Whitehall-Coplay Press

Monday, June 25, 2018
Press photos by Stephanie RaphunAlix Buskirk, a Travelers Protective Association of America’s Altruism Award recipient, takes a moment to celebrate with Linda MacGill, a counselor at Whitehall High School who spoke on her behalf; Cathy Stephens, from TPA; and TPA Post L President Dale Stephens at the banquet held April 12 at Northampton Banquet & Event Center. Press photos by Stephanie RaphunAlix Buskirk, a Travelers Protective Association of America’s Altruism Award recipient, takes a moment to celebrate with Linda MacGill, a counselor at Whitehall High School who spoke on her behalf; Cathy Stephens, from TPA; and TPA Post L President Dale Stephens at the banquet held April 12 at Northampton Banquet & Event Center.
Patricia Palencar, secretary for Post L and treasurer and chairwoman of the Post L’s Deaf and Near Deaf Trust Fund, speaks at the award event. Patricia Palencar, secretary for Post L and treasurer and chairwoman of the Post L’s Deaf and Near Deaf Trust Fund, speaks at the award event.

WHS student earns TPA award

Wednesday, May 30, 2018 by STEPHANIE RAPHUN Special to The Press in School

Whitehall High School senior Alix Buskirk was chosen to receive the Travelers Protective Association of America’s Altruism Award April 12 for her dedication to her peers and her community as well as her accomplishments both academically and athletically.

The TPA Altruism Award honors those with a selfless concern for the well-being of others, and the staff at Whitehall High School unanimously determined that Buskirk was the most shining example of altruism at the high school.

Linda MacGill, a guidance counselor at Whitehall High School, spoke on Buskirk’s behalf, saying, “Alix is so humble and intrinsically a good and moral person.”

The school has initiated a structured program for a small group of eighth- and ninth-grade students who are able to take part in a peer mentoring program. Buskirk is a peer mentor for 20 students and has followed their progress and provided mentorship for the past year and a half. She is also part of the Principal’s Advisory Committee and mentors special needs students in this program. Her leadership skills show in her roles as class treasurer and orientation aide.

Buskirk is a member of many clubs, including Zephyr Nation and Big Brothers/Big Sisters program and is a core leader in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. She has been inducted into numerous national honor societies including Spanish, English and Science, and she is also a member of the Student Athlete Character Council (SAC). Buskirk is on the volleyball and basketball teams, AAU basketball and is a manager of the boys volleyball team. She also volunteers her time at snack stands, nursing homes and Whitehall’s volleyball summer camp, as well as working a part-time job.

Katrina Fritz, MA, BSN, RN was a guest speaker at the event, held at Northampton Banquet & Event Center, and shared stories about her numerous years in the health industry as well as her personal journey through life and what she learned along the way. Fritz thanked Buskirk and her fellow peers for their service and dedication to the community and for serving as an outstanding example for others to follow.

Fritz reminded recipients to “always be the best version of yourself and to accept that that version will change as you learn and grow in life.” She also cautioned the seniors to not let labels define or limit them on their journey and to find ways to use their talents and bright light to set themselves apart from others. Fritz offered well wishes and career advice for the recipients in their future endeavors.

The TPA Post L in the Lehigh Valley is a national nonprofit organization and the largest post of the Pennsylvania division. TPA also has a Post L Deaf and Near Deaf Trust Fund and offers “Children Have an Identity” (CHAD) stickers for placement on child safety seats to facilitate child identification in the event of emergencies.