The Wilmot Community Association’s (WCA) Board of Directors always is grateful for the support of its friends and neighbors. However, our gratitude knows no bounds for the wonderful support the community gave the WCA in 2021. Thanks to the generosity of our many friends who supported the WCA through their donations, the WCA weathered another year of COVID-19.
For almost 60 years the Wilmot Community Association (WCA) has been Bringing Neighbors Together with programs that connect people. Consequently, 2021 presented significant, but not insurmountable, challenges for the organization.
After being closed for nearly 12 months, the WCA reopened the Red Barn for classes and other rentals in March. From May until October, Timmy Patten Park was open to Wilmot residents to picnic, paddle on Tannery Pond, or play on the swings and slide.
The annual trash pickup along town roads in May was a spectacular success. More than 100 people participated. Volunteers adopted nearly every stretch of road in town. We estimate that participants donated more than 225 hours to ensure Wilmot’s roadsides looked great.
Throughout the summer and early fall, all WCA-sponsored activities were outdoors. Events included a Pie Sale at the Wilmot Farmers Market in July, Wilmotpalooza in September, and trick or treating outside the Red Barn. For Halloween, board members Amber Gove and Rachel Seamans decorated the porch at the Red Barn and handed out more than 50 goodie bags to eager youngsters.
The WCA hosted its Holiday Craft Fair, ably managed by Darlene Delano, chairperson, at the New London Outing Club’s Indoor Center. Santa visited the Red Barn in December to the delight of the young and young at heart.
Through the power of Zoom, the WCA offered two programs in late winter/early spring. Simon Brooks, professional storyteller, regaled his virtual audience with love stories just in time for Valentine’s Day. A second program, presented by Pam Hunt, senior biologist, avian conservation for N.H. Audubon, and co-sponsored with the Wilmot Conservation Commission, examined the effect of changing climate conditions on birds in New Hampshire.
The second annual photography contest for the Mount Kearsarge/Lake Sunapee region – and the associated fundraising calendar featuring 12 winning photographs – was a fabulous way to connect residents and visitors to our beautiful community. We will repeat the contest and calendar in 2022.
As stewards of community assets – the Red Barn and Timmy Patten Park – the board approved two significant capital improvements for the Red Barn. In July, after a successful 18-month fundraising campaign, a new standing-seam metal roof was installed on the Red Barn. For the Function Room, the board approved a new ventilation system with MERV-13 filters, which was installed in early 2022. We look forward to resuming a full schedule of programs, activities, and fundraising events as soon as it is safe to do so.
Always seeking ways to expand the community’s access to its facilities, the WCA board approved a new program that allows local not-for-profits, casual Wilmot groups and clubs, and Wilmot town boards, commissions, and committees to use the Red Barn for regular meetings at no charge. In September, the WCA became the chartered organization for Cub Scout Pack 71.
The WCA continued its tradition of investing in local students through scholarships. Josiah Gove received the Chief David White Scholarship, named for David White, a former Wilmot police chief.
After more than seven years with the organization, Susan Nye, the WCA’s able administrator, retired to spend more time cooking, writing, and walking around Pleasant Lake. Susan employed the skills she learned in the corporate world to lay a strong foundation for the organization.
In November, Jodi Hedderig, who has more than two decades of experience coordinating public engagement experiences, joined the WCA as administrator. She has a strong background in recruiting and training volunteers, developing and presenting programs, and facilities management.
The WCA is a member-based 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit organization. It is funded through donations, including the Annual Fund and Membership Drive, grants, memorial gifts, fundraising events, and rental income. Membership is open to everyone. The organization owns two facilities, the Red Barn, a community center on Village Road, and Timmy Patten Park, on Shindagan Road. The Red Barn has a commercial kitchen, a function room, and the organization’s offices. The Red Barn also is home to the Wilmot Learning Place, a private preschool. Timmy Patten Park on Tannery Pond has a playground, picnic area, and beach. Town residents with a valid transfer station sticker and WCA members and their guests are welcome to use the property. Both facilities are available for rent.
We invite you to join the WCA. To stay up to date on WCA activities, you can visit www.WilmotWCA.org and follow us on Facebook. For more information please contact the WCA at firstname.lastname@example.org. The office is open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Wednesday.
WCA’s Board of Directors,
Ann Davis, president
Adam Glass, vice president
Dana Bascom, treasurer
Lori Meding, secretary