Fundraiser rocks the house
WASSAIC — Gridley Chapel, built in the heart of Wassaic in 1873, has received a facelift this summer.A dedicated team of fundraisers have been working to collect money to pay for renovations to the building, including wood replacement, exterior painting, repairing the steps and the removal of bushes sitting too close to the building.“The ladies have done a fantastic job raising money,” said Pastor Tom Marshall, noting that the fundraising has been going on for roughly a year-and-a-half.“I’m just so proud of this group and the work they’ve done,” said Eileen Epperson, the minister at the chapel. “They’re relentless!”The group believes that the chapel needs to be preserved as an important part of the hamlet’s history.“When people see what we’re doing, they’re willing to give,’ said Doris Smith, a church elder. “People have been very generous.”So far, three sides of the building have been repainted, leaving only the back side in need of a fresh coat.To help raise money for the last renovations to the building, the fundraising team held a concert inside the chapel on Saturday, Oct. 8.The little chapel was full, the pews packed with people singing and dancing along with the uplifting music of two musical groups.The band George, George II, Georgia and Son enticed the audience with catchy tunes and emotional vocals. They played both self-written tunes as well as old favorites and encouraged the audience to sing along. The audience complied willingly, then called for the group to play an encore.Up next was the folk band Thomas Wesley Stern, who played for the chapel a year ago.Their sweet harmonies, captivating lyrics and homey melodies were the perfect complement to the crisp autumn evening. They played an intimate acoustic set and invited Georgia on stage for a collaboration.In the chapel foyer, fundraisers sold bags of local apples and homemade baked goods, remnants from the apple festival held earlier in the day.The apple festival raised money for the nonreligious children’s program held at the chapel.“I think it’s gone great,” said Epperson.The festival featured games and activities for children, as well as food for sale.Marshall said the children’s program held at the chapel fits perfectly with the building’s history because the church was originally erected by the Gridley family for the children who lived in the hamlet.