Most of us who live in Suffield have warm memories of one of our favorite traditions, the annual production of Suffield on the Green. The word “production” is an apt designation. The event consumes innumerable hours, immeasurable energy and a wide range of skills from a large number of volunteers in our community. Not only do residents of Suffield support the effort, but many out-of-towners come as well. The appeal of our scenic Main Street, the display of small-town activity and the draw of a number of vendors – all of these contribute to the success of the day. Last year, of course, the event could not take place, which means this year will see a welcome return to the simple pleasures we have enjoyed since the first Suffield on the Green 50 years ago.
Suffield on the Green was founded, and has been organized and managed, by a group called Friends of Suffield, a group to whom we owe a great debt. However, this will be their last year to run the event, since the group itself is disbanding. Happily, the responsibility is to be assumed by a joint effort of the Knights of Columbus and the Rotary Club. Becky Tobiasz, of the Friends of Suffield, has agreed to take on the leadership duties one last time; she has been deeply involved in the past and certainly knows the ropes. She will be shadowed by Richard Sych and members of the Knights of Columbus, along with Gayle Demko and members of the Suffield Rotary Club. Richard will also be working with his wife Lori. Both Lori and Gayle have also been involved with the event in the past.
The biggest challenge for the organizers is recruiting manpower for the big day, which this year is September 11. Although Suffield is fortunate to have an unusually active and committed volunteer base, many of those volunteers will be spending the day manning the booths of their own specific organizations; extras are always needed. Nonetheless, Richard Sych reports that the Knights of Columbus and the Rotary Club are enthusiastic about their new task and will be focusing on the many details involved as they shadow the current leadership. Because both Lori Sych and Gayle Demko are experienced Suffield on the Green workers, the institutional memory of the event will not be lost. In addition, we are told that the spots for display, demonstration and sales are filling up fast; it looks like a banner year for Suffield!