Around Town

North Pond fundraisers to bring awareness about preservation

SOUTHWICK – Save North Pond supporters are hosting a fundraising and information night on March 2 at two different restaurants within the town. 

On that night, from 4 p.m. until 6 p.m., people can go to Nora’s Restaurant where there will be a pasta dinner for $10. Music will be provided by Sam Chevalier along with a 50/50 raffle available.

For those unable to get to the early dinner, another pasta dinner will be offered from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Southwick Inn where a 50/50 raffle will also be offered.

According to Michelle Pratt, a supporter of North Pond and organizer for the evening, said the events at both restaurants will give people the opportunity to learn more about the North Pond land preservation project and what they can do to help.

All of the proceeds from the night are going back to the Save North Pond fundraising campaign and Pratt is hopeful people will attend and support the cause.

“We also want to keep the positive momentum going,” said Pratt.

Pratt added that, for those who make a donation of over $250 and the project fails, that individual will have the option to get their donation returned to them.

The deadline to raise the $5 million needed to preserve the North Pond land is June 30, however the state would like to know by March 31 how much committed money the Franklin Land Trust has. In the mean time, Southwick residents and the Franklin Land Trust will continue to raise funds.

The Franklin Land Trust will be the buyer of the land and have noted that they currently have raised about $3.3 million of the $5 million goal. The $5 million to preserve the 146-acre property was established due to the latest appraisal of the property.

Pratt and other advocates of preserving the North Pond land delivered a petition to the Select Board this week. The petition was to allow a warrant article to be drafted for a special town meeting on March 19 to see if voting residents would allow the town to bond the remaining money left to raise, which is currently 1.7 million. The Select Board now has to make a decision if they want to bring it to a special town meeting.

Additional money that can be added to the fundraising is the $500,000 that the Community Preservation Committee has voted in favor of taking out of their account. Using the CPC’s $500,000 will now go to a special town meeting on March 19 at 6:30 p.m. at the Southwick Regional School.

If people can’t attend either of the two fundraising events but want to donate towards the project, they can do so by visiting the Save North Pond website. 

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