Delayed Telescope fete set for Sept. 9-10

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The Granville Community Foundation and Telescope Casual Furniture Inc. will be holding a celebratory weekend of events on Sept. 9 and 10 to commemorate Telescope's 100th anniversary of operation in Granville.

After a year-long postponement, the Granville Community Foundation and Telescope Casual Furniture 100th anniversary in Granville celebration weekend will take place Sept. 9 and 10 at Telescope on Church Street.

Despite the delay, foundation chair and co-founder Michael Freed said he and his wife Paula are anticipating the busy weekend of reconnecting and learning of needs for the area.

“Having the opportunity to get together with friends, both old and new, who share a love of Granville and want to invest in its future, is something that I know we all look forward to. Paula and I are grateful to be a part of it,” Freed said.

Granville Community Foundation co-founders Michael and Paula Freed. Photo courtesy of Michael Freed.

Sept. 9 will be highlighted by a sold-out 1,000-person dinner honoring Telescope’s century-long impact in Granville. The following day will showcase a “family-fun day” picnic and tours of the manufacturing factory.

“It’s important to Telescope to be able to give back to the Granville community, as it’s always been gracious to our business and our family,” said Kait Warren, Telescope’s vice president of marketing.All of Saturday’s family-style carnival attractions will be free of charge to not only our employees but to the entire Granville area community.”

The foundation was established to assist non-profit local organizations with their needs to survive and provide better service and opportunities to the Granville community.

“Our mission is to invest in the future of Granville and we have a vision of raising $5 million by the end of the decade, having raised over $1 million in the first year,” Freed said. “We’ve completed our first round of grant recommendations and the second round has an August 1st filing grant application deadline.

“We’ve not been actively fundraising so far this year but expect to do more of that in the last quarter of the year,” he said. “It’s important to have stories that show to potential donors how their money can make a difference in Granville, which we will have more of as we award more grants and people can see the tangible results.”

Freed touched on the impetus and intent of the dinner as a means to increase awareness of the goal and purpose of the foundation.

“Originally, Kathy Juckett was gracious enough to expand Telescope’s community celebration to include a Friday night dinner, which would ‘introduce’ the Granville Community Foundation to the community in the hopes that it would be a fundraising evening for the foundation. One year later, that introduction has largely occurred, with considerable coverage via a variety of media including NYVTmedia,” Freed said

“This year, the foundation is grateful for the opportunity to show up and celebrate both Telescope and the greater Granville community… and if people happen to want more information about the foundation, or make a donation, we’ll be happy to oblige as well.”

 Warren told NYVTmedia that the idea of inviting the entire Granville community to a picnic stemmed from the “good ol’ days” when Telescope would honor its employees annually.

“The Telescope family is very excited about the 100-year celebration weekend,” Warren said. “When I was a child, we used to have annual picnics for our employees and their families as a ‘thank you’ for their hard work and dedication to our business. I recall the events were extravagant and fun for all ages.

“The nostalgia of these childhood events inspired Telescope in 2017 to resurrect these company-wide events with an annual family style company carnival held in either August or September,” Warren said.

“Given that this year was our 100th year in the Granville community, we felt this year had to be bigger and better than ever before.”

Warren touched on the planning process and frustration of last year’s scheduled events, as well as alterations for this year. A formal itinerary of the weekend’s events will be released in the coming weeks.

“We had planned the 2021 events with a committee of Telescope employees and GCF members. Everyone involved had worked tirelessly to plan out every tiny detail of our two-day event before our eventual decision to postpone. While a part of us felt somewhat disappointed or let down, we all knew it was the right decision to postpone. Now, we are more excited than ever for the kickoff of our 100-year weekend. We have hired an event planner, Keith VanVeghten, who has taken our 2021 plans to the next level for 2022.”

VanVeghten and Freed said the event will follow all federal, state, and local COVID-19 guidelines and will highlight numerous local businesses.

“Given the fact that everyone who wants a vaccine can now get one, we’ve not planned any unique measures to prepare for this celebration,” Freed said. “Of course, each person will have to decide for themselves how comfortable they are with attending, given their own health status and the fact that the coronavirus is not expected to disappear in the foreseeable future.”

“In addition to simplifying, the vendors have been working closely together to create a ‘Taste of Granville’ atmosphere,” VanVeghten said. “You will see many entities working as one to ensure the event has a nice local feel to it.”