THE MEN OF MAPLE CORNER
Maple Corner Men Reveal Community Spirit And Much More.
Responding to their community center’s need for money, the Men of Maple Corner, in Calais, VT, dropped everything, or nearly everything - for "The Men of Maple Corner" a calendar for 2002. And the world has taken notice: the calendar has been featured on NBC’s Today Show, CNN, USA Today, the Associated Press and by several foreign news services, as well as in the local press.
Check out “Mr. March” – lifetime resident Stanley Fitch – artfully posed in his sugarhouse. Or perhaps you’d prefer “Mr. April” – fishing guide Don Heise, in his canoe.
The idea for the calendar came about after the Maple Corner Community Center found itself facing high-priced renovations to the 100-plus year old building, and having a diminishing supply of cash.
“We’ve been very energetic about raising money,” said Cornelia Emlen, who spearheaded the calendar project. “We’ve written grants, we’ve held fund-raisers, and we’ve gone to people with our hands out. But we found ourselves thousands of dollars short of our goal.”
The initial goal of raising $28,000 included funding many big-ticket items required by state regulations, including the installation of an accessible bathroom, a fire escape, and a new septic system. In addition, on-going repairs to the historic, white clapboard building were necessary. With 25,000 calendars printed – and nearly all sold - and a third printing in the works, the goal has clearly been met, although the amount of money collected is unclear as costs associated with the project continue to rise. The spending of the additional money will be the subject of community-wide discussion in the near future.
The community center, located in the village of Maple Corner, 10 miles north of Vermont’s capital city, Montpelier, has served as a gathering place for the community since the 1920s. Built as a store in the late 1800s, it was moved (about a mile) to its present site in 1923, and served for many years as the local Grange Hall. In 1949, when the Grange disbanded, the Maple Corner Community Club was formed. Since that time, many events – pot-luck suppers, plays, dances, concerts, poetry readings, and holiday parties - have been held there. It is a non-profit, 501-C3 organization.
The much-publicized success of “The Ladies of Rylstone” calendar – in which members of a British women’s organization disrobed for charity - spurred Emlen and others to take on this project. The calendar was initially called “The Full VerMonty,” after the 1998 British film, “The Full Monty,” which tells the story of a group of out-of-work men who perform a strip-tease to make money. But trademark issues with Twentieth Century Fox have made the use of the name problematic. We regret any confusion that may have resulted from the change in name.
The project has given rise to “great community spirit and a certain number of bad puns,” said Emlen. She said the project organizers were aiming for a calendar that is “tacky, but tasteful.” Professional photographer and Calais resident Craig Line volunteered his services to create the quality black-and-white images. Samples of the calendar photographs can be viewed in the “recent projects” section of Line’s website, at www.craiglinephotos.com.
The calendar, which costs $15 plus $1.oo shipping
each, can be ordered on-line at www.maplecorner.net, a community website
designed and maintained by “Mr. May,” Steve Gallagher. Or calendars can be ordered
by sending a check or money order to: Calendar, Maple Corner Community Center,
PO Box 39, Calais, VT 05648.
The calendars are also on sale in select stores throughout Vermont.
Those who visit the website can listen to “The Men of Maple Corner Theme song” written by local recording artist – and “Mr. January” – Lewis Franco. It contains such memorably lyrics as: “Don’t you skip out/ Don’t you dance off/ You’ll miss the Men of Maple Corner with their pans off.” In addition, “Men of Maple Corner” pins, refrigerator magnets and tree ornaments – carved by “Mr. February,” Chris Miller – are also available.
UNFORTUNATELY, DUE TO THE INCREDIBLE DEMAND, DELIVERY OF CALENDARS ORDERED AT THIS TIME CANNOT BE GUARANTEED BY CHRISTMAS.
Press contacts MarialisaC@aol.com
"MEN OF MAPLE CORNER" CALENDAR & WHY WE CHANGED OUR NAME
The idea for a fund-raiser named “The Full Vermonty” has been percolating since 1998 when the British film, “The Full Monty,” was released. We thought of it first as a play, then as a calendar. The calendar project was well under way when a community member read a news article saying that Ben & Jerry’s Homemade, the ice cream company based in Waterbury, VT, was marketing a flavor of the same name. Wanting to do the right thing, we called Ben & Jerry’s to ask permission to use the name, and learned that the company was licensing the name from Twentieth Century Fox. We subsequently contacted Fox. On Friday, October 26, we received a faxed copy of a licensing agreement that we felt was so restrictive that we could not honor it, and therefore could not sign. We opted instead to change the name of the calendar to “The Men of Maple Corner.” We regret any confusion that the name change may have caused. Same great guys, same good cause.
THE MEN OF MAPLE CORNER, MONTH BY MONTH
January: Lewis F., 39, singer-songwriter and human resources specialist. Posed with his guitar.
February: Chris M., 43, woodcarver (proprietor, Miller Woodcarving, Calais). Posed astride a hand-carved chair.
March: Stanley F., 78, sugarmaker and retired dairy farmer Posed in his sugarhouse, with a sap bucket.
April: Don H., 54, proprietor, Reel Vermont, a boat rental company and fishing guide service on Curtis Pond, Calais. Posed in a canoe, with a mounted fish.
May: Steve G., 43, carpenter and website developer. Posed with his toolbelt, on a ladder, removing storm windows.
June: David H., 54, Geographical Information Service (GIS) specialist. Posed in the woods, with a map.
July: David S., 48, state curator and actor/singer. Posed on stage, wearing the Major General’s hat from the "Pirates of Penzance", covered by a Union Jack and a Jolly Roger flag.
August: Dick J, 74, retired psychologist. Posed with his laptop, in a field.
September: Tim W., 49, semi-conductor engineer and farmer-at-large. Posed with his tractor and toolbox.
October: Alden B., 64, pilot and retired dentist. Posed in his rocker, with his dog and his gun.
November: Matt M., 39, substance abuse prevention educator, and J.C. M., 41, compost-maker. Posed at their wood-pile, with chainsaws.
December: Bob C., 60, proprietor, Maple Corner Store. Posed behind the store counter.