Stepping up to the gate

To the Editor:

A sure sign that summer is winding down is when the Horse Show packs up its tents from its six-week run out at Beebe Farm in East Dorset. It is a glorious event that brings so much to our area. I would like to thank all the dedicated community volunteers who helped out this year, manning the spectator gate at the Vermont Summer Festival. We did it!

One of the best things about having the Horse Show in our midst is that 100 percent of the spectator gate receipts go to support local charities. This year, eight area libraries benefited from the money raised by admissions, helping to elevate awareness of the significance of libraries - both big and small - and the vital role libraries play in a community and for its people. What was especially heartening to hear throughout the Show from out-of-town exhibitors who by all rights did not have to pay a gate fee - was "Oh, we love libraries and what a great thing you all are doing. . ." as they handed over a $20 bill. These folks "got" the importance of public libraries to communities, even those that were not their own.

The Gate fundraising effort was organized and directed by the Mark Skinner/Manchester Community Library during a very exciting summer as we complete the construction to provide a new 21st-century library, which will be a community hub for people of all ages in our region.

Joining Manchester's public library were volunteers from: Martha Canfield Memorial Library (Arlington), Winhall Memorial Library, South Londonderry Free Library, Dorset Village Public Library, R. K. Kittay Public Library (Rupert), Pawlet Public Library, and Wilder Memorial Library (Weston).

Berkshire Bank employees also volunteered at the gate to show their support of the irreplaceable services that libraries and library staff provide to users in our towns.

Special acknowledgment and thanks to Horse Show organizers Dotty and John Ammerman for once again granting this amazing fundraising opportunity to further benefit our community; and to Ruth Lacey for her encouragement and support. What a wonderful, collaborative, "all-for-one-and-one-for-all" fundraising effort this was and thank you again to our team of volunteers, as we truly could not have done it without your help!

Betsy Bleakie

Executive Director

Mark Skinner/Manchester Community Library


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