Hilltown Voices: Annual Meltdown raises over $1,300 for school defibrillator


For the Gazette

Published: 04-16-2017 10:32 PM

The 2017 Goshen Meltdown has come to a close raising $1,350 to purchase an automated external defibrillator for the New Hingham Elementary School in Chesterfield.

“I think this is fabulous,” New Hingham School Principal Rosemary Larkin said

“We were absolutely thrilled when Bob Labrie contacted us and offered to have this fundraiser.”

Labrie is the founder of the Meltdown and has been organizing the event for the last 12 years.

Larkin said that the school committee had been discussing the fact that a new AED was needed to meet new requirements that the school has two of the devices, which administer an electric shock to a person in cardiac arrest.

“I don’t know how he found out that we needed the AED; it came as a surprise to us,” Larkin said.

The Meltdown raises funds for a different charity every year by selling $1 tickets, which enable participants to wager a guess at when the meltdown flag, and the 69-pound cement block to which it is affixed, will break through the ice on Hammond Pond in Goshen.

This year ticket sales for the extremely popular spring event reached far beyond the Hilltowns with wagers coming in from people in 10 other countries including Australia, Bolivia, Colombia, Cuba, England, Ireland, New Zealand, Poland, Taiwan.

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According to Labrie, $689 was received in straight donations to the cause, including a large $500 donation from the Thomas Bisbee Memorial Fund.

Bisbee, a Goshen resident passed away last year from sudden cardiac arrest this past September at the age of 17.

In an interesting twist of fate, the winner of this year’s Meltdown winner was Evelyn Culver of Goshen, who is Bisbee’s grandmother. Culver will split the cash raised and receive a $613.45 check for her guess, which came the closest to the time and date the block sank without going over.

Culver’s guess was April 11 at 4:46 p.m. and the block officially sank on that day at 5:07 p.m.

Firefighters Associations in Chesterfield and Goshen have also promised to match the funds raised by the Meltdown, all of which will go towards the purchase of the defibrillator, ensuring that the school bears no cost for the

Labrie expressed his gratitude in a statement released at the close to the event saying “My sincerest thanks to those of you continue to support, encourage and contribute to our annual Hilltown tradition. In the end, your actions contribute towards making a difference in our community.”

Plainfield broadband

Town officials in Plainfield have begun talking with representatives from Westfield Gas & Electric’s Whip City Fiber division about building Plainfield’s own fiber-optics network.

The move comes after Comcast, Charter, and other private companies proposed to provide broadband service in several Hilltowns, though none of those proposals included Plainfield.

To move the project forward, the town’s original broadband committee has been dissolved, and Kimberly Longey has been appointed the manager of Plainfield’s Municipal Light Plant.

Longey will report directly to the Select Board and will be working with several town volunteers, including former broadband committee members, on the day-to-day details of the network design and construction, community outreach, and regional collaboration.

Two information sessions will be offered at town hall on Tuesday, April18 at 7 p.m. and on Saturday, April 22 at 10:30 a.m.

For more information contact: mlpmanager@town.plainfield.ma.us or call 262-9208.

‘Old Country Road’

The Goshen Council on Aging will present “Old Country Road” on Sunday, April 23 at 2 p.m. in the Goshen Town Hall.

“Old Country Road” specializes in “true” or vintage country music featuring songs from the 1950s and 1960s.

The program will include “classic country” songs by Hank Williams, Webb Pierce, Carl Smith and a host of others, with some bluegrass music mixed in.

The concert is free and open to all ages. Refreshments will be provided.

This event is sponsored by the Goshen Council on Aging, the Goshen Cultural Council and the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

Ideas for the column on life in the Hilltowns can be sent to Fran Ryan at fryan.gazette@gmail.com.