Jesseca Timmons: The Greenfield Beat – Partnership pays off for Meetinghouse
|Published: 02-08-2024 11:53 AM
The numbers are in, and the Friends of the Greenfield Community Meetinghouse earned $15,000 from our recent partnership with NH Charitable Gaming! Our group was fortunate enough to be partnered with a casino in Laconia for the last two weeks in December, including New Year’s Eve. Needless to say, we are over the moon at this windfall, which will go into the building fund and assist with our next fundraising event.
The charitable gaming partnership is available to all New Hampshire nonprofits in good standing. Information can be found at playlikearebel.com/charitable-giving. Our group was bumped up the list after another organization lost their nonprofit status at the last minute; it’s always good to have a reminder to stay on top of that 501(c)(3) paperwork.
The FGCM applied for the gaming program at the suggestion of state Sen. Denise Ricciardi, who represents District 9. Ricciardi even showed her support by dropping by the casino during our two-week partnership, all the way up in Laconia. We can’t thank her enough for her help and support.
The Meetinghouse is Greenfield’s only community center. The building is especially beautiful in the fall, situated at the top of the town common behind a grove of sugar maples, but the drive-by view is very deceiving. People often only realize how much work our Meetinghouse needs once they have attended or volunteered at an event and personally experienced the issues with electricity, plumbing and lack of accessibility, or have seen the water damage in the basement, the cracked walls, scarred floors, drafty windows and barely functioning kitchens. Sadly, our the Meetinghouse only looks good from a distance!
Many residents have only set foot in the Meetinghouse to vote, and those who vote by absentee ballot (or choose not to vote) have possibly never been in the building at all. For this reason, the FGCM continues to try to think of ways to get all Greenfielders into the Meetinghouse. One good reason coming up soon is Town Meeting on March 12. All residents are encouraged to come and participate in what has been called the world’s purest democracy (New England town meetings).
In 2019, the FGCM decided to launch a family friendly Greenfield Oktoberfest with the dual missions of raising money to repair the building and to create a Greenfield community event which will bring town residents into the building. In the past four years, Oktoberfest has gotten more popular and spread way beyond Greenfield. The FGCM is thrilled with the success of Oktoberfest and the support from the wider Monadnock region.
The FGCM has also hosted many community events that do not involve alcohol, including Meetinghouse tours, storytelling, picnics, a chili cook-off, a July 4 reading of the Declaration of Independence, community forums and others.
Our next event will be a more-formal gourmet dining event, hosted by our famous cooks, Warren Aldrich and Sharon Andrews. Sharon and Warren met for the first time several years ago while volunteering for Oktoberfest. Warren and his wife Teresa had lived in town for many years, while Sharon and her family moved in during COVID.
The two soon realized they both had professional cooking experience and teamed up (along with Tyler Baldwin, who grew up in town and now cooks professionally) to create the vast amounts of homemade food we serve at Oktoberfest. Sharon and Warren have been asking for a while if they could take on a fine-dining event for the FGCM, and the board is very excited to make this happen. Please stay tuned for the date; right now it is looking like this will happen in April, when we will not need to burn quite so much oil to heat the Meetinghouse for an event.
In other news, the FGCM was sad to see Ray Cilley roll off our board after nearly five years of dedication and hard work. We are very grateful to Ray for all his help in getting started. We’re happy to announce that the new vice chair of FGCM is Kenny Finn. Kenny has helped out the FGCM for years, including donating handmade items to our auctions and helping out at events. Ken, who is a former NYPD officer, moved to Greenfield with his family about 10 years ago. We are very happy to have Kenny on board.