Flea Market

West Acton Baptist Church will be holding a Flea Market May 11th from 12 noon to 3:00 in the parking lot, 592 Mass Ave. during the West Acton Merchants Village Association Spring Fling.  Spaces available for a small donation. Limited number of tables, first come, first served.
Slated to date: Acton Police Dept with Zane their comfort dog! Handmade Greeting cards, Vintage used jewelry & the church membership will be offering vintage teacups for sale. Contact church office 978-263-5902 or wabcadmin@verizon.net.

Windborne A Cappella Quartet
to Perform in Stow

Stow, Mass., April 27 – The critically acclaimed a cappella quartet Windborne will perform songs drawn from centuries of world music, from labor and civil rights struggles as well as modern folk compositions, at the New Revival Coffeehouse in Stow on Saturday, April 27. NPR called them “The best musical discovery of the year…stunningly powerful. Windborne sets a new bar for harmony singing today!”
Tickets are $20 in advance at tinyurl.com/WindborneMusic and $25 at the door. Doors open at 7pm. and the concert begins at 7:30pm. Masks are optional. The New Revival Coffeehouse is located at First Parish Church of Stow & Acton, 353 Great Road, Stow. For questions, call 978-274-2593 or email coffeehouse@fpc-stow-acton.org

Ministry as Improv – FPC Sunday Service

Stow, Mass., April 28 – So much is changing in our world, faith, and congregational lives. As we engage this changing reality, we need tools to help us meet the needs of this liminal time. First Parish Church of Stow & Acton (FPC) is pleased to welcome the Rev. Darrick Jackson, ministerial credentialing director for the Unitarian Universalist Association, to lead the Sunday service on April 28 at 10 a.m. Rev. Jackson will show us how improvisation can provide us with a framework for ministry in these times. He will show us how to add some “Yes, and…” to our lives and as part of FPC’s congregation – and how “Yes, and…” can help us to better accept and understand others, create new possibilities, and more.
The service will take place both in person and virtually. Masking is optional. Child care is available for ages 3 and under, and children over 3 are welcome to join religious education classes. For information about those classes, contact FPC Director of Religious Education Rayla D. Baldwin-Mattson at dre@fpc-stow-acton.org. To enter the virtual room, go to tinyurl.com/22-23fpc.
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 Rd., Stow.

Joy Bible Study Spring Luncheon

Joy Bible Study invites area women to attend our annual Spring Luncheon
Date: Wednesday, May 8
Time: 9:45-11:45
Acton Joy Bible Study is a friendly community of women from different denominations who  desire to study the Bible, share laughter, develop lasting friendships, and share personal  insights. It has been meeting for 41 years.
The Spring Luncheon includes personal testimonies from two of our members, worship through  music, and announcement of our next study beginning September 2024. The morning  concludes with a complimentary luncheon provided by our members. Come see what we are all  about!
We meet at Faith Evangelical Free Church, 54 Hosmer St, Acton, MA  www.joybiblestudy.com

Indoor Yard Sale Event

A “Free Sale”, an indoor yard sale event, will be held at Trinity Church Congregational at 14 Wattaquadock Hill Rd. in Bolton on May 11th from 9AM -12PM. Household goods, toys, books, movies, sporting goods, clothing, decorations, and more. All items are free. Enjoy complimentary refreshments as well.
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St. Stephen Church Offers FREE Clothing

MARLBOROUGH: Along with warm weather, spring and summer bring holidays - a cause for celebration - unless you are on a tight budget. Rising temperatures also mean a switch to a different wardrobe which can be stressful if the same dollars also compete for food, gifts, and household expenses. If only clothing were FREE!

Well, it will be at the April 27 Clothing Giveaway at St. Stephen Lutheran Church, 537 Bolton Street (Route 85) from 10am-noon! Donated clothing is in good to excellent condition. Most is arranged by size, with some on hangers, to create the feeling of shopping in a store, with“departments” for men’s, women’s, and children’s clothes. In addition, accessories – shoes, belts, costume jewelry, scarves, and pocketbooks – will also be available, all at no cost, to add an element of fun, or provide the opportunity to reward yourself for smart shopping.
The event is open to the public, regardless of need; recycling advocates are especially welcome to shop. Bring your own bag, or take a bag provided and fill it with whatever you can use.

Saint Stephen Lutheran Church parishioners and friends donate clean, popular, wearable items that customers will take and use, believing they are helping not only individuals but also the earth, keeping good clothing out of landfills. The April 27 event marks the Church’s 15th Clothing Giveaway.
For more information about the church, visit www.sslcma.org or the church’s Facebook page.

Saint Stephen is a member of the New England Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (elca.org). The church is a Reconciling in Christ congregation, inviting people of every gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, ability, marital status, or class. Parishioners hail from Marlborough, Hudson, Berlin, Northborough, Southborough, Westborough, Shrewsbury, Stow, Bolton and Worcester. Worship services are held Sunday mornings at 10am followed by coffee hour and preceded by Sunday School for adults at 9am.
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AVCC Presents "HDR (High Dynamic Range) Imaging - The Natural Look"

HUDSON: On April 3, the Assabet Valley Camera Club (AVCC) will host a presentation by Hazel Meredith, an award-winning photographer, teacher, speaker, workshop leader and a highly respected competition judge. Actively involved in the photographic community on the local, regional and national levels, Hazel has held leadership positions in several organizations and has received distinction awards from both the Photographic Society of America and the New England Camera Club Council. HDR (High Dynamic Range) Imaging: the Natural Look is supported in part by a grant from the Hudson Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency. The program is free and open to the public. Hazel’s work can be viewed online at meredithimages.com.

Our eyes can see much more light in a scene than our cameras can capture. The purpose of HDR is to maintain the extremes of light that your camera cannot capture in one image. During her HDR Imaging - The Natural Look presentation, Hazel will demonstrate with Photomatix, a program that can “tone map” the image, how to capture a high dynamic range of light and render it into a single image accenting texture and details.

Currently AVCC meetings are using a hybrid approach where members can meet either in person or via Zoom. If you are interested in attending the program, contact AVCC at avcc.digital@hotmail.com a few days prior to the meeting to request a link to the event or to let them know you will be attending in person. The club’s Zoom room opens at 7pm with a brief business meeting at 7:15pm. Hazel’s presentation will begin at 7:30pm. AVCC in-person meetings are held at the Hudson Senior Center, 29 Church Street and are open to the public. 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 inter-club 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 assabetvalleycc.com.
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Discussions with the Do It For James Foundation

STOW: Discussions with the Do It For James Foundation, a presentation by Timothy and Tamia Woods, founders of the Do It For James Foundation, will be held April 8 from 6-7pm at Hale Middle School.  This event is sponsored by the Randall Library at the Stow Police Department. Please note that this talk features heavy topics, including suicide, coercion, and guns. While this is intended for people of all ages and children are encouraged to join, parental discretion is advised. This program will be recorded and posted on the Stow TV YouTube channel after the event.

On November 19th, 2022, their 17-year-old son James took his own life after being sextorted online. This is when someone creates a fake social media account to lure victims into sending explicit photos of themselves, and then threatening to send them to their friends and family unless they pay. Timothy and Tamia present to parents and children to encourage communication and warn others of cyberbullying. Learn more about James and the foundation at letsdifj.org.

James was a 17-year-old high school student growing into a young man. A person who ran year-round just because. He started with outdoor track and field. But he noticed that his times could be a little better so he began to run around his neighborhood to increase his endurance. This shows that he was willing to go the extra mile to achieve his goals. An excellent quality to have. He then started to run cross country too! Let’s not forget that James ran indoor track during the winter time. He literally ran all year long. Not because he had too, but because he wanted to. The neighbors always saw James jogging with his headphones on and waving as he passed by.

Aside from running, James was also a person that people looked forward to being around. He was literally the life of the party. Wherever James went, he made people laugh. He brought out nothing but smiles from all of his friends. If you weren’t his friend, then you haven’t met yet. His magnetic personality relaxed the most rigid of souls. A very well-mannered child who was in the slender body of a funny, kindhearted, dog loving, boy with a great smile, sense of humor, and lots of charisma. James was literally the perfect child. No one, no matter what age, color, or economic background, could say a word negative about the man that James was on his way to becoming.

Unfortunately this beautiful life was cut short because of the actions of money hungry criminals. They targeted James. James was being cyberbullied. The culprits extorted money from James, mentally tortured him, threatened him, and harassed him all night and into the next day. James was exhausted from lack of sleep. James tried everything he could think of to stop his parents from learning of the embarrassing acts that took place. The last resort was that of the ultimate price; his life.

On January 13, 2023, The Woods’ founded a nonprofit 501 (c)(3) organization called the Do It For James Foundation that caters around the need to be the microphone and warn others. The Do It For James Foundation will not only host speaking engagements to warn others and encourage communication between children and adults, but will also give children a helping hand in lifting their talents and battling evil. As the foundation grows, it will help the underserved, assist with mental health needs and provide scholarships for runners (Cross Country and Track & Field). Like James, the foundation will continue to run year-round giving life, providing love, educating and Doing it all for James.

Rotary Offers Fantastic Youth Leadership Conference Opportunity for High School Sophomores

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BOLTON: The Rotary Club of Nashoba Valley is actively searching for qualified candidates to attend this year’s Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) Conference to be held June 21-23, 2024, at Fitchburg State University. This annual leadership conference offers outstanding high school sophomores an opportunity to live, work and interact together in an atmosphere of friendly competition. It is a program designed to challenge the participants to utilize and improve their skills and accept the responsibilities of leadership. Best of all, there is no charge to students who participate! The Rotary Club of Nashoba Valley will sponsor four participants at this year’s conference.

Robert Johnson, local Committee Chairperson, said that participants would be selected from young women and men who have exhibited leadership abilities, and who are currently in their Sophomore year of high school. The Rotary Club of Nashoba Valley is now contacting high school principals, guidance counselors, youth organizations and other sources for nominations of conference participants.

Aimed at developing the leadership potential of young men and women, the conference will feature many thought-provoking events including interactive Leadership Labs, exciting guest speakers, and challenging mental and physical activities that will provide the participants with a chance to excel amongst and with their peers. Topics will include decision-making, critical thinking, communicating effectively, ethics, and public service.

Anyone interested in obtaining further information should visit www.ryla7910.org or contact Robert Johnson at johnson@itesafety.com or (978) 875-3143, or any other member of the Nashoba Valley Rotary Club.
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Assabet Valley Camera Club Program: A Murmer in the Trees

HUDSON: On March 6, 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 in museums and galleries throughout New England and in New York. Révy is an adjunct professor of photography at Clark University in Worcester.

A Murmur in the Trees is a fine-arts photographic presentation featuring multi-panel images which strive to create dialogues between space and form, implying the passages of time and creating arresting visual stutters. Suzanne finds herself looking for figurative gestures in the trees or streams and in the man-made imprints left upon the land. She wishes to impart a tenor of solitude that conveys a reverence for the fragile and enduring ecosystems that surround us, and to draw parallels between the cycles of nature and the arc of human history.

A Murmur in the Trees is supported in part by a grant from the Hudson Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency. The program is free and open to the public. Révy’s work can be viewed on her website at www.suzannerevy.com .
Currently AVCC meetings are using a hybrid approach where members can meet either in person or via Zoom. If you are interested in attending the program, contact AVCC at info@assabetvalleycc.com a few days prior to the meeting to request a link to the event or to let us know you will be attending in person. The club’s Zoom room opens at 7pm with a brief business meeting at 7:15pm. Suzanne’s presentation will begin at 7:30pm. AVCC in-person meetings are held at the Hudson Senior Center, 29 Church Street, and are open to the public. 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 inter-club 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, check out assabetvalleycc.com.
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The Clements Brothers to Perform in Stow

STOW: With roots, rock, bluegrass, jazz, and classical influences, identical twins George and Charles Clements aim to capture their singer-songwriter sensibilities in a unique blended voice, at once enthralling and intimate, groovy and serene. They write what Charles calls “story-telling songs, with an intimate acoustic sound,” created by George on acoustic guitar and Charles on upright bass, along with their closely blended harmonies. The Clements Brothers will perform at the New Revival Coffeehouse on March 9. Tickets are $17 in advance at tinyurl.com/TheClementsBros and $20 at the door. Doors open at 7pm. and the concert begins at 7:30pm. Masks are optional. The New Revival Coffeehouse is located at First Parish Church of Stow & Acton, 353 Great Road. For questions, call (978) 274-2593 or email coffeehouse@fpc-stow-acton.org.

Town of Stow Awarded Two State Grants

STOW: Town Administrator Denise Dembkoski is pleased to announce that the Town of Stow has received awards from two state grant programs, the Cybersecurity Awareness Grant Program and the Municipal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Improvement Grant Program. Awards were announced on January 25.

The Municipal Cybersecurity Awareness Training Grant Program, offered by the state Executive Office of Technology Services and Security (EOTSS) and its Office of Municipal and School Technology, supports the efforts of municipalities and school districts to improve overall cybersecurity.

According to the EOTSS, participants begin their training with an initial cyber strength assessment to measure baseline cybersecurity awareness. Training modules and simulated phishing email campaigns help participants build good cyber hygiene habits to increase their awareness of deceptive techniques used by bad actors to gain unauthorized access to government systems. At the end of the program, participants complete a final cyber strength assessment to measure their progress.

The Town was also awarded $36,728 in grant funding as part of the Municipal ADA Improvement Grant Program, courtesy of the Massachusetts Executive Office of Administration and Finance.

Grants were awarded to successful applicants to remove barriers to, create, and improve accessible features and programmatic access for persons with disabilities throughout the Commonwealth.

The Town will use the funding to upgrade municipal buildings in Stow to make them accessible for everyone and to meet ADA requirements. The Town will also work to ensure that the four pillars of accessibility – Physical, Sensory, Social, and Digital – will be maximized.

"We are so grateful to have received these grant awards, both of which will help the Town of Stow to improve our service to the community," said Town Administrator Dembkoski. "I want to give special thanks to Ashley Pinard, our Procurement and Grants Administrator, who worked very hard on these submissions."
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Stow Police Department Creates Task Force to Re-Examine 1985 Disappearance of Catherine 'Cathy' Malcolmson

STOW: Police Chief Michael Sallese announced that the Stow Police Department has created a task force that will be reexamining the 1985 disappearance of Catherine “Cathy” Malcolmson. The task force was announced on February 3, the Friday ahead of National Missing Persons Day.

Malcolmson was 16 years old when she disappeared in 1985 while riding her bike to work in Hudson. Although the case has been looked at several times since her disappearance, this is the Department’s first task force solely dedicated to Cathy and her disappearance. Her bicycle was discovered approximately two years later in Hudson. Since then, there have been no substantial leads or developments.

Stow Police received funding through the Edward J. Byrne Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program for the creation of the task force, overtime for the officers involved, and the creation of a podcast focusing on Cathy’s disappearance and subsequent investigations. This task force will be led by Sgt. Cassandra Scott.

“Cathy’s disappearance has always remained on the minds of our department members and this town” said Chief Michael Sallese. “I am glad that we were given the opportunity to bring more attention to this case. There have been both technological and investigative advancements since her disappearance and we are looking forward to utilizing those tools. Our hope is that given the time that has passed, people who may not have come forward then will come forward with information now and we can finally get some answers as to what may have happened to Cathy.”

If you have any information about Cathy’s disappearance you can call the tip line at (978) 897-4545 x1985, or email tipsforcathy@stow-ma.gov.
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All You Need Is Love: A Beatles Celebration - FPC Sunday Service

STOW: The Beatles first arrived in the U.S. on February 7, 1964. Sixty years later, the Fab Four still have widespread appeal. On February 11 at 10am, First Parish Church of Stow & Acton (FPC) will hold a service exploring the enduring appeal of the Beatles' music and its relevance today. This all-ages celebration will focus on what their music says to us today.

“When artists have an enduring quality that lasts decades after the creation of their work, it’s often because they’ve tapped into something deeper — justice, inspirational beauty, spirituality, universal truths, awe and wonder,” said FPC’s minister, the Rev. Dr. Cynthia L. Landrum. “In the case of the Beatles, it's all of these, and that’s why we’re doing this service.”

The service will take place both in person and virtually. Masking is optional; a section of the sanctuary is reserved for those who wish to wear masks. Child care is available for ages 3 and under, and children over 3 are welcome to join religious education classes. For information, contact FPC Director of Religious Education Rayla D. Baldwin-Mattson at dre@fpc-stow-acton.org. To enter the virtual room, go to tinyurl.com/22-23fpc.

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.
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Celebratory Services at First Parish Bolton

BOLTON: On February 4 at 10am, the First Parish of Bolton will be celebrating Scouts Sunday, inviting all Boy Scouts of America members (Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA, Venturing, SeaScouts and Exploring) to partake wearing their Class A uniforms. This is an opportunity for Scouts to publicly demonstrate the 12th point of the Scout Law: A Scout is Reverent.  All are welcome to attend this special Sunday service and enjoy Coffee Hour with the congregation afterwards.

On February 11 at 10am the First Parish of Bolton, 673 Main Street, invites all to their celebration of Mardi Gras featuring a jazz band led by First Parish’s Minister of Music, Dr. Alexander Lane. Swing, sway and dance to traditional Mardi Gras music, then the service will end with bead throwing. The Reverends Ginger Bove and Bea Manning, will offer a reflection on the combination of joy and impending hardship reflected in the Mardi Gras celebration as well as the Biblical references found in “When the Saints Come Marching In”.  All are welcome to this upbeat and festive service and a special Coffee Hour that follows.

Any questions, please call (978) 779-6427 or email admin@firstparishofbolton.org.

Town of Stow Receives $500,000 Department of Energy Resources Green Communities Division Grant

STOW: Town Administrator Denise Dembkoski is pleased to announce that the Town of Stow has received $500,000 in grant funding from the Department of Energy Resources (DOER) Green Communities Division for the Randall Library building decarbonization renovation project. The $500,000 in funds will be used to aid the Randall Library renovation project and transform the building into a fossil-free space. The renovation will include the installation of an all-electric HVAC system to support both the addition and the renovation of the existing building, with the aim to lower the Town’s overall greenhouse gas emissions.

DOER staff selected grant applications to fund based on a number of factors, including energy impacts, emissions reductions, utility incentives, reasonable budget, efficacy of measures in terms of energy savings per DOER investment, and previous grant awards. DOER also looked favorably on projects that exhibit innovation and consistency with the Commonwealth’s stated clean energy priorities.

“We are very grateful for this funding, which will help us to meet our goal to make the Randall Library a space that is free from fossil-fuels,” said Town Administrator Dembkoski. “This renovation works alongside the Town’s actions to meet our greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets, and we look forward to continuing our commitment to a sustainable future.”
 
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“Flower and Garden Photography”
Program at Assabet Valley Camera Club

HUDSON: On February 7, the Assabet Valley Camera Club (AVCC) will host Lisa Sacilotto as she presents “Flower and Garden Photography”. The program is free and open to the public.

Photographing flowers can be fun, but also challenging!  Subjects can be found in one’s own back yard, along the roadside or in formal gardens. This program includes such topics as composition, lighting, lens selection, focus stacking and creative approaches along with example images and helpful tips based on the photographer’s own experience.

As a professional photographer, Lisa has worked with conservation organizations such as the National Wildlife Federation, Norfolk Botanical Gardens and the Assateague Island Alliance. Her images have appeared in magazines, calendars, and books published by the National Wildlife Federation, Natural History Society, and National Geographic. Lisa’s articles on nature photography have been published in Outdoor Photography and Birding. Based in Maryland, Lisa has been sharing her photographic experiences with others through classes, workshops, lectures and tours in both the United States and abroad for more than 35 years. Check out Lisa’s photo gallery at ospreyphoto.com and to learn more about her upcoming workshops and tours.

Currently AVCC is using a hybrid meeting format. If you are interested in attending either the online program or the in-person meeting, contact AVCC at info@assabetvalleycc.com a few days prior to the meeting to request a link to the event or to let them know you will be attending in person. The club’s Zoom room opens at 7pm with a brief business meeting at 7:15pm. Lisa’s presentation will begin at 7:30pm. AVCC’s in-person meetings are held in the Great Room at the Hudson Senior Center, 29 Church Street, Hudson. Visitors are always welcome to attend and should plan to arrive no later than 7:15pm.

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. Members benefit from the hands-on experiences, from the knowledge presented in programs, and from having their work critiqued. For more information, check out the AVCC website at assabetvalleycc.com.

Erin Mulcahy Selected as Stow Assistant Town Administrator/Human Resources Director

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STOW: Town Administrator Denise Dembkoski shared that Erin Mulcahy will join the Town's leadership team as Assistant Town Administrator/Human Resources Director. Mulcahy comes to Stow from the Town of Concord, where she was a Business Systems Analyst.

Mulcahy brings to Stow extensive experience in finance, human resources, and technology. She worked as an information and business systems analyst in the private sector before joining the Town of Concord in 2011.

"Erin is a great fit for the Town," Town Administrator Dembkoski said. "We were incredibly impressed with Erin's experience and enthusiasm, and the innovation she has shown in her career. Her skill set and vision will make her a valuable contributor."

Mulcahy holds a Bachelor's degree from St. Anselm's College, and a certificate in Local Government Leadership and Management from Suffolk University's Sawyer Business School. She is currently pursuing a Master's degree in Public Administration from Suffolk.

“I am honored to have been selected for this position and excited to collaborate with the Town of Stow’s employees and residents to make meaningful contributions to the community," Mulcahy said.
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Tom Denney Nature Camp Registration is Open!

BOLTON: Registration is open for this summer's Tom Denney Nature Camp. The camp is for students entering Kindergarten through High School. Activities include swimming, games in the fields and woods, arts and crafts, songs, tracking, hiking, campfires to roast hot dogs and marshmallows, building shelters, Animal Adventures, Predator and Prey, The Amazing Race & more.

Campers entering grades 6-9 in the Eco Adventures program will play kayaking games on the pond, laser tag in the woods, nighttime activities on Thursday and dinner and s'mores, water guns, an adventure hike, team building activities & more.

Counselors-in-Training must be entering 9th grade or above and attend Orientation June 26-28 and then choose two weeks or more to be at camp.

Campers from all towns are welcome! There are six weekly sessions that run July 1-August 9, Monday-Friday, 9am-3pm. Before/after care is available! For more information or to register, visit tomdenneynaturecamp.org, or to connect directly with a camp rep, email questions to bcttdnc@gmail.com (best means of communication) or call (978) 429-3004 (voice mail).
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ARC Comedy Night Benefit is February 9

HUDSON/MARLBOROUGH: The ARC is hosting the 13th Annual Comedy Night Benefit, featuring the area’s most popular and talented comedians on February 9, at the Hudson Portuguese Club, 13 Port Street. The event, being held in support of the Addiction Referral Center (ARC) of Marlborough, will include lots of laughs, food, and raffle prizes.

The ARC has been serving the local community for over fifty years, since 1972, and relies on fundraising and donations to provide its services. Entertainers at the Comedy Night Benefit include popular comedians Jason Merrill, Dan Miller, and Jeff Koen. Hosting the evening is Dave Rattigan.

Dave Rattigan returns as host. He has performed in Ireland, at Fenway Park, The Cape Cod Melody Tent, South Shore Music Circus, a lumberyard, the lobby of an ad agency, a library, and several parking lots. “There’s nothing funny about the way he looks, until he gives that deadpan look of his,” popular blogger Ralph Fatello (RalphsPic.com) wrote earlier this year. “His outward appearance is something out of a mature GQ magazine. He looks like a cross between a semi hip banker, and your mild-mannered father-in-law… Dave is the master of completely dismantling himself in front of a crowd of strangers.  I’m always torn as to whether I should console him, or just laugh my ass off like everyone else …  You know they (comics) are hitting home when the audience starts to point at each other…”   His CD was played on SiriusXM and radio stations all over the U.S. and Ireland, and he has appeared in regional television commercials on NESN.

With an act that’s one part Saturday-morning cartoon character and one part pro-wrestler, Jason Merrill is a fast-rising Boston comedian with an animated style. The latest in a line of strong comedians from the great city of Lawrence, he has impressed audiences with his streetwise style and good-natured exuberance. He is a member of Hard Hat Comedy – featuring three great Boston comics who are also union builders – and has performed at the Hampton Beach Comedy Festival.  He has shared the stage with accomplished comedians such as Juston McKinney, Lenny Clarke, Christine Hurley, Joe Yannetty, and Steve Sweeney.

A native of the South End in Boston, Dan Miller was born a comedian but made it official when he burst onto the local comedy scene in the 1990s. Since then, he has teamed with local and national headliners including Lenny Clarke, Paul Nardizzi, Dane Cook, and Dave Attell. He’s also done a turn as an actor and improv comedian as a lead in the Boston-area dinner theater production of “Mario and Mary’s Italian Comedy Wedding.” He has since been honing his craft in comedy clubs throughout New England. He’s trained at The Actor’s Workshop and at the Harrison Project with well-known acting coach Peter Kelly, and has appeared on regional television commercials.

Jeff Koen’s family was on America’s Funniest Home Videos and won $10,000. Can anything be more glamorous than that? Koen often works the clubs and theaters of New England with Juston McKinney, and is in constant demand as an actor on independent film projects. He’s known for his portrayal of one of the characters in the on-line cartoon Man Servants, and for playing the offensive “Uncle Rick” in the 2010 cult film Heavy Times, which gained him fans from all of the world, though not very many in any one country. “A guy from Sri Lanka wanted to visit me and stay at my house,” he said. “All he needed me to do was write a letter to the prime minister.” His work has appeared at many film festivals, and he’s a regular performer on the Hampton Beach (NH) Comedy Festival.

Doors open for the event at 6:30pm and the show begins at 7:30pm. Food is available for purchase. Coffee and desserts are complimentary. For further information on sponsorships, program ads, tickets or table reservations, call the ARC Office at (508) 485-4357. Tables ($350) and individual tickets ($35) should be purchased in advance at the ARC. Chairing the planning for the event are Tracey Gustafson, John Campbell, and Donna Silva.

The Addiction Referral Center (ARC) ranks as one of the most respected and active recovery service resources in Middlesex County. As a nonprofit organization, the ARC provides individualized referral services, Recovery Coach appointments and daily peer-support meetings at no cost to those seeking recovery from substance use disorder. To donate to the ARC or sponsor the 13th Annual Comedy Night Benefit please call the ARC (508/485-4357) or visit theaddictionreferralcenter.org/2024-comedy.
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Mike+Ruthy at New Revival Coffeehouse

STOW: Stow’s New Revival Coffeehouse is pleased to announce the return of Mike+Ruthy of the Mammals to its stage on January 20 at 7:30pm. Mike Merenda and Ruth Ungar have recorded and performed their exquisite, original folk music together for two decades as the duo Mike+Ruthy and with their seminal folk rock quintet The Mammals. Their concerts blend artistry and authenticity, with fiery fiddle & banjo, emotionally potent harmonies, and dynamic stories that deepen the experience. Tap your toes, dance, or sit back and sing along as Mike+Ruthy “roam effortlessly through the whole span that is Americana, from alt-country to folk to bluegrass.” (The Bluegrass Situation). The concert takes place at First Parish Church of Stow & Acton, 353 Great Road. Tickets are $20 in advance at tinyurl.com/MikeRuthy; $25 at the door. Doors open at 7pm. Masks are optional. For questions, call (978) 274-2593 or email coffeehouse@fpc-stow-acton.org.
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Singers Wanted!

STOW: All interested singers are invited to join the Sounds of Stow Chorus for Open Rehearsals on January 8, 15 and 22. Rehearsals are held at the First Parish Church’s Fellowship Hall, 353 Main Street, and begin at 7pm. Please arrive a few minutes earlier to allow time for registration. All voice parts are welcome!

Rehearsals begin for their April 7 concert at the Littleton High School, entitled “Mighty Mozart!” which will feature two of his monumental works, the C-minor Mass and the Piano Concerto No. 20 in D-minor. We have a full orchestra and fantastic piano and vocal soloists lined up to help us bring this beautiful music to life. Mozart;s Mass in C-minor, composed between 1782 and 1783, is considered one of his greatest works and a testament to his genius. It is divided into five sections, each meticulously crafted to evoke a range of emotions, from solemnity to exuberance. Join us for this unique opportunity to be a part of a collective musical journey!

The Sounds of Stow Chorus is a friendly and welcoming group whose singers hail from 20+ towns in the Metrowest area and beyond. Membership is open to anyone who can match pitch, learn the music, and blend with the other voices. Artistic Director Barbara Jones and Assistant Artistic Director Christina Kennedy promote principles of good singing and serious musicianship at weekly rehearsals that are lively, challenging, and always fun. For further information, please visit www.soundsofstow.org or email info@soundsofstow.org.
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HHS Drama Society Presents the musical "Mean Girls, The High School Version"

HUDSON: This will be fetch! Hudson High School Drama Society is presenting the musical "Mean Girls, The High School Version based on the movie written by Tina Fey. The musical Mean Girls story follows a teenage girl as she navigates the social hierarchy of high school after years of homeschooling. Cady is a hit with “The Plastics”, the popular clique, until she makes the mistake of falling for Aaron, the ex-boyfriend of alpha Plastic Regina George. The shows are on January 12 and 13 at 7pm; January 14 at 2pm in the Paul “Skip” Johnson Auditorium at Hudson High School, 69 Brigham Street. The production a live pit orchestra, funded through a generous donation from a Hudson Cultural Council grant. The show is directed by Alyssa MacDonald, choreographed by Steven Yerardi, and with Musical Direction by Sarah Worrest. Tickets are $15 for adults; $12 for seniors/students at the door, however there is a $2 discount when purchasing in advance online. To purchase in advance online, visit www.onthestage.tickets/show/hudson-high-school/656dcc5834219d0e3de3fcb1/tickets. Please note, as with the movie Mean Girls, this production is considered PG-13.
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Stow Fire Captain Barry Evers Graduated from Effective Leadership Development Program

STOW: Town Administrator Denise Dembkoski and Fire Chief John Benoit are pleased to announce that Captain Barry Evers graduated from the 11-week Effective Leadership Development (ELD) program. Capt. Evers has been a member of the Stow Fire Department for 22 years and was promoted to Captain in February 2022. 

The program is part of the Leadership Management International (LMI) Incorporated organization and enables leaders to develop their skills and perspectives while learning about different approaches to problem solving, improving delegation practices, time management, and more. 

“On behalf of the Stow Fire Department I would like to congratulate Capt. Evers on this wonderful accomplishment,” said Chief Benoit. “The dedication and commitment to his role and service is why I am proud of have Capt. Evers as a member of our department.”

“In Stow we believe in continuous training and development to best meet the needs of our community and I wish to congratulate Capt. Evers for his continued devotion to the Stow community,” said Town Administrator Dembkoski.
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Ultimate Landscapes – Photographing Trees & Forests at AVCC

HUDSON: On December 6, the Assabet Valley Camera Club (AVCC) will host Paul Nguyen as he presents “Ultimate Landscapes – Photographing Trees & Forests”. The program is free and open to the public. Through special consideration for composition, equipment, weather, and timing, Paul will reveal how he creates his striking, elegant images of woodland environments. He will teach how to go beyond the basics of landscape photography to capture the unique essence of trees and forests.

As a professional photographer with over 30 years of experience in film and digital photography of natural landscapes and wildlife, Paul has served in the prestigious National Park Artist in Residence Program at the Petrified Forest in Arizona and continues to create programs for the National Park Service. Paul’s company Blue Hour Photo Ventures conducts outdoor photo workshops and leads tours in the USA and abroad. Sign up for his newsletter at paulnguyenphoto.com to learn about these opportunities and to view more of Paul’s incredible images.

Currently AVCC is using a hybrid meeting format. If you are interested in attending either the online program or the in-person meeting, contact AVCC at info@assabetvalleycc.com a few days prior to the meeting to request a link to the event or to let us know you will be attending in person. The club’s Zoom room opens at 7pm with a brief business meeting at 7:15pm. Paul’s presentation will begin at 7:30pm. AVCC’s in-person meetings are held in the downstairs meeting room at the Hudson Senior Center, 29 Church Street. Visitors are always welcome to attend and should plan to arrive no later than 7:15pm.

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. 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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Elisabeth von Trapp in Concert at Hudson First United Methodist Church

HUDSON: For many, the von Trapp name evokes memories of “The Sound of Music”. On November 18 at 7pm, enjoy a concert by Elisabeth von Trapp, granddaughter of the legendary Maria and Baron von Trapp. A suggested donation of $10 per person is requested. Proceeds will go towards the performance and in support the church’s missions and outreach programs.

For Elisabeth von Trapp, “the sounds of music” are part of her earliest memories. Born and raised in Vermont, Elisabeth is the granddaughter of the legendary Maria and Baron von Trapp, whose story inspired The Sound of Music. Singing professionally since childhood, Elisabeth has enthralled audiences from European cathedrals to Washington, D.C.’s Kennedy Center. Inspired by her father Werner von Trapp’s guitar playing and singing, Elisabeth began taking piano lessons when she was eight. By sixteen, she was playing guitar and traveling the back roads of New England performing with her siblings at weddings and gospel meetings, town halls, and country fairs. Music has influenced Elisabeth and it was music that made her family name a Hollywood legend. Growing up she heard the sounds of Beethoven, Bach, Vivaldi and Mozart from her father’s record collection and the voices of The Beatles, Dylan and Joni Mitchell and the Rolling Stones from the open airways of Vermont radio.
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Sounds of Stow Fall Concert

STOW/LITTLETON: Join the Sounds of Stow Chorus & Orchestra for the opening concert of their 45th season. “Beauty in Birdsong” on November 19 at 2pm. The concert will be held at a convenient and state-of-the-art venue, the Littleton High School at 56 King Street in Littleton (just off I-495). For further information and tickets, please visit www.soundsofstow.org or email info@soundsofstow.org.

Under the direction of Barbara Jones, the chorus and orchestra will perform the area premiere of Christopher Tin’s important new work, “The Lost Birds: An Extinction Elegy.” The composer’s website observes that the work serves as a “musical memorial to bird species driven to extinction by humankind. Sweeping and elegiac, it is a haunting tribute to those soaring flocks that once filled our skies.” Drawing on texts by four 19th century women poets, “The Lost Birds” celebrates the beauty of birds and the natural world, while also warning of the tenuous existence of all living things. Tin has created a profound, timely, moving and beautiful work that will touch the hearts of all who hear it. Preceding this new work, the orchestra visits familiar works from the musical canon that are inspired by birds, including Vivaldi’s Flute Concerto “The Goldfinch,” Saint-Saëns’ “The Swan” arranged for harp and cello, Margaret Lowe’s “Dawn Carol” for flute ensemble, and R.V. Williams’ “The Lark Ascending.”

Sounds of Stow is partnering with the Mass Audubon Society to highlight the importance of conservation as bird populations are declining across North America. Joan Walsh, chair of natural history and field ornithology at the Mass Audubon Society, will give a short talk at the beginning of the concert, and Audubon staff will be in the lobby to answer questions, provide informational material, and introduce some avian “wildlife ambassadors.”

Sounds of Stow is supported in part by the Massachusetts Cultural Council as administered by the local cultural councils of Stow, Acton-Boxborough, Bolton and Hudson.
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Fall Nature Gardening Tip: Leave Leaves Alone

As a rule in nature and gardening, keep leaves in place whenever possible. Leaving the leaves alone is a good way to support native pollinators and other insects and wildlife.  These valuable insects rely on the habitat fallen leaves provide, especially over the winter months.  Dead leaves also decompose creating compost that can improve soil structure and fertility. 
 
This being said, leaves need to be managed in yards to see the most benefit. Leaves shouldn't simply go unmanaged. If nothing is done, layers of fallen leaves can cause damage by blocking out light and smothering plants which can kill them. Often a little redistribution of the leaf layer to prevent a thick mat of leaves from forming is all that is needed to prevent this type of damage. Excessively thick layers of leaves (greater than 6 to 8 inches) may need to be reduced or removed. Whenever possible move them to mulched garden areas with fewer leaves or create a compost pile onsite to keep all that beneficial organic matter in your yard.
 
Mow-mulching the leaves on the lawn has many advantages, including reducing noise and greenhouse gases, and enhancing the health of your yard. The shredded/mulched leaf material  creates valuable compost, which enriches the topsoil. Leaf mulching also limits spreading dust and contaminants into the air and saves you time and money. The benefits of mulching the leaves into the lawn are numerous and scientifically proven.  Mulching:
  • is quieter and cleaner than leaf blowing;
  • reduces the need for fertilizer and avoids water pollution by reducing phosphorus and fertilizer leaching;
  • reduces the safety hazard of piled up or bagged leaves on the roadsides and saves taxpayer money for municipal leaf collection;
  • improves soil structure, water retention and percolation;
  • encourages the grass roots to penetrate more deeply, improving grass health; and
  • makes the lawn more resilient to weather events like drought and flooding.

Don't blow... mow! 
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Stow COA Host a New “Grief and Healing” Group

STOW: The Stow COA is hosting a new group called “Grief and Healing.” It will be facilitated by Karen Campbell, a grief counselor hired by the Nashoba Associated Boards of Health of which the Stow Board of Health is a member. As a result of this partnership, the sessions will be provided to Stow residents free of charge. The group will be an opportunity to learn more about the grief process and to share one’s experiences and challenges after a loss of any type. Past participants have been widowed, lost a family member, or had difficulty with life changes and transitions.

Sessions, which began in late October, continue November 30 and December 28, beginning at 2pm and lasting approximately an hour. Participants do not need to commit to all three dates, but if you plan to attend one or more group sessions, please let the COA know to expect you. There are several ways to register:
 
Please call the COA (978-897-1880) and ask for Kathleen in Outreach if you have any questions or would like to be put in touch with Karen, who is available to schedule individual appointments for those more comfortable with that format.
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Upcoming at FPC

STOW: On October 22, First Parish Church of Stow & Acton (FPC), Unitarian Universalist, will hold the third of a four-part Sunday service series on spiritual practice types and how they may be connected to personality types. The subject will be unity. The service will be led by the Rev. Dr. Cynthia L. Landrum, held both in person and virtually at 10am. Masking is optional; a section of the sanctuary is reserved for those who wish to wear masks. To enter the virtual room, go to tinyurl.com/22-23fpc. For more information, call (978) 897-8149 or visit www.fpc-stow-acton.org.

Mark your calendars!  FPC’s New Revival Coffeehouse will open its ’23-’24 season with a concert by jazz fusion band Polarized Guru in a concert to benefit FPC. The Nifong Brothers, Berklee graduates and accomplished local musicians, will open the evening with a short set. Polarized Guru presents a dynamic show with a mix of jazz, funk, latin, and other styles. Inspired by artists like Chick Corea, Spyro Gyra, The Yellow Jackets, and Steps Ahead, the band plays covers and originals. The concert will take place on November 11. Doors open at 7pm. and the concert begins at 7:30pm. Masks are optional. Tickets are $17 in advance at tinyurl.com/PGConcert and $20 at the door. For questions, call (978) 274-2593 or email coffeehouse@fpc-stow-acton.org.

FPC warmly welcomes gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people. FPC’s facilities are also wheelchair accessible.  The church is located at 353 Great Road, next to the Randall Library.
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Nashoba Symphonic Band Presents Fall Concert

BOLTON: On October 29 at 3pm, The Nashoba Symphonic Band, under the direction of David Bailey will open its 8th Season with a Fall concert “Vive la France” including Scenes from “The Louvre” by Norman Dello Joio, Johann de Meij's setting of Ravel's Pavane Pour Infante Defunte, and the glittering Paris Sketches by Martin Ellerby, as well as music by Paul Dukas and Louis Ganne, and perhaps a surprise or two. The concert will take place at Nashoba Regional High School, Route 117, about a mile west of town center. Admission is free! Nashoba Symphonic Band is a program of the Nashoba Regional High School Friends of Music and supported in part by grants from Ashby, Bolton, Leominster, Lancaster, Lunenberg, and Stow Cultural Councils, agencies supported by the MA Cultural Council, a state agency.
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"ICM – More Than Just Pretty" - Assabet Valley Camera Club Program

HUDSON: On November 1, the Assabet Valley Camera Club (AVCC) is pleased
to host Silvana Della Camera, award-winning photographer, judge, and presenter as well as a member of the Professional Photographers Association (PPA). In her hour-long presentation
on Intentional Camera Movements Silvana will discuss how photographs created with
intentional camera movements (ICM) convey mystery to the viewer. It lets them use their imagination to fill in the blanks and to inspire a lingering gaze. In this presentation, you will learn techniques for the transmogrification of a scene and the impact ICM has on you, the photographer. Learn how breaking the rules can make you a more imaginative photographer.

Silvana Della Camera, a software engineer by trade, began her fascination with photography as a very young child. Now a lifelong obsession, Silvana shares her enthusiasm for photography through her workshops, photo walks and camera club presentations on various topics including
infrared, black and white, time-lapse and deep-space photography. To see more of her images and to join her email list visit her website at www.silvanadellacamera.com.


Currently AVCC is using a hybrid meeting format. If you are interested in attending either the online program or the in-person meeting, contact AVCC at  info@assabetvalleycc.com a few days prior to the meeting to request a link to the event or to let us know you will be attending in person. The club’s Zoom room opens at 7pm with a brief business meeting at 7:15pm. Silvana’s presentation ICM - More Than Just Pretty will begin at 7:30pm. Meetings are held in the downstairs meeting room at the Hudson Senior Center, 29 Church Street. Visitors are always welcome to attend and should plan to arrive no later than 7:15pm.

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. Members benefit from the hands-on experiences, from the knowledge presented in programs, and from having their work critiqued. For more information, check out the AVCC website at www.assabetvalleycc.com.
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SFCoA Quilt Raffle

STOW: Feeling lucky? Take a chance and purchase raffle tickets for a beautiful handmade quilt.  This quilt, which measures 68” x 81 ½” was made by the Stow Quilters. Tickets are 1 for $3, 3 for $5 or 5 for $10, available at the Stow Council on Aging, 509 Great Road, Monday-Friday from 8am-3pm, or by mail to Stow Friends of Council on Aging (SFCOA), Attention Karen Kelleher, P. O. Box 97, Stow, MA 01775. Cash or check made payable to SFCOA only. 

The SFCOA is an all-volunteer, non-profit organization that provides financial support to the Stow Council on Aging which directly benefits our senior residents. The drawing will be made at the SFCOA Second Chance Sale on December 2. Winner does not need to be present to win. 100% of proceeds go towards programs and outreach for Stow’s seniors. To learn more, visit stowfriendsofthecoa.org
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Save the Date: SFCoA Second Chance Sale

STOW: Save the Date! The SFCOA Second Chance Sale will be held on December 2 from 10am-3pm at the Pompo Community Center. Shop for holiday items, new or used, at very reduced prices! Try your chance at a raffle! Purchase homemade baked goods for your holiday table. The SFCOA is an all-volunteer, non-profit organization that provides financial support to the Stow Council on Aging which directly benefits senior residents. To learn more, including how you can volunteer or support other fundraising events visit stowfriendsofthecoa.org.
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Connected the Musical – FPC Sunday Service

STOW: The musical “Connected” is about transgender youth, generational struggles, and how we’re all connected. On October 15, First Parish Church of Stow & Acton (FPC), Unitarian Universalist, will hold a service that will include music and readings from the score and script as FPC’s choir sings music from “Connected,” a special story is read by Thalia Hyland, and special guest preacher Kathryn Denney delivers the sermon. Denney wrote the story, the music and the lyrics for Connected the Musical and directed the premiere production in 2022. She has sought the input of dozens of transgender people and victims of narcissist abuse in an effort to tell their stories with accuracy, authenticity and compassion. The service will take place both in person and virtually at 10am. Masking is optional; a section of the sanctuary is reserved for those who wish to wear masks. To enter the virtual room, go to tinyurl.com/22-23fpc.

FPC warmly welcomes gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people. FPC’s 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 in Stow, at the intersection of routes 117 and 62.
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Stow Fitness Center Coats for Kids

STOW: In hard economic times and looming cooler weather, a warm coat isn’t a luxury… it's a necessity. In every community, there are thousands of children and adults who may otherwise not have access to a warm winter coat this winter. Stow Fitness Center is proud to be a collection partner for Coats for Kids & Families. Coats collected at SFC by January 5, 2024 will be professionally cleaned by Anton’s and given to local nonprofits, social service agencies, and schools for distribution.

Coats for Kids & Families accepts warm winter coats that are new or gently used, good quality, and all sizes (especially XL and infant/pre-K sizes). The drive does not accept coats with rips, tears, broken zippers, or permanent stains, nor does the drive accept sweatshirts, vests and spring coats, boots, scarves or gloves.
“For nearly three decades, Caring Partners has had one mission: anyone who needs a coat, will have one,” said Arthur Anton Jr., COO of Anton’s Cleaners and founder of the program. “Local schools, companies, clubs, and nonprofits collaborate each year to collect, clean and distribute 50,000 winter coats - a miraculous feat. This program gives back directly to the communities we serve, and we are proud to keep this program going as we approach three decades of service.”

Sponsored by Anton’s Cleaners, Enterprise Bank, and Jordan’s Furniture, Coats for Kids & Families has collected, cleaned, and distributed 1,212,369 free coats at more than 70 collection locations and events since the program began in 1995.
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Upcoming at First Parish Church of Bolton

BOLTON: First Parish of Bolton has an exciting schedule in the coming weeks. First, FPC (673 Main Street) is pleased to announce the Reverend Ginger Bove will be joining them as their new settled minister. Rev. Bove will first step into the pulpit on October 15 and attend a reception immediately following the service.  All are welcome to attend and meet Rev. Bove!

Later in the month on October 27 at 7pm, stop by Davis Hall for a concert of jazzy popular tunes from the 1920s and early 1930s. A period-style dance band will present a program of familiar standards - as well as some forgotten gems - by Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, Hoagie Carmichael, and others - all in authentic Jazz-Age arrangements. Admission is free, but donations are welcome.

Mark your calendars! On November 18 from 9am-3pm there will be a Holiday Village Bazaar and Craft Fair at FPC! This renowned event will put you in the holiday spirit like none other!  New this year will be six local crafters’ unique and fun offerings to kick off your holiday and gift shopping. Their signature Bake Shop will be available for pre-order (www.signupgenius.com/go/9040B4BA9AB23A5FE3-first2#/) and feature apple and pumpkin pies, apple dumplings, corn chowder, chili and baked beans! In addition, an assortment of these and other homemade baked treats will be available while supplies last.  The Kitchen Nook will have on hand a variety of homemade jams and jellies, sure to remind you of your grandma’s kitchen.  The Cookie Jar will showcase a delicious selection of “made with love” cookies.

Now your diet is completely blown, don’t forget to visit the basket raffle, which is larger than ever including such themes as wine, spa, bird-watching, chocolate, cats, dogs and more!  Last, but not least, the Bazaar wouldn’t be complete without a spin through Nana’s Attic, the indoor yard sale that always has great treasures, and the Jewelry Box, where you may find a plain or fancy accessory that catches your eye for pennies instead of dollars.

For Bazaar information,  email admin@firstparishofbolton.org or
hollyventura1@gmail.com. For more information about these or any events at FPC, email admin@firstparishofbolton.com.

Hudson Police Department Earns Accreditation from Massachusetts Police Accreditation Commission

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HUDSON: Chief Richard DiPersio is proud to share that the Hudson Police Department earned accreditation from the Massachusetts Police Accreditation Commission (MPAC) for the first time in the Department's history. Accreditation is a self-initiated, lengthy and comprehensive evaluation process. Participating departments complete an internal self-review and an external assessment by MPAC experts. The process is a voluntary evaluation by which police departments strive to meet and maintain the top standards of law enforcement. It is considered the best measure for a police department to compare itself against the established best practices around the country and region. The Hudson Police Department's efforts to earn re-accreditation were led by Accreditation Manager Lt. Tom Crippen.

The Massachusetts Police Accreditation Program consists of 257 mandatory standards as well as 125 optional standards. In order to achieve accreditation status, the Department was required to meet all applicable mandatory standards as well as 60 percent of the optional standards.

These carefully selected standards reflect critical areas of police management, operations and technical support activities. They cover areas such as Jurisdiction and Mutual Aid, Collection and Preservation of Evidence, Communications, Working Conditions, Crime Analysis, Community Involvement, Financial Management, Internal Affairs, Juvenile Operations, Patrol Administration, Public Information, Records, Training, Traffic, Drug Enforcement and Victim/Witness Assistance.

"I’d like to personally thank the members of the Department for their efforts. Accreditation is earned, not given, and every member contributed," said Chief DiPersio. "Thank you also to Accreditation Manager Lt. Tom Crippen, whose work was instrumental to our success. Achieving full accreditation is a measure that we are meeting the highest standards in law enforcement."

To learn more about MPAC, visit: https://masspoliceaccred.net. 
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Live Music Concert at UCMH Featuring Second Son

HUDSON: The Unitarian Church of Marlborough and Hudson’s Spiritual Growth and Community Center (SGCC) is pleased to present folk/acoustic trio “Second Son” in their first Hudson concert on October 21 at 7pm. The concert will be held in historic Union Hall, located at 80 Main Street in Hudson. Tickets to the concert are $10, with all proceeds to benefit UCMH and the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee.  Tickets will be available for purchase at the door on the day of the event. Advance tickets may be purchased at the church office on Tuesdays between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., or other weekday afternoons by appointment. Please contact the administrator at (978) 562-9180 or via email at administrator@ucmh.org.

Second Son features Brian Cousins on guitar, Brian Podesto on keys, and Stirling Cousins on bass and percussion, performing original music ranging from acoustic folk to pop to Americana. According to the band’s website at
www.secondsonma.com, “We strive to create music that contains intelligent, topical lyrics and appealing melodies. Our live shows are engaging and focused on giving the audience a great musical experience.”

*Please note parking for the event is on-street or in designated Town parking lots. The main entrance to Union Hall is on ground level, but due to limited driveway space we request that guests with limited mobility be dropped off at the door. If assistance is required, please contact the office in advance to make arrangements.   

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Randall

Randall Library Temporary Closure and Moving Information

STOW: With the approval of additional funds at the Special Town Meeting on September 18, 2023, the Randall Library renovation is ready to move forward as quickly as possible. Please note:

- The Library will be closed to the public beginning October 7 for about 3-4 weeks while the collection is packed and moved;
- The Library will be temporarily housed in the basement of the Town Building at 380 Great Road (accessible in the back of the building) for the duration of the renovation;
- Information about how to handle returns and holds during the closure, as well as what services will be available during the renovation itself, will be posted on the Library webpage;
- For the time being, patrons may want to place holds with the pick up location at another Minuteman library. Click here for a list of all the network libraries;
- Online content is always available! Find databases and other e-content on the Library website;
 
Keep up with the renovation project at www.stow-ma.gov/library-renovation-project-page.
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Vive la France! with Nashoba Symphonic

BOLTON: Now in its seventh season, Nashoba Symphonic Band will present "Vive la France!" on October 29 at 3pm in the Nashoba Regional High School Auditorium on Route 117. Included in the program will be Scenes from the Louvre (Norman Dello Joio), Pavanae Pour Une Infante Defunte (Maurice Ravel) and Paris Sketches (Martin Ellerby. Admission is free.

As an ongoing part of its music program, Nashoba High School is pleased to offer the opportunity for adults and students from the Nashoba family and surrounding communities to rehearse and perform with the Nashoba Symphonic Band. For more information, email baileydavidwayne@gmail.com or visit nashobamusic.wordpress.com/nashoba-symphonic-band.
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Run a Food Drive to Spread More Love, Less Hunger

Did you know that 24% of the food Open Table distributes comes from community food donations?  Your assistance is vital to Open Table.  Please consider running a food drive this autumn if you are hungry to help neighbors experiencing food insecurity.  It's an easy, feel-good community service that is a great activity for neighborhoods, businesses, schools, scouts, clubs, teams, and faith-based organizations.  All size food drives are welcome.  Sandwich boards and other signs are available to help you spread the word.  Go to www.opentable.org/donation-activities/ for information.   Stay up-to-date on our changing needs and news on Instagram and Twitter @opentablema and Facebook.com/opentablema.  
 
Open Table is the local food pantry supporting those in-need in Concord, Bedford, Carlisle, and 18 other surrounding areas.  If you or someone you know is in need of food assistance, email info@opentable.org or call (978) 369-2275. 
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Abstract Architecture Photography - Creativity in Composition

HUDSON: On October 4, the Assabet Valley Camera Club (AVCC) is pleased to host Angie McMonigal, a fine-art and commercial architecture photographer based in Chicago. Drawing from her education in the micro sciences (molecular biology, microbiology, virology), Angie’s images capture bold architectural details rather than sweeping cityscapes. She createsimages that celebrate unexpectedly iconic elements hiding in plain sight.
 
During her Abstract Architecture Photography presentation, Angie’s discussion will focus on creative approaches to architectural subjects. Emphasis will be on architectural details and creating abstracts of the built environment. She will share how to uncover creative viewpoints and how to best utilize compositional tools to create more compelling images. View her gallery at https://angiemcmonigal.com.
 
Currently AVCC is using a hybrid meeting format. If you are interested in attending either the online program or the in-person meeting, contact AVCC at info@assabetvalleycc.com a few days prior to the meeting to request a link to the event or to let us know you will be attending in person. The club’s Zoom room opens at 7pm with a brief business meeting at 7:15pm. Angie’s presentation Abstract Architecture Photography will begin at 7:30pm. AVCC’s in-person meetings are held in the downstairs meeting room at the Hudson Senior Center, 29 Church Street. Visitors are always welcome to attend and should plan to arrive no later than 7:15pm.
 
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. Members benefit from the hands-on
experiences, from the knowledge presented in programs, and from having their work critiqued.  For more information, check out the AVCC website at www.assabetvalleycc.com .
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Stow CoA Seeks Senior Residents for Bridges Together Program

STOW: The Stow COA is looking for volunteers to participate in the Bridges Together Program at the Center School on Fridays from 9-9:50am for six weeks beginning on September 29. Bridges Together is an intergenerational program that empowers older adults to influence young minds and dispel myths, by sharing their experiences and wisdom.  It is great fun and a valuable lesson to young people.
 
  • Volunteers must be Stow residents 60 or older;
  • Volunteers will need to participate in a brief orientation session on 9/22 from 9-9:50am at the COA.
  • Volunteers should be available to attend weekly sessions at Center School (in the 4th Grade Classrooms) on 9/29, 10/6, 10/13, 10/20, 10/27 and 11/3 from 9-9:50am.
  • Volunteers will have an at-home assignment between classes;
  • Volunteers will be required to complete a CORI required by the school.

If you are interested and available to participate, email COAAdminAsst@Stow-MA.gov.
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Hudson Elks Hosts Watch City Cadillacs

HUDSON: On October 6 from 8-11pm, The Hudson Elks #959 will be hosting 50s Doo Wop band Watch City Cadillacs in their event hall.  Tickets are $20 each, with table reservations an additional $50.  There will be music, raffles and a cash bar at 91 Park Street in Hudson.  For more information, visit elkshudson.org, email hudsonconcordmanager@gmail.com, or call (978) 568-8129.

This event is in support of Honor Flight New England.  Honor Flight New England is a non-profit organization dedicated to honoring America's most senior veterans.  Through generous donations, they transport heroes at no cost to Washington (DC) to visit and reflect at their memorials.
Stowcoa

Charity Online Auction Supports Stow CoA

STOW: Now running until September 21, there is a wonderful, eclectic auction featuring many Barbie dolls, GI Joes, Ashton Drake collections, art, clothing and accessories, collectibles, craft items, household goods, furniture and more. All items online have been donated to raise money for the Stow Council on Aging. Please bid in the spirit of charity. All bidding starts at $1 with NO RESERVES and NO BUYER’S PREMIUM.  Auction closes at 7pm on September 21. For more information and to start bidding, visit https://ctbids.com/estate-sale/23878.
Fpc yard sale with mark troy judith

Yard Sales, Pies, an Open House & More at FPC

STOW/ACTON: On September 17, First Parish Church of Stow & Acton (FPC), Unitarian Universalist, will begin a four-part Sunday service series in which the Rev. Dr. Cynthia L. Landrum will delve into understanding different spiritual practices and how they may be correlated with personality types. The service, Spiritual Practice Types Part 1: Devotion, will take place both in person and virtually at 10am. Masking is optional; a section of the sanctuary is reserved for those who wish to wear masks. To enter the virtual room, go to tinyurl.com/22-23fpc. FPC warmly welcomes gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people. FPC’s facilities are wheelchair accessible.
 
It’s time again for FPC to sell its homemade apple pies, and on its first day, you’ll also be able to visit the annual FPC Community Yard Sale. On September 23, FPC will hold its yard sale from 8:30am-1pm. With multiple sellers and tables, you’ll find a wider variety and number of items in one place than you’d find at a typical household yard sale. Items are likely to include household wares, artwork, ceramics, toys, sports equipment, and one-of-a-kind items. Apple pie sales will continue each Saturday and Sunday through October 15. Sales will begin at 10am and will close when the day’s pies are sold, or at 1pm, whichever comes first. FPC’s 3 lb. pies are $18 each. Apples for the pies have been generously donated by Shelburne Farm of Stow.
 
FPC is holding an Open House on September 24 at 353 Great Road in Stow. All are welcome to come to the Sunday service at 10am and then follow parishioners downstairs to Fellowship Hall, or to show up at Fellowship Hall at or after 11:15am, to find out more about FPC’s many programs beyond the church service, including a religious education program that teaches world religions and encourages and leads children and youth to use their own hearts and minds to find their own religious/spiritual path. Find out about opportunities to serve on various social justice committees, such as the Racial Justice, Supporting Asylum Seekers, and Climate Change task forces. As part of FPC, you might even help plan the next beerfest! The Open House is expected to end at about 12:30pm.
 
A series of free seminars for people approaching or in retirement will begin on September 24. The series will take place on four consecutive Sundays from 1-3pm. All are welcome! The first seminar is “Estate Planning for Massachusetts Residents.” On September 24, attorney Barbara Epstein will offer an overview of the key elements of creating and updating an estate plan, including a will, trust (if needed), durable power of attorney, and health care directives. She will address the implications of the Massachusetts Estate Tax, which has one of the lowest exemption amounts in the country - many residents must pay Massachusetts estate taxes even though their assets are far below the asset level needed to trigger federal estate tax. She’ll also cover ways to be the most effective with charitable giving through your estate. Epstein is an attorney with Scheier, Katin & Epstein. The remaining seminars, on October 1, 8 and 15, will cover, respectively, Medicare and Social Security Programs, Senior Living Options in the Metrowest Area, and Local Services Available to Seniors. This series is sponsored by the Endowment Committee of First Parish Church of Stow and Acton. All seminars will be held in FPC’s Fellowship Hall.
 
For more information about FPC and their upcoming events and activities, call (978) 897-8149 or visit www.fpc-stow-acton.org.

Stow Police Department Announces Appointment of Kellie Barhight as Lieutenant

Stowpolice
STOW: The Stow Police Department and Chief Michael Sallese are pleased to announce the appointment of Kellie Barhight as Lieutenant. Lt. Barhight has worked in law enforcement in Vermont and Massachusetts since 1999, and comes to Stow from the Ayer Police Department, where she served as a Patrol Officer, Lead Detective, and most recently Sergeant. Barhight was sworn in during a ceremony on Friday, Sept. 8, surrounded by famiily and friends. She succeeds Lt. Darren Thraen, who retired in May after 31 years of distinguished service to the Stow community.

Lt. Barhight was selected following an open hiring process that attracted 13 applicants. A hiring committee including Chief Sallese, town staff, and community leaders reviewed resumes and selected five candidates for consideration. Those candidates participated in both a written test and assessment center. Three candidates advanced to formal interviews with the hiring committee.

 “At the end of interviews, Kellie Barhight was the committee’s clear choice,” Chief Sallese said. “She values community policing and collaboration, and her combination of experience, education, and training make her a great fit for Stow. I look forward to seeing where she will help lead the Department.”

Lt. Barhight holds a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Norwich University, and a Master’s degree from Anna Maria College. She holds numerous certifications and specializations. While in Ayer she was actively involved in the community, participating in numerous charitable events including the Ayer Police Toys for Christmas drive and the Ayer Police Special Olympics.

PHOTO: Kellie Barhight, right, was sworn in as the Stow Police Department's new Lieutenant. At left is Police Chief Michael Sallese. (Photo Courtesy Stow Police Department)