Tannery Pond Community Center celebrates 10 years

Sen. Betty Little, center, talks with Woody and Elise Widlund June 30 at the Tannery Pond Community Center’s gala.

Sen. Betty Little, center, talks with Woody and Elise Widlund June 30 at the Tannery Pond Community Center’s gala. Photo by Phillip Sherotov.

— Dozens of residents celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Tannery Pond Community Center Saturday, June 30 with a gala.

The event also served to introduce the new executive director for the center, Bernadette Speach.

During the reception, Speach introduced herself to the arriving guests. She has been meeting with the various groups and organizations that are involved with the center over the past two weeks.

At this stage, Speach said she wants to get a good picture of how all the activities and uses that are made of Tannery Pond fit into the bigger picture. Ultimately, her goal is to find ways to expand, enrich and enhance the role of the center within the community.

Several people spoke during a presentation in the performing arts center, reflecting on the role that the Tannery Pond Community Center has played in the community, its future and the individuals who built and donated it to the town — Woody and Elise Widlund.

Sen. Betty Little (R-Queensbury) spoke first. She noted that she had been to the center several times over the years and was saddened to hear that the Widlunds are moving away.

She added that, over the years, the Widlunds’ philosophy of helping people succeed had a tremendous impact on the town, and they had helped in many ways.

Little recalled how the Widlunds had purchased a house in North River, paid to have it completely remodeled and then donated it to the Adirondack Community Housing Trust so it could benefit a family in need.

In the end, she thanked them for everything they had done “for all of us.”

Businessman and author Glenn Pearsall shared how a recent report on cultural centers found that they “play a critical role in revitalizing a sense of community spirit … bring economic activity into neglected sectors, improve the quality of life of individuals, generate new tax revenues … and contribute to creative and cultural growth.”

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