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HERO to sponsor farmers market booth
Group OKs second plan in three months to boost interest in event
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As the beginning of the season for Hillsboro’s farmers’ market draws closer, members of the Hillsboro Economic Revitalization Organization (HERO) announced May 1 a new plan to encourage participation in the event.

During the group’s monthly meeting at Royal Bank’s Hillsboro branch office, the three members present–President Marti Graham, Secretary Sharon McKelvey and Liz Parish–voted to sponsor a fundraising booth that will be available for free to nonprofit groups.

Groups including Hillsboro’s Cub Scout troop, the Hillsboro Hotshots 4-H, HOPE, and Hillsboro High School clubs can sell food or merchandise in the booth during the farmers’ market, which is held from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturdays from June-October in Royal Bank’s parking lot at the intersection of Water Ave. and  Mill St.

HERO will pay the City Clerk’s office the  $20 seasonal permit fee necessary for the booth.

McKelvey said that one organization cannot rent the booth for the duration of the farmers’ market season; it must be shared among all nonprofits.

This latest plan is HERO’s  second in three months to stimulate interest in the farmers’ market.
Graham, McKelvey and Parish also mentioned the plan, which HERO approved at its March meeting, to pay 50 percent of vendors’ seasonal permit fee.

New or returning vendors wishing to purchase the seasonal permit will pay the City Clerk’s office at City Hall on Prairie Ave. only $10, and the city will bill HERO the remaining $10 of each vendor’s fee.

HERO does not limit the number of licenses it will sponsor, but it will not sponsor permits for individual weekends during the farmers’ market season.

This year’s farmers’ market is set to run from June 1-Oct. 19.

For available dates for the nonprofit fundraiser booth, or for more information about either of HERO’s farmers’ market programs, contact McKelvey at 608-606-3877.

For more information about the farmers’ market itself, call 608-489-2521.

Other business

In other business, Parish said that she is donating artwork from local artist Gertrude “Trudy” Whitinger, who died in February 2009, to HERO for use as a prize in a future fundraiser.

Whitinger–who, at the time of her death lived in Mauston–specialized in farm scenes.

She said the work is a triptych, a painting that is divided into three sections, and therefore a type of polyptych, the term for all multi-panel artworks.

It arose from early Christian art, and was a standard format for altar paintings from the Middle Ages onwards.
Parish also said that she will attend meetings of the  Hillsboro Community Development Authority (HCDA) on HERO’s behalf.

She proposed during HERO’s April meeting that a HERO member attend HCDA meetings, as both groups share a common goal of promoting industry and commerce within the city.  Sherry Jones made the motion to send a HERO member to the meetings.

The HCDA consists of seven commissioners appointed by the mayor.

Parish, who also serves as a member of Hillsboro’s City Council, said she will be able to “wear two hats” during HCDA meetings.

HERO’s next meeting is scheduled for 11 a.m. June 12 at Royal Bank’s Hillsboro branch. The public is invited.