1st Club Fair hosted by Athol Public Library draws dozens of clubs, organizations

  • Bonnie Benjamin from the Athol Historical Society explains the working of Laroy S. Starrett’s food chopping invention to a youngster. —ATHOL DAILY NEWS/Deborrah Porter

  • Girl Scout Troop Leader Elizabeth Parsons, left, and Abby Parsons, a Scout since kindergarten.

  • Royal Rubies Sandi Eklund of Orange, left, and Queen Marguerite Goulet of Athol. —ATHOL DAILY NEWS/Deborrah Porter

  • AOTV Executive Director Carol Courville —ATHOL DAILY NEWS/Deborrah Porter

  • AARP. —ATHOL DAILY NEWS/Deborrah Porter

  • Ernie LeBlanc, Vice President of the Athol Bird & Nature Club.

  • Ray Dufort and wife Jean McNally of the Athol Council on Aging. —ATHOL DAILY NEWS/Deborrah Porter

  • Members of the Athol Lions Club and mascot Sir Roars A Lot. —ATHOL DAILY NEWS/Deborrah Porter

  • Athol Teen Advisory Council booth.

  • Athol-Orange Eagles. —ATHOL DAILY NEWS/Deborrah Porter

  • Althea Bramhall of the New England Equestrian Center.

  • Friends of the Athol Library table. —ATHOL DAILY NEWS/Deborrah Porter

  • Friends of the Athol Hospital. —ATHOL DAILY NEWS/Deborrah Porter

  • Executive Director of the Literacy Volunteers of Orange-Athol, Louise Doud. —ATHOL DAILY NEWS/Deborrah Porter

  • North Quabbin Trails Association, Don Shambroom, left, and Bobby Curley. —ATHOL DAILY NEWS/Deborrah Porter

  • Veterans and members of Rolling Thunder Vermont 1. —ATHOL DAILY NEWS/Deborrah Porter

  • Members of United Arc Frontier Self Advocacy Club. —ATHOL DAILY NEWS/Deborrah Porter

  • David Price, right, founder of the Wild Knights and Mild Knights chess clubs at the Athol Public Library.

  • Speedwing Productions roleplay group, left to right — Joseph Buzzel, Jarrette Vorce, and Richard Surette. —ATHOL DAILY NEWS/Deborrah Porter

Published: 10/27/2018 5:01:13 AM

The Athol Public Library hummed with excitement as it hosted its first Fall Gathering/Club Fair earlier this week, organized by library technicians Emily Boughton and Robin Brzozowski, who, among other tasks, executed the strategic planning and layout of the various booths and tables scattered throughout the two floors of the library.

“We have heard a lot of positive feedback and enthusiastic comments about the Club Fair,” said Library Director Jean Shaughnessy, “and also many requests to make it an annual event. We do hope that all of the clubs and organizations get a good return on their investment of time and the effort they put into their terrific displays and promotions with lots of new members joining.”

Dozens of visitors, young and old, moved from one table to the next, stopping to chat with each other, and members of various service organizations and many other groups eager to share information.

A prime example was perennial teacher Bonnie Benjamin, who happily manned the table for the Athol Historical Society, topped with curiosities from its museum. Generating the most interest was an 1865 meat chopper invented by Laroy S. Starrett, founder of the L.S. Starrett Company. It was Starrett’s first invention, and he filed 100 other patents in his lifetime. Children and adults alike gingerly turned the handle and watched the blade clack up and down as gears rotated the bowl.

As visitors moved around the vendor displays, they collected free tickets, which they could later drop into selected cans for prizes drawn at the conclusion of the night.

One of the more colorful tables was hosted by the Royal Rubies, a chartered member of the National Red Hat Society. Their Queen, Marguerite Goulet of Athol, and Sandi Eklund, Princess of the Pen, held court in the main reading room where the Society’s elaborate scrapbooks were available for perusal. The books, created by Goulet, contained dozens of photos showing events and outings attended by the group.

Sir Roars A Lot, the Athol Lions Club mascot, prowled around offering high-fives and hugs, as Club President Joe Allen and other members explained their mission, projects and causes to those interested.

Girl Scout Abby Parsons, a Scout since kindergarten, helped Elizabeth Parsons, Troop Leader and Service Unit Manager at the table for the local Girl Scouts organization, which serves for Orange, Athol, Royalston, New Salem, Petersham, Warwick and Wendell.

Bobby Curley and artist Don Shambroom from the North Quabbin Trails Association provided updated information on a couple new projects, including a pair of books and updated trail maps.

Louise Doud, Executive Director of the Literacy Volunteers of Orange-Athol based in the Athol Library, shared information about the basic reading tutoring services provided to area residents age 16 and older.

Other groups participating included: Athol Bird & Nature Club, AARP Chapter 3673, Anime Club, AOTV, ATAC (Athol Teens Advisory Council), Athol Golden Age Club, Athol Historical Society, Athol Lions Club, Athol Woman’s Club, Book Worms Teen Book Club, Booked for Lunch Book Club, Card Game Club, D&D, Fraternal Order of Eagles, Friends of the Athol Council on Aging, Friends of the Athol Public Library, Friends of Athol Memorial Hospital, Girl Scouts of America, The Grange, Kid’s Book Club, Kid’s Minecraft Club, Knit Wits, Lego Club, Literacy Volunteers of Athol, Mild Knights Chess Club, Millers River Watershed Council, Mystery Discussion, New England Equestrian Center, North Quabbin Trails Association, Quabbin Quills, Quabbin Writers Group, Red Hat Society–Royal Rubies, Rolling Thunder, Speedwing Productions Roleplay Group, Teen Minecraft Club, United Arc Frontier Self Advocacy Club, Wild Knights Chess Club.

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