About Jan's Circle

Jan’s Circle of Friends was founded with the purpose of providing funding for children who have experienced parental loss or are survivors of domestic violence.

There is a great need to provide these children with counseling and a sense of understanding. Their families may not always have the resources or are not equipped to help these children grow into healthy adults – adults who have high self-esteem, adults who understand the importance of trust, who have respect for others and have hope for the future.

According to the National Network to End Domestic Violence, one-half to two-thirds of the residents in domestic violence shelters are children. It reports: “On one day in 2007, 13,485 children were living in domestic violence shelters or transitional housing (facilities). Another 5,526 sought services at non-residential programs” (National Network to End Domestic Violence, n.d.)

Children growing up with the loss of a parent suffer emotional pain on a daily basis. Many try to block out this pain by going into their own world; they do poorly in school and have difficulty developing relationships. Many have trouble attaching to someone else for fear of experiencing additional loss. Too many times these children are expected to pick up the pieces of their fractured lives and assimilate into a new and strange world without guidance on how to handle the many challenges they will face.

Jan’s Circle of Friends wants to provide hope for these children. We want to help them build themselves up again, look forward to a bright future and believe in themselves. We want to help them find ways to trust others and build a future that is rich in meaning and purpose. Children are the future of our community; help us invest in their happiness and success as they go through life.

Mother... Sister... Friend.

On July 22nd, 2008, our beloved mother, sister and friend died at the cruel hand of domestic violence. Perhaps the greatest tragedy of her loss was that her four children were left without the guidance and love she always provided through her unwavering parental support. Shocked by her tragic passing, yet inspired by her dedication to her children and the community, Jan's Circle of Friends was created to provide assistance to victims of domestic violence and parental loss.

A 1981 graduate of Cocalico High School and 1985 graduate of Penn State University, Jan was employed as the Branch Manager of Fulton Bank, Reinholds until the birth of her second child in 1995. She was actively involved in various charitable and community organizations until the end of her life. Jan served faithfully as a Denver Fair Committee Member, East Cocalico Swim Team President and Treasurer of the Cocalico Creek Watershed. She loved gardening, animals, yoga and fitness, but nothing filled her heart with joy more than children.

Board of Directors

Susan Van Zant

Susan has led the development of Jan's Circle of Friends as a tribute to her beloved sister and the wonderful legacy Jan has left behind. Recently retired after teaching Family Consumer Sciences in the Cocalico School District for 35 years, she has many years of involvement in various community organizations and functions. Suzanne enjoys spending time with her two children Alex and Allison; nieces Rachel and Stella; nephews Sam and Noah and her two grandchildren. She is a graduate of Messiah College.

Laurie Sauder

Laurie is an Assistant Manager of the Cocalico Branch of Fulton Bank. She has been a volunteer for Bowl for Kids' Sake, Crop Walk, March of Dimes Walk and Relay for Life and served for 14 years as a Board Member and Treasurer of the Cocalico Senior Association. Laurie also served for six years as Co-Treasurer of Swamp Lutheran Church and is a 20 year volunteer for the Reinholds Fireman’s Carnivals. She is a graduate of Shippensburg University and lives in Reinholds with her husband, Jeff, and their son, Nate.

Joan Stoner

Joan is the Vice President at Zimmerman Ind., Inc. and has more than 30 years of experience in the areas of finance, human resources and marketing. As a lifelong resident of Lancaster County, she has been an active community volunteer for years, serving as church treasurer, president of the PTA and a member of the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce. Joan enjoys spending time with her husband Jerry, her children and grandchildren.

Alissa Sweigart

Alissa is currently employed at Conrad Weiser Area School District as a secondary Assistant Principal. Her background includes professional work in advertising, marketing, teaching and school administration for a combined 16 years. She enjoys Caribbean travel, playing tennis and following Clemson athletics. She resides in Denver with her husband Chad and son Jack.

Tia Stauffer

Tia is employed by John T. Gotwalt, DDS and Sara J. Gotwalt, DMD dental practice in Lititz, PA. As the Office Manager, she manages the overall practice and has more than 20 years of experience in all aspects of the dental workplace. Tia enjoys traveling the country and spending time in the Caribbean when it’s cold outside. She resides in Reamstown with her husband Shawn and their “fur” children Hank and Olive.

Michelle Esterly

Michelle is employed by Booz Allen Hamilton as a contractor to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Program of Cancer Registries. Michelle has 25 years of experience in cancer registries and is currently providing support for registry operations and developing specifications for cancer registry software. Michelle resides in Berks County with her husband, Jay. She enjoys traveling the country as well as the Caribbean.

Contact Us

Jan’s Circle of Friends © 2018 • Denver, Pennsylvania | (717) 336-0100