Cookies and Gnomes Bring Seasonal Cheer to East Hardwick

by Doug McClure

EAST HARDWICK – In an effort to bring the community together after a challenging year, the East Hardwick Neighborhood Organization (EHNO) set out to bring holiday cheer to village residents with several events.

photo courtesy of EHNO and Michael Ambrosino | On December 19, the East Hardwick Neighborhood Organization put cookies baked by volunteers on every doorstep in the village, with a pick-up option at the First Congregational Church of East Hardwick for those who live outside the village. Santa: Ceilidh Galloway-Kane, Rudolph is Mary Whittaker. From left, back: Kristine Burke, Joyce Mandeville, Rachel Kane

The first event was a “Gnome Hunt.” From December 11 through December 23, a “gnome” and “gnomette” were hidden somewhere on public property around the village every day. To keep the search grid manageable, EHNO set the hunt’s boundaries along School Street to D&L Beverage, Pleasant Street, Hay’s Garage on Cedar Street, around Stevens Lane, and up West Church Street out to the Caledonia Grange. Successful gnome-finders returned the gnomes to a set address in the village where they collected a prize, with the opportunity to get a grand prize on Christmas Eve.

A second event dubbed “the Cookie Cheer Project” was the brainchild of Ceilidh Galloway-Kane and Kristine Burke. The goal was putting fresh-baked cookies on the doorstep of every resident in the Village of East Hardwick. For those residents living outside the village, cookies could be picked up at the First Congregational Church of East Hardwick. That option was also available for people wanting to distribute cookies to different parts of East Hardwick. People responded generously to the idea.

Galloway-Kane reacted to the sheer volume of cookies baked in a community e-mail: “Thank you to all the cookie bakers for your incredible effort baking! It is truly incredible how many cookies we baked. Collectively we baked and prepared 800 cookies and treats?!?”

According to EHNO Chair Cheryl Michaels, on Saturday, December 19, the cookie drop successfully saw bags of cookies arrive on the doorsteps of over forty East Hardwick Village houses, with photographer Michael Ambrosino along to capture the event.