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Transforming Tragedy: Amy Pidgeon's Inspirational Journey

Amy Pidgeon, an LCCC alumna, is the founder of Nazzy Moms Unite, where she helps others turn trauma into triumph.

Tricia Armbuster | Writer

Raindrops danced rhythmically against the window panes of Taylor Roasted Coffee House in Northampton, Pennsylvania, as Amy Pidgeon settled into her seat. The gray skies mirrored the somber tone of her story, yet amidst the gloom there was an unmistakable aura of resilience that radiated from Pidgeon's presence.


Pidgeon, an LCCC alumna, has walked a path marked by tragedy, but also by determination and compassion. Pidgeon came to understand that trauma had been an integral part of her entire existence, leaving her with profound fear and abandonment issues, she confides, her voice tinged with quiet resolve.

"But I didn’t let that stop me. It doesn't define me, but it certainly has molded me."


On June 6, 1986, in one of the most infamous crimes in Lehigh Valley history, Pidgeon's world shattered. Her mother, Jane Hartman, was gunned down in a vicious bank robbery, leaving her grappling with profound grief. The perpetrators, Martin Appel and Stanley Hertzog, entered the First National Bank of Bath in East Allen Township with the intention of leaving no witnesses. Their violent actions claimed three lives and wounded two others, leaving scars that would endure for decades.


In the aftermath of her mother's murder, Pidgeon navigated the turbulent waters of adolescence and young adulthood, unaware of the depth of her own emotional scars. It wasn't until later in life that she realized the profound impact of her trauma and sought the help she needed to heal.


Driven by a desire for closure, Pidgeon embarked on a quest to confront the mastermind behind her family's tragedy, Martin Appel.

"I always wanted to meet him face to face," she shares, her tone steeped with a mix of curiosity and frustration. "I wanted to know if he was remorseful."

Despite her efforts, Appel's refusal to engage left Pidgeon wrestling with a sense of injustice that lingers to this day.


Yet, through the darkness, Pidgeon found solace in service and community. As an Occupational Therapist and the founder of the non-profit organization Nazzy Moms Unite, she transformed her trauma into a beacon of hope for others in need of support.

"Nobody should ever have to navigate emotional trauma alone," she asserts, her words a testament to her commitment to advocacy and solicitude.


Pidgeon's journey serves as a powerful reminder of the strength of the human spirit and the capacity for hope and healing. Alongside her endeavors, she also founded Camp SOAR, a non-profit summer camp for children, providing them with opportunities for STEM education, outdoor exploration, arts, and recreation.


"Grief never ends, it’s a constant journey," she reflects, her voice a poignant reminder of the enduring scars left by her family's tragedy.

Yet, amidst the pain, her spirit remains unbroken, a testament to the power of resilience and the enduring capacity for optimism.


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