Jay resident Dorothy White sold $10 tote bags for 10 years to raise money for a town gazebo. The Amish-built gazebo is expected to arrive in August and will be located on town office property at 340 Main Street. Andrea Swiedom/Franklin Journal

JAY — After 10 years of fundraising, Jay resident Dot White’s dream to finance a gazebo for the town is coming to fruition.

“I just always thought they were a friendly structure, a lot of good programs were presented and social activities that were an essence to the town, I thought,” White said while perusing a catalog from Amish Country Gazebos, a Pennsylvania-based company, at the town office on Thursday, April 29.

By selling tote bags with a gazebo printed on the front for $10 each and asking for donations at polling places throughout the years, White raised $6,700.

“She would be there for hours,” Jay’s Finance Director Lisa Bryant said about White’s fundraising efforts during elections.

This dedicated effort reflects her commitment to the town of Jay where she grew up; White even sleeps in the same room where she was born.

While White originally had her sights set on an 18-foot gazebo, she’ll be settling for 12 feet in diameter due to financial reasons. To cover the cost of the Amish-made structure, the town is seeking additional donations for the remaining $250. On behalf of White, the town paid the 50% down payment for the gazebo on April 29, and the remaining balance will be due in August when the structure is expected to arrive.


The gazebo will be located on town office property at 340 Main Street and Town Manager Shiloh Lafreniere said the structure will provide a local gathering spot.

“It’s an aesthetic, a welcoming sign in the community. It is big enough if someone wanted to stop and have their lunch there and wanted to meet somebody there and have a picnic lunch,” Lafreniere said.

The gazebo could also provide a small venue for weddings conducted at the town office, she added.

“It’s going to be very accessible and easy to see,” White said.

To contribute to White’s 10-year fundraising effort, donations can be made at the Jay Town Office either in-person or by calling (207) 897-6785.



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