PLYMOUTH, Vt. – An annual holiday tradition in Plymouth is the mid-December lighting of the Plymouth Memory Tree. Since 1991, when the Plymouth Memory Tree Community Fund was established to honor the memory of Eliane Sailer, Plymouth residents, friends, and neighbors of Plymouth have memorialized and honored loved ones by donating to the fund.
This year, the Memory Tree Board decided to forego the usual lighting ceremony, but the tree is now up on the west side of Route 100 between the Town Offices and the Plymouth Community Center. The tree and its lights are in memory of all who have died in the last year and in honor of those who serve their communities.
The Plymouth Memory Tree Community Fund has been a vital lifeline for Plymouth residents in financial need. The fund has been used to help Plymouth residents pay for medical, housing, educational, car repair, and other expenses. In addition, the fund offers college scholarships for Plymouth students graduating from Woodstock High School.
The fund generally receives 5 to 10 requests for assistance each year and makes grants totaling approximately $5,000 annually, with the exception of the 2011 aftermath of tropical storm Irene, when the amount of the grants was substantially more.
Because grant requests were fewer in 2021, and other forms of financial assistance were available, the board elected not to send a fundraising letter this year. They are most grateful to those who have supported the fund in the past and continue to welcome any generous support. As other forms of financial support are phasing out, and some expenses such as heating fuel are rising, the board wants to ensure that the residents of Plymouth will have a resource in times of financial need. Contributions may be sent to the Plymouth Memory Tree Community Fund at P.O. Box 47, Plymouth, VT 05056.
Plymouth residents who require assistance should contact one of the directors of the fund – Anne Brown, email@example.com; Karen Bruyn, firstname.lastname@example.org; Robert Fishman, email@example.com – or submit an application, which may be obtained at the Town Clerk’s office in the Plymouth Municipal Building.