A final appeal for your help

Dear friends,

As you know, at the beginning of January, the South Hadley Farmers’ Market Board, Healthy Community South Hadley, sent out a call for new members so that the Market could continue this season. We have received many expressions of support for and appreciation of the Market. In addition, a number of people have expressed interest in volunteering their time, vendors have expressed interest in returning or joining for the first time, and at least one person has expressed interest in applying to be the Market manager. However, while several people have requested information about being on the Board, no one has yet stepped forward to volunteer for that function.

It is, of course, necessary to have a Board to move forward. In case anyone is still considering volunteering for the Board, we wanted to make sure to answer a few questions that have been asked:

  • Board membership is a very part-time unpaid volunteer position. In preparing for the season, the Board has usually met about once every two weeks. Different Board members then have taken responsibility for different tasks, including securing the Market space, raising funds for the Market (we have a list of regular donors), and hiring a Market manager. The Market manager normally takes primary responsibility for recruiting vendors, with support from the Board.
  • During the season, Board members take on tasks related to the Market, but most weekly logistics are handled by the Market manager. The Market manager also coordinates volunteer activity.
  • Immediately post-season, the Board balances the Market’s books (this is primarily done by the Treasurer). Federal and state paperwork for taxes has to be submitted by the Treasurer; our current Treasurer is committed to working with the new Treasurer and Board to make sure everything is in order and all paperwork is properly completed for this year’s filings. Things then usually slow down a bit until January, when planning for the next season needs to begin.
  • The Market has run smoothly for a while now, with general satisfaction and commitment expressed by vendors and customers. The current Board members (there are five of us) are stepping down for varied personal and professional reasons, none related specifically to the Market itself. All of us are committed to working with a new Board on transition.

We love the South Hadley Farmers’ Market, but we do need new people to step up if it is to continue.  We are sending out this one last email to our friends to see if there are people out there willing to make this commitment so that the Market will be there this season.  If we do not hear definitively from at least a small group by Monday, February 20, the current Board will need to take the proper steps to close down the Market officially and terminate our recognition as a Massachusetts non-profit with 501(c)4 status. We would do this with great regret, but we need to take responsible and appropriate steps if there are not folks out there who want to work to continue the Market.

Please let us know immediately (shfarmersmarket@gmail.com) if you are interested.  And, if not, we appreciate your support over the years.

Best wishes from the HCSH Board:

Sarah Etelman
Pat Greenfield
Joan Grenier
Jan Lieson
Cindy Pyle
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