Supporter Update – August 2021
Dear STAR Supporter,
I apologize for the lack of updates during recent months. It has been a difficult, but busy, period, as I summarize below
Hopefully, you are all well and enjoying slightly more flexibility and peace of mind that comes with being vaccinated. For those who haven’t been, or will not, we wish you well also. We don’t want to lose any of our *STAR* Supporters!
First, the good news. Our Greene Farmers Market continues to be a great success at Greene Commons, and a delight for customers, visitors, and vendors. We are very fortunate to have these wonderful partners and it makes every Saturday morning a thrill of discovery. The mix of meats, produce, cheese, baked goods, desserts, coffee, plants, and crafts is a joy. Please sign up for weekly newsletter at www.greenecommons.com.
More important, come out to the market, buy healthy food, find interesting gifts (including for yourself), chat with old friends and meet new ones. Your first view will be of our new storage hut with its delightful barn quilt, both donated by the Art Guild of Greene. Talk with Judy Berger, our market manager, and learn what is planned. Some Saturdays you will hear local musicians in the background. You probably have met many of them. Warning, occasionally the shrieks of delight from children, as they play or discover new things, might briefly interrupt.
The Greene Chamber of Commerce hosted the first free concert on the Greene Commons stage a couple of weeks ago. The audience loved it. Some folks sat in lawn chairs and some on blankets. Children danced to the lively music when they weren’t playing with friends. Food, ice cream, soft drinks, beer, and wine were available. The Greene Care Clinic, which provides free medical care for eligible adults, was the beneficiary of the proceeds, including a 50/50 challenge.
Our next concert will be an even bigger event on August 28th, with a widely known country singer and Nashville recording artist, Tommy Wood, being the main attraction. Tickets can be purchased at the Farmers Market, Boot’Vil, Noon Whistle Pottery, and Farmer’s Insurance. $10 prior to the concert and $20 at the gate. Children under 12 are free.
Roy and I have been spending much of our time on the project to improve Stanardsville’s Main Street, by creating sidewalks with better lighting on the north side where there are none today. This will extend sidewalks to Greene Pharmacy on the east and to the Great Valu/Pioneer Bank shopping center on the west. This will make it easier for residents and visitors to walk about the town and, hopefully, attract new businesses. We are delighted with the community support and the generous contributions from so many of you.
The project has experienced major delays, in part due to the pandemic. As you know from personal experience or reading, construction costs have skyrocketed during the pandemic. The town found how bad this was when it advertised for construction bids. The total project is now estimated to cost almost $1.8 million, an almost 90% increase from the earlier design/engineering estimates. We have raised approximately $1.7 million toward the total, with VDOT grants supplying over $1,250,000 of this. Individuals, organizations, foundations, the county, and the town have supplied the rest.
However, we still have approximately $75,000 to raise, if our current plans work out, and we are trying all the sources we can think of. Hopefully, VDOT, ARPA funds, foundations and other generous sources will come through as planned or we will need to raise more.
Check out www.stargreene.org to see before and after pictures of our first phase of the streetscape improvements. Better still, come and walk the town.
We mourn the recent death of Lillian Baird at 94 years young. Lillian was President of Stanardsville Pride With Action in 2002 as it considered the path forward that then became *STAR*. She also brought her considerable talents and energy to help in the creation of the Greene Care Clinic, a lunch/coffee shop on Main Street, the Palette art gallery, the Art Guild of Greene and the Another Time Around store in the shopping center. I would appreciate any special memories you have of Lillian for use in a fuller tribute.
Please feel free to contact us with any questions or suggestions for potential funding sources (or anything else). Obviously, we would appreciate any contribution you would like to make. Many of you have already been very generous. Thank you.
Keep well. I hope to see you at the market.