Celebration of Georgette Thomas’ life on Saturday


Georgette Thomas, the late owner of the Hugging Bear Inn and Shoppe

A memorial celebration for Georgette Thomas, better known to her friends as “Georgie,” will be held on Saturday, May 17 on the 2nd floor of the Chester Town Hall, 556 Elm St., Chester. Georgette Thomas was 83 when she died on Feb. 13 after a battle with pancreatic cancer. She was best known as the innkeeper of the Hugging Bear Inn and Shoppe in Chester.

There will be a full day of celebration beginning at 11 a.m. with a celebration service. At 12:30 p.m., a potluck luncheon will be served picnic-style, which will include beverages, sandwich-makings, cutlery and dishes. Bring a potluck dish to share. For locals who want to sign up to bring a dish, call her daughter Laura at 802-875-2412 or email inn@huggingbear.com. Out-of-towners are not expected to bring a dish but certainly can if they wish.

At 2:30 p.m., a group picture will be taken in front of the Hugging Bear Inn, followed by a Contra Dance and dessert. Wear colorful, comfortable clothing and put on your dancing shoes. Parking will be tight so if you can carpool or walk to Town Hall.

Georgette Thomas loved the Spirit Bears of North America. She collected hundreds of signatures and encouraged folks to write toward the establishment of Spirit Bear habitat in British Columbia. The Valhalla Wilderness Society continues this work. You can visit its website at http://www.savespiritbear.org for information about giving. Please mention Georgette Thomas with your gift.

Also, a fund to get toy bears into the hands of youth in need has been established. If you would like to contribute to the fund, write a check out to the Hugging Bear and put Georgie’s Bears in the memo line. Send it to the Hugging Bear Inn & Shop, 244 Main St., Chester, VT 05143.

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