Hundreds expected for town hall event

Ramona Town Hall’s East Wing was packed for the town hall meeting last Wednesday evening with the board of trustees and other volunteers involved in the restoration of this historic centerpiece of downtown Ramona reporting on the progress being made, future plans and details of what they call the “Great Event.”

Among the crowd were candidates for The Honorary Mayor Contest, the official fundraiser of the Ramona Town Hall, conceived and sponsored by the Ramona Sentinel in 1984 and revived this year after a several-year lapse. The funds raised from the contest help with ongoing operating expenses such as insurance, water and electricity.  

Honorary mayor candidates “earn” one vote for each dollar they raise for the town hall. Though it is not yet being revealed which candidate has the lead in the “voting,” the treasurer reported that the total raised to date is $5,315.  Ramona citizens are encouraged to vote early and vote often for the candidate of their choice by going to town hall’s Web site, www.ramonatownhall.com.

Town hall trustees are also distributing a poster and flyer that is issuing “An Invitation to the Townspeople of Ramona to Attend the Unveiling of the First Historic Marker Plaque Presented to Our Community from the fraternity known as The Ancient and Honorable Order of E Clampus Vitus, John P. Squibob Chapter No. 1853, San Diego & Imperial Counties, California.” This momentous occasion celebrating the 115th anniversary of Ramona Town Hall, is scheduled for Saturday, April 25, and will commence sharply at 10:58 a.m., according to Paul Katchem, Noble Grand Humbug of the fraternity.  

Also being unveiled on this date is a plaque recognizing the placement of Ramona Town Hall on the National Historic Register in 1994.

Those attending the “Great Event” will enjoy music by the Ramona Town Hall Brass Band led by Kenneth Serfass at 10:30 a.m. The band is making its formal debut at the event and its repertoire will include music especially composed for the event. Among music selections will be the Town Hall Quick Step. There will be tours of the town hall and opportunities to purchase souvenirs, make contributions, meet the candidates for honorary mayor, sample cookies and lemonade, and join in the launch of a new program.  

The new project, The Ramona Town Hall Association, invites all local businesses to participate in a Membership Discount cards program.  Participating businesses will offer discounts or special offers to member cardholders and, says project Chair Don Russell, will receive a handsome placard to display in their storefront. The businesses will be listed on the Ramona Town Hall Membership Discount Guide in print form and on the Web site.

The program will cost Ramona-area business owners nothing, except for the discount or special offer to the cardholder.  Cardholders pay a tax-deductible $25 for their membership cards, the proceeds of which go to the restoration of the Ramona Town Hall.  Russell and the town hall trustees see it as a win-win for everyone.

Through their other efforts, the trustees have raise enough funds to pay taxes and to pay for insurance, water and a security system upgrade.  Over $1,100 was raised just from people in the meeting room last week for the purchase and installation of flooring for the East Wing.  

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