The Shepherdstown Community Club’s recipe for lemonade
As the COVID-19 saga continues, the members of the Shepherdstown Community Club has checked its storage bins and found that the lemons that “life” had given to them (and to so many others during the pandemic) were perhaps “the new oranges.”
While the SCC is a non-profit supported in large part through the generous donations of residents in Shepherdstown, Charlestown, Ranson, Martinsburg, Harpers Ferry and other outlying communities, the core of its revenue streams comes from renting the War Memorial Building and Morgan’s Grove Park. As can be imagined, the cancellations for gatherings at either location came to a jolting halt some months ago. And now six months later, as small gatherings begin to return, wearing face coverings and social distancing, there is an optimism for the future taking shape.
But that is only a part of the story, as the club never really stopped squeezing the lemons they were left with. But how do you make lemonade under those conditions, with a recipe changing almost daily, as rules from the governor came down through our mayor and town council?
The SCC had to close Morgan’s Grove Park’s playground and its restrooms, placing signage to protect the children and a port-a-potty on-site. The SCC had to completely close the War Memorial Building to groups of more than 10, then 25, people. As the state guidelines changed, the SCC adapted.
A movie night was planned and held on July 4! The community enjoyed a night at the park, sitting under the stars on their own chairs and blankets spread evenly on the grassy hillside above the spring house. And yes, there was popcorn and homemade strawberry lemonade!
The SCC board meetings moved from the War Memorial Building to the park pavilion, with members sitting at separate picnic tables. It was refreshing to see one another and adjust the “recipe” for lemonade that would be “just right” to make our town just a little bit better, in whatever way we could.
A yard sale was held, bringing about 400 potential buyers out to enjoy the park. Planning for distance between vendor tables kept everyone safe, while allowing the club to make a profit of about $300 from donated items.
As a private nonprofit, the responsibility to maintain the park “takes a village.”
Two scouts from Boy Scout Troop 33, Isaac Kessler and Joe Anderson, completed Eagle Scout projects at the park, which allowed them to earn their Eagle Scout badges! A number of SCC members cleared invasive vegetation in the park’s stream and cleaned the park on a daily basis. The park looks great, thanks to you and park manager and SCC Board Member David Rosen. Rosen coordinates with landscaping contractor Viking Tree Services, LLC, which donates its time, and EPIC Soccer Club, which maintains the soccer fields as part of an agreement reached this year.
Plans for a second community movie night are set for Saturday night. With more than 100 members, the goal is to add another 100 by the end of the year. Please join us for the movie – while there, a membership application will be yours for the taking. The movie is free, but we always accept donations. Please consider coming early, to join our fall cleanup, beginning at 1 p.m. Make sure to bring gloves and a face mask!
Contact with the Jefferson County Schools board was made, with an offer to host students at the War Memorial Building who need internet access.
So what other ingredients are being planned for the lemonade mix? How about the annual mega huge book sale! As the sorting continues, this may be the biggest one ever. With the continuation of the COVID-19 Pandemic, this is the perfect time to curl up to read some new books! The book sale will happen from Oct. 15-18 at the War Memorial Building. It will be safely laid out for access without social distancing issues. Mark your calendars now . . . cups will be provided, because the lemonade is ready to drink!
Visit www.shepherdstowncc.org or call 304-876-3323 to leave a message, and a member of the club will contact you to answer any questions.
Steve Wabnitz, of Shepherdstown