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Venture Group advances plans for taking over 'The Gathering' in Slatington

Published March 04. 2014 05:00PM

Further plans for taking over future responsibility of "The Gathering" was the primary topic discussed at last Wednesday's Venture Group meeting at Slatington borough hall.

In January, newly selected Chairwoman Nancy Treskot had announced that, after having been approached by the Northern Lehigh Historical Society, the group had chosen to begin handling the annual one-day fundraiser, held each October.

At Wednesday's meeting, Treskot made every attempt to nail down more specifics regarding which area volunteer organizations would manage which portions of the event, noting that so far the Greater Northern Lehigh Chamber of Commerce, of which she is first vice president, has committed to handle its marketing.

The Slatington Lions Club said it will handle the fireworks and the beer garden; the Northern Lehigh Historical Society will handle event setup; and the Walnutport Playground Association will handle bingo.

However, both she and former event leader and Lions Club representative, Pete Papay, noted that no organization has yet committed to running The Gathering's Chinese Auction.

"It's a shame because this is a good program," said Ted Kistler, of the Lions Club. "It's a heck of a money raiser. Next to the beer garden, it's the best."

Treskot later announced that the buildings located at Slatington's downtown Trailhead, whose construction was spearheaded by the Venture Group and whose ownership was recently handed over to the borough, are now open for rental.

"(The borough has) the rental agreements, and they have the pricing of how much it would be to rent the trailhead and kitchen facilities," she added after the meeting.

Treskot noted that the small pavilion, which was designed to invoke memories of the Slatington train station and sets on its original site, can hold approximately 50 guests. She added that the facilities include electricity, running water, heated bathrooms and 24/7 Wi-Fi from PenTeleData.

"Funding for the construction of the buildings was obtained from donations, local fundraisers and hundreds of volunteer labor hours," said former Chairman Jason Breidinger earlier, "and the sum total of these in-kind services and donations have saved our communities hundreds of thousands of dollars."

The Venture Group continues to fund the maintenance, repair and electrical costs associated with keeping the bathrooms and the pavilion open year round, which is one reason it will take over running The Gathering, an event in which all proceeds benefit the community.

The group meets the last Wednesday of each month at 7 p.m. in the Slatington Borough Hall, and all meetings are open to the public.

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