FAIR HAVEN, Vermont — A goat and a dog who each served as honorary mayors of a Vermont town have helped raise $100,000 needed to renovate a community playground.
The Fair Haven town manager came up with the pet mayor elections to raise money to rehabilitate the playground and to get kids civically involved.
In 2018, the town elected Lincoln the goat as its honorary mayor. Lincoln raised about $10,000 while the current mayor, Murfee, a Cavalier King Charles spaniel, has raised $20,000, Town Manager Joe Gunter told the Rutland Herald. The town chipped in another $20,000.
Murfee’s owner, Linda Barker, said that when she was talked into having Murfee run for mayor, she thought it would be easy to raise money through T-shirts. “And then COVID struck and it was like … there go all the easy plans,” she said.
So she started making and selling face masks, which took off, she said.
“We’re probably well over $5,000 just from the face masks. I’m going on about 1,000 masks so far that I’ve made, and am still making (them) because Valentine’s Day is coming up and people are asking, ‘Is Murfee going to have Valentine’s masks?'”
She also did a basket raffle with stations set up in the park with items in the baskets listed so people could socially distance while participating. That raised $5,705, she said.
The town was also recently awarded a $50,000 grant from the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund, she said.