Notes in Remembrance of Lou Cherry

It was with deep sadness – and appreciation – that the CVRAN community learned that Lou Cherry had died in early April, in Asheville, NC, after a short illness. He had only recently relocated there from Vermont to join his wife, Arlene.

Lou was a person with wide interests, strong personal qualities, and deep commitments.

For CVRAN, Lou was a founding member in the spring of 2015, accomplishing two essential and grounding tasks: drafting and filing the Articles of Association with the State of Vermont, and successfully applying for recognition as a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit corporation under federal law. Lou was among other original CVRAN members who were part of the Unitarian Church of Montpelier where the organizing meetings took place.

Over his years of involvement with CVRAN Lou was gracious, caring, informed, and committed. His ability to think through challenges creatively and effectively – always with good humor – was an anchor for the young, dynamic organization. His early contributions provided an essential foundation for the recent years of fruitful engagement with refugees,
asylum seekers, and many volunteers.

Lou especially enjoyed taking part in the Central Vermont visits of the staff of the Mexican Consulate from Boston. They offered valuable services to hundreds of Mexicans who live and work on Central Vermont farms. His competence, personal enthusiasm, and devotion to Spanish were a gift to all. His creative culinary skills were essential when CVRAN organized Latin Fiesta nights.

Lou’s commitments reflected his own life, as the son of parents who came to the US from Hungary. He was deeply appreciative that his son, Eric, had served as a Unitarian Universalist minister in Cluj, Romania. That Transylvanian community had been part of Hungary before WWII and was a Jewish ghetto late in the war.

The following is from the April 29th obituary in the Times Argus, on his move to Vermont in the early 2000s:

With his quiet sense of purpose and wry sense of humor, Lou quickly found productive ways to engage with the central Vermont community and beyond. He had an infectious laugh deeply enjoyed by the community.

The CVRAN community will always remember Lou’s spirit and commitment to many progressive interests.

Montpelier Teenager Makes Substantial Donation To Help Asylum Seekers in Montpelier

Moss close-upRussell Clar, an 8th grader at the Montpelier Middle School and a member of the Beth Jacob Synagogue is our newest generous supporter. For his Bar Mitzvah service project in April, he was inspired to support the effort to promote refugee justice. Instead of receiving gifts himself he chose to have any gifts for him directed to CVRAN in honor of his Bar Mitzvah. He researched online and found CVRAN.

He sees the plight of refugees as a timeless issue, especially poignant now with so many people fleeing violence, poverty, and drought in their home countries. As a Jew, he is acutely sensitive to what it means to flee and to be a refugee.

Russell is a talented photographer and sells his unusual images of the natural world online. He is planning to donate some of the profits to CVRAN.

Thank you, Russell, for your generous spirit and creative project. The more than $800 you raised will support our monthly budget for the asylum seekers we are hosting while they await their work permits and final asylum hearings.