Havdalah service

Celebrate High Holy Days 5782 with B'nai Torah

SUDBURY: Congregation B’nai Torah, of Sudbury, warmly invites the community to join online for High Holy Days 5782! Rabbi Dr. Lisa Eiduson and Cantorial Soloist Jodi Blankstein look forward to sharing prayer and song with the community as they celebrate the Days of Awe. The High Holy Days begin at sundown on Monday, September 6, and conclude at sundown on Thursday, September 16.

In addition to Rosh Hashanah, Kol Nidre, and Yom Kippur services for children and adults, the holiday schedule includes: an online Erev Rosh Hashanah Family Tableside Service and Seder; an in-person Shofar and Tashlich experience at the Wayside Inn Grist Mill and apple picking on Rosh Hashanah afternoon; and an online Yom Kippur afternoon Speaker and Study Hour.

B’nai Torah is a reform temple that welcomes all families, including interfaith families, and offers a unique one-day-a-week Hebrew School program. It is located at 225 Boston Post Road. See www.bnaitorah.com for the full schedule and registration for all events and contact the office at admin@bnaitorah.com or 978-443-2082 with any questions. 

Photo: Rabbi Dr. Lisa Eiduson at last year's Havdalah service. (Photo credit: Sheldon Golder)
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Save A Dog's Paws in the Park 2021 Fundraiser - September 12

SUDBURY: Save A Dog, Inc. of Sudbury is hosting its annual Paws in the Park fundraiser event on Sunday, September 12th from 10am-3pm on the beautiful grounds of Longfellow’s Wayside Inn.  Rain or shine, this is the place to be for a fun day where dogs and dog lovers can meet and have fun while raising funds to save the lives of homeless dogs and cats.  There will be lots of dog games in the main ring, a dog agility ring, bake sale booth, retail booth, a raffle booth, food court for humans and dogs, several vendor booths, an adoptable dogs parade at noon featuring dogs from other rescue organizations as well as Save A Dog, and a group pledge walk at 11am.

The first 50 dogs get a goody bag!  Admission is $10 per adult, $5 for children from 5-12, and children under 5 are free.  OR, bring in $10 or more in pledges and get in free. 

This past year has been a difficult one for rescue.  Many dogs and cats passed through shelters since March of 2020.  Happily, the number of animals being adopted soared, even with all of the restrictions.  Save A Dog was able to function with a very small crew of volunteers throughout the pandemic.  But, with all of the fundraisers and events being cancelled, their ability to raise money was greatly diminished. 

In the last eight months, they have had some major medical expenses. They have taken in dogs with broken bones, burns, and wounds from severe abuse, kittens with respiratory issues, and they dealt with two litters of puppies contracting the parvo-virus, an often-fatal disease.  Of the 13 puppies that contracted the virus, 12 of them were saved through the efforts of emergency vets, vet techs, and dedicated volunteers who worked around the clock to bring them back to health.

Fundraiser events like Paws help to raise the funds needed to continue rescuing and rehoming unwanted and abandoned dogs and cats.  For more information, visit

Sudbury Villagers Kick Off a New Year

SUDBURY: The Sudbury Villagers Club will kick off its 2021-2022 season on Thursday September 2nd with a Coffee Social starting at 10am at the Loyalty Lodge on the beautiful grounds of Camp Sewataro. The first meeting will be a brief presentation about upcoming programs.  The club has a variety of programs with speakers, as well as many activities including Lunch Bunch, bridge, MahJongg, book club, visits to various museums, a pot-luck holiday luncheon in December, May luncheon at an area country club, spring tea, and a Boston Harbor cruise in September.  Members support the Thanksgiving collection for Sudbury families, the Sudbury Food Pantry and local Red Cross blood mobiles.  The club also makes substantial donations to a variety of non-profits yearly. This meeting (and Club) is open to all women in Sudbury and the area communities.  For more information, write to sudbury_villagers@yahoo.com.

Marlborough’s Annual Labor Day Weekend Greek Festival is Back!

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MARLBOROUGH: Marlborough's annual Labor Day Weekend Greek Festival is back and everyone is invited to celebrate at Saints Anargyroi Greek Orthodox Church, 9 Central Street, is just one block off Main Street behind the Walker Building.   The event will take place September 4 and 5  from noon to 11pm,  and on Monday, Labor Day from noon to 3pm. Also, on a side note starting at noon on Labor Day, the largest parade in the state makes its way down Main Street.

Every year the question most asked is about the church’s name.  Anarygroi means the unmercenary and Saints is plural as there were two brothers, Kosmos and Damian.  They healed the sick with faith and medicine and never accepted payment since they were independently wealthy.  As many people have never been in an Orthodox Church there will be church tours given at 2:00 & 4:00 p.m.  This is an opportunity to understand how symbolism, beautiful Icons and two thousand years of tradition come together.

The Church started hosting a Festival in 1982.  Unfortunately, their plans were a bit too small.  Little did they know their planning was inadequate, both days they ran out of food.  Unfortunately, in 1983,  the same scenario repeated.  Along the way, a fire at the church forced them to miss two years.  In some ways, it was a blessing in disguise.  It helped the church prepare for future festival growth. St. Anargyroi then replaced all the classrooms with a two-story community center, a large function hall, a really needed commercial kitchen, and a parking lot which played right into helping the Festival grow. 

Authentic Greek foods, prepared with love, the way our yiayias made it for generations may be the first thing people think about when they think of Greek Festivals.  A few years ago 300 Lamb Shanks were added to the menu and that number has since grown to 900.  And yes, Americas longest running Greek radio program has dubbed the Marlboro Festival “Lamb Shank City” for the 8 hour, slow cooked and made fresh daily 1 ½ pound shanks served with Greek style green beans in a savory tomato sauce and rice.  Some patrons come back 3 days in a row just for the tender, fall off the bone, shanks.  All meats are fresh, cut and prepared in house.  The menu also includes Gyros, Pork Souvlaki (chunks of pork tenderloin in Gyro bread with toppings and freshly made Tsatziki (yogurt, cucumber, garlic sauce), Chicken or Lamb Shish-ke-bab dinners, Pastitsio (Greek style baked macaroni with three kinds of cheese), Spinach Pita, Feta Cheese Pita, Greek style green beans, Stuffed Grape Leaves, Greek Salad,  Greek Style Meatballs in a tomato sauce and Greek Style  roasted potatoes.  Many authentic Greek pastries and cookies, baklava and baklava sundaes are offered along with Loukoumathes (fried dough balls dipped in honey sprinkled with cinnamon sugar).   Soft drinks, Greek Frappe (frothed iced coffee) the two most popular Greek beers, Fix and Mythos along with American beers, Greek and American wines, Tsipouro, Metaxa and of course, Ouzo will also be offered. OPA!!!   better yet... OPALICIOUS !!!

Music will be played all day by Marlborough’s well-known DJ, George “Regas” Regan.  Saturday and Sunday starting at 6pm, two of New England’s top Greek bands will be playing for your dancing and listening pleasure until 11pm.  Greek folk dance performances will be featured twice each day at 3pm and 5pm by area Greek dance troupes in beautiful authentic folk costumes.  
Indoor and outdoor seating under the tents is provided and now we’ve added a third tent down the middle of Central Street.  

To keep children occupied, there will be bounce houses, face painting, children’s activities, hot dogs and soft drinks. There’s something for everyone! Admission is free. Our last Festival held in 2019 was attended by thousands.  All orders can be put up for take-out.  We also have two ATM machines on property as we do not take credit cards or checks. Visit www.stsanargyroi.org for more details.

Dangerous Heat Advisory Continues!

The National Weather Service (NWS) is forecasting a potential period of prolonged oppressive heat through Friday (8/13) in most of the Commonwealth. During this period, daytime temperature highs will be 90-99 degrees. Heat index (Apparent Temperature) values will be 95-110 degrees. Scattered showers/thunderstorms are possible in the afternoons, with the potential for a few strong to severe thunderstorms late Thursday. There is a low probability that the heat wave could continue through Saturday.
Impacts/ Potential Impacts:
- Very hot temperatures with moderate humidity. Little relief at night especially in urban population centers.
- Potential of heat related issues to at risk population and those doing higher levels of outdoor physical activities.
- Damaging straight line winds and localized street flooding are possible on Thursday in areas where severe thunderstorms occur.
Preparedness and Safety Information:
- Safety and preparedness tips for extreme heat: www.mass.gov/mema/heat
- Never leave children or pets alone in a closed vehicle. Even with the windows cracked open, interior temperatures can rise almost 20°F within 10 minutes.
- Check with your local officials to find locations of cooling centers near you.
- Know the symptoms of and watch out for heat-related illnesses like heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke. Call 9-1-1 to report emergencies.
- Be a good neighbor. Check on family, friends, and neighbors, especially the elderly, those who live alone, those with medical conditions, those who may need additional assistance, and those who may not have air conditioning.
Power outage preparedness and safety information: www.mass.gov/info-details/power-outage-safety-tips
Preparedness and safety tips for thunderstorms and lightning:

St. John Lutheran Church (ELCA) Announces In-person Worship & Virtual Opportunities

SUDBURY: St. John Lutheran Church, ELCA is gathering weekly for in-person worship Sundays at 9:30am in their air-conditioned fellowship hall for the rest of the summer. New pastor Rev. Eric Wolf invites all to join in, though there are a few things to know: Masks are required. There will be lyrics in your bulletin, and you may sing. At communion, all bread will be gluten free rice wafers with options for wine or grape juice.
In addition to their in-person Sunday morning worship service, there are other ongoing opportunities for you to gather virtually. If you would like to participate in any of the following groups, please call the church office at 978-443-8350 for Zoom log-in information.
- The New(ish) Parents Group (parents of children from birth through middle school) will meet every second and fourth Wednesday of the month for about an hour. The aim is to provide a chance to get to know each other, build new friendships, talk about what brings us joy and what we find challenging, and share some time with by ZOOM while enjoying a beverage of your choice. The hope is to pair each family with a “buddy” family to keep in closer contact with during the off weeks.
- Senior Exercise class meets on Mondays and Wednesdays at 10am via Zoom.
- Senior Book Group that meets on Tuesday mornings at 11am and reads a book a month.
- On the Second and Fourth Thursdays of the month at 11am there is a group that discusses Race, Racism and Anti-racism.
St. John is an open and affirming faith community worshiping in a universally accessible facility located at 16 Great Road. For more information, call 978-443-8350, visit www.stjohnsudburyma.org or find them on YouTube at St John Lutheran Sudbury and Instagram @stjohnsudbury.
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Join the Maynard Folds Virtual Origami Exhibition Contest

MAYNARD: Be an origami museum exhibitor in The Origami Museum, founded and led by artist and teacher, Lisa B. Corfman.  Corfman announces Maynard Folds, a virtual origami exhibition contest – come exhibit in the upcoming Origami Museum Community Gallery. The origami museum welcomes EVERYONE to submit from children and adults, and from novices to experts to be in the spotlight.

Entries can be anything you can do, neatly folded, nicely presented (with fitting paper used, etc.), without cutting, gluing, or drawing on the model.  Just share something you are happy with for fame in the origami museum’s online gallery.  Don’t fret, just enjoy and do your best.  Origami can be simple, fun, or even amazing.  A personal note with questions, comments or concern is always welcome.

All contestants who submit will exhibit within the origami museum website, receive a certificate of participation, have a mention on Instagram and Facebook and receive a selection of origami paper.  Awards for one top child and one adult winner features a certificate of honor, a solo Instagram and Facebook post and an online membership to OrigamiUSA.

There are three jurors and the just listed prizes.  Jurors are Ruthanne Bessman, Susan Dugan and Lisa B. Corfman.  Bessman is a long-term curator of origami exhibitions and contests.  Dugan is a 40-year veteran of origami and is a photography professor.  Corfman makes, sells, teaches, and showcases origami inspired art and she is bringing this opportunity to you!

There are the two categories for origami model submissions: under 18 and adults.  Eligible contestants are within a 20-mile radius from Maynard, whether home, work, or school.  Here are the towns in this eligible catchment area:

Acton | Ashland | Arlington| Ayer | Bedford | Belmont | Berlin | Billerica | Bolton | Boxborough | Boylston | Carlisle | Chelmsford | Clinton | Concord | Devens |Dover | Framingham | Groton | Hanscom AFB| Harvard | Hudson | Lancaster | Lexington | Lincoln | Littleton | Marlborough | Maynard | Natick | Northborough | Sherborn | Shirley | South Lancaster | Southborough | Sterling | Still River | Stow | Sudbury | Waltham | Watertown | Wayland | Wellesley | Westford | Weston

The juried contest is sponsored by the Maynard Cultural Council and OrigamiUSA.  The goal is to increase folds!

Find out more at: https://origamimuseum.org/opportunities/. Maynard Folds information, statement about the jurors, and the application can be found there.

Help For Families: Mental Health Challenges

UPDATE: All programs, due to the increase in active Delta Covid transmissions and illness on the rise in MA, will be be conducted only on Zoom.

Mental illness touches one in five people. It is likely a spouse, partner, child, sibling, parent or dear friend of yours may be living with a mental health condition. The National Alliance on Mental Illness, NAMI is offering a FREE 8 session family educational program called “Family to Family”. It is a designated evidenced-based program. The program is taught by NAMI trained family member volunteers who have been there - and includes presentations, discussion, and interactive exercises.

What will you gain? The class provides critical information and strategies for taking care of the person you love, and you’ll also find out – you are not alone! The group setting provides mutual support and shared positive impact – you will experience compassion and reinforcement from people who understand your situation. You can also help others through your own experiences.

You’ll learn about: The latest up-to-date information on mental health conditions and how they impact the brain. Current treatments: Medications - their therapeutic use and side effects, current treatments and therapies. Local mental health services and supports. Managing crisis, problem solving techniques and effective communication. The emotional impact of mental illness on the entire family. Taking care of yourself and managing your stress.

Two Programs are sponsored by NAMI Central Middlesex for fall 2021.  Thursdays via ZOOM, Sept 16 – Nov 4th, 6:30 – 9:00 PM. To register contact Steve at 978-621-3253, shadden@hadlorgroup.com or Lindsay at 781-864-7003, linzbfar@gmail.com. Tuesdays IN PERSON in Littleton MA Oct 12th – Nov 30th, 6:30 – 9:00 PM. proof of vaccination is required. To register, contact Sara at 339-223-3146, doddsara25@gmail.com or Phyllis at 978.973.3995, phyllis.terrey100@gmail.com.

Addiction Referral Center (ARC) Holds 12th Annual Golf Tournament Fundraiser

NORTHBOROUGH: The Addiction Referral Center (ARC) is holding its 12th Annual Golf Tournament Fundraiser on Friday, August 20th at the Juniper Hills Golf Course. The ARC has been a vital part of the Metrowest community for 49 years. Supporting our fundraising event helps us disrupt the cycle of addiction and provides services, support, and hope to individuals and families in the Metrowest area. Prizes include a new Subaru auto ($25K value) for the Hole In One competition, awards on all par 3 holes, and a $2,500 prize for winning the putting contest.  For information about how to provide a sponsorship or register to golf in the tournament, call the ARC at 508-485-4357 or find more information at www.theaddictionreferralcenter.org.

Assabet Valley Mastersingers Hosts Open Rehearsals

NORTHBOROUGH: Potential members of Assabet Valley Mastersingers will be welcomed at open rehearsals on August 30th and September 7th.. Rehearsal times for these dates and all regular Monday practices to follow will be from 7:30-9:45pm at St. Rose of Lima Parish, 244 Main Street. AVM offers a choral experience in a community of welcoming, inclusive, respectful, collegial and talented vocalists who value high artistic standards.
Preparation will begin for the first concert—Songs of Unity—with orchestra and soloists on Saturday, October 30, featuring Unity in Diversity by Cynthia Lee Wong, commissioned by AVM in honor of its 40thanniversary; LUX:The Dawn From On High by Dan Forrest, exploring ancient liturgical chant, scripture, and modern secular love poetry; Oliver Caplan’s We Exist, the lyrics of which respond to the 2017 violence in Charlottesville, Virginia…honoring all races, faiths and all genders. Arrive early so that you can meet the Membership chair, Deb Wallace and section leaders, and get music prior to rehearsal. For more information, visit www.avmsingers.org/sing-with-us!

NEF Announces Sixth Annual Applefest Gala

NORTHBOROUGH:  The Northborough Education Foundation invites you to join them for the sixth annual Applefest Gala: Cocktails and Dancing Under the Stars. The event will be held at Juniper Hills Golf Course Pavilion on Friday, September 17, 2021, from 7:30pm–11:30pm. Guests will enjoy a cash bar and hors d’oeuvres followed by dancing to live music provided by Fever (www.feverband.net). Cocktail attire is requested.  Tickets are $60 per person and can be purchased online after August 1, 2021, at www.ApplefestGala.eventbrite.com

The Gala is part of Northborough’s annual Applefest weekend which is scheduled for September 17-19, 2021. Applefest is a highly anticipated community celebration that includes fun family events all weekend including a dessert bake off, 5K road race, apple pie café, street fair and car show.

All proceeds from the event will benefit Northborough Education Foundation (NEF), a volunteer-run organization that provides teachers and administrators in the town of Northborough with the resources necessary to improve curriculum, programs and services beyond the level supported by the annual school budget. Through fundraising initiatives like the Applefest Gala, NEF helps finance the costs of extraordinary curriculum and staff development projects, student services and activities, special programs, equipment purchases and other efforts in order to foster creativity and nurture and develop a bright and enthusiastic generation of learners. 

NEF is a tax-exempt charitable organization under 501(c)3. All qualifying donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. All donations can be mailed to Northborough Education Foundation, PO Box 1094, Northborough, MA 01532. For questions about NEF or how a business can become a sponsor, please visit www.northboroughed.org.

Mary Ann Morse Healthcare Corp. Hosts 3rd Annual Fundraising Golf Tournament

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BOYLSTON: Non-profit Mary Ann Morse Healthcare Corp., a continuum of exceptional quality, affordable senior living, healthcare, and home care services in Metro West for more than 25 years, announces its 3rd Annual Fundraising Golf Tournament on Monday, October 4 at The Haven Country Club. Proceeds from the tournament will fund a new handicap accessible van to transport senior residents to their favorite activities. Interested individuals, groups, or businesses are invited to participate by playing golf, taking advantage of numerous sponsorship opportunities, or by making a donation of any amount at maryannmorse.org/golf.

DPW to Host a Forum on the Comprehensive Wastewater Management Plan

SUDBURY: The Sudbury Public Works Department, with their consultants Woodard & Curran, as well as Capital Strategic Solutions will host a virtual informational session on Thursday, August 5, 2021 regarding the Comprehensive Wastewater Management Plan (CWMP). The virtual informational session will begin promptly at 7pm, with a brief presentation regarding the CWMP, followed by a question-and-answer session. Residents, business owners and all interested parties may join the meeting through the Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86748430939

Sudbury has been investigating wastewater options for the Route 20 Business District for decades. Septic systems have been and continue to be an environmental concern due to the proximity of these on-site wastewater systems that discharge to the ground near the Town’s Municipal Water Supply wells located on Raymond Road, as well as a limiting factor to business expansion and/or actual relocation.

Visit sudbury.ma.us/cwmp to learn more about the CWMP. Residents, business owners and interested parties are encouraged to send questions in advance of the information session to cwmp@sudbury.ma.us.  To subscribe to their email list visit sudbury.ma.us/cwmp/email.

Save the Dates - Summer Auction to Benefit The Wayside Inn Foundation Scheduled

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SUDBURY:  The Wayside Inn Foundation’s Summer Auction 2021 will run from August 12 at 5pm until August 20 at 9pm. Proceeds will support The Foundation’s “Rediscovering the Red Horse” effort to create a new center for education and research at the historic Gate House at The Wayside Inn®.
The new center will inspire new thinking about old history by encouraging opportunities for:
  • Program development for all ages -- students, families, and adults;
  •  Improved access to the archives and streamlined collections management and care;
  • Active research; and
  • Dynamic engagement with history through renewed interpretation of The Wayside Inn’s historic assets.
Over 80 items are scheduled to be auctioned off. These include items and experiences from local businesses, organizations, artists, AND The Wayside Inn's Trustees and Staff! (Items from The Wayside Inn’s collection will not be auctioned off.) “We are grateful for the support and to have the opportunity to work with some phenomenal people to pull the auction together,” said Nonprofit Director Sally Hild.
Online bidding will require participants to complete an easy registration with 32 Auctions.com. Visit https://32auctions.com and follow instructions to set up an account and a unique bidder name. The link to the Summer Auction 2021 will be posted on The Wayside Inn Foundation’s web site (wayside.org) and social media (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) the week prior to the Auction. ‍Stay tuned for great opportunities to place some winning bids and help The Wayside Inn Foundation with its collections relocation project at the same time!

Live Virtual Author Series Features Outstanding New Publications by  Plant, Garden, and Landscape Specialists 

FRAMINGHAM: Native Plant Trust, the nation’s first plant conservation organization and the  only one solely focused on New England’s native plants, announces a live virtual Author Book  Talk Series featuring top plant scientists and landscape designers discussing their newest  publications. The series will run August through October 2021 and feature renowned experts  Darrel Morrison, Jonathan Drori, Ellen Sousa, Lauren Brown and Ted Elliman. Tickets available  at www.NativePlantTrust.org.  

“This series creates a forum for outstanding leaders in plant-related fields to share new ideas  and perspectives with audiences around the world,” shares Courtney Allen, Director of Public  Programs at Native Plant Trust. “Research, innovation, and publication are organizational  priorities for Native Plant Trust, and we look forward to highlighting the work of our local,  national and international colleagues.”

Authors include: 
  • August 6, 2021: Darrel Morrison 
Distinguished professor and landscape architect Darrel Morrison will discuss his new book,  Beauty of the Wild: A Life Designing Landscapes Inspired by Nature, published by the Library of  American Landscape History. Morrison is a renowned landscape architect, professor, and  leader in promoting ecological diversity and restoration in landscape design. Beauty of the Wild highlights Morrison’s approaches to native plant communities and natural processes in his  landscapes at the New York Botanical Garden, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and Storm King Art  Center. Morrison is co-founder of Landscape Journal and a Fellow of the American Society of  Landscape Architects. He is one of the most revered educators in landscape architecture today,  whose ecology-based approach has influenced a generation of practitioners.
  • September 10, 2021: Jonathan Drori 
Jonathan Drori will discuss his new book, Around the World in 80 Plants. Drori is a plant  scientist, professor, and science communications expert and author of the acclaimed book  Around the World in 80 Trees. He has led and served in such roles as BBC Executive Producer  and founding Director of Culture Online at the UK Government’s Department for Culture and  Media. In Around the World in 80 Plants, Drori brings plant science to life by revealing how plant  worlds are intricately entwined with human history, culture, and folklore. Some plants have a  troubling past, while others have ignited human creativity or enabled whole civilizations to  flourish. Drori is a former Trustee of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and was awarded the  Commander of the Order of the British Empire.  
  • October 1, 2021: Ellen Sousa  
Ellen Sousa will discuss her upcoming book, Native Green Garden (an updated edition of her  previous publication, The Green Garden), and will share how to create ecologically sound New  England habitats with horticulture. She is a garden expert, nursery owner, teacher naturalist,  and speaker. Native Green Garden is an illustrated guide to native plantings for the region’s  microclimates that will increase ecosystem health and attract native pollinators.  

Native Plant Trust’s Author Book Talk Series also recently featured Lauren Brown and Ted Elliman discussing their book Grasses, Sedges and Rushes: An Identification Guide. The 2020  publication is an updated edition of Brown’s definitive guide from the 1970s. Lauren Brown and  Ted Elliman are both highly regarded botanists with several landmark publications in the field,  including Brown’s Grasses: An Identification Guide, Weeds in Winter, and Grasslands and  Elliman’s Wildflowers of New England
To reserve your spot for virtual author book talks, please visit www.NativePlantTrust.org.
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AVM Announces Summer Sing of Mozart’s Requiem

WESTBOROUGH:  The Assabet Valley Mastersingers will host a Summer Sing of Mozart’s Requiem in d minor on August 17, 7:30pm at Congregation B’nai Shalom. Sing the choruses with members of the AVM chorus while professional soloists sing the solos.  All are welcome!  Bring your music score or borrow one at the door.  Suggested donation is $10 per person.

Artistic Director Dr. Robert Eaton will briefly rehearse the audience/chorus in the choral sections of the Requiem prior to directing a complete performance of the work including professional soloists; Andrea Ehrenreich, soprano, Jessica Tasucu, alto, Killian Mooney, tenor, John Salvi, bass; and accompanist Mark Bartlett.  For more information, visit  www.avmsingers.org.

The Assabet Valley Mastersingers (AVM) is a community chorus of about 65 SATB
vocalists in Northborough.  Choir members are experienced singers,
ranging from 16 – 75+ years of age, hail from 20+ area towns, and represent a diverse community joined together by the vision of Artistic Director, Dr. Robert Eaton; the love of choral music and the challenge of performance. AVM performs in the Shrewsbury, Northborough, Westborough, Southborough and  Marlborough area, presenting three
major concerts annually plus a Messiah Sing. The choir has been performing since 1978 and enjoys a reputation for excellence in choral performance.
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The Northborough Free Summer Concerts are Back! 

NORTHBOROUGH: The Northborough Community Affairs Committee is thrilled to announce the return of our free Summer Concert Series for 2021!.  All concerts will be held on Sundays at Ellsworth-McAfee Park (Rt. 135) from 5-7pm. These events are fun for the whole family! Food trucks will be back again this year as well!. In the Summer line-up will be Playing Dead, Way Up South, Cold Spring Harbor & Crocodile River Music. The food vendors will include Northborough House of Pizza, Fork N' Delicious Food Truck, Uhlman's Ice Cream and Yummy Mummy Bakery. For more information about the Northborough Community Affairs Committee, visit www.northboroughcac.weebly.com or find them on Facebook.

Callahan State Park Expands Thanks to Collaborative Effort

MARLBOROUGH: Callahan State Park gained 33 additional acres on June 28, after the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) purchased the O’Donnell Property in Marlborough. This purchase was the culmination of a long-term, collaborative effort to protect the property, which shares a ½-mile boundary with the state park.

DCR identified the property as a priority for protection nearly 20 years ago due to its critical location within an actively used portion of the park. In addition to the $1.25 million that DCR contributed to the acquisition price, the City of Marlborough contributed $150,000 and Sudbury Valley Trustees (SVT) raised $100,000 from foundations and local individuals. 

“By protecting this important property, DCR is able to expand the Callahan State Park trail network and secure this pristine natural resource for future generations to enjoy,” said DCR Commissioner Jim Montgomery. “Callahan State Park provides essential outdoor recreation opportunities to people seeking respite in our state parks, and DCR is grateful for the ongoing partnership and collaboration with the City of Marlborough and Sudbury Valley Trustees, which were critical to the successful completion of this acquisition.”

Marlborough Mayor Arthur Vigeant commented, “The City has been interested in this land for quite some time and we are appreciative that the O’Donnell family decided to allow us to purchase it to preserve it as conservation and recreational space for the public to enjoy. I’d like to thank the Department of Conservation and Recreation, the Sudbury Valley Trustees staff, and all who worked with us to secure this asset.”  Visitors to Callahan State Park have likely crossed the O’Donnell Property without realizing that it was privately owned. Nearly ¼ mile of the Beebe Pond Loop Trail cuts through the property, so by conserving this land, the project partners have protected a popular recreational resource.

Priscilla Ryder, Marlborough Conservation Officer, added, “We are thrilled to have this property protected to enlarge Callahan State Park. Any time we can enlarge existing open spaces, it helps the environment and wildlife habitat. Many people from Marlborough and the region use this park, so it is wonderful to have the land and trail system protected for future generations.” 

Left unprotected, the property could have been carved up into 20 or more house lots, which would have fragmented the forest habitat, harmed wildlife, and increased runoff and erosion into Angelica Brook.  In fact, Colie and Nora O’Donnell acquired the property several years ago to protect it from a proposed development project. But they always intended to sell the land for permanent conservation once an agreement could be reached with an appropriate organization. Discussions with DCR picked up over the past year, with the City of Marlborough and SVT stepping in to raise public awareness of the project and to provide supplemental funding.

Trail maps for Callahan State Park are available on the DCR website at www.mass.gov/dcr.
Photo by Dany Pelletier

AARP Massachusetts Fraud Watch Update: July 2021

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Did you know that someone’s identity gets stolen every two seconds?  The AARP Fraud Watch Network provides you with tips and resources to help you spot and avoid identity theft and fraud so you can protect yourself and your family.  Our watchdog alerts will keep you up to date on con artists’ latest tricks.  It’s free of charge for everyone:  AARP members, non-members, and people of all ages.  Be a fraud fighter!  If you can spot a scam, you can stop a scam. Report scams to local law enforcement. Contact the AARP Fraud Watch Network at www.aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork for more information on fraud prevention.

Warm weather is here which means door-to-door sales crews are here, too. But what they’re selling isn’t always legit. Be cautious anytime a stranger comes knocking, especially if the visitor is trying to sell you goods or services. Be wary of contractors who say they stopped by because they just happened to be in the neighborhood. The good ones are usually too busy to roam around in search of work. Also be on guard for high pressure tactics to make a quick decision for a steep discount, and requests for payment upfront. Your best bet is to proactively seek out services if you need them, versus reacting to an unexpected sales pitch. It’s always okay to explain you don’t do business at your front door (or to not answer when strangers knock).

Many scams originate right at your fingertips through your computer or smartphone. The good news is the way to block them is also within your grasp. Here are three tips to keep your devices safe from criminals. Make sure your devices’ operating systems are up to date; you should be able to set an auto-update feature that downloads the latest software when available. Next, make sure to change the password on your Wi-Fi router so it’s different from the password it came with. If you have a lot of devices connected to it, they could be vulnerable if the router is compromised. Lastly, a password manager is a great way to create unique and hard-to-guess passwords for all of your online accounts and apps.

America is open for business again and millions of people are traveling, or planning to. One thing you may run into is sticker shock – especially with rental cars. The lack of travel in 2020 led rental companies to sell a lot of their inventory of cars. Now that demand has spiked, supply is tight and prices are high.
Unfortunately, criminals are paying attention and posting fake rental car deals at rock bottom prices online. While everyone loves a good deal, doing business with an entity you aren’t familiar with could be risky. Whatever your travel needs, stick to reputable websites with proven track records. If you do find a deal with an unfamiliar provider, do your research: look up the company name with “scam” or “complaint” and see what appears, and check out reviews.

Who doesn’t love something for free? But beware, that “free trial offer” might mean months of payments that you didn’t know you signed up for and will have a hard time canceling. These types of sales tactics are called negative options – a customer signs up for a free trial and unwittingly accepts a subscription – sometimes for a questionable product – often by not seeing a pre-checked box in the very tiny print. When it comes to free trials, research before you enroll. Fully understand the terms and conditions by reading the fine print. Keep a close eye on your credit and debit card statements so you spot unexpected charges right away. Contact your bank or credit card company to address the issue; calling the company you inadvertently signed up for a subscription with will likely get you nowhere.

Be a fraud fighter!  If you can spot a scam, you can stop a scam. Report scams to local law enforcement. For help from AARP, call 1-877-908-3360 or visit the AARP Fraud Watch Network at www.aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork.
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Peppercorn Hill Conservation Area Gains 67 Acres

UPTON: A year-long effort to conserve the 67-acre Kelly Property in the eastern part of Upton concluded in June, when the Town of Upton purchased three parcels of the property and Metacomet Land Trust (MLT) purchased the fourth. The property will now become part of the adjacent Peppercorn Hill Conservation Area.
The Kelly Property hosts mature forests, wetlands, streams, a vernal pool, and rocky outcrops. In addition, about 1 mile of the popular Peppercorn Hill trails crosses the property and offers a stunning view to the west from a scenic overlook. 

“People who have visited the trails at the Peppercorn Hill Conservation Area in the past have likely walked across the Kelly Property without realizing that it wasn’t public land,” said Lisa Mosczynski, President of MLT. “By protecting the property, the project partners have ensured that the public will always have full access to the entire trail network and can enjoy the view from atop Peppercorn Hill.”

MLT purchased its 25-acre parcel on June 15 with assistance from Sudbury Valley Trustees (SVT), a regional land trust that works in 36 communities. MLT received a $56,500 Conservation Partnership grant for the purchase from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. To close the gap in the purchase price and to cover costs such as legal fees, SVT secured additional grants from anonymous foundations, and the two member-supported land trusts worked together to solicit donations from private individuals. 

 “We are grateful to SVT for supporting this project and helping it to succeed,” said Mosczynski. “MLT is also proud to have worked with the Town to expand the Peppercorn Hill Conservation Area, protect important wildlife habitat, and provide recreational opportunities for the public far into the future.”

The Town of Upton used $156,908 of Community Preservation Funds to purchase its 42 acres on June 30. Town voters approved the use of these funds during a Special Town Meeting in November 2020.  SVT will hold conservation restrictions on all 67 acres and will annually monitor the land to ensure its critical ecological properties are protected.

 “The Town is excited to partner with Sudbury Valley Trustees and the Metacomet Land Trust to continue to provide recreational opportunities to our residents as we add to the town’s treasured Peppercorn Hill Conservation Area.” said Maureen Dwinnell, Board of Selectmen Chair. “On behalf of the Board of Selectmen, I want to thank the members of the Conservation Commission for their leadership in preserving this land for future generations to enjoy.”

After both deals closed, Meredith Houghton, SVT Land Protection Specialist, commented, “SVT believes it is important to act now in order to conserve precious open spaces such as the Kelly Property. We were delighted to collaborate with MLT and the Town to protect this land for the surrounding communities.” 
Houghton continued, “We also thank everyone, including over 70 area residents, who donated to the fundraising campaign to save this land. Your support was essential to the project’s success.”
A trail map for the Peppercorn Hill Conservation Area is available on the Town of Upton website.

DONORS URGENTLY NEEDED: Red Cross Still Facing Severe Blood Shortage

The American Red Cross continues to experience a severe blood shortage that is negatively affecting blood product availability across the country. Donors of all blood types – especially type O and those giving platelets – are urged to make an appointment to give now and help ensure hospital shelves are stocked with blood products over the Fourth of July holiday and beyond.

Right now, the Red Cross is working around the clock to provide blood products to hospitals responding to an unusually high number of traumas and emergency room visits, as well as overdoses and resulting transplants. As a result of the blood shortage, some hospitals are being forced to slow the pace of elective surgeries until the blood supply stabilizes, delaying crucial patient care. 

In addition, while summer is traditionally a time when blood donations decline, this year is particularly challenging as many Americans receive their vaccinations and resume summer activities after more than a year of limited interactions and travel, leading to lower donor turnout. The need for blood doesn’t take a holiday break − patients still depend on lifesaving transfusions.

Donors are needed now to prevent further delays to patient care. Schedule an appointment to give blood now by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.

As a thank-you, all those who come to give July 1-6 will receive a Red Cross embroidered hat by mail,* while supplies last. And, donors who come to give July 7-31 will receive a $10 Amazon.com Gift Card by email, plus a chance to win gas for a year (a $5,000 value). (Terms and conditions apply; visit rcblood.org/fuel). 
In most cases, those who have received a COVID-19 vaccine can donate. However, knowing the name of the manufacturer of the vaccine they received is important in determining donation eligibility.

Diaper Collection to Benefit The Diaper Project at A Place to Turn, Natick

FRAMINGHAM: Lutheran Church of Framingham and St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, partners in mission and ministry, will hold a month-long virtual and a one-day in-person diaper collection to benefit The Diaper Project at A Place to Turn. Diapers and baby wipes are not covered by SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) or any other federal or state programs. This collection will provide diapers and baby wipes to families in our MetroWest community who are in financial distress.

At this time, the Diaper Project is looking for: 1) Diapers in sizes 5 & 6; 2) Diaper wipes; and 3) Monetary donations.  You can donate three ways:

Virtual Collection, July 1-31. Shop online at your favorite retailer and have the diapers and wipes shipped directly to: The Diaper Project, 99 Hartford St., Natick, MA 01760.

One-day, In-Person Collection, Sunday, July 25, 11:30am to 12:30pm. Hand-deliver your donations to volunteers in the parking lot of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, 3 Maple St., Framingham. Volunteers will be there to collect your donations. Please do not leave donations outside the church at any other time.

Monetary Donations: Visit the A Place to Turn website: www.aplacetoturnnatick.org. Click the “Make a Donation” button at the top right section of their home page. If you’d like, you can type St. A/LCF Diaper Collection in the comment section. You may also send a check made payable to A Place to Turn to 99 Hartford St., Natick, MA 01760 and write St. A/LCF Diaper Collection on the memo line.
There is a constant need for these items. If you are unable to help now, you may donate directly to A Place to Turn at any time. Please join us in helping our neighbors in need.

St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church and The Lutheran Church of Framingham are co-located at 3 Maple Street in Framingham, MA. For more information, please call the church office at 508.875.5095.
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Spellman Stamp Museum Re-Opens July 8

WESTON: The Spellman Museum of Stamps & Postal History, located on the campus of Regis College in Weston, will re-open on Thursday, July 8. Summer hours will be Thursday, Friday and Saturday from noon to 5pm. It will also be open on Sunday, July 12 from noon to 5pm.

While closed, the Museum completed major improvements including repainting the main gallery and adjacent spaces, installing new LED lighting throughout the building, rebranding and updating signage, refreshing the Museum store, adding library services and preparing many new activities and books for children while expanding materials in the Museum’s Youth Club.

The two major exhibits now on display feature a history of the 19th Amendment and Women’s suffrage using stamps, and a celebration with stamps of the 400th anniversary of the landing of the Pilgrims. Other exhibits include medicine on stamps (which is also on display at New England Baptist Hospital), owls on U.S. and world-wide postage, the history of rural free delivery, children’s stamp games, antique stamp cases, Civil War letters and envelopes, zeppelin mail, the very first stamp (the One Penny Black of 1840) and the first US stamps. And the Special Exhibits Room features a women’s jacket
and skirt hand made in 1935 using more than 2000 stamps.

Admission to the Museum is $8 for adults, $5 for seniors and $3 for children. Some area public libraries have free passes available. All children receive a free packet of stamps and can participate in a stamp hunt for prizes. The Museum offers an evaluation service of collections, by appointment, for a $50 fee. More information is available at www.spellmanmuseum.org or info@spellmanmuseum.org.

Wayside Inn Foundation Hosts New Summer Programs

SUDBURY: The Wayside Inn is announcing new drop-off summer programs for children ages 6 and up. Programs are scheduled throughout the summer in June, July, and August. “Over the last year and a half, we have experimented with family programs that require children to participate with an accompanying caregiver,” said Katina Fontes, TWIF Education Coordinator. “However, our goal has always been a menu of drop-off programs for youth. With COVID restrictions easing and vaccination rates rising, this summer felt like the perfect time to begin!”

The “Time Travelers Summer Programs” will kick off with a June 5th preview of the new Three Sisters Garden behind the Old Barn and a self-guided story walk (families can stop by any time between 10:00 a.m. and noon). The garden will be used for educational programming later in the summer. “It will also be an opportunity for visitors to talk with staff and learn more about The Wayside Inn Foundation and our new drop-off summer programs,” noted Fontes.

The first drop-off program is on Saturday, June 19th, 10:30-noon. The theme is Juneteenth, and participants will enjoy a picnic lunch in addition to some journaling and craft activities. The week of July 19-23, a program series focused on gardening, sustainability, and Native American traditions is offered. There will be another series on American cooking through time the week of August 16-20. All programs will take place from 9:00 a.m. to noon, with an option to add an extra hour for lunch until 1:00. “We administered a survey back in March, and the results suggested that families want flexibility and choice. So we are allowing them to pick and choose the dates and themes that work best for them,” added Fontes. Registration is limited to 10 kids per session.

“We are excited and can’t wait to share some of our site’s history with families and kids,” said Fontes. “Thanks to a generous donation of loam and compost from Cavicchio Greenhouses, Inc., garden preparations are already underway! We encourage our guests to swing by from time to time to see the progress of our garden the next time they have dinner at The Inn or visit our site.”

A brochure with details about the programs, costs, and the registration process is available at http://bit.ly/TimeTravelers21.
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June is PTSD Awareness Month

June is PTSD Awareness Month. Though most often associated with veterans who experienced atrocities of war, anyone, including children and teens, can suffer with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Children typically recover quickly from stressful events, but when it comes to severe stress, especially serious injuries, the death of a close family member or friend, sexual assault, living through a disaster, or witnessing a violent act such as a school shooting, children can often suffer the long-term effects of PTSD.
The National Center for PTSD estimates that 7-8% of people will experience PTSD during their lives. Worse yet, over 65% of children who are exposed to a traumatic event will, at some point, attempt to take their own lives.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, the symptoms of PTSD are different for young children than those of older teens and adults. Children younger than 6 will often wet the bed, forget how or refuse to talk, act out the traumatic event during routine play, or become unusually clingy with a parent or other adult.

Research shows that depression rates increase after a trauma and tend to be especially high among children with PTSD. If your child or someone you love is struggling with depression or thinking about suicide, get help now. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1-800-273-TALK (8255), is a free resource, available 24 hours a day for anyone who is in suicidal crisis or emotional distress. The Crisis Text Line is a free 24/7 text line where trained crisis counselors support individuals in crisis. Text “Jason” to 741741 to speak with a compassionate, trained Crisis Counselor. Confidential support 24/7, for free.

The Jason Foundation is another available resource.  The Jason Foundation is dedicated to the awareness and prevention of youth suicide through educational programs that equip youth, parents, educators, and the community with the tools and resources to identify and assist at-risk youth. Many times, a young person will exhibit clear warnings signs prior to an attempt. By knowing the warning signs, and knowing how to help, you could save a life.  Visit The Jason Foundation’s website to learn more about youth suicide, the warning signs, and how you can help make a difference.  The Jason Foundation has never charged a school, community, or individual for the use of their programs or resources.  http://www.jasonfoundation.com
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Emerson Hospital & IMPACT Melanoma Team Up to Protect the Public

CONCORD: Emerson Hospital and IMPACT Melanoma, a national non-profit organization dedicated to reducing the incidence of melanoma, have teamed for the third consecutive year to protect residents from skin cancer. The organizations have deployed touchless, automatic sunscreen dispensers at 16 high-traffic locations, including parks and recreation facilities, beaches, rail trails, and athletic fields throughout Concord and the greater area. The dispensers provide complementary sunscreen throughout Acton (at The Discovery Museum), Bedford, Chelmsford, Concord, Harvard, Hudson, Maynard and Westford.
Jen Melanson, Community Service Coordinator for the town of Chelmsford, reported after the 2020 season, “The program was so well received, we had positive feedback on social media and from citizens who were very excited and appreciative. We are grateful to Emerson Hospital for providing the dispensers and are excited to support the program again this year.”
“We are pleased to work with Emerson Hospital on this invaluable initiative for the third year,” said Deb Girard, IMPACT’s Executive Director. “It is imperative to educate communities at all levels – residents, government, employees, and visitors – to create a broad sense of sun-safe practices aimed at healthier lifestyle choices for our skin. With this initiative in motion, we can achieve exactly that with the fleet of free sunscreen dispensers, and educational messaging. We are excited and hope that neighboring towns take notice. Together we can make a great IMPACT and practice of safe skin.”
Emerson Hospital is sponsoring bright yellow sunscreen dispensers that are filled with SPF 30 sunscreen. The dispensers are monitored regularly and replenished as needed, ensuring that everyone in the area who needs sunscreen has easy access to it. SPF 30 or higher sunscreen is rated and recommended for use by children ages six-months and up, and adults. All sunscreen ingredients are safe and approved by the FDA.
“Skin cancer is one of the most common cancers in our service area, according to our latest Community Health Assessment,” notes Christine Gallery, Senior Vice President, Planning and Chief Strategy Officer, Emerson Hospital. “We are proud to support IMPACT Melanoma again this year, so that people throughout our towns can have fun this summer, while easily protecting themselves from skin cancer. We anticipate the community will use the sunscreen often and it will become a routine part of their summer safety regimen. We encourage the community to be in touch with a physician with any questions or concerns about their skin.”
To learn more about the importance of sunscreen and where the complimentary sunscreen dispensers are located, please visit www.emersonhospital.org/sunscreen.