January 6, 2002
Event Honors Sept. 11 Victims
By Melissa Milewski
Fort Washington’s Prosthodontics Intermedica Foundation held a dedication ceremony Sunday. It has raised nearly $50,000 for families of those who perished in the terrorist attacks.
Kim Allen of the musical group Sisters Sledge sings the national anthem Sunday at the dedication fo a flag and monument honoring local victims of the Sept. 11 attacks. Participating in the ceremony at the Prosthodontics Intermedica Foundation included (from left) foundation co-founders Joanne and Tom Balshi; Doug MacMillan, executive director of the Todd M. Beamer Foundation; and the Rev. James J. Brennan. (Photo: Lawrence Kelly)
FORT WASHINGTON —More than 100 people stood outside an office complex here Sunday shivering in the chilly winter weather with only their tears to keep them warm.
Women cried and men stood with their heads low during an event Sunday honoring victims of Sept. 11.
The Prosthodontics Intermedica Foundation has raised nearly $50,000 for the families of victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Joanne and Thomas Balshi, owners of the Fort Washington-based dental care business, started the organization three years ago.
Joanne Balshi said the funds were collected before Christmas and then distributed to 16 local families.
“We decided to have this a few hours after the attacks,” she said. “We were watching the television and feeling so helpless. We wanted to do something.”
The foundation also presented a new American flag, flagpole and monument that were placed outside the business in remembrance of the attacks.
“The new flag pole and monument are not only a reminder of the loved ones we’ll never forget,” Thomas Balshi said, “but also the $50,000 we raised to uplift the families.”
The foundation also presented $6,500 to the Todd M. Beamer Foundation. Beamer was one of the passengers who fought back against the terrorists aboard Flight 93, which crashed in Shanksville, Somerset County.
Doug MacMillan, executive director of the Beamer Foundation, accepted the check and spoke a few words about his best friend.
“The same faith, hope and courage Todd had on Flight 93, he showed every day,” MacMillan said. “He didn’t let us down. He stayed true.”
MacMillan said donations to the Beamer Foundation go to the children of those lost on Sept. 11.
“All over the country, we’ve seen an outpouring of American spirit,” MacMillan said. “It’s been amazing. We’ve received everything from 11 cents from a little girl to a donation of $125,000.”
Kathleen Koch, a Dresher resident, said attending the fund-raiser was the best way for her to show her support.
“I wanted to share this with everyone else,” Koch said. “I’m showing the support for the troops and those who lost their lives.”
For more information about the Beamer Foundation, visit the Web site at www.beamerfoundation.org.
Monday, January 7, 2002
Guests at the dedication ceremony gather as the new flagpole and
sculpture are dedicated (Photo: Laurence Kelly)