Dear Friends of Hampden Historical Society,
We wanted to take this opportunity to update you on where things stand with the Hampden Historical Society’s 2020 season given the pandemic that has consumed the world in which we live. We hope that all of our members, supporters and volunteers have continued to stay safe and healthy during this unprecedented time in our nation’s history.
The Society’s Board of Directors met on June 8 to determine what steps would be necessary to reopen our Archive and Museum which have been closed since March. It was agreed that given the recommended restrictions it was in the Society’s best interest to remain closed for the 2020 season. We made this decision out of an abundance of caution for our volunteers and visitors.
WHAT DOES ALL OF THIS MEAN?
Our monthly member meetings will not be held for the remainder of 2020. We hope that all who usually attend will think of us on the 4th Monday evening of each month and will come back to us when we reopen in 2021. We will certainly be thinking of all of you!
The generosity of our members and supporters allowed for the construction of our new Archive wing, and we were looking forward to providing more opportunities for visitors and researchers through an expansion of our open days and hours this year. We hoped that by expanding our open hours more people would be able to take advantage of the information that we have available for geneological research and tours of our historic buildings. Unfortunately, that will have to wait until next year.
We have also made the decision to cancel our annual Yard, Book and Bake Sale fundraiser. But keep those unwanted items handy because we plan to be back next year stronger and better than ever. In addition, we have postponed our celebratory Open House to commemorate our 50th Birthday as an organization and the completion of the Our History Lives Here Capital Campaign.
It had been our plan to re-engage with our community by holding Heritage Day in September. Because of construction, etc. over the last couple of years we have not been able to hold this event and we were looking forward to reinstituting it. However, we have decided to cancel that event and we will move forward with plans to bring it back in 2021.
At this point, the annual Christmas Bazaar is on hold for November and we have delayed making a final decision on whether or not to cancel until we get closer to the Fall. We hope that members and others will continue to make the wonderful and beautiful crafts, decorations and handiwork that are always so popular with our guests. The Bazaar is by far our largest fundraiser of the year and helps cover a significant portion of our ongoing operational expenses each year. At the very least we will still be conducting our annual Raffle. Support from the Raffle accounts for about 35% of the income we receive from the Bazaar. Clearly it is a big piece of the pie. Our Board members are already making requests for raffle items!
BUT THERE IS GOOD NEWS, TOO!
First and foremost, as of Monday, March 16, the Hampden Historical Society exceeded its goal of $500,000 set for its Our History Lives Here Capital Campaign. We are very excited about having achieved this goal but we did not do this alone. We owe a huge thank you to our members, volunteers and the nearly 250 donors who made it possible. We can now be assured that Our History not only Lives Here, but it will Live on and on and on right Here!
On Giving Tuesday in April, we were extremely pleased to have received donations totaling nearly $1,200 in support of Hampden Historical Society annual operations. We owe a huge debt of gratitude to those who have yet again stepped up to help us. We are blessed with wonderful supporters.
Volunteers will be working to set the Trolley Car Waiting Hut in place this summer. It currently sits behind the barn but will be relocated to its final destination centered on the front lawn. We look forward to sharing it with folks, along with some of its history, in the future.
Since we couldn’t hold our annual meeting and potluck supper in May, the Board held an emergency vote to install the Officers and Directors for 2020-2021. We are pleased that member David Parsons agreed to join the Board for a three-year term, and that director Will Nickerson agreed to serve as Assistant Treasurer for this year replacing Bob Hawes. Bob will be stepping off the Board but we are all dedicated to ensuring that he will not be too far away.
The Board of Directors will continue to hold its meetings (masked and socially distanced!) and will re-evaluate our decisions as things evolve in the months ahead regarding COVID-19. We invite you to visit our website and Facebook page and other social media platforms in order to keep tabs on us. We will be doing our best to make sure we keep you informed. Together we are something – something very special!
Please stay safe and healthy. Until we meet again…
Hampden Historical Society
Board of Directors