With the impact of our recent blizzard still evident, more than 80 neighbors gathered at the Edgemoor Club on January 31for an update about Bethesda Metro Area Village and an afternoon of socializing with friends, old and new. Among the informational updates provided by board members:
- BMAV has obtained its 501(c)(3) tax-exempt non-profit designation from the IRS.
- BMAV has a budget for year one that includes estimated revenues from membership fees and fundraising.
- Two focus groups have been held, and others are planned, to help fine-tune the list of services the village will offer when it opens its doors in the not-too-distant future.
- The Trawick Foundation has made a grant to BMAV of office-space and related equipment and services at its building on Old Georgetown Road.
- The website is live and can be found at: http://bmav.clubexpress.com/
- The February calendar includes plans for social events including our walk on the Capital Crescent Trail on February 8th and an afternoon tea on February 19th.
Building on the work that has been done, attendees also were given an opportunity to indicate how they might like to help with pre-launch activities, how they can volunteer after launch and what topics they’d like to explore with other Village members in “shared interest” groups.
All interested neighbors also are encouraged to provide input by contacting a board member, a committee chair, or by emailing BMAVillage@gmail.com The “help wanted” tab and the “shared interest” group tab on the website provide more ideas about areas to consider. To reach Board members directly call Jeanne Parker (301 652-8757), Marty McGeein (301 907-9495), Gail Shearer (301 654-6137) or Sylvia Winik (301 656-6827).
The recent snowstorm provided a backdrop to a vision of what BMAV can mean for our area. Everyone was encouraged to consider how their lives might be different if our Village exists during the next blizzard. There could be a list of eager young snow-shovelers to help clear steps and walkways. A buddy system could ensure that someone checks on the well-being and warmth of a neighbor. Volunteers could help in picking up a prescription or loaf of bread. The Village could recommend a vetted contractor to fix damage from an ice dam. And there could be a nearby game of bridge or scrabble with new friends by a cozy fire.
That is the BMAV vision.