Celebrating Town's Superstars
The Chatham Ecumenical Council Helping Neighbors in Need celebrated founding members Phyllis Tileston and the late Nancy Cole at a tribute dinner on Sept. 21 at the Wayside Inn. We wish to express our sincere gratitude to Shane Coughlin, Linda Kidd and David and Gail Oppenheim for their extraordinary efforts in making the fund-raising event a huge success. David Willard and the Cape Cod Five Cent Savings Bank and Scott and Kathy Hamilton of Chatham Jewelers served as event sponsors with hearts of gold. Tom Jahnke and members of the Chatham Town Band sang “Its Band Time in Chatham” to our superstar of compassion, Phyllis. We would also like to thank James and David Cole, sons of the late Nancy Cole, for the donation of an original oil painting by their mom for a live auction.
CECH has helped 1,280 families and raised over $1.3 million dollars to support housing needs in Chatham and surrounding communities. Our tribute dinner, raffle, live and silent auctions raised approximately $3,700. One last big thank you to all our board members who worked so diligently to create a delightfully, memorable evening.
Co-chairs of CECH
Education Is The Key
Education for youth is a priority.
When a flower or tree is young it must be watered and cared for. Our children are our future and education should be paramount in their lives. By providing a solid system of education we will grow them into great stewards of the future. Allocating capital to our youth through programs, services or attention will change the shape of their future and ultimately society. Together we must strive to provide for them. They will be the recipients of both our faults and gains.
We cannot ignore the behavioral trends coursing through our country now. What we can do is educate and give children the tools to work with the world they are born in. Knowledge exists on the shoulders of those who have seen many days. Let’s utilize that knowledge and help the next generation.
Worried For The World
Are we being complacent about President Trump’s bluster in his speech at the UN on Sept. 20? Was there an outcry from the media to his threat to “blow up” North Korea? We are told not to worry—the United States will never launch a war against nuclear-armed North Korea.
The war of words between Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump are more than bluster, we are told by Professor Jeffrey Sachs of Columbia University. Throughout history such rhetoric has caused wars. The UN was formed after World War II to prevent wars, not start them.
We have been in the midst of war now over 14 years. Children in war-torn countries have seen nothing but war in their lifetime. Cities are in ruin. Ancient buildings and objects have been destroyed, never to be resurrected. Veterans return home, if they do at all, with severe injuries and post-traumatic stress. Twenty-two veterans commit suicide every day. Americans have gotten to the point where we seem to accept military action. President Eisenhower, in his farewell address, warned us to beware the military-industrial complex.
I am worried for the world’s children and our world. Diplomacy and cool heads are needed, not the bluster and bluff on Twitter by President Trump. Cool heads must prevail. We must speak out. Work for a nuclear-free-world. To not do so makes us complicit.
Harwich Couple Deserves Recognition
The recent Harwich Cranberry Festival week began with a spectacular Beach Day. The activities were fun and exciting, the food available was excellent, and the weather co-operated perfectly.
This could never happen as it does year after year without the incredible planning, set up and extraordinary work and devotion of Delores Sherry and her husband Tom of Harwich. Out of sheer love for the children and families of this town, Delores works year round securing prizes and awesome raffles from literally hundreds of businesses (thank you’s listed in a previous edition) supporting this day long free event.
Tom and Delores plan many games and activities such as touch-a-truck, police car, ambulance, fire truck; also a petting zoo, magician, dunk tank, hayride, African dancers and so much more.
Delores and Tom deserve recognition and a huge thank you for their love and commitment to the people of this town for a free, fabulous family fun day.
Thanks also to the Cranberry Festival committee members who helped on Beach Day. We are so fortunate to have caring and loving people in this town.
Questions Proposed District Boundary
Alice Stallknecht Wight was probably Chatham’s most iconic artist. In the 1930s from her home on Stage Harbor Road, she painted a series of murals of Biblical scenes, using as models a host of Chatham residents. These murals, now at the Atwood House Museum, continue to be regarded as important examples of innovative mural art. Her son, Professor Frederick Wight, was a well-known portraitist of Chatham sea captains.
One would think that those who are managing the application to nominate Stage Harbor Road for the National Register of Historic Places would make every effort to include the beautifully restored Stallknecht house. But, no. The Chatham Historical Commission and its professional consultant decided to end the Stage Harbor Road National Historic District at Bridge Street, effectively cutting off Stallknecht’s house (along with other historic houses and the Champlain monument). Even more surprising, this decision that the district should not go to the end of Stage Harbor Road where it intersects with Champlain Road totally ignores the street’s historic role as a link between town and the Stage Harbor docks.
I suspect this decision is the result of a bureaucratic process which is not fully connected with homeowners on the street. Community development funds do the town a great favor by supporting preservation. But there can be a downside if, because money is available for experts and consultants, residents are left on the sidelines with their questions and special concerns largely ignored. History is not only about architecture. The buildings along Stage Harbor Road are valuable reminders of Chatham’s ancestors and how they lived. To complete the story of Stage Harbor Road, those in charge have an obligation to include homeowners as equal partners in the application, give them correct, clear information, listen to their voices and (hopefully) take another look at lower Stage Harbor Road.
CECH Beginning In A Nutshell
Such a beautiful community! Not only its appearance, but its people! I shall never forget the beautiful smiling and appreciating faces of so many on last Thursday evening at the Wayside Inn on Sept. 21.
CECH had planned and executes a most wonderful celebration of their beginning and for myself as co-founder! Our beginning in a nutshell (as my board requested):
The eclectic personality of Bob Murray deeply moved both Nancy Cole and myself. Bob's Housing With Love walk was only one of his most memorable and successful adventures. Nancy and I received our first idea of how to get our organization started from Georgie Dearborn, a HECH member and staff member.
We began in 1993 by assembling folks who were also concerned about our struggling families who faced losing mortgages or rentals due to family crisis, loss of jobs and illnesses. First we had to start raising money through bake sales, bag sales, spaghetti suppers, musical performances, mass mailings, canisters around town at business locations and of course joining the annual Housing With Love Walk.
Our formal organization became incorporated in 1994. Our officers were co-chairmen Frank Murphy of Holy Redeemer and John Jeffrey of the Christian Science Church, treasurer Patrick Russo of Holy Redeemer and secretary Primrose Craven of St. Christopher's. What a marvelous group. They worked well together and we were off and running!
As folks began to present their problems we, in turn, referred them to Homeless Prevention Council in Orleans, which gave professional counseling to each individual situation – helping many to better understand how to properly handle their particular circumstances. The council then referred to us or other non-profits for the funding needed in each case. There was never a “handout” given to anyone. It was a lift up. All funds were paid directly to creditors, not to those needing help.
Notes of appreciation received by us have been heartrending. We have shown love, not criticism. It works. Our records show we have helped over 1,398 individuals and families and expended $1,295,774.30. Impressive.
Regarding our banquet night, it must be noted that although many hands worked and planned for its success the two star headliners were Diane Kennedy and Joan Aucoin. They got the crowd out! Our current new officers will be co-chairpersons Diane Kennedy and Neill Taylor, treasurer Paul Greenough and secretary Betty Doherty. We are looking good!
Back Up Town's Stance
Chatham citizens voted to spend a lot of money to convince the U.S. government that we are good stewards of the environment. Let's start right now, not in a year, being good stewards and ban balloons that are toxic to wildlife.