‘Gobble Wobble’ hobbled?

BARRE TOWN — Guess which 5K road race won’t be run on Thanksgiving Day this year?

That’s right. The one you read about here last week, the week before that and quite possibly in Wednesday’s edition of the World.

Seems current events (insert COVID-19 here) have overtaken this year’s “Gobble Wobble Turkey Trot,” and while the race was still on when the world went to press earlier in the week, it isn’t any more.

That’s the word from the folks at Barre Congregational Church, who have been hosting the popular Thanksgiving Day walk/run for 18 years and had been hoping to pull off a safe, socially distant version with staggered start times next week.

Maybe next year, and by “next year” we mean Easter-ish, because that now sounds like Plan B.

That works because the shirts now being shipped from California are yellow and the wheels already are turning with respect to modifying them to acknowledge the seasonal shift in a race they didn’t have time to arrange virtually.

Folks who ordered a shirt when they pre-registered have two choices: They can request a refund or get the commemorative shirt that will feature a masked turkey and hold on to it until spring.

If they do tweak the design (and it sounds like they might) you could always order a second shirt because proceeds of the race help underwrite the church’s charitable endeavors who wouldn’t want two commemorative shirts, including one that may well feature a turkey and a bunny.

You make the call. Literally. If you want the shirt you ordered, or your money back, just call 476-3065 and let them know.

Otherwise, we’ll let you know when there’s a hard date for the race that almost was in a year when that would have been unusual.

Good PIE?

MONTPELIER — With Thanksgiving now just a week away, who isn’t thinking of pie? But, the PIE we’re talking about is the parents group with the sweet-sounding acronym for Partners In Education that does some pretty good things in the Montpelier Roxbury Public School system.

PIE, regular readers may recall, was the group that launched a series of hyper-local, highly portable libraries and acquired and distributed a massive amount of school supplies after after the district’s four schools were shuttered because of COVID-19 earlier this year.

Pitching in is what PIE does, and we’re told they are busy doing it again — raising money to make the holiday season a little bit brighter for families who could use some extra help at a time when more than a few probably can.

Here’s where we — and you — come in. Our job is to let you know that you can contribute to PIE’s “Families In Need Fund” — one that may be more needed than ever this year. The nonprofit charitable organization hopes to raise $6,000 by Dec. 2 will happily put your tax deductible donation to good use.

The group is working with school social workers to direct funds to those most in need and money raised will be used to buy gift cards that will be distributed to families who request help with holiday expenses that are right around the corner.

Did we say Thanksgiving is just a week away?

The good news is that as of Wednesday, PIE was more than halfway to reaching its $6,000 goal and we hadn’t even asked you to give anything yet.

Contributions of all amounts are appreciated and just visit bit.ly/1119FamilySupportFund if you’d like to make one. That link can also be found at https://bit.ly/MRPSPartners along with more information about the annual holiday fundraiser including a confidential form to request a gift card.

Turkey club?

BARRE — We’re not talking about the sandwich, we’re talking about the Kiwanis Club of Barre, which is in the process of distributing 185 turkeys to organizations that put them to good use this time of year.

It’s a tradition that dates back nine years and has routinely involved the purchase of more than 200 turkeys. It would again this year, but for the fact a couple of regular recipients have altered their Thanksgiving plans on account of COVID-19.

Most, like Capstone Community Action, which received 85 turkeys courtesy of the club on Monday, still want them and the remaining 100 will be delivered today to the food shelves at Hedding United Methodist Church, First Presbyterian Church, and St. Monica Catholic Church in Barre, as well as the Twin Valley Senior Center in East Montpelier, the Websterville Food Shelf and the state Department of Children and Family.

Usually the club passes the hat sooner, but this is 2020, and while the request is a little late, donations to cover the cost of the turkeys its members are paying for today would be appreciated.

It’s easy. All you have to do is send a check to Barre Kiwanis, P.O. Box 724, Barre, VT 05641. Don’t forget to note “turkey giveaway” on the memo line because the club regularly donates to a host of other civic projects and organizations and likes to keep things clear from an accounting perspective.

Toast of the town?

MONTPELIER — The folks at Caledonia Spirits are pretty pumped about their performance in a global spirits competition featuring hundreds of entrants from more than 45 countries.

Why? USA Spirits Ratings (that’s the competition) handed the solar-powered distillery in Montpelier “The Distillery of the Year” while handing Caledonia Spirits’ Bar Hill Gin its first ever 100-point score at this year’s event.

We’re told USA Spirits Ratings judged hundreds of different spirits as part of this year’s competition, assigning each one a score based on quality, value and packaging. The judging panel — made up of distributor representatives, bar managers, mixologists, hospitality professionals and other industry experts — first tasted each spirit blind to evaluate its quality. The judges then assessed the price and packaging before determining its overall score.

Barr Hill Gin’s 100-point score was accompanied by a Gold Medal, along with being named “Spirit of the Year,” “Gin of the Year,” “Best in Show by Country” and “Best Spirit of the Year by Quality.”

We don’t know a lot about making gin, but that sure sounds impressive!

Tack on the “Distillery of the Year” honors and the fact that Caledonia Spirits’ two other flagship spirits — Tom Cat Gin and Barr Hill Vodka — also took home major awards and it was a pretty sweet showing for the company that uses raw northern honey in its three super-premium spirits.

Scat chat

BARRE — Some times we’re looped in and such was the case this week when Sue Higby dashed off a quick email to Police Chief Tim Bombardier offering some unusual and unsolicited assistance in the event the City Council on which she once served pressed ahead with plans to crack down on free-roaming felines.

If you read our front-page story, the council appears destined to ditch that idea — in part due to feedback from people like Higby, who didn’t attend the latest public hearing, but did share her skepticism with Mayor Lucas Herring and members of the council.

Higby acknowledged as much in her brief email to Bombardier, which we will publish in its entirety because it is both timely and funny in a check-the-bottom-of-your-shoe kind of way.

Here’s what Higby wrote: “Eureka! This morning as I headed to my car, my eyes settled on a recent deposit of skunk scat. I realized that for many people, it may be difficult to determine if such a deposit was made by a wild animal like a skunk or a small dog or cat.

Although I have certainly communicated my various concerns to the Council about their proposed revisions to the animal ordinance, including that policing wandering cats isn’t good use of your staff time, it occurred to me that it may be challenging for some members of the public and your team to make determinations about scat sources.

I am writing to let you know that if this poorly considered policy moves forward, I will donate my copy of a book on identifying North American animal scat and tracks to your office as a reference tool.”

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