Downtown roast aids Wonderfeet Kids' Museum
By Josh O'Gorman
STAFF WRITER | May 01,2013
Vyto Starinskas / Staff Photo
John Gillette and Sarah Mittlefehldt of the Poultney Bluegrass Society play at the Downtown Rutland Pig Roast on Tuesday night. They are playing at the Wonderfeet Kids' Museum benefit pig roast fundraiser on Wales Street from 4 to 9 p.m. with food and live music for $5. It's sponsored by Root's The Restaurant, Earth Waste & Metal.
Children and adults had a squealing good time Tuesday night during a pig roast to raise money for a children's museum.
For the second year in a row, Roots the Restaurant and Earth Waste & Metal have sponsored the tasty event to benefit a local cause. Last year, the two businesses helped raise money for Restoring Rutland and its efforts to rebuild after Tropical Storm Irene.
This year, they're helping out Wonderfeet Kids' Museum.
“They're new and I heard they needed help,” said Donald Billings, owner of Roots, as he took a brief respite from keeping things running smoothly. “I called in favors from everyone I know. This is fun for us. It's work, but it's fun.”
Roots took on the Herculean task of slow-cooking four whole pigs, yielding roughly 500 pounds of pork.
“We believe in giving back to our customers and our neighbors,” said Patricia Morale, spokeswoman for Earth Waste & Metal. “The Wonderfeet Kids' Museum is a worthy organization, and since it's geared to our community's children, its existence will benefit all of our community and especially our downtown.”
“We would love to see Wonderfeet grow from their humble beginnings and become an established member our downtown community,” said Steve Costello, vice president of Green Mountain Power, which in November awarded Wonderfeet a $20,000 grant for a location feasibility study.
Costello was one of many people — from Green Mountain Power and elsewhere — who volunteered to help out during the event.
That study led to the doors of 17 Center St., which the museum will call its permanent home after its temporary digs during the past two summers drew more than 3,000 visitors.
“Rutland's a little isolated and there aren't a lot of places where families can go,” said Myra Peffer, president of Wonderfeet's Board of Directors. “Children's museums are a benefit to the community.”
The museum will open sometime during the summer or fall, said Peffer, who noted Wonderfeet is looking for an attorney and a certified public accountant for its board of directors.
The pig roast itself was an excellent place for families, with many games and activities for children. The crowd also got moving, thanks to music from members of the Poultney Bluegrass Society, including singer and guitar player John Gillette.
“This museum is an inspiration for kids,” Gillette said as he prepared to take the makeshift stage. “It's great to have something like this that will inspire kids to learn and bring families together.”