Local flavor

A community dinner to benefit the local food pantry’s program known as Veggie Connection was a big success due to the efforts of organizer Laura Bowden and two area businesses that donated provisions to add local flavor (literally!). Organizers thank The Creamery at Pineland Farms for its handcrafted cheeses and Thompson’s Orchards for its cider and apples.

Bowden expressed her gratitude by saying, “Thank you to everyone for making the first annual Veggie Connection supper such a success. Indeed, this event was only possible because of the large amount of committed volunteers who contributed their time, money and experience. With almost all the food being donated we were able to raise a total of $780, more than our original goal!”

Special recognition went to Bowden’s husband, Chace Campbell, and Nancy Miers, who both baked several test batches of biscuits to concoct the perfect recipe. Campbell is also cited for preparing the hearty beef stew, which served as the main dish, and providing encouragement to his wife when needed. Last but not least, thanks went to Michael Fralich for heading up the dishwashing team.

Chat with your state rep

You’re invited to stop in and share “Dessert with Dave.” Rep. David Van Wie, D-New Gloucester, has announced a series of dates and places at which constituents from New Gloucester, Durham, and Lisbon can sit down with him to discuss whatever issues are on their minds. Van Wie may expand these talks to include specific discussions on various topics of interest. Depending on the topic, he may invite special guests to speak and answer questions.

The first Dessert with Dave gathering in New Gloucester will be held at the Village Store, just south of Town Hall, from 7 to 8 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 11. The venue for the remainder of the series, to be held on Feb. 8, March 8 and April 12, is to be determined.

Any changes in the schedule or cancellations due to weather or legislative conflicts will be posted on his Web site, www.repdavidvanwie.com. Van Wie can be also be contacted at 926-3568 or [email protected]

Women’s XC ski day

New Gloucester resident Mary Lou Lowrie, who is an avid Nordic skier, offers a great New Year’s resolution suggestion for women who would like to get more exercise in 2010. She recommends entering New England Women’s XC Ski Day, which will be held at Waterville Valley, N.H., on Jan. 31.

Lowrie says, “Women’s XC Ski Day has always been lively and full of enthusiasm. I love the fact that it draws in all ages, from young granddaughters to grandmothers and everything in between. And, of course, all abilities!”

Cross-country ski clinics, waxing demonstrations, drawings for prizes, and a delicious lunch are some of the event’s features. Clothing and equipment retailers will be on hand with items to try and buy. There will be an optional, fun relay held with awards presented to winning teams.

The number of entrants is limited to 200. Lowrie cautions, “Last year’s event sold out. With an even more central location to lots of New Englanders this year, it’s filling fast. Shouldn’t tarry!”

Registration is available online at www.nensa.net, $25 for NENSA members and $30 for non-members. For more information, contact Trina Hosmer at 802-253-0810 or [email protected]

Thanks from Open Gates

Due to extensive media attention, Open Gates Equine Rescue has enjoyed tremendous response from its recent promotions. Linda Walker and Deb Hutchins, owners of the facility, would like to thank all of the people who participated in the hay-a-thon. Because of the donors’ generosity, Open Gates is able to take care of the horses for a few more months. The raffle for a Breyer Deluxe Horse Barn, which was won by a Gray resident, was also a success.

Walker and Hutchins add, “Thank you to all of our volunteers for all that they do here. Without them, we would not be able to run this horse rescue.” Volunteers are being sought to suggest fundraising ideas, since hatching new concepts is becoming increasingly challenging.

Contact Open Gates at 926-5570 or [email protected]

Village Coffee House concert

The Kelly Caufield Duo will be headlining the next Village Coffee House concert at the New Gloucester Congregational Church vestry, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 2. Tickets can be purchased at the door: $10 for adults, $5 for children and seniors.

The vestry is located at 19 Gloucester Hill Road, at the intersection of Church and Gloucester Hill roads in the Lower Village. For more information, call Julie Fralich at 926-3161.

‘Jumbo Jim’

The New Gloucester Historical Society will open the new History Barn on Saturday, Jan. 2, from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. for its monthly open house. Admission is free. A new collection item on display will be “Jumbo Jim,” a board sawn from a massive old pine in town. The History Barn is located directly behind Town Hall on Route 231.

Father and daughter John and Laura Bowden, both of New Gloucester, enjoy themselves at a festively decorated community dinner to benefit the local food pantry’s program “Veggie Connection.” Holding a benefit dinner was Laura’s brainchild. (Photo by Patti Mikkelsen)

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