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Vergennes Boys & Girls Club marks 20th anniversary with party

THIS PICNIC TABLE, built by young people at a Boys & Girls Club of Greater Vergennes workshop last week, will be auctioned off when the club celebrates its 20th anniversary at a party at its Armory Lane clubhouse on Wednesday evening. All are invited to an event with free food, plus plenty to do for kids and a planned viewing of the city fireworks. Photo courtesy of Jill Strube

VERGENNES — The Boys & Girls Club of Greater Vergennes is now billing itself as “The Little Club That Did.”
Fair enough: The Vergennes youth club this Wednesday will host an all-are-welcome party at its year-old Armory Lane home to celebrate its 20th birthday. The event will run from 6 to 8:30 p.m.
Club Executive Director Jill Strube said technically the community gathering is two days early: The club actually opened its doors on July 5, 1999, nearby at the Vermont National Guard Armory. The club then moved several times before eventually buying its new home in 2018, on Armory Lane just past Meadow Lane.
But with the Vergennes fireworks scheduled for the evening of July 3, Strube and the club’s board said it made most sense to coordinate with that event.
“We decided to throw a pre-fireworks community barbecue celebration,” she said.
That celebration will include free hamburgers, hot dogs and chips; popcorn and sno-cone machines; and plenty to do for kids — a fire truck to climb on, miniature horses, a climbing wall, glow sticks, water beads, and what Strube called a “bouncy obstacle course.”
A kayak donated by New Haven’s Rack ’N Reel will be raffled, and a picnic table built last week by nine children in a club woodworking course and decorated with their handprints will be auctioned off.
“It will be a full size table,” Strube said. “And it came out pretty darn well, if I do say so myself.”
A plaque honoring club founder Sam Allo, who died in 2011, will also be unveiled. Strube said the club’s board and she and prior club employees have done their best to make Allo’s dream become a reality.
“We’ve been able to bring it to fruition in a big way, we hope,” Strube said.
Club officials are asking guests to park at Vergennes Union High School and make the seven-minute walk over to the club. Strube suggests also bringing a folding chair for optimal fireworks viewing.
“Park at the high school, bring your chair and come on over,” she said.

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