Rockville Monuments has donated $1,200 in in-kind services to the Tolland 300th Anniversary Celebration, becoming the latest major donor to help the town mark this important milestone in 2015.
Rockville Monuments is the first “Crandall” level sponsor of the anniversary. Donors are listed on the anniversary web site at tolland300.org.
The monument company at 144 Hartford Turnpike, owned by Florence “Sissy” Bernache, donated a portion of its services during production earlier this year of a memorial bench to honor Janice Pockett. The bench was dedicated on July 26, 2013, the 40th anniversary of the disappearance of seven-year-old Janice. The beautiful bench can be visited at the Cross Farms Recreation Complex on Rhodes Rd. Janice has never been found and the crime has not been solved.
“I felt that my monument should speak out as a voice for Janice Pockett, to continue to keep her legacy alive and to be remembered by those in Tolland County and the surrounding area,” Bernache said.
Rockville Monuments is also donating part of its services for construction of a Founders Monument, which will be dedicated June 13, 2015 at the corner of Dunn Hill and Old Stafford roads. The monument honors the 59 pioneers who, on May 9, 1713, first petitioned the Connecticut Colony to make the Tolland area its own town. The Colony finally granted requests from area residents on May 12, 1715 – the anniversary that will be marked in 2015.
Celeste Senechal, chairwoman of the anniversary committee, thanked Rockville Monuments for its donation. Bernache and her business will be honored by the town council, the anniversary committee, and the Tolland Historical Society on December 10 at 7:30 P.M. at town hall.
“The 300th anniversary committee is grateful to Florence Bernache and Rockville Monuments for donating a portion of their services for the Janice Pockett bench and the Founders Monument,” Senechal said. “These will be highly visible, lasting projects that the public will be able to visit for generations to come.”
The monument company has been in existence for more than 20 years, said Bernache, who described the business’s philosophy.
“It is our intent to assist families in their grief with not only marking a final resting place, but to express in a tangible way the warmth and affection that was felt for all loved ones,” Bernache said. “Our monuments speak the message that there was a life, not a death.”
The anniversary committee and the Historical Society are planning months of events in 2015 so that the milestone will be remembered as an inclusive, townwide celebration.
Events will include a Charter Day celebration on May 12, 2015 and a gala on May 16, 2015. The three Historical Society museums will hold unique exhibits and historical programs that summer, and the anniversary committee will put on a large regional parade and townwide picnic, combined with the Celebrate Tolland festival, on September 19, 2015.
More donations are being sought from businesses and residents who want to be a part of the celebration. Opportunities include being a member of the “Tolland 300 Club” by making a $300 donation.
Checks should be made out to the Town of Tolland, with “300th Anniversary Committee” in the memo line. Donations may be mailed to the Tolland 300th Anniversary Committee, Town Hall, 21 Tolland Green, Tolland, CT 06084.
For more information on the fundraising levels or to arrange a visit from committee volunteers, call Mary-Pat Soucy at 860-875-3794.
For more information on the celebration, visit Tolland300.org, “like” the 300th Anniversary Celebration on Facebook, or follow its blog on Tolland Patch.