Current Edition - 10/22/21
Previous Edition - 10/15/21


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Theatre III presents Lovers and Other Strangers

WEST ACTON: Live theater is back at Acton’s community theater, Theatre III!  Their fall production is Lovers  and Other Strangers by Joseph Bologna and Renee Taylor, directed by Shahn and Ed Knights and  produced by Linda Minkoff.  Performances run November 5, 6, 12, 13, 8pm; November 7, 2pm at 250 Central St. For tickets and information, call 978-263-9070, or visit  TIckets are $22; seniors/students/groups of seven or more $19.

Seduction, infidelity, passion, commitment, marriage! A comedy of 1970s love lives in five one-act vignettes, Lovers and Other Strangers lets us laugh at the timeless truths about relationships - and at  the things that were totally groovy back in 1972. Featured in the cast are Ginny Carpenter (Marlborough), Peter Cavicchio (Lexington), Maren Caulfield (Harvard), John Day (Carlisle), Victoria Doughty (Shirley), Catherine Hersh (Watertown), John Lynch (Lincoln), Carla Perrotta (Lexington), Glenn Pierce (Arlington), and Lee Pallotta (Acton).
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Zoë Lewis Virtual Concert at New Revival Coffeehouse

STOW: The upbeat, fun and funny Zoë Lewis will perform a virtual concert for Stow's New Revival Coffeehouse on November 6 at 7:30pm. Zoë is a Provincetown musician who plays multiple instruments and sings her joyful songs with exciting rhythms from around the world. She plays piano, ukulele, guitar, harmonica, spoons and just about anything else she can get her hands on. “I like to redefine what a musical instrument is,” she says. “There is music in

This streaming concert will be accessible on YouTube Live on both the FPC and Stow TV YouTube channels. The concert link will be posted on the New Revival Coffeehouse's Facebook page at Viewers will have an opportunity to donate to the artist via PayPal or Venmo, or send a check, payable to Zoë Lewis, to First Parish Church, attn: Treasurer, 353 Great Road, Stow, MA 01775. The suggested donation is $20. For more information, call 978-274-2593 or email
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Walk at Half Moon Meadow Brook

BOXBOROUGH: On November 6, join
George Krusen of the Boxborough Historical Society on a walk through Half Moon Meadow Brook, part of the Nashoba Praying Indian Village established in 1651. There are a number of stone structures on the site believed to have been built by Native Americans, including a winter solstice sunrise alignment. This land is featured in the Spring 2021 issue of the Journal of the New England Antiquities Research Association (NEARA). The land was permanently protected from development by the Sudbury Valley Trustees in 1998. The walk will start at 9am and is co-sponsored by the Sudbury Valley Trustees. The event is free but space is limited and pre-registration is required. To register please sign up at

Boxborough Conservation Trust: Ecosystem Services: What Nature Does for Us and How We Can Talk About It

BOXBOROUGH: Is the barrage of negative news about climate change getting you down? It may be hard to believe, but there is some positive news about climate, and it comes from right in our own backyards. We have an opportunity to act locally, especially with the state's Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness program, to use natural climate solutions to help mitigate climate change impacts. The Boxborough Conservation Trust (BCTrust) and other land conservation partners are striving to protect our natural lands and educate the public on ways to help locally, and we are happy to have Sudbury Valley Trustees (SVT) as a great regional partner in this work.
Join the Boxborough Conservation Trust for their Fall Speaker event via Zoom, November 9 at 7pm. Christa Collins will discuss the benefits of local protected land in mitigating climate change, in her talk entitled: "Ecosystem Services: What Nature Does for Us and How We Can Talk About It". See for more information and to register for this free talk.

Collins joined Sudbury Valley Trustees in 2002 and currently serves as Director of Land Protection. As such, she represents Sudbury Valley Trustees on matters regarding land protection, leads SVT’s Land Protection team, and manages a portion of SVT’s land protection projects from identification and cultivation through the completion of the transaction, primarily involving assistance to landowners seeking to protect their land with conservation easements, gifts and bequests, or sale to conservation partners.
Christa holds a bachelor’s degree from Middlebury College and a master’s degree in landscape architecture from the University of Michigan. Christa lives in Concord, MA with her husband and two children, and currently serves on the board of Gaining Ground, a Concord-based nonprofit that grows and donates food for hunger relief, and on the board of the Massachusetts Land Trust Coalition. 

ABFN To Host Free Kids Clothing Swap

ACTON: The leaves are turning, the temperatures are cooling, and it’s time to refresh the kids’ closets! On October 23, the Acton-Boxborough Family Network (ABFN) is hosting a Fall Clothing Swap. The clothing swap will be open to the public, outdoors at the Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church parking lot, 472 Massachusetts Avenue, and free to attend. 

“Kids grow out of things so fast and clothing gets expensive so this event is a great way to meet both of those needs—clean out outgrown items and pick up new ones,” said Debbie Mecca, an ABFN Board member, Acton resident, and organizer of the clothing swap. “With COVID-19, we know people may not be comfortable going into clothing stores, especially parents with young children, so this is a family-friendly outdoor event.”

ABFN is a non-profit organization run by and for local parents. Parents volunteer their time to organize programming and resources to support and connect young families. The group is powered by an annual membership fee, as well as local sponsors, but ABFN also does several events per year that are open to the public. 

Interested in donating to the clothing swap? ABFN seeks gently used clothes in sizes newborn through 6T. Donors are asked to please sort clothes into bags labeled with sizes, if possible. Clothes can be dropped off in advance at three Acton locations: 23 Evergreen Road, 97 Concord Road, and 24 Smart Road, or can be dropped off at the beginning of the event. No stained or ripped clothing, please. Shoes and toys will not be accepted. Any clothing remaining at the end of the event will be donated to The Wish Project. Local organizations that serve families in need of clothing are also welcome to contact Mecca with any requests at

Highrock Church Hosts Grand Opening Service

ACTON: Highrock started as a church in Acton in 2015, meeting in Gates School. Right before COVID, the church purchased and renovated a property on Great Road, the former home of the Makaha restaurant across from Donelan’s grocery store. On October 24 at 10am, the church will host its Great Road Grand Opening service, followed by a reception with delicious food, cozy drinks, and a ministry fair. This is a great chance to make connections for growth and service within and beyond the Highrock church community. Not yet comfortable gathering indoors? As always, services are live-streamed from their YouTube channel and for this special service, a tented outdoor service viewing space will be available. KidsRock children’s ministry will also be available for children ages 0-grade 5.  For the safety of all, masks are currently required for all indoors, but you are welcome to un-mask to enjoy each other’s smiles and food and drink in our outdoor gathering space. For more information, visit or

Final FreeBee Market of the Season

BOXBOROUGH: Harvest season is winding down, and so is Boxborough’s FreeBee Market. On Saturday, October 16, FreeBee will hold its final scheduled Market day of the year from 10:30am to 12pm on the lawn at 30 Middle Road in Boxborough (across from Boxborough Town Hall). Since less local produce is available, FreeBee will focus on collecting and sharing baked goods, pantry items, and some frozen meat as well. The craft swap and book swap will also return for the final Market day, as well as the bounce house for kids. 

This week, FreeBee will be celebrating the end of a successful inaugural season with a Halloween costume exchange, pumpkin decorating, and more fresh-pressed apple cider. 

As always, everything at FreeBee Market is free, and all are welcome. Visitors are encouraged to bring what they can share and take what they can use. 
Since this is the final Market day of the year, the community is encouraged to bring unexpired pantry items, as all non-perishable items remaining at the end of the Market will be donated to the Little Free Pantry at UCC Boxborough

FreeBee plans to return in Spring of 2022 and hopes to further its mission of reducing food insecurity during the off-season by bringing pop-up food tables to other local events. For more information about FreeBee and its plans in the coming months, sign up for the email newsletter at For more information, visit and
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Mothers Out Front Acton presents The Health Effects of Indoor Gas Pollution

ACTON: On October 27, 7-8:30pm, hear a remote presentation by health researcher and author, Andee Krasner, MPH, from Greater Boston Physicians for Social Responsibility, and learn about the health impacts of indoor gas pollution.  This presentation will be held via Zoom.  RSVP: with this LINK or For more info contact

Gas stoves and ranges have been heavily marketed by the fossil fuel industry, and many consumers hold onto the notion that “cooking with gas” is superior. (Andee Krasner's researchBut did you know that gas flames, along with being less efficient, and less precise, also emit toxic pollutants indoors? 

There will also be a brief Induction Cooktop demonstration highlighting this remarkable alternative to gas appliances.  

Please note that Mothers Out Front Acton, in collaboration with the Acton Memorial Library, now has an induction cook plate and pan to borrow from the library. Click HERE to connect to Acton Memorial Library.  Keep up with Mothers Out Front Acton on Twitter, Instagram: MothersOutFront_Acton and Facebook.
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Acton-Boxbroough United Way Virtual Volunteer Information Session October 14th

ACTON/BOXBOROUGH: Join Acton-Boxborough United Way for a no-obligation virtual Volunteer Information Session on Thursday, October 14 at 7pm. Acton-Boxborough United Way mobilizes the caring power of community to drive positive, lasting change. Their Thrive2024 Strategic Roadmap outlines 5 focus areas:
  • Equity & Racial Justice
  • Mental Health
  • Early Childhood Success
  • Financial Stability
  • Crisis Preparedness

Join the info session to learn how you can help make Acton and Boxborough a place where everyone belongs and thrives!
Register to receive your Zoom link:

Maynard Cultural Council Seeks Funding Proposals

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MAYNARD: Maynard Cultural Council seeks funding proposals for community-oriented arts, humanities, and science programs due October 15. Organizations, schools, and individuals can apply for grants that support cultural activities in the community. 

These grants can support a variety of artistic projects and activities in Maynard -- including exhibits, festivals, field trips, short-term artist residencies, or performances in schools, workshops, and lectures. This year the council would like to have greater impact and will be funding a small portion of larger grants ($1,500 or more).  Grants typically range from $50 to $1500. 

Who Can Apply? Individuals, organizations, agencies, schools, and non-profits may apply for grants that support activities in culture, humanities, arts, and sciences publicly benefiting the local community. Projects must take place between January 1, 2021 and be completed by December 31, 2022. All applicants must reside or be located in Massachusetts. 

The Maynard Cultural Council is part of a network of 329 Local Cultural Councils serving all 351 cities and towns in the Commonwealth. The LCC Program is the largest grassroots cultural funding network in the nation, supporting thousands of community-based projects in the arts, sciences and humanities every year. The state legislature provides an annual appropriation to the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency, which then allocates funds to each community. 

Questions? Contact Sara Lundberg at Application forms and more information about this Local Cultural Council Program are available online at and at public applicant guidelines.aspx.

Boxborough Library Used Book Sale November 5, 6 & 7

BOXBOROUGH: Due to popular demand, the Friends of the Boxborough Library Fall used book sale will continue as a three day event. The weekend will start with a Preview Sale for members on Friday, November 5 from 5pm-7pm.  (Memberships will be available at the door).  The usual main sale will take place on Saturday, November 6 from 9am-2 pm. The Everything Must Go sale will be held on Sunday, November 7 from 2-4pm.  Bring a bag (or bags) to the book sale on Sunday during this time and pay $2 to fill each bag however you like. The sale will take place in the meeting room of the Sargent Memorial Library, 427 Massachusetts Avenue. Masks must be worn. Proceeds from the sale of books will go toward additional library programs and museum passes.

Please support this sale by donating your gently used hard covers, paperbacks, and audiovisual items and attending this sale.  Books will be accepted from November 1-4 at the library during regular library hours. Please no VCR tapes or magazines or any material in really poor condition.
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“STANDUP TO STIGMA” Scarecrow Contest at Cucurbit Farm

ACTON: Once again Cucurbit Farm and NAMI Central Middlesex is sponsoring the “STANDUP TO STIGMA” Scarecrow Contest. All proceeds raised from this local charity event will go to the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Central Middlesex – which serves Acton and surrounding towns. All participants in the contest and folks visiting the farm or simply passing by will feel joy and enjoy the creativity coming alive!

Stop by Cucurbit Farm at 32 Parker Street to pick up your scarecrow starter frame for $25. Enjoy creating a friendly scarecrow with family or friends, then drop off your scarecrow at the farm
stand. Individuals, organizations, and businesses are invited to participate.

The scarecrows will be on display for the month of October, and the public is invited to cast their vote for the winning entry. Our goal is 100 scarecrows along the wall and many conversations about mental health! You can also submit your carved pumpkin to the “Jack O’ Lantern Glow By” event, set for Halloween weekend. Plus, there’s a corn maze!

Additional info can be found at and

Stow-Area Veterans to be Recognized with Drive-Through Lunch

STOW: To honor Stow-area veterans, for the second year in a row, the Rotary Club of Nashoba Valley is providing a pre-packaged lunch and the opportunity to meet with town and state officials on Veterans Day, November 11. Lunch will include a sandwich, chips, salad, beverage, dessert, and more, and volunteers will provide the lunches to participants who will remain in their cars.

Veterans and significant others must RSVP in advance and can pick up their meals between 11:30am and 1pm at First Parish Church of Stow and Acton, 353 Great Road (Route 117). Participants must pre-register at 978-627-4135 or Please specify your expected time of arrival and a choice of sandwich when registering: Chicken Salad, Turkey Club, Ham and Swiss, or Tomato, Mozzarella, and Basil.

This Veterans Day appreciation lunch is sponsored by the Rotary Club of Nashoba Valley, Friends of the Stow Council on Aging, Worker’s Credit Union, Shaw’s Stow, and Honey Pot Hill Orchards. The Rotary Club of Nashoba Valley is always open to new members. Formed in 1905, Rotary International is the world's first service club organization with over 1.3 million members in 34,000 clubs worldwide. The Nashoba Valley club serves the towns of Lancaster, Bolton, and Stow and beyond, giving life to the Rotary motto, "Service Above Self." For more information about the Rotary Club of Nashoba Valley, contact or visit You can also find us on Facebook at

CROP Walk for the Hungry

CONCORD: At 2:15pm on October 17,  concerned residents from Concord, Carlisle, Bedford, Sudbury, Lincoln, Acton and other area towns will step off from First Parish, 20 Lexington Road in Concord for the 41st annual Concord Area CROP Walk for the Hungry.  A scenic 2.25 mile route through Minuteman National Park across the Old North Bridge, the Walk takes about one hour. The Concord-Carlisle High School Band will provide music during registration, beginning at 1:30pm. 

In 2020, despite the COVID pandemic, Concord CROP Walk raised $20,400 in a virtual walk, bringing the 40 year total to $1.26 million. 75% of funds raised by the walk help Church World Service (CWS) programs to fight the causes of hunger and provide emergency response to disasters in the U. S. and worldwide. 

Locally, 25% of funds raised go directly to support hunger relief programs in nine area towns including Open Table in Concord and Maynard, Acton Community Supper and Food Pantry, Bedford Community Table and Pantry, and Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry serving Ayer, Devens, Groton, Harvard, Littleton and Shirley.

In the COVID-19 pandemic, all local food programs have had to respond quickly and creatively to meet the rising need.  For health safety, community suppers have been suspended and pantries moved outside.  In January, 2021, the Greater Boston Food Bank reported that in Eastern Massachusetts one in eight individuals are now food insecure. One in five children in Eastern Massachusetts, a 117% increase, now live in a food insecure home.   

In 2021, Open Table, with the help of local chefs and hundreds of new volunteers, launched a rapidly growing prepared-meals program with a goal of serving 1,000 meals per week.  In the first week of August, 981 meals including 195 sandwiches for kids were created and distributed.  Meals and prepacked groceries are available for those in need residing in twenty-one central Middlesex County towns.  More information is available at  All local programs have websites with details about location, days and times for food distribution.

CROP Walk events will be held outside with COVID safety protocols.  Those who prefer may do a virtual walk.  For more information, to donate or sponsor a walker, visit

Anniversary Author Celebration at the Maynard Public Library

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MAYNARD: The Maynard Public Library is proud to announce its celebration of Maynard’s 150th anniversary, as well as the library’s 140th anniversary and 15 years in the Roosevelt School building on Nason Street! We have invited two acclaimed authors-Jerry Craft and William Kent Krueger-to talk about their latest books. These virtual events are a special opportunity to hear authors from outside of New England.   

October 11 @ 5pm (Zoom) Author Jerry Craft is the New York Times bestselling, Newbery Medal winning and Coretta Scott King Author Award winning author of the graphic novel for middle grade readers, New Kid. It's about living in two worlds, trying to fit in and staying true to yourself. His second graphic novel, Class Act, is a companion book to New Kid that delves into the role socio-economic status and race play while growing up and finding your place in the world. Craft is also the creator of Mama’s Boyz, an award-winning comic strip which won the African American Literary Award five times. Craft will talk about his journey to becoming a published author/illustrator and the creative process behind New Kid and Class Act. He will show some of his work, and a Q&A will follow. 

October 14 @ 7pm (Zoom) Author William Kent Krueger is the New York Times bestselling author of the novels This Tender Land and Ordinary Grace, which was the winner of the Edgar Award for best novel. He also pens the acclaimed Cork O’Connor mystery series set in the north woods of Minnesota, including 2021’s Lightning Strike. About This Tender Land, Booklist wrote "More than a simple journey; it is a deeply satisfying odyssey, a quest in search of self and home. Richly imagined and exceptionally well plotted and written, the novel is, most of all, a compelling, often haunting story that will captivate both adult and young adult readers." Krueger will be in conversation with novelist Hallie Ephron, whose latest novel is Careful What You Wish For, followed by a Q&A session.

Readers can find copies of New Kid, Class Act, This Tender Land and Lightning Strike to borrow at the library’s Circulation Desk. Register for both programs and read more at These programs are free and open to all, but registration is required to receive the Zoom link.
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Historical Society Invites All to Birthday Party

BOXBOROUGH: On October 24, the Boxborough Historical Society will celebrate its founding in 1961. It will also celebrate the beginning of the Boxborough Museum in October of 2005.
Both anniversaries will be celebrated at the Museum at 575 Middle Road from 2pm to 4pm with refreshments and a musical presentation, with a spoken history of some of the older tunes.  Admission is free, and all are welcome.

The Museum will be open for visitors to see some of  Boxborough’s historic treasures including an arrowhead display of artifacts dug from Boxborough a century ago by a local resident, a 1850s scale sensitive enough to weigh a penny and accurate enough to weigh 50 pounds, and two hearses, one built in 1881 and the other much older. The Town of Boxborough requires everyone must wear a mask when inside the Museum.

The outdoor concert on the lawn of the Museum of 18th and 19th century fiddle music by Dave Reiner, a renowned fiddler and co-author of the book "Old Time Fiddling Across American" will start at 2:30pm. Seating is limited, and masks are recommended outdoors.
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Cornerstone Thrift Shop Reopens

ACTON: The wait is over! The Cornerstone Thrift Shop will reopen for business on Monday, October 4. They've been working hard to get the shop ready, and are looking forward to welcoming customers.

Please note: Masks are required for all customers (volunteers will be wearing them, too). There will be hand sanitizer available. Please observe social distancing as best you can - occupancy limit of 10 customers at a time. Please be patient and be aware that you may need to wait to enter the shop. When the shop is busy, you are asked to limit your time in the shop to under 30 minutes. This is all to protect the Shop staff and customers.
Donations are currently being accepted by appointment ONLY. To make an appointment, visit, and click on the "Cornerstone Thrift Shop" button. If you can't access this, you may call the church office at 978-263-2728.

The shop is located in Acton Congregational Church, 12 Concord Road. It is open on Mondays and Fridays from 10an to 2pm, Wednesdays from 3pm to 5:30pm, and Saturdays from 10am to noon. The shop is closed on Federal holidays and school vacation weeks. The shop is run by volunteers, and all the proceeds go to support the missions and ministry of the church.

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Friends of the Maynard Public Library Used Book Sale

MAYNARD: The Friends of the Maynard Public Library will hold their annual fall book sale on Saturday, October 2 from 10am to 4pm as part of Maynard Fest. The sale then continues on Sunday, October 3 from Noon to 3pm, with all items at half price that day. There will be thousands of hard cover, quality paperback and mass-market paperback titles in fiction and non-fiction. Choose from cookbooks, gardening, biography, travel, mystery and poetry as well as DVDs and music CDs (including many classical CDs.) There will also be an excellent selection of children’s and young adult books. Sale items will be spread over the first floor of the library and on the library patio to promote social distancing. Shoppers are encouraged to attend the sale Saturday afternoon and Sunday, when it is less crowded.

Masks are required inside the Maynard Library. Most items are priced between $0.50 and $2, so bring a bag and stock up on materials for the whole family! Cash and checks preferred. Proceeds of this sale benefit the Maynard Library. Book dealers, please note that use of electronic scanners is welcome on Sunday only. For questions about the sale or to volunteer, send email to
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Maynard Boy Scouts Host Electronics Recycling and Can / Bottle Drive

MAYNARD: The Maynard Boy Scouts will host an electronics recycling and can / bottle drive from 9am to noon on October 30 at the Mill & Main parking lot off Sudbury Street. Computers, monitors, microwaves, air conditioners and all unwanted electronics will be collected, as well as white goods, such as refrigerators and washers. The recycling company will take anything with a plug. Proceeds from fees charged for each dropped-off item will benefit the local scouts.

Home-pickup for all electronics is available for an extra fee of $10. The troop will also pick up all white goods, except refrigerators, for a fee of $30.  Pickups from neighboring towns are welcome for minimum orders of $50. 

In addition to electronics recycling, the troop will collect returnable bottles and cans. The Bottles and cans must be returnable in MA and be clean with nothing inside of them. Dirty bottles and cans will have to be refused. Please do not bring trash with the bottles and cans.

All proceeds are used to buy tents and equipment, sponsor camping scholarships, and other incidentals. Maynard Troop 130 serves more than 40 boys ages 11 to 17 from Maynard and nearby towns. The troop meets weekly during the school year and sponsors a camping trip each month, a week-long Boy Scout camp each summer, and a high adventure trip every other year.  For more information visit
To schedule a delivery, email

The Spirit of Giving at FreeBee Market

BOXBOROUGH: On October 2, FreeBee Market is back with gleaned and donated produce, meat, baked goods, pantry items, flowers, books, arts & crafts supplies, party supplies, and friendly conversation with friends and neighbors. As always, everything at FreeBee Market is free. All are welcome to give what they have in excess and take what they can use. 

This week, FreeBee will continue to pay homage to Boxborough’s Harvest Fair tradition by inviting a Harvest Fair staple: animals! A petting zoo on the lawn next to the Market will include goats, lambs, bunnies, and a donkey.  And FreeBee is proud to offer some special opportunities at this Saturday’s Market for those inspired by the spirit of giving.  

First, visitors of all ages are invited to participate in a FreeBee Community Art Project: painting and decorating rocks for a community art installation. FreeBee will supply rocks and art supplies for decorating, and will keep the painted rocks to display at the next FreeBee market on October 16

FreeBee visitors will also have an opportunity to make a particularly meaningful gift: joining the Be The Match Registry. The Be The Match Registry, operated by the National Marrow Donor Program, is a registry of potential bone marrow donors. Joining the registry as a potential donor requires a simple cheek swab. If a donor on the registry matches with a patient seeking a transplant, the donor undergoes further testing and may be asked to donate via either a bone marrow donation or a peripheral blood stem cell donation. 

On Saturday, FreeBee will host a Be The Match Registry drive supported by and in honor of Lauren Grady, a Boxborough resident and former Blanchard Memorial School teacher who was recently diagnosed with acute leukemia and received a bone marrow transplant in early September. 

Visit the FreeBee Market October 2 from 10:30am to 12pm at 30 Middle Road (across from Boxborough Town Hall). For more information, visit and If you can’t make it to the Market but are interested in joining the Be The Match registry, text “BEETHECURE” to 61474.
If you’ve ever dealt with someone making threats against you, been the subject of physical or verbal attacks, had rumors floated about you, or been purposely excluded from a group, then you know what it’s like to be bullied. During October, we recognize National Bullying Prevention Month and raise awareness and focus on bullying.

Bullying is any unwanted and aggressive behavior that involves a power imbalance, whether real or perceived. It’s typically behavior that is repeated again and again over a period of time.

Technology, with all the benefits it provides, also has made bullying easier and more widespread. Cyberbullying includes the distribution of mean or inappropriate email or text messages, the use of social media to post rumors or embarrassing photos, videos, messages, and even fake profiles.

For more information on ways to prevent, respond, or act against bullying, visit, which is a special initiative from the Department of Health and Human Services.

If your child has been the victim of bullying and you’ve noticed a change in his or her mental health as a result, or if your child or someone you love is struggling with depression or thinking about suicide, get help now. In Massachusetts, every 5.28 days on an average a young person (ages 10-24) is lost to the silent epidemic of youth suicide.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1-800-273-TALK (8255), is a free resource, available 24 hours a day for anyone who is in suicidal crisis or emotional distress. The Crisis Text Line is a free 24/7 text line where trained crisis counselors support individuals in crisis. Text “Jason” to 741741 to speak with a compassionate, trained Crisis Counselor. Confidential support 24/7, for free.

The Jason Foundation is another available resource.  The Jason Foundation is dedicated to the awareness and prevention of youth suicide through educational programs that equip youth, parents, educators, and the community with the tools and resources to identify and assist at-risk youth. One element of these tools and resources is free online training that anyone may utilize. Among the training modules available is one dedicated to the study of bullying and suicide. Visit and click Training for more information. 

Minuteman Auto Students Repair Car Provided To Veteran

LEXINGTON: Recently, a 2004 Hyundai Santa Fe that was repaired by Minuteman High School automotive technology students was provided to a U.S. Army and Navy veteran in a ceremony with Second Chance Cars and Vertex Pharmaceuticals in Boston.
Automotive teacher John Primpas was on hand with students Cole Traywick of Acton and Samuel Staiti of Arlington, both juniors, when the car was transferred to veteran John Harrold as part of Vertex’s 13th annual Day of Service. Employees spent the morning detailing 10 cars that will be provided to veterans at low-cost, no-interest loans through Second Chance Cars, including the one Harrold received.
All of the vehicles were donated to Second Chance Cars. The vehicle Harrold received was donated by the widow of a Korean War veteran who passed away last year.
“This is amazing,” Harrold said. “To a homeless veteran, this is a ‘hand up’ in the right direction.” Harrold recently had hip and knee surgery. He was walking two miles to his job at a medical company, but no longer has to do that. In addition, he said he will use his vehicle to help other veterans travel to and from work. Harrold currently lives in housing for veterans in Devens.
“I take immense amount of pride in it,” Traywick, one of the Minuteman students, said of his work. “It’s a really cool sense of community and working for someone who you know needs it.”
“It’s important for us to help veterans however we can,” Staiti said. “Something as small as a car could be the difference between getting to work or ensuring safe travels for their kids.”
Second Chance Cars is a non-profit organization that awards affordable, donated cars for veterans and low-income people in need to get to work. Donated cars are refurbished by a network of vocational schools and are worth, on average, about $5,000. Once fixed up, the cars are detailed and awarded to recipients via a $900, no-interest loan through Metro Credit Union.
Second Chance Cars works with Veterans Inc., a Massachusetts-based organization dedicated to ending homelessness for veterans.

Screens and Parenting Toddlers and Preschoolers

ACTON: Join First Connections on October 5 at 7pm for a free program on parenting in the digital world when you have young children. This can be difficult in normal circumstances, but overwhelming and complicated as we cope with the ongoing pandemic. What can we do to ensure our children are developing the necessary "soft skills," like resilience, cooperation, independence, and curiosity to be successful in school and in the future? And how does technology interfere with the development of these skills? Adrienne Principe, Founder & Executive Director of Turning Life on by Keeping Tech in Check, a local non-profit grassroots movement committed to digital wellness and improving the lives of family through healthy and balanced technology use, will guide parents through a presentation and discussion of the latest research regarding technology and child development, geared toward ages 0-5. Given the continued rise in COVID cases in our state, this program will be held virtually. Please email to register and receive the link.

A Friend in Need

ACTON: A Friend in Need (AFIN) is an arm of the South Acton Congregational Church (SACC)  It is a small, all-volunteer organization dedicated to offering financial aid to people in need in the Acton/Boxboro/Maynard area.

Because her husband is very ill, a client had to choose part-time work in order to be home and care for him. They have no savings and have an outstanding balance on their utility bill. They have been threatened with shutoff and are struggling financially.  A Friend in Need stepped in to help with this bill.

A gentleman lost his job during COVID and is in the process of applying for a new one.  In the meantime he owes the utility company and is also being threatened with shutoff. He has applied for fuel assistance which will take some time to process.  A Friend in Need agreed to help him with this bill.

Usually there is a one-time limit for help given to any family, but due to the economy, AFIN is trying to be a bit more flexibleTheir mission is to provide immediate help until the family can receive more substantial aid from other agencies. Much of their money comes through pleas published in local newspapers, from generous community residentsm and grants from organizations such as Acton-Boxborough United Way and the Maynard Community Chest.

AFIN will consider helping anyone who is recommended by clergy or social professionals associated with a local agency.  Anyone in urgent need can be considered for financial assistance by going to a member of the clergy or social service representative and asking them to contact A Friend in Need on their behalf.   For more information, email
If you would like to make a donation, please send your check to A Friend in Need, c/o South Acton Congregational Church, 35 School Street, Acton MA 01720.

Discovery Museum Announces Fall Schedule of Free Admission Events for Families of Children with Disabilities

ACTON: Discovery Museum has announced the dates of their Especially for Me events for the remainder of 2021. The events provide free admission for families with children on the autism spectrum, with hearing or vision loss, or facing other developmental challenges, during dedicated hours when the Museum is closed to the general public and building capacity is limited.

Discovery Museum is ADA-compliant and all exhibits are accessible, designed according to Universal Design principles to be both aesthetically pleasing and useable by the widest possible range of people, without regards to age or ability. During these events, accommodations are offered that increase access to Museum exhibits.

Any family who can benefit from a limited capacity visit is welcome at these events. A medical diagnosis is not required.

All Especially for Me events are free to attend, but preregistration is required online at as space is limited.
  • Sunday, October 3, 3pm - 4:30pm: Afternoon for Families with Deaf or Hard of Hearing and KODA Children
  • Sunday, October 10, 3pm - 4:30pm: Autism-Friendly Afternoon
  • Saturday, October 16, 5pm - 8pm: All Access Event (dinner provided)
  • Sunday, October 24, 5pm - 8pm: All Access Afternoon
  • Sunday, November 21, 3pm - 4:30pm: Afternoon for Families with Deaf or Hard of Hearing and KODA Children
  • Sunday, December 5, 3pm - 4:30pm: Autism-Friendly Afternoon

For more information please visit

Especially for Me is supported by the Alexion Charitable Foundation, the Corning Foundation, and Mass Cultural Council.

A Holiday Handbell Repertoire Reading Workshop 

ACTON: A Holiday Handbell Repertoire Reading Workshop will take place on Saturday, September 25 at Matthew’s United Methodist Church, 435 Central Street. This workshop is organized by the Directors of the  Lincoln Ringers, Marlboro Ringers, Sudbury Ringers, and Bells of St. Matthew’s. 

Registration will start at 8:30am with a brief and distanced socialization. Registration fee will be $10. The workshop will run from 9am - 12:30pm with a short break for fresh air. St. Matthew’s has a large open sanctuary that allows space to place tables at a safe distance, with many windows and fans to circulate the air. Banquets tables and card tables will be set up for ringer’s comfort safety.

Although there will be the 5 octave set of St. Matthew’s bells with 36 feet of table space set up, bells from the Marlboro Church,  one 2 octave set and one 3 octave set, people are invited to bring their own bells, pad(s), and music stand(s) to place on tables we will provide.  There will be a sales table for gloves, and to purchase some of the music after the workshop. 

For more information, please contact: Sue Lee ( or 
Diane Burke (
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Maynard Sesquicentennial Parade to Celebrate 150 Years

MAYNARD: The Town of Maynard invites the Community to celebrate the Town’s 150th birthday at the Sesquicentennial Parade on Sunday, September 19. The parade will step off from the Mill & Main parking lot on Sudbury Street at 1pm, and will follow a 1.6 mile route through town bringing the celebration right through the heart of the Maynard community.

The Maynard Sesquicentennial Committee has been planning the parade, and other activities to celebrate the 150th anniversary year of Maynard in 2021, since 2017. Forty units have signed on to participate as units in the parade, including local community organizations, businesses, elected officials, dancers, costumed characters, musicians, scouts, homemade floats and marching bands.

Two residents, known for their years of work preserving the Town’s history, will serve as parade marshalls. Roy Helander and Paul Boothroyd are both long-time residents and are well known for their many contributions to Maynard. Boothroyd is the Town historian, Maynard historical Society’s archivist, and the author of several Maynard history books. Helander was President of the Historical society for many years. The son of immigrants from Finland, he was instrumental in translating works documenting the lives of Finnish immigrants who arrived in Maynard. Helander’s father participated in the Town’s 100th anniversary parade in 1971. 

For more information, visit the Sesquicentennial webpage at

Local Students Named to The Dean's List at MCPHS University

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ACTON/CONCORD: Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (MCPHS) is pleased to announce the students who have been named to the Dean's List for the Spring 2021 semester:

* Joelle Perron is a native of Acton and is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography degree. Joelle will graduate from the Boston, Massachusetts campus in 2023.

* Maria Rofail is a native of Acton and is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Predental-Dental Hygiene degree. Maria will graduate from the Boston, Massachusetts campus in 2022.

* Mahera Malek is a native of Concord and is pursuing a Doctor of Pharmacy degree. Mahera will graduate from the Boston, Massachusetts campus in 2025.

* Owen Haddadeen is a native of Concord and is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Premedical Health Studies degree. Owen will graduate from the Boston, Massachusetts campus in 2023.

The Dean's List recognizes those students with a full-time course load who have achieved outstanding scholarship with a 3.5 GPA or higher for the academic term.

The mission of MCPHS University is to prepare graduates to advance health and serve communities worldwide through excellence, innovation, and collaboration in teaching, practice, scholarship, and research. Founded in 1823, the University currently offers more than 100 unique baccalaureate, masters, and doctoral degree programs and certificates covering a variety of health-related fields and professions.
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Quail Ridge Camera Club Hosts Photo Exhibit

ACTON: During the month of October, the Quail Ridge Camera Club will be  exhibiting photographs at the Acton Senior Center, 30 Sudbury Road.  The exhibit will include framed black and white and color  photographs of various sizes, all available for sale. An opening reception will be on Tuesday, October 5 from 2pm – 4pm.

During this Covid-19 period, the Camera Club is holding zoom meetings usually every other Wednesday evening at 7pm. There is  no competition at meetings. Rather, members provide constructive feedback. Photographs are presented on different themes  as well as teaching each other various technical aspects of photography, focusing on the use of Photoshop and Lightroom. Some recent themes  have included favorite photos, monuments, round things, and wide angle photos.

New members, ranging from beginners to “seasoned” photographers, living in Acton or any surrounding towns, are always welcome.  For more information, contact Paul Scopa at

Mom to Mom Starting September 27 at Faith Church

ACTON: Mom to Mom, a mentoring group for moms by moms, will meet Monday mornings starting September 27. This session is from 9:30-11:30am at Faith Evangelical Free Church, 54 Hosmer Street.  Childcare will be offered for babies thru kindergarten.

There will be an Intergenerational Moms evening meeting on the 4th Monday of the month via Zoom.  These meetings are from 7:45-9:15pm and start on October 25.

Mom to Mom is a place where women can be educated, encouraged, and equipped for the most important job in the world—parenting. Through practical, faith-based teaching on parenting and supportive interaction in small groups led by mentor moms, we wish to foster growth not only in our parenting skills but in our wholeness as women—intellectually, relationally, and spiritually.

Childcare with age-appropriate programs for infants through kindergarten is provided for the moms who register for the morning session. Babes in arms are warmly welcomed to join their mothers during the meetings.

In September, the book Mom to Mom Heart Talk on What Really Matters by Linda Schultz Anderson will be discussed. Topics for the fall include: what is motherhood, trials of parenting, successful marriages, and maintaining a Christian home.

The fee for the morning session is $110 + a $15 book fee, $125 total. The Intergenerational Moms evening group is offered at no charge. To register for Mom to Mom or Intergenerational Moms, visit

Boxborough FreeBee Market to Celebrate Harvest Fair

BOXBOROUGH: What do you get when you combine a century-old agricultural fair with an innovative new community market where everything is free?  The September FreeBee Market! On Saturday, September 18, Boxborough’s FreeBee Market is back for its seventh market day since launching earlier this year, this time celebrating one of Boxborough’s oldest traditions: Harvest Fair. 

Alongside FreeBee’s usual offerings of gleaned and donated produce, meat, baked goods, and other items, visitors will also see the popular Harvest Fair apple cider-making station with hand-cranked cider press, as well as tractors from local farmers on the lawn for photo ops.  FreeBee also invites folks to bring their animal friends along for the traditional Harvest Fair “Blessing of the Animals” by Rev. Cindy Worthington-Berry of UCC Boxborough.  Music by the Nashoba Valley Concert Band will begin at 11am. 

The FreeBee project started back in May, when Fleming and a group of friends and neighbors in Boxborough learned about the “gleaning” movement – collecting or “gleaning” from grocery stores the produce and other foods that are near the end of their shelf lives and would otherwise go to waste.  The group was inspired to organize a community market to distribute food gleaned from the Acton Roche Brothers in order to combat local food insecurity and prevent waste.  In just a few months, FreeBee has become a busy twice-monthly Market with gleaned produce and meat from local grocery stores and farms, as well as garden produce, baked goods, flowers, seedlings, books, and arts, crafts and party supplies. Everyone is welcome to give, take, or both – and everything is always free.  

Celebrate Harvest Fair at the FreeBee Market Saturday, September 18 from 10:30am-12pm on the lawn at 30 Middle Road (across from Boxborough Town Hall). For more information, visit or

Sign Up Now for Acton Conservation Trust Community Service Day

ACTON: Acton Conservation Trust invites everyone to their upcoming fall Community Service Day, Sunday, October 3, 2021, 1-3pm. This year they will be working to remove bittersweet and other invasive plants from the beautiful Wright Hill Conservation Land property. There will be a brief orientation of what bittersweet looks like and how best to remove it. Please bring leather work gloves, clippers, bypass pruners and loppers if you have them. Some tools and loaner gloves will be available, as well as water and refreshments. If the day is clear, you may even be treated to a view of Mount Wachusett from the top of Wright Hill! To register, please contact Jody Harris at

Look for The Friends of the Acton Libraries at Octoberfest

WEST ACTON: The Friends of the Acton Libraries will be one of the local community organizations taking part in the annual Octoberfest Celebration at Gardner Field on September 25 from 10am until 5pm. This is a great time for you to come by to say hi, learn about the mission of The Friends, and pick up a free book for kids or teens. It’s also the perfect opportunity to renew your membership to The Friends. 

Be sure you are up to date before the big Friends Used Book Sale. Yes - an actual, in person, all kinds of books, used book sale on October 23 at The Acton Memorial Library! As a member of The Friends, you will be invited to attend the preview night, October 22, the night before the sale. Friends get first crack at the great selection of used books at the sale. This is a huge benefit if you are looking for something special, or just enjoy being there when every single book is available.

The Friends of the Acton Libraries is a volunteer organization dedicated to funding the town's elementary, middle, and high school library budgets. We also provide support to the Acton Memorial Library and West Acton Citizens' Library for programming, museum passes and more.  The Friends additionally present scholarships each year to deserving high school seniors. For more information, contact The Friends at, or visit, or follow them on Twitter at and Instagram at

Discovery Museum Announces Two Public Events to Celebrate the Launch of New Exhibit Focused on Women in STEAM Careers

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ACTON: Who do you see when you picture a scientist? Do you see a stranger in a lab coat, or perhaps a family member, a friend, or a neighbor down the street? Do you see yourself when you picture a scientist? Discovery Museum’s newest exhibit, Picture Yourself: Women in STEAM, features portraits of local female scientists painted by local female artists, with panels that describe each scientist’s work, hobbies, backgrounds, and childhood interests. Displayed throughout the Museum, together the portraits depict a range of ethnicities, backgrounds, research areas, professions, interests, and childhood memories. Each scientist portrayed in the exhibit has completed the Discovery Museum Science & Engineering Communication Fellowship program, which trains local scientists and engineers to effectively communicate to the public about their work and research, culminating in a Meet the Scientists event at the Museum on a free-admission Friday night.

EVENT 1: September 29 from 6pm-7:30pm, presented Virtually via Zoom
Registration required: or

Listen in as a group of local scientists and artists talk about their work, research, and interests, and be inspired as you learn why they find science and art cool and exciting. They’ll answer your questions as they share what it’s like to be a scientist and artist. Your registration confirmation will include a short survey to provide your questions for the artists and scientists in advance—including whether you or your child would like to ask a question live during the event. This live, virtual event is for children, ages 7+ years, and their caregivers to enjoy together.

  • Professor Piali Sengupta – Sensory Neuroscientist, Professor of Biology, Brandeis University
  • Professor Maureen Ritchey – Cognitive Neuroscientist, Assistant Professor of Psychology & Neuroscience, Boston College
  • Dr. Suanna Selby Crowley – Geoarcheologist, Founder, HeadFort Consulting
  • Ellice Patterson, M.S. – Biologist, Founder/Artistic and Executive Director, Abilities Dance; Executive Director, BalletRox
  • Katie Runde – Contemporary realist painter, Bristol, Vermont

EVENT 2: October 2, 1pm–3pm, in person at 177 Main Street, Acton, MA
To attend: This event is during public hours at the Museum. Advanced reservations are required to visit the Museum and can be made 10 days in advance at

Visit each of 6 portraits installed around the Museum and meet the local scientists and artists who are represented in the exhibit or who created these amazing works of art. Learn about their work, research, and interests, and discover why they find science and art cool and exciting. They’ll answer your questions as they share what it’s like to be a scientist or artist.

  • Professor Bulbul Chakraborty – Condensed Matter Theorist, Professor of Physics, Brandeis University (Pictured)
  • Professor Maureen Ritchey – Cognitive Neuroscientist, Assistant Professor of Psychology & Neuroscience, Boston College
  • Dr. Suanna Selby Crowley – Geoarcheologist, Founder, HeadFort Consulting
  • Ellice Patterson, M.S. – Biologist, Founder/Artistic and Executive Director, Abilities Dance; Executive Director, BalletRox
  • Wing Na Wong – Photorealist painter, Danbury, Connecticut

The exhibit is made possible in part by an IF/THEN® Gender Equity Grant, a program created through a partnership between the Association of Science and Technology Centers and IF/THEN®, an initiative of Lyda Hill Philanthropies. This is the second round of the grant program designed to support U.S.-based ASTC member museums as they embark on projects to increase the representation of women and gender minorities in STEM across museum content.

To learn more about the exhibit, visit

Free Playgroup for Multilingual Families

ACTON/BEDFORD: First Connections has openings in its Monday morning Language and Literacy Parent & Child Playgroup held outdoors in Acton from 10-11am. The group is appropriate for children aged 18 months to 5 years and will meet from September 20 to November 22. The group is facilitated by an early childhood educator who will read different versions of fairy tales and nursery rhymes, and will share traditional stories and rhymes from families' home languages and cultures. The group includes a circle time with songs and a story, and activities related to the week's story. Masks are required for ages 2 and older to allow children to interact safely. In case of rain the program will take place on Zoom. If you would like to participate in this group, please email your contact information, your child's first name and age, and the language other than or in addition to English that your family uses at home to This program is also scheduled for Wednesdays, 2-3:00 in Bedford if that schedule is preferable.

Be a fraud fighter!
If you can spot a scam, you can stop a scam.

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Did you know that someone’s identity gets stolen every two seconds?  The AARP Fraud Watch Network provides you with tips and resources to help you spot and avoid identity theft and fraud so you can protect yourself and your family.  AARP's watchdog alerts will keep you up to date on con artists’ latest tricks.  It’s free of charge for everyone:  AARP members, non-members, and people of all ages.

SCAM ALERT #1: AARP Impostor Scams
One of the most effective things that criminals can do to gain your confidence is impersonate an organization that you do business with and trust. Sadly, no one is immune from this - not even AARP. Recently, the AARP Fraud Watch Network Helpline has been receiving calls about a scam involving phone calls from someone claiming to be with "AARP Security Systems" (or something similar sounding). The first question they ask is whether you own your home and then they hang up. Rule of thumb...Don’t engage with anyone claiming to be from AARP Security Systems, and if you get a call like this, call the AARP Fraud Watch Network Helpline at 1-877-908-3360, or reporting it on zour scam map ( Anytime you are directed to pay a debt or other obligation with a gift card, it is a scam.

SCAM ALERT #2:  “Smishing”
As more of us catch on to scam calls to our smartphones and block them or don’t answer them, scammers have taken to texting. “Smishing” is the term of art: SMS + phishing. Just as scammers phish by casting a wide net with email, so they do with smishing. The same things that we suggest in order to avoid phishing attacks apply to smishing.  But texts live in this space of immediacy – scammers know we are likely to respond much faster to a text than an email. To thwart their efforts, take a pause and consider the message. Is this really my bank, or Amazon, or PayPal, or the IRS texting me? Don’t click links – access the company or agency in a way you know to be safe and see if there’s an issue. Otherwise, don’t engage.

SCAM ALERT #3: Grandparent Scams
Criminals know that fear is the best motivator, and nothing drives fear more than a loved one in trouble. This is why scams targeting grandparents seem never to go away. If someone calls claiming to be your grandchild, or some authority calling about your grandchild who is in trouble or danger, it’s most likely a scam. It’s certainly a scam if the caller directs you to send money fast to resolve the problem. Your best move is to hang up and call your grandchild or reach out to family who would know his or her whereabouts.

SCAM ALERT #4: Utility Scams
Utility scams heat up as the temperatures rise (and when they fall), so much so that the Federal Trade Commission ranks utility impostors among the top reported scams. In this one, you typically get a call, email or text saying your account is past due and you must pay immediately, or they will cut off your power.  Another tactic is the “utility” claiming you overpaid your bill, and they request your bank account information to issue a refund. Utility scammers can also show up at your door after a power outage or severe storm offering to get your power back on for a fee. Utility companies typically don’t do business this way. Any unusual communication from your utility should raise a flag. Disengage and contact your provider at a number you know to be legitimate (off of a recent statement, for example). Chances are you’ll learn that there is no problem to address.

Be a fraud fighter!  If you can spot a scam, you can stop a scam. Report scams to local law enforcement. Contact the AARP Fraud Watch Network at for more information on fraud prevention.

Parents of One Year Olds Coping with Depression/Anxiety

ACTON: First Connections, through grants from The Nordblum Family Foundation and Sage Therapeutics, is expanding their Emotional Wellbeing After Baby weekly support group to include an 8-week group for parents of one year olds. The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly increased the rates and duration of anxiety and depression among parents of young children. We are providing additional support and strategies through a free, time-limited, virtual group facilitated by Heather O'brien, LICSW, who is also certified in parent-infant mental health. The group will be offered from September 9 thru October 28, 1:30-3pm on Thursdays. To participate in this group, or the group for parents of infants, email for the connecting link. If you need assistance with finding a therapist, locating other support groups, or have questions about postpartum depression or anxiety, Heather can also help with these issues.

Maynard Emblem Club #205 Collecting for Annual Fundraiser

MAYNARD: Maynard Emblem Club #205 is holding their annual Savers Fundraiser. They are collecting used clothing, purses, shoes, accessories, backpacks, bedding, linens, curtains and other textiles such as decorative pillows. All money raised will be used to help local charities. Call Kim at 978-897-9907 or email to schedule drop-off or pick-up. Items will be collected through October 29.
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Ingathering Sunday & Water Ceremony at FPC

STOW/ACTON: September 12 is Ingathering Sunday, the service that marks the start of the church year at First Parish Church of Stow & Acton (FPC), Unitarian
Universalist (UU). This date will also mark the beginning of a new two-service structure, which will be used throughout September and re-assessed before being set for October. FPC will hold an outdoor service at 9:30am, weather permitting, which will not be accessible virtually.
Outside nursery care will be provided, again, weather permitting. To check on whether the service is taking place, follow for the most up-to-date information.

A virtual service will be held at 11:15am. This service will include music from the choir, which will perform live from FPC’s Fellowship Hall, and will feature FPC’s new music director, Brad Dumont.

Says the Rev. Dr. Cynthia L. Landrum, minister at FPC, “Our church year begins with a service of both sorrow and joy. While it’s good to be together again, we’re also not coming back together just yet in the way we had hoped for in our sanctuary. While we start a new year, in the midst of the holiday of Rosh Hashanah, full of exciting programs and opportunities, we’re also in the midst of a pandemic and remembering the anniversary of the September 11th attacks. Come join us for this service full of peace like a river, love like an ocean, tears like raindrops, and joy like a fountain!”

The 11:15am service can be accessed by computer or phone. Access information, as well as a link to the order of service, will be posted along the left column at within 24
hours of the service. To prevent disruptive intrusions, the virtual room will be locked about 15 minutes after the service begins.

For more information, call 978-897-8149 or visit FPC is located at 353 Great Road.
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Make a Difference Day at FPC

ACTON/STOW: If you or your children have ever wanted to make a difference in the world, Make a Difference Day will offer a chance to do so in a variety of areas, including climate change, LGBTQ+ rights, prison outreach, racial justice, and more. This family-friendly event takes place on September 11, from 10am to noon, on the grounds of First Parish Church of Stow & Acton, Unitarian Universalist, 353 Great Road., at the corner of routes 117. Masks are required.
Many booths will offer a variety of activities suitable for kids, teens, and adults. FPC’s Supporting Asylum Seekers Task Force’s booth, for instance, will include a globe to help kids locate countries, the opportunity to tweet President Biden, and the chance to write or draw a welcome letter to an Afghan family newly arrived in San Antonio (TX) or Charlottesville (VA), among other activities. The Climate Change Task Force’s activities will range from writing post cards to the governor and secretary of environment about implementing the state's new climate law; providing information on its Net Zero campaign for FPC; and making posters on climate change. This task force will also ring the church’s bells 11 times at 11am as part of 11th Hour Calling, an interfaith organization that calls attention to the urgency of the climate crisis on the 11th hour of the 11th day of each month.
In addition, executive director of UU Mass Action Laura Wagner will host a table with information available for its 5 Core Campaigns: Massachusetts Against Solitary Confinement; Indigenous Justice; Immigrant Justice; Environmental Justice and Climate; and Economic Justice.
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A/B United Way Turns 40!

ACTON/BOXBOROUGH: This fall, Acton-Boxborough United Way turns 40! In 1981, a group of visionary neighbors founded the Acton-Boxborough Community Chest to raise local dollars for local impact. Through thoughtful stewardship, the organization has grown and evolved. Thanks to your dedication, Acton-Boxborough United Way is a beacon of hope for many individuals and organizations in the community. Moving forward together we can achieve our vision of a community where everyone belongs and thrives.

On Friday, September 10th from 7-8:15pm, virtually join together to kick off a year of celebration. Keynote Speaker will be U.S. Rep. Lori Trahan and local community leaders will speak about the power of community. This interactive program will conclude with a toast to all of you who have helped build a caring community. Visit to register to receive your Zoom link.
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OARS Annual River Cleanup

It's OARS 35th Annual River Cleanup September 17-19. Join staff and volunteers as they spread out across the Sudbury, Assabet and Concord River Watershed to clean up our rivers, streams, ponds and trails. This year, to accommodate the comfort and needs of volunteers, there are two options.

Team Up Clean Up: During the weekend, gather family and friends for a walk or a paddle near or along the river, stream or pond. Pick up what trash and recycling you can and send OARS photos of your group cleaning up! People love to see what trash is no longer in our rivers.

Cleanup Day: Saturday, September 18, from 9am–noon. A team of volunteers will tackle sites in needing a larger group effort in towns including Framingham, Westborough, Hudson, Maynard, Concord and Billerica. The morning of hard work will be followed by a celebration with pizza. Registration is required. Details and registration information is available at

OARS is the watershed organization working to protect, improve, and preserve the Assabet, Sudbury, and Concord Rivers, their tributaries and watersheds for the purposes of public recreation, water supply, and wildlife habitat. 

Discovery Museum Announces Fall Speaker Series Lineup

ACTON: The Discovery Museum Acton's Fall Speaker Series Lineup features discussions on youth and climate, talking to kids about indigenous stereotypes, and empowering children with disabilities. First up is Youth Voices in Climate Change: A Conversation with Varshini Prakash (pictured), moderated by WBUR's Miriam Wasser. It will be held September 23, 7pm to 8:30pm. Prakash is the Executive Director and Co-Founder of Sunrise, a movement of young people working to stop climate change and create millions of good jobs in the process through the Green New Deal. Varshini has been a leading voice for young Americans, including when she helped lead a mass demonstration for the Green New Deal with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez that went viral and put the climate crisis at the top of the political agenda for the 2020 elections. Varshini's work has been featured in The New York Times, MSNBC, The New Yorker, BBC, The Washington Post and more. In 2019, she was named to Forbes 30 Under 30 list for law and policy, and TIME 100 Next, a new list of rising stars who are shaping politics, popular culture, science, and more. Varshini currently lives in Boston, MA.
Talking to Kids About Stereotypes and Invisibility of Indigenous “Native Americans” will be presented by speaker Claudia Fox Tree, M.Ed., Professional Educator and Social Justice Activist, on Wednesday, October 6, 7pm to 8:30pm. Fox Tree facilitates courses and workshops on decolonizing teaching practices, including “un-erasing” Native American First Nations People (FNP). She gives voice to Indigenous experiences (past and present) and asks allies and co-conspirators to come on the journey with her. Her presentations feature discussions on identity, culture, contributions, stereotypes, and historical inaccuracies.
An Empowered Life for Children with Disabilities concludes the series with Sara Minkara, Founder of Empowerment Through Integration on Thursday, October 21, 7pm to 8:30pm. Minkara is an internationally recognized champion for inclusion, leadership, individual empowerment, and social enterprise. Sara speaks to diverse audiences around the world and facilitates transformative, interactive workshops that employ adaptive approaches to social and workplace challenges. As an undergraduate and dedicated to promoting inclusion as a value and guiding others on their own journeys, Sara founded a nonprofit organization, Empowerment Through Integration (ETI), Sara is part of the Board of Directors for ETI and continues to create new programs and opportunities for the children and families it serves. Sara currently is the Founder and CEO of Sara Minkara LLC, an organization that offers courses, workshops, executive coaching and engages in public speaking opportunities to continue to bring her leading voice in the fields of disability, inclusion, empowerment, and authentic leadership to society.
More information and registration links for each event can be found at; a $5 suggested donation is appreciated. These sessions are free and open-to-the-public.
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West Nile Virus Confirmed in Mosquitoes in a Neighboring Community

MAYNARD & SURROUNDING COMMUNITIES: The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) announced that West Nile virus (WNV) has been detected in mosquitoes collected from Maynard, Massachusetts. Heavy precipitation events have increased the main WNV vector species abundance statewide. Abundance levels for Culex WNV vector species are expected to continue to trend up in the coming weeks.
Measures to protect yourself and your family are provided below and the recommendation should be followed until the first hard frost.
WNV is most commonly transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito. The mosquitoes that carry this virus are common throughout the state and are found in urban as well as more rural areas. While WNV can infect people of all ages, people over the age of 50 are at higher risk for severe infection. By taking a few, common sense precautions, people can help to protect themselves and their loved ones:
  • Avoid Mosquito Bites: Apply Insect Repellent when you go outdoors. Use a repellent with DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide), permethrin, picaridin (KBR 3023), IR3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus [p-methane 3, 8-diol (PMD)] according to the instructions on the product label. DEET products should not be used on infants under two months of age and should be used in concentrations of 30% or less on older children. Oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children under three years of age. Permethrin products are intended for use on items such as clothing, shoes, bed nets and camping gear and should not be applied to skin.
  • Clothing Can Help reduce mosquito bites. Although it may be difficult to do when it’s hot, wearing long-sleeves, long pants and socks when outdoors will help keep mosquitoes away from your skin.
  • Be Aware of Peak Mosquito Hours - The hours from dusk to dawn are peak biting times for many mosquitoes. When risk is increased, consider rescheduling outdoor activities that occur during evening or early morning. If you are outdoors at any time and notice mosquitoes around you, take steps to avoid being bitten by moving indoors, covering up and/or wearing repellant.
  • Mosquito-Proof Your Home: Drain Standing Water – Many mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water. Limit the number of places around your home for mosquitoes to breed by either draining or getting rid of items that hold water. Check rain gutters and drains. Empty any unused flowerpots and wading pools and change water in birdbaths frequently.
  • Install or Repair Screens - Some mosquitoes like to come indoors. Keep them outside by having tightly-fitting screens on all your windows and doors.
Information about WNV and reports of current and historical WNV virus activity in Massachusetts can be found on the MDPH website at: