The Willing Workers Society of Sugar Hill successfully completed its 99th year in 2019. Highlights for 2019 are listed below.
· Fundraisers – We organized and hosted the Lupine Lunch, the Fall Festival, the Christmas Fair, and Grandma’s Attic sales. Fundraising included raffling a quilt generously donated by Kathy Jablonski. Funds are raised for education merit awards and donations to local causes, including assistance to those facing serious setbacks.
· Maxine Aldrich Education Merit Awards – We were pleased to rename our scholarship program to honor Maxine Aldrich in recognition of the more than 30 years she has championed the program. Now called the Maxine Aldrich Education Merit Award program, we have presented awards totaling more than $40,000 to 39 recipients since 1987. In 2019, we awarded a total of $3,500 to local students Dan Kenerson, Haley Hodgdon, and Alicia Harrington as they continue
· Donations to Worthy Local Causes – During the year, we awarded $5,900 in donations to 12 local organizations/programs.
· Memorials, Good Will, and Cheer – We hosted and provided refreshment for two memorials: James Cavanaugh and Edith Aldrich (a longstanding member of the Willing Workers). Members also delivered holiday poinsettias and boxes of chocolates to longtime friends and former members.
· Special Events – We enjoyed a luncheon at member Dolly McPhaul’s home. We also hosted a luncheon with the Friends in Council organization of Lisbon, followed by a visit to the Sugar Hill Historical Museum Quilt Exhibit.
· Quilt Collaboration – We were thrilled that the Sugar Hill Historical Museum’s quilt exhibit featured quilts made and signed by Willing Worker members from about 1909 – 1920. During the summer months of 2019, Willing Worker members made over 100 autograph quilt blocks for the museum’s fundraiser. The pattern for the blocks is the same as that used for the early quilts.
· Amended By-Laws – We amended our 1989 By-Laws. However, in doing so, no change was made to the required 25-cent fee to join nor to the recommended 25-cent monthly donation by those attending meetings, thereby honoring the dues structure established in 1955.
· New Website – Member Lynda Payette set up a website; visit us at www.thewillingworkers.org
· Town Christmas Party – We continued our tradition of sponsoring the 127th annual Sugar Hill Town Christmas Party. Despite a serious snow squall that evening, 41 children and many town’s people attended. Rose Ellms served as Santa’s party coordinator for her 17th year. Sixth graders, Lily Hodgdon, Cam Venezia, Katie Baker, Adora Fresolone, Sophia Phelps, and Jackson Thibault served as Santa’s elves, helping to hand out gifts and an orange to each child. Dennis Cote emceed the event, as he has done for many years. The Sugar Hill Choir, accompanied by Marie Snyder, provided music.
We could not have done all of this without the generous help of our family members, many friends, town officials, and Jim Keefe. We also thank area businesses for their generous donations: Harman’s Cheese & Country Store, Littleton Shaw’s, Littleton Food Co-op, Franconia Mac’s, Littleton Walmart, Woodsville Walmart, Polly’s Pancake Parlor, Littleton McDonald’s, and Littleton Dunkin’ Donuts.
The Willing Workers is a nonprofit, nonsectarian organization whose purpose is to foster a spirit of helpfulness throughout the community. Meetings are normally held on the first Thursday of each month. Membership is open to women from Sugar Hill and surrounding communities. New members are always welcome. Anyone interested should contact Betsy Fraser, President, at 823-8502.