Congratulations to the Fairview Community Council, which is celebrating 70 successful years of service to Fairview. It is a unique group, one that was called “the most interesting I have ever run into” by a Pennsylvania Gas Company representative who spoke at one of the meetings.
The organization started because of a need. The Fairview community did not have a doctor. In fact, there had not been a doctor in the area since 1942 and here it was, 1949! Everyone in the area seemed concerned by it; it was the subject under discussion wherever people collected. The minister of the Presbyterian Church at that time, Rev. James F. Blewitt, decided it was time to do something about it and gathered together a small group. They decided they would talk with businessmen and individuals and ask each for a short-term loan of $100, interest free, to encourage a doctor to come to Fairview.
By January 1950 the small group had enlarged to 13 and they had expanded their purpose to work “for the betterment of the community.” With other ideas for things the community needed, they began work on a set of rules. The first was when to hold elections. January seemed like a good time and that same month Reverend Blewitt was elected the first president. Charlotte Weislogel was elected secretary and May Sterrett was elected treasurer. The vice president was added to the slate of officers in 1954. Also set were the dues: $5.00 each. Members were to represent the businesses, churches, schools and organizations. Even interested individuals could join. It would seem that everyone in the township, one way or another, would be represented. They met at lunch time so that any member who worked locally could attend. In those early years they met in a private room at Treasure Island.
It was to be a clearing house for information, and more than that, would “serve a communication need,” said Rose Wilson, president of the group when it celebrated its 25th anniversary and Dr. Keck’s
Over the years the group has been involved in many projects: Christmas lights for the poles along the two main streets; a bulletin board; a blinker light at Route 20 and Maple Avenue; a Fairview branch of the Girard Battles National Bank; the Halloween parade and party for the local children; beautification projects such as planting flowering trees along South Avonia Road; Christmas Charity Baskets; a dentist was encouraged to open an office here; the nudge for community-wide celebrations such as the borough’s Centennial and the nation’s Bicentennial and a reception for Dr. Keck started here.
Currently the Christmas Charity Baskets and an annual scholarship of $500.00 awarded to a college-bound Fairview high school student are still priorities. In 2019 a total of 110 Christmas baskets were distributed. Also, the group sponsors an open-to-the-public Christmas Caroling evening at the gazebo in the center of the village on the second Sunday of December, with hot chocolate and sweets to follow at Attorney Tom Testi’s law office nearby.
The shutdown of gatherings because of the corona-virus made the last meeting for the spring (May) a zoom meeting. Typically, the group with currently about 30 members does not meet from June – August. Meetings are now held at each other’s business or organizational location and the December meeting is held in the seasonally decorated Sturgeon House. Dr. Katie Kutterna of the Progressive Chiropractic Center is the current president and she is waiting and watchful about holding meetings in person, as is all of Erie County and beyond.
Dr. Kutterna stated that new ideas for projects are always welcome. One might be to participate in a Main Street Project. Other projects might include proposals made by the Township Supervisors or the Fairview School Superintendent. Both entities have expressed their possible needs in the past.
Oh, yes. The doctor the group brought to the community was David Keck. He came in October of 1950 and stayed on through his retirement.
Again, congratulations to this very “interesting,” very successful, very special Fairview organization.