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TOWNSEND — Though the calendar year has changed, the hearts and minds of many Townsend citizens aren’t quite ready to leave the bygone year in the past.

And no wonder, seeing how 2007 was Townsend’s 275th anniversary as a town. To mark the year just ended, the Activities Committee is throwing one last celebration of that milestone — the Winter Gala. The event, according to Albert “Tubby” Boucher, promises dinner, dancing and entertainment, a massive “thank you” to all who helped make 2007 such a memorable year for the town.

Boucher, who sits on the Activities Committee, said everything is a “go” for the gala, to be held on Feb. 2 at the Townsend Ridge Country Club.

Cocktail hour begins at 5:30 p.m. followed by dinner — a sit-down, family-style feast with two main courses. Those who attend the event will be treated to dinner of roast beef dinner or teriyaki chicken breast, with three different salads to choose from and a medley of roasted vegetables, dinner rolls and a chef’s choice of potato. For dessert, Italian pastries and mini-cheesecakes will be the order of the day.

Once dinner is over, guests can dance the night away to the musical stylings of Townsend’s own Tim Rollo and possibly some guest performers.

Rollo has been involved with the Activities Committee for four years and is recognized as a versatile musician. Boucher expects that, along with his own music, Rollo will mix-in some contemporary hits, offering “music for all ages.”

There will be a large dance floor, complete with lights, and Boucher believes the gala could run as late as midnight.

“It will be a good time for people,” Boucher added with a smile. “(It’s) something to do for the winter.”

He added that guests are encouraged, though not required, to dress in costume based on the Townsend of old, especially the inaugural year of 1732. The staff at the Townsend Public Library has assembled books on costumes and clothing styles from eras past, for those in need of some ideas.

The night will send the town’s milestone year out with a bang, but will also honor and award a pair of organizations that made 2007 a major year in Townsend’s history.

“We want to recognize Sterilite, for their gift to the town and all the support they’ve given throughout the years, and the Atwood Cuties, for their participation and contribution to the 275th (anniversary),” Boucher explained.

The Humanitarian Award will be given to Sterilite, the first of its kind, for the company’s donation of a new highway garage, senior center and library buildings to the town. Similarly, the Atwood Cuties will be the inaugural recipients of the Citizens Award for their fund-raising efforts for the 275th Anniversary Parade, including their famous calendar.

“They are in our memory forever and in the hearts of the town,” Boucher said.

Tickets to the event are on sale now, but seating is limited; tickets will not be sold at the door. There are approximately 150-200 tickets available and they can be purchased at the Sovereign Bank and McNabb Pharmacy on Main Street as well as the office of the town clerk. There will be a door prize and a raffle, but no prizes have been named yet.

Boucher said he is proud of the citizens of the town and thrilled at the support the Activities Committee, 275th Anniversary Committee, and Parade Committee received in 2007 and previous years. In his mind, he said, there isn’t an award great enough to tell the people of Townsend how thankful the committee members are for all the support.

“Thank you from the heart,” he said.

Tickets to the Winter Gala are $30 per person, with proceeds to benefit the Activities Committee. The snow date is Feb. 9.

For more information, call Boucher at (978) 597-8876, Bob Tumber at (978) 597-8843, or Shirley Kao at (978) 597-6338. For information about costume ideas, contact the Townsend Public Library at (978) 597-1714. For more information about the menu for the night, contact the Townsend Ridge Country Club at (978) 597-8400.

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