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IMPORTANT UPDATE:  On the ballot you received in the mail, GERARDO DAIDONE is listed as one of the candidates.  Last night 9/13, Jerry informed us that he will NOT be running this year.   New ballots will be mailed.  If you have already returned your ballot and you voted for Jerry, please fill out and return the new ballot, with an alternate choice ASAP.  If you have not returned your ballot yet, please discard the original and use the amended ballot instead.  Jerry apologizes for the last minute switch.

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Report to the Community-September, 2023

Board of Directors, Lake in the Clouds

 

Dear LITC Members,

 This month’s Board Meeting was held on September 7th, attended by Charlie Schaffer, Pres., Pat Pancoast, VP, Joan Griffin, Treas. Bill Scott, Carol Shumway. Al Sicignano, and Joyce Torrey, Sec.   

First and most important – Earlier this week you will have received an email from the LITC office explaining a correction to the ballots for the Board elections to be held at the General Meeting on October 7th.   

The mailed ballot stated that you could name the “Secretary of the Board of Directors” as your proxy should you be unable to attend the meeting in person.     However, since I am up for re-election this year I am barred from acting as proxy.   

To remedy this situation, the Board met in a Special Session on September 9th and elected current Board member Carol Shumway as Deputy Secretary, for the sole purpose of qualifying her to act as your Proxy at the meeting.    You will still use the ballot that was mailed to you and no additional action is required on your part; we just wanted to make sure we do everything above board and by the book.

So please fill out and mail your ballots so that they arrive in the office on or prior to October 3rd.  And don’t forget to indicate the number of lots you pay dues on, so that you can be credited with the proper number of votes (two for each separate lot)

On August 12th, 128 people gathered at the picnic grove for our biggest ever Community Picnic.    The weather was great, the grill Chefs cooked up delicious burgers, sausages and hotdogs, and by all accounts everyone had a great time eating, playing games, enjoying the beach and visiting with their neighbors.    We have a great group of volunteers who work this picnic every year, and without them it just wouldn’t happen.   If you were there, you know.   Thanks to all of them.

PennDot and the Entrance Up-Grades-The Saga Continues.   Last month I mentioned in this report that the work had been delayed yet again while we waited for PennDot to complete its review of the last form they sent us to fill out.  So you won’t be surprised to hear that they have now sent us ANOTHER form.  We have 30 days to respond.  Once we mail it back, they give themselves 30 days to review.    This is the third time they’ve done this.   At this rate it seems we may be looking at next spring before work can commence.

Please do your best to come to the General Meeting and Election on October 7th, 1 PM at the pavilion.  There will be an end- of- season bonfire that evening at 6pm.  Bring a chair and a beverage.   I hope to see you there.

Joyce Torrey

Secretary, Board of Directors

 

Report to the Community-July, 2023

Board of Directors, Lake in the Clouds

 

Dear LITC Members,

 

This month’s Board meeting was held on July 6 th attended by Charlie Schaffer, Pres.; Pat Pancoast, VP; Joan Griffin, Treasurer; Joyce Torrey, Sec. Bill Scott, Carol

Shumway, and Al Sicignano.

It’s been a relatively calm month for our community, I only have a few activities to report…. but also some serious things to talk about a little later.

If you’ve had trouble paying your dues because of the glitch with our PayPal button on the website, you’ll be glad to hear that our Treasurer Joan managed to

find a work-around for the problem and you can once again pay your bill that way.

Bill Scott installed new signs at our entrances and recreation facilities prohibiting short-term vacation rentals within our community. And if you hang out at the

beach then you will have noticed that we have a lily pad invasion going on. We are researching the quickest, safest way to take get rid of them.

We have completed and paid for the 2023 Dam inspection and we’re in good shape there. BTW, this annual expense--$1500 a year—is required by the state.

We have to declare our brush pile (located at the West side gravel parking area) CLOSED for 2023. We pay to have the brush pile chipped so that our members

have access to free wood chip mulch, and we have already done that once this year. But now many more branches have been deposited there and we don’t

want to have to pay for it again. Please don’t dump any more branches there this summer.  We’re having a bonfire gathering at the beach at 7PM on July 15 th , bring your own chairs and refreshments. Oh, and the Greenspace Committee has arranged to host a free lecture on the Spotted Lantern Fly invasion on July 22 nd at 10 am at the pavilion. This invasive and destructive pest causes severe damage to trees, vines and crops and needs to be controlled vigorously before it can establish a foothold. And of course, the Community Picnic is August 12 th ---please RSVP to me at litcpicnic@ptd.net, or to Diane in the office.

 

So now a few more serious issues:

Number 1: We need some new people to step up and run for a seat on the Board of Directors. Please don’t say you’re “too busy”. The Board only meets once a

month for 1 ½ to 2 hours. Then, depending on your area of interest or expertise, it’s maybe another 2 or 3 hours during the month. This doesn’t need to be a life-

time commitment…the term only lasts for two years. No-one is punished for missing a few meetings, and we can Zoom you in if you are a snow-bird. If you

have questions or concerns call me. 570-676-9885. August 28 th is the deadline for declaring candidacy.

Number 2: It seems that more and more often these days the Board receives a request from a property owner asking us to grant an exception to the rules and

regulations in our governing documents. These folks all want to do something or build something that LITC rules and regs very clearly disallow. Each of these

petitioners believes that they have valid reasons, and that granting this one request will not have a major negative impact on their neighbors or our community.

But every single exception has a negative impact on our community. Because each one opens the door for another one, and another one. What to the

petitioner seems like a minor and reasonable bend to the rules gives someone else the opportunity to bend them just a little bit more. To protect our

community and our members, the Board absolutely has to draw the line somewhere….and what better place than where our governing documents have

already placed it?

See you at the picnic!

Joyce Torrey, Sec.

Report to the Community-August, 2023 Board of Directors, Lake in the Clouds

Dear LITC Members,

 This month’s Board Meeting was held on August 3rd, attended by Charlie Schaffer, Pres., Bill Scott, Carol Shumway and Joyce Torrey, Sec.   

I want to apologize up front – this will be a shorter report than usual, as I am up to my neck in picnic preparation for this coming Saturday (Aug 12- hope to see you there.)

Panther Trucking has completed the tar and chip on our roads, and re-graded some of the problem areas created by high traffic and inadequate drainage.   Hopefully this will help to minimize the pot holes that seem to plague certain sections every year.  

Our Pickle Ball enthusiasts were happy to have the court repainted last month.  One of these days-- when I have nothing else to do-- I will have to go down there and see what this game is all about.

Quarterly check-ups were done on our dams and all are in good shape.  

Work on the PennDot mandated upgrades to our community entrances is STILL stalled while we wait for the state to complete its part of the process.  Bureaucracy at its finest.

I hate to sound like a broken record, but we have had numerous incidents and complaints about garbage all over the roads from bears and raccoons getting into cans left out overnight.  As we head into the fall and the bears try to fatten themselves up for hibernation this problem will only get worse.   PLEASE don’t put the cans out till the day of pickup.

We have also had a number of complaints speeding cars and trucks on LITC roads.  But without a name and a license number we can’t address the problem directly with the offender.  Remember, we don’t have a security force and I’m guessing you wouldn’t want to pay for one.

Please mark your calendars!  The Fall General Meeting and Election will be held October 7th, 1PM at the pavilion.

Joyce Torrey

Secretary, Board of Directors

Report to the Community-May, 2023

Board of Directors, Lake in the Clouds

 

Dear LITC Members,

  

This month’s Board Meeting was held on May 4th attended by Charlie Schaffer, Pres., Pat Pancoast, VP. Joan Griffin, Treas., Bill Scott, Al Sicignano, Carol Shumway.

Joyce Torrey, Sec. was absent.

 

Since I was unable to attend the Board meeting this month, Joan Griffin was kind enough to take the minutes for us. This Board Report will contain some information from her notes, and some from the May General Meeting.

Joan Griffin, our Treasurer, reported that as of April 30th we had collected about 77% of 2023 budgeted dues.  Our expenditures for snow plowing and cindering our roads in the 1st quarter of 2023 were below budget, and we have earmarked the surplus to help offset costs from the PennDot project.    

Our volunteer work crews have been busy this spring.  Along with filling the worst of the potholes in our roads, they cleaned and repaired the picnic tables, fixed the broken lock on the pavilion door, took down the snow fence and the “Thin Ice” signs, and got the picnic tables out from under the roof and spread around the grove.    Thanks go out again to these guys who save us so much money by donating their own time to get this stuff done.

We also have some very busy beavers in Lake in the Woods, that keep trying to build their own dam in the spillway with sticks.  Ed Kirstein has been clearing them away.

Panther Trucking will begin doing some much needed work on portions of our roads this summer.    Repairs are scheduled for sections of Lakewood Drive, Lake in the Clouds Rd, Maple Syrup Lane, Lookout Point Road, Cherry Point Circle, and Sunfish Court.

Page 2.

 

A few items of importance:

 

-We’ve had several reports of gunshots fired within our community.  The police were called.   Please remember the discharging of firearms is not allowed within our borders.

-In December’s Board Report I mentioned that the Board had received a complaint about a nasty and offensive political sign that one of our neighbors had posted at their home; we were asked if there was anything we could do about it.  

After carefully reviewing our existing Rules and Regulations and consulting with our attorney, it was decided to amend Item 2 of our Rules and Regulations to include the following specific language:

A.        Political flags and/or signs that declare support for a particular named candidate or political party are allowed on LITC member’s lots or buildings prior to a local, state or federal election.  Political signage should be removed within one month after the election

B.        Flags and/or signage that attack, profane, insult or disparage any person or group are prohibited from being displayed on LITC member’s lots or buildings.

 

It’s pretty simple folks.  Like my Grandmother used to say “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all”.    

Picnic is August 12!

 

Respectfully Submitted

Joyce Torrey, Secretary

Report to the Community-June, 2023

Board of Directors, Lake in the Clouds

 

Dear LITC Members,

  

This month’s Board Meeting was held on June 1st, attended by Charlie Schaffer, Pres., Joan Griffin, Treas., Joyce Torrey, Sec., Bill Scott, and Al Sicignano.

Pat Pancoast and Carol Shumway were absent.

 

As our Treasurer, Joan Griffin, mentioned at the May General Meeting, PennDot is now requiring us to obtain a Letter of Credit from our bank to guarantee that we will be able to pay for the repairs that PennDot is requiring us to do on our entrances!     (My first thought?   What colossal NERVE they’ve got!)  As a result, some of our cash has had to be placed in escrow, and will be unavailable to us until the PennDot bills are all paid, several years hence.    Joan assured us we will be fine if everyone pays their dues.

Barring any unforeseen developments, total costs for 2023 will be about $52,500.  This includes all of the engineering and permit costs for all three entrances (some of which has already been paid) as well as the contracted work for the Logger Road entrance which will commence this summer.

Meanwhile you may come across the Panther Trucking men and equipment on your road.  They have started the separate project of fixing some of the real problem areas (flooding, pot holes etc.) within our community.   Please be careful going by them, and have patience; they are doing their best to ensure we can all get in and out at all times, but you might have to wait a few minutes or go a different way.     Repairs are scheduled for sections of Lakewood Drive, Lake in the Clouds Rd, Maple Syrup Lane, Lookout Point Road, Cherry Point Circle, and Sunfish Court.

 

As I write this (June 8th) Charlie Schaffer, Bill Scott, Dave Heitz, Gerry Diadone, Rich Everett and Ed Kidell (our trusty maintenance man) are down at the beach getting the swim float into the water, so thanks go to them.  The lifeguard, Rayvon, starts work in mid-June and we are looking forward to a great summer (when this smoke clears!).   Last year we had a few days of closure due to higher levels of E.coli in the water.  This is partially caused by lack of rain, but also by feces—poop—doodoo- whatever you call it, it contaminates the water.   I have been asked to warn you for the umpteenth time that NO DOGS are allowed on the beach!  We aren’t fining people yet, but will start to if we have to.   Also, if you have waterfront property and your dog relieves itself near the water’s edge please clean it up so it doesn’t wash in.

Good news for the Pickle Ball folks—the court will be freshly painted soon.

So now let’s talk about my favorite subject—the Picnic!

It’s August 12th 12-4pm (Grills will close at 3PM).   It’s free to all Lake in the Clouds owners and their immediate families.  Guests will be $10 this year, due to the rising costs of everything.  Bring some extra cash for the 50-50.

We will be supplying burgers, brats, hot dogs, salads, dessert and all soft beverages.    We have relaxed some of our strict Covid protocol, but we will still ask volunteers to help serve the food, and of course our “Gordon Blew”-trained chefs will be manning the grills.

If you would like to volunteer for an hour that day, I’d sure love to hear from you.  Those of you who volunteered last year will be hearing from me soon!

Meanwhile we will be lighting a Bonfire (bring your own chairs and refreshments) down near the beach on Saturday July 15.   

Enjoy your time in this beautiful place we call home.

 

Respectfully Submitted

Joyce Torrey, Secretary

Report to the Community-March, 2023

Board of Directors, Lake in the Clouds

 

Dear LITC Members,

  

This month’s Board Meeting was held on March 9th, attended by Charlie Schaffer, Pres., Pat Pancoast, VP. Joan Griffin, Treas., Bill Scott, Al Sicignano, Carol Shumway and Joyce Torrey, Sec.   

 

BOY, do I have a fish story to tell you!  But first we’ll take care of business.    It occurred to me that some of you (ok, maybe one or two of you?) might wonder how these meetings go.  Here’s a quick summary:

Once Charlie calls the meeting to order and we recite the Pledge of Allegiance, our Board meetings follow a fairly standard format.  If a community member has attended, we invite them to tell us what’s on their minds; if no member of the community comes, we move right to Committee Reports. 

Each Board member has one or two committee assignments, those committees being:  Finance and Budget, Buildings and Grounds, Construction, Dams, Lake Ecology, Roads, Insurance, and finally Social which includes Green Space, Picnic, Beach etc.  Often times, especially in winter, many of the committees have nothing to report.

This month was no exception.   No report for Building and Grounds, Dams, Construction, Insurance, and Social/Greenspace.   Joan updated us on Finance and Budget with status reports on her past due collections progress.  And for the Roads committee Charlie reported that several large trees came down in that last wind storm we had and totally or partially blocked Cherry Point Circle, Skyline Drive, and Lookout Point Road.   Charlie, Al, Bill, Byron Majors, Rich Everett and Dave Heitz all helped to get the trees cut up and moved off to the side, so thanks go out to them.

The final draft of the new Schedule B document was presented to us, and approved by the Board.   This document is a critical one for you to read if you are thinking about building a new home here, or making significant changes or additions to an existing one.    In one, well- ordered 4-page unit it lists all of the regulations and restrictions that apply to any and all LITC property improvements, and alerts you to the documents and permissions you must secure before ANY work is done.

 

The new Schedule B will be up on our website, and copies will be distributed at the May General Meeting, Saturday, May 6, 1PM in the Pavilion.  

So now for the FISH STORY! – As many of you know, we do our best to keep our lakes healthy and well-stocked with fish, and that includes bringing in Shiners—small fish that serve to keep the larger fish fat and happy.   A week or so ago Charlie was alerted that the Aquatic Environmental truck with our spring crop of Shiners, would arrive that day, early afternoon.

Then disaster struck!   The truck bringing the Shiners from Arkansas broke down in Maryland just over the border from Virginia.  A young man from Aquatic Environmental—which is located in Chambersburg, PA about a 3-hour drive southwest of us—climbed into one of their trucks and drove down to meet the disabled truck; he rescued our fish and then drove all the way back up to Lake in the Clouds arriving at about 10:30 that night.   Knowing our fish would not survive the night in the truck, Charlie, Bill Scott and Byron Majors---in the pitch dark, icy wind and freezing cold—formed a bucket brigade!  The young man from AE scooped the fish out of his tank with buckets and passed them to our guys who tossed them into the lake---at all THREE lakes.

Did I mention it was windy?  30 MPH windy, with gusts up to 50 MPH.  At one point Charlie tossed a bucket of fish towards the water but they all blew back up in his face and on to the bank.  The guys ran around like the Keystone Cops picking them up off the ground and tossing them into the water.   I don’t know about you, but I would give a great deal to have a video of that!

Anyway, they finished up at about midnight---and then the poor guy from AE had to drive all the way back to Chambersburg.   Talk about dedication to a job…AND to our community!   

 

One last thing:   Last month I told you the Board meetings had been moved to the 2nd Thursday of the month, but it turns out that doesn’t work for all of us either.  So now the Board meetings will be held the 1st Thursday of every month at 6 PM.

All together now: “No More Snow! No More Snow!”

Joyce Torrey

Secretary, Board of Directors

Report to the Community-April, 2023

Board of Directors, Lake in the Clouds

 

Dear LITC Members,

  This month’s Board Meeting was held on April 6th, attended by Charlie Schaffer, Pres., Pat Pancoast, VP. Joan Griffin, Treas., Bill Scott, Carol Shumway and Joyce Torrey, Sec.   

Except for the SNOW, March was a pretty quiet month here at LITC…but I do have a couple of things to tell you about.   

On March 30th, Charlie and Joan went to the Pike County Magistrates Court up in Hawley and successfully petitioned for a judgement against one of our members who—despite numerous warnings—continued to rent the property for weekends and short stays.   As is clearly stated in our Rules and Regulations, our MINIMUM rental period is 3 months and anyone who purchases a home here is asked to sign a document acknowledging that they have read and understood the rules. 

OH, and Joan asked me to mention that this summer she will again be  taking those who haven’t paid their dues to court.

The Board has adopted the Request for Information form required by the new Title 68, PA Planned Community Act.   This document formalizes the process for members who wish to see certain of our “business”-related documents such as audit reports or insurance policies.   The Request for Information form is available from Diane during regular office hours, which are Mondays 9AM to 1PM, and Thursdays 1PM to 5PM.

Work on the PennDot mandated upgrades to our community entrances has begun.    On March 24th, Campbell’s Tree Service took down a series of large trees at the edges of RT 447 on either side of the Logger Road entrance, which is currently closed off.   This will improve the line-of-sight distances on either side, which should make it safer for community members to pull out onto 447.     And now we wait for the forms and permits from the state.  When those arrive, Panther can begin the surface work.

At the Board meeting Carol Shumway made a great suggestion which we all approved:   the Board Report should include an update on the progress-- and costs-- of this project as we try to complete it without having to impose a special assessment on community members.  

Entrance Upgrade Project – Activity and Costs

                                Engineering-      $ 7,820 

                                Tree Removal        4,500 
               Total Paid to Date                 $12,320

 

I’d also like to note that despite the snow in March, our YTD plowing bill is quite a bit below budget, and that excess will be moved into the budget for the PennDot project.

Please mark your calendars!  The Spring General Meeting will be held May 6, 1PM at the pavilion. (weather permitting) and we will have a Bonfire that evening at the beach, 6PM bring your lawn chairs and refreshments. 

Hope to see you there.

Joyce Torrey

Secretary, Board of Directors

Report to the Community-January, 2023

Board of Directors, Lake in the Clouds

 

Dear LITC Members,

  

This month’s Board Meeting was held on January 13th, attended by Charlie Schaffer, Pres., Pat Pancoast, VP. Bill Scott, Buildings and Grounds and Joyce Torrey,  Secretary.   

Guest:  Melanie Stracko, G27

 

We are starting off the new year with some fairly good news to report, but first a quick rundown on our activity.  

Our Office Administrator Diane Schaffer successfully survived the audit done by Owens, CPA that has been completed. Nothing was amiss, and the auditors had a few procedural suggestions that the Board is reviewing.   The information required by our insurance company for an annual audit was submitted and is being reviewed.

The boiler in the club house developed a leak, and Bill Scott, our Buildings and Grounds Board member, was able to figure out what was wrong and fix it.  And when a tree blew down across Lookout Point Road, Charlie Schaffer, Byron Majors, and Jamie Brush fired up their chain saws and cleared it out quickly.   These are just two examples of how our volunteers show up and pitch in to save this community’s dollars.    

 We got a very nice letter from the Greene-Dreher Fire Company thanking us for our donation in December.    The Board feels very strongly that it is important for us to support the volunteer organizations that will come to our aid in times of emergency.

The committee that is reviewing and updating our Schedule A and B building requirements met for the first time in early January.     Carol Shumway, Chair of the committee, informed us that both of the towns that Lake in the Clouds is part of --Greene Twp. in Pike County, and Barrett Twp. in Monroe---have adopted the new PA Title 68 codes, and we will update our own documents to reflect those regulations.   The committees’ goal is to have the new documents ready for the Board to review in February.  

We were pleased to have a guest, Melanie Stracko attend the meeting.  Melanie said she was there to observe, to see how we work and what we do.    Honestly, we wish more LITC residents would show an interest in what the Board does, and what is actually involved with being a Board Member.    Maybe we could entice more of you to run for seats!  The Board meets in the Club house on the 2nd Friday of the month at 6PM.  All are welcome to attend, with the understanding that when we go into Executive Session you will be asked to leave, as that is when we discuss member complaints and/or disputes.    

Now concerning PennDot and our entrance roads:  Mr. Hudak our engineer from Kiley Associates, returned to meet with a special session of the Board on January 10th.     He brought the revised plans, and the excellent news that he was able to negotiate some changes to the way out roads were classified. 

I mentioned last month that PennDot had classified our Lake in the Clouds Rd entrance as “Medium Traffic” meaning it would carry up to 1500 cars a day!    This was based on the number of lots in our community, including all of those which have never been developed.   Under that classification we would have been required (among other things) to install a raised concrete divider down the center of Lake in the Clouds road at our entrance, at considerable expense to us.    

Mr. Hudak was able to negotiate with PennDot with the result that the agency has re- classified LITC Road as “Low Traffic”, saving us a significant amount of money and some very unnecessary headaches.    We are also happy to report that we can divide the work over a span of 3 years to spread out the impact on our budget.    With that news the Board went ahead and approved the project, which will likely begin in the spring.

Joan Griffin our Treasurer told us that barring any major unforeseen expenditure we may be able to absorb the cost for Phase One (Logger Road) into our existing budget, without the need to impose a special assessment on our Members!  

And I think that is very good news to start the year with!

Stay Warm

 

Joyce Torrey

Secretary,  Board of Directors

Report to the Community-February, 2023

Board of Directors, Lake in the Clouds

 

Dear LITC Members, 

   

This month’s Board Meeting was held on February 10th, attended by Charlie Schaffer, Pres., Joan Griffin, Treasurer, Bill Scott, Al Sicignano, Carol Shumway and Joyce Torrey, Secretary.

   

February started with a bang, almost literally, as someone crashed their car through the barrier gate at the Logger Road entrance in the middle of the afternoon.  Fortunately, Bill Scott was able to repair it so that there were no further costs to our residents.    We understand how frustrating this whole thing is for everyone, but really--- SOMEONE needs to go back to kindergarten and learn how to use their words!

A confluence of fortunate circumstances resulted in our checking account enjoying a nice surplus at the end of 2022.   Mild weather kept our road expenses down, and our revenue collections were sufficient to give us about $20,000 to add to our road budget for 2023.  Given the extraordinary road expenditures we are facing this year for the first of the three entrance upgrades PennDot has required, this is great news. 

Several new owners in our community are in various stages of planning their new homes this winter, and so this is a good time for a reminder:   NO construction or improvements—including the cutting down of trees, or the digging of wells-- can be done to any lots without prior approval of the building plans by the Board of Directors; and permits must be obtained from the appropriate county.   Please read the LITC governing documents—ALL of them.    They are on the website.   They may not be very exciting, but reading them could save you a lot of drama (and money) in the future.

 

Speaking of the Documents, despite the loss of Carol Shumway from the committee (family obligations) work is continuing on a compilation of all building requirements into a single, comprehensive Schedule B that will make understanding and following our regulations easier.  Hopefully that will be done.

 

Several of our Board members were having trouble attending the meetings on Friday nights, so we have now moved them to Thursdays. So please note our next Board Meeting will be Thursday, March 9th at 6PM.

Finally, it seems we once again need to remind folks that the speed limit on our roads is 20 mph.     We are receiving complaints of speeders coming over hills and around curves and narrowly missing folks out for a walk with their dogs.  

20 MPH seems excruciatingly slow to me, so in the interest of scientific discovery I did an experiment the other morning at 6 AM.  I started at one end of Lookout Point Road, up by Skyline Drive and ended about where Raspberry Lane comes in.      I had a stop watch, and I drove at just about 20MPH.  It took me 125 seconds. 

Then I did it again at 30 mph.   That time it took only 85 seconds!     So I saved 40 seconds.   

40 seconds.  

 

Worth a life?   We don’t have a police force here, nor do we want one.  PLEASE obey the speed limit and remind family, friends and contractors too.

Think “Early Spring”.

 

Joyce Torrey

Secretary, Board of Directors

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