ASC Minutes 2022 – 2023

Annisquam Sewing Circle Minutes

January 10, 2023

Call to order and welcome: Co-president Suzanne Brown called the meeting to order at 1:30 pm in the Village Hall. A moment of silence was observed to honor Alden Nichols. Suzanne reminded the group that it is the tradition to donate $50 to the village library with the passing of any member. A motion to do so was seconded and passed unanimously.

Secretary’s Report (Janet Langer): A copy of the secretary’s report from the November was distributed to members to review prior to the meeting. There were no corrections. A motion to accept the secretary’s report was seconded and passed unanimously.

Treasurer’s Report (Maria Marolda): The Sewing Circle donated $5,000 to The Open Door, which was matched with another $5,000 donation, bringing the total impact to $10,000. The Christmas Fair was very successful, generating a net profit of $17,634. Maria reported revenues by category, although the totals are somewhat approximate, a combination of those captured by the sales slips and numbers from the table chairs. In any case, the total revenues and costs are accurate. A copy of the treasurer’s report is on file with these minutes. A motion to accept the treasurer’s report was seconded and passed unanimously.

Co-president Sue Harris read a letter from Val Gilman, congratulating the Sewing Circle on the success of the Christmas Fair, and another letter from the Annisquam Historical Society (Rita Teele) thanking it for use of the Leonard Club room during the fair so the Society could sell merchandise.

Committee Reports

Correspondence Secretary’s Report (Kate Meader): Notes were sent to the following people: Maggie Stevens, Lance Banks, Alden Nichols’ family, Dona Shea, Judy Gustin, Mary Warner, Joanne Beck, Hazel von Rosenvinge, and Jaye Whittier. Kate also thanked those that donated scarfs, mittens, and hats to The Open Door.
Hospitality (Sue Harris for Judy Gustin): This was the first high tea since COVID impacted our meeting protocol in 2019. Sue thanked Connie Mason for setting up today’s beautiful high tea, and Judi Gustin and Jackie Littlefield for their contributions. It’s still not clear when we will be meeting again in the Library. Peg Ris, Pat Makin, and Lisa Accardi volunteered to host the tea in February.

Finance Committee (Sue Willis): The committee has scheduled speakers from various community organizations to speak to the Sewing Circle over the coming months. Members who know of a charity to be considered for donations should let the committee know. Final votes for donations will be in May or June.
Membership Committee (Perry McIntosh): There are no new candidates under consideration, although there is still room for additional members. The nomination form is on the web site. Perry reminded members to be sure to inform candidates about the responsibilities they must meet when joining the Sewing Circle. That information is in the bylaws, on the web site.

Scholarship Committee (Sue Harris for Lee Cunningham): There are four high school seniors who will receive application information from the Sewing Circle to apply for a $1,000 tuition grant: Will Andrew, Mack Trotman, Toni Rose Babson, and Jack Delaney. If members know of any other seniors in the village, please contact Lee.
Website (Lisa Accardi): Lisa thanked those who “liked” Sewing Circle posts on Facebook.

Old Business

Christmas Fair Debriefing
Sue Harris congratulated everyone on the success of this year’s fair, noting that it felt like a whole new event after the two-year COVID hiatus. Sue asked committee chairs to report on their experience this year: what worked, and what changes should be considered or implemented. Below is a summary of the remarks. Note that each committee head took time to thank those that helped with setup, managing the tables during the fair, and item contributions made by members.

Hospitality During Greens Week (Sue Harris reporting for Judy Gustin): Keep things simple. Offer coffee, bottled water, or cider and simple snacks. Setup and cleanup are absolutely necessary. Keep in mind that the fair happens at a busy time for everyone in their homes.

Wreaths (Stevie Neal): The wreath sales were a tremendous success, thanks to those who signed up to help each morning, and the finished wreaths were beautiful. Preparation of the bows and pinecones went well. All 250 wreaths sold by 11:30. In the future, members who plan to buy a wreath should order them ahead of time so they can be sold independently from the day of the fair and not impact those wreaths that could be sold to the public. The committee donated wreaths to the following: The Grace Center, The Open Door, The Rose Baker Senior Center, Sarah Hackett, Alden Nichols’ daughter, and Doris Rust.

Centerpieces and Boxwoods (Lyn Fenollosa): Lyn thanked her team, especially Jill Lovejoy, who is the co-chair and designs Connie Mason’s boxwood trees in addition to helping with the other pieces. Lyn suggested there be one group that organizes the centerpieces, rings, and mugs, and another to manage the boxwood trees. The mugs were very popular and sold out. Members can donate (clean!) mugs for next year. The space in the Leonard Club is a optimal work space, allowing the boxwood, tools, and decorations to be contained and accessible in one room.

Take Out Casseroles (Mimi Emmons): The committee recommends discontinuing the sit-down luncheon, as they did this year. Doing so made the day of the fair less hectic, both in the kitchen and in the hall in terms of cleaning up from the fair and setting up for a luncheon. The committee cooked and sold 81 casseroles. There is no need for any more than that since there is not much interest outside the Sewing Circle. Precooked chicken worked well, but the meat must be removed from the bone by those that donate them. Prices for supplies have gone up by almost 30%, which cut into profits, although the casseroles made as much money as the sit-down luncheon has in previous years.
The committee undertook a much needed clean out of the kitchen, discarding out of date supplies and foodstuffs that had accumulated over the years. Thanks to the Village Hall Association, a professional cleaner was hired to do a final cleaning.

The committee needs to use the refrigerator/freezer on the first floor since the one in the upstairs kitchen doesn’t hold the temperature during the casserole preparation process.

There needs to be a better, more accurate, method for collecting money and tracking sales. Perhaps one member could be assigned to this task.

Crafts (Gigs Cunningham): Gigs thanked everyone for the variety and quality of the crafts donated to the fair this year, and highlighted some of those that were particularly popular. The Grace Murray hat sold for $400. The needlepoint group made 30 ornaments which sold for $60 each. There were sweaters from Sue Lannin, hats from Annie Storr, 19 lingerie bags made by Patricia Plevisani, and a wide variety of note cards, all of which sold well. As always, when donating items to the craft table, Gigs recommends members make something they’d keep themselves or give to a friend.

It is helpful if donors name the item, set a minimum price, and include care instructions and fabric content.

Hats and scarfs weren’t as popular this year. Perhaps there were too many? Too expensive? Too coarse? The committee will put the excess items in the Exchange for sale.

The glass ornaments didn’t sell well, perhaps because the snow pattern was too generic.

Gourmet Foods (Wendy Banks): There was a great variety of items in attractive packages, resulting in brisk sales at the gourmet table. All the items were sold in the first hour of the fair, so clearly there is a need for more next year. Cakes sold for between $20-$25 apiece. The pies sold out, but only one was cherry; the rest were pecan. Nisu sold for $15 apiece. There were lots of cookies and brownies, some of which were gluten free, which was well received. All the sauces and jams sold, even though there were plenty in stock. The committee would like to sell cocoa cones next year, as they have in the past. Betsey Colby offered to lead the effort, perhaps offering a workshop.

Jewelry (Sue Harris for Donna Caselden): The committee noted that there was plenty of jewelry, and many items were left after the fair ended. It’s possible people didn’t understand how to access the table, which was on the stage. Next year the committee would like to use a larger table and move it down to the floor so it is more visible to shoppers.

Grab Bags (Gerry Herbert for Jackie Littlefield): Gerry noted that even though the grab bag table is popular and all the donated items were bought, sales were only $400. A brief discussion followed. A suggestion was made to raise the price per item, although one of the features of the grab bag table is that the items are inexpensive, “take what you get” items. Sue Willis argued that $400 is a reasonable goal for the table if every member donated three items and each item sold for $3. Another suggestion was to add categories such as housewares, garden, kitchen, tools, etc. Children grabs are the least popular.

Sewing Group (Patricia Plevisani): Patricia thanked those who helped make stars for the Starry Tree, particularly Holly Perry. Given how small the group was and how many stars were left over, however, the committee does not recommend this item again next year. Also, it’s not clear if the tree might come back from Seacoast; Jocelyyn Ramella will follow up with them. There was general support for the tree initiative in the discussion that followed, particularly since the tree brought in $1767 on the day of the fair. Rosalie Hughes was credited for her savvy solicitation efforts, including stickers for those who donated.

If the tree is included in next year’s fair, a member suggested we have Santa sit by the tree to welcome young shoppers. A lively discussion ensued regarding who would play Santa! If the tree is not part of the fair next year, perhaps the group could make smaller stars for decorating presents.

Patricia supports regular meetings throughout the year in the Village Hall to have craft time and promote fellowship among members. She also recommended the committee heads meet regularly from now on to start planning for next year’s fair.

Sales Slips and Checkout Procedures (Maria Marolda): Maria recommended the sales slips be redesigned if proceeds are to be broken down by table. There were some suggestions voiced at the meeting, and it was agreed that this issue could be resolved at a later time.

To be sure a procedure is in place, the committee recommends that next year all table managers arrive 15 minutes early on day of fair to be trained on how to use the sales slips. Also, prices for all items should be full dollar amounts!

Check out during the first hour of the fair was chaotic. The committee recommended two stations that mirror one another, each with someone to total the sales slips, someone to accept cash or checks, and someone to run the credit card machine.

The wreaths and casseroles committees should be consulted as to the best procedure for collecting money.

New Business

Legacy Membership (Perry McIntosh): Perry introduced the concept of a legacy membership category. This would be available to a daughter or granddaughter who is interested in joining the Sewing Circle, but would not impact the maximum allowed members. Sue Harris suggested that any legacy member would not have to live in Annisquam or Gloucester. There was some concern among members regarding the level of responsibility a legacy member would need to meet. There was no vote taken on this matter.

The next meeting will be on February 14 at 1:30 pm. For those who want to gather beforehand to work on projects, they can do so at 12:30.

A motion to adjourn was made, seconded, and passed unanimously at 2:40 p.m.

Good Neighbors Presentation
Good Neighbors President Pammy Saylor updated members on the organization and some of the initiatives being implemented. The committee is addressing two central questions: 1. Who are we now? 2. How should Good Neighbors assist residents now that Gloucester no longer supports a CERT team in Gloucester (Distress Response)?

Who are we now?
Good Neighbors will distribute a new informational brochure to the community. Designed by Penny Neal, this brochure replaces one that has been in use for the past eight years. Topics include “Our Commitment”, “What we Do”, “Ways to Help”, and “Board of Directors”. A registration card insert is included as well.
Many traditional events involve in-person gatherings. Due to COVID concerns, the winter dinner has been put on hold, and the focus will be on “fun” events. Recent events have included celebrating Doris Rust’s 99th birthday; a Secret Santa drive with 35 elves serving 44 people, and a community noise event on New Year’s Eve.
Collation care will continue. This includes planning and coordinating with the family, set up, clean up, and providing baked goods.
Distress Response
All sexism aside, Good Neighbors reached out to a number of gentlemen for their strength to help with physical tasks. These include safety measures during snow storms and help with event setup and cleanup. This outreach brought a younger population of residents into Good Neighbors initiatives. Ron Beck will help Good Neighbors connect with the city and advocate for our needs.
Good Neighbors will continue to coordinate rides to medical appointments for residents.

How to help
Good Neighbors hopes to deemphasize the concept of official membership in favor of creating a community-wide group of helpers. Anyone interested in the various activities should complete the sign-up form in the brochure, including information that the group might find helpful in case of an emergency. This could include snow-clearing equipment, generators, or names of household occupants (including pets).
Donations are the only source of income for the organization.

November 8, 2022

Call to order and welcome: Co-president Sue Harris called the meeting to order at 1:30 pm in the Village Hall. Members were encouraged to continue preparing bows and pine cones for the Christmas Fair wreathes during the meeting. Co-president Suzanne Brown shared a bit of history from Charlotte Lane’s journal: During the fall of 1887 a group of women decided the best way to help their neighbors was to join together. In 1882 they sold items from a grab bag at 10¢ per piece ($3.85 today). In 1889, the one person still living in Dogtown had to be carried out and taken to the poorhouse. As Suzanne concluded, what we do and where we donate our money is impactful to the community.

Secretary’s Report (Janet Langer): A copy of the secretary’s report from the October meeting was distributed to members for review prior to today’s meeting. There were no additions or corrections. A motion to accept the minutes was made, seconded, and passed unanimously

Treasurer’s Report (Maria Marolda): Last month’s income was $552.25, from dues and sweaters sold at the Exchange on behalf of the Sewing Circle. The Sewing Circle donated $5,000 to The Open Door in October. The current checking account balance is $10,337.30.

There were two announcements related to the member directory:

  • Members can pick up directories and pay their dues at the library during opening hours.
  • Changes to the directory: Lyn Fenollosa’s email is [email protected] Sue Harris asked members to call her cell phone, not her home phone, to reach her.
  • Committee Reports
  • Correspondence Secretary (Kate Meader): Cards were sent to Martha Hooper and Jackie Littlefield, both of whom had medical issues recently. Members welcomed Martha to the meeting.
  • Hospitality (Stevie Neal): Judy Gustin will assume leadership of the Hospitality Committee in January for the rest of the term. Maggie Stevens is scheduled for knee surgery and can’t continue as chairwoman. Signup sheets will be circulated today for help during greens week. and for January’s meeting. Thank you to Wendy Banks, Joline Hentschel, and Nancy Davis for today’s goodies.
  • Finance (Sue Willis): The Open Door was extremely grateful for the fall donation, which arrived in time to take advantage of a matching gift grant. They sent a thank you note to Martha Hooper.
  • Web Site (Lisa Accardi): Lisa thanked members who contributed images of crafts from previous Christmas Fairs. Plans are in place for publicizing this year’s fair with informational posts on social media and local outlets such as Good Morning Gloucester, Next Door Neighbor, the Annisquam Village web site and The Sewing Circle web site.
  • Publicity (Chicki Hollett): Updated Christmas Fair posters will be left in the Village Hall for groups that meet during the week. A banner is hanging on the Village Hall building. Smaller posters are being printed and will be displayed at locations around the city. Jocelyn Ramella announced that the Annisquam Sewing Circle has been invited to appear on Channel 13. It was suggested that this occur one week prior to the Christmas Fair in order to have the greatest impact on attendance.
  • Membership (Perry McIntosh): The Sewing Circle has 52 active members. Dona Caselden submitted an application for Gina Milne. Gina has been a full time Annisquam resident for six years and was a summer resident twenty years before that. She has a wide range of interests, including interior design, roses, bee keeping, and wine. A motion was made and seconded to accept Gina as a member. It passed unanimously. Perry noted that two spots for membership still remain.
  • Old Business

Knitting Group (Suzanne Brown for Jill Lovejoy): The group will meet on November 22.

Christmas Fair

  • Starry Tree Fundraiser: Sue repeated an announcement she had made at the Village Hall Association meeting Monday night: The Starry Tree Fundraiser is a three-way win opportunity for Annisquam Village, Seacoast Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, and the organizations in greater Gloucester that receive donations from the Sewing Circle. Donna Shea donated a Christmas tree, which will be decorated with stars created by the sewing group and displayed at the Christmas Fair. Tax deductible contributions will be collected at the Fair in honor of the fact that “some of us are actually sewing.” The fully decorated and lit tree will be donated to Seacoast at the conclusion of the fair. Proceeds from donations will be added to the funds distributed to organizations in greater Gloucester.
  • Sue noted that this year many members cannot participate in the Fair, due to illness or other personal challenges. They will be contacted and asked to donate to the Starry Tree in lieu of participating in workshops, donating crafts, or helping at the Fair itself.
  • Greens (Stevie Neal): Thanks to everyone who has already signed up for Greens Week. Currently, the focus is on making 250 bows for the wreaths. Stevie will be taking special orders for greens prior to the fair. Members can email Stevie with those requests.
  • Luncheon (Mimi Emmons): Mimi circulated two sign-up sheets: one for 25 – 30 volunteers to donate chicken for the recipe; the second for meal orders. The committee will make 100 meals, which can be frozen for future use. The entrées will be prepared Monday through Friday during the work week, and help is needed. The meals feed 2 – 3 people and will be sold for $18.00 each. The committee will also be selling coffee and commercial donut holes at the chicken table during the Fair.
  • Crafts (Gigs Cunningham): Gigs thanked everyone who has contributed crafts thus far. She reminded members that all submissions should include the creator’s name, any special care instructions, a suggested price, and whether it should be returned if it isn’t sold. Otherwise it will be donated to a local organization.
  • Gourmet Foods (Sue Harris for Wendy Banks): A signup sheet was circulated for volunteers to contribute to the food table.
  • Jewelry (Vicki Bourneuf and Donna Caselden): There have been lots of jewelry donations so far, but more are needed by Monday of green’s week.
  • Grab Bags (Sue Harris for Jackie Littlefield): Every member should donate three items: one appropriate for a man, woman, child, or pet. There are plenty of items for children already. New Business

Deb Byrd reminded members that we are a baking as well as a sewing group. New members can pair up with someone to create a craft or baked goods. “Don’t be daunted – play to your strengths.”


A motion to adjourn was made, seconded, and passed unanimously at 2:15 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Janet Langer, Recording Secretary

October 11, 2022

Call to order and welcome: Co-president Suzanne Brown called the meeting to order at 1:30 p.m. in the Village Hall. She introduced co-president Sue Harris, who asked members to recall crafts from previous Christmas Fairs: things that went well; things well-liked; an idea for this year. Members worked in pairs and offered the following suggestions:

Fire starters, small themed baskets, Annisquam items (matchboxes, calendars), knit socks, Christmas mantle stockings, sea shells that can be drilled and decorated for ornaments, clear glass ornaments that can be painted, birdhouses, small rum cakes, pet toys, toys, for grandchildren baby bandanas/drool bibs.

Sue also asked for volunteers to host workshops in their homes.

Secretary’s Report (Janet Langer): A copy of the secretary’s report from the September meeting was distributed to members for review prior to this meeting. There was one correction: Under the member committee report, the sentence, “Kate Meader reminded active members that they are required to attend six meetings per year.” should read “Perry McIntosh reminded members…”. A motion to accept the minutes as amended was seconded and passed unanimously.

Treasurer’s Report (Maria Marolda): Maria noted that the accounts are essentially the same as last month, with the current balance standing at $15,366. There were no expenses, only dues added as income. A motion to accept the treasurer’s report was seconded and passed unanimously.

Committee Reports

  • Correspondence Secretary’s Report (Kate Meader): Cards were sent to Jaye Whittier (knee), Janet Langer (COVID), and a sympathy card to Emily Murphy upon her husband’s passing. Gigs Cunningham informed the members that Good Neighbors is organizing a meal drive for George Williamson.
  • Hospitality (Maggie Stevens): Maggie thanked Jocelyn Ramella, Patricia Plevisani, Gigs Cunningham, and Rosalie Hughes for helping with today’s tea. A sign-up sheet was passed asking for volunteers to provide refreshments for future meetings and for greens week. Four people are needed for each meeting.
  • Finance (Sue Willis): Sue suggested we donate to Open Door this fall, since we have money in our account, and considering the challenges posed by inflation. Peg Ris noted that Open Door is trying to raise $35,000 through a match program, so now is a good time to contribute toward that goal. Maria stated that we have plenty of money to cover the cost of greens for the Christmas Fair. Connie Mason made an initial motion to donate $4,000 to Open Door. After a brief discussion, there was general consensus that the Sewing Circle could afford to donate more. Connie withdrew her original motion, and proposed a $5,000 donation instead. The motion was seconded and passed unanimously.
  • Web Site (Lisa Accardi): Lisa asked members to send photos of crafts to her to generate interest in this year’s Christmas Fair. Pictures from past fairs are acceptable.
  • Publicity (Chicki Hollett): The committee will update the wooden Christmas Fair tree. There will also be a large banner on the front of the Village hall with the web site address on the bottom, a sandwich board at the church, and laser decorations. Posters will be distributed in Gloucester to encourage more people to come. Cable Channel 12 invited the ASC to publicize the Fair on their local show. The committee may ask a long-time member to appear on the program to give some background information on the Fair.

Old Business

  • Knitting Group (Jill Lovejoy): The knitting group has met once this fall. Next Tuesday at 1:30 at Suzanne Brown’s home, there will be a mini-workshop on finishing sweater seams. For those interested in creating a piece for the Christmas Fair, there are patterns available for small projects (children’s clothing), which take about 20 hours to complete. Meetings could be scheduled on alternative Tuesdays to work on these projects. After January, the group could regroup and begin working on longer term projects.
  • Sewing Group (Patricia Plevisani and Jocelyn Ramella): The star tree is coming along, but more help is needed. Interested members can contact Patricia. Also, the project needs a larger tree. Dona Shea volunteered to donate it. If the star tree is a successful Christmas Fair item, the committee can repeat the project every year. Jocelyn added that two artists who are Sewing Circle members have volunteered to make custom stars to donate to the tree project.

Christmas Fair

  • Greens (Stevie Neal): Bonnie Angus has ordered 250 wreaths from Wolf Hill, and will order ribbon this week. Greens week takes place Monday through Wednesday the week prior to the Fair. The committee needs more new pine cones. They can be dropped off at Stevie’s barn – the side door is unlocked. There will be a workshop in two weeks in the Village Hall to wire the pine cones and make bows for the wreaths. Stevie noted that the committee will take pre-orders for wreaths and holiday plants. When asked about setup and cleanup after the Fair, Stevie assured Sue that no there is no need to create a separate committee. Members typically pitch in and the task is taken care of.
  • Luncheon (Mimi Emmons): Mimi ordered 160 8” pie pans for takeaway orders, up from 120 in past years. Members will be asked to supply chickens for the meal. The price for the meals will likely increase this year. There will be no sit-down luncheon this year, per orders from the board of health, but Mimi predicted the takeaway orders will raise the same amount of money as in the past. Pre-orders will be accepted. The committee is considering offering coffee and donuts to shoppers during the fair, while being careful not to interfere with the sale of gourmet table items.
  • Crafts (Gigs Cunningham): Gigs asked those who donate craft items to put their name on them, note laundering or care directions, and indicate whether you want them back or have them donated. Contributors should suggest a price; otherwise the committee will price the item.
  • Gourmet Foods (Lee Cunningham for Wendy Banks): Lee asked members to think about what they might donate: jams, jellies, candy, etc.; She will send out a sign-up sheet.
  • Jewelry (Vicki Bourneuf and Donna Caselden): Any jewelry donations can be dropped off with Vicki or Donna.
  • Grab Bags (Jackie Littlefield): Jackie asked members if the grab bags are still something to be included in the Fair. A vote was taken and a majority was in favor. Every member should donate three small items: one appropriate for a man, one for a woman, and one for a child or pet. They should be wrapped and labeled. The consensus was to charge $3 per piece.
  • Member access to the Christmas Fair: There was a brief discussion concerning members purchasing items prior to the Fair being opened to the general public. Should there be a Friday night event for members only? The consensus was no. Members thought it was important to maintain our reputation for being a “good fair” that has quality items and is open to everyone. A motion was made and seconded not to have a Friday members-only event. It passed unanimously.

Kate Meader reminded those that are participating in Hazel’s scarf project to deliver them to her (Kate) by December 12.

There will be a workshop on October 25 at 12:15 p.m. in the Village Hall.

The next general meeting will be on November 8 at 1:30 p.m. in the Village Hall.

A motion to adjourn was made, seconded, and passed unanimously at 2:42 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Janet Langer, Recording Secretary

September 13, 2022

Welcome and Introductions: Co-president Suzanne Brown called the meeting to order in the Village Hall at 1:30 pm. She noted that the Sewing Circle, originally called the Annisquam Female Benevolent Society, is celebrating its 185th year of service to this community. She shared some facts from 1837: The Financial Panic; instability in the labor force, including high unemployment and a female textile workers’ strike; and racial tension between Irish and Yankee citizens. In Annisquam, a group of women recognized that a number of their neighbors needed a helping hand, and formed a society to support those in need, raising $25.25, equal to $804.41 today. Suzanne reminded members, “As the recipients of their legacy, we are called upon to share our bounty with the organizations that provide the assistance to the needy now.”

A more detailed account of the history of that time in Annisquam can be found in Charlotte Lane’s book, online at

Co-president Sue Harris invited members to participate in a get-acquainted exercise, allowing those who had joined the ASC recently during COVID to learn more about one another through quick introductions. She emphasized her philosophy of “fun and philanthropy” and reminded those in attendance that “we’re all in this together.”

Previous Minutes (Janet Langer): A copy of the secretary’s report was distributed to members for review prior to the meeting. There were no additions or corrections. A motion to accept the minutes as sent out was seconded and passed unanimously.

Treasurer’s Report (Maria Marolda): Maria offered a brief summary of the financial standing of the ASC, with information from FY 2021-2022 and a look ahead to this coming year. She noted that the fiscal year (FY) now runs from July 1 until June 30.

FY 2021-2022

  • The Christmas Fair & Greens sale and the Plant Sale yielded the most income.
  • Donations of $16,000 were made to ten local and regional agencies and non-profit organizations, along with a contribution to World Food Programs to support citizens of Ukraine.
  • The auction at the Annual Meeting in June added approximately $1782 to our income.
  • The Bake & Flower sale in July added $1260.

FY 2022-2023

  • The ASC is now designated as a standing committee of the Annisquam Village Hall Association. While the day-to-day finances and financial decisions will continue to be managed by the ASC, the Annisquam Village Hall Association will serve as an umbrella organization for financial needs and tax reporting purposes. Checking accounts have been updated to reflect this change.
  • The checking account balance stands at $15,135.26. This is intended to cover anticipated scholarships for qualified high school seniors and costs for wreaths and greens which will be sold at the Christmas Fair.

Membership directories are available to members who pay their dues: Active members $5.00; Associate members $10.00.

A motion to accept the treasurer’s report was seconded and passed unanimously.

Committee Reports

  • Correspondence (Kate Meader): There were a number of members who couldn’t attend, for various reasons. A sympathy card was sent to Deb Ebeling upon her mom’s passing.
  • Membership (Perry McIntosh): Caroline Rogers submitted her resignation from the Sewing Circle, due to personal circumstances. Currently, we have 53 active, 16 associate, and 6 honorary members. There is room for two more active members. Kate Meader reminded active members that they are required to attend six meetings per year. They also need to participate in events such as bake sales and the Christmas Fair. Membership is available to women who are residents of Annisquam, who will attend at least six meetings per year and who participate in the Sewing Circle events.
  • Nominating (Stevie Neal): Stevie nominated Lee Cunningham to chair the scholarship committee, a position left vacant after Caroline Rogers resigned. A motion to accept Lee as scholarship chair was made, seconded, and passed unanimously.
  • Finance (Sue Willis): In response to members’ requests, the committee will invite some of the charities supported by the Sewing Circle to future meetings where they can update members on their activities in the community. These presentations will occur prior to any final decision regarding contributions from the ASC.
  • Web Site (Lisa Accardi): Lisa is updating the web site. She noted that all members will be asked to send pictures of crafts for a “12 Days of Christmas” section of the site; more details will follow. The address for the web site is and the member log in is Circle01930 (capital C, no spaces).
  • Publicity (Chicki Hollett): The Christmas Fair is the main focus of the committee this fall. Lisa will help with web site matters. Banners and signage will be displayed at high visibility sites.
  • Hospitality (Maggie Stevens): Sue thanked Maggie for organizing the opening meeting, and in turn Maggie thanked members for their help. It was agreed that the next few meetings, and perhaps some workshops will be held in the Village Hall, which offers space and ventilation for safe gatherings. Maggie will contact those who volunteered to make refreshments.

Old Business

  • Knitting Group (Suzanne for Jill Lovejoy): The knitting group didn’t meet in the summer, but will resume meeting this fall. A sign-up was passed around for those interested in making small sweaters (up to size 6), or doll clothing.
  • Sewing Group (Jocelyn Ramella): Jocelyn thanked Patricia Plevisani for hosting the sewing group and to those who contributed fabric. Plenty of stars have already been made for the Christmas Fair tree. The group will find uses for the donated fabric, perhaps including table cloths. The group has been meeting on Tuesday mornings, but might move to the afternoon. Rosalie Hughes emphasized the need for a dedicated group to come regularly this fall. Patricia added that people don’t need to know how to sew since there are other tasks that support the effort to finish the trees in time for the Christmas Fair. The purpose is to get together, meet, and have sewing time.
  • Farmer’s Market (Sue Harris): Sue posed two questions for next year’s planning: 1. Should we request June 30, 2023, the Friday before the 4th of July, for a bake and flower sale? It was very successful this year as residents settled in for the long weekend. 2. Do we need a second sale in August? We canceled it this year due to weather, people leaving for the summer, and the Village Players’ musical.

There was a brief discussion regarding these questions. Members supported the July bake sale and felt that even more baked goods would sell if they were available. Having only a July sale might cause more members to volunteer. In the summer, tasks pile up, and people sometimes get overwhelmed by too many “asks” and the sense that everything associated with the Sewing Circle is about raising money. While the ASC was established to raise money, it needs to be fun, and congenial.


  • A motion was made and seconded to host a bake/flower sale the Friday before the 4th of July. The motion passed by a majority vote.
    • A motion was made and seconded to forego the August bake/flower sale next August. The motion passed unanimously.

New Business

    • Christmas Fair logistics (Sue Harris): The 2022 Christmas Fair will be the first one in three years to be held in person and open to the public. Sue identified the chairwomen for the following fair committees, asking them to consider recruiting someone new to the task so they can learn the process:
      • Greens: Stevie Neal and Bonnie Angus.
      • Luncheon: Mimi Emmons, assisted by Pippy Giuliano, and Jolene Hentschel. Mimi noted that she took over from Connie Mason, and that the committee needs one more person. The Board of Health is aware of our plans, but due to COVID considerations, recommends offering take-home casseroles only, despite the tradition of having an in-person event. Typically, 50-60 casseroles are sold at the Christmas Fair. Mimi will hold a committee meeting soon to address logistics and will report back next month.
      • Crafts: Rosalie Hughes, Gigs Cunningham, and Peg Ris. The committee will accept any craft that will sell and suggests making something you would give as a gift to someone. Alternatively, members can attend a craft workshop.
      • Bow making: Pam Saylor. Bows could be made in a workshop or by individuals.
      • Gourmet Foods: Wendy Banks.
      • Jewelry: Vicki Bourneuf; Donna Caseldon.
      • Grab bags: Jackie Littlefield.
      • Photographer: Suzanne Brown

Committees that need leaders:

    • Raffle: The star tree is a good option. Maybe display the tree at a meeting prior to the fair.
    • Setup
    • Cleanup after the Fair

There was a question about the policy regarding members purchasing goods prior to the opening of the fair. In the past, members had to wait until 10:00 am so the general public had an opportunity to purchase items. This would preserve the reputation we have as one of the best Fairs in the local area. Alternatively, members could be allowed to “tag” an item for purchase, perhaps the Friday prior to the fair. Since no decision was needed at this meeting, the issue was tabled.

 The next meeting will be on October 11, 2022 at 1:30 pm.

A motion to adjourn was made, seconded, and passed unanimously at 2:55 pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Janet Langer, Recording Secretary