Vermilion Clubhouse, a group joins the Christmas party
The music is back and the doors are open for business at two Vermilion institutions that joined together for a Christmas party on December 12.
Dozens of people came to the Vermilion on the Lake Historic Community Center, 3780 Edgewater Blvd. The historic building from 1919 is known as the VOL Clubhouse.
âToday is an open house for Christmas, just because,â said Dean Yacobozzi, president of VOL Historic Community Center Charitable Trust Inc.
The Cleveland Browns game was on television in one corner, but the main attraction was a Christmas concert by the Vermilion Community Music Association Concert Band.
Greg Trocchia founded the music association in 1995 and still plays the trumpet and trombone, said concertmaster George Harizal, pianist and retired principal of Vermilion Schools.
Most recently, the group went 15 months without practicing in part because of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The group had restrictions on large gatherings, members had to self-isolate due to COVID-19 exposures and some were struggling with other ailments, Harizal said.
âOur members got sick,â said Harizal, who himself had to deal with a persistent cough.
Indoor concerts were scarce last year.
âWe had a difficult time,â he said. âSo we’re a healthy group again. “
They brought instruments, sheet music, and skills to the party, which included a free lunch with hot dogs, chili, popcorn, cookies, and drinks.
The VOL Clubhouse has not suffered as much as some sites due to the pandemic conditions, Yacobozzi said.
The VOL Historic Community Center Charitable Trust Inc. is the legal owner of the facility, which is maintained by the organization’s board of directors and volunteers.
The organization in 2020 and 2021 canceled its popular Lenten fish fries due to health precautions related to COVID-19.
The trust rents the historic building largely for wedding receptions, but does not operate a party center, so some gatherings have continued. Tenants hire their own caterers and the building is sometimes booked up to two years in advance.
Board members and volunteers donate their time and the organization reinvests all income back into the building. The most recent additions are more air conditioning and an outside storage building, Yacobozzi said.
“We would like to make it more community-based, but for now, to pay the bills, we are renting it out for weddings,” he said.
The board of directors and volunteers are working together to keep the building functioning for future generations, Yacobozzi said.
He’s president, but he said there really isn’t a single leader in the organization. âI like it like that,â he said.
The VOL Clubhouse has also become a rehearsal space for the Vermilion Community Music Association.
The group had about 60 members before the pandemic.
Now there are around 40 members and more are welcome, Harizal said.
The Vermilion Community Music Association in particular could use clarinets and mallet and drum percussionists, Harizal said.
Group members do not have to live in Vermilion; current members live from Sandusky to Akron.
The Concert Band will perform at 6:30 p.m. on December 19 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 46 E. Main St., Wakeman.
For more information, see: vcmabands.com.