LUDLOW-Over 100 people joined the employees and volunteers for the ribbon cutting and grand opening celebration at Black River Good Neighbor Services on Saturday, March 12.
State Sen. Alice Nitka, along with Representatives Denis Devereux and Ernie Shand and Ludlow Selectboardman Bruce Schmidt joined residents from all of the towns that BRGNS serves.
Also in attendance were key partners of BRGNS, including Joe Dauscher, manager of network relations for the Vermont Food Bank, Linda Husband, representing RSVP and Steve Birge owner of Black River Produce.
The festivities were kicked off by Peter LaBelle, president of Black River Good Neighbor Services. Speeches were made by Audrey Bridge, BRGNS executive director Bruce Schmidt on behalf of Okemo Mountain and the Town of Ludlow, and State Sen. Nitka.
Bridge welcomed the crowd and said, "We can now better serve our clients with expanded services in a more professional atmosphere."
Schmidt pointed out the need that BRGNS fulfills, stating that Ludlow believes that having the food shelf in the new community complex is an enhancement.
State Sen. Nitka gave a short presentation on the metamorphoses of the building from motor pool garage to retail facility and reminisced about how much of Ludlow life has passed through the building. LaBelle thanked donors including over 300 individuals and business.
"Without the financial support of the community and the labor of the dozens of volunteers, none of this would have happened." He singled out Hannaford Supermarkets, the University of Vermont and Black River Produce for material donations.
A ribbon cutting event by the board of directors was only one of several highlights of the day. Door prizes were drawn every half hour. BRGNS officials publically thanked the following for donating gifts: Beth Lombard and Linda Olivieri, the Book Nook, Summit Soap Works, Pleasant Valley Food, and Clover Knoll Kitchen Shop.
A cake was donated by Peoples United Bank and volunteers donated and served sandwiches, cookies and other treats.
BRGNS serves the communities of Ludlow, Belmont, Cavendish, Mt. Holly, Plymouth and Proctorsville and is located at 37B Main St. in Ludlow.