How can Mount Jewett residents improve their community?

Organizers of a new community coalition hope to get some answers to that question when they meet with community members to brainstorm goals for the group.

The revitalization group is currently calling itself the Mount Jewett Hilltop Heritage Coalition, but even that is not finalized.

Mount Jewett residents will have several opportunities to provide input for the new group, both in person and over Zoom, as several collaboration gatherings are planned over the next several days.

In-person events are scheduled for 7 to 11 a.m. Sept. 5 and 12 at Jewett’s Kaffe Sol. Virtual events will be held starting at 7 to 9 p.m. Sept. 7, 9 and 10.

Links to the Zoom gatherings are posted to the events pages on the coalition’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/mjhhc

One founding member, Kelly Barr Hughes, talked to The Era about the group’s beginnings and goals.

She and her husband recently moved to Mount Jewett from St. Louis, Mo., where the couple was active in revitalizing the historic Main Street.

Making a new home in Mount Jewett involved joining the Rotary Club and watching borough residents work on activities such as Rotary projects and the Swedish Festival. They saw “a lot of great things,” but saw people getting frustrated at times, too.

In talking with Mount Jewett Mayor Annie Wolfe, they realized they had a mutual interest in joining forces with residents to brighten the town.

Of the upcoming gatherings, Hughes said, “We’ll take anybody who has an opinion and has a need.”

She noted that she is interested to hear more about how things work in Mount Jewett, as well as anything residents miss that used to be part of Mount Jewett. Attendees can be representatives of an organization or individual volunteers.

Over these discussions, the hope is to talk to fellow citizens about their hometown, as well as get the younger generation interested in volunteering in the community. People of all ages are invited.

As Wolfe explained to The Era, “Our purpose is to start the process of sustaining and building upon the good things we have going for our community.”

While much of the coalition’s goals are still up in the air, there are a couple of projects in the works.

First is a Borough Wide Fall Haul & Food Truck Day to be held Sept. 26.

Hughes said that yard sales have remained a popular activity even in the pandemic, and organizers are working on having a variety of food options available, too.

Each yard sale will be marked with balloons. Also, the coalition will put together a Google map of the sales, which shoppers will be able to view both digitally or on paper. They will have some maps printed out.

To sign up a yard sale, people can fill out the form on the coalition’s Facebook page or email mjhilltopheritage@gmail.com

She hopes to make the yard sales a biannual event, with a “fall haul” and a “spring clean out” happening each year.

One other activity the coalition is planning to take on is Wreaths Across America, which is a national initiative to coordinate wreath-laying ceremonies at veterans’ gravesites across the country. National Wreaths Across America Day is set for Dec. 19 this year.

This is an initiative that a different group of Hughes’s — Decade Dames — has been involved in before she moved to Mount Jewett.

The coalition plans to begin reaching out to local organizations next week to talk about selling wreaths for National Wreaths Across America Day.

Hughes is excited to see residents work together on revitalization efforts. She talked about the “great pictures from the past” that she has seen of Mount Jewett.

“We’re excited to make Mount Jewett shine again,” she said.

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