In just a week, much has happened. As reported here last Tuesday, a concerned citizens' group came together recently in an attempt to the preserve the Sherburne Inn, a central focus in our downtown. Current owner Jim Webb agreed to give us that opportunity. In spite of rumor and other reports, here's where we are:
- the citizen's group met, and is now known as Save The Sherburne Inn Restoration Project;
- we are in the process of forming a non-profit entity with a board of directors who will serve as stewards of the project;
- once the non-profit is formed, those who have pledged funds (and others who will do so in the future) may begin sending donations;
- a group of interested parties toured the Inn on Saturday, and the unanimous consensus was that the building is not, as many have claimed, "falling down." In fact, those present agreed that the structure is in remarkably good shape and has great possibilities.
- this week we will begin establishing volunteer committees; if you would like to serve on a committee, please email email@example.com with your interest area and contact information. To those of you who have already reached out, thank you. We will be in touch.
- we are also setting up a database of general volunteers. If you would like to volunteer in any capacity on this project, please send us an email; we will add you to our list and will call on you as the project develops.
- fundraising, of course, is under discussion. We have until April 1, 2013, to raise $155,000 to purchase the building. We have received strong support and are already a third of the way there in investment commitments. If you would like to be an investor in the purchase of the building, please contact us.
- we are in the process of developing a website, which will contain information about the project and the opportunity to donate through PayPal; when the website is complete, you will find the link on this blog.
- response from the community has been overwhelming. For example, a local barber, Wayne Murray, has offered to donate a dollar per haircut to the Save The Inn project. Tammy Sawyer, of Mountain View Gardens in Sherburne, has offered to host fundraising events at Christmas and in the spring. Many others have volunteered their time and skills, from plumbing and carpentry to picking up a broom. We are counting on other businesses and individuals to embrace this project as well with funds and fundraising, time, services, and support. We are evaluating a wide range of fundraising sources and welcome all ideas on how we can revitalize, restore, and reopen the historic Sherburne Inn.
- we are reaching out to all who have so generously shared their Sherburne Inn stories in the past few weeks and are asking you to send those memories to us by email (firstname.lastname@example.org), either in story or photo format (if you have photos that you are unable to email, we will make arrangements to collect, scan, and return). We are compiling a book of personal memories about this property because, as so many of us know, the Inn is not just brick and mortar: it has been a heartbeat of this community for almost 100 years.
- we believe that the ultimate success of the Sherburne Inn will be in a multi-use capacity, including but not limited to dining, retail, lodging, and events.
The Save The Sherburne Inn Restoration Project has been formed because we believe in the future of not only the building, but of our community. We do not want revisit the past: instead, we hope to preserve history while moving forward, both economically and in community planning. This is what small towns are all about...neighbors coming together, doing what they can in however small or large ways, and bringing about meaningful change that will affect the lifeblood of our village for generations.
Thank you in advance for all you can do in helping us save The Sherburne Inn.