Minutes 2013 – 2014

Annisquam Sewing Circle Minutes
September 17, 2013

President, Carol Stearns welcomed members to a new season of the Annisquam Sewing Circle held in the Village Library. Minutes of the annual meeting were read and approved. Treasurer, Nancy Martin was called upon to give the annual report. After tallying the bills, the plant sale did not do as well as initially reported. Reserves are low but that is the result of donating approximately $18,000 to our designated charities. The report was voted on and approved.

Carol passed around a letter submitted by Sarah Hackett requesting scholarship money for 3 students residing in Haiti. The discussion was tabled until the request could be reviewed by the finance committee.

Germaine Fritz, publicity chair discussed information that should be included as part of the Christmas Fair publicity. It was decided that the fair would begin at 8:30 a.m. There will be one seating for lunch at 12:30. Some tables will be partially set and place settings prepared for a quick set-up.

Sunshine chair, Joan Collier reported – all’s well in the Village.

Pres. Stearns reminded us of our membership responsibilities as outlined in the by-laws. Members must attend 6 meetings per year, assist with and contribute to the Christmas Fair. Associates are expected to attend meetings and help with the Fair as they are able.

Martha Hooper, membership chair reported that we currently have 52 active, 14 associates and 6 honorary members. Our limit is 55 members.

Mary Curtis presented her daughter, Debra Mitchell for membership. Debra is actively involved with the Village Players. She is a good organizer and a hard worker. Debra will be residing with Mary in Annisquam. Sue Willis proposed Gigs Cunningham for membership. Gigs recently retired from teaching in the Gloucester Public Schools. She is a governor of the Annisquam Yacht Club and yes, she can quilt! Her three children were recipients of our scholarships. Gigs would like to be active and involved in Circle activities. Both candidates were unanimously approved for membership. Congratulations and welcome.

Bonnie Angus gave voice to an idea we often think about and that is bringing fresh blood into the organization; meaning, to attract junior members who are energetic, talented and eager to be involved. There was lots of agreement. Some names were mentioned and a quick inventory of the younger than 60 members brought laughter to the group.  

Scholarship chair, Sue Willis read a letter of deep appreciation from Billy O’Donnell and a lovely thank you card from Melody was circulated. 

Hospitality chair, Pam Saylor passed around a sign-up sheet for tea hosting. She has written some guidelines to simplify the process.

On to the Christmas Fair: The work-week leading to the Fair was organized, creative, fun and well attended. There will be more space in the hall and more room for greenery as the lunch tables will not be taking up space.

There was a discussion about the baskets 1) having run its course, 2) priced far under the value of the contents, and 3) too big and too pricey. Surprisingly, the discussion tended to favor baskets. For example, baskets distinguish our Fair from others and have an appealing and professional look. Suggestions for small hostess and specialty baskets for teachers and bus drivers were suggested.

The following new ideas were offered: Gift wrapping service Decorate your own greenery A cookie walk – fill a bag with an assortment of cookies to be weighed and priced.

Please determine your interest and rally around the following chairpersons:

Gourmet Table – Lida Bernard/Deb Bird
Crafts Table     –  Donna Caselden/Deb Ebling
Greens             –   Bonnie Angus/Stevie Neal
Greenery Bows – Judy Gustin
Jewelry table      – Mary Pope
Baskets            –   Suzanne Brown/Judy Juncker
Publicity           – Germaine Fritz
Luncheon          – Connie Mason/Mimi Emmons
Luncheon set-up – Emily Murphy

Officers, Carol Stearns, Nancy Martin, Anne Mannle, Joan Collier and Pippy Giuliano treated the members to the season’s first tea.

Respectfully submitted,
Pippy Giuliano Recording Secretary

OCTOBER 1, 2013

President Carol Stearns brought to order the Oct 1st, 2013.

Treasurer Nancy Martin announced that there is $17,188.76 in the Circle account and that to date, $210 of this year’s membership dues have been collected. Dues for active members is $5 and for associates, $10.

A warm greeting was given to two new members, Deborah Mitchell and Gigs Cunningham, presented by Membership Chair Martha Hooper.

Corresponding Secretary Joan Collier reported that she has sent a card to Claire Norton. Caregivers are needed and it was suggested that Good Neighbors Coordinator Janet McAveeny be contacted for recommendations. Cards were also sent to Bob Fritz , Germaine’s husband, and to Bob Borghesani, Cynthia’s husband. Joan inquired about sending email cards and several members felt that they were not as emotionally connected and uplifting as handwritten cards.

Deborah Bird presented a poster for the Arts and Crafts Fair on Oct. 11th, that will feature 40 artists, half of which are new. Members are encouraged to spread the word via email. The poster will be emailed to all members. Tickets are still available for the preview party on Friday, Dec. 6.

Pine cones are requested by Bonnie Angus for the greens, but please not the long skinny ones!

Suzanne Brown shared her grapevine wreaths and fire starters for the crafts table at the Fair. She will organize a workshop for members to make these. Deb Marston suggested decorating the sides of fabric shopping bags and presented one with a painting on the side that she had won at an auction.Gigs Cunningham showed a quilting piece that could be made into a pillow, and a “Marge Ross” potholder that she had sewn. Apparently the potholder has been a good seller at past fairs. If anyone would like to use the Sewing Circle sewing machine, Annie Sinkinson has it.

In an enthusiastic talk, speaker Lara Lapionka, founder of the Backyard Growers Association, presented slides and information about the work she has been doing to bring vegetable gardens to the moderate and low income families in Gloucester. People are trained to build, plant, tend and harvest gardens for a source of fresh vegetables. Currently partnered with the city and several organizations all elementary schools in Gloucester now have gardens as well as many families scattered throughout the city.

Respectfully submitted,
Debbie Ebeling for Pippy Giuliano

Annisquam Sewing Circle Meeting Minutes
November 5, 2013

President Carol Stearns opened the meeting by calling for minutes recorded by Debbie Ebeling. Debbie’s thorough minutes were unanimously approved.

Finance chair Mimi Emmons informed the members that interest in our charitable contributions has already been made known to her.

Carol called upon membership chair Martha Hooper who welcomed our newest member, Donna Davis.

On to the fair and those tantalizing chicken tetrazzini casseroles that can be ordered in advance for $12. Our chef, Connie Mason has sign-up sheets for your contribution of chicken, tossed salad, jelly salad or pie. Connie will send a postcard reminder as we approach the fair date, December 7th. Improvising may be needed to juggle the warming of the casseroles for the single luncheon seating. Village ovens stand in readiness. Lunch will be priced at $15. Please make your lunch reservations with Linette French. Carol suggests that loor walkers and sales ladies wear a pretty apron.

Twenty-two baskets have been spoken for according to Suzanne Brown. Her committee will transform the contents into lovely baskets that fair goers look forward to. Suzanne has been photographing craft items that she posts on the Sewing Circle blog. Take a look at the blog which is informative and beautiful.

Jackie Littlefield reminded us of our 3 grab donations: 2 adult and 1 child. Please indicate: male, female and for children their age and gender. An additional animal grab is most welcome. Again, please label so Jezebel will not be disappointed when she opens the grab meant for Fido.

The lovely fair posters were distributed. For clarification, Carol will send an email noting the expectations for members and schedule regarding the fair.

The meeting was soon adjourned to allow time for our guest speaker, Julie LaFontaine from the Open Door Cape Ann Food Pantry. The Open Door services 1 out 6 Gloucester families by providing meals, access to the food pantry, distribution of fresh produce to schools, senior centers and subsidized housing complexes. Over the years, the Sewing Circle has made donations to the Open Door a priority. Please consider bringing food items to the Village Church. There are many ways to contribute to the Open Door.

Tea was graciously served by Judy Friend, Jackie Littlefield, Hazel Von Rosenvinge and Jill Lovejoy.

Respectfully submitted,
Pippy Giuliano, Recording Secretary

Annisquam Sewing Circle Minutes
November 19, 2013

President Carol Stearns opened the meeting with a moment of silence for Carol Pearce, a woman who readily shared a wealth of information about our village with all who were curious. *

Carol introduced Tom Mannle, Vice President of Development and Board Member of the Cape Ann Symphony who encouraged support of the Symphony. All members are paid professionals who perform 4 concerts per year.They also participate in the Youth Initiative, which sends symphony members into the 4th and 5th grades to foster music appreciation and education, culminating in a concert lead by the Symphony’s conductor. With an annual budget of close to $250,000, of which only 30%-­‐40% is covered by ticket sales, support from sponsors and individual patrons is crucial. Tom is appreciative of any support the Circle can provide.

Speaking on behalf of Wellspring House, Jackie Littlefield invited all to a party on the Sunday after the Fair, Dec. 8th. Guests are asked to bring an unwrapped present fora child or teenager to help supply the Wellspring Holiday Store which provides gifts for approximately 550 children of families participating in Wellspring programs as well as children of other low income families in the area. Wellspring House has recently been asked to help with a similar store for 100 families with 150 children living in a motel in Danvers, and has committed to help these families find homes, set up budgets, and tackle other problems. An extra gift for the store is welcomed.In addition to an email she has already sent to members,

Jackie mentioned that no more children’s grabs are needed for the Fair. Please provide three grabs, marked for a female, male, or either gender. And don’t forget the pets, if so inclined.

Treasurer reported that there is $15,362.22 in the Circle’s checking account.

Deborah Bird remarked how beautiful the presentation of foods was at the Gourmet Table last year. She encouraged members to make the food as visible as possible,to label and to mark those containing nuts. If food is in a tin, please envelop with cellophane to deter those who, in their excitement, open tins for sampling. If possible, please drop off food at the Village Hall on Friday afternoon for pricing.

Finance Committee Chair Mimi Emmons has received requests for gifts for The Open Door, Wellspring House, Cape Ann Youth Symphony, Rose Baker Senior Center, The Dockersiders, the Gloucester Education Foundation, Annisquam Village Church, Pathways, The Haiti Project, Cape Ann Animal Aid, and Backyard Growers, which Mimi reports has just received a $10,000 grant from Tom’s of Maine.

Special order wreaths are the bread and butter of greens’ sales so Bonnie Angus encouraged members to sign up for wreaths and to let friends know of this opportunity to order special sizes and bows. Requested are cuttings from plants such as juniper, holly, and white pine, but not hemlock. We still need more large pine cones as well as tiny ones for the boxwood trees. Wreaths will be arriving on Monday morning after Thanksgiving. Pat Makin will be in charge of quality control. Twelve-­‐inch wreaths with regular red bows will cost $25, with special ribbon, $40; 16” wreaths will cost $35 with red bows, $50 with special ribbon. A request was made for fine wire for wiring the pine cones, and wirers will be needed on Monday of the Fair week at 9am.

Connie Mason is looking for more volunteers for making salads and pies for the luncheon, which will cost $15.

Suzanne Brown and committee will begin assembling baskets this coming Thursday.
A raffle will be considered, depending on the items donated for the Crafts Table or the Fair.

President Stearns adjourned the meeting.

Kate Meader, Emily Murphy, Stevie Neal, Deborah Michel, and Mary Curtis treated members to delicious refreshments following the meeting.

Respectfully submitted, Debbie Ebeling

*Joan Collier reported after the meeting that a condolence card had been sent to Dave Pearce.

Annisquam Sewing Circle Meeting Minutes December 2013 no meeting

Annisquam Sewing Circle Minutes
January 14, 2014

Vice President, Ann Mannle presided over the meeting in Carol’s absence.

Nancy Martin updated us with a financial report that was voted on and approved. The treasury currently holds 21,035.50 dollars.The following is a break down of proceeds from the Christmas Fair: The Fair grossed 14,736.50 – the net profit was 9,366.36 after expenses of 5,369.64.

As a point of clarification, there was one luncheon served. Also, the cost of ingredients for food preparation was up this year.

Mimi Emmons chair of the Finance Committee presented the nine gift recommendations voted upon by the committee totaling twelve thousand dollars. The Finance Committee members include the President, past President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Scholarship Chair, and Finance Chair. Mimi reviewed the philosophy of giving first to the immediate community then to the community of Gloucester. The Annisquam Village Church receives a yearly donation restricted to maintenance and upkeep. The church is an important historical structure which marks the entrance to the village. Its preservation behooves us all. In the past, the Circle has made contributions to Haiti Projects and aide in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Backyard Growers recently received a ten thousand dollar grant. The committee will revisit their request next year. Two thousand dollars is held in reserve for the scholarship fund. The Circle Members voted in favor of the 2013-2014 gift recommendations.

Scholarship Chair, Sue Willis received an email from a student interested in applying for a scholarship.

Martha Hooper updated the members on Sandy Andrew’s recovery.

Martha gave her report that included a change of involving the move of two members to the associate category. This made room for three new members. Currently, there are 54 regular members, 17 associates and 6 honorary members. Martha reported that regrettably Jen Gabbay had to resign. Jen would like to be re-considered for membership at a later time. Deedy Sargent presented Barbara Campbell for membership. Barbara has lived in Annisquam for 53 years and is ready to knit, cook and garden on behalf of the Sewing Circle. It was no contest – Barbara is our new member. Next, Lee Cunningham was presented for membership. Lee had a list of accolades a mile long from Essex County Green Belt to her much sought after jewelry. With a vote of approval, Lee has joined the ranks. Arolyn Garnell was introduced for membership. Arolyn has been very active in community projects such as the Sea Fair, the church pageants and costuming for the Village Players. Arolyn was approved for membership.

The meeting was adjourned to a lovely holiday tea hosted by Lida Bernard, Vicki Bourneuf, Linette French and Connie Mason.

Respectfully submitted,
Pippy Giuliano, Recording Secretary

Annisquam Sewing Circle Meeting Minutes
February 11, 2014

President, Carol Stearns presided over the meeting attended by a few Winter Robins who decided to stay in the Village.

We were updated on the progress of Sandy Andrew and Claire Norton.

The minutes were approved with two amendments regarding a single seating at the Christmas luncheon and higher food costs.

Nancy Martin updated us with a financial report that was voted on and approved. After distributions, the treasury currently holds 11,578 dollars. A copy of the program from the Cape Ann Symphony credited the Sewing Circle as a supporter. Among others, Nancy received several letters of appreciation from Juni Van Dyke at the Rose Baker Senior Center.

Carol read a letter from Sue Harris thanking everyone for their cards and visits to Janice Harris who celebrated her 94th birthday.

Carol introduced new members Barbara Campbell, Arolyn Garnell and Lee Cunningham.

Carol asked for some reflections on the Christmas Fair. Donna Caselden remarked that knitted goods are very salable but we should consider fashions that appeal to kids; for example finger less gloves. Coats for dogs is a popular item. Vicki Bourneuf said Jewelry was priced to sell and their set up against the wall was an improvement from last year. As doors opened, dealers, swooped in again. Whatever was left will go to the Exchange or to the Sea Fair.

Suzanne Brown reported that baskets should be kept small. For example, wine and nuts make practical hostess gifts. Deb Bird reported on the gourmet table. Dog biscuits, chocolate cookies, ginger bread and chocolate sauce were best sellers. Deb suggested that we have a meeting dedicated to brainstorming for next year’s fair. It might be beneficial to break into small groups. Save your magazines and peruse Pinterest in preparation.

Please encourage neighborhood high school seniors to apply for a Circle scholarship.

The meeting was adjourned to a lovely tea hosted by Debra Bird, Germaine Fritz, Donna Caselden and Sandy Andrew.

Respectfully submitted,
Pippy Giuliano, Recording Secretary

Annisquam Sewing Circle Minutes
March 11, 2014

Vice President, Ann Mannle presided over the meeting in Carol Stearns absence.

Nancy Martin reported that the treasury has over 11 thousand dollars in its coffers.

Nancy has received thank you notes from: the Open Door, Wellspring, The Cape Ann Museum and from Juni VanDyke at the Rose Baker Senior Center.

Scholarship Chair, Sue Willis reminded the members that letters requesting scholarship aide should include a short description of the student’s interests, activities and intended placement following high school.

The meeting was then turned over to Lida Bernard, Circle member and President of the Cape Ann Garden Club. Perched on crutches, Lida outlined the beautification plans for Grant Circle – a project referred to as Plant Grant. After several years of refusing help, the state has agreed to collaborate with The Gardeners of Cape Ann, a representative body from Gloucester, Rockport and Cape Ann garden clubs. The 128 rotary parcel will be transformed into a garden oasis of native shrubs, trees and flowers that change with the seasons. An irrigation system will be installed and professional maintenance has been written into the ninety thousand dollar budget that spans five years. Plant Grant Circle brochures were circulated and Circle members were encouraged to make a donation toward the project. Forty-seven thousand dollars has been raised thus far. Gorton’s of Gloucester is the lead corporate sponsor. The Sewing Circle might consider making a donation next year. Barbara Campbell was unable to attend today’s meeting and could use some cheering up. The meeting was adjourned to a lovely tea hosted by Maureen Quine, Dorothy Roeske, Anthea Brigham and Nancy Davis.

Respectfully submitted,
Pippy Giuliano, Recording Secretary

Annisquam Sewing Circle Meeting Minutes
April 15, 2014

Carol Stearns called the meeting to order on April 15, 2014 at 1:30 at the Village Library. Carol welcomed back Anthea Brigham and Barbara Campbell who have been absent.

The minutes of the prior meeting were read and approved.

Martha Hooper reported that we are now at full membership with one person on the waiting list.

The plant sale will be held from 8-12 noon on May 24th. Deb Bird and Donna Caselden will be in charge of the gourmet table. There will be details at the May meeting.

There was much discussion as to whether or not to reprint the cookbook. It was determined that while the cookbook has been a success and that it had provided a good return, it had run its course. The remaining books in our possession will be available at the plant sale.

Sue Willis said they are still seeking scholarship applicants.

The meeting was adjourned at 2:00 followed by a lovely tea hosted by Gigs Cunningham, Lee Cunningham, Doris Rust and Jaye Whittier.

Respectfully submitted,
Arolyn Garnell for Pippy Giuliano

Annisquam Sewing Circle Meeting Minutes
May 13, 2014

President Carol Stearns opened the meeting with a call for the treasurer’s report.

Nancy Martin reported that the treasury holds 11,653 dollars.

Arolyn Garnell read the minutes of April 15th which she so graciously agreed to record. The minutes were approved with a change to the tea hostesses.

A date for the annual meeting has not been decided. We are looking forward the Annisquam Yacht Club for the June meeting with a date to be determined.

Scholarship chair, Sue Willis reported that we have two scholarship applicants; Kristen Saylo and Ian Kennedy. Karen is active in student government, sports and charities while holding a full time job. She intends to pursue studies in computer science. Ian takes advance placement classes at the HS, plays sports and is a member of ROTC. Ian lives on Bennett St. The membership decided to take a vote on the scholarship funding rather than wait until the annual meeting. The student’s request for scholarships was unanimously approved. There was a question about scholarship eligibility if a child’s parents are separated while one resides in Annisquam. The consensus indicated that the student would be eligible.

Membership chair, Martha Hooper reported that we have one person on the waiting list for membership. Judy Gustin asked if she were to become an associate member would that allow room for an active member. Judy declared herself an associate member thus opening a space.

Sunshine chair, Joan Collier sent a card to Tom O’Keefe who is back at home.

Plant Publicity chair, Germaine Fritz reported on the promotional aspects of this year’s plant sale. Germaine circulated the laminated posters and smaller print posters featuring the appealing design of Rose-Marie Glen. To assure wide coverage, members were asked to designate the location where they would post the sign. Germaine suggested that people remove the signs after the event.

Bonnie Angus, chair of the plant sale acknowledged that indeed a plant sale would take place Saturday of the Memorial Day weekend. Members were asked to sign up for work shifts. Volunteers were asked for to assist with the set up. Garden specimens were requested in advance for labeling and pricing. A sheet for special plant orders was passed around. The viability of Impatiens was discussed.

Deb Bird, co- chair of the gourmet bake table asked members to sign up indicating a sweet or savory item for contribution to the bake table. The popularity of cookies and brownies were underestimated the previous year. In response to questions, Deb, replied bring something you would want to buy and several voices chimed in, and buy it! Items should be labeled if they contain nuts.

Carol led the group in a moment of silence in honor of Louise Gustafson who passed away. Members paid tribute to Louise by recalling her devotion to the community and her devotion to the Circle as treasurer for 20 years. Louise graciously hosted the annual meeting for many years. Her generosity was limitless. Louise’s jellied salad was the high point of the Christmas luncheon. The members of the Sewing Circle are sad to lose a dear friend.

Carol reminded us of the auction at the annual meeting. Everyone had our annual laugh as we recounted previous auction items; the bar of used soap and the partially used address book.

The meeting was adjourned to a lovely tea hosted by Martha Hooper, Tartie Bishop, Mary Pope and …

Respectfully submitted, Pippy Giuliano, Recording Secretary

Annisquam Sewing Circle Minutes
June 12, 2014

Members gathered on the porch of the Annisquam Yacht Club for the annual meeting of the Annisquam Sewing Circle. The day was clear, bright but a bit windy on the Annisquam River. The membership was treated to a lovely buffet lunch, tasty French pastries, wine and other beverages. The collective mood was most agreeable for the annual auction soon underway. First, President Stearns asked for a recap of the Memorial Day weekend plant sale. The sale grossed 7,175 dollars with expenditures of 4,593 dollars. A net profit of 2,582 dollars was an increase of 650 dollars from the previous year. The ever-beautiful bake table increased their profit this year by 10 dollars for a profit of 510 dollars. The treasurer’s report presented by Nancy Martin was accepted. From its inception, the cookbook has garnered 12,402 dollars in sales. The membership committee presented Judy Junker’s petition for membership for Carolyn Roy. Carolyn is a painter, gardener, volunteer and hand-sewing enthusiast. If that’s not all, she is a wonderful person who was welcomed by a unanimous vote of the membership.

Kate Meader will be chairing the Hospitality committee this year.

The Sunshine Committee reported on a two members making recoveries from their medical issues.

Deb Ebeling of the Nominating committee proposed the slate of officers for the coming year:

Ann Mannle, President
Donna Caselden, Vice President
Nancy Martin Treasurer
Corresponding Secretary, Judy Gustin
no Recording Secretary at present.

The vote for the officers was unanimous. After two years of devoted service, Carol Stearns, AKA Mme. Prez., graciously passed the gavel of office to Ann Mannle.Ann read a short statement. She thanked the women of the Sewing Circle who volunteer their time and energy to the organization and thanked the presidents who preceded her. The take away from her statement is that we are all volunteers in this venerable organization guided by the mission of the Annisquam Sewing Circle. No one person is more important than another. It works because we work together. Back by popular demand, the annual auction was choreographed by auctioneers; Maureen Quine, Judy Gustin and Pippy Giuliano. Once again in its season finale of charitable works, ladies of the Sewing Circle, brought, bid and paid for a stunning array of auction items. Thank you to the all who volunteer.

Respectfully submitted,
Pippy Giuliano, Recording Secretary