What role does the Lemont Village Association play in building community?

The Lemont Village Association is a member of the Centre County Council for Human Services.
The Lemont Village Association is a member of the Centre County Council for Human Services. Photo provided

The Lemont Village Association is a member of the Centre County Council for Human Services. You may find that unusual since the LVA is not a “human services” agency by exact definition, but the LVA is dedicated to helping create a “community” in Lemont, so the organization feels like a human service. In these times of isolation from our neighbors, distrust of other people, and people being afraid to make connections, the LVA has a role to play in bringing people together and feeling safe in their neighborhoods. We can look out for each other.

Our community is small and homes are close together, so we really can take care of each other. We notice if papers collect on a porch or notice if children are home alone after school, and we can do something to check on what’s happening. Not being “nosey,” but caring about others is important.

The role of the Lemont Village Association in this community building is often achieved in our events. Our plant sale in early May brought neighbors and friends together to find Mothers’ Day gifts, and people had a chance to see our new band pavilion. Funds raised by the sale will help pay for the lighting system.

Our free Friday Concerts bring people together on the Village Green from June 7 to Aug. 30, from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Fridays, with live bands and a food truck. This year the concerts will be held in the brand new band pavilion, built with contributions by many people and businesses.

Our most famous event, the 38th Annual Strawberry Festival, really brings people together, and will be Saturday, June 8, from 3-7 p.m. on the Village Green, located in the center of Lemont, between Dale Street and Mount Nittany Road off Pike Street. There is no rain date, as we have tents. There will be live music all afternoon, and pony rides from 5-6 p.m. We also will have “speeder” rides provided by the Bellefonte Historical Railroad Society.

To round out our year we have a Gourmet Granary Dinner on Sept. 14th, catered by EcoVents, and a Christmas Market, Dec. 6-7, that is a lively weekend in winter. All of our events provide opportunities to volunteer and for neighbors to meet their neighbors. Friends can also learn about the history of our friendly community, and support the efforts of the LVA to preserve our historic buildings and maintain the Village Green. All of these activities give those living in Lemont — and throughout the county — a real feeling of belonging to our neighborhoods and our community. All Centre County residents are welcome!

Susan Smith is the board chair of the Lemont Village Association.