Instead of looking at an agenda, those who serve on town boards socialized with one another at the annual Town House potluck holiday gathering held at the Marion Music Hall on Tuesday evening.
“We have this event, in the spirit of the season, to thank everyone who volunteers to come out, often in the evening, away from their families at the dinner hour to serve on committees in our town,” said Paul Dawson, Town Administrator. “We appreciate their service.”
The venue was decorated in festive holiday decor by Steve Gonsalves, a member of the Marion Planning Board and the owner of a local landscape and garden business.
Truman Terrell, a member of the Marion Music Hall Committee, played the piano to provide an upbeat holiday feeling to the event.
“We want to say thank you, from the Town of Marion, to all of you for your commitment and service to the town,” said Chairman Steve Cushing. “We’ve had a successful year this year and hopefully next year as well.”
Selectman John Henry spoke and said it was his 8th year as Selectman. “It is a great time to be with friends and associates in town government, to come together regardless of their political differences to enjoy the evening.”
Selectman Jody Dickerson told the crowd that he was pleased at the turnout for the event and that he has enjoyed his time as a newly elected Selectman.
Karen Kevelson, a member of the Finance Committee, commented that it was a time for all to gather together regardless of their differences of opinion on issues. “This is my first time at this event and I’m pleased to see so many gathered together enjoying the evening, regardless of the differences we may have.”
Over 60 people attended the event, including board members from the Council on Aging, Conservation Commission, Cultural Council, Planning Board, Zoning Board of Appeals, Board of Selectmen, Board of Health, Marion School Committee, Alternative Energy, Recreation Board, Pathways Committee, Cemetery Commission, Elizabeth Taber Library Board members and many others.
Each year, an invitation is sent to the committee chair of each town committee, who then invites the board members who served on the committee during the prior year. Former members of committees are also invited, along with spouses.
“It’s fun to gather in a non-working environment to socialize,” said Susan Schwager, Director of the Council on Aging. “Usually, we only see each other at board meetings where we work together to tackle the business issues of the COA.”
According to Deb Paiva, organizer of the annual event, planning starts in November with the date selected for the potluck supper.
“It’s been a great evening for us all,” said Paiva.
By Joan Hartnett-Barry