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Lebanon Academy gears up for Sept. calendar raffle

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Shelley Lapanne, left, holds up an afghan being raffled off in a benefit calendar next month while Rhonda Beaupre holds up pictures of the famed academy at the Lebanon Festival on Saturday at the Hanson School soccer fields. (Lebanon Voice/Harrison Thorp

LEBANON - The Lebanon Academy Board of Directors, fresh off a successful calendar fund-raiser this spring, is holding another one to wrap up the summer as they look to continue the sprucing up of one of the town's most venerable buildings.

The academy, which was founded by Oren Burbank Cheney who later founded Bates College, mentored young people for nearly 100 years beginning in 1849 before closing its doors in the 1940s. The building that housed the academy is listed on the National Registry of Historic Buildings.

The calendars are selling for $20 apiece with daily prizes beginning on Sept. 1 and running throughout the month.

"We did a calendar early this spring that brought in enough money to fix and paint the steps out front. Now a second calendar will help us pay for the back wall to be painted," said Rhonda Beaupre, the Lebanon Academy Board of Directors secretary.

Beaupre along with fellow board member Shelley Lapanne, the board's treasurer, were selling the calendars at the Lebanon Festival on Saturday. Calendars are available at the Martha Sawyer Community Library adjacent to the Hanson School.

Beaupre and Lapanne said while they have had some success with fund raising this year, the board faces a daunting challenge as the historic school's belltower is rotting, so much so they can no longer ring the bell as they used to weekly.

They estimate the cost to be about $27,000 to complete the job, a formidable amount, but are hoping they can jumpstart donations when they celebrate the 100th anniversary of Cheney's birthday next year.

To visit the Lebanon Academy's Facebook page click here.

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