ROCKINGHAM — The Rockingham Meeting House Association has issued a challenge to area residents: Donate to the town's Meeting House Capital Reserve Fund in the coming months and the organization will match every dollar, up to $7,500.
The association's board of directors voted to donate $7,500 from past fundraising efforts to help the town continue to preserve and restore the Rockingham Meeting House, a National Historic Landmark built between 1787 and 1801.
However, the board would like to double the impact of its donation by offering to match all gifts made to the fund through June 30, the end of the town's fiscal year, to bring the total amount to $15,000.
During 2020, the town will begin to address the meeting house's most pressing need, restoration of the plaster, nearly all of which is original. After more than 230 years, the plaster is showing signs of deterioration, evidenced by large cracks and missing chunks on the ceiling and walls.
The Rockingham Historic Preservation Commission succeeded in winning $21,000 in grant funds to help tackle this ambitious project. However, the grant will finance only a portion of the costs.
Tax-deductible donations should be made to the Rockingham Meeting House Capital Reserve Fund. Supporters of the meeting house can drop off their donations in person at town hall in Bellows Falls or by mailing gifts to the Town of Rockingham, P.O. Box 370, Bellows Falls, Vermont, 05101.
The capital reserve fund is a restricted account that can be used only for the meeting house and isn't part of the town's general fund.