Secretary’s Report

Secretary’s Report  Minutes of the Annual Meeting, September 25, 2022

Vice President Maryann Levesque opened the 2022 Annual Meeting at 1:10 pm in the basement of the Barn. She welcomed a large group of attendees and thanked them for coming to help celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Friends.  On display there were historical documents, past news articles, years of meeting minutes and annual reports and photographs of memorable events.

Ann Letendre made a motion, seconded by Jean Merz, to waive reading the minutes of  the 2021 Annual Meeting, the President’s Report and Committee Reports. The motion was approved and Bob Letendre was asked to give the Treasurer’s Report.

Treasurer, Bob Letendre reported that pages 9-12 of the 2022 Annual Report contain a summary of the major financial highlights of FY 2021-22 (p. 9), as well as listings of our assets, liabilities, revenues and expenses for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2022.  He reported that most of our cash assets are currently invested in Vanguard Index Funds, and our organization continues to be debt free.  He thanked the audit committee for their review and accord, and thanked members for their continued support.

Bob reported on the grant expenditure, noting that the $150,000 grant from DEEP is close to ending.  The Heritage Center will open in the spring.  Display panels have been printed and several were showcased at the meeting.  Various photos on the annual report covers show various displays that will be located in the Heritage Center.

Maryann introduced the Board members of the Friends of Valley Falls, including our newest member, Jane Darico.  Jane’s family has a long history at the farm and her historical knowledge of the property is a valuable asset, especially as we develop the Heritage Center.

Maryann introduced Jen Smith, recently hired as part-time communications/marketing specialist.  Jen provided her professional background and noted that she was excited to help Friends of Valley Falls grow membership and programs.  She asked attendees to complete a survey that can be accessed online.

Ann Letendre and Jean Merz jointly thanked Ginny Gingras for her 50 years of service.  Ginny was one of the original seven women who began the Friends group, and a vital member for developing programs and purchasing Valley Falls Farm.  It was a fitting tribute on the 50th anniversary.  Ginny thanked everyone for their years of support and said it was wonderful to see so many new people at the meeting.

Allen Valli, beekeeper at the farm, reported that it was a bountiful spring, with 200 pounds of honey harvested from the hives.  Fall was not as productive, due to the drought.  He brought jars of spring honey for purchase.

The meeting was adjourned at 1:30 pm.


Respectfully submitted, Nancy Steffens, Secretary

Following the meeting our speaker, Jean Luddy, Museum Director, Vernon Historical Society shared her research from the Society’s archives on the Town’s oldest and newest cemeteries.  Mrs Luddy provided information about the stones in the Old Burial Ground on Bamforth Road, that reflect Puritan attitudes toward life and death.  In contrast, the Town’s newest cemetery, Valley Falls Cemetery, serves a different type of community.