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.

— Pearsall said that this wasn’t news to the Widlunds; they not only knew how a community center could transform a community 10 years ago, but they actually made it happen.

The Widlunds paid to have the previous building torn down and a new, state-of-the-art facility designed and built, and they devoted countless hours to overseeing each step of the process before gifting it to the town of Johnsburg.

Continuing Sen. Little’s point, Pearsall added that the generosity and dedication evident in this gift to the town had long been present in their relationship to the community.

Woody had been an advisor to the Earth Club, and in that capacity had chaperoned many hikes and rafting trips.

He had also been chair of the Library Capital Campaign, which helped expand the now reopened local library, which has the highest circulation rate of any library in Warren County, apart from Crandall Library in Glens Falls.

Both Woody and Elise had also helped support and advise several of the struggling businesses in town.

They also provided guidance and contributions to the Adirondack Ensemble, a chamber music group.

In the past 10 years, Tannery Pond has hosted 400 live theater productions and concerts, held art exhibits and shows for more than 50 artists, been a home to countless children’s programs and been a safe, alcohol-free site for more than 100 dances.

Pearsall said there was an article in Adirondack Life called “What’s Up With North Creek?” a few months after the center opened in 2002. The story mentioned the newly restored train depot and museum, the new multi-million dollar community center and several new restaurants and shops on main street.

He said that people still ask him that question and follow it up with: “Do they put something in the water up there?”

“Well if there is something in the water, it’s Woody and Elise,” Pearsall told the audience.

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