BGS Group Halfway To Goal
By Gwen Stanley
BARNARD — A donor who prefers to remain anonymous — at least, for now — has pledged $100,000 to the Friends of the Barnard General Store, pushing it toward its goal of raising $500,000 by the end of the year to purchase the store.
Secretary of the Barnard Community Trust Tom Platner said that at a meeting last Tuesday, the donor, a Barnard resident, also said that she was committed to “helping to drum up some other pledges.”
“The thing about this that’s almost as exciting as the money is that this person is willing to work with people that work with her; she’s told us she’ll try to leverage her pledge to bring in more,” Platner said.
Platner said the recent donation brings the fund to about $225,000.
Popular with tourists and locals alike, the 180-year-old store closed in May of this year after then-owners Carolyn DiCicco and her partner Kim Furlong revealed that they couldn’t keep up with the bills.
In June, members of the community banded to form the nonprofi t Barnard Community Trust, and entered into a six-month option to purchase agreement with the Preservation Trust of Vermont for $20,000 and agreeing on a sale price of $500,000.
Several community-organized fundraisers over the summer helped fatten the fund.
Platner said that the group is now focusing on working with prospective donors to bring them to their goal.
“We have about 50 letters out and we’re making appointments with people. We’re moving forward toward the goal, sticking to our plan — and this gave us a real boost,” he said.
The store is currently open from 7 a.m. until 10 a.m. Monday through Friday and from 8 a.m. until 11 a.m. on Sundays. Volunteers staff the store, which sells newspapers, coffee and pastries.
Keeping the store open for mornings has been beneficial, Platner said, in more ways than one.
“We’ve actually made a lot of contacts that way,” he said. “There was one group from Texas that came through and they were asking about
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the store, and ended up writing a $300 check for a cup of coffee,” he said.
More information about the Friends of the Barnard General can be found at friendsofbgs.com.
On Oct. 10, the play If You Ever Leave Me…I’m Going With You will be performed by Broadway couple Renee Taylor and Joe Bologna at the Town Hall Theatre. Proceeds will go toward reopening the BGS.