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Eastonite of the Week: Allison Taylor

Patch talks with a mom, business owner and ECC volunteer.

Name: Allison Taylor

Occupation: Board member/fundraising chair ECC, mom and business owner of Jack Webster.

Family: Husband Gordon and two children (20 months and three-years-old)

How long have you lived in easton?

We've been in Easton for three years now after living in NYC for over 15 years and have never looked back! We love it here.

Why did you get involved with the ECC?

Through my daughter's involvement with Playtots we 'discovered' the ECC and all its offerings. Since then we've come to use the facilities for so much more. When a space on the board opened up I wanted to be a part of helping to make the ECC the place all families and residents in the area consider their 'second home.'

What does a fundraising chair do?

I am currently working on organizing Pub Night on Nov. 5 to help raise money for upgrades for the ECC and the popular programs like Playtots Preschool and the teen center. We will soon be getting out our our annual appeal letter that will be filled with great news about what the ECC has accomplished with the help of everyone's donations from this past year. I'm very excited to let people in on a lot of hard work that has been going on in the past 10 months! Longer term we will be working on simplifying the donation process so people can give to the ECC in new ways, looking towards grants to fund programs for both the ECC and ECC Playtots Preschool program, increasing our list of new donors and reaching out to our list of current donors to let them know how appreciated their role is in helping the ECC to improve on itself year after year.

What events are you planning for the near future and next year?

There's Pub Night at the ECC on Nov. 5. I have been working with and Cyndi Blum at the ECC to come up with a great idea for a family friendly event in the late winter/early spring. We don't want to give too much away yet but I promise it to be new and fresh and fun! As always we are working on pulling together the best golf outing yet this summer! We will also be looking at new avenues for events that haven't been tried before but that development is still top secret.

What is the most challenging thing about being fundraising chair?

That's an easy one...the current economic climate is the most difficult thing. It is my job to convince people that non-profit places like the Easton Community Center are a vital aspect of a community, especially here in Easton. The ECC does not receive a single penny of taxpayer money and it was founded with the strong belief that we wouldn't. This makes us so much more dependent on the goodwill of our community. I want to turn my challenge with this into a challenge to the community to step up and give, no matter the dollar amount, so we can show a community pulling together around the center this year!

What do you enjoy most about your work?

Making money. That's a joke, I actually have really come to enjoy all of the people I've met this year while working on the board. Both fellow board members and business owners I've hounded in Easton and the surrounding communities for donations and sponsorships. I've only been in Easton three years but feel that without the work I am doing for the ECC, it would have taken me 10 years to be exposed to the number of great people I've already met that are truly inspiring in their commitment to help.

What skills are needed to become a fundraiser?

I don't know if I can answer that because if you asked me to fundraise a year ago I would have flat out refused. I hated the idea of asking people for things, especially for their money! Then I saw that a place I loved needed someone to do that and -poof- I became a fundraiser! So, what skills are needed? I guess, above all, it just takes a passion about the place you are raising funds for and the rest just falls into place. That said, I want everyone to know that there are spaces on the fundraising committee for anyone who is interested in helping us! They can get in touch with me through the ECC offices at 203 459-9700. There are dozens of tasks for those who don't want to ask for donations — we've got research needs, writing needs, organizational needs — the ways volunteers can help runs the gamut.

What other organizations are you involved with?

While in NYC I was a volunteer for 6 years for the Ronald McDonald House. Since moving here, it's been a bit hectic with two toddlers, my start-up business, and my work with the ECC. That said, I have found time to be on event committees for The Weir Farm Arts Center (Ridgefield Roadshow 2009), ELF Trivia Bee (2010 & 2011) & Beardsley Zoo (Wild Wine Safari 2010).

What is your favorite thing about Easton?

The people, hands down. My husband and I looked at many of the surrounding towns but when I walked into the Easton Village Store for a coffee with our realtor, I knew this was where we belonged. The gorgeous backdrop of so many working farms is a very close second!

What is your favorite spot in Easton?

The view from 136 overlooking the Hemlock Reservoir. I put the challenge out to my husband 3 years ago to get me permission for a kayak trip at the reservoir on my 40th birthday. He's only got months left to make good on that!

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