N. Stonington political parties to collaborate on voter participation party-Hewitt Farm fundraiser

N. Stonington political parties to collaborate on voter participation party-Hewitt Farm fundraiser

The Westerly Sun

NORTH STONINGTON — There’s a party in the works in North Stonington.

Planned for June, the townwide get-together came about after the town’s Democratic and Republican town committees were looking for a way to improve voter participation and  also help Hewitt Farm, according to Bill Ricker, a local Democrat.

“What we’d like to do on June 9 is have a party at Hewitt Farm,” Ricker, a former selectman and the chairman of the Conservation Commission, told the Board of Selectmen.

He called it an “old-fashioned party.” June 10 would be the rain date.

The festivities would have three purposes: to increase voter turnout, raise awareness of boards and commissions in the hope of recruiting new volunteers, and to raise funds. 

“Whatever we can collect through donations for a pavilion at Hewitt Farm,” Ricker said. “Our goal is to try to raise $5,000 toward that.”

The party would be free, but organizers are looking for some funds to get things rolling.

A host of activities are planned from noon to 4 p.m. on June 9 at the farm, including a lunch of hot dogs, beans, coleslaw and soda, plus snacks such as potato chips.

“We’re going to have activities for kids, like races, games of chance. We’re planning a silent auction,” Ricker said. “We’re accepting items for donation to the auction. Perhaps some item you got for Christmas that you don’t want to re-gift.”

All profits from the auction would go toward the farm as well. 

In addition, participants will be able to fill out and sign a “pledge card,” Ricker said. Signers would pledge to vote in all town elections and referendums, and to contact five neighbors to encourage them to get out to the polls. 

“What we would do is collect these pledge cards, and when there is an election or town meeting, we’ll see that they are willing to receive a phone call,” Ricker said. “We’ll have a phone tree set up so that we can encourage them to get out the vote.”

A firetruck will be at the party for children to explore, and the town’s resident state trooper also will attend. 

Organizers also plan to have music at the party.

First Selectman Mike Urgo said he’s been approached by residents who said they’d like a town party, but also with a live music act in the evening. 

“There’s a big group of people that would love to see it go into the evening,” he said. 

Ricker also said he’s been asked if there will be beer.

“That’s something we would discuss for the future, but not this year,” he said. 



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