A Vershire Day Celebration in front of VerShare's Church-Orr House

Chinese New Year & VerShare Annual Meeting


Submitted 2 years ago
Created by
DawnHancy

Highlights of last week's meeting & preview of this weekend's celebration!

Sixteen members of VerShare gathered last Friday night after the monthly Soup Night and Potluck for the VerShare Annual Meeting. "VerShare is a grass-roots community service organization incorporated in 1998. Based on our guiding principles, we work to build community spirit and involvement, to foster economic development, and to contribute to projects that benefit the residents of Vershire, Vermont."

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Here are some highlights from the meeting.

The Vershire Women's Wellness Circle plans to repeat their successful programs from last year, including Chinese New Year, the Healing Gardens Tour and the Healing Arts & Crafts Fair. For more details about the Chinese New Year celebration coming up this Sunday, February 5 from 3-6 p.m., you can read thoroughly - or scroll - to the end of this article where Marissa shares her story on her family's Chinese traditions.

Marissa Mazzucco explains updates about the Made In Vershire Shop while David Hooke & John Roy listen attentively.

Made In Vershire Shop

The new Square online cash register system is a big step forward in allowing the Shop to accept credit cards and automating inventory adjustments. Online sales are being considered for the future. Opening the Shop on a few Sundays in December was successful in welcoming people who were not able to shop usual Saturday hours 10-1.

Snowshoe-a-thon

This event will be held on Saturday, March 4 this year, and “march forth” we will! The date was chosen over the past February dates for this annual event in order to avoid conflicts with February school vacations, when families may be away. This event raises funds for the Children’s Activity Fund, supporting Vershire Summer Camp activities, high school trips, Vershire Community Library van trips and more. Originally, it raised money to buy snowshoes for the Vershire Elementary School. Pledges can now be accepted via email. Snow angels (those who donate per child participant) will receive a 20th anniversary ornament.

Carl Vitols shares plans for this year's Snowshoe-a-thon.

Cabaret

There is still room for acts to sign up for this fun annual event, but the evening is always full of music, dance, skits and other local entertainment. Buy your tickets early for Saturday, April 8, as this event typically sells out!

Pizza Oven & Soup Night-Potluck-Picnic

The wood-fired oven has been repaired and is available for our community meals again. There may be a workshop this spring to train new users, as it requires a special understanding of the oven, how to build the fire and cook with it, not only for the delicious edible results but also for the care of the oven itself. Pizza is a welcome addition to the Soup Night/Potluck/Picnic at least in the warmer months.

Stagecoach Stop Hostel

The hostel received some donations of beds to replace some of the current accommodations.

Church-Orr House

A capital campaign will be initiated this year to fund larger projects like replacing the front porch and possibly moving the front entrance. A new van will be needed in the near future, as it is appreciated for larger groups of kids and adults for camp trips and library trips.

VerShare Board

2017 Board Members are Aaron Hoopes - president, Deb Churchill  - co-secretary, Marissa Mazzucco - co-secretary, Helen Wilson - treasurer, Mary Pat Donaldson, Shirley Collins, Kareen Obydol-Alexandre. There was discussion of returning to the original intent of balancing the board membership between lifetime residents of Vershire and those who have moved in from away. A nominating committee has been helpful to accomplish this in the past.

Volunteers

Ideas for encouraging more folks to volunteer were discussed, including starting an ongoing calendar with anticipated needs for annual events, and compiling a list of volunteer jobs besides serving on the board or heading a major project.

Fundraising

VerShare will apply for the 2018 Pennies for Change program through the Lebanon Coop, in which shoppers can choose to round up their bill at the register, donating the spare change to local organizations. Many thousands of dollars were raised this way in 2016!

Vershire Community Library

Story time is offered on Wednesdays. Thursday afternoons are often popular with the after school crowd and kids are encouraged to read 10 or 20 books for a prize. Saturdays are staffed by a rotation of four volunteers. Summer trips last year included the Montshire, Treasure Island and Christmas Revels. A 3-week workshop on making clay ceramic ornaments was very successful and popular, along with Santa reading to kids who each received a free book. Two book sales raised money for the library and kept us in fresh reading material, with the summer Book, Bake and Plant sale alone raising about a thousand dollars. Plans were discussed for building one or more little free libraries, perhaps including one at the Town Office.

Vershire Summer Camp

Camp always seems to include international participants and multiple languages heard on the breeze, continuing the tradition from the days of Volunteers for Peace being recruited from all around the world. This unique free summer experience offers something for kids from supervised toddler play to kindergarteners Exploring Vershire to Chipmunks and Otters (elementary students) and on to Counselors-in-Training and full-fledged and gainfully employed teen counselors. VerShare is the largest employer of teens in Vershire.

2017 is the Chinese Year of the Rooster

All are welcome to share in the celebration of Chinese New Year, also known a Lunar New Year or Asian New Year, at the Vershire Town Center, 3-6 p.m. The event is a semi-potluck where Marissa Mazzucco and her mother, Joyce Mazzucco will provide much of the food, but others are encouraged to round out the offerings as well.

"Some of what I do I learned while studying at UVM for my Asian Studies major and its a nice way to use some of the things I learned there." Closer to home, Marissa's family is the source of other traditions she will be sharing with us this Sunday.
"We used to all gather together at my grandparents' house for the traditional American holidays, but when my grandparents passed away our families held their celebrations separately. My aunt decided to start putting on a Chinese New Year feast to bring the family back together and I loved the idea and wanted to share the experience with my extended family, my friends, neighbors and co-workers. With a lot of help from my mom I have been able to put on on several of these gatherings that lasted 6+ hours with people stopping in when they were able to. I could seat about twenty people total at a time. When I moved to Vershire I wished I could still put on the event that had become beloved, but due to space  restrictions I had been unable to do for a few years. With the encouragement and help of the VWWC I decided to try and put it on again for my new extended family last year and am continuing this year."
Marissa suggests these websites for more information on Chinese New Year recipes and other traditions: http://www.chinahighlights.com/travelguide/culture/ and http://www.chinasichuanfood.com/.

Please check for updates or feel free to add your own stories and photos of VerShare or Chinese/Lunar/Asian New Year on the Vershire Buzz Facebook page.

Our town is full of exciting events and wonderful people with interesting stories. What's yours? Who or what topics would you like to see featured in the Vershire Buzz? This is your voice, so I'd love to hear from you. Email me at dawnhancy@gmail.com or call 802-685-7752.

Visit the Vershire Buzz home page on dailyUV.com for previous blog posts.

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