Friday, October 23, 2009

South Berwick Determined to Keep Everyone Warm

Townspeople are planning an “old school” community supper at Spring Hill Restaurant to raise funds to supply local families with heating oil and Keep South Berwick Warm this winter.
Soups and breads from nine local restaurateurs and bakers, raffle prizes from local merchants and a bucket at the front door for cash donations -- on Wednesday, Oct. 28th, from 5-7 p.m., the people of South Berwick are holding a very special supper at Spring Hill Restaurant on Pond Road in South Berwick. It is an old-fashioned community fundraiser being held by townspeople working with Social Services to help local families deal with heating costs this winter. Just like days gone by, there’s no set donation or entry fee -- there will be a bucket by the door where people can give whatever they can to help their neighbors get thru this difficult time
To that end, restaurants in South Berwick and York are pitching in and providing soups and breads for the event. Among them are Nature’s Way Market, Pepperland, Forgarty’s, The Catered Event, Redbarn at the Outlook Farm, The Black Bean, The Brixham General Store, Spring Hill Restaurant, When Pigs Fly Bread. Local merchants including Abby Chic, Salmon Falls Gardens, The Early Bird, Vacuum Village, the Little Hat Company, and Kimmi’s Best Biscotti are providing prizes for raffles to be held during the event. Tickets are also available ahead of time from The Early Bird and The South Berwick Pharmacy. We also have Jeff Lind and Carl Pehrsson playing acoustic jazz music.
“The money we raise from this supper, the raffle and any subsequent donations that are made will give a family a few hours of heat, or help with weatherization of their home,” says Pat Robinson, one of the key organizers. “The support we’ve gotten from the local restaurants and merchants has been very enthusiastic -- if we see the community respond the same way, the event should really make a difference in local families’ lives this winter. If people can’t come, we hope they’ll mail in a donation. We really hope to make sure that all of the families of South Berwick stay warm this winter.”
When residents make their donations to the South Berwick Fuel Fund this year, the checks will be written out to a new organization in town: SoBo Central. SoBo Central was recently incorporated as a non-profit organization with the goal of bringing together five community projects into one tax-exempt nonprofit.
In addition to the Fuel Fund, other programs that have joined to create SoBo Central are Hot Summer Nights, which has run summer concerts for 10 years; Green Up, a local sustainability group formed last year; the South Berwick Community Food Pantry, formed to bring food to residents in need, and Smart Growth South Berwick, which is focused on nurturing the downtown and runs the annual Home for the Holidays event.
“None of these groups had official non profit status and all are run mainly by volunteers. Many of the same people worked with two or more of the organizations, so the new group will help bring together overlapping causes and make all of the efforts stronger,” explains Nicole St. Pierre, SoBo Central Board President.
“Rather than have five groups with separate administrations, SoBo Central pulls them all together so they can share administrative functions and costs. That makes them all more efficient,” says SoBo Central Treasurer, Dave Stansfield.
Donations to the Fuel Fund can also be made directly to SoBo Central, c/o Fuel Fund, 9 York Woods Road, South Berwick, ME 03908. Write “Fuel Fund” on the memo line.
All donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law. For more information, call Pat Robinson at 207-337-2792.