BOOTHBAY — When Boothbay’s new municipal building finally takes shape across the road from the town common, it will be a monument to the drawing power of bake sales, bottle drives and Fourth of July chicken barbecues.
Along with car, quilt and ice-out raffles; bean, harvest and turkey suppers; lobster bakes, fall foliage festivals, boat trips, parking lot projects and dinner theaters.
Not to mention a Hawaiian pig roast, a turkey beano, a jazz concert and a white elephant sale. Plus letters and door-to-door solicitations that brought in contributions from 648 people, including year-round residents and summer visitors representing 23 states.
For more than three years, a core group of about 20 townspeople has staged dozens of fund-raising events in a community effort to raise $250,000 to buy the site that now houses an abandoned garage and then donate it to the town.
“It’s like a dream,” said Henry Rowe, one of the founders of the Boothbay Civic Association and its current president. “But you have to work on these dreams while they’re available because otherwise they’ll drift into obscurity.”
Now only $40,000 away from its goal, the non-profit association expects to complete its campaign sometime this fall, closing the books on an ambitious volunteer effort intended to beautify the heart of this coastal community without placing any additional burden on taxpayers.
“The level of commitment is amazing,” said Town Manager Victoria Dyer.
The association owes its formation to the debate among townspeople over where to locate the new town offices, now situated up a steep flight of stairs over the town garage.