2020 Cataumet Schoolhouse Preservation Group Annual Membership Meeting
Zoom, October 22, 2020 at 7:00pm
Present: Carole Courey, Jean Davock, Kris Fisher, Kathy Georgeson, Ben Joyce, Meg Marge, Maryann Ouellette, Nancy Rego Pollis, Martin Strudwick, Joan Holden
Carole opened the meeting at 7:05pm. She welcomed everyone and stated that our Annual Membership meeting report will be on our website. With a minor change, approval was given to the July 23, 2020 Board Meeting minutes.
Treasurer’s Report: Meg Marge
Since the July meeting, the CSPG has received donations of $1495 and incurred expenses of $1096.
The Board approved a $100 donation in memory of Frances Speers to the Bourne Society for Historic Preservation.
Matching Grant Announcement: Carole Courey
There was a formal announcement that the CSPG has received a $50,000 matching grant from a generous anonymous donor in our community. This will be a five-year rolling grant. We will receive funds annually to match what we have raised and we will also be able to decide how we want to spend the funds. The consensus of the Board is to have two donation categories: Educational Projects and Schoolhouse Preservation. Our fiscal year starts in January, so we will see what we are able to raise by this time next year and evaluate how we’re doing. Kris held a brainstorming meeting with Maryann, Nancy and Kathy Gillis to discuss priorities for our fundraising, including scholarships and teacher grants. Kris will meet with Joan, Nancy, Ande, Maryann, Jean and Carole to discuss the details further.
We are planning to send out a mailing in November or early December to announce the matching grant campaign and ask for donations. Information will also be on our website and on Facebook. Then, for our annual newsletter, we would include a special donation page. Generally, we receive about $2500 or so in donations and the rest in membership dues each year. Perhaps people would increase their regular donation amount and members might add a donation, if they realize that their donations would be matched.
Annual Reports by Committees
Buildings and Grounds: Ben Joyce and Martin Strudwick
Ben reported that exterminators have been contacted about powder post beetle control. He also noted that a new trial single unit solar light along the driveway has been installed. He suggests, upon approval, we install four or five of these lights. A possible flood light was also discussed. There was debate regarding the use of a flood light given our historic setting. Martin will pursue different options for lighting. Carole asked Ben, Martin and Paul to present the Board with a proposal at our next meeting.
Member/Donor Report: Carole Courey
Almost all membership and donations are returned in our donation envelopes in the annual newsletters that we send out usually in June. We put a newsletter in every Cataumet post office box and send to about one hundred or so out of towners. Generally, we receive about 90 or so membership dues and/or donations every year. We include the names in our annual newsletter. So far this year we have received $3985 from 84 donations from 126 people. We also received a $5000 donation from Bob and Genie Birch this year. We are grateful to all our members and donors and appreciate their support.
Holiday Sale: Nancy Rego Pollis
Due to COVID-19, the Holiday Fair for 2020 will not take place. However, the committee for the Holiday Fair did meet early on and were in discussions to update the fair this year in order to lighten the work load for the volunteers who so generously donate their time to this event. Last year we hosted 14 vendors, a bake sale, a raffle, a chowder luncheon and free hot mulled cider. Music was provided outdoors along with the sale of cranberries and wreaths. Many talented and generous people donated their time and efforts to this successful event.
This year at our early meeting, we spoke about the need to reduce the number of vendors, in order to keep the fair more manageable for our volunteers while giving all our local vendors’ priority. Due to COVID-19, no more meetings were scheduled and the decision was made to table the event until 2021 when the committee will again take up discussions for a fair in 2021, virus permitting!
Tuesday Talks: Kathy Georgeson
The 2020 Tuesday Talks have been postponed to August 2021:
“The Significance of the Cataumet Schoolhouse in American Architecture” — Professor John Hendrix, an Art-Architectural historian, will give a crash course in architectural history pertaining to the Schoolhouse. August 3rd.
“Lemonade, Cookies, and Cars” — Jennifer Madden, director of collections and exhibitions at Heritage Museums and Gardens, will share little known facts and stories about cars in the collection. August 10th.
“Exploring Cuttyhunk Island” — Bill Prodouz resides in Pocasset and is a fisherman, birder, amateur photographer, hiker, traveler and explorer of the outdoors. Bill’s talk is a guide to the island’s history and how to fish, visit and explore Cuttyhunk. August 17th.
“Susan B Anthony” — Sheryl Faye, an actress, will perform a one-woman show on Susan B Anthony. In 2020 we celebrate 100 years since the ratification of the 19th Amendment which gave women the right to vote. August 24th.
Antique Show and Picnic: Ben Joyce and Jean Davock
Due to COVID-19, the Antique Show and Picnic was not held in 2020. Ben is hoping that we can again host the event next year. Ben stated that the 2019 event was a success. Jean noted that our popular picnic lunch was served with lobster rolls from Cataumet Fish and chicken salad rolls from Daily Brew. Board members donated cookies and drinks which were complemented with Valley Farm Community Garden's delicious watermelons.
Third Grade Visits: Maryann Ouellette
Kim Colella, third grade teacher in Bourne, has decided to bring her students an alternate Cataumet Schoolhouse experience. She came to take photographs and video of both the interior and schoolyard. Paul and Martin set up the desks, so it would look appropriate. She is also going to use the PowerPoint slide show we created last year. Maryann will send her pictures of all the artifacts, and she might do a virtual scavenger hunt! The “schoolmarms” hope to have a Zoom question and answer session with the class. This is an ambitious project, and Kim says she may not get to it until spring. But we’ll be ready whenever she needs us!
Valley Farm Thrift Shop and Community Farm Update: Diane Speers
Due to the Coronavirus-19 pandemic, the shop has been closed from March 19th to date.
Serving on the Thrift Shop Management Committee are: Louise Innis (BSHP), Mike Ryan (BSHP), Diane Speers (BSHP), Diane Flynn (BHS), Galon “Skip” Barlow (BHS), Judith Flynn (BHS), Carole Courey (CSPG), Kris Fisher (CSPG) and Ben Joyce (CSPG).
Foremost in everyone’s mind this past year has been our long-term future at Valley Farm which hinges on Barnstable County’s decision to divest the land it owns in Pocasset. The two issues affecting our future: the proposed siting of the South Side Fire Station and the County’s land divestiture.
South Side Fire Station location update: Following 18 months of study announced this past fall, the preferred site location is the Barnstable County owned land at the corner of Dr. Julius Kelley Lane and County RD. As currently proposed, the siting of the building would not impact Valley Farm Thrift or the community garden.
2020: On National Thrift Shop Day, August 17, the thrift provided a small shopping opportunity at Cape Cod Senior Living Residences for residents. We also were invited to return this fall/winter to hold another shopping event. As a path back to reopening, we are looking at the potential of holding several small outdoor sales following COVID-19 safe protocols. Volunteers are vital to the operation of the thrift and are the reason we continue to be. We celebrate the talent and life experiences our volunteers have chosen to share with us over our twelve years at Valley Farm.
Valley Farm Community Garden: Now in its ninth growing season, Valley Farm Community Garden has grown over the years to 97 plots in 2020. It is a financially self-sustaining community garden funded by gardener plot fees, annual fundraising events, grants, in kind service donations, volunteer labor and financial contributions. The community garden has provided an oasis of serenity for many amid the pandemic. After a successful seven-year run, our popular Turkey Compost Gobbler Gold Sale ended. This season in response to a greater need we are farming nine plots for food pantry involving 26 volunteers. While unable to offer our popular Pumpkinfest event this fall, pumpkin farmer John York has held a pick your own jack o lantern pumpkin to ten families who have participated with us in past years. We will also hold a virtual weigh in of the giant pumpkins with guesses accepted on line via email. Weigh-in will be conducted on Saturday, October 31, Halloween.
On behalf of Valley Farm, thank you to all CSPG members and the Board of Directors for your continuing commitment and support.
Nominating Committee: Nancy Rego Pollis
The slate of officers up for election:
President: Carole Courey
Vice President: Kris Fisher
Treasurer: Meg Marge
Secretary: Joan Holden
The members of the Board up for election:
Carole Courey, Kris Fisher, Meg Marge, Joan Holden, Jean Davock, Kathy Georgeson, Ben Joyce
David MacLean, Paul Moscaritolo, Maryann Ouellette, Martin Strudwick, Ande Williams, Nancy Rego Pollis
The slate of officers and Board members were unanimously approved.
Other Business: Kris graciously volunteered to donate two wreaths and bows for our two front doors for the holiday season.
Future Board Meetings in 2021
Thursday, January 21
Thursday, April 22
Thursday, June 17
Thursday, October 21 - Annual Membership Meeting
The meeting was adjourned at 8:05pm.
Joan G. Ogilvy Holden, Secretary
Cataumet Schoolhouse Preservation Group (CSPG) P.O. Box 649 Cataumet, MA 1200 County Rd Cataumet, MA 02534