NEW TROY — The second Strawberry Social at the New Troy Community Center centered around the Amish-built gazebo presented to the community last year as a gift from the Boyd family to honor the memory of Allan Boyd (1925-2017).
The initial Strawberry Social (held on July 8, 2018) served as a celebration of Boyd’s many contributions to New Troy, while the July 7, 2019, event marked the beginning of an enduring effort to bring the community together every year.
Brett Boyd (Al Boyd’s son) said the donation of the gazebo and last year’s celebration were focused on “dad’s plans for the community.”
“Now that it’s here, this year it’s about the community. Ongoing that’s what we want it to be.”
Lorraine Hanover noted that “Brett said the family plans to do this every year as a gift to the community.”
Allan Boyd grew up in New Troy and attended New Troy High School, which sat on the site of the current New Troy Township Park. As a young man, he owned a garage in the center of town. Later in life, he became Township Supervisor and remained a prominent figure in local politics for many years. His reminiscences of the town were featured in the local documentary, “New Troy: The Center of the World.”
“One of his wishes was to one day see a Strawberry Social and a gazebo in New Troy, and here it is happening, and it’s because the Boyd family ... Brett, Melissa, Jan ... wanted to see that dream come true,” Terry Hanover, one of the founding members of the Friends of New Troy, said during last year’s social.
Lorraine Hanover said the Gazebo is a fitting tribute to Al Boyd.
“What a way to do it ... to give something that continues to live on every year and gives people a reason to celebrate, what better to be remembered than that?”
For the second straight year live music was provided by the Down by the Dock band from nearby New Carlisle, Ind.
Brett Boyd’ Classic Catering brought all the fixings for strawberry shortcake, root beer floats (along with lemonade and cold water).
“We’re busy, we’ve had a great year and have a great year ahead of us yet,” he noted.
Terry Hanover said the initial event (both years were blessed with a perfect sunny summer weather and large crowds) was modeled on Strawberry Social gatherings once held in the basement of the Congregational Church that stood in the present-day parking lot area at the Community Center.
Among those enjoying the Strawberry Social (and shortcake topped with a generous dollop of whipped cream) was Dean Boyd (Al’s brother).
“This is great, Al would really approve of this,” he said.
Terry Hanover said the recent addition of a door and a ramp/walkway (complete with a flower garden) from the New Troy Community Center’s all-purpose room to the Gazebo area was made possible by donations.
“We had our first wedding a month ago,” he added.
The Gazebo is located between the main Community Center building and nature trails leading to the adjacent Township Park.
For information on having events at the Center (the all-purpose room includes a kitchen) contact Vickie Petroff via friendsofnewtroy.org or by calling (269) 200-7271.
Berrien County residents can recycle and safely dispose of unwanted electronic and scrap tires from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, July 13, at the Weesaw Township Park and New Troy Community Center parking lot, 13372 California Road, New Troy.
Items will only be accepted from Berrien County residents (no businesses). The Friends of New Troy will be partnering with Green Earth Electronics and DeerPath Recyclers to collect the electronic and scrap tire waste.
All consumer electronics (DVD,VCR players,phones, anything with a plug) and batteries will be accepted. There is a fee of $10 per computer monitor and $20 per television, due at the event by cash or check.
The following tires will be accepted: car/small truck tires ($1 each); car/small truck tires on rim ($2 each), semi-truck tires ($5 each), call 773-275-1514 for prices on oversized /tractor tires.
Monies raised at the event will be used to help fund Weesaw Township’s regular recycling program. .
The Community Center is an all-volunteer facility run by the non-profit organization, Friends of New Troy.