Bring the heat: Memorial Hall programming added


WILMINGTON -- Things are looking up for the Memorial Hall Board and those associated with the historic building that is used mostly for entertainment purposes.

"They expect to start putting the heating in on Sunday, Aug. 10," said board member Alice Greenspan. "Supposedly it will take a week and we will have heating and air conditioning, which is very exciting. It's been a long summer."

All board members were excited about that at their July 28 meeting, she told the Reformer.

Programming scheduled for the winter was canceled due to the lack of a heating system in the building. Abutters on both sides of the building opposed construction of a structure to house a new heating and air conditioning unit behind Memorial Hall, which caused a delay in plans. Crafts Inn General Manager Alice Richter eventually agreed to allow access on inn property so a work crew can get to the back of Memorial Hall, where the structure will be installed.

The board had secured extra funding for the next fiscal year after Memorial Hall Board Chairman Alan Greenspan stood up during Town Meeting, requesting that voters authorize a larger amount be given for the hall's line item on the budget. He was able to get $6,000 rather than the $1,500 that was originally proposed.

With the extra money, he hopes to book a band to play at the hall during the winter. He also has other plans in mind.

In addition, the board aims to have some events fall under the auspices of the Friends of Wilmington's Historic Memorial Hall. The group had sent an application to the state for non-profit status several months ago.

"I'd assume it's going to reach out and ask benefactors for funding and money," said Town Manager Scott Murphy. "They'd keep this money and use it to buy assets for the building."

That money likely would be kept in a special capital account to be used for repairs and upgrades. Although Alice Greenspan said no future repairs were discussed at the latest meeting, there may be some on the horizon.

"Hopefully, we'll be doing more repairs," she added. "We expect to do more repairs."

On Aug. 9 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., "Music in the Air" will be held at Dr. Robert Forte's home located at 40 Top of the Hill Road in Wilmington. It is a garden party to benefit the Friends of Wilmington's Historic Memorial Hall. Tickets cost $25 and are tax deductible.

Musicians will begin performing at 3 p.m. Barbara Lipstadt will play piano with Karen Horton on French horn, Pedro Periera on cello and Robin Mathias on flute.

The board already has some events lined up. A more complete schedule will be released soon.

Circus performers from Brattleboro's Nimble Arts will be at the hall on Oct. 10.

The quilt show will be held there on Oct. 18 and 19. It was canceled last year.

"It's huge," said Alice Greenspan. "There was 400 people there the year before."

A concert to benefit the Deerfield Valley Food Pantry is scheduled for Dec. 12. The holiday craft show will be held on Dec. 14.

The Pettee Memorial Library has also recently sponsored programs at Memorial Hall. Events put on by the library will continue.

Chris Mays can be reached at 802-254-2311, ext. 273, or Follow Chris on Twitter @CMaysReformer.


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