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Grant awarded to historic Chesterville meeting house for upgrades needed

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left to right - Ellie Hopkins, Carolyn Drugge, Fran Fuller, Paul Stancioff, Cynthia Stancioff
Board members, from left to right : Ellie Hopkins, Carolyn Drugge, Fran Fuller, Paul Stancioff and Cynthia Stancioff.

CHESTERVILLE – The Chesterville Center Union Meeting House, Inc. board has announced its receipt of a grant for $10,000 from the Davis Family Foundation, a private philanthropic fund based in Yarmouth. The funding will be used to help make upgrades to the historic building so it can be opened as an events center for the community.

“We are thrilled to be a beneficiary of the generosity of the Davis Family Foundation,” said Carolyn Drugge, board president. “This grant allows us to go forward with our dream of engaging the Chesterville community in creative events at this historic building.”

The Chesterville Union Meeting House was built and opened in 1851, following the relocation of the town’s first meeting house from the center to the north end of town. Serving as a non-denominational place of worship for many decades, the building subsequently experienced cycles of use, deterioration, and refurbishment. It now is the only historic, non-residential structure remaining at the center of Chesterville.

The current non-profit board hopes to stimulate diverse uses of the building for the whole community, that may include musical, artistic, cultural, spiritual, historic, or ceremonial events.

Drugge mentioned the frustration the board has felt in needing to do capital projects such as installing a restroom facility and a wheelchair ramp before the building can be fully used to generate the income necessary to fund such costs.

“This grant, along with volunteer labor offered by talented local supporters, will help us break this vicious circle and make the building comfortable much more rapidly,” she observed.

The $10,000 grant represents partial funding of the grant request, due to the number of applications received by the Davis Family Foundation in this grant cycle. In order to install heating and a few other necessities the board will be pursuing further funding after this first set of projects.

For further information about the Chesterville Union Meeting House and the plans for its future, contact Drugge at 778-3767.

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