503-992-1280 info@fhfg.org

Do you remember how you felt on the first day of school every year? The anticipation of getting new notebooks with crisp, clean paper and newly sharpened pencils…knowing everything was fresh and new and filled with promise? Anything and everything was possible. Of course, I always had a few butterflies as well, because the unknown is always a little bit daunting.

That’s how I feel right now about FHFG. The board is ready to begin planning a new year for FHFG, and everything is possible. FHFG is starting new, with fresh ideas and a clean slate. As a matter of fact, since the sale of the East Lawn property was finalized in December, FHFG truly has an entirely new agenda. The organization has no debt, which means it can concentrate on preserving the A.T. Smith house, organizing and enriching the Old Train Station, and the educational programs FHFG has envisioned for some time. At the same time, it’s a bit overwhelming, precisely because the possibilities are endless. FHFG needs to refine what it wants to accomplish this year.
At the end of January, the FHFG board of directors will have met to brainstorm and plan for the year. Because there is so much to consider, the planning session will continue during the February board meeting. FHFG encourages each of you to take advantage of your opportunity to be heard. If you have an idea for a program, if you would like to volunteer for a committee, if you have suggestions for improving the projects and work of FHFG, do not keep them to yourselves! FHFG welcomes your input, and promises if you have feedback or proposals for us, someone will contact you to talk further about your ideas. The way FHFG gets stronger and better is by having better and more communication with all of its members. If you wish, you can email me directly at gardenmo@gmail.com, or you can call the OTS (503-992-1280) to leave a message.

Last year I felt the growing excitement and enthusiasm of the FHFG’s membership. FHFG has many new members with amazing talents to share. There are some extremely dynamic board members who have led us through new projects and events. I learned to never say, “It can’t be done.” When David Morelli told me his plans for grading the East Lawn – without road-grading equipment – I thought, “It can’t be done. It’ll take forever, and this man has a full-time job.” He proved me wrong.

When Cristy Santangelo – Veran t told me FHFG was going to serve a full catered lunch in the basement of the A.T. Smith house, I thought, “ It can’t be done . There’s 160 years of dirt in there, no furniture, and only one extension cord.” She made a fairyland in that basement, provided an incredible lunch, and proved me wrong.

When Melody Haveluck served as chair for the Tour of Historic Homes, I thought, “She has given too much already this year: heading the garden tour, taking command of the summer picnic, in charge of preparing the A.T. Smith house for the Chamber of Commerce luncheon, meanwhile being Vice-President and head cheerleader of FHFG; she’ll burn out.” She and her committee put together one of the most memorable tours ever, and once again, she proved me wrong. If you don’t already get the gist of what I’m saying, it’s this: FHFG volunteers can accomplish anything they put their minds and hearts to.

I’m urging you to get involved. Come down to the OTS Wednesday m o r n i n g s , a n d s e e w h a t i s happening. Better yet, contact any one of FHFG’s board members, and talk to them about what you’d like to do to help. The board of directors used to take charge of all of the committees and did much of FHFG’s workload, but FHFG is delighted to say it’s getting too big for that. FHFG absolutely needs people from the membership to help with some of the exciting projects the organization has envisioned.

One newcomer to Forest Grove, Cherie Savoie-Tintary, has been here for only a few months, not years. She has already proposed a new event FHFG will debut this fall. Cherie will head a committee to produce a cemetery tour in October, and needs volunteers to help with this project.

She has participated in a cemetery tour in California, and has already begun the research for the FHFG tour. It will be a respectful tour, with c o s t u m e d r e – e n a c t o r s p a y i n g homage to some of the folks buried in Mountain View Memorial Gardens. This cemetery is a beautiful location, and the place where Alvin Smith and Harvey Clark are buried. If you have any suggestions, or would like to
work on this committee, contact Cherie at cheriesavoie@gmail.com.

Also, if you are related to or know anyone who is buried at Mountain View cemetery, please share the information with FHFG – we’re eager to learn!

We have spoken before about children’s educational programs. Last year a fund-raising expert told me the way for museums to survive
in the future is not through static displays, but by incorporating living history into their programs. Imagine how wonderful it would be to have schoolchildren come to the A.T. Smith house for a pioneer experience!

Yes, FHFG needs to restore the house, but while it’s doing that it can still be fulfilling its mission. It can educate the community with programs on the property, not just inside the house. FHFG also wants FUN to be a large part of our efforts this year; and accomplishing great things can happen while everyone is having a good time.

FHFG’s possibilities are unlimited. Today is just like that first day of school…..now let’s get started!

[avatar user=”dmorris” size=”thumbnail” align=”left”]Diane Morris is the President of Friends of Historical Forest Grove[/avatar]

About Diane Morris

Diane is a memmber of Friends of Historic Forest Grove