The VHS Story
In 1997 the Venetia Heritage Society was formed to preserve the Venetia Elementary School, built in 1926. It is a charitable organization with a Federal 501(C)3 classification. When the VHS was first organized, it received such status under the aegis of another historical non-profit organization.
Two Peters Township businessmen, John Chapman and Victor Dosse, donated the initial funds to the society to facilitate the purchase of the old school. The VHS is deeply appreciative of the support of these two dedicated men who love their hometown. The school's name was changed to the Venetia Community Center, to reflect its new purpose in the area.
Revenue and Funding
Since 1997, the VHS has conducted various fundraisers to raise revenue to renovate and maintain the building. Initial fundraisers included golf outings, pancake breakfasts, rummage sales, flea markets, and paver sales. Recently, a successful Crafts Fair was held In April 2023. In addition, the society has been fortunate to receive several some grants that have greatly helped. A state grant of $35,000 provided a paved parking lot and a generous grant from Washington Federal Bank was used to renovate the kitchen. Donations have also contributed to the progress of enhancing the facility. The late Virginia VanVoorhis Lewis donated a beautiful Hammond organ, Eagle Scout Michael DuBois installed engraved brick pavers outside the building, and the Girls Scouts laid new tile in one of the old classrooms. Generous donations from the Peters Twp. Rotary Club have enabled the VHS to upgrade the kitchen and other aspects of the building. Peters Township continues to support us with driveway and lawn maintenance and through financial contributions. A generous bequest from the McClure Estate enabled the VHS to complete the brick pointing on the building. The VHS is now a part of the Washington County Community Foundation and participates in its Day of Giving and in 2022 received a grant to enhance our technology and financial record keeping.
The Venetia Community Center is providing a "home" for various non-profit groups in our community. The Washington County Area Agency on Aging uses the community room on the 2nd and 4th Thursdays of each month to serve lunch and to provide a special program to local senior citizens. The Girls Scouts have a classroom that they are using for meetings and special events. The DARE Model Railroad Club, under the guidance of former DARE Officer Dave Stanton, as well as Bryan Seip and the Montour Railroad Historical Society, is housed on the second floor in several rooms. A local 4-H sponsors a group that also uses a room in the building so local students can learn related skills.
The Executive Board
A terrific group of hard-working volunteers make the Venetia Heritage Society a special organization that has strong ties to the Peters Township community. The Board of Directors meets monthly and also participates in various events to ensure that the Venetia Community Center remains a viable landmark in Peters Township. The Board oversees building use , maintenance and repairs of the facility, procurement of revenue, and communication of goals with the membership, donors, and the community.
If you would like to become a member of the VHS and/or would like to make a donation, send photos, or provide information about the Venetia School/Venetia Community Center, please contact the Venetia Heritage Society at email@example.com or click on the CONTACT US tab at top of the page.