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NEWS FROM W'TON: A conversation with Jane Peck; memorable Easter celebrations

May 9, 2011
Hello everybody, here’s a few of the things going on in Wilmington....

When you ask folks around Wilmington, “Who is Jane Peck?” the inevitable answer will be, “She is a wonderful lady who is always doing things for others” or words very close to those.

And that’s the train of thought that was behind Jane being presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Whiteface Visitors Bureau at the annual Newcomers’ Dinner held in March.

Jane, a Wilmington native, is one of the people you turn to when asking for answers to something involved with Wilmington’s history. She and her husband, Dana, also a Wilmington “lifer,” live on the corner of state Route 86 and Hardy Road just outside Wilmington village.

Another reason Jane is so well loved is her devotion and love of those less fortunate than herself. To prove this point, Jane, who loves to knit and crochet, is constantly making some form of warm and comfy covering for someone’s head, hands and even for amputees’ stumps. Her sweaters have found their way around the world through organizations such as “Knit for Kids” which sends these hand made garments to wherever children are cold. This mission is sponsored by World Vision. A distant orphanage in a far away land also receives her goodness and feels her warmth when donning the knit mittens, hats, scarves and hooded scarves that fly off her number 9 needles. Her afghans that she makes for elderly shut-in or nursing home resident can brighten the day for someone who may not be able to get out of the building or even a room or hospital bed that often.

Much of her handiwork stays in this area through the Essex County RSVP program and various missions that her home church, the Wilmington Church of the Nazarene, supports. She considers the work of her hands as a service she can perform.

“Service is the rent we pay for our space on earth.” Jane surely believes, and lives, this motto. A strong influence throughout her life has been a fervent faith in God.

Living a faith-inspired existence “puts life into perspective.” This is not only how she chooses to live her life, but is also one of the principles that she has instilled in her three children. She also feels proud and rewarded that her progeny have decided to pass on this ideology not only to Jane’s six grandchildren, but also to her three great-grandchildren.

Now don’t go getting the idea that Jane constantly knits. She also finds time to volunteer for the Friends of the Library here in Wilmington. If you frequent the E.M. Cooper Memorial Public Library, especially around the Christmastime, there’s Jane helping to fill the Cookies-by-the Pound boxes, and, of course, baking many of the delicious treats for this annual sale.

This quote from Mother Teresa is a source of strength and guidance for Jane, “We can only change our world by one kind deed to one person one at a time. Putting them all together, we can make a difference in our world.” That fits Jane quite well, don’t you agree?


Get your dancing shoes on! No, wait, get your exercise shoes on! How about getting your zumba shoes on? Beginning in June there will be zumba dancing/exercise at the Adirondack Holiday Lodge. You now the one, right here in Wilmington on the corner where Route 86 meets the Whiteface Memorial Highway and Bonnieview Road. Tina Preston was telling me that June 7 will be the first day to get yourself into shape with this fun to do, and fun to watch dance-ercise.

And just wait until you see the brand new floor at the Holiday Lodge in the back room that Chris, Greg and Dean have remodeled. Lucky attendees of Trevor Preston’s 18th birthday party last Sat., April 23, got to see the new space sporting its brand new dance floor.

But even before all of this, is the great news that Mitch and Vi Terry, The Lonesome Travelers, will be performing at the Holiday Lodge starting this May.


It was an “EGG-citing” weekend all around as folks in Wilmington celebrated the 2011 Easter holiday. Eagle-eyed local children were kept very busy at one of two Easter Egg Hunts. The first hunt was on Sat., April 23 at the Wilmington Youth Center. Director Amber Stevens said that over 340 eggs were hidden in the adjoining park and in practically every niche and cranny around the Youth Center building itself. Although some parents helped the younger searchers, they were pretty much just basket bearers for their sharp sighted offspring. But one by one, little hands laid hold of their ovalesque treasurers and brought them into the Youth Center to open them and discover if they had received a jelly bean or some gooey, chicken shaped chocolate.

Thanks go to Stevens along with Colin Loher, Kayla Mullins and Brette Lawrence for helping to hide the tiny treasures. The youngest egg hunter that I saw there was 6 month old Connor Hoover who was there taking it all in with Mom, Kayla, as she pushed him around in his stroller. One year old Jacob Daily, along with older brother, Billy, were there, too. Other younger gatherers included Hannah and Sarah Tremblay and Cecilia Loher..

When leaving, Amber told me to keep my ears open for a later-to-be-announced date when the Center will be undergoing a grand re-opening for the summer. Then add to that all the returning, and new, bike events that will be taking place later on in June, along with riders in the Bike Park up behind The Little Super Market. Hey, Wilmington is going to be the place to be for anyone with two wheels.


Upcoming meetings the first week in May are: on the usual first Wednesday of the month, “Wilmington Wood Products” will be the focus of the Wilmington Historical Society’s open discussion. This part of the night’s meeting begins at 7 p.m. and runs about an hour. But, you can bet that you will be wishing that these segments would keep going for a while longer. Remember to be at the Wilmington Town Hall on Community Circle just off Springfield Road on Wed, May 4 at 7 p.m.

On Tuesday night, May 3, beginning at 7 p.m. all those people interested in the Wilmington Recreation Plan are asked to congregate at the Wilmington Fire Station’s Meeting Room. The Fire Station is located on Haselton Road, just a few doors down from the corner where Haselton Road meets Route 86; just down from the Methodist Church, same side. This meeting will focus on maps describing Wilmington recreation activities including trails for road biking, mountain biking, road walking, hiking, waterways and snowmobile. Also to be discussed will be the best ways to impart this information to those who are looking.


The next Easter Egg Hunt took place Sunday morning at the Whiteface Methodist Church. Bonnie Rine, Tammy Santo and Elena Bushy carefully and cleverly concealed over 150 various sized candy and small goodies-filled eggs. Or at least they thought they did. Sadly, their efforts to squirrel away the stash were no match for the tenacity and single mindedness of the approaching egg hunters. In a very short time, all eggs were discovered and then were carried, in brightly colored baskets, to the Sunday School tables downstairs in the Fellowship Room where their contents spilled out.  No one went away empty handed.

This hunt followed the Ecumenical Easter breakfast held inside the Methodist Church which followed the Ecumenical Easter Sunrise Service that was held at 7 a.m. at the Wilmington Town Beach. Clergy and Lay members who represented some of our area churches were: Pastor Joyce Bryson from the Whiteface Methodist Church, Pastor Marty Bausman and Caitlin Terry from the Wilmington Church of the Nazarene and Pastor Dave Ousley and David Comegys from St. James Episcopal Church in the Forks. Pastor Joyce Bruce who ministers to the Jay Baptist Church and the Clintonville Methodist Church was unable to attend and was greatly missed this year. Dave Comegys performed his usual acoustically superb rendition of old standard hymns that were sang by all who were there.


When you next see my much better half, Gary Bushy, please congratulate him on living with me for 27 years this coming May 5. And, make it a funny one, he needs all the humor he can get having to put up with me all this time. Thanks.


Thank you for reading this column and, as Red Skelton used to say, “May God Bless.”



Article Photos

Jane Peck



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