Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Essex Heritage Membership Program, Bill Steelman Update, Boys and Girls Club, Northeast Harvest, Danvers Historical Society Designer Showcase

Essex Happenings, Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Essex Heritage Membership Program

A comprehensive membership mailing was sent out earlier this month to Explorer members, Trustees. Commissioners and friends of Essex Heritage seeking support. That mailing seems to have been received with some level of acceptance as membership applications have been coming into the office with some regularity. We have received numerous applications and membership fees from some of our oldest and most loyal explorer members and they have provided this new commitment to support with little apparent concern. The membership program has been revised and some of the previous benefits that Explorers received have been modified, and still support for the work of Essex Heritage seem to be well received. We gave also received several larger gifts that exceed the nominal membership requirements and for that support we are most grateful. Some of those advanced membership contributions have come from existing corporate supporters, but in some cases the gifts have come from new sources. A wonderful example is a gift just received from the Newburyport Rotary Club that was unexpected. The support that we have been receiving appears to be confirmation by the general public that the work that we are undertaking every day to assure an improved quality of life in the region is being confirmed by the continuing and broad based support.

Brief Update on Bill Steelman

For our many friends of Essex Heritage and those of you who work during the year with Bill Steelman, we are pleased to report that we have heard from Bill during the last couple of days. The staff in the office has missed Bill and will welcome him back when he returns in mid August. The trip that he and has wife and family have undertaken to compete the educational assignment that Bill’s wife accepted at Cambridge University in England has been a most enjoyable experience to date. There are other American counterparts at the University and the entire family has benefited from the day-to-day experiences with both them and the local staff at the school and the weekend travel has been enlightening for Bill’s two sons. If I am not mistaken, Bill’s sabbatical from the Essex Heritage office is more than two thirds completed and we look forward to having him back in the region soon.

Boys and Girls Club of Greater Salem

Over the last several months, the Executive Director and the Board of the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Salem have been actively involved in a comprehensive planning process that will impact the long-term future of the club and the youth that the club serves. Several months ago, the Immaculate Conception parish that is the owner of St. Mary’s School on Hawthorne Boulevard in Salem notified the club that when the current leases with the club is over that they have other plans for the property. They hope to find a buyer for the property and use the funds gained from that transfer for other church and parish projects. These original plans did not include the Boys and Girls Club and the church administration has been very helpful in providing this notice with a reasonable timetable for the Club’s departure from the site. During this period of planning the folks from the parish have been more than fair with us, and in fact some deliberations about the future the club have included both formal and informal conversations with members of the Parish administration about some possibilities that includes the club. In addition to the discussions with the church, the club is also looking at other opportunities in Salem to serve the needs of the clients of the club. All of the options being explored include locations that will continue to make the club accessible to the young boys and girls currently served by the club. The planning for this major move for the club has taken up a great deal of the time of the board and the Executive Director, and will likely become even more intense in the near term.

During this time of planning the club is also involved in its continuing effort to raise funds to support the mission of the club. The club regularly organizes individual events like a most successful shamrock raffle on St. Patrick’s Day and now in early August a Comedy Night presentation. The comedy night will be held on August 4, 2010 at the Salem Moose Hall on Grove Street. Tickets are only $10 each and all of the proceeds from the event will benefit the Boys and Girls Club. Tickets for this event can be purchased at the Boys and Girls Club and at the Salem Recreation Department offices.

Even with all of these events the club is currently reaching out in its annual “It Only Takes One” campaign that focuses primarily on local businesses. If any local organization has the inclination to help in this worthwhile effort, contact Executive Director Joanne Scott at lscott@bgcgs.org. I can unequivocally state as a long time supporter of the club that the work that is done and the help that is offered at that facility is meaningful and in some case is the difference maker in a child’s life.

Northeast Harvest Newsletter Available Now

The July edition of the Northeast Harvest newsletter has been published and distributed by Essex Heritage. This month’s edition continues to focus on farm stands and farmers markets all over this region. That certainly seems appropriate, as the summer is such a wonderful time for residents of the area to visit downtowns and the suburban locations all over the region to savor the wares at these venues. The products displayed and sold are all locally grown and distributed, and that for many is a wonderful process. The Newsletter this month also highlights a recipe for blueberry pie and I have pointed my wife to that formula, as that pie is one of her favorite desserts. For more information or to get on the mailing list for the Newsletter contact Essex Heritage and Elizabeth Rankin at elezabethr@essexheritage.org.

Danvers Historical Society Event

If you find yourself in Danvers between now and next Sunday, August 1, 2010, the Danvers Historical Society’s Designer Showcase event is still open to the public and one can certainly get some great ideas with a visit. . The designers who have come in to exhibit their products have totally transformed both Tapley Hall and the Page House on Page Street and a percentage of any sales of the products displayed at the show will go to the Historical Society to help them continue to preserve the history of Danvers through their work. The showcase is open every day until next Sunday, and tickets can be purchased at the door for a most nominal fee. The fee is slightly reduced for members of the Society but in any event the value of the visit is well worth the price of admission. The Historical Society does a wonderful job of preserving and then presenting many of the historical assets of this community that once was a part of the City of Salem. The primary assets of the Society are the historic properties that it owns and makes available to the public. The Glen Magna Farms property is one of the finest examples of a home from that period in the entire region, and is available for weddings and other functions for most of the year.

As always we value your comments, questions and observations about the work of Essex Heritage. Please contact me with your thoughts or any questions you may have at www.essexheritage.org. We are always striving to make Essex Heritage work as effectively as possible and your input and suggestions are always welcome. We can always provide more information and better communication, and one of the goals of these postings on Essex happenings is to provide that opportunity. Thank You. Tom Leonard

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