Actonmemorial

Opportunity for Visual Artists

ACTON: The Arts Committee of the Acton Memorial Library invites Massachusetts artists to submit work for consideration for upcoming exhibitions in the Meeting Room Gallery. The Committee will review work for one person shows and will set the schedule for September 2023 - August 2024. Various media including painting, drawing, printmaking, illustration, photography, textiles and mixed media are eligible. Sculptural work will be considered for exhibit on the second floor of the library. All work should have been completed within the last five years. All applications must be submitted through Google Forms online. Go to this link: www.actonmemoriallibrary/artexhibits. A Google account is required to complete your submission and can be set up for free if you do not already have one. DEADLINE: MARCH 30, 2023
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Maynard Relay for Life Fundraiser

MAYNARD: Maynard Relay for Life's team Lady Bugs is hosting a fundraiser - The Midnight Riders band!!  It will be held at the Maynard-Clinton Elks on February 4.  Doors open at 7:30pm; band will play from 8-11pm. The Midnight Riders play music from many eras. Tickets are $15, available at the door or in advance by contacting Kim at (978) 897-9907 or kim.lalli@comcast.net.  If you have a table of 8 payable in advance, reserve a table! There will be light refreshments, raffles and a cash bar!  All proceeds will go to the American Cancer Society to help fund research, lodging for patients receiving treatment, etc.  A fun night out for a great cause!
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New Dads Group at First Connections

ACTON: First Connections will be offering a FREE 6-week New Dads Group for dads and their children aged 0-12 months. The group will meet for 5 weeks at First Connections, 179 Great Road, then meet at the Brain Building Exhibit at The Discovery Museum in Acton on the 6th week. First Connections has a baby-friendly playroom with air filter machines, and we request that adults wear masks. The group will be facilitated by Facilitators Neeraj Dalal and Heather O'Brien. Discuss new parenthood, ask questions, share ideas and make connections. This group will meet on Sundays, February 5-March 12, 9-10am. To attend this program, email lmatthews@jri.org.
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Spring Fashion Show & Dessert with Acton Woman's Club

ACTON: The Acton Woman's Club is hosting its Spring Fashion Show at the ActonTV Studio, 16a Craig Road, February 8, starting at 11:30am for Social time, noon for Dessert, 12:30 Business meeting, and 1pm for the Fashion Show. Outfits will be from Gould’s Clothing and Anita’s Shoe Boutique of Acton. There'll be lively commentary by esteemed Acton Woman's Club member Paula Walsh, and the models will be actual Club members - real people, neighbors and friends!

Any woman who lives or works in Acton or surrounding towns is welcome to join this active and friendly group for society, companionship and good works.  Guests may attend two meetings before joining the Club. Please call Posy Dyer at (978) 369-1295; or Jane Bungard at (978) 263-7260 for a luncheon invitation. For more information, visit https://theactonwomansclub.org.
 
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Acton Garden Club’s February Meeting

ACTON: Acton Garden Club’s February meeting will take place virtually on February 7 with a program at 10:15am titled “Hydrangea Happiness, Hydrangea Hysteria” presented by C. L. Fornari.  From blue mopheads and lacecaps to white peegees, there are hydrangeas for every garden.  Learn which varieties will live and flower well in your gardens and how to care for them. For those non-AGC members who would like to join the meeting, visit www.actongardenclub.org and leave a message for the webmaster.  You will be contacted with the information needed to log into the meeting.

C. L. Fornari is the author of eight books, including Coffee for Roses and The Cocktail Hour Garden.  She’s a professional speaker, the host of GardenLine on WXTK and co-host of the Plantrama podcast.  She has worked for a family-owned independent garden center for 25 years and grows vegetables, flowers, shrubs, trees and numerous other plants at Poison Ivy Acres on Cape Cod.
 
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Gender Bending "Marian" Playing at Theatre III

WEST ACTON: What if Robin Hood is really Maid Marian in disguise and the Merry Men aren’t actually men?  Consider this in the gender-bending, patriarchy-smashing, hilarious new take on the classic tale, "Marian, or The True Tale of Robin Hood" by Adam Szymkowicz soon to be playing at Theatre III, 250 Central Street, February 3, 4, 10 and 11 at 8pm; and February 5 at 2pm. Tickets are available at theatre3.org or by calling (978) 263-9070.
 
PHOTO: (L to R) Len Ruark (Much the Miller's Son), Kendra Sweitzer (Little John), Amanda O'Donnell (Marian/Robin Hood), Carrie Miller (Alanna Dale) & Meghan Moore (Will Scarlett)

Volunteers Needed At Hagar’s Sisters

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ACTON: Hagar’s Sisters has several volunteer opportunities for women – especially women of color - to help lead virtual support groups of women experiencing domestic abuse. Volunteers are needed two evenings a week to cultivate the emotional and spiritual healing of women impacted by intimate partner abuse, empowering them through care planning, education, and compassionate community. These support groups are typically 1.5 hours in length and take place over Zoom. Due to the security and well being of clients (‘Sisters’), interviews and certification training are necessary. The certification training is free. To request an interview and potential training enrollment, email Rene at volunteers@hagarssisters.org. Join the mission to assist those in need in the community. Visit https://hagarssisters.org for more information.

If you are in need of their services, please email care@hagarssisters.org, or call (978) 266-0053.

Local Students Named to Dean's List at Fitchburg State

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FITCHBURG: Fitchburg State University President Richard S. Lapidus has announced the students who qualified for inclusion on the Dean’s List for the Fall 2022 semester. A student is placed on the Dean’s List for the semester if an average grade of 3.20 or better is attained, and the student is attending the university full time.  Congratulations to:

Acton / Boxborough / Maynard
Catherine Abrams
Yilver A. Aguilera

Zainabu A. Bosungmeh 
Joseph D. Ditavi
Abderrahmane Garchali 

Ryan B. Kidder 
Carl W. Lindberg
Kyle J. Lindfors

Jonah T. Sallese 
Zachary J. St John 
 
Ayer / Shirley / Groton / Harvard / Devens
Chassity P. Boo 
Kaitlyn M. Bremer 
Jonathan W. Bremer 
Hailey G. Burke 
Savannah D. Caldbeck
Matthew J. Carey 
Andrew T. Esielionis
Emily J. Hanson 
Kayla A. Holland 
Curtis J. Holmes
Kabriana T. Kien 
Ryleigh A. Levensailor 
Brady W. Madigan 
Deven J. Muldoon 
Eli Norton 
Mishayla S. Silver
Megan R. Strout
Mark K. Terhune 
Danielle M. Varner 
Jing Wang
Stephen T. Wells

Chelmsford / North Chelmsford
David E. Kelley 
McKenna G. Moore 
Sara Najm 
Karen A. O'Rourke
Seth E. Rigby

Concord / Carlisle / Bedford
David P. Eisenberg 
Shujiao Liu

Hudson / Stow
Brian K. Boland 
Emily Cristobal 
Molly J. Flanagan
Isaiah French

Emily G. Hallsworth 
Nicholas D. Solimine 
Cameron J. Sousa
Dale A. Sousa 
Courtney M. Walsh

Marlborough / Sudbury
Julia M. Barnes 
Ava E. Hannon 
Kaleigh A. Morales 
Nickolai Voskanian

Westford / Littleton 
Vincent A. Colavita 
Erick K. Gakuo 
Benjamin R. Golash 
Kyanah Long 
Nathan S. Martin 
Edith Masembe 
Adam E. Quinlan 
Alyssa K. Ramirez 
Asha L. Speller 
Benjamin G. Stormwind
Meaghan J. Walsh

Additionally, Fitchburg State University President Richard S. Lapidus has announced the names of students included on the President’s List for the Fall 2022 semester. The President’s List honors students for consistently high academic achievement. A student is named to the list after achieving a 3.75 average in each of three successive semesters.  Congratulations to:

Acton / Boxborough / Maynard
Owen C. Thayer
 
Chelmsford / North Chelmsford
Alyssa J. Fields
Emily F. Klein 
Sophia A. Piper

Learn more at fitchburgstate.edu.
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ParentChild+ Program now Available Locally

ACTON: ParentChild+ is a FREE home visiting program for families with young children to help parents prepare their child for preschool or kindergarten. First Connections recently received a grant to provide this program to families living in Acton, Bedford, Boxboro, Carlisle, Concord, Harvard, Lincoln, Littleton, Maynard, Sudbury and Westford. An Early Learning Specialist will visit your home twice per week with fun and engaging early learning experiences, including a high-quality book or toy that you can keep. Specialists model reading, conversations and play activities designed to promote language development, pre-literacy skills, and school readiness. Children can enter the program when they are 18-36 months old and participate for 46 weeks, excluding summer and holiday breaks. Families who lack transportation or the financial ability to attend playgroups or preschool will be prioritized to receive this service. Families whose children are watched by family members while they work are eligible, but children enrolled in preschool or child care outside of the home would not be eligible. This program has a 40-year track record of supporting early childhood success. Anyone interested in participating in this program can contact First Connections by emailing firstconnections@jri.org or calling/texting Debbie at (978) 505-4429.  
 

The Friends of the Acton Libraries To Host Used Book Sale January 28-29, 2023

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ACTON: The Friends of the Acton Libraries will hold a live and in person used book sale on January 28 & 29 at the Acton Memorial Library from 9am-4pm. Members of the Friends are invited to a preview of the sale on January 27 from 7-9pm. Sunday will be half price day for all, from 1-3 pm. The Friends have been collecting and sorting a lot of books since the last sale. Now is your time to come to restock your supply of good books in good condition for your winter reading. While not required, face coverings while inside at the sale are encouraged. Weather permitting, there will also be tables outside of the library for browsing and shopping, too. Be sure your membership is up to date before the big Friends Used Book Sale so you can have first crack at the great selection of used books at the sale preview. If you aren’t yet a member, you can join on Friday night. But why wait? Visit the Friends via the Acton Memorial Library main page at actonmemoriallibrary.org. Print out the membership form and mail it in. Or, bring it with you on Preview Friday night.

The Friends of the Acton Libraries is a volunteer organization dedicated to funding the Town's elementary, middle, and high school library budgets. They also provide support to the Acton Memorial Library and West Acton Citizens' Library for programming, museum passes and more. Additionally, The Friends present scholarships each year to deserving high school seniors. For more information, contact The Friends at friendsofactonlibraries@gmail.com, or on social media at www.facebook.com/friendsactonlib, https://twitter.com/friendsactonlib or www.instagram.com/friendsactonlib.
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Maynard Hometown Heroes – Phase 3: What are Hometown Heroes?

MAYNARD: The Town of Maynard launched the Maynard Hometown Heroes program in 2019. The objective of the Hometown Heroes is to create banners that will be hung in Maynard honoring Maynard Veterans and Active-Duty military men and women.
 
Who Qualifies? Veterans honored through the Hometown Heroes program are defined per Title 38 of the Code of Federal Regulations as “a person who served in the active military, naval, or air service and who was discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable.” Per the VA.org website, “This definition explains that any individual that completed a service for any branch of armed forces classifies as a veteran as long as they were not dishonorably discharged.” Any Maynard-based Veteran, whether native or new resident, is welcome to be part of the Hometown Heroes Program. A Veteran or Active Military person who was born and raised in Maynard but does not currently reside in Maynard would also qualify.
 
Display Duration & Location: The Town of Maynard displays the banners annually from May – November. The location of where the banners are displayed are at the discretion of the Town.

Number of Displays & Rotation Schedule. The Hometown Heroes Committee and Town of Maynard have designated 46 poles located downtown Maynard for the veterans Killed in Action (KIA). During Phase III, we will have additional electric poles that are outfitted with brackets for our banners.  Applications for Phase III will be taken until March 15, 2023.
 
How to Participate: Phase llI Hometown Heroes Banner applications are now available online at www.townofmaynard-ma.gov.They are also available at the Maynard Town Hall (on the tables upstairs and downstairs), Maynard Public Library, Maynard-Clinton Lodge of Elks #1568 and Council on Aging office.  You can also visit the Maynard Hometown Heroes Facebook page to get questions answered, or call Kim Lalli at (978) 897-9907.

Boxborough Minutemen Company Welcomes New Members January 21

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BOXBOROUGH: The Boxborough Company of Minutemen is looking for some good men and women. The Company is holding its annual Wine and Cheese party for current members and prospective new members on  January 21 at 7:30pm.  For information contact Captain Tony Newton at (617) 448-5931or captain@boxboroughminutemen.org.

The Boxborough Minutemen Company is open to anyone of least 18 years of age who is interested in service to the Town and/or perpetuating the memory of the Minutemen of 1775. Members may participate in any number of the Company's activities including marching in parades, organizing the annual Fifer's Day town festival, performing seasonal clean-ups on Route 111, sponsoring the Boy and Cub Scouts, providing volunteers to the Blanchard School and other service organizations, and participating in our various social functions. The Company also provides financial support to a variety of service organizations and sponsors a number of annual scholarships to Boxborough students who are continuing their education after high school.
Both old and new residents of the town are welcome to come and make new connections with others in town. For more information visit www.boxboroughminutemen.org.
 

21st Annual Martin Luther King Day Breakfast featuring Tanisha Sullivan

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ACTON: Congregation Beth Elohim’s Na'aseh (We will do) organization is thrilled and honored to welcome Tanisha Sullivan as our guest speaker at the 21st Annual Martin Luther King Day Breakfast. Sullivan is the President of the Boston branch of the NAACP. Her topic will be: "Dear Beloved Community…The Power of Grace in the Movement." 

Doors open for the breakfast at 8:15am.  The program begins at 9am and will be in person at Congregation Beth Elohim, 133 Prospect Street, as well as via ZOOM.  There is no charge for the breakfast and program. A donation in the amount of your choice is very much appreciated, however. The funds are used to underwrite next year's MLK Jr. tribute event and other activities of the Na’aseh Social Justice group. For planning purposes and to receive the ZOOM login, please register www.bethelohim.org/event/mlk-2023. If you would like to make a donation, enter the donation amount of your choice when registering.

Tanisha M. Sullivan is the President of the Boston branch of the NAACP, leading the organization in its fight for racial, economic, and social justice with a data-driven and solutions-oriented framework. In this volunteer leadership role, Sullivan has led efforts to build a more inclusive democracy and improve quality of life for all Massachusetts residents. She is a seasoned corporate lawyer, has over 25 years’ experience in the life sciences industry and served as the inaugural Chief Equity Officer for the Boston Public Schools. Boston-born, Sullivan earned a bachelor’s degree in government from the University of Virginia, and an M.B.A. and J.D. from Boston College. In 2022, she ran for Secretary of State in Massachusetts.

Discovery Museum Announces 2023 Series of Free Events for Families of Children with Disabilities

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Especially for Me program, now in its 13th year, offers free Museum access for families of children on the autism spectrum or who have vision or hearing loss or sensory issues

ACTON: Discovery Museum has announced  the full 2023 schedule for the Especially for Me series of free events for families with children on the autism spectrum or who have vision or hearing loss or sensory issues. This is the 13th year of the popular program series that offers families an opportunity to play together when the Museum is closed to the public and capacity is limited in order to improve access. Because admission is free, families may come and go based on their child’s needs without concern for cost. Parents also have the chance to meet other families in similar circumstances, thereby reducing feelings of isolation often described by families dealing with special needs. A medical diagnosis is not required to attend.

Discovery Museum is ADA-compliant and all exhibits are accessible, designed according to Universal Design principles to be both aesthetically pleasing and usable by the widest possible range of people, without regard to age or ability.

Special resources are available to families including noise-reducing headphones, a sensory guide to the Museum, sensory-based programming, and American Sign Language (ASL) language facilitators at some events. Additionally, dinner, including a gluten-free option, is provided at all evening events.

All Especially for Me events are free to attend for all family members, but preregistration is required. Dates and registration links can be found online at http://bit.ly/EspeciallyforMe.

2023 Event Schedule:
 
  • Mornings for Families of Deaf, Hard of Hearing, & KODA Infants & Toddlers (closed to the public): Mondays 9:30am-12:30pm | 2/13, 9/11 
  • Sensory-Friendly Afternoons (open to the public, but no group visits are scheduled): Tuesdays 1:30-4:30pm | 2/7, 3/7, 4/4, 5/2, 6/6, 8/1, 10/3, 11/7, 12/5
  • Evenings for Families with Deaf, Hard of Hearing, & KODA Children (closed to the public): Saturdays 5-8pm | 3/11, 5/6, 12/2.
  • Evenings for Families with a Visual Impairment (closed to the public): Saturdays 5-8pm | 2/4, 10/7.
  • Autism-Friendly Evenings (closed to the public): Saturdays 5-8pm | 3/18, 4/1, 6/3, 9/16, 10/21, 12/16
  • All-Access Evenings (closed to the public): Saturdays 5-8pm | 1/21, 5/20, 6/17, 11/18.
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New Phone? New Phone Case?  Recycle Your Old Ones at the TerraCycle Bin

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ACTON/LITTLETON: Did you get a new phone for the holidays, and the old phone case no longer fits?  You can recycle it if you bring it to a TerraCycle collection bin in Littleton or Acton.  There are four: at the Acton and Littleton Donelan’s supermarkets; at the Littleton Reuben Hoar Library, and at the Littleton transfer station.
 
You may recycle (reasonably empty and dry):
 
  • Cell phone cases of any brand
  • Personal care and cosmetic containers
  • Oral care product containers & manual toothbrushes (no electric toothbrush heads)
  • Plastic Deodorant containers (no aerosols)
  • Air freshener and cleaning pumps, trigger sprays, cartridges (no aerosols)
  • Old pens, markers, and mechanical pencils
  • Empty ink-jet and toner cartridges
  • And much more – see https://tinyurl.com/littletonmarecycles to find out what other surprising items you can recycle.
 
Terracycle gives points for each item which translate into cash for non-profits such as 4-H, and the Littleton schools, and library.  Still have questions?  Email littletonma.recycles@gmail.com
 
4-H is a community of young people across America learning leadership, citizenship, and life skills.  For more information about the Action C.R.A.F.T. 4-H Club, please contact Elaine Shirron, 4-H Leader, at (978) 635-0122. 

Baker-Polito Administration Provides a $7.1M Grant for Acton Housing Authority’s McManus Manor Project
Grant will be used to fund 41-unit low-income rental housing project for seniors and people with disabilities

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ACTON: State Senator Jamie Eldridge (D-Marlborough) is pleased to announce a $7,100,000 grant to Acton Housing Authority’s McManus Manor Project to build affordable rental housing for seniors. The grant, which was awarded by the Baker-Polito Administration’s Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) will be used to fund the construction of the 41-unit affordable rental project. 

In October, the Town of Acton received a $2.3 million grant from the MassWorks Infrastructure Growth Program to support the construction of a sewer extension for the McManus Manor project. The additional $7.1 million in funding will go towards the construction of the project, which will feature 41 total rental units dedicated to seniors earning less than 60% of Area Median Income (AMI). Another 11 units will be dedicated to seniors earning less than 30% of AMI. The new affordable housing project will be designed to meet PHIUS+ 2015 Passive Building Standards, focusing on various sustainable features.

As of January 2022, the AHA’s waiting list for elder/disabled housing was over 2,000 households. This funding will help ensure that elderly and disabled residents in Acton have access to accessible and affordable housing. The Department of Developmental Services and Minuteman Senior Services will provide assistance to new residents at McManus Manor. The town also has plans to include the new housing development as a location on their hourly shuttle service, as well as build a park for seniors near the location. 

“I am grateful to the Baker-Polito administration for providing this $7.1 million grant to the Acton Housing Authority (AHA) to build more truly affordable housing,” said Senator Eldridge. “I have long supported the McManus Manor project, in the memory of former Acton Housing Authority Executive Director Betty McManus, and I am proud of the AHA and the town of Acton, for their commitment to building more affordable housing for seniors and people with disabilities. I applaud AHA Executive Director Kelley Cronin and her staff for their vision and leadership, and continue to advocate for more local housing authorities to build new affordable housing.”

"We are incredibly grateful Betty’s legacy as a housing advocate in Acton will be memorialized in the McManus Manor project,” said Kevin McManus, former executive director of Acton Housing Authority.

The funding is part of the Baker-Polito Administration’s $93 million in administered grants dedicated to affordable housing projects in 14 communities. The grants will help to build 790 housing units across the Commonwealth. DHCD will support the McManus Major project with federal and state low-income housing tax credits and subsidies, including funds from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).
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Acton Community Chorus Presents Snow Angel

STOW/ACTON: The Acton Community Chorus' upcoming concert, "Snow Angel", by young Canadian composer, Sarah Quartel, with solo cello and djembe, will be at First Parish Church of Stow and Acton, 353 Great Road in Stow, January 14 at 7:30pm. This emotional work brings about the themes of the concert - the army of angels watching over a child, the beauty of winter, and the love and fear expressed through lullabies. But you won't be lulled to sleep, as percussion and cello weave through the many songs in the concert, summoning the power of the "Angel Band" and the "Voces Lucis (Voices of Light)" through varied musical styles and languages. Tickets, available at the door, or from any Chorus member are $25. Admission for children grades K-12 is free.
 
In addition, you’re invited to the Open Sing rehearsals for the Acton Community Chorus Spring Pops Concert on January 23 and 30 at 7:30pm at the Faith Evangelical Free Church, 54 Hosmer Street in Acton. Celebrate the Roarin’ 20’s with hits by Irving Berlin, George and Ira Gershwin, Fats Waller, and Cole Porter, including Ain’t Misbehavin’, Embraceable You, Singin’ in the Rain, Someone to Watch Over Me, Blue Skies, and so many more.  Don your fedora, break out your flapper dress, and come have a blast with other people who love to sing!  No audition necessary. 

For more information, please visit 
www.actoncommunitychorus.org/join.
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Action Holiday BINGO! Wrapping Up Soon

Have you been playing The Action's Winter BINGO! this season?  The game will be wrapping up soon, so be sure to dab your numbers, cross your fingers, and when you find yourself with a row completed horizontally, vertically or diagonally, copy or scan your cards and send them to "contest@actionunlimited.com" or 100-1 Domino Drive, Concord, MA 01742.  One winner will be drawn from all verified submissions.
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Acton Woman's Club Serves Pie at the Senior Center & More!

ACTON: The Acton Woman's Club (AWC) is a place for fun and companionship.  They host monthly lunches, social/cultural events, and clubs. This month, AWC members served pies (made by Concord Farms) at the Acton Senior Center.  The delicious pies were distributed as part of our continuing community service.

Coming up next is a New Year's Day brunch.  The monthly meeting will be held at the Acton TV studio while Joe Loblundo of Twin Seafoods in West Concord prepares a delicious lunch on camera. Then, a field trip to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum on January 19  by The Club's Museum and Antiques group.   Other ongoing clubs include the Bridge, Mahjongg, and Book Club, and Wine & Dine group. For clubhouse activities, new air filters will be running to help everyone be extra safe.

Any woman who lives or works in Acton or a surrounding town may join the Acton
Woman’s Club for society and good works. For more information, contact Posy Dyer at (978) 369-1295; or Jane Bungard at (978) 263-7260 for a luncheon invitation.
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100 Holiday Meals Distributed Courtesy of Mt. Calvary Community Supper of Acton & Acton-Boxborough United Way

ACTON: Another example of what a caring community we have in the town of Acton: local businesses and organizations coming together to help 100 individuals feel the holiday spirit.  On December 19, Mt. Calvary Community Supper partnered with ABUW, Tom Lowe’s Meat Market of Northborough, and Bisousweet Bakery to prepare 100 holiday meals of a delicious
roast turkey dinner with all the “fix-ins” along with a special dessert. Meals were delivered to Acton and Boxborough and surrounding residents by Acton Senior Housing Authority, the Acton Social Services, and members from Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church.

Founded in 2011, this is the tenth year in a row for the event. Tom Lowe took on the task of cooking 16 turkeys at his market and Karen Collins, owner of Bisousweet Bakery provided delectable biscotti treats. All the carving, dicing, mashing, and remaining cooking took place at the Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church of Acton. The dedicated MCC Supper volunteers worked from early morning till noon when the final selections were ready for the packing process. Thanks to the additional help from members of ABUW and 2 returning college students, “many hands made light work” in the assembly line of rapid speed as 100 meals were readied for pick-up and hand delivery.

This event has been a very rewarding experience for all involved throughout the years. Its success has been made possible through the generosity and kindness of individuals and businesses working together for the common good. It speaks to the commitment of the wonderful Mt. Calvary Community Supper volunteers and members of Acton Boxborough United Way who provided the nutritious meals with care and compassion.

All are welcome to join each Wednesday at sit-down dinners, sharing in friendship while being served. As a non-profit organization, Mt. Calvary Community Supper sincerely appreciates support from community residents as they continue to serve all those who are experiencing food insecurity and social isolation. An entire night's 4-course supper for all who come can be provided for $350. Should you, your business, or a group of individuals wish to recognize a special person or family member, please consider donating a unique gift of love. Guests are always so grateful for a delicious meal and sense of belonging they feel as they dine at the only community supper in Acton. Donations may be made to Mt. Calvary Community Supper, P.O Box 1125, Acton, MA 01720
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Assabet Valley Camera Club: A Certain Slant of Light

HUDSON: On January 4, the Assabet Valley Camera Club (AVCC) is pleased to
host Suzanne Révy, photographer, writer and educator who earned a BFA from the Pratt Institute and an MFA from the New Hampshire Institute of Art, and previously worked as photography editor at U.S. News & World Report and Yankee Magazine. She has exhibited her work at museums and galleries throughout New England and in New York. Révy is an adjunct professor of photography at Clark University in Worcester.

A Certain Slant of Light began as a daily photographic ritual where Suzanne employed a mobile phone to keep her eyes open for light as it moved and changed throughout the day. As a photographer who primarily uses film in a methodical manner, the immediacy, speed and ease of phone photography offered a different avenue for practice and honing her vision on a daily basis. Capturing images at sunrise on a small pond allows Révy to witness seasonal changes in shifting light and weather. In her presentation, she will discuss how using the phone has enhanced her practice in film photography and will describe how her phone pictures have evolved over time.

Currently AVCC meetings are being held online. If you are interested in attending this program, contact AVCC at info@assabetvalleycc.com a few days prior to the meeting to request a link to the event. The club’s Zoom room opens at 7pm with a brief business meeting at 7:15pm. Suzanne’s presentation will begin at 7:30pm.

Normally, AVCC meetings are held at the Hudson Senior Center, 29 Church Street. The first meeting of the month generally features a program designed to instruct and/or to entertain camera enthusiasts. During the second monthly meeting, a competition of members’ digital images are judged and critiqued by qualified individuals. Assabet Valley Camera Club,
affiliated with both the New England Camera Club Council (NECCC) and the Photographic Society of America (PSA), participates in interclub competitions on regional, national and international levels. AVCC welcomes anyone interested in  learning more about photography as a visual art and its practical application as a science. Members benefit from the hands-on experiences, from the knowledge presented in programs, and from having their work critiqued. For more information, visit www.assabetvalleycc.com.
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New Year, New Work — A Group Exhibit by Artists of 6 Bridges Gallery

MAYNARD: 6 Bridges Gallery is proud to present New Year, New Work, a group exhibit of new works by member and associate member artists. New Year, New Work will be on view at 6 Bridges Gallery, 77 Main Street, January 6-February 11, 2023.  A reception will be held January 7 from 5-7pm (snow date: February 4). This event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

New Year, New Work will include paintings, photography, ceramics, sculpture and jewelry not previously shown in our gallery. Represented artists include: Priscilla Alpaugh, Roy DiTosti, Joyce McJilton Dwyer, Gail Erwin, Mary Morazzi-Henderson, Veronique Latimer, Julie L’Heureux, Sue Kim, Donna Shapleigh, Ernie Stonebraker, Patrick Brennan, Jeanne D’Amico and Natalie MacKnight. For more information, please visit 6Bridges.Gallery, Facebook and Instagram.

Gallery hours: Wednesday through Saturday 10am-5pm.
 

6 Bridges Gallery was established in 2014 by artists seeking to create a retail and display gallery in the heart of downtown Maynard, Massachusetts. The ever-changing work in our gallery includes a diverse range of media and artistic styles. All our artisans are local; many — including our founding members — are residents of the ArtSpace Maynard studios. Our gallery is owned and operated by our artists, so there is a unique opportunity to meet one or more of them on any given day.
 
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FPC Holiday & Christmas Eve Services

STOW: Continuing its month of special holiday services, First Parish Church of Stow & Acton (FPC), Unitarian Universalist, will hold a Winter Solstice service on December 18 at 10am, and it will hold its traditional Christmas Eve services on December 24 at 4pm and 9pm. All services will be held both in person and online.

On December 18, FPC will forego its traditional “Mummers’ Play,” and instead the children and youth will share a new play, “Winter Wonder: The Solstice.” Scripted by FPC’s minister, the Rev. Dr. Cynthia L. Landrum, the play is about the meaning and beauty of the Solstice. It will feature a small “nod” to the Mumming tradition. Also participating will be Marissa Evans, Acting Director of Religious Education.

FPC’s 4pm Christmas Eve Family Service, geared towards children, will feature interactive moments, stories, and carols, finishing with the traditional candle-lighting and singing of “Silent Night.”  The 9pm Christmas Eve Candlelight Service, geared towards adults, will feature traditional carols and anthems, paired with readings and the age-old story of the birth of Jesus. Guest musicians will join the FPC Choir and FPC organist/pianist Sanghee Kim as they perform under the direction of FPC Music Director Brad Dumont. An extended prelude of Christmas music will begin at 8:45pm, and this service will also end with the traditional candle-lighting and singing of “Silent Night.”

There will be no service on December 25.

Masks are required in the sanctuary, with the exception of the balcony. To enter the virtual room, go to http://tinyurl.com/22-23fpc. FPC now has a closed captioning option in online services. If the Closed Captioning option is not turned on, you can use the button at the bottom of your screen to request that the host turn it on. To prevent disruptive intrusions, the virtual room will be locked about 15 minutes after the service begins.

FPC warmly welcomes gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people. Its facilities are wheelchair accessible. For more information, call (978) 897-8149 or visit www.fpc-stow-acton.org. The church is located at 353 Great Road, at the corner of routes 117 and 62.
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Household Goods Seeks Volunteers

ACTON: Household Goods (530 Main Street) has many volunteer shifts but especially needs help on Saturdays. Volunteering on Saturdays is also a terrific way to spend some time with your teenage children, or with your spouse/ partner, or with a group of friends who want to make a difference in the lives of others. Start by registering for a New Volunteer Orientation. The next on-site orientation is January 2 at 10am, with remote orientations held via zoom scheduled for December 20 and January 17 at 7pm. You’ll take a tour and learn about different volunteer opportunities. To register, visit https://householdgoods.org/volunteering.
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Parker School Opens 2023-24 Enrollment Season

DEVENS: Francis W. Parker Charter Essential School announced the enrollment season for the 2023-2024 academic year is now open. Parker is a free public charter school open by lottery to students entering grades 7, 8 and 9. Applications can be submitted online at www.parker.school/apply until February 1, 2023. The lottery will be held on February 7, 2023 at 4pm. All application, lottery, and enrollment regulations, as outlined in the enrollment policy will be followed.

In addition, Parker has limited openings in grades 7 and 9 for mid-year entry during the current (2022-23) school year. There are no openings in grade 8 for the 2022-23 school year at this time. Applications for the current school year can be submitted online and will be accepted until January 4, 2023. If more applications are received than there are available spaces, a lottery will be drawn on January 12, 2023 at 4pm. Enrollment offers will be made with an intended start date of the first day of second semester (January 24, 2023).

Parker Charter School educates 400 students in grades 7-12 from more than 40 towns in Massachusetts. Founded in 1995, Parker is committed to the principles of progressive education—inclusive community, low student-teacher ratio, project-based learning, and promotion based on mastery of core intellectual skills. Learn more at www.theparkerschool.org. Sign up for an information session at www.parker.school/infosession.
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Acton Boy Scout Holiday Tree Pick Up Fundraiser

ACTON: Acton BSA Troops 1 and Troop 284 are teaming up once again to pick up and dispose of your Holiday Trees from both Acton and Boxborough residents on January 7 & 14, 2023.  100% of your suggested donation of $20 will be used to support Acton Scouting activities including the upkeep of camping gear, camping trips, hiking activities, camp, merit badge workshops, high-adventure trips, Courts of Honor and much more.  These hardworking scouts are an active part of the Acton/Boxborough community.  Acton and Boxborough residents interested in a contactless tree pick up may visit www.ActonBSA.org for more sign-up information.  Payment can be made by check (Checks can be written out to Troop 284 Acton) or Cash can be easily affixed to your tree, or you can use Paypal (even if you do not have an account).  No computer to sign up, no problem!  Just give a call to (978) 795-4152 and leave a message.
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MathWorks provides significant support for Traveling Science Workshops for the 13th Year

ACTON: Discovery Museum announced a 30-year milestone for its in-school STEM program, Traveling Science Workshops, having delivered hands-on science to more than half a million PreK-8th grade students from hundreds of communities throughout Massachusetts since the program began in 1992.

Traveling Science Workshops (TSW) are state curriculum-aligned, small group, in-classroom workshops that use simple, everyday materials and a hands-on approach to allow students to be scientists: exploring, observing, asking questions, and sharing discoveries. Museum educators deliver twenty-three STEM topics, including Sound, Weather & Climate, Physical Changes of Matter, and Force & Motion, to give elementary and middle school students direct experience with how things work in the physical world.

MathWorks has partnered with the Museum since 2010 to bring TSW to school classrooms, supporting program growth as well as the development of virtual workshops and distance learning resources for teachers during the pandemic. TSW is on pace to serve more than 42,000 students this school year, outpacing pre-pandemic numbers.

“With so much time spent on screens and using electronic devices—where the inner workings are difficult to see—kids have little direct experience experimenting with how things physically work. They are less and less familiar with using their hands to build, construct, solve problems,” said CEO Neil Gordon. “Thanks to the continued and impactful support of MathWorks, we continue to reach more kids to spark their interest in science and build confidence in their own abilities as problem-solvers.”

“Discovery Museum’s Traveling Science Workshops help kids understand that their worlds are filled with opportunities to observe and do science and that in fact they already are scientists—and that’s exciting,” said Kevin Lorenc, director of corporate communications at MathWorks. “Our long-running partnership with Discovery Museum is due to our firm belief that engaging kids early with STEM can broaden their interests and open up a world of possibilities around science and engineering that they may not experience otherwise.”

Discovery Museum is celebrating TSW’s 30th anniversary and thanking schools that have hosted the program for 10+ years with special discounts and STEM prizes, as well as offering referral discounts for all schools.

“Discovery Museum has made such a difference in the lives of my students over many years,” said Laura Adams, second grade teacher at Quinsigamond Elementary School in Worcester, MA, which has received subsidized school programs from Discovery Museum since 2013. “The students are so engaged and excited, and proud of themselves for applying what they observe and learn to the task at hand. And, [TSW] connects kids as they work together—even if they speak different languages. We teachers watch their faces light up and their minds bursting with ideas, and we know the program has made a real difference for our students.”

In its first year, TSW offered three topics and served 1,200 students in Acton, Maynard and Marlborough.
 

FINANCIAL FOCUS: What to Know about Sustainable Investing

December 6, 2022
 
You may have heard about “sustainable investing.”  But if you're not familiar with it, you may have some questions: What does it involve? Is it right for me? Can I follow a sustainable investing strategy and still get the portfolio performance I need to reach my goals?

Sustainable investing can be defined in different ways, with different terminologies. However, one way to look at a sustainable approach is by thinking of it as investing in a socially conscious way which may involve two broad categories: environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing and values-based investing.

As its name suggests, ESG investing incorporates a broad range of environmental, social and governance risks and opportunities, along with traditional financial measures, when making investment decisions. This approach may have a neutral impact on performance because it maintains a focus on managing risk, traditional fundamental analysis and diversification. Here's a quick look at the ESG elements:

    • Environmental – Companies  may work to reduce carbon emissions, invest in renewable energy, decrease pollution and conserve water resources.
    • Social – A business  may promote gender and pay equality within its workforce, and maintain positive labor relations and safe working conditions for employees.
    • Governance – Companies distinguished by good governance may institute strong ethics policies, provide transparent financial reporting and set policies to ensure it has an independent, objective board of directors.

You can pursue an ESG investing approach through individual stocks, mutual funds or exchange-traded funds (ETFs), which hold a variety of investments similar to mutual funds, but are generally passively managed – that is, they do little or no trading. As an ESG investor, you don't necessarily have to sacrifice performance because ESG investments generally fare about as well as the wider investment universe. Some investments may even gain from the ESG approach. For example, a company that invests in renewable energy may benefit from the move away from fossil fuel sources.

Now, let's move on to values-based investing. When you follow a values-based approach, you can focus on specific themes where you may choose to include or exclude certain types of investments that align with your personal values.

So, you could refrain from investing in segments of the market, such as tobacco or firearms, or in companies that engage in certain business practices, such as animal testing. On the other hand, you could actively seek out investments that align with your values. For instance, if you’re interested in climate change, you could invest in a mutual fund or ETF that contains companies in the solar or clean energy industries.

One potential limitation of values-based investing is that it may decrease the diversification of your portfolio and lead to materially lower returns due to narrowly focused investments, prioritization of non-financial goals and too many exclusions.

Ultimately, if you choose to include a sustainable investing approach, you will want – as you do in any investing scenario – to choose those investments that are suitable for your goals, risk tolerance and time horizon.

If sustainable investing interests you, give it some thought – you may find it rewarding to match your money with your beliefs.

This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor Mandy Calouro, Chelmsford, MA.
EdwardJones.com/Mandy-Colouro - Edward Jones, Member SIPC
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Boxborough Minutemen Christmas Tree Pickup January 7, 2023

BOXBOROUGH: The Boxborough Minutemen, with help from the Boxborough DPW, will be collecting and chipping Christmas trees from Boxborough residents this year on  January 7, 2023.  In late December, look for the sign up forms on the Boxborough Minuteman  website at https://boxboroughminutemen.org.  Hard copy forms will also be available around the same time at the Town Hall if you prefer to use mail.  The cost for pickup is $15; deadline for all payments is  January 3rd. If you prefer not to sign up for tree pickup, you can also deliver your tree for disposal to the “old” Boxborough DPW facility located at 577 Mass Ave (Rte. 111) on January 7 between 10am and 2pm. A disposal fee of $10 will be collected on site when you drop off your tree. For questions, email  captain@boxboroughminutemen.org.

The Maynard Community Band Presents 33rd Annual “A Christmas Pops”

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MAYNARD: The Maynard Community Band (MCB) presents their 33rd annual “A Christmas Pops” December 18, 5pm at Sanctuary, 82 Main Street. MCB is the longest standing tradition in the town with continual performances since 1947. Whether this is your first time or you're a returning fan, you’ll be inspired by this time honored program for the young and young at heart.  Sit back, relax and listen to the musical sounds of the season.  Beginning with “A Festive Holiday Celebration,” hop on the “Polar Express” and take a glistening ride around the world as you enjoy the parade of the “March of the Toys,” ultimately stopping to listen to Disney’s “Frozen”. Try to stay in your seats though as we feature our trumpet section on “Bugler’s Holiday”.  Then once again remembering “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”, and finally ending “Wishing you a Mambo Christmas”.  Weather permitting we may even get a visit from Santa himself.

This concert has become an annual event in town and always proves to be an entertaining and memorable experience... and it’s
FREE!!!!  Come early and stay for the main event as the MCB Holiday Concerts have become standing room only by downbeat time.  Doors open at 4pm.  Cash bar open.  Limited seating available.

The community concert band is a non-professional musical ensemble comprised of musicians from Maynard and its’ surrounding communities who demonstrate strong interests in playing music in a purposeful but non-stressful atmosphere.
For those unable to attend or wanting to view the concert from home, it will be LIVE streamed on Facebook  https://fb.me/e/2qq0tSLcu?mibextid=RQdjqZ or Youtube https://youtu.be/fwXDkW7hb_0.
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Supporting Someone with a Mental Health Condition?

The Family to Family course from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) could prove helpful to you. This is a free, evidence-based, weekly, eight-session virtual course for family members and friends of individuals living with mental health conditions. Topics include understanding the symptoms of mental health conditions, learning about treatments and therapies, practicing communication and problem-solving skills, creating a positive team approach, and self-care. Importantly, the course offers family members the invaluable opportunity of open conversation and mutual support in a stigma-free environment. The class is taught by NAMI trained family members from the local NAMI Central Middlesex affiliate. The course will meet Mondays via Zoom, starting January 16, 6-8:30pm.  Registration is required. Go to namicentralmiddlesex.org/educational-courses for additional information, the registration link, and more course offerings. To converse with one of the teachers, contact Patti at pjsardella56@gmail.com; (978) 621-1065 or Lindsay at linzbfar@gmail.com; (781) 864-7003.
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Santa Claus is Coming to Acton December 10

ACTON: Santa will visit the neighborhoods of Acton on December 10 from 9am-3pm. The Jolly fellow will ride in a vintage 1936 REO fire truck, escorted by the Acton Fire
Department. Come one, come all! Be sure to bring your wish list. Santa’s helpers will
also collect non-perishable food items for the Acton Food Pantry.

* Santa’s Itinerary *

9am. Oakwood Road and Fernwood Road
9:15am. 32 Parker Street, Cucurbit Farm
9:35am. 15 Hillcrest Road
9:50am. Faulkner Hill Road at High Street
10:10am. Robbins Street at Heron View Road
10:30am. Lothrup Road at Spencer
10:45am. Joseph Reed Lane at Capt. Forbush Lane
11:05am. Ethan Allen Drive at Black Horse Drive
11:20am. Duggan Road at Townsend Road
12pm. Nashoba Road at Huron Road
12:15pm. Seneca Road at Seminole Road
12:30pm. 29 Jackson Drive
12:50pm. Musket Drive at Fife & Drum Road
1:10pm. Acton Memorial Library, lower lot
1:30pm. Acorn Park Drive at Walnut Street
1:50pm. 47 Nonset Path (Nagog Woods Post Office)
2:10pm. Nara Park, 25 Ledge Rock Way (Bathhouse)
2:30pm. Bayberry Road at Magnolia Drive
2:45pm. Hosmer Road at Alcott Street

Look for Santa on Facebook @Santaride. Times are subject to change.

FINANCIAL FOCUS: Protect Financial Accounts From “Cyberthieves”

November 29, 2022
 
Cybercrime is booming. In 2021, the FBI reported that cybercriminals scammed nearly $7 billion from Americans — a figure slightly higher than the gross domestic product (GDP) of Switzerland for that year, according to research organization World Economics. How can you protect yourself from cyberthieves? Here are some suggestions that can help:
 
  • Watch out for “phishing” attempts. You may receive emails that appear to be from a legitimate firm, requesting information your financial institution would never request online — confirmation of an account number, password, Social Security number, credit card number and so on. These notes can look official, often incorporating a firm’s logo, so pay close attention to what’s being asked of you.
  • Think twice before clicking or downloading. If you are suspicious about a communication, don’t click on a link or download an attachment — instead, go to your financial firm’s website or use their app to verify they sent the information or request.
  • Become adept with passwords. Use a different password for each of your accounts and change your passwords regularly. Of course, maintaining multiple passwords can be confusing, so you might want to consider using password management software, which generates passwords, stores them in an encrypted database and locks them behind a master password — which is the only one you’ll need to remember.
  • Use your own devices. Try to avoid using public computers or devices that aren’t yours to access your financial accounts. If you do use another computer, clear your browsing history after you log out of your account.
  • Be cautious about using Wi-Fi when traveling. When you’re on the road, you may want to use public hotspots, such as wireless networks in airports and hotels. But many people don’t realize that these hotspots reduce their security settings to make access easier, which, in turn, makes it easier for cyberthieves to intercept your information. In fact, some hackers even build their own public hotspots to draw in internet-seekers in an effort to commit theft. So, if at all possible, wait until you can access a trusted, encrypted network before engaging in any communications or activity involving your financial accounts.
  • Don’t give up control of your computer. Under no circumstances should you provide remote access to your computer to a stranger who contacts you, possibly with an offer to help “disinfect” your computer. If you do think your device has an issue with malicious software, contact a legitimate technician for assistance.
  • Know whom you’re calling for help. If you need assistance from, say, a customer service area of a financial institution, make sure you know the phone number is accurate and legitimate — possibly one from a billing or confirmation statement. Some people have been scammed by Googling “support” numbers that belonged to fraudsters who asked for sensitive information.
  • Review all correspondence with your financial services provider. Keep a close eye on your account activity and statements. If you see mistakes or unauthorized activity in your account, contact your financial institution immediately.

Advanced technology has brought many benefits, but also many more opportunities for financial crimes. By taking the above steps, and others that may be needed, you can go a long way toward defending yourself against persistent and clever cyberthieves.

This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor Preston Carbone, Westford, MA  - EdwardJones.com/Preston-Carbone, Edward Jones, Member SIPC
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56th Annual Maynard Holiday Parade

MAYNARD: The 56th Annual Maynard Holiday Parade will take place on December 4 in downtown Maynard. At 1:45pm, look up to see Santa waving at the crowd from a helicopter! Then, the parade kicks off at 2pm with food collection trucks leading the way. Each parade attendee is asked to bring one or more canned food items to donate to our local food pantries. Together, we can lessen food insecurity for our community members. The parade will also feature special guests of honor, local businesses, organizations, musical groups, and entertainers. For more parade details, visit www.Maynardholidayparade.com. WAVM, the Maynard High School radio/tv station, will be emceeing the event live from Sanctuary at 82 Main Street. Add to the excitement by arriving early or staying afterward to enjoy a meal and some holiday shopping.
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Friends of Maynard Seniors Community Bag Sale

MAYNARD/STOW: Friends of Maynard Seniors has been selected as the benefiting nonprofit for the give back where it counts community bag sale at Shaws. For the month of December 2022 the Friends of Maynard Seniors will receive a $1 donation from each purchase of the $3 reusable give back where it counts bag sold at Shaws 155 Great Road in Stow. These bags are great to carry groceries as well as other items. Why not get several to give as gifts? Your donation to the Friends of Maynard Seniors is a wonderful gift to help senior citizens where needed.
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Family-to-Family Gift Bag Drive Returns to Open Table
An opportunity to give back to our community and brighten the holiday season

ACTON/CONCORD: Open Table, the Concord and Maynard charity dedicated to fighting hunger and building healthy communities, announced that the Open Table Family-to-Family Gift Bag Drive is back for the third year in a row. The program offers community members the opportunity to create special holiday gift bags for clients of Open Table.

Open Table will provide a list of suggested items to fill a gift bag and follow up with reminders on each of the first 12 days of December. Gift bags will be collected in Maynard on December 16 and in Concord on December 17.  Each client will receive a gift bag with their final food distribution of 2022.

Families can use the following suggestions to create a gift bag for a family or a senior:

Day 1:  Movie Night Snack
Day 2:  Special Breakfast
Day 3:  Fun activity
Day 4:  Gift card
Day 5:  Favorite baking mix
Day 6:  Moisturizer
Day 7:  Hot beverage makings
Day 8:  Festive holiday napkins
Day 9:  Favorite store-bought treats
Day 10: Cozy accessories
Day 11:  Favorite spread for toast
Day 12:  Dried fruits and/or nuts

Please note, Open Table is unable to accept home-baked goodies for the gift bags. 

“We are delighted to invite you to join OpenTable again this year in creating a gift bag for either a family or a senior,” said Alex DePalo, Executive Director of Open Table. “Thank you for considering this opportunity to make the holidays more meaningful not only for the families who rely on Open Table, but for your family, too.”

Sign up to make a gift bag at:  opentable.org/family-to-family
 

FINANCIAL FOCUS: Time for New Year’s Financial Resolutions

November 22, 2022
 
It’s that time of year when many of us promise ourselves we’ll go to the gym more, or learn a new language, or take up a musical instrument, or any number of other worthy goals. But this year, when making New Year’s resolutions, why not also consider some financial ones? Here are a few to consider:

Don’t let inflation derail your investment strategy. As you know, inflation was the big financial story of 2022, hitting a 40-year high. And while it may moderate somewhat this year, it will likely still be higher than what we experienced the past decade or so. Even so, it’s a good idea to try not to let today’s inflation harm your investment strategy for the future. That happened last year: More than half of American workers either reduced their contributions to their 401(k)s and other retirement plans or stopped contributing completely during the third quarter of 2022, according to a survey by Allianz Life Insurance of North America. Of course, focusing on your cash flow needs today is certainly understandable, but are there other ways you can free up some money, such as possibly lowering your spending, so you can continue contributing to your retirement accounts? It’s worth the effort because you could spend two or three decades as a retiree.

Control your debts. Inflation can also be a factor in debt management. For example, your credit card debt could rise due to rising prices and variable credit card interest rate increases. By paying your bill each month, you can avoid the effects of rising interest rates. If you do carry a balance, you might be able to transfer it to a lower-rate card, depending on your credit score. And if you’re carrying multiple credit cards, you might benefit by getting a fixed-rate debt consolidation loan. In any case, the lower your debt payments, the more you can invest for your long-term goals.

Review your investment portfolio. At least once a year, you should review your investment portfolio to determine if it’s still appropriate for your goals, risk tolerance and time horizon. But be careful not to make changes just because you feel your recent performance is not what it should have been. When the financial markets are down, as was the case for most of 2022, even quality investments, such as stocks of companies with solid business fundamentals and strong prospects, can see declines in value. But if these investments are still suitable for your portfolio, you may want to keep them. 

 • Prepare for the unexpected. If you encountered a large unexpected expense, such as the need for a major home repair, how would you pay for it? If you didn’t have the money readily available, you might be forced to dip into your long-term investments or retirement accounts. To prevent this, you should build an emergency fund containing three to six months’ worth of living expenses — or a year’s worth, if you’re retired — with the money kept in a low-risk, liquid account. 

These  resolutions can be useful — so try to put them to work in 2023.

This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor James Normington, AAMS, Westford, MA - EdwardJones.com/James-Normington. Edward Jones, Member SIPC
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Concord Conservatory Teaches Ukulele at the Boys and Girls Club

MAYNARD: On Thursday afternoons, the Boys & Girls Club of Assabet Valley (BGCAV) is filled with kids playing games, doing homework, and taking advantage of their athletic space. If you listen closely, you’ll hear a new sound, the sound of ukuleles and kids singing!

BGCAV offers after-school, summer, and recreational programs to youth in the community. While programming is varied and enriching, a notable gap was in music education. Recognizing this, the BGCAV Executive Director, Annalisa Campaneli, decided to augment their current program offerings to include music. “Talking with the Concord Conservatory of Music cemented the idea that the ukulele would be a great instrument for Club kids to start with. Aside from all the research that shows that playing an instrument helps develop the area of the brain that handles cognitive tasks, research shows that most children respond to music with joy!”

This fall, CCM introduced a music program for kids ages 6-11 at the Club, marking the first time that Club has had music as a program option for the kids. CCM instructor Cathy Marks leads two classes, teaching the kids the ukulele and general music. For most of these kids, it’s their first opportunity to have instrument lessons, learn foundational music skills like rhythm, play in unison as a group, and sing while playing. “Over the last few weeks, we have seen the ukulele lessons, under the  tutelage of Ms. Cathy, draw out feelings ofpride, self-confidence, and pure enjoyment. We plan on offering the ukulele lessons in the winter and may expand to include drums next year. Our partnership with CCM has been wonderful.”

The classes are free for the kids and the BGCAV and are made possible by generous supporters in the community. The kids will share what they’ve learned with their families and the rest of the Club with a performance. “I am so excited that the BGCAV was receptive to piloting our music classes for their kids. They are so proud of what they have accomplished, and we’re looking forward to continuing to bring music to the Club next semester,” says Kate Yoder, CCM Executive Director.

Concord Conservatory of Music is located at 1317 Main Street in the West Concord Union Church. Financial assistance is available.
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Acton Lions Club Returns with Annual Christmas Tree Sale

ACTON: As they have for many years, the Acton Lions Club will be selling Christmas Trees and Wreaths, starting November 26 at the Acton Ace Hardware parking lot, 222 Main Street. Balsam Fir trees will be $60, and wreaths will be $30. There will be Lions available on site on Fridays from 4-6pm, and on Saturdays and Sundays from 10am-6pm.. If the lot is unstaffed folks can select their own tree and drop a payment off in the drop box inside Acton Ace Hardware. This is one of their major fundraisers, and they rely upon the public to support their charitable work. All proceeds after expenses are donated to international, national, and local charities.
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Concord Conservatory Teaches Ukulele at the Boys and Girls Club

MAYNARD: On Thursday afternoons, the Boys & Girls Club of Assabet Valley (BGCAV) is filled with kids playing games, doing homework, and taking advantage of their athletic space. If you listen closely, you’ll hear a new sound, the sound of ukuleles and kids singing!

BGCAV offers after-school, summer, and recreational programs to youth in the community. While programming is varied and enriching, a notable gap was in music education. Recognizing this, the BGCAV Executive Director, Annalisa Campaneli, decided to augment their current program offerings to include music. “Talking with the Concord Conservatory of Music cemented the idea that the ukulele would be a great instrument for Club kids to start with. Aside from all the research that shows that playing an instrument helps develop the area of the brain that handles cognitive tasks, research shows that most children respond to music with joy!”

This fall, CCM introduced a music program for kids ages 6-11 at the Club, marking the first time that Club has had music as a program option for the kids. CCM instructor Cathy Marks leads two classes, teaching the kids the ukulele and general music. For most of these kids, it’s their first opportunity to have instrument lessons, learn foundational music skills like rhythm, play in unison as a group, and sing while playing. “Over the last few weeks, we have seen the ukulele lessons, under the  tutelage of Ms. Cathy, draw out feelings ofpride, self-confidence, and pure enjoyment. We plan on offering the ukulele lessons in the winter and may expand to include drums next year. Our partnership with CCM has been wonderful.”

The classes are free for the kids and the BGCAV and are made possible by generous supporters in the community. The kids will share what they’ve learned with their families and the rest of the Club with a performance. “I am so excited that the BGCAV was receptive to piloting our music classes for their kids. They are so proud of what they have accomplished, and we’re looking forward to continuing to bring music to the Club next semester,” says Kate Yoder, CCM Executive Director.

Concord Conservatory of Music is located at 1317 Main Street in the West Concord Union Church. Financial assistance is available.

Green Acton’s Land Use Committee: Helping to Shape Acton’s Future!

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ACTON: Did you know: the Green Acton Land Use Committee studies, proposes solutions, and advocates at the intersection of land use and Acton's many environmental issues, such as climate, biodiversity, water, toxins, growth/ consumption and social justice. Currently, they are working on (1) a draft Town bylaw to limit tree/land clearing; (2) issues at the nexus of development/construction, land use and social and environmental justice; and (3) influencing changes to Acton’s zoning bylaws.

The committee’s progress on these efforts requires additional volunteers. They need help with research, writing, phone calls, and other advocacy activities. Would you consider learning about and joining in this important work!
If you are interested, attend a Green Acton Land Use Committee meeting. They meet by videoconference on the last Wednesday of the month, 7:30-9:30pm. Email LandUse@GreenActon.org to receive more information and meeting access, and to join the Land Use Committee email list.
Singularity concert series 12.1.22

The Singularity Concert Series: A Unique, Unscripted Musical Improvisation

MAYNARD: Possum Hall Music and Fugitive Productions are co-hosting this Singularity Concert Series on December 1 (7:30-9:30pm) at Sanctuary, 82 Main Street. Each concert is quite unique, with a line-up of cutting-edge musical performers and creators. No songs, no sheet music — music being made purely “in the moment” and showcasing the power and creativity of live improvisational performance. Come witness this unscripted musical magic of fantastic musicians with cool instruments (oud, djembe, bass guitar, clarinet, drums, percussion, keyboards, guitar, electronic...).

Featured musicians include Jerome Deupree (drums, percussion), Burcu Gulec (voice, electronic treatments), Todd Brunel (clarinet, bass clarinet), Carl Nickerson (drums, djembe), Todd Roach (percussion), Mac Ritchey (oud, guitar, electronic treatments), Duncan Watt (keyboards), and Sumner Thompson (bass guitar, voice).

For anyone on the fence, you might be thinking “can I listen to TWO HOURS of improvised music?” The answer is simple: yes, you can. You will hear SONGS being written right there in front of your ears, evolving themes, conversations, unexpected turns. It won’t be random music. It will be magical and it will showcase all the best features of music, community, and sharing a moment of creation and connection.

Tickets are $12 in advance / $15 at the door. Doors open at 7pm. There is a Full bar and you can order dinner in one of Maynard’s many fine restaurants and bring it with you. You can get your tickets and read the incredible bios on each of these musicians on the ticket page at www.eventbrite.com/e/singularity-music-improvisation-series-tickets-456159233547.
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Boxborough Author "Looked to the Sky"

BOXBOROUGH: Boxborough author, Francie Nolde, has written a biography-memoir about her mother who had a remarkable life as a pioneer aviator during WWII and the Cold War. Nolde will give a reading at the Boxborough Sargent Memorial Library on December 7 at 7pm. Bring a book from The Silver Unicorn Bookstore at 12 Spruce street, West Acton, for signing.

Nolde writes: "She dreamed of becoming an opera star. She did perform in a Gershwin musical with Fred Astaire, and she did become the star of a 1930s radio serial. But after Frannie married a wealthy textile manufacturer and became the mother of seven children on his Pennsylvania estate, she looked to the sky."

Frances Dean Wilcox Nolde became a pioneer pilot, World War II Civil Air Patrol (CAP) commander, winner of an early transcontinental all-women’s air race, and eventually a colonel in the CAP in charge of the women’s program. After moving to Washington, she became responsible for planning how America’s civilian airplanes would defend the country should the Cold War become hot. A glamorous, ambitious proponent of women aviators, Frannie challenged male dominance at a time when home, career, motherhood, and personal success created both joy and trials in her life and the lives of those she loved. Her public life demonstrated her capabilities while her personal life revealed her flaws.

In She Looked to the Sky, her youngest child, Francie Nolde, tells her mother’s story — and her own.