Grange Notes by Tim Swartz, Grange President (with everyone’s help), December 26, 2019
The basement project is underway!–more details below, but We have one big, (almost) immediate need for help: moving in sheetrock on Thursday, Jan. 2nd
We have 44 pieces of sheetrock arriving sometime on the 2nd–we’ll know a more exact time as we get closer–and will need some more folks with stronger backs than mine to help carry it down the fire stairs. If you can help sometime that day, please contact me, Tim, by email or phone: 802-225-8921! My 68-year-old back is no longer willing to lift items like these, unfortunately.
Sing-Along brings enthusiastic singers and a variety of songs
A convivial crew gathered for our 3rd annual Holiday Sing-Along just before the longest night of the year began. Grange Musician Mat Nunnelly accompanied the singers on the Grange piano, and we bounced from one carol to another. Taylor Nunnelly kept up with projecting lyrics on the big screen, so we were often singing the same words! We had carols jingle-y and jazzy, dealing with red-nosed reindeer, King Wencelas, and chestnuts, full of fa-la-la-las and good wishes for the new year.
Singing together–sometimes in a variety of keys–we enjoyed a lot of standard Christmas-time carols, and then got a chance to try out some Hanukkah songs, led by Andrea Soberman. We are glad to have a variety of types of celebrations to share in our Grange; this ties in so well with fulfilling our core mission of bringing people together to participate in community life–with the accent on participation!
We were also able to keep kids occupied, if they didn’t want to join in all the singing, thanks to Wendy, Dan and family, who set up crafts tables on the side of the Hall (see photo below). I would not have imagined that a candy cane could be turned into a reindeer with a red nose if I hadn’t seen it myself! As usual, it takes a number of people bringing a variety of talents to pull off these events.
We also collected some warm socks and other items which are being donated to homeless folks who need every bit of warmth; Mat does volunteer work on homelessness among his other commitments!
Boxes–and bags–of plenty go out to folks who need them
Kudos to Merry, who filled up the freezer, boxes and bags with tasty treats to give away!
On the 19th, Merry was able to meet up with our partners at Capstone Community Action, which runs Head Start for Washington County, who distributed the food. What is in all those boxes and bags? Well, a partial list includes: turkeys, pie shells, chocolate pudding mix, whipped cream, canned vegetables, butter, stuffing mix, sparkling cider, pasta, clementines, peanut butter, crackers….and that’s just the beginning! Merry, who did all the shopping to supplement the items donated by Grange members and Hall users, put together items that will make for fun holiday season dinners (and likely some lunches and breakfasts) for six families with kids. Capstone found it all too easy to identify six families to receive this bounty, who would not be able to celebrate as many of us are lucky to do at this season.
Many thanks to others in addition to Merry, including Jacinthe Pellerin, who donated the stipend we tried to give her for running the Sweet Treats cooking workshop, the Premont extended family, who collected donations at their family Thanksgiving dinner at the Grange Hall, Kids Trade & Play donors, Alison Forrest who decorated boxes and donated food, and other donors whose names I don’t know!
If you missed the chance to donate, and want to help out next year, let us know! If we can expand the amount of food we can donate, we will have no trouble making more families happier at this festive time of year.
The other thing we need is more folks to help with food buying, sorting and handling–this is not something that Merry can do without help! Neither Merry nor I is getting any younger, and we have the MRIs of our backs to prove it!
The Basement Renovation project is underway, right now!
Project carpenter Stan Carlson (hard at work in the top and bottom pix) removed trim, and finally the stair landing, to make things easy for the Northern Basements crew that came in on Monday, the 23rd (see below). With help from me, Patty & Kurt Giavara, Stan got the outer ceiling panels and old wiring from some previous sound system removed, and plastic hung to contain the dust from jack-hammering for the new drainage channel!
Northern Basements comes in and does it!
Monday morning, the project truck and trailer from Northern Basements arrived with concrete, gravel, drainage channel, sump, piping, jackhammers, vacuums and a crew to use them. By late afternoon, their jackhammers had created a space in the floor, exposing the footing, and drainage channel was laid to capture any leaks, draining to a new sump set in the floor. The sump pump will removenot only groundwater that comes in, but also the condensate from the dehumidifier which will be installed. They covered the channel with concrete, with a couple of access ports to allow hosing out–if it’s ever needed.
Today, Thursday, the foam wall-insulating panels are being installed, and Friday will include foaming the rim-joist all the way around, so this has been an exciting week, bringing to fruition nearly two years of planning and fundraising by the Friends of the Capital City Grange Hall. Thanks to everyone who has contributed money, time, expertise and advice for this project! Besides moving the sheetrock…. ….we will have other ways that people can help with this project. In addition to giving people a chance to help out, volunteer hours count toward our “match” with the grant from the VT Arts Council, which will fund 50% of the project cost. Here are some of the needs we can foresee:
- Painting above the Fiberglass Reinforced Panels, which will cover the bottom 60″ of the walls.
- Brushing on varnish on the new hand-rails for the basement stairway.
- Installing new ceiling tiles in the existing grid.
- Taking the old ones to the transfer station.
- Providing a pickup truck for moving the ceiling tiles and other construction debris.
- Cleaning up after this work–we will be scheduling a work-day to make sure that the newly refurbished space is clean and as dust-free as we can make it.
Can you pitch in on some of this work? What skills do you have that will help? Please contact me (Tim) via email: firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know how we can fit you in!