Thank you to all who made Strawberry Festival happen

To the Editor:

The Hollis Woman’s Club Strawberry Festival chairpersons began planning for the June Hollis Strawberry Festival in January. There are three areas of the festival that the chairpersons have absolutely no control over: the weather, quality and availability of the strawberries and attendance.

On Sunday, June 25, Mother Nature gifted us a beautiful, seasonably warm day with a mild breeze. We couldn’t have asked for a better day.

With all the rain and cool temperatures this year the chairs were concerned that the berries would not be ripe in time for the festival. Again, Mother Nature did not disappoint. The berries were the best we have had in a long time – big, juicy and sweet.

Each year we are worried about how many people will attend. This year, with the wonderful publicity arranged by Cathy Gast we had the best attendance we have in years. We sold over 1,300 desserts!

For a little festival it takes a lot of people to make it happen. First we would like thank Brookdale Fruit Farm and Lull Farm for providing the main ingredient, the strawberries. Both farms give us a heavy discount on the berries. Also, Brookdale gave very special boxes which were used by the bakers to transport their baking supplies and the finished shortcakes. Brookdale also allows us to store the prepared berries in the refrigeration unit at their farm stand. Thank you both for all that you do for the Strawberry Festival keeping the tradition alive!

Then there are all the corporate, business and supporter sponsors who donated funds to help defray the cost of the festival.

Our corporate sponsors ($500) are: Dr. Harvey Weener (five years) of Landmark Dental of Nashua, Mary Murphy (three years) of Schwab of Nashua and Tiffany Wentzell (two years) of Hollis House of Pizza of Hollis. Their support helped defray the cost of the berries. Thank you, thank you and thank you!

Our Business Sponsors ($100-$499) are: The Art of Dentistry, Buckley’s Great Steaks, Cardin Jewelers, Doc Davis Ice Cream, HD Supplies, Inc., Hollis Veterinary Hospital, Hollis Family Chiropractic Center, Tulley GMC, Udelsman Associates and Peters of Nashua. Their support helped defray the cost of the self-rising flour, sugar, heavy cream, whipping cream, bowls, spoons, napkins, police detail, custodian, etc. Thank you, thank you and thank you!

Our Supports ($100 and below) are: Hollis Auto, Morin’s Landscaping, Farm Design, Mile Away Restaurant, Costco, Dr. Edward Klopfer, Pats Peak, Boston Duck Tours, Cinemagic, Harvest Market, Helfman, Lasky & Associates, Market Basket, Nashua Car Wash, Women’s Medical Associates of SNH and Zorvino Vineyard. Their support helps defray the cost of printing, pencils, pens, clip boards, etc. Thank you, thank you and thank you!

Now in order to actually do this festival we need a lot of volunteers who primarily come from the membership of the Hollis Woman’s Club. I will begin with the SF Team: Marilene Sawaf, Artist/Vendor Coordinator; Carol Birch, Baking Chair; Ann Barker and Joline Manseau, Beverage Chairs; Nancy Birch, Cashier Chair; Betsy Cotton, Diana Kroeger, Nora Lewis, Eunice Rheame, Mary and Mike Murphy, and Tracy Weaver, Clean Up Team; Kimber Harmon and Deb Ugur, Hulling Chairs; Dee Dee Adams and Kim Fredette, Inside Workers Chairs; Kat McGhee and Karen Calabro, Outside Workers Chairs; Kimber Harmon and Vivian Girard, Supply Stewards and Carolyn Gargasz, Whipping Chair. Without these volunteers the festival would not happen. All of these chairs have workers who came to clean, hull and slice strawberries, baked shortcakes and cut and plated shortcakes and made the desserts, whipped 60 quarts of whipped cream and sold water. To our follow members Cathy and I thank you for your dedication and cheerful spirit in successfully executing the best ever Strawberry Festival!

There is one more team that we need to mention and thank profusely – The Robotics Team Force 1073. Sue Hay and her Team Force 1073 volunteered to be our teen support of the festival chairs. These teens are the most polite and hardworking teens ever! They do all the running for us and when they are done they ask if there is anything else they can do for us. Their parents should be very proud of them. Thank you, thank you and thank you.

Last but not least, we need to thank the Hollis Town Band for all the hours of practicing to perform for two hours free. A big thank you to David Bailey, HTB Director, who mail-merged donations letter, labeled them and put the stamps on them. Another big thank you goes out to Eileen Widner, HTB treasurer, who kept a record of income and expense of the festival. Thank you, thank you and thank you.

We would like to thank the attendees who came to support the all time tradition. Hopefully, you will come to our Apple Festival which will be on Sunday, Oct. 1, at the Hollis Town Commons from 2-4 p.m. We look forward to seeing you again.

Lori Dwyer

Cathy Gast

Hollis Strawberry Festival chairpersons