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Peru school observes 75th
The Friends of Peru Elementary School held a celebration Saturday making the old school's 75 years of service to the community. Honored was the memory of longtime Peru Road Commissioner Ellery P. Turner, whose working relationship with Jack Gibson made possible a $10,000 grant to keep the building open. Ellery's widow, Phyliss, was presented with a book from FPES, filled with pictures of Ellery. (Times photo by Bruce Farrin)
At the top, people sign their names to a display marking the Peru school's 75 years of service to the community. At bottom left is Mary Pulsifer with a quilt that the Friends of Peru Elementary School is raffling. At bottom right, people look through scrapbooks that the Peru Historical Society has kept about the old school. (Times photos by Bruce Farrin)
PERU -- With things like historical society exhibits, an indoor yard sale, face painting, pumpkin contest and a meal, the Friends of Peru Elementary School held a celebration Saturday making the old school's 75 years of service to the community.
The four-hour open house was an opportunity for the public to see what changes have been made since FPES took over the building in January. A slideshow, remembering the building's impact on the community for the last 75 years, conjured up conversation. There were also t-shirts for sale to mark the occasion.
Before the meal was served, FPES President Nick Waugh spoke to the crowd from the stage, making tribute to Jack Gibson, who awarded $10,000 to keep the school open in the community. Gibson was not present due to illness.
Also honored was the memory of longtime Peru Road Commissioner Ellery P. Turner, whose working relationship with Gibson made the grant possible. Ellery's widow, Phyliss, was presented with a book from FPES, filled with pictures of Ellery.
The grant to Peru is one of 60 such grants through the Marshall Jack L. & Ruth-Anne Gibson Municipal Charitable Program. The grants are being made to 12 towns a year over five years.
Gibson worked closely many town highway departments in Maine when he owned and operated Commerical Paving & Recycling Group of Scarborough. He wanted to give back to the communities he worked so closely with and help them build positive community-based projects.
The purpose of the Peru grant was for the creation of a recreation center. FPES has used the $10,000 to bring the building up to code, for heat and upkeep, as well as pay the taxes.
The FPES also sold cook books for $10, which member Mary Pulsifer said many were favorite recipes from people who grew up here but no longer live here. There was also a quilt raffle on a long double quilt, made by Pulsifer, Tickets are $1 each or six for $5. The winning ticket will be drawn on Dec. 21. Both the cook books and the raffle tickets are available at the town office.
Following the meal, eight-year-old Travis Ryerson performed the TJ Magic Show on the stage, behind the display of decorated pumpkins that were judged.
Friends of Peru Elementary School can be found on the web at www.friendsofpes,org.