The TUNBRIDGE Quarterly is mailed four times a year to everyone that owns property and/or resides in Tunbridge and contains news and information from town and school officials and local volunteer efforts. The brainchild of Tunbridge resident Janet Zug, its first edition was published in July 2005 and has been curated by Janet ever since.
The deadlines for TQ entries are on the 15th of December, March, June and September. Contact Janet at 802-889-9602 or [email protected]
THE CURRENT ISSUE
Published January 1, 2023 – Follow this link to view or download the current issue in PDF format.
Click here to see past issues.
Tunbridge Select Board
John O’Brien, Clerk
889-3474; [email protected]
Gary Mullen, Chair
889-3323, barn or 889-3242, house; [email protected]
Mike McPhetres, Vice Chair
802-272-6108, cell or 802-728-3390, shop; [email protected]
Mariah Cilley, Administrative Assistant
802-889-5521 or [email protected]
If there is such an expression as “a soft emergency,” the recent mashed potatoes-like snowstorm on December 16th might fit the bill. Unlike, say, Rochester during Tropical Storm Irene, where the town was entirely cut off from the rest of Vermont, our soft emergency ran the gamut from an irritation to a mounting crisis, it was entirely individual—without electricity many of us have no water, no heat, no internet or telephone. When, after two days without power, an 80 year-old is melting snow on a gas stove to fill the toilet reservoir to go to the bathroom, that’s more than an annoyance. Or when a farmer has to break through the the ice on the pond to water his oxen, that’s not a good situation. This storm reminded the Selectboard that we should organize a town-wide buddy system of neighbors checking on neighbors. In the event of an extreme weather event that doesn’t rise to the level of setting up a shelter or calling in the National Guard, the least we can do is check on our neighbors, especially our elderly ones, and see if we can be of service. For the most part, as a community that’s full of resilience and caring, Tunbridge does this already, but a little formalizing of this “neighbor helping neighbor” idea might make all the difference one day.
It’s budgeting time in the Town Offices. Working with the Town Treasurer, the Selectboard has been going over, line by line, the proposed budget for the fiscal year, July 1, 2023 through June 30, 2024. Just like our home budgets, most line items have gone up, not down. Starting with diesel and heating oil, it’s become shockingly more expensive to maintain our roads and heat our municipal buildings. With inflation hitting fuel hard, everything from transportation to manufacturing has spiked. It’s nearly impossible to find decent truck tires at any price. For a while, there were no new culverts for sale in all of New England. While the rock at our local quarries hasn’t changed quality in 50 million years, since Russia invaded Ukraine, the machines used to crush it and the trucks needed to haul it back to Tunbridge cost almost twice as much to operate.
Meanwhile, those dump trucks that our hardworkin’ Road Crew rely on every day aren’t built like they used to be.“We waited one year too long to trade it in,” Road Foreman Rodney Hoyt told the Selectboard at a December meeting, referring to the Town’s largest dump truck that spent most of the fall at the mechanic’s. This wasn’t Rodney’s fault; our trade-in schedule may have to be revisited and the planned swap moved up a year. While our old Ford (truck No. 1), built during the Pleistocene Era, continues to be a super-sub, both Larry’s 10 wheeler (truck No. 2) and Thomas’ 4 wheel-drive 6 wheeler (truck No. 4) are breaking the bank to keep on the roads.
The new year kicks off the re-upping of our three-year contracts with our two ambulance services, First Branch and South Royalton Rescue. While emergency services has been a contentious issue in the not-too-distant past, currently both organizations are providing Tunbridge with top-notch professional service while helping the other out in mutual aid situations. And the per capita increases that the services requested are significantly lower than neighboring ambulance outfits like WRVA (White River Valley Ambulance, pronounce “Whir-va”) in Bethel.
Speaking of health care, our first-ever Town Nurse, Jodi Hoyt, has started the job and is working to define what that position will evolve into. Drawing on guidance from the Upper Valley Community Nursing Project and her own extensive nursing experience, we are hoping that the Jodi will be a go-to resource for residents who need medical attention, a navigator of the often Byzantine health care world, a caring individual and a good listener. This position is a work-in-progress, but we predict, in a few years, we’ll all say, “How did we ever get along without a Town Nurse?”
The TUNBRIDGE Quarterly
Janet Zug 889-9602 [email protected]
TQ Entries are printed as received and only edited for typos. My apologies for any mistakes I miss or make! Feel free to contact me with any questions, comments or suggestions.
The deadline dates for TQ entries are the 15th of December, March, June and September.
Winter Evenings at the Library
Kay Jorgensen 889-5528 [email protected]
All events begin at 7pm at the library. Refreshments are served.
Jan. 6 – Machinist and teacher Brian Kippen of Tunbridge: “Advanced Manufacturing: Making Design Concepts into Reality”
Jan. 20 -Author Islene Runningdeer of Tunbridge: “The Musician Healer:
Transforming Art into Medicine”
Feb. 3 – Herpetologist Kylie Briggs: “The Secret Life of Wood Turtles: Ecology & Conservation of Vermont’s Most Secretive Turtle”
Feb. 17 – Environmental scientists Emily Boles and Rudi Ruddell on Tunbridge’s “White River Land Collaborative: A New Old Look at Land Stewardship”
March 3 – Wildlife biologist Jaclyn Comeau: “Living with Black Bears: Understanding Black Bear Biology & Ecology”
March 17 – Geologist Charles Stone of Tunbridge: “NASA Studies of the Lunar
Surface Through Project Apollo: Soils, Implements, Field Methods, Highlights and Some Results”
Tunbridge Board of Listers
Dan Ruddell, Helen O’Donnell, Darlene Miller 889-3571 [email protected]
Office hours: Tuesday and Friday from 9am-3pm.
Greetings from the Lister Office, it’s December already! We are currently working in the Northeast quarter of town for our quarterly site visit rotations. We also continue to gather information on any new construction (anywhere in town) so it can be on our Grand List (GL) as of April 1, 2023.
We are back in the office Tuesdays and Fridays from 9-3, and email or phone is the best way to reach us. Darlene Miller is also a Notary Public and available during our hours. Her cell phone is: 207-317-1895, should you need a Notary outside of those hours.
Helen O’Donnell will not be seeking re-election in March of 2023, so anyone interested in becoming a Lister please reach out to us to find out more about the responsibilities of the job.
We are already working on the 2023 GL. Our deadline for assessing “as is” status of a property is April 1. Changes of appraisal are notified in early June, with opportunities to grieve later that month. We had 77 total transfers in GL year 2022, with only 13 “valid” sales (not family members, divorce, life estates, subdivisions, etc.) Only “valid” sales are included in the Statewide Sales Equalization Study, which uses the previous three years of sales for statistical analysis. This Study helps determine: “Common Level of Appraisal” (CLA), a measure of equity between towns to help level the playing field for Education funding; and “Coefficient of Dispersion” (COD), a measure of equity within the town. Our last town-wide reappraisal was in 2010 (by definition, CLA was 100% at that time), and our CLA crept up each year until 2016-2017, after which it started to drop again. Currently we are at 98.92% CLA and our COD is at 16.69%. We are mandated to do a town-wide reappraisal if our CLA drops below 85% or exceeds 115%, or our COD exceeds 20%. Recent transfers indicate our Listed values are lower than selling prices, which would further lower our CLA. A mandate for a town-wide reappraisal is more likely to be triggered by COD exceeding 20%. The 2022 CLA and COD will be released by January 2023.
The CLA is important as part of Vermont’s current tax and education funding mechanisms, which are complicated and rely largely on property taxes. Efforts to ensure equity and fairness, as well as protect the land that supports us all, have evolved to an intricate system that includes differing Homestead and Non-Resident tax rates, income-sensitive Property Tax Adjustment Credits, and Current Use (or “Use Value Appraisal”) taxation for eligible properties. In 2021 the Vermont Tax Structure Commission submitted a Final Report based on work since 2018, and the coming years will see if recommendations to broaden the tax base beyond its heavy reliance on property taxes are implemented. In the meantime, the Lister office plays an important role in keeping these systems functioning smoothly, and we are happy to help explain them if needed.
An important reminder when filing your 2022 taxes: business use/rental use is declared on your Homestead Declaration (HS-122); remember to report any changes in use on this form. If you no longer declare such use, please notify us, as this portion is billed at a non-residential rate.
Tunbridge Volunteer Fire Department
Jamie Bradford 889-3478 [email protected]
The Tunbridge Volunteer Fire Department has had a productive fall. We want to thank everyone for their support at our coin drop during the Fair. The coin drop is our biggest fundraising event and everyone’s contributions and support are greatly appreciated. This fall we were able to provide traffic control during the towns Turkey Trot race in November, and well as provide small tours of the department as requested.
Please remember that it is important to check your smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, and have your chimneys cleaned and your furnaces serviced this time of year. Mark your calendars to replace your detectors batteries every time you turn the clocks back and then again when you set your clocks ahead. The Fire Department can be reached by email [email protected] to help with any of your fire safety and prevention questions.
The Fire Department and the Rec Department worked together to complete the task of preparing and filling the ice rink on 12/18/2022. Providing the weather cooperates the rink should be up and in use soon.
The Fire Department is always welcoming new Volunteers. If you are interested in joining or would like to receive information about joining the Tunbridge Volunteer Fire Department please email [email protected]
Janet Zug – 802-738-9602 [email protected]
The Shindigs are informal dances held from 7:30 – 10:30 on the first
Saturdays from November thru April, with the January dance on New Years’ Eve.
The cover charge is $15. at the door. All proceeds go to the bands.
Feb.4 – Full House
Rock, country and blues together with full harmonies all for dancing!
Mar.4 – John Lackard Blues Band
Authentic, rockin’, danceable blues in John Lackard’s unique style.
Apr.1 – Timothy James Blues & Beyond
Good vibe, high-energy arrangements from the modern American songbook.
Kay Jorgensen – 889-5528, [email protected]
Better Bones balance and weight-bearing exercise program is offered at the Town Hall on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 5 p.m. It is aimed at increasing bone density at an age when bone mass is lost and osteoporosis is a concern. Anyone can drop in for a session. A doctor’s permission is requested for those who continue with the program.
Tunbridge Town Clerk
Mariah Cilley, Town Clerk, Bonnie McCrillis, Assistant Town Clerk [email protected], 889-5521
Hours: Monday- Thursday 8-2
Happy New Year Tunbridge! As I am writing this I am listening to holiday music and enjoying some warm coffee in the chilly office! Hard to believe 2022 is almost wrapped up and as you have this in your hands we have started a new year.
Our Assistant Town Clerk who began when I was on maternity leave has been hired indefinitely! This is a huge benefit to the town, as it has now increased our hours back to Monday through Thursday from 8-2. If you haven’t already, come visit and say hi to Bonnie!
ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) funds are in full swing, with the Selectboard discussing these funds regularly. We have held two meetings with ARPA guru Sarah Wraight from Two Rivers to discuss how the town can use these funds and have developed an application that is to be filled out to apply for project funding. This form was due the first of the year, so stay tuned for further meetings discussing which projects are selected and the future of these funds.
Town Meeting is upon us and we are back to our regular March meeting. Town Meeting will take place on March 7th at the Tunbridge Central School. Stay tuned for more information including the warning and past meeting minutes to be posted.
If you would like to request a slot on a Selectboard meeting, please email me at [email protected] or call the number above.
Fortunately for me, tax matters are not within my realm of expertise, so questions related to tax payments, bills, etc. are best answered by Becky Hoyt, our town treasurer. Her number is 889-3571.
If you would like to reserve the Town Hall for an event, please call Judy Howe at 889-3487. She maintains the reservation book, reservation contracts and can answer any other particulars that you may need to know.
Contact information for all Town Officers is posted on the Tunbridge website – www.tunbridgevt.org. Our town website has a plethora of information about the Town, ARPA, Selectboard minutes, updates from various officials, and more.
Dog licensing for 2023 will begin on January 1st. Deadline for licensing is April 1st, 2023. If your dog(s) is/are due for a rabies vaccine prior to April 1, a license cannot be issued until an updated rabies certificate has been received by the Clerk. Cost per license is $9.00 spayed/neutered; $13.00 for non-spayed/neutered. You may get a dog license at the Town Clerks Office, or by sending payment, rabies certificate and return address by mail or drop box.
As always, stay well. I look forward to seeing you all around town and in the office!
Tunbridge Conservation Commission
Eliza Minnucci [email protected]
Betsy Gaiser – Interim Chair, Cheryl Metcalf – Secretary, Jory Innes – Treasurer
Michael Sacca, Scott Beavers, Eliza Minnucci, Evan Reiss and Maureen McCullough
This fall, in collaboration with the Town Forest Committee and Trails Committee we have launched an event series to learn more about the Town Forest – Garage Lot. A tree walk was followed by a history talk at the Meeting House Cemetery. As we headed into December we brought Lynn Levine to give a workshop on wildlife tracking and looked forward to a January 7th event with fires and treats. All along the way we are gathering entries for a renaming contest for the Garage Lot. We expect to host more events in 2023, join us for an event, or send along your ideas to our Commission or the Forest Committee.
We were thrilled to lend a hand to the Winter Evenings Committee to bring speakers to Tunbridge every other Friday in January, February and March. Join friends and neighbors at the Winter Evenings series, held at the library at 7pm with refreshments served. See page 2 for more details.
In addition to sponsoring events around town, the Conservation Commission discusses issues pertaining to the natural resources of Tunbridge, and takes on work to both protect and improve those resources. We have room for one more member and invite anyone, whether interested in joining or not, to attend our meetings. We welcome perspectives and concerns about our natural resources, especially when the discussion gets as intense as “Was that really a Golden Eagle on Monarch Hill in September?”
The Tunbridge Conservation Commission meets the first Thursday of the month at 6pm at the Tunbridge Public Library. For further information contact Betsy Gaiser – [email protected]
Chelsea Area Senior Center
Susan Pirie, 685-2290, [email protected]
In addition to offering Meals on Wheels and Curbside pick-up, the Chelsea Area Senior Center offers weekly meals and other activities. Contact the center for more information.
NEW Hours: T 10-5; W 3-7; Th 10-5; F 3-7; Sat 9-12
889-9404/[email protected] Tunbridgelibrary.org
It does not slip past us that volunteers are the heart and soul of our sweet library. Thank you to all who have put your precious time and energy into making this library the special place that it is.
The second annual Turkey Trot was a great success! With 109 runners, a dozen volunteers and just as many pies and lego trophies the day went smoothly! Thank you to Outpatch for helping us create such great hats as gifts for our runners and volunteers.
Our first ever Crafternoon at the library was loads of fun. Dozens of families and dozens of individuals packed into the library to create gifts for their friends and families for the holidays including felted soaps, duct tape wallets, bath bombs, needle felted book marks and buttons!
Our After School program has been thriving! We love having the bus stop by the library and seeing kids excited to come in. This month we were lucky enough to have Nancy Chapman and Nancy Howe sew with our middle schoolers, Elaine Howe teach games, Russell Lewczuk be the Dungeon Master in D&D, and have the chance to give away dozens of books in our fiber group/graphic novel club! This spring we are so thrilled to expand our offering thanks to a $5,000 grant from Vermont Humanities!
Looking for the perfect present? Have some free time on a Saturday morning? Book sales happen in the Tunbridge Underground on the second and fourth Saturdays of the month from 9-12pm. All proceeds go towards The Friends of Library.
Our brand new partnership with Orange County Parent Child Center is in full swing! Each Thursday from 10am-12pm, join us for Bumblebee Garden Playgroup where families, caregivers and children birth to 5 years old are invited to join us at the library for crafts, snacks, stories and friendship! Coming up we have a year of lovely nature themed playgroups. Call for questions or more information. All are welcome!
Homeschool day takes place on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month from 10am-12pm. Older children have been enjoying book discussions with Ms. Howe where kids switch off between discussing classics and Vermont’s own, Golden Dome Books! Younger homeschoolers are working their way through the Red Clover nominees with crafts and reflective writing. Afterwards they play Magic the Gathering, Chess and other games.
Our Story hour takes place on two Saturdays each month at 10am. Participants will enjoy a snack, stories, crafts and songs! Check the website for upcoming dates and themes. Also for the younger crew (ages 5-9) we have weekly sessions on Fridays at 3:15pm of No Thank You Evil, a collaborative storytelling game all are sure to enjoy!
Art Opening Creative Collaboration: The Art of Deborah and Michael Sacks,” a printmaking and photography show, will be on display at the Tunbridge Public Library from January 15 until March 19, 2023. There will be a reception on Sunday, January 15, from 2-4 p.m. The reception is free and open to the public.
Mark your calendars for “Sharing a book series you recommend” at Shelf Love on January 27, 2023! We pushed it back to later in the month because there are events at the library on other Fridays, such as Winter Evenings (schedule located in the TQ)
This winter we are offering a brand new Tech Series. On January 13th join us for “How the heck do I work this device I just got for the holidays??” Then on February 10th we will be hosting “Online dating set up assistance”, a hilarious evening of storytelling, setting up a profile and/or taking a great profile picture! Finally, March 10th will be the always important “Email set up and password retrieval assistance”. Call or email for more information.
Where does the “spark come from that puts the “creative” in creative writing? What are the tricks of the trade? Join writer Alec Hastings to talk about such questions, shed light on the craft, and practice that craft as you wish. A brand new Creative Writing series will happen on Jan. 4, Feb. 1, and March 1 from 6 -8 p.m.
Friends of the Library meet the last Thursday of each month. January 26th, February 23rd, and March 30th are the next three meeting dates. All are welcome and encouraged to attend. The more friends the library has the more energy and exciting fundraising events we can create! Check the website for times.
We hope that everyone received our Annual appeal and Year in Review. It was a fantastic year at the library! We are so grateful for your support. Our library is a true reflection of our community and for that we are so grateful. Please consider giving by making a tax deductible donation, considering a planned gift or including the library in your estate planning. All who donate will receive a special commemorative gift made with the art of local artist Joan Hoffman!
Tunbridge Grange # 384
Rosemary Distel 802-272-2235 [email protected]
Thanks to everyone who has donated food for our fundraising activities this past fall (Harvest Supper and our hosting of “Safety Stops” at the Sharon Welcome Center). The Grange uses these events to help support local families in need (as well as this year), we had to do some much-needed repairs on the Grange hall.
Bingo will start in January on Fridays and will be held at the Tunbridge Town Hall in Tunbridge Village instead of the Grange Hall in North Tunbridge. We also will start a little earlier at 6:30pm instead of 7:00pm.
Due to the cost of utilities, we are suspending winter grange meetings but when we will resume on the first Wednesday in March at 6:30pm.
Hope to see many of you at bingo to enjoy some fun!
Alliance for Vermont Communities
Michael Sacca 889-3210 [email protected]
After a rewarding 6 years, the Alliance for Vermont Communities (AVC) board has voted to end our operations at the end of 2022, having successfully finished what we set out to accomplish, and so much more. We have completed our work.
The AVC board is grateful for the partner organizations and hundreds of people with whom we have collaborated over the years, and we are proud of the work that has been accomplished to protect our region.
Since 2016, the Alliance for Vermont Communities (AVC) has served our region by working to protect working farms, forests, and our rural heritage from unsustainable development. Through our grassroots efforts of facilitating community dialogue, working with town officials, hosting events, and forming key partnerships, we successfully stopped the largest threat to our communities, the NewVistas development in June of 2018. David Hall and the NewVistas Foundation divested Vermont holdings completely by 2021. We have much to celebrate!
- The Ashley Community Forest is now preserved for all. Ashley is a natural treasure co-managed by the towns of Strafford and Sharon in a collaborative unique 2-town arrangement. This beautiful 256-acre parcel was slated to be purchased by NewVistas and developed when AVC bought the land with support from many generous donors, Vermont Land Trust and the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board.
- The Ranger Bike Event was originally started by an AVC board member to help raise money to support our cause and now in its 5th year continues to raise awareness of the importance of land stewardship and donate financial resources to our community through the use of local vendors and contributions to local municipal organizations and nonprofits.
- The 4-Town Coalition supports dialogue and the sharing of resources in Royalton, Sharon, Strafford, and Tunbridge. The nascent organization grew out of the citizen driven Vermont Council on Rural Development community workshops. Over 400 people from the four towns met in six meetings over the course of several months to collaborate and discuss strategies to increase affordable housing, economic development and conserving the working landscape.The 4-Town Coalition is poised to continue where AVC has left off.
- White River Land Collaborative, a farmer-led, community-driven project that aims to provide young farmers with affordable land and housing in Tunbridge has been launched. AVC is proud to have been their first fiscal sponsor and to help start them on their way towards purchasing the farm.
We are grateful to have been part of initiating the above efforts and are heartened that they will continue to improve and enrich our communities. Please join in in helping to support them!
Our assets have been dispersed in keeping with our mission to protect the farms and forests of our region, which will include area non-profits and donations to the conservation commissions of the four towns of Royalton, Sharon, Strafford and Tunbridge. Other recipients include the White River Land Collaborative, the White River Partnership and to BALE, Building a Local Economy.
In Gratitude, The Alliance for Vermont Communities Board of Directors
Micki Colbeck. John Dumville, Judith Falk, Amy Frost, Jenn Hayslett,
Michael Sacca, Erik Skarsten
Tunbridge World’s Fair
Ingrid Steinberg 802-889-5555 [email protected]
Thank you to everyone, in whatever way, who helped us celebrate the 150th fair! What a fair, we broke attendance records on Thursday and Saturday and came close to breaking the overall attendance record for all four days – darn that rain on Sunday!
As the fair moves into the next 150 years we would like to thank Alan Howe for all of his years on the Board of Directors and serving as president – he promises to continue to help out when possible! Jennifer Thygesen was elected to the Board of Directors to complete his term. Gordon Barnaby was elected as the new President of the UAS, which left a vacancy for the Vice President. John Bicknell was elected to become the new Vice President of the UAS.
In other business, the fairgrounds is full for Winter Storage this year, but please reach out to the office if you are interested in storing a camper, trailer, boat, auto, motorcycle, etc. for next year, because we always seem to have someone not returning, but the slots fill up quickly.
The Tunbridge World’s Fair Office is happy to answer any questions about the fair and the use of the fairgrounds for special events which need to be scheduled through the Main Office. We welcome all size groups, but regardless of size you will need a contract to use the fairgrounds.
Friends of the Tunbridge World’s Fair
Lori Berger 889-3242 [email protected]
Hello, Friends! Hope you all had a great Fair this year! We were very excited about the record- breaking turnout, and the opportunity to be of help to even more people with our award-winning shuttle service.
We are proud to have played a substantial part in the completion of the new Heritage Hall building and hope everyone had the chance to check out the wonderful display reflecting the 150 year history of the Fair.
This year marks the 15th anniversary of the founding of the Friends of the Tunbridge World’s Fair, an organization that is independent of the Fair but works closely with it to help support projects of educational, cultural, agricultural, and historical importance to both the Fair itself and the White River valley community. We look forward to continuing to partner with the Fair to develop and fund new projects; help us to keep the Fair strong and relevant as it goes into the next 150 years by becoming a Friend of the Fair!
We are a 501 (c)3 non- profit, and your donations are tax- deductible ( and very much appreciated!).
Please contact Friends president Deb Mullen at 889-9406 or [email protected] if you’d like more information on donating and becoming a member.
The Tunbridge Church
Kay Jorgensen, (802) 693-0098, [email protected]
People who passed through Tunbridge Village in December were reminded of Advent and the coming of Christmas by the Advent candles for Hope, Love, Joy and Peace on the church deck railing, the creche with lighted star next to the Parish House and wreaths on the church and house doors. Those who entered the sanctuary saw a large decorated tree and an array of poinsettia plants and windowsill candles and greens.A Community Carol Sing with cocoa, ice cream and toppings got people in the mood for the Christmas season.
On Jan. 8 the 10 a.m Sunday worship services will resume (no New Year’s Day service). The Rev. D. Gene Kraus will continue as Guest Minister. He will lead the first and fourth/fifth Sunday services and serve communion the first Sunday of each month.
For the past two months the church has been supporting refugee children in Myrhorod, Ukraine. The project began in October when The Tunbridge Church congregation joined Bethany Church of Randolph and Congregation Shir Shalom / Woodstock Area Jewish Community by Zoom for a service of music and conversation with Myrhorod residents. That led to the church collecting toys and gifts for Bethany’s Project Dove. Five very large boxes of donations were flown from Newark to Poland and trucked to Myrhorod in time for Christmas.
In addition, the church is taking a special offering for humanitarian support in Ukraine. Donations may be made in designated envelopes at the church, by mail to PO Box 270, or credit card donation at tunbridgechurch.org — please note Ukraine.
Last year the church took special offerings for Visiting Nurse and Hospice for Vermont and New Hampshire, which provides hundreds of homecare visits in Tunbridge, and gave proceeds from its Community Yard Sale to a family that lost its home to fire.
The church Outreach Committee hosted its last Super Seniors Luncheon of the year at the Town Hall in October. Fifty-five meals were prepared for diners and home delivery. Before Thanksgiving some 50 treats bags were taken to seniors and those who are homebound. Young library patrons decorated the paper bags which were filled with fruit, cookies, muffins and rolls, trail mix, pretzels, cocoa packets, candies and more.
The Women Moving Forward informal group meets for a potluck meal at
12 p.m. on the third Thursday of the month at the Parish House. Nancy Rogers leads this time of discussion, support and fellowship.
The Tunbridge Community Food Shelf is open at the Parish House on Fridays from 4-6 p.m. Al-Anon and AA meetings are held at the house on Sundays at 5 and 7 p.m., respectively.
Weekly church services can be accessed with a simple click at
tunbridgechurch.org. All are welcome to attend Sunday services online and in person. To receive the weekly email, please send your address to [email protected] Also, visit the Facebook page.
The church welcomes donations in support of its programs at PO Box 270,
Tunbridge VT 05077 or by credit card at tunbridgechurch.org.
Tunbridge Fuel Assistance
Ben Wolfe (802-693-0164) [email protected]
The Fuel Assistance Loan Fund. This Fund was formed to make no-interest loans available to Tunbridge residents to pay for heating fuel of any kind. In short, our focus has been to manage a loan program designed to spread the high costs of winter fuel over a longer period. Contact us for more information.
Tunbridge Community Food Shelf
Open Fridays 4:00 to 6:00
802-693-0098 (please leave a message)
The Tunbridge Food Shelf is here to support the community’s food needs this winter. If you or someone you knows needs supplemental food, stop by Fridays 4:00 to 6:00 at the parish house building, across from the town office building and The Tunbridge Church. We have an ample supply of cereals, tuna, peanut butter and jelly, canned fruits and vegetables, multiple pastas and sauce, meat and a variety of other items.
In cases of extreme inclement weather this winter, if the food shelf needs
to close during the Friday hours, we will put notices on Front Porch Forum and Facebook.
The committee is currently packing backpacks for several families who have children in the elementary school. If you are not presently in this program and have a need, please contact the school nurse at 802 889-3310 for an application form. All information is completely confidential. In addition to this project , the committee in conjunction with the Tunbridge Church Outreach group is committed to supporting senior members of our community with monthly snack packs during the winter months. If you are eligible, age wise, and are presently not a recipient of the packs, please leave your name at the above number and you will be included on our list.
Donations of food items are always appreciated. Items that won’t freeze may be left outside the back door of the parish house, other items will need to be dropped off by someone during the open food shelf hours on Fridays. Monetary donations should be sent to Mary Fisk, treasurer at PO Box 12, Tunbridge, VT 05077.
No one should go hungry this winter, because we are able to help supplement your food needs. Please let any friends or relatives who are facing food insecurity know about this valuable resource.
Ed Larkin Contra Dancers
Clyde Jenne – [email protected]
The Ed Larkin Contra Dancers are back at the Tunbridge Town Hall! Dances start at 7:00pm
All dances taught, all ages welcome. February 10 Dance canceled if snow is predicted. Donation requested at the door.
Friends of First Branch Schools
Tiffany Bates, 802-693-0396 [email protected]
The Friends of First Branch Schools volunteer and fundraise to celebrate and support the elementary and middle schools serving the children of Tunbridge and Chelsea. This fall we awarded $700 to staff and school requests and had successful fundraising campaigns with Michael Barnaby’s 2023 Calendars and the last Covered Bridges Pint Glasses. We coordinated food for staff following Halloween, a library clean-out workday in Tunbridge, and supported the elementary Apple Fest and Holiday book gifting events.
We continue to work on supporting ice-skating at Tunbridge Central School in memory of Rachel Brown. We have to carefully coordinate our rink shed plans with school infrastructure projects in the works. However, with huge thanks to the Eighth Grade Class of 2020 and a generous anonymous donor, we can ensure that high-quality(easy-on!) skates, helmets, sticks and pucks can be available to elementary students this winter. We would love to find a volunteer to build a few PVC learn-to-skate frames – we supply the materials, you watch the youtube tutorials and provide the labor. Get in touch if you might be that person!
At the start of December break, all First Branch students went home with High Mowing Seed Fundraiser order forms. Please consider purchasing seeds through this fundraiser, one of our biggest of the year. The deadline for orders is earlier this year in hopes we avoid substitutions or delays. Please make sure your orders are in by January 30th. You can request a High Mowing Seed Order Form by emailing our club at: [email protected]
The Friends of First Branch Schools meet monthly on the third Wednesday of the month at 6:30pm, alternating school libraries. Our January 18th meeting is in Tunbridge. A link for virtual attendance will be made available. Email [email protected] to get on our mailing list, or for the meeting link. All community members are welcome to join!
First Branch Ambulance
Judy Tucker – 889-3305 [email protected]
Our profound thank you to all who participated in our fund raising raffle event for the ATV. By now the winner has been announced and our congregations to whomever that is!
In February we will be offering a 16-20 hour, one weekend course for VT First Responders. Posters will be up soon to give more details or if you are interested call Chase Ackerman at FBA 685-3112
We continue to look for people interested in emergency response and medicine. If you have EMT experience or training and would like to become an active volunteer to serve Tunbridge, Chelsea and Washington please reach out to Chase Ackerman at number listed above.
For new residents or those residents interested in obtaining the red 911 sign for your mailbox, please reach out to me, contact info above. We ask for a $20.00 donation to FBA at that time.
Tunbridge Neighbors Helping Neighbors
For TNHN services call 889-3437
Tunbridge Neighbors Helping Neighbors coordinates and provides basic services at no charge to town residents through the efforts of volunteers. We are a non-profit organization whose operating costs (primarily phone service) are supported by the generosity of Tunbridgians who allocate funds at Town Meeting, and by donations, which may be sent to TNHN, P.O. Box 22, Tunbridge, VT 05077.
A few of the services offered by TNHN are:
• Rides (see below)
• Pick up of prescriptions or other goods from stores
• Cooking meals for people who are unable to cook for a short time
• Minor repairs or painting, minor home improvements, changing a lock*
• Changing a flat tire or jump-starting a car
• Simple repairs to household appliances*
• Help lifting or moving large objects
• Delivery of library books or Food Shelf items
• Help with gardening, lawn care or stacking firewood
• Shoveling snow off walkways and steps
• Other reasonable requests
*Please note: the cost of any materials needed falls on the person requesting help.
Rides could include transportation to and from nearby medical appointments, church and other local events, car repair/service appointments and shopping trips. If the trip is a long one, please be aware that some drivers may need riders to contribute to the cost of gas due to high fuel prices.
Anyone needing help with something should call 802-889-3437. We do our best to find a volunteer who is available for that specific request at that specific time and date. However, on occasion that is not possible, especially if advance notice is not given.
We are always on the lookout for more volunteers. To join our list, please contact any of the board members listed below or call 802-889-3437. We respect and value your willingness to help your neighbors.
Current Board Members: Michael O’Donnell, President – 802-763-8985; Jory Innes, Vice President – 802-299-9249; Pat Howe, Treasurer – 802-889-5512;
Sarah Priestap Porter, Secretary; Linda B. Howe; Holly Bee.
Tunbridge Town Website
Geoff Hansen, 802-889-3373, or [email protected]
Tunbridge’s town website is a timely resource for information from the Town Clerk, board meetings (including videos of meetings via Zoom), an Events Calendar listing upcoming meetings and community events, and past issues of the Tunbridge Quarterly. Please let us know if there’s something you would like to see listed or have any questions.