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  • Stephen D'Agostino

A Busy Time for Community Events

I had a couple of conversations this week about town events and how to get people to participate. It’s not surprising or unexpected that many of the goings-on in town are fundraisers. For example, there are two fundraisers in November and two in December. But they are more than just ways to build up funds. They are ways to build up community. In many ways, I think that’s the more important goal of these events.

Let’s dig in to what is going on over the next three weeks.

The Pie Sale is happening soon, and it needs—you guessed it—pies. Of course, they don't magically appear. Someone needs to bake them. Spring Brook Farm has generously donated the apples to make the pies. The PTO will supply the crust. The sugar and spices will also be provided if you're low on one or both.

With everything at your fingertips, all you’ll need is time to assemble and bake and the warmth of your oven and your heart to help make this a success. Of course, Thanksgiving desserts are more than just apple pies. You can make a pumpkin pie, for example. Whatever you bake, your donation will be greatly appreciated.

The Pie Sale happens on November 23, from 8am to noon at Town Hall. Who is the sponsor of the Pie Sale? The PTO. Who are the beneficiaries? The PTO, the town, you, me, and dessert-loving Thanksgiving guests. If you want to help out by making pies, contact Barbara Lord at

The same day as the Pie Sale is the 3rd Annual Chili Cook-Off. Create your best concoction that you call chili, bring it in a crockpot along with an extension cord, and enter it into the competition. Just be sure the chili is kid-friendly. If you don't have a cherished chili recipe, you can still play a crucial role. The chili can’t judge itself. Stop by this event—perhaps on your way to run errands or get your mail—sample the entries, hang out with your friends and neighbors, and cast your vote for your favorite. Entering the contest is free. Being a judge is $5 for adults and $1 for children.

The 3rd Annual Chili Cook-Off happens on November 23, from 11am to 1pm at Town Hall. Who is the sponsor of the Cook-Off? The PTO. Who are the beneficiaries? The PTO, the town, you, and me.If you want to be part of the Chili Cook-Off, contact Barbara Lord at

Onto December, particularly December 7. It’s a day chock-full of events, so best to start talking about it now.

The Fourth Annual Craft Fair happens on December 7, from 9am to 2pm at Town Hall. Admission is free. Who is the sponsor of the Craft Fair? The Reading Historical Society, which generates funds through the fees paid by vendors and food sales. Who are the beneficiaries? The RHS, the town, you, me, and the people you buy fantastic gifts for.

From 10am to 1pm is the 2nd Annual Wreath Sale. This takes place at the Reading Public Library. At this event, you can buy beautiful wreaths for your home. There will be some that are already decorated, so all you need to do is display it. If you're feeling creative, there will be undecorated wreaths, so you can add your personal touch. Who is the sponsor of the wreath sale? The Reading Green Spaces Committee, which is working to beautify Puddledock Park. Who are the beneficiaries? The Green Spaces Committee, the town, you, me, and the lucky front doors that will be adorned by wreaths.

And finally, on December 7 at 6:30pm is the Third Annual Holiday Tree Lighting. This takes place at Puddledock Park. Like last year, we’ll also have carols, a warm fire, and some sweet treats. Who is the sponsor of the tree lighting? The Reading Recreation Commission. Who are the beneficiaries? Financially, no one; this is a free event. Also, the town, you, and me.

That’s a lot of ways to celebrate our town in just the next three-or-so weeks! So minimally mark your calendars and be sure to attend. If you want to help out with the Pie Sale or the Chili Cook-Off, be sure to contact Barbara Lord. Again, her email address is And stay tuned for more information here!

Happy birthday to Linn Singleton (November 14), Kasia Sluka (November 16), and Heather Dutton (November 20).

That’s the news from Reading! See you next week!

This column originally appeared in The Vermont Standard on November 14, 2019.

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