Raffle to aid renovations


The kitchen in the lyceum at St. Michael’s Church in Beacon Falls will be moved as part of phase two of renovations at the church. -LUKE MARSHALL
The kitchen in the lyceum at St. Michael’s Church in Beacon Falls will be moved as part of phase two of renovations at the church. -LUKE MARSHALL

BEACON FALLS — St. Michael’s Church is moving onto the phase two of a renovation plan.

Phase two includes making improvements to the church’s lyceum, Deacon Victor Lembo said.

The bulk of the work will be moving the kitchen to the opposite side of the lyceum.

“By moving the kitchen to the opposite side of the room it shortens electrical service, the drainage and is in a better location away from the staircase,” Lembo said.

The work on the kitchen is expected to take place in the late spring or the early summer. Lembo said the original kitchen will continue to be operational while the new one is built.

“We wanted to make sure, if there was a set back, we still have a kitchen that serves the community,” Lembo said.

The rest of the renovations to the lyceum will be cosmetic work, Lembo said.

Lembo said the kitchen is used for church and town events. By upgrading the kitchen, Lembo felt, the church would be better able to serve the entire town.

“Because of size of our town and the church’s proximity to Town Hall we anticipate that, by doing this, it will facilitate any type of outreach program we can support. We use it for events for kids, for the community, for organizations, or for people, especially people in our parish to use it for repasts and bridal showers,” Lembo said.

Susan Cable, a parishioner at the church and former first selectman, said the town uses St. Michael’s Church to hold many of its events, such as the Beacon Falls Library’s annual Scrabble Challenge.

“The community benefits in being able to use the facility. We don’t have any other facility like that in town,” Cable said.

The community’s use of the lyceum goes back to the days when it was first built.

Lembo said the lyceum was built so deep, with high ceilings and a hardwood floor in the 1940s because the town used to use it as a basketball court.

The first phase of the renovations focused on the nave and sanctuary at the church, Lembo said. The church raised money for the work and parishioners and community members also stepped forward to do some as in-kind donations, he said.

The church is holding its 6th annual Pot O’ Gold Raffle to help raise funds for phase two. Tickets are $25 each and there are only 2,000 available. The grand prize is $10,000 and there are 11 other cash prizes.

“We only print 2,000 tickets so your odds are extremely good,” Lembo said.

The drawing will take place during an event March 15 at St. Michael’s Lyceum, 25 Maple Ave. The event, which will feature refreshments and a performance by the The Coastal Chordsmen Barbershop Chorus of Trumbull, starts at 3 p.m. The drawing is scheduled for 4 p.m.

Raffle tickets are available at the church immediately after service, at the church office throughout the week and at Beacon Falls Pharmacy, 20 North Main St.

Lembo encouraged people to come to the event to help support an organization that gives back to the community. People do not have to purchase a raffle ticket to attend the event and raffle ticket holders do not need to be present to win.

“You’d be supporting a nonprofit group that is looking to not only support itself but other people, which helps educate children, and opens the lyceum up to anyone who has a need at a nominal fee,” Lembo said. “You also have the possibility of winning some cash.”