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Record crowds at our Community Forum

On a beautiful autumn Saturday, October 28, Hands Across the Hills held a public Forum to share our Kentucky visitors and their stories with our Western Massachusetts community. We were hoping for an audience of 100, but instead over 200 people streamed into the Leverett Elementary School, until there was standing room only.

Paula Green of Leverett welcomed the crowd. Singer-songwriter Sarah Pirtle and Kentuckian Gwen Johnson sang the song Sarah composed for us, "Hands Across the Hills," and invited the audience to join in. Both the Kentuckians and folks in Leverett made presentations, followed by Leverett Community Chorus led by Anne Louise White. The event was attended by our state senate president Senator Stan Rosenberg of Amherst.

A feast of a potluck lunch followed in the school cafeteria, where the Kentuckians talked at length with folks from our region, who were eager to ask questions and listen. After the lunch and a break the Leverett Bridging group and the Kentuckians assembled again for their second facilitated dialogue. That evening the community joined us all at the Montague Common Hall for a potluck dinner, contra dancing to the music of The Moving Violations and shape-note singing.

Photo by Kip Fonch

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