Editor of the Reformer:
It can happen only in a small town. A huge celebration on the 4th of July produced by folks in a small town, working together.
A few thousand people happily strolled along Main Street in Wardsboro on the 4th of July, sampling the homemade strawberry shortcake in the Vestry, the quilt show exquisitely displayed in the Methodist Church, the hamburger booth with those superb French fries, the chicken barbeque with many side dishes and the homemade pies and the bake shop in the Town Hall. Vendors and crafters lined the street, the library sponsored the duck race and its book sale drew a crowd. Susie Francy sang the national anthem and Hungrytown performed later in the day. New this year was Circus Zambia on its third show in the United States, already reserved for next year, and the Skateboard Jam, also expected to be part of our 4th of July celebration next year.
Thank you to the Core Committee for planing the day: Pastor Pete, master of ceremonies and setting up the sound system; Michael and Katryna Fitzpatrick, chicken bbq; Peggy Matheson and Garrison Holden, white elephant sale; Lynn Larson, vendors; Jackie Bedard, pies; Ursula Hull, bake shop; Elaine Gilman, quilt show; Bette Parsons and Lorraine Newell, strawberry shortcake; Mark and Maureen Walachy, hambuger booth; library trustees, book sale and duck race; Rick and Sarah Thorpe, parade; Lee Miller, general staffing and parking; History House committee, old tool display; Friends of The Library, silent auction; Matt Hall and Matt Bemis, skateboard jam; Jeff Young, website. Also on the Core Committee were Tom Young, Treasurer Darlene Rutnik, co-chairpeople Nancy Perkins and Phil Dibble.
Special thanks to those who worked for three days including setting up, helping throughout the day, and taking it down: Mark Archer and family, Scott Francy. Special thanks also to the army of volunteers who, when asked if they would like to be part of the day, said, "Yes, I would!" And they did.
Nancy Perkins Wardsboro, July 20
Editor of the Reformer:
We want to thank everyone who helped make it possible for Grace Cottage's 11th annual Tour de Grace bike rally to raise over $5,000 for the hospital on Saturday, July 11. The weather was decidedly cool and misty for July (52 degrees at the registration desk at Stratton!), but this did not dampen spirits, and a fun and fit day was enjoyed by all of the intrepid bicyclists who rode from Stratton to Grace Cottage, and the enthusiastic volunteers who cheered, fed, and watered them along the way! The youngest rider was 3, the oldest was 77, and a great time was had by all.
Special thanks to Rescue Inc., which provided the safety sweep by paramedics on bicycles at the end of the event. Cinnamon twists made by the Three Mountain Inn in Jamaica were a hit, and many riders appreciated the help provided by the Leland & Gray boys' soccer team members and by Sarah Perkins, who carried riders' bikes up the many Townshend Dam steps.
Sponsors of Tour de Grace were: D&K Jamaica Grocery, Howard Printing, Solstice at Trailside in Stratton, Stratton Mountain Resort, Village Square Shops at Stratton, and Three Mountain Inn. Cota & Cota provided water along the route, and Von Bargen's Jewelry donated a silver bear keychain for a raffle.
Riders echoed the sentiment of Bill Towsley, of East Longmeadow, MA, who said, "I've ridden in the Tour de Grace for the past three years, and now I look forward to it every July. It is very well organized and the volunteers are great, especially the ones at the finish line."
Andrea Seaton, Executive Director, Grace Cottage Foundation, July 27