Minutes 2021 – 2022

End of the 2021-2022 year.

June 14, 2022 Annual Meeting

Welcome: Co-president Gigs Cunningham called the meeting to order at the Annisquam Yacht Club at 12:35 pm.

Secretary’s Report (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): The Fiscal year will run from July 1 to June 30, beginning this year, consistent with the practice of other standing committees of the Annisquam Village Association. Please submit all invoices by them. Vicky Moskal will oversee the finances of all standing committees, although each committee will maintain its independence when making their own financial decisions.

FY 2022 has been financially successful to date: The Christmas Fair yielded a profit of over $12,000, the plant sale yielded $1814, and the Sewing Circle donated $16,000 to eleven local charities. There will be a carry-over of $11,000 entering FY 2023 to accommodate anticipated scholarships, operating expenses, and startup costs for the Christmas Fair.

A final budget report for FY 2022 will be presented at the September meeting.

Committee Reports

  • Membership (Debbie Ebeling): Eight new members joined the Sewing Circle in the last two years.
  • Finance (Martha Hooper): The Sewing Circle received several thank-you notes from the organizations that were awarded donations this spring.
  • Web Site (Suzanne Brown): The web site will be updated and managed by Lisa Accardi once Suzanne becomes co-president.
  • Sunshine (Kate Meader): Get well cards were sent to Lee Cunningham and Sue Harris following their surgeries.
  • Hospitality (Pippy Giuliano): Pippy acknowledged that this meeting is her “swan song,” following a long tenure as Hospitality chair.
  • Publicity (Chicki Hollett): Chicki will publicize this summer’s bake sales once the details are finalized.

Old Business

  • Plant Sale (Stevie Neal): The plant sale brought in over $1800 this year, despite an increase in the cost of plants. Extra geraniums were donated to Backyard Growers. Bonnie sold the other leftovers “out of the back of her car.”
  • Knitting/Sewing (Jill Lovejoy): The knitting group met in person for the first time in a long time and will meet again in two weeks – everyone is welcome. The group is designing a “fast cap” with an Annisquam theme, perhaps something that could be sold at next year’s Christmas Fair. Patricia Plevisani noted that the sewing group won’t meet this summer, but members can contact her with questions or for supplies. There are potholders waiting to be completed by anyone interested.
  • Bylaw Changes (Gigs): Two bylaw changes were sent to members prior to the meeting for consideration. They are indicated by italics below:

#1: Edit the purpose statement so it reads, “The purpose of the Annisquam Sewing Circle, a standing committee of the Annisquam Village Hall Association is to promote the furtherance of friendship and congeniality and the performance of acts of benevolence” A motion to accept the change was seconded and passed unanimously.

#2: Change the fiscal year to read, “The fiscal year shall be from July 1 – June 30. A motion to accept the change was seconded and passed unanimously.

  • Farmer’s Market Bake Sale (Sue Harris): There will be two events at the Farmer’s Market: A baked goods and flower sale on July 1, and a bake sale on August 12. Sue outlined the volunteer opportunities for the July 1 sale, including donating baked goods and/or small and medium vases for the flower sale, making floral arrangements, and working a shift on the day of the sale.

Goodbye from the Outgoing Co-Presidents:

Gigs spoke on behalf of herself and Lee, offering thank-you’s to all the members contributed time during the past two years when the Sewing Circle faced so many challenges due to COVID. She noted that the online Christmas Fairs and plant sales netted over $32,000 in contributions over two years. She also thanked members for their input to the survey that was sent out. Finally, Gigs and Lee gave special recognition to Stevie Neal and Bonnie Angus for all of their efforts to make the greens such a profitable part of the 2020 and 2021 Christmas Fairs. Suzanne Brown was also recognized for her tremendous help in setting up the online Christmas Fair for two years.

New Business

Nominating (Joline Hentschel): On behalf of committee, which included Stevie Neal and Wendy Banks, Joline submitted the following slate of board members for the coming year:


  • Co-Presidents: Sue Harris/Suzanne Brown
  • Vice-President: Vicky Bourneuf
  • Treasurer: Maria Marolda
  • Recording Secretary: Janet Langer
  • Corresponding Secretary and Sunshine: Kate Meader


  • Membership: Perry McIntosh
  • Finance: Martha Hooper and Sue Willis
  • Web Site Liaison: Lisa Accardi
  • Nominating: Stevie Neal (final 1-year term), Wendy Banks (2-year term), and a third member to be appointed (Gigs Cunningham appointed (3-year term), see below)
  • Hospitality: Maggie Stevens
  • Scholarship: Caroline Rogers
  • Publicity: Chicki Hollett

The secretary made a motion to accept the proposed slate of board members. The motion passed unanimously.

Sue Harris presented gift certificates as a thank you to Gigs and Lee for their extraordinary efforts and creativity in serving as co-presidents during two years of Covid 19.

Sue Harris noted that the members needed to nominate another person for the nominating committee. Gigs agreed to serve a three-year term.

A moment of silence was observed in honor of Nancy Martin.

A motion to adjourn was seconded and passed unanimously at 1:10 pm.

Following adjournment, a spirited auction was held, led by Maureen Quine, Judy Gustin, and Joan Collier. (Note from the treasurer: The total income from the Auction was $1781.54).

Respectfully submitted,

Janet Langer, Recording Secretary

May 10, 2022

Welcome:  Co-president, Lee Cunningham called the meeting to order on Zoom at 1:35  pm.  Lee welcomed our newest member, Gerry Herbert.

Secretary’s Report (Gigs Cunningham announced for 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):  The checking account balance stands at $26,664.55    A motion to accept the treasurer’s report was made, seconded and passed unanimously.

Committee Reports

  • Sunshine  (Kate Meader)  A card was sent to Vicki Bourneuf.  No others known at the time.  Gerry Herbert broke her wrist, but it was great to have her on Zoom with us.
  • Membership:  Deb Ebeling absent.  Gigs gave the report.   Membership:  53 active, 17 associate and 6 honorary members.
  • Web Site  (Suzanne Brown) Reported nothing new
  • Nominating (Joline Henschel)  The slate has been filled for presentation next month.
  • Scholarship  (Carolyn Rogers)  No new applicants.
  • Hospitality:  (Pippy Giuliano) No report, meeting via Zoom
  • Publicity:  (Gigs reporting for Chicki Hollett)  Plant sale posters are up at three locations: Church, Norwood Heights triangle and outside the Village Hall.

Old Business

Plant Sale:  (Stevie Neal)  Small posters coming from printer this week.

Setup Friday, May 20, Plant Sale Event is Saturday, May 21 from 8:00 am – noon

Stevie will setup up 2-hour shifts.  Contact her for scheduling work shift and ordering plants

There is a definite hike in prices this year due to shipping and labor costs.

Get the word out to friends and neighbors.

Sue Harris asked for Credit Card machine volunteers:  Linette F. and Jackie L. volunteered.

Finance Committee:  (Martha Hooper)  Recommendations for the spring 2022 ASC Charitable donations were discussed at the last meeting and a list of those were sent via email to each ASC member for review.  With no other questions, a motion was made to accept the Charitable donation list as follows:

$1,500             Action Shelter

$1,500             Annisquam Village Church

$1,500             Annisquam Village Hall

$2,500             Annisquam Village Hall Legacy Fund

$1,500             Gloucester Education Fund

$1,500             Grace Center

$  400              Mount Adnah

$4,000             Open Door

$  300              Pathways

$  300              YMCA Corner Stone Program

$1,000             World Food Programs (Ukraine)

$16,000             Total

The motion was made, seconded and passed to accept the recommendations of the Finance Committee.  No scholarships were applied for this year.

Sewing Group Update  (Rosalie Hughes)    Rosalie enthusiastically reported on the meetings at Patricia’s house each Wednesday from 10am – noon.   There are many, many jobs including ironing, cutting, pinning, sewing, decorating stars.  Patricia is hoping to meet outside when the weather warms up.  Needed are rick/rack and garland items such as shells, shiny jewelry, necklaces, earrings.  The added benefit includes enjoying Patricia’s cake and goodies.  We will be making 1000 stars.   Jocelyn R. reported that she is picking up a donated white Christmas tree this week.

There are also many unfinished pot holders that can be completed.  Joselyn was asked to send photo samples of the fabric stars.

Bylaw changes for Fundraising Chairperson  (Gigs Cunningham)

According to our bylaws, a change to the bylaws was introduced last month and it was presented again for discussion and vote this month.  Discussion for keeping the position: 1. the position could bring more members together working in small groups.    2. the fundraising duties could be given to the vice president.  Discussion for eliminating the position: 1. a fundraising person has that personality trait or gift and a vice president might not be gifted in that way.  2. when someone has had a suggestion, she brings it forward to the entire group and the current spontaneous sewing, knitting and needlepoint groups have begun that way.  3. carving out another position for the nominating committee to fill makes it more difficult for the nominating committee.  4. just raising awareness each meeting about fundraising ideas keeps them bubbling and on the front burner.

The motion to delete bylaw section 3f under Duties of Appointed Committees/chairwoman which reads, “f)  The Fundraising Committee consists of one person appointed by the Nominating Committee to develop and oversee fundraising efforts other than the Christmas Fair. She shall form a committee, as needed, to solicit fundraising ideas, present suggestions at meetings and coordinate events with the assistance of the membership. “ was made, seconded and passed with the majority in favor and one opposed.  The section will be removed from the bylaws.

Farmers Market (Sue Harris)  The two dates on the calendar are Friday, July 1 and Friday, August 12.  Mark your calendars.  Be thinking about baked goods and flower arrangements.  Discussion followed on Patricia C. possibly making and freezing pie crusts for others to fill, buying frozen pie crusts, whether to have flower arrangements and needing volunteers and boxes to help transport goods to cars.  Be thinking about your availability on those two dates.  Duties for the mornings include:  setting up tents, pricing baked goods, selling shifts, helping to transport baked goods and flowers from and to cars, and clean-up.

New Business:

Bylaw changes for Fiscal year/ASC and becoming a standing committee of the Annisquam Village Hall Association  (Gigs Cunningham)

The current and proposed change for the PURPOSE of the ASC was read.  A question was raised on whether a 501c3 organization can have a standing committee that votes in members.  Gigs and Lee will investigate and report back in an email and this will be discussed again and voted on at the next meeting.

Changing the fiscal year Sept 1 to Aug 31 TO July 1 to June 30 will be considered and voted upon next month along with the above change.

Close to Home: 

Pippy G. mentioned the state has a mosquito spraying program and cities and individuals are able to opt out of the spraying.  Tonight the city of Gloucester will be voting on whether to opt out or in to this program.  She will send info to co-presidents to send to the membership.

Mimi Emmons reported that two break-ins have been reported on River Road.  One location was at the home of John and Pat Austin, next door to Mary Curtis’ former house.  Mimi reminds us that if your house is unlocked when broken into, insurance won’t cover that claim.

Looking to June annual meeting:  The majority of the membership present voted to meet in-person next month but in an outdoor location.   Last year’s “Service Oriented” auction was quite successful. Be thinking about your entry.   Examples were: baking cookies or a pie as someone’s entry for the bake sale; a sailboat or motorboat ride; offering an hour or two of garden advice; cocktails for a small group; making a craft for the 2022 December Christmas Fair; helping to organize space for someone; bake bread or other item with advance notice.  Once a location is found, members will be notified.

Next month’s meeting is scheduled for June 14 at 12:30. Location tbd.

There was a motion to adjourn the meeting, it was seconded and passed unanimously at 2:42 pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Sue Harris, VP, for Janet Langer, Recording Secretary

April 12, 2022

Welcome: Co-president Lee Cunningham called the meeting to order on Zoom at 1:35 pm.

Secretary’s Report (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): The checking account balance stands at $26,849.53. A motion to accept the treasurer’s report was seconded and passed unanimously.

Committee Reports

  • Sunshine (Gigs Cunningham): The committee sent a card to Emily Murphy; her husband, Dan, is back home now.
  • Membership: Janet Langer recommended Gerry Herbert as a new member. Gerry is a lifetime resident of Annisquam and has been involved in Good Neighbors, the Cape Ann Museum, and most notably, as director of the Village Library, where she has implemented many signature initiatives. She is an avid gardener as well. Her nomination was accepted unanimously.
  • Web Site (Suzanne Brown): The site has meeting minutes and current information regarding the sewing and knitting groups.
  • Nominating (Jolene Hentschel): Stevie Neal, Wendy Banks, and Jolene are working on filling upcoming vacancies and are waiting to hear from some recruits.
  • Scholarship (Carolyn Rogers): There are no seniors this year, but we will expect to have 4-5 next year.
  • Publicity (Chicki Hollett) and Plant Sale (Stevie Neal and Bonnie Angus): The plant sale is scheduled for Saturday, May 21. Stevie and Bonnie will circulate volunteer sign-up sheets, with shifts for Friday setup and Saturday help during and after the sale. A motion to approve the plant sale and date as presented was seconded and passed unanimously. Chicki will work with Stevie and Bonnie on publicity. More details will be presented at the May meeting.

Old Business

  • Sewing/Knitting Groups (Jill Lovejoy and Jocelyn Ramella): The sewing group hopes to meet in person in Suzanne Brown’s greenhouse on April 25. Stevie Neal suggested the knitting group make “fast caps” to sell at the Exchange and the Christmas Fair. Jocelyn reported that the sewing group is in the planning stages for the star trees, designing patterns, gathering materials, and looking at decoration ideas. They will meet next week, hopefully.

New Business

  • Finance Committee (Sue Willis and Martha Hooper): Sue set the context for this year’s recommended charitable donations: Using the member survey results as a guide, the committee selected charities that received high or medium priority ratings, with Annisquam organizations given first priority. Not all past recipients met that criteria. In addition, the committee decided to donate to Ukraine relief efforts.

There was a brief discussion regarding the committee’s recommendations. One member suggested we add a donation to Wellspring, noting their work with teenagers to help with career choices, and post high school options. Another suggestion was that next year we invite more speakers to advocate for and update the ASC on their initiatives

A final vote on donations will be taken next month.

  • Bylaw Change (Gigs and Lee): Gigs noted that the existing bylaws specify a distinct position for fund raising, an idea that was in response to COVID, when the Christmas Fair was canceled. Gigs and Lee feel that the tasks related to fund raising easily fall under the responsibility of the co-presidents and the vice president, and that the position should be eliminated.

During the discussion, points were raised in support and opposition to this recommendation:

  • Eliminate the position: We have many leadership roles to fill every year, and this one might be superfluous. We might not need this position any more. It’s unclear exactly what this person’s responsibility is – brainstorming ideas or leading the implementation of them. It’s unclear what the chain of communication and responsibility is with this role in the organization.
  • Keep the position: It’s important to have someone acting as a logistical contact and detail person. Leave it in the by-laws as unfilled position, as part of the vice-president’s responsibility.

Gigs noted that a final vote will be taken at the annual meeting in June.

  • Flower table at the Farmers Market: We are scheduled to have a bake sale at the July 1 Farmers Market; should that include a flower table? Many issues surfaced during the discussion: There tend to be many unsold arrangements. Are the arrangements too cumbersome to carry? Should we provide boxes or trays? Should we just sell plants at the July Farmers Market? There was no firm decision among the members.
  • Close to Home: Sue Willis shared an idea for keeping birds away from grass seed: Make decoys out of BBQ skewers, with aluminum foil tape to them. They look like giant lollypops, it seems to work! Martha Hooper reminded members that there will be an Easter egg hunt in pasture after church. There will be approximately 800 eggs!

The next meeting date is May 10, 2022 at 1:30 pm.

A motion to adjourn was seconded and passed unanimously at 2:30 pm.

Respectfully submitted,
Janet Langer, Recording Secretary

March Meeting

Note: There was no meeting in March.

February 8, 2022

Welcome: Co-president Gigs Cunningham called the meeting to order on Zoom at 1:30 pm.

Guest Speaker: Sarah Grow from The Open Door in Gloucester

Gigs introduced Sarah Grow, who has been the director of advocacy at The Open Door for eleven years. The Sewing Circle donates to this organization on a regular basis, and Sarah was asked to meet with the group to describe the programs and initiatives The Open Door oversees.

Sarah gave a comprehensive overview of the activities at The Open Door, covering the following topics:

  • The food pantry, which distributes food, diapers, and pet food to families in need.
  • An online platform for ordering groceries.
  • Delivery services and curbside pickup during COVID.
  • Mobile farmers markets, including new farmer’s truck for food distribution.
  • Ready-to-eat meals available for delivery or pickup.
  • Summer meals for kids.
  • Medically tailored foods.
  • Nutrition education.
  • Food rescue, collecting food that would otherwise go to waste. Food is obtained from The Greater Boston Food Bank, local farms, and local grocery stores.
  • “New Americans, Old Traditions” program which provides culturally appropriate food options to families.
  • Community meals and family suppers.
  • Senior soup and salad meals at the senior center.
  • Second Glance thrift store.
  • SNAP counseling and advocacy support.

The Open Door is in the midst of a $400K capital campaign that will provide a new production kitchen, add cold and dry storage, enhance client service areas, increase transportation capacity, invest in technology architecture, and improve the living environment for low and moderate-income populations. Construction of a new facility at 26 Emerson Avenue (the old Food Coop) will hopefully begin in the spring.

Secretary’s Report – 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 is in the process of sorting through the files sent to her from Nancy Martin’s family, but was able to report that the checking account balance was $26,892 as of January 31. A motion to accept the treasurer’s report was seconded and passed unanimously.

Committee Reports

  • Sunshine (Kate Meader): Kate sent a condolence card to Annie Sinkinson, whose sister passed away.
  • Nominating (Gigs): The nominating process will begin in March.
  • Publicity (Chicki Hollett): Once we decide on plant and bake sale dates and details, Chicki will publicize them.
  • Membership (Deb Ebeling): Rosalie proposed Peg Ris as a new member. Summer residents for many years, Peg and her husband, Bud now live on River Road much of the year. Peg has been active in the Annisquam Village Players, the Waxworks, the Cape Ann Garden Club, the Annisquam Village Church choir, and the Farmers Market. Her interests are knitting, soft toy making, native crafts, and quilting. Peg was voted in unanimously as a member.

Current membership stands at 52 Active; 17 associates; and 6 honorary. The limit for active members is 55.

  • Finance (Sue Willis and Janet Langer): Janet summarized the results of the membership survey, which had 33 responses. Sue noted that the findings of the survey validate what the committee has done over the years, while providing a valuable blueprint for decision making this year. The committee makes its final selections in March and April and will present to the Circle at that point.

Old Business

  • Knitting group (Suzanne Brown): The knitting group met on Monday to look at videos on knitting techniques. The next meeting is next Monday on Zoom.

New Business

  • Christmas Tree Project for the Christmas Fair (Jocelyn Ramella): Jocelyn proposed an idea for a Christmas tree that could be assembled by the sewing group. Each tree would have a theme (stars, lighthouses, etc.) with decorations made from various fabrics. This would be a fund raiser for the fair as well as a way to increase participation in the sewing group. If possible, the group could assemble more than one tree for the fair, and possibly put together a Do-It-Yourself kit to sell.
  • Possible speakers for future meetings: Gigs asked members for ideas for guest speakers.

Close to Home: The Village Players annual Cabaret is on February 12 via Zoom. The link is on the AVP website.

The next meeting date is March 8, 2022 at 1:30 pm.

A motion to adjourn was seconded and passed unanimously at 2:35 pm.

Respectfully submitted,
Janet Langer, Recording Secretary

January 11, 2022

Welcome (Lee/Gigs):  Co-presidents Lee and Gigs Cunningham called the meeting to order on Zoom at 1:35 pm.

A moment of silence was observed in memory of Nancy Martin and Ed Caselden.

Secretary’s Report – 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 – Gigs announced that she and Lee appointed Maria Marolda as acting treasurer, filling the remainder of Nancy Martin’s term. Gigs thanked Maria and noted her extensive experience with financial matters making her very qualified..

Gigs presented the treasurer’s report for today’s meeting. She highlighted a donation for $100 from Val Gilman, recognizing our contribution to organizations throughout Cape Ann. Our current balance is $26,889.72. A more complete financial picture will be available once Maria has had a chance to look at our files.

Christmas Fair Update: Sales from the online auction, craft and food items were $4410, donations amounted to $2027, and the greens netted $5657.04. The total money raised was $12,094.04. Gigs thanked everyone in the Sewing Circle for their efforts and contributions, and Bonnie Angus and Stevie Neal for connecting with residents who purchased greens. Thank-yous were given to the needles group for donating ornaments and purchasing ornaments they kept for themselves. Connie Mason was recognized for designing them, based on a Christmas card she had received from JP Ware in the past, which had a picture of the lighthouse in snow. Jill Lovejoy noted the labor that goes into creating the ornaments each year.

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

Committee Reports

  • Membership (Deb Ebeling): Deb welcomed Diane Connolly and Lisa Accardi as new members. Rosalie Hughes suggested Peg Ris as a potential member. Currently we have 51 active, 17 associate, and 6 honorary members.
  • Web site (Suzanne Brown): Suzanne thanked everyone for their patience related to this year’s Christmas Fair logistics, and expressed her hope that the fair will be in person this year! There were thanks all around for Suzanne’s work on the web site.
  • Scholarship (Carolyn Rogers): Carolyn reminded members that there are no seniors from Annisquam graduating this year, but there will be four next year, so funds will be set aside for those scholarships. It was suggested that we name the scholarship fund “The Nancy Martin Sewing Circle Scholarship” to honor her valuable contributions over the years. Connie suggested we confirm that no prior name was established for the scholarship before we rename it.
  • Publicity (Chicki Hollett): Gigs thanked Chicki for hanging the banner for the Christmas Fair this year.
  • Finance (Martha Hooper): Gigs mentioned a thank you note we received from Doris Rust for the wreath we gave her.

Old Business

  • Sewing and Knitting group updates – Jill Lovejoy, Suzanne Brown, and Patricia Plevisani

Knitting: Suzanne told members that she is making plans for a Zoom meeting next Monday. All are welcome to attend.

Sewing: Patricia plans to hold in-person sewing group meetings at her home, hopefully starting in February. All are welcome, especially those who think they don’t know how to sew. There will be easy, small items for the Christmas Fair, such as basic ornaments, or pot holders. Expert sewers are welcome, too, as mentors. Or just come for the company! Patricia will send an email to Lee to send out to members.

  • Scarf project update/Sunshine – Kate Meader

Kate sent a card to Nancy Martin’s family, and to Donna Caselden and Emily Murphy.

“Hazel Scarfs”: Kate thanked everyone who contributed items – 70 scarfs, 8 hats, 1 shawl, 1 baby blanket, children’s sweaters. Sarah Grow from Open Door in Gloucester sent a thank-you note for the donation.

  • Review of ASC December 2021 Fair proceeds ($12,094.04 total)

Greens (Stevie): The greens sale was very successful again this year, thanks to all who stepped up to help. Stevie and Bonnie are ready to go next year, hopefully in person. Gigs thanked Stevie and Bonnie for patience with the logistical challenges regarding assembling the wreaths.

Online Fair (Suzanne): No further comments. Lee thanked Suzanne for all her perseverance; Suzanne thanked Lee for keeping track of purchases.

New Business

  • Member Survey concerning charitable donations (Gigs and Janet): Gigs reminded members of the decision to conduct a survey to provide input to the finance committee as they put together recommendations for donations this year. She noted that the survey will be very quick and anonymous. Janet explained the procedure for filling out the form and submitting it for tabulating. There was a discussion about the bylaws and whether they specify the order of priorities for donations: Gigs noted that the priorities are not spelled out in the bylaws; Mimi Emmons suggested they should be.
  • Ideas for possible speakers for future meetings: Please contact Lee/Gigs.

Close to home

Gigs reminded members that the Village Players will have a Cabaret on February 12 via Zoom to raise money for scholarships for children interested in theater.

The library’s annual Poetry Night will take place on January 20 via Zoom.

Joselyn Ramella reported that Cake Ann Bakery is now on Rogers Street. A group held a 98th birthday party there for Doris Rust. The venue is very airy and open; with free parking at The Gloucester House.

The next meeting date is February 8, 2022 at 1:30pm, via Zoom.

A motion to adjourn was seconded and passed unanimously at 2:25 pm.

Respectfully submitted,
Janet Langer, Recording Secretary

December Christmas Fair

November 9, 2021

Co-president Lee Cunningham called the meeting to order at 1:34 pm. Via Zoom.

Secretary’s Report: Last month, Mimi Emmons stated that, regarding donations, our bylaws give priority to qualified groups in the village first, then the Gloucester community, and finally causes that are national/international in scope. Co-president Gigs Cunningham clarified that this is not actually in the bylaws at this point, but may be an implicit understanding. A motion to accept the minutes was seconded and passed unanimously.

Treasurer’s Report (Nancy Martin): The ASC has $12,930.08 in the bank. We received $709 from The Exchange for sweaters sold for the Christmas Fair and have collected $310 in member dues thus far. Gigs reminded members that they can pick a directory and pay their dues at the library, which is open Mondays from 3:00 – 5:00 and Saturdays from 9:00 – 11:00. A motion to accept the treasurer’s report was seconded and passed unanimously.

Committee Reports

    • Membership (Deb Ebeling): Two new members were proposed: Lisa Accardi, sponsored by Mary Flaherty, has lived in Annisquam for about a year. She moved here from Newburyport, where she held leadership positions in a number of local organizations, including her church, an historical society, and several parents’ associations, including the Naval Academy. Diane Connolly, sponsored by Maureen Quine, has lived in Annisquam during the summer for many years and now lives here year-round. She chaired the dining room committee at the yacht club; serves on the steering committee for 100 Women Who Care Cape Ann, is an avid gardener and great cook. Both candidates were accepted by unanimous vote. Deb will send their contact information to the membership. Currently we have 52 active; 17 associate; and 6 honorary members.
    • Nominating (Joline Hentschel) Thank you to Kate Meader for stepping up as Corresponding Secretary/Sunshine while Emily Murphy is busy with other matters.
    • Sunshine (Kate Meader): Betsey Colby thanked Emily Murphy for the card sent during Betsey and Bill’s cases of Covid. Members agreed that we should send another good wishes card to Emily.
    • Publicity (Chicki Hollett): Chicki has a flyer and banner ready with information regarding this year’s Christmas Fair and will move forward with them once they are approved by the members. The banner will be hung on the side of Village Hall, or elsewhere if the roof project becomes a hinderance. Since the fair is open to members only again this year, we may not need any more publicity than that. Stevie Neal remarked that no information regarding the wreaths needs to be included at this time, but may be added to the banner at a later date once logistics are finalized.
    • Web site (Suzanne Brown): Our web site continues to be the target for hackers from all around the world. Suzanne has increased security on the site, but there are still some issues, especially for people posting content. Circle01930 will be the password for the Christmas Fair; members won’t need a user name. Gigs thanked Suzanne for dealing with this inconvenience.

Old Business

    • Sewing and Knitting Group (Jill Lovejoy): There are about 15 participants in the knitting group. Patricia Plevisani will lead the sewing group, which will meet at her house. Both groups are open to anyone who is interested.
    • Scarf project: Janet Egan and Holly Perry have yarn they will donate to the scarf project; Jill and Patricia have patterns. Open Door will accept other items such as hats, mittens, or socks, as long as the they are clean. Members don’t have to join the knitting group to contribute items. Kate Meader is leading this effort and scarves or other knit items may be dropped off at Kate’s house on December 10th. December 10 is the deadline for contributions.
    • CPR course update (Stevie Neal): Over 40 people signed up for the CPR course. Five classes will be held, finishing up next week. Given the level of interest, the course may be offered again after the first of the year.
    • ASC December 2021 Christmas Fair: Stevie outlined the details related to assembling the greens for the Christmas Fair. She will send a summary to the entire membership after the meeting. All questions and suggestions should be directed to Bonnie Angus and Stevie.

We have ordered 250 wreaths this year in various sizes. Prices will be pretty close to last year: $32 for 12”; $45 for 16.” Stevie and Bonnie sent emails to those who ordered last year, and there has been a great response from those they contacted. Stevie can accept orders from others as well.

Wreaths will be decorated between November 29 and December 2, using the Exchange and the Leonard Club, both of which offer excellent work space for this project. We need lots of volunteers to help, and members will be contacted to sign up for work times. If you collect cones, leave them in Stevie’s barn on Walnut street. Please, no white pine cones. If you cut greens, leave them near the Exchange starting the week after Thanksgiving. Please, no hemlock. Bow production is underway. Wreath pickup will be at Neal’s barn on Walnut Street.

Lyn Fenollosa will coordinate the boxwood trees assembly, using the Village Hall kitchen and the Leonard Club work spaces. There will be approximately twelve for sale online. We need 2-3 more people to help; contact Lyn if you’re available.

If you’re interested in purchasing an Amaryllis, contact Bonnie or Stevie.

Joselyn Ramella offered to provide live guitar music outside during the Christmas Fair work week. It was suggested that this might be a possibility the morning of pickup.

Patricia offered her garage as a workspace.

Suzanne updated members on the logistics for online sales, noting that many donations have been submitted already. Members can add items at any time, including after the fair opens. Send a photo, description, and a suggested price. The committee will set a price for items if necessary. Members should create a card for silent auction items, with the description and other details for the person who buys an item or service.

The fair will be held from November 20 – December 1. Lee will send a confirmation email to anyone who purchases or donates items. The committee will send out dates and procedures as to when to bring donated items to Leonard Club for sorting and bagging. Pickup will be on Saturday afternoon, December 4, at the Leonard Club. Further emails will give the specific times.

Members who would like to make a cash donation should send a check to Nancy Martin with a note on the check specifying that the donation is for the ASC Christmas Fair.

There were thank-yous all around for members’ help with the Christmas Fair, especially when coping with the challenges related to COVID.

    • Member survey regarding charitable donations: Gigs noted that the survey will be sent out in January. If members would like to suggest charities that have not already been identified they should contact Martha Hooper with details.

There were no New Business or Close to Home items to discuss.

The next meeting date is January 11, 2022 at 1:30pm, via Zoom.

A motion to adjourn was seconded and passed unanimously at 2:20 pm.

Respectfully submitted,
Janet Langer

October 12, 2021

Co-president Gigs Cunningham called the meeting to order at 1:30 pm via Zoom.

Co-president Lee Cunningham introduced guest speaker Dave Pearce, who joined the meeting to describe the Village Roof project and the Capital Campaign being launched by the Annisquam Association. Dave was joined by John Perry, who is assisting with the capital campaign. The main points of their presentation are as follows:

The Village Hall roof project:

    • The original plan of replacing the shingles grew to a full replacement/construction of the roof itself, due to large cracks in the support beams presenting the danger of the roof caving under the weight of heavy snow.
    • Representatives from the Village Hall met with several engineers to arrive at the best option for replacing the roof, one that would have minimal impact on the interior spaces, such as the hall itself and the library. A contractor has been hired, with work to begin in mid to late November.

The financial picture:

    • Good news: The roof construction will cost approximately $350K. We have about $400K in our rainy-day fund, so we can cover the expense. We typically cover our annual expenses without using the rainy-day funds, so we are viable for the time being. Annual expenses are funded by money generated through hall rentals, the Exchange, and donations from village organizations that use the campus buildings, such as the Village Library.
    • Bad news: The rainy-day fund took over forty years to accumulate, and the roof project will use most of it. As we look toward the future, there will be expensive projects that will need to be completed, such as replacing the Village Hall windows; installing air conditioning in the Exchange, and possible unforeseen maintenance. The committee would like to be proactive, rather than reactive, in maintaining the buildings, including initiatives such as installing solar panels to reduce energy costs.
    • A healthy endowment would provide income for ongoing maintenance and improvements without having to raise money for each project. The committee recommends raising $2mm to hold us in good stead for the future.

Importance to the Annisquam community:

    • The “campus” belongs to and is used by everyone in the village. This includes the Village Hall, the Firehouse, the Exchange, and the Memorial Woods, all of which are overseen by the Annisquam Association, the steward of these properties.
    • As stewards, it is the Association’s responsibility to be sure that these properties remain at the heart of the village and are properly maintained for generations to come. The state is not involved; this is a campaign that we will tackle as a community, independent of outside control. Dave is optimistic that those who benefit from our presence will step forward and support the endowment.

Comments and questions:

    • John Perry noted that he is very interested in fund raising, having experience in this area during his years at Fletcher School. He reiterated the importance of the physical buildings, but also the emotional tie to the community and those that came before us and will follow us and will want access to the same experiences.
    • Questions or comments can be directed to Dave Pearce, Steve Harris, or John Perry.
    • How long will the campaign last? This can be an extended process – three to five-year donation or pledge. Gifts can be in stocks, bequests, or cash.
    • Once we reach the $2mm mark, the annual income from the endowment will be $80,000 per year. Is that enough? At this point, the numbers seem reasonable, but some expenses might be unpredictable or unforeseen, such as ADA compliance projects; or capital improvements to the other buildings. Also, we will need a professional to manage the endowment so that we earn more income than the CDs we currently hold. Dave will be meeting with prospective managers.
    • Who’s doing the work: Geofrey Richon Company will do the work. He has an ongoing relationship to the village, and good skills with steelwork.
    • Could we explore grants, other financial support? Yes, but we need to be careful about “strings” attached to their grant. We may be able to get help with construction costs, but not for the endowment itself.
    • Can we raise awareness in the community about the projects that are coming soon that will need to use the endowment funds? Yes! John is assembling a list; Dave would like to see a “wish list” from those who use our facilities. Bathrooms, AC, etc. Ideally, we would create an annual schedule to maintain the buildings and replace systems as they reach maturity.

Gigs and Lee thanked Dave and John for their presentation and began the regular meeting business. Gigs welcomed new member Maria Marolda, and mentioned Maria’s ongoing work covering books in the village library. Gigs also reminded members that this year’s directory can be picked up at the library on Monday, from 3:00 – 5:00 and Saturday, from 9:00 – 11:00. Members should bring their $5.00 dues when they come. Otherwise, contact Gigs to make arrangements. Sue Harris thanked the ASC for the chrysanthemum plant she received following her surgery.

Secretary’s Report: The September minutes were made available to members prior to the meeting. Pippy corrected the spelling of her name. A motion to accept the September meeting minutes as amended, was made, seconded, and passed by unanimous vote.

Treasurer’s Report: Nancy Martin reported that we have $13,830.61 in the bank. In response to a question from a member, there was a brief discussion regarding the ASC contribution to the Village Hall Association for use of the hall. Nancy noted that we pay $300 for use of the hall for the Christmas Fair. We also donated $700 last year and will make a larger donation this year toward the capital campaign. We spent $4000 on the Village Hall bathroom around four years ago. A motion to accept the report was made, seconded, and passed by unanimous vote.

Committee Reports

    • Sunshine: No new business. Suggested we send something to Emily’s family. Gigs will follow up. Hazel von Rosenvinge’s birthday is today!
    • Membership: No applications pending for new members. Contact Deb with ideas.
    • Nominating: No new business.
    • Hospitality: Pippy remarked that the tea Jocelyn scheduled for today needed to be canceled due to the decision to hold the meeting on Zoom. All goodies will be donated to the Food Pantry.
    • Scholarship: There may be one student who qualifies for a scholarship this year, but it’s still early.
    • Web Site: Thanks to JCL for posting the minutes. Information related to the Christmas Fair will be posted after this meeting.
    • Publicity: Christmas Fair publicity will be implemented once details are settled. Another banner will be hung.
    • Finance: Martha and Sue will report later in the meeting.

Old Business

    • Annisquam Farmer’s Market donation: The ASC sent a $100 donation to thank them for letting us use the Farmer’s Market twice over the summer.
    • Sewing and Knitting group updates – Jill/Suzanne: Next Monday we will gather at 10:00 at Jill’s for knitting group. Everyone is welcome. Meetings will be every other Monday at 10:00 at Jill’s. The sewing group still plans to complete the potholders – no further details at this time.
    • ASC December 2021 Fair (December 4, 2021):
      • Gigs: Thinking of moving forward as we did last year. Members can just donate, rather than making a craft – send money to Nancy Martin, with a note on the check. There will be a virtual fair/online auction. Auction includes various services and baked goods. ASC members can purchase products for friends, but the fair won’t be open to the public. Stevie and Bonnie will coordinate the greens. Stevie updated us – same approach as last year. Stevie will send out emails with updates. Ordering from Wolf Hill, 200-250 wreaths to be decorated. Anticipate similar level of sales as last year. Will have boxwoods (12), other ideas. Assembly will happen in the Schoolyard and the Exchange. Need to organize bow-making. Bonnie noted that we need members to help generate orders. Send any information regarding the wreaths to both Stevie and Bonnie.
      • Online portion: Gigs will send out a calendar of dates for submitting items for auction. If you already have an item, send the information to Suzanne now. Items should include a good description: size, materials, washability, colors. If it’s a service, be clear about the parameters – timing, quantity/participants.
    • CPR course update – Stevie: The course date has yet to be determined. Stevie will put together 3-4 classes once the dates are firmed up. She noted that it’s not too late to sign up and reminded the group that it will cost $30. Participants will get a certificate once they complete the training.

New Business

List of charities/survey: The idea arose last spring that it would be helpful to solicit ideas for charities that receive funds from us. Gigs put together a list and sent it out to the ASC prior to this meeting and will put together an anonymous survey, allowing members to prioritize the list. This will help the finance committee with its recommendations.

    • Comments:
      • Reminder (Mimi): In our bylaws, we will give to those groups in the village first, then Gloucester community, and finally anything that’s a national/international initiative (e.g., Haiti). We have a huge potential to give to Annisquam causes.
      • Does the committee restrict the number of recipients each year so as to heighten the impact of each contribution? The feeling was that this would be the preferred approach. Although, some of the local groups are themselves small, so they do appreciate smaller amounts.
      • Should we concentrate on the Village Hall campaign this year? Nancy reminded the group that one year the ASC gave nearly the entire contribution amount to the Wilman property.
      • Gigs will ask some of these questions on the survey, in addition to identifying specific charities.

Next meeting date – November 9, 2021 at 1:30 pm, probably via Zoom.

A motion to adjourn was moved, seconded,  and passed unanimously at 2:45 pm.

Respectfully submitted,
Janet Langer

September 14, 2021
Co-president Gigs Cunningham called the meeting to order at 12:40 pm in the Village Hall.
A moment of silence was observed in memory of Mary Curtis.
Secretary’s Report: A motion to accept the June Annual Meeting minutes, which were emailed to members prior to today’s meeting, was made, seconded, and passed by unanimous vote. Gigs thanked Sue Harris for stepping in to take the minutes in June.
Treasurer’s Report: Nancy Martin reported that we have $13,513.81 in the bank. She noted that the 2020 Christmas fair made just $300 less than in 2019, despite the adjustments we made due to COVID protocols. A motion to accept the report was made, seconded, and passed by unanimous vote.
Committee Reports
Membership: Deb Ebeling put forth a proposal for a new member, Maria Marolda. While Maria has been in Annisquam for over 40 summers, she has recently retired and is now living here year-round. She has been an active volunteer in the library, where she has covered most of the books in the collection. She would like to become involved in other organizations in the village as well. A motion to accept Maria as our newest member was made, and passed unanimously.
Those who sponsored a new member during the past year were asked to reach out to them and go over activities that will happen this fall, so that these members can participate in those areas that interest them.
As of today, we have 49 active, 17 associate, and 6 honorary members.
Finance: Sue Willis had nothing new to report, but recommended we hold off on making donations until after the Christmas Fair numbers are finalized.
Web Site: Gigs reported on behalf of Suzanne Brown, noting that the web address for the ASC is listed in the directory. Members can log in with your email; the password is Circle01930. The web site has information such as the member list, minutes from past meetings, workshops, and Christmas Fair information. It’s a great resource, particularly for new members.
Nominating: Joline Hentschel welcomed Wendy Banks to the committee. With three members, the committee can now maintain a cycle where one member completes her commitment, while another member joins the committee each year.
Hospitality: Pippy Giuliano invited members to the “modified tea” being held today, and asked for volunteers to help serve. She thanked Annalisa for the flower arrangement and mentioned that Annalisa has a new enterprise, called Flower Patch Farms, which sells products at The Willows.
◦ Our next meeting is October 12 in the Village Hall. There will be a tea following that meeting. Jocelyn Ramella volunteered to recruit three others to provide the October tea refreshments. After that, we’ll go one step at a time as far as teas after meetings. Gigs mentioned that the Village Hall will be closed for construction after October 12. We may be able to meet in the library, depending on the impact of the construction and COVID protocol. Rob Russell is our advisor on protocol matters.
Scholarship: Carolyn Rogers reported that this year may be an “off year” since there don’t seem to be any rising seniors. Next year (2022), however, there are four Gloucester High School students who will be eligible. Despite these numbers, Carolyn noted that we always allocate funds for five senior scholarships.
Publicity: Chair Chicki Hollett was unable to attend. There’s nothing new to report at this time.
Annisquam Farmers Market Plant and Flower sale: Sue Harris thanked the many members who helped in various ways during the two sales held during the Friday Farmers Markets. She noted that poor weather was a factor during the first sale, but we still made $1,023. The second sale enjoyed better weather but coincided with other events in town, such as Squam Day and the Annisquam Village Play, but we made $863. Reflecting on this year’s sales, Sue suggested we have more baked goods available so we don’t run out before the market closes, and noted that pies are particularly popular. The advertising boards are very effective and were used during the sale to steer people to the Farmers’ Market. It was suggested that we consider a winter pie sale, offering savory pies rather than fruit pies.
Sewing and Knitting Groups: Jill Lovejoy and Suzanne Brown plan to continue coordinating sewing and knitting groups this winter and will reach out to members next week about the first meeting, which will hopefully be held in person. Meetings last about an hour and a half and will take place either Monday mornings or Tuesday afternoons, depending on schedules. This is a very flexible group: anyone is welcome, and projects can be personal group projects or projects that focus on learning new techniques. There’s no need to purchase supplies.
CPR Course: Stevie Neal informed the group that she has been in touch with Amy Esborn, who led CPR classes for villagers a number of years ago. Amy would be happy to hold CPR training sessions for our members. There are details to be worked out, such as where to hold the classes, and what the cost will be, but first Stevie will send out an email to determine interest in the sessions.
Ideas for ASC December 2021 Christmas Fair: Gigs reminded members that the second floor of the Village Hall will not be available to use after October 12. Stevie Neal and Bonnie Angus are willing to go forward with the greens sale again this year, assuming we can sort through the logistics. One option is to use The Exchange to assemble the greens; however, the water will be shut off and there will be minimal heat in the building. The Library and possibly The Leonard Club could be used as a backup for water and bathrooms.
Other ideas for the Christmas Fair included:
◦ Continuing the option of making a donation in place of making a craft.
◦ Continuing to auction service opportunities.
◦ Selling greens to the general public using our outside spaces, such as Stevie’s barn.
◦ Allowing ASC members to buy online items for friends in the village if the sale is only open to members.
Close to home:
There is a couple in town looking for a year-round rental. Sue Willis and Mimi Emmons know them, so anyone with ideas for housing should contact one of them.
Sandy Andrew’s 80th birthday is September 18. Drop off a card!
Rosalie Hughes thanked the ASC for the basket arrangement sent after John’s death. Kate Meader thanked the group for the flowers she received after she broke her ankle.
Donna Caselden has several events coming up at Rocky Neck and other locations. Complete information can be found on her web site.
The October Craft Show will be in person during Columbus Day weekend. There are thirty-five artisans lined up for upstairs; eight or so for downstairs.
The Rose Baker Senior Center is promoting a book called The Gloucester 28, about 28 senior citizens who made significant contributions to the city. Maybe we could put up a notice in the library once we have more information.
The movie “CODA” is available on Apple TV. It’s about the child of deaf parents and was filmed in Gloucester.
Today is voting day; our polling place is at Plum Cove School.
The next meeting date is October 12, 2021 at 1:30 pm in the Village Hall.
The meeting was adjourned at 1:25 pm.

Respectfully submitted,
Janet Langer