Community Events

Northeast Kingdom Amish plan two more fundraiser dinners for grieving family

Newport Dispatch photo

The Amish community of Brownington, a small town in Orleans County, held a benefit chicken dinner July 29 to help with medical bills for the care of a child in the community with major cardiac issues. Two more benefit dinners are planned for this month and September.

Born two years ago, baby Levi needed extensive care at both Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center and Boston Children’s Hospital. Sadly, Levi died on May 21, 2022, but medical bills in six figures remained, and the community banded together to pay them.

The dinner was held at Arnold’s Rescue indoor arena in Brownington, about a mile from The Old Stone House Museum. The menu offered barbecued chicken, baked beans, cold salads, bread, beverages, dessert, and homemade ice cream.

The suggested donation was $16 for adults and $8 for children age 12 and under, and take-out dinners also were available.

There was also a raffle, home-baked goods, jams, and crafts for sale to benefit the cause.

Dinners will be held again on August 26 and September 30. Organizers are advising that credit and debit cards cannot be accepted.

Brownington’s Amish community is one of among many, spread mostly across the Northeastern states, with Pennsylvania, Ohio and Indiana having the highest population of the nation’s 90,000 Amish. The Amish are cousins, after a fashion, of the Mennonites. Originally they were all Anabaptists, a Christian sect within the Protestant Reformation that began in Germany in the early 1500’s. In 1693, the Anabaptists split. Followers of Jakob Ammann supported “shunning,” a church discipline practice based on Paul’s teaching in 1 Corinthians chapter 5. Followers of Menno Simms took a more (some would say) tolerant view, becoming the Mennonite Church.

Several other differences – the Amish hold church in homes, the Mennonites in separate church buildings – remain. Both practice a somewhat separatist, “off the grid,” self-sufficient, extremely hard-working and family-based lifestyle, choosing to educate their children according to their views and traditions.

Vermont also has at least one active Mennonite community, based mostly in Wolcott and surrounding towns in Lamoille County.

Republished, with editorial additions about Amish history, from the Newport Dispatch.

Categories: Community Events

3 replies »

  1. Both DHMC and Boston Children’s hospitals have generous endowments that fund up to 100% of children’s medical bills based upon a family’s ability to pay. Is it against Amish traditions to ask for such help? Having a daughter that required open-heart surgery as an infant, I realize the costs and Boston Children’s Hospital blessed us immensely.

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