GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

Lifestyle

February 11, 2009

Magnolia's library tastes benefits of village community living

Some people went to the 14th annual Taste of Magnolia event last Friday evening to spend time with their neighbors.

Some went to support the Magnolia Library Center.

Others went for the food and drinks.

Most people, however, went for all of those reasons combined.

"We're here gabbing, catching up," said Lynn McKenna, who has attended every Taste event at the Magnolia Library Center since she moved to the town in 2001. "It's like the lost art of village community living."

If village community living means gathering many people in a small space, McKenna was right. She was also right, if village community living means pitching in, sharing food, and sipping wine and beer.

Local vendors — including caterers, designers, and craftspeople — contributed goods and services to the raffle and auction, and some 20 restaurants and pubs also served food and drinks.

Though the restaurants were identified by distinct tables and signs, there was plenty of overlap from one table to another. Shannon Mount, for example, was working the Dog Bar table but stepped over to pour wine at the Passports table. Grier Grammas works as a bartender for Lobstaland but he was also pouring wines at the Causeway table.

"I'm here to do whatever needs to be done," Grammas said, summing up the general sentiment of "village community living" that McKenna referred to earlier in the evening.

Proceeds from the event go toward the maintenance and upkeep of the Magnolia Library Center. Last year, the event raised $8,000, according to Michele Brooks, president of the Magnolia Library; this year, organizers were shooting for a goal of $10,000 to $11,000.

The money will pay bills like heat and electricity to keep the Library open year-round, but the more immediate gratification came from the restaurants dishing out new menu items and pouring wines and beers from their lists.

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