Repair Cafe bids farewell to founder Elizabeth Knight

Warwick. Repair Cafe event became a farewell party as well as repair gathering in November, as founder Elizabeth Knight prepared to depart for New Jersey.

| 26 Dec 2022 | 01:41

Arrivals and departures marked the Warwick Repair Cafe gathering in November. Repair Cafe founder Elizabeth Knight and Roger Moss are parting with the group and moving to New Jersey. Knight started the Warwick Repair Cafe in 2016 and, with John Wackman, co-wrote the book Repair Revolution, a primer on how to start and maintain such an organization.

Joining the gathering was Tricia Mauro, new to the sewing team at the Repair Cafe. Suzie Fromer, Hudson Valley Repair Cafe coordinator, and Melissa Everette, Sustainable Hudson Valley director, came for the farewell moment.

As for those who showed up to partake in repairs, they had 26 “first-timers” to the Repair Cafe, who came from the area: Warwick 16, Chester 2, Goshen 2, Glenwood 1, Newburgh 2, Florida 1, Highland Lakes 1, Monroe 1.

At the front check-in desk, 72 people appeared, requesting 136 repairs. The check-in volunteers also collected two tubs of non-perishable food pantry donations and handled crowd control.

Repair Coaches Paul, Roy, Ken, Frank, Rob, Raven, Brian, Fred, Roger, Joan B, Deanne, Lenny, Reg, Raheli, Mary, Rachel, and Suzie worked on job tickets, which included 11 lamps, nine mechanical and electrical items--clocks, vacuums, a belt sander, a kitchen aid mixer and a sewing machine--plus jewelry, computers, bikes and knives needing sharpening.

Only 11 items could not be repaired, mostly because they needed specific parts.

At the end of the event, a bittersweet celebration for Elizabeth and Roger included finger sandwiches, salads, beverages and a homemade cake, courtesy of Deanne Singer, one of the original volunteers at the Repair Cafe.

Fix It Bob, one of the first volunteers at the Repair Cafe, in 2016, drove three hours from Pennsylvania and made a surprise appearance to wish Elizabeth and Roger well with the next chapter of their lives.

Roger Bergman read his funny story about a cheese grater he fixed at one of the Repair Cafe events, and ended the story with, “Make America grate again.”

Barbara Barron, another one of the original volunteers at the first Repair Cafe, told a story about how she got involved with the Repair Cafe.

The next Repair Cafe Event is Saturday January 21, 2023.

Story contributed by Joan Maxwell, Warwick Repair Cafe organizer