From The Ellsworth American, Sec. I, Page 5

SURRY — Coffee, tea, baked goods, Wi-Fi, conversation and board games are now available by donation at a café at The Gatherings community center across from the post office.

Volunteers staff the informal café Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings from 8:30 to 11. Hours may expand or shift depending on volunteer availability and public interest.

The McGraw family has lived in Surry for generations, and several members are finding ways to give back to their community through The Gatherings. Sharon, and her husband, Tom Minogue, lead the Spanish conversation session on Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. They share the Spanish they learned living in Panama. Two native speakers also attend and share tips.

Another family member, Marge Longwood, chairs the café committee, book nook committee and readers group.

“I support The Gatherings with my time and money,” Longwood said, “because I know how important socialization is to folks who live alone and are aging. I also like the opportunity for people of all ages to enjoy things together: books to read, board games to play, refreshments to share, youth activities to help with, spirituality to explore. It is good for us to see young people doing craft s and playing checkers with their friends and their elders. And it is a good place for year-round residents to interact with the summer folks.”

Thanks to support from KJ Dugas and Lane Construction, The Gatherings has an expanded paved parking area to accommodate more guests.

Selectman Bill Matlock and local builder Todd Bewig will install the final piece of a wheelchair ramp, which will make the building accessible to those
with limited mobility.

Funds are being sought to renovate the building’s second floor to accommodate a game-and-craft room where children can have fun while their parents are downstairs.

“The cafe is a bright space for friends to enjoy a cup of coffee or tea, check email or browse the lending library,” said volunteer Pat Saunders. “I love that it’s donation-based, so
everyone pays what they can. I think it’s going to be really bustling over the winter months.”

The Gatherings’ mission is to foster community through sharing, cooperation, learning and the arts. More information about The Gatherings is available at or by calling 266-6864.