Community invited to dance for Meeting House

Fundraiser for historic Fairfield building Saturday

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By Ann Hawksby

Messenger Contributor

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‘East Fairfield is like a magical musical center and we had always been looking for a place to hold events, which is the reason we have dedicated the last four years to this Meeting House restoration project.’

- Nance Shaw

FAIRFIELD — “Let’s Dance!” – For a good cause that is.

A family dance party at the Bliss Memorial Auditorium at the St. Albans Museum on Saturday February 4 from 6-9 pm, featuring live music by the Smokey Newfield Project will benefit the Meeting House on the Green Preservation Project in the community of East Fairfield.

It is the latest of an ongoing series of restoration and other projects on the Community Center and Meeting House on the Green.

“We are working on the repair of the windows, there are 14 in all, eight of which are simple, but priceless large stained glass windows,” said Michele Bessett. The total cost of the window restoration is $23,000. The Vermont Division of Historic Preservation has given the Community Center a grant for $11,400. However, the grant takes the form of reimbursement after the work is complete, not upfront funds, so the community will need to raise the total amount.

“It’s complicated, but it is how the DHP ensures their projects are adequately funded, and we are very happy to receive this grant in the competitive arena of building restoration,” she said.

The Meeting House serves as the Fairfield Community Center. “This has evolved into a collaboration and community endeavor with dozens of volunteers pitching in over the past 25 years to make the community center along with the Meeting House vibrant non-profit organizations bringing critical services to seniors, families, and children, as well as offering a variety of entertainment to our community,” said Bessett.

In addition to traditional fundraising methods, they are offering a “sponsor a window” opportunity at the cost of $1,250 per window, three of which have already been spoken for and will be dedicated to family or loved ones of the sponsors. “One of the things we’d like to do is open donations to dedicate a window to John Cassel, who was a very key person in our community. He and his wife, Becky supported many events in our town and around the state,” said Bessett.

To learn more about the restoration efforts and future plans for the Meeting House, pick up Thursday’s Messenger, or subscribe to our digital edition.