of the transgender community and their families.

Reflections

“The circle of life comes to its fullest with the devotion to so many in need by so many who care. Our community shows its true colors through the assistance given by our local nonprofit organizations. FACT Bucks County has always been there for those in need and I’m proud to be a part of it for over 25 years.”

Louis Licitra
Former President, FACT Bucks County

Places 18938

Mother’s Restaurant & Bar ‘70s

Located at 34 North Main St., Mothers was a popular restaurant and bar with unique cuisine and friendly gay staff. Locals met for breakfast every day to discuss local happenings. Closed in 2014, it is now The Dubliner on the Delaware River.

West Mechanic St. the ‘70s

Crowds gathered on Mechanic Street for Bastille Day Celebration to watch live drag performances, singing, and dancing in the street. The street is often closed for town events from art walks as well as the Annual High Heel Drag Race.

Karla’s ‘70s

Located on the corner of W. Mechanic and Main St., Karla’s is one of New Hope’s most famous social gathering places featuring great food and drinks. (Pictured above: Rob Ebert, Sysk, Bernard Robin, Jack Rosen’s Father, Ogden-the Ritz Lewis, Phil Powell, a group of locals enjoying drinks in the early ’70s.

Karla’s Restaurant & Bar ‘20s

Located on the corner of Mechanic and Main St., Karla’s was once Mels’ Coffee House and then the Ritz until the late ‘70s. Today Karla’s remains a New Hope hotspot with beautiful open-air seating where you can enjoy great food and an extensive collection of fine wines and an assortment of specialty martinis. It also plays host to local entertainers and drag shows.

New Hope Visitors Center

The New Hope Visitors Center, located at 1 West Mechanic St., was originally the first town hall, police department and jail in 1839. Today the Visitor’s Center features access for the disabled, an outdoor garden area, and public restrooms. Center employees assist visitors in obtaining information about the unique shops, stores, restaurants, and lodgings available in the Borough.

Wishing Well Guest House ‘99

Located at 144 Old York Rd. the 1840 farmhouse was converted into an LGBTQ + inspired guesthouse by Daniel Brooks and Jason Nerys purchased the property in 1999 and officially opened in 2001. It was sold in 2019 to Scott Drake and his husband, Michael Ward.

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