‘Community’ is Lenten Focus at St. Stephen Lutheran Church

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MARLBOROUGH: “Community” is the theme for Wednesdays in Lent at St. Stephen Lutheran Church, beginning with Ash Wednesday worship on March 2 at 7pm at the Church at 537 Bolton Street. Wednesday worship continues through Lent on March 9, 16, 23, 30 and April 6.

“After two years of being kept apart, and as we’re increasingly able to gather again, this Lent we focus on what brings us together,” said pastor Joseph Graumann. The prayer service will explore community with creation, all the saints, our neighbors, the marginalized, and community with Christ. At this time, masks are still required at worship.

Wednesday services will follow the format of Holden Evening Prayer. Written in 1985-
86 by Marty Haugen during a musical residency at Holden Village, a scenic Lutheran camp in the mountains of Washington State, Holden Evening Prayer is a simple Lutheran vespers service
that follows traditional form while using contemporary and inclusive language. Since then, the service has been adopted around the world. Haugen is a composer of liturgical music for Lutheran, Roman Catholic and other denominations, with over 400 compositions.

“God creates each of us for community with others, and so we’re never truly alone," pastor Graumann added. “If you’re feeling lonely and isolated after two years of pandemic living, come make friends at church.”

As Lent draws to a close, St. Stephen will mark Palm Sunday on April 10 at 10am, hold a Maundy Thursday worship and soup supper on April 14 at 7pm, and Good Friday worship April 15, also at 7pm. The Saturday April 16 Easter Vigil at 7:30pm will focus on seven Bible passages, with insight and interpretation by parishioners. On Sunday, April 17, festive Easter worship will take place at 10am, followed by a potluck brunch.

For more information about St. Stephen Lutheran Church, visit www.saintstephenlutheran.com or the church’s Facebook page. Saint Stephen is a member of the New England Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (www.elca.org). The church is a Reconciling in Christ congregation, inviting people of every gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, ability, marital status, or class.  Parishioners come from Marlborough, Hudson, Berlin, Northborough, Southborough, Westborough, Shrewsbury, Sudbury, Stow and Bolton.

The Thursday Garden Club of Sudbury to host " Native Plants" with Neela de Zoysa

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SUDBURY: The Thursday Garden Club of Sudbury will be hosting Neela de Zoysa at their next General  meeting at St John's Lutheran Church,16 Great Road on March 10 at 9:30am.  (Masks will be required.) Bring a friend or neighbor to hear Neela explain native plants and the complex connections between native plants and a healthy landscape.

de Zoysa is a professional botanist, avid gardener, long time instructor at the Native Plant Trust and she is actively is involved with the Sudbury Valley Trustees and Friends of the Assabet River Wildlife Refuge.  She leads a series of popular walks on Sudbury conservation lands through the LS Adult and Community Ed programs.
 
The Thursday Garden Club of Sudbury sponsors monthly meetings in flower arranging, horticulture, and landscape design, provides scholarship money for a graduating L-S senior, and participates in a number of beautifying projects in Sudbury, including the Daffodil Trail, community traffic island gardens, Grinnell Park, Town Center and Hosmer House Holiday Decoration, library arrangements, Emma's Tree, and much more.  Founded in 1951, and a member of the Garden Club Federation of Massachusetts, The Club meets the second Thursday of every month Sept to May.  For membership information contact TGCSudbury1776@gmail.com.

Domestic Violence Roundtable to Host Virtual Program: Transforming the Culture of Dominance

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SUDBURY: The Sudbury-Wayland-Lincoln Domestic Violence Roundtable presents “Transforming the Culture of ‘Power Over’: Compassionate Accountability” on Tuesday, March 8 at 7pm. The virtual event will help participants make key distinctions among safe relationship cycles and the dynamics that occur within relationships based on abusive values of dominance and superiority. The presentation will be led by JAC Patrissi (pictured), Jason Patrissi and Regi Wingo of Growing a New Heart, an organization that aims to facilitate respectful and ethical power relationships and communications in families, workplaces and communities.

“Power is the ability to do something or act in a particular way, the capacity or ability to direct or influence the behavior of others, or the belief that one is inherently deserving of privileges or special treatment. We all have power over our own actions, thoughts and ability to influence others for good and ill, but the need to maintain power and control over another can lead to imbalance, dysfunction and even abusive behavior,” said Sue Rushfirth, president of the Sudbury-Wayland-Lincoln Domestic Violence Roundtable. “I look forward to learning how the power dynamic in all our relationships – personal and professional – can play a key role in the effectiveness and quality of these relationships.”

Participants will leave with a sense of next steps for imagining community-based transformative justice interventions that address problematic behaviors, without necessitating expulsion or exclusion. The event will also feature break-out discussion groups.

The event is inspired by the White Ribbon Campaign, which raises awareness about the prevalence of men's violence against women and brings to the table those crucial to ending relationship violence – men. It's presented by the Roundtable's White Ribbon Group and follows the group’s successful event in March 2021, “A Call to Families: Discussing Healthy Masculinity with Young People.”

“By attending an event like this we don't just learn about risks associated with unhealthy relationships but we also learn about ourselves and how we can challenge our own thinking and the ways we unconsciously support patterns of behavior that lead to abuse and violence,” said Colm McGarry, chairman of the White Ribbon Group. “Accountability with compassion gives hope to everyone involved in stemming abuse. We have much to learn from other cultures and the ways those communities challenge harmful behaviors without excessive reliance on methods of exclusion such as imprisonment.”

While the Domestic Violence Roundtable has planned awareness events about the White Ribbon movement for years, the local White Ribbon group formed in 2019. The group of men aims to promote healthy and positive attitudes and behaviors, and to create an environment free of fear and violence by advancing equity, justice and dignity. For more information about how to get involved in this effort, please contact the Roundtable at infodvrt@gmail.com.

Register for the Zoom meeting at
https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYrde2qpz8sH9N0NLvKblxyJY7l1PVvwbVf
To promote equitable access, this event is offered free of charge. Donations to support the ongoing work of the White Ribbon Group are greatly appreciated. To donate, please visit www.domesticviolenceroundtable.org/don-form.
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Northborough Garden Club Accepting Scholarship Applications

NORTHBOROUGH: The Northborough Garden Club is accepting scholarship applications for students enrolling in college who will be majoring in one of the following fields: Horticulture, Environmental Studies, Land Management, Conservation Management, Wildlife Management, Agriculture, Botany, Biology, Floral Design, Landscape Design or related fields. Qualified applicants must be a high school senior, in good standing, and a resident of Northborough for at least two years.  A $1000 scholarship will be awarded, payable to the student upon completion and receipt of his/her first-semester transcript. The deadline for application submission is Friday, April 1, 2022.   The application is available at local high school guidance departments and can be downloaded at www.northboroughgardenclub.com/scholarship.  For more info about the Club, visit www.facebook.com/NORTHBOROUGHGARDENCLUB.
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Marlborough Rotary Club Scholarship Applications Deadline April 9

MARLBOROUGH: The Marlborough Rotary Club would like to remind any graduating high school seniors that the deadline for submitting scholarship applications to the club is April 9.  The club awards scholarships to Marlborough residents graduating from Marlborough High School, Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School (AVRTHS), The Advanced Math and Science Academy (AMSA) and a student who resides in Marlborough but attends another area secondary school.  Each candidate must be a senior graduating from high school in good standing and be accepted to a two- or four-year college.
 
In addition, the club awards a $250 grant to an AVRTHS graduate in vocational studies to use to buy the tools of his/her trade.
 
Applications are available from the students’ respective high schools, directly from the Marlborough Rotary Club, P.O. Box 186, Marlborough, MA 01752, through any Marlborough Rotarian, or the website www.marlboroughrotary.org.
 
“Youth service is a major component of the Marlborough Rotary Club’s community service, and education is the keystone for the future of our young people” noted club president, Aaron Aykanian.  “It’s in the best tradition of Rotary’s motto, ‘Service above Self'’.”
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Scholarship Offered in Westborough

WESTBOROUGH: The Westborough Community Land Trust (WCLT) is offering two scholarships of $1000 each, to be awarded to the winners of its annual Earth Day Essay Contest, which runs March 1 – April 11. The contest is open to graduating Westborough High School (WHS) seniors and to graduating seniors who reside in Westborough but attend a different high school. To apply, students can get contest details and scholarship application forms from the WHS guidance office as of March 1 OR online on the Westborough Community Land Trust website at www.westboroughlandtrust.org. The deadline is Monday, April 11, 2022 for receipt of the essays and applications. Students may submit their Earth Day essay and scholarship applications on paper to the WHS Guidance Office, OR on paper by mail (in time to be received by the deadline) to WCLT, P.O. Box 838, Westborough, MA 01581, OR electronically by email to scholarship@westboroughlandtrust.org.

Students do not have to be planning an environmental emphasis in their future studies or career in order to be eligible for the scholarships. The Westborough Community Land Trust (WCLT) is a private, member-supported, nonprofit organization that preserves, protects, and promotes open space in Westborough. Since 2004, WCLT has encouraged environmental awareness among high school students by offering scholarships to the winners of its Earth Day Essay Contest.
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The Assabet Valley Mastersingers Sing Into Spring

LINCOLN/SUDBURY: Are you interested in teaching a class or have a topic you would like to learn?  Lincoln Sudbury Adult & Community Education classes are open to residents of Sudbury and surrounding towns.  Classes are offered at Lincoln Sudbury High School or online, and include topics such as flower arranging, musical instruction, chocolate tasting, financial and legal issues, and more!  Visit lsrhs.net/community/adult_ed to find a class that interests you, or email adult.ed@lsrhs.net for information about these or other class offerings:
 
  • Boating Skills and Seamanship: (Wednesdays, 3/2-5/25, 7-9pm, $50) This introductory course is for both sail and power boaters and includes instruction on safety afloat, legal responsibilities, aids to navigation, rules of the road, charts and compass, engines, knots, weather, boat handling, radio procedures, and navigation electronics. Completion certificate helps reduce boat insurance fees. Families are welcome. Course materials are $56 and are paid directly to the USCG in class.
  • Gnocchi: (Sunday, 3/6, 4-6pm, $39) Learn how to make pillowy authentic Italian gnocchi at home in this interactive online cooking class. During this live virtual class, you will learn the trade secrets to preparing authentic Italian gnocchi (Ricotta based), including how to add those hallmark ridges to catch the sauce. We will prepare a simple/traditional red sauce and an alternative white/cream sauce for serving. A recipe/ instruction/ shopping packet will be sent ~ 1 week before the class.
  • Badminton: (Wednesdays, 3/9-6/1, 7-9pm, $199) Badminton is the most popular and fastest racquet sport! It’s a fast, fun and social game that can be played and enjoyed by people of all ages. If you have never played badminton before, you will quickly learn the basics and join other experienced players in 12 weeks of exciting games! If you are looking for a great way to have fun while getting in shape, this is the place to be! Bring your racquet and we will provide the birdies.
  • Make an Adirondack Chair: (Saturdays, 3/12-4/9, 9am-12pm, $199) In 5 weeks, from start to finish, make your own Adirondack chair. In this hands-on, step-by-step class you will develop an understanding of woodworking and furniture making skills. All tools will be provided. Approximately $90 materials fee, payable at the first class. No experience necessary.
  • Spring Wreath: (Tuesday, 3/22, 7-9pm, $69) Have you seen those gorgeous faux flower wreaths made on a base of grapevine at florists, farmers markets, and online? Learn how to make one! Can be a great gift or used to add some spring cheer to your own home. You may opt to take the course in-person or pick up a kit (you'll need your own hot glue gun) and take the course online via Zoom. All materials are included. No Senior/Staff Discount.

Time for a new skill or a fun night!
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The Assabet Valley Mastersingers Sing Into Spring

NORTHBOROUGH: Singing into spring, The Assabet Valley Mastersingers will present Songs of Ecstasy featuring For a Breath of Ecstasy by Michael J. Trotta and Carmina Burana by Carl Orff at Algonquin Regional High School in Northborough on Sunday, March 20, 2022 at 3:30pm. Dr. Robert P. Eaton will conduct the ensemble and soloists accompanied by two pianos, an oboe and five percussionists.

Each of the movements of For a Breath of Ecstasy chronicles poet Sara Teasdale’s search for solace amidst life’s many storms. Composer Trotta’s tapestry of different vocal forces set against the backdrop of an oboe, played by Joe Halko and the piano with Judy Yauckoes, reveals moments of yearning, love, joy, and peace. Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana, called a “dramatic cantata”, is performed here as a concert work.  It is based upon twenty-five 13th century poems written by itinerant scholars, minstrels, and runaway monks.  The theme running through the work is that of the wheel of Fortune, the goddess of fate who rules our lives.  The poems touch on all aspects of life, the defects of the church, state and manners; complaints on the power of money and the decline of moral values; the sensual joys of food, drink, and physical love.

Tickets may be purchased from www.AVMsingers.org or at the venue the afternoon of the concert. The price is $25 and $20 for seniors and students. All concert attendees are required to present proofs of vaccination.  Masks are required with social distancing by attendee unit (family, friends with them).

It is an AVM core value to be responsible and community-minded. As such AVM will follow all public health guidelines provided by Federal, state, and local health departments and those of concert venues. For further information, reference www.AVMsingers.org.

Sudbury-Wayland-Lincoln Domestic Violence Roundtable Provided Valentine Gift Bags to Survivors of Domestic Violence

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SUDBURY/MAYNARD: This year, despite the continuing circumstances created by Covid 19, the Sudbury-Wayland-Lincoln Domestic Violence Roundtable held its annual Valentine Collection at Sudbury Wine and Spirits and Spirits of Maynard. Although community members could not be invited to help fill the Valentine bags for families affected by abuse, two members of the Roundtable - Fay Farber and Diane Seligman - gathered to fill the bags and delivered them to clients of REACH Beyond Domestic Violence, The Second Step, and Voices Against Violence. Due to the generosity of our local communities, the Roundtable was able to provide 70 gift bags to recipients aged 9 months to 71 years old.

The Roundtable would like to thank Joseph Saia of Sudbury Wine and Spirits and Spirits of Maynard for hosting the collection baskets and the students at Sudbury Extended Day for decorating the gift bags. Also thank you to Wayland Creative Preschool for partnering with us again this year. The pandemic has been especially difficult for families in an abusive situation, and these Valentine’s Day bags brighten the lives of families living in domestic violence shelters and transitional housing and let them know that they are supported in their efforts to rebuild their lives free from abuse.
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February Winter Walks along the Panther Trail Scheduled

MARLBOROUGH: Would you like to get a “sneak peek” of the future Panther trail along the Sudbury Reservoir, well then, this hike is for you. The official opening of the entire 26.2-mile trail is planned for later this yearm but February walks are being held to introduce people to this great trail and build excitement:

Saturdays, February 12 & 19, 2022: 10am-12pm (4-mile roundtrip)
Sundays, February 13 & 20, 2022: 1pm-3pm (2-mile roundtrip)
Rain/Snow dates: February 26 & 27, 2022.

Join in for one or all of these guided walks along the northern shores of the reservoir.
As we enjoy the crisp winter air and remarkable water views along the reservoir, you’ll hear about the history of the Sudbury Reservoir, why protection of the reservoir land is so important and also learn about the creation of this marathon length Panther trail – entirely in Marlborough.

Saturday morning walks park along Danjou Drive and meet your walk leader here. Walk together to the Sherman Road trailhead to begin. This is a 4-mile roundtrip walk which will take about 3.5 hours.  To register, visit www.eventbrite.com/e/winter-walk-on-the-panther-trail-tickets-257977476577.

Sunday afternoon walks park at the Callahan State Park lot off Broadmeadow Street. Meet there and walk to the Broadmeadow Road trailhead near the Parmenter Road intersection. This is a 2-mile round trip which will take about 2 hours. To register, visit www.eventbrite.com/e/258075600067.

Please dress warmly. These walks are good for anyone who would enjoy a walk in nature and is comfortable walking on unpaved ground. If the ground is snow or ice covered, you may prefer to also use micro spikes on your shoes and/or walking poles. If snow is deep, you are welcome to bring snowshoes. Check out the Marlborough Recreation Department Facebook page for free snowshoe rentals for Marlborough residents: www.facebook.com/Marlboroughrecdept.

Contact Karin Paquin at 978-337-9418 with questions.
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The Friends of the Goodnow Library Donate More Than 1,000 Books to Local Preschools

SUDBURY: We may be in the midst of a pandemic, and it may be cold and snowy outside, but members of the Friends of the Goodnow Library continue to be very busy working on behalf of members of the Sudbury community.  Over the past several weeks, volunteers for the Friends  have sorted through the myriad of preschool books donated to the Friends and have boxed up donations for numerous local preschool classrooms. More than 1,000 books have been delivered to various pre-schools that serve the youngest members of our community.  Staff at Aruna’s Place, Bright Horizons, Sudbury Extended Day, Sudbury Cooperative Pre-school, Next Generation and Wright Farm Child Care all shared their delight and gratitude when board members delivered boxes of books. Also, in support of a local diversity program, the Friends gathered books with diversity themes for a special program created by the Sudbury Cooperative Pre-School and the Children’s Department of the Goodnow Library.

The Friends of the Goodnow Library is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. For more information about the Friends, visit www.friendsofgoodnow.org or contact friendsofgoodnow@gmail.com.
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Assabet Valley Mastersingers Announce Grace Choi as Assistant Director

The Assabet Valley Mastersingers is proud to announce that Grace Choi has been selected as its Assistant Conductor.  Ms. Choi is highly respected as a conductor, composer, and pianist. She has conducted choruses, bands, and orchestras in Virginia, Nevada, Georgia, Indiana, and New York among others.  She studied choral conducting with Dr. Harold Rosenbaum at New York Virtuoso Singers and Prof. Marguerite Brooks at Yale University. She is presently the Music Director at First Baptist Church of Lexington.

Grace grew up with Classical music loving parents and started learning piano when she was 6 !/2.  She enjoyed playing with her siblings and making songs together with various instruments. . Recently she began learning piano tuning, medieval harp, and gardening, in addition to her teaching piano and music theory. 

Founded in 1978, the Assabet Valley Mastersingers is a regional chorus with performances in Shrewsbury, Westborough, Northborough, Southborough, and Marlborough, Massachusetts.  With a commitment to performance excellence and innovative programming, these talented local vocalists with professional instrumentalists and vocal soloists perform celebrated masterworks, lesser-known masterworks and commissioned compositions. For more information contact us at www.AVMsingers.org.
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Making Maple Syrup at Home 

MARLBOROUGH: Do you think you have a sugar maple tree in your yard? Have you ever wondered if you could make your own natural maple syrup, but didn’t know how to get started? Or maybe you thought the equipment would be too expensive and hard to find? You can do this! On Sunday, February 13, 2022, 1:30-2:30pm, find out how to identify a sugar maple, how to collect sap using a few dollars’ worth of equipment from any hardware store, and how to boil the sap to make syrup, candy, and more. Presenter Janet Anderson of the Westborough Community Land Trust has been making maple syrup from her backyard trees in Westborough for over a decade, and has made all the mistakes so you don’t have to! Samples will be offered. Dress to go outdoors, as the talk will conclude with a demonstration of tapping a nearby sugar maple tree. No reservation needed. Location: Tatnuck Bookseller meeting room, 18 Lyman Street. For questions, contact events@westboroughlandtrust.org.
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Friends of the Goodnow Library Present Made for Each Other: Famous Couples of the Art World

SUDBURY: The art world is fueled by passion and competition. This program looks at famous artist couples throughout the history of art and examines how they inspired, pushed, and influenced each other. The program will include Dutch Baroque artists Judith Leyster and Jan Molenaer, early modernists Georgia O'Keeffe and Alfred Stieglitz as well as Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. Join the Friends of the Goodnow Library on Sunday, February 13, 2022, at 3pm as they welcome Jane Oneail who will be presenting this program on Zoom. This program is free, but registration is required at www.eventbrite.com/e/made-for-each-other-famous-couples-from-the-world-of-art-tickets-252007389887.  A Zoom Link will be sent to all registrants a few days prior to the program.

Oneail holds a master’s in Art History from Boston University and a master’s in Education from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education. She is a NH native and has worked at some of the state’s most esteemed cultural institutions, including the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen, where she served as Executive Director, and the Currier Museum of Art, where she held the role of Senior Educator. She has taught Art History at the college level for more than a decade, most recently at Southern New Hampshire University.
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Pre-order Period for At-home Covid-19 Tests Has Begun

The Biden Administration is offering free rapid tests to all residents in the United States. The pre-order period for the at-home COVID-19 tests via www.covidtests.gov has begun. Every household in the U.S. is eligible to order four free at-home COVID-19 tests. The tests are completely free and will usually ship in 7-12 days. Please visit www.covidtests.gov to submit an order and learn more.

Senator Eldridge & Representatives Gregoire and Gentile Announce Marlborough Schools Receiving FY22 Math Acceleration Academies Grants
Grants amount to $197,200 and will be allocated to Advanced Math and Science Academy and Marlborough Public Schools 

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MARLBOROUGH: Last week, Massachusetts Education Commissioner Jeffrey C. Riley announced that two educational programs in Marlborough will receive FY22 Math Acceleration Academies Grants. Advanced Math and Science Academy will receive $70,000, and Marlborough Public Schools will receive $127, 200. 

The purpose of this competitive grant is to fund the implementation of a specific strategic initiative, the Acceleration Academies, to help accelerate the learning of students most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.This grant will provide funding to local education agencies to implement math-focused Acceleration Academies for students in grades 3 through 10. 

With the rise of COVID cases in the past couple of months, it is crucial that we continue to invest in our education system in Massachusetts. This grant comes at a critical moment and will serve to keep impacted students on the right track. Thank you to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) for supporting our local schools,” said Senator Eldridge.

“I am grateful to see DESE’s investment in our local schools,” said Representative Gregoire. “Our students faced unprecedented challenges due to the pandemic and these grants will go a long way in ensuring that they are supported as they continue their education in these extremely difficult circumstances.” 

“The Advanced Math and Science Academy and Marlborough Public Schools have worked incredibly hard to provide a quality education to all students during the pandemic,” said Representative Gentile. “I am delighted to see that both of them are receiving this additional grant funding to further ensure that no students are being left behind during these challenging times.”

An Acceleration Academy is a week-long academic program designed to accelerate student learning through engaging, standards-aligned lessons.

Implementation of the program will adhere to strict guidelines outlined by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
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Tower Hill Botanic Garden Presents 'Prismatic, An Orchid Exhibition'

WEST BOYLSTON: Tower Hill Botanic Garden invites the public to experience “Prismatic, an Orchid Exhibition,” which runs February 11 thru March 20. This exhibition celebrates the interplay of color and light with dazzling plant displays and vibrant art installations. Pre-purchased tickets are required for admission to Tower Hill. For more information or to buy tickets, visit www.towerhillbg.org. Tower Hill requires masks for all indoor events.

From the moment they enter the lobby, winter-weary visitors can feast their eyes on gorgeous arrangements of over 1,400 orchids and 800 tropical plants as they pass through an entrance bathed in all the colors of the spectrum. In the Limonaia, a massive upside-down pyramid of Plexiglass panels captures incoming light, creating hundreds of sparkling prisms that shimmer over towers of orchids. A George Sherwood chandelier graces the café, while in the Milton Gallery and the Orangerie, visitors can walk through and under rainbows.

“This exhibit is the perfect antidote to winter. It offers guests of all ages a chance to appreciate the fantastic diversity and beauty of orchids as well as the power of light, since plants, including orchids, utilize the energy of light for  photosynthesis,” said Grace Elton, CEO of Tower Hill. “The play of light on the orchid towers and arches is nothing short of magical.”

Opening Weekend will feature activities for children, music, art, workshops, and vendors selling stained glass, floral collages, and crystal suncatchers. After-hours, on Fridays, Tower Hill will be hosting “Orchids After Dark,” which will include jazz and drinks with a cash bar and light bites. These special evenings run from February 18 through March 11; the cost is $20 for members and $28 for non-members.

Adult Education will offer a class on orchid care and repotting on February 26. There will also be guided exhibit tours—one with the exhibition manager and another with the conservatory horticulturist—to learn about orchid species and the design of the show on select days in February and  March. Youth Education will run “Color Crush” during February Vacation Week from February 21 through 27. Children can enjoy drop-in activities, where they can experiment with light and color and study orchids up close.  They can also take classes where they can create rainbow mosaics, make whimsical suncatchers, or do colorful science experiments.

Tower Hill is committed to connecting people to plants and nature. Its property contains 171 acres of woodland trails, formal gardens, and a Visitors Center. In addition to “Prismatic,” which is included with general admission, guests this winter will enjoy dramatic views of Mount Wachusett and ample photo opportunities. 
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Nashoba Symphonic Band Fifth Anniversary Concert - February 5

WORCESTER:The Nashoba Symphonic Band, under the direction of David Wayne Bailey will perform its 5th Anniversary Concert at 2pm on Saturday, February 5, at Mechanics Hall, 321 Main Street. The concert is free and open to the public. General seating tickets are available through the Mechanics Hall box office, www.mechanicshall.org. Masking is required.
 
Highlights of the concert will feature organ soloist, Gavin Klein, and include a scoring for organ and winds of Bach's Fantasia in G-Major and the Finale from the Organ Symphony of Camille Saint-Saens. Other works on the program will be Psalm for Band by Vincent Persichetti, Polka and Fugue from “Schwanda the Bagpiper” by Jaromir Weinberger, and the rollicking Gumsucker's March by Percy Aldridge Grainger, as well as marches by Sousa and Fucik.

Organ soloist, Gavin Klein is an organist, pianist, and harpsichordist from Bolton, Ma. He is currently a senior at Nashoba Regional High School in Bolton. He first found his love for the organ after hearing some of the most famous organs of Europe on vacation when he was very young. With a  background in early music and keyboard studies since he was four, Gavin took on the organ at the age of 12, and is currently an organ student of C. Henry Mason, director of music at Immaculate Conception Parish in Worcester, Ma. Since then, he has given performances in both the US and Europe. He is a member of both the American Guild of Organists, and the Organ Historical Society.

The Nashoba Symphonic Band is a program of the Nashoba Regional High School Friends of Music and supported in part by grants from the Berlin, Hudson, Marlborough and Stow Cultural Councils, local agencies that are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.
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ARC Comedy Night Benefit Rescheduled to April 8

HUDSON: The Addiction Referral Center (ARC) is hosting the 11th annual Comedy Night Benefit, featuring the area’s most popular and talented comedians was originally scheduled for February 11, but will now take place April 8 at the Hudson Portuguese Club, 13 Port Street.  Doors open at 6:30pm and the show begins at 7:30pm. The event, being held in support of the ARC of Marlborough, will include lots of laughs, food, and raffle prizes.

Entertainers include popular comedians Paul Nardizzi, Janet McNamara, and Dan Donahue. Host of the evening is local favorite comedian Dave Rattigan.
 
  • Dave Rattigan returns as host. Rattigan spent the pandemic launching two podcasts, both of which he co-hosts, Inside the Line: Real Stories by Real Cops, and Soccerheads New England. He has performed at Fenway Park, The Cape Cod Melody Tent, South Shore Music Circus, a lumberyard, the lobby of an ad agency, and a library. His CD has been played on Sirius Satellite Radio, and he’s performed on the Steve Katsos Show. He’s done commercials for Olympia Sports and iParty, and performed in Dublin and Kilkenny, Ireland and in Boston with Irish comedians Ardal O’Hanlon and Joe Rooney. He’s performed at the Hampton Beach Comedy Festival (NH), Boston Comedy Festival, Women in Comedy Festival, and Salem Comedy and Spirits Festival, and shared the stage with Bill Burr, Jeff Dunham, the Beach Boys, Steven Wright, Bob Marley, Nick DiPaolo and more. He also runs Scamps Comedy Productions, which produces live comedy shows.
  • Paul Nardizzi is one of the country's top comedians, with multiple standup appearances on NBC's Late Night with Conan O'Brien, Comedy Central, and Fox Sports' Best Damn Sports Show Period, as well as regional appearances on NESN. A former winner of the Boston Comedy Festival, Nardizzi is in demand for theater shows, corporate functions, colleges, golf tournament, and fundraisers. His CD has been played on Sirius Satellite Radio and he’s a prolific author of humor books and co-host for a podcast focused on the world of soccer, Soccerheads New England, available at iHeart Radio.
  • Janet McNamara is a Boston-based comic with a conversational style and awkwardly charming energy. Earlier this year, she was selected to perform in the prestigious Hampton Beach Comedy Festival. The former finalist in the Boston Comedy Festival contest, McNamara won the 2014 BeanTown Comedy Riots and has been featured in Boston’s Women in Comedy Festival, the Ashville Comedy Festival and Burbank Comedy Festival.  You might also recognize her as being the 'Golden Idol’ winner for the worst audition of American Idol season 10, an appearance that introduced a national audience to her joie de vivre and infectious energy.  McNamara doesn’t speak French.  
  • Dan Donahue is an electrician by day, fast-progressing Boston comedian by night. Much of his humor comes from his experiences on the job. He has performed on Scamps Comedy-produced shows around New England as an opener and host, working with comedians including Juston McKinney, Mike McDonald, Christine Hurley, Paul Nardizzi and more.

For tickets or table reservations, call (508) 485-4357. Tables ($250) and individual tickets ($25) should be purchased in advance at the ARC.

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. For more information, visit them online at www.theaddictionreferralcenter.org.

Domestic Violence Roundtable Collects Valentine Donations for Families in Shelter

Blankets
MARLBOROUGH: Bringing warmth to others in winter was a focus for the people of Saint Stephen Lutheran Church for the holidays and beyond, as they wrapped sweatshirts, and donated blankets, throws and cocoa. In December, the youth group wrapped 200 sweatshirts for the local Sweats for Vets program, and also shopped for gifts for teens in the Hope for the Holidays outreach. St. Stephen members and friends of all ages, in partnership with the Hudson-based Fresh Start Furniture Bank, collected more than 40 new blankets, throws, and comforters, including some quilted items, and added packets of cocoa to bring several kinds of warmth to the clients of Fresh Start in January.
 
“Thank you for dropping off all those blankets and some with Girl Scout cookies and hot chocolate, too,”wrote Fresh Start’s Sue Waudby to St. Stephen Lutheran Church Pastor Joseph Graumann. “We truly appreciate the generosity of your parish in helping to keep our families warm this winter.” She added that the volunteers “were so thrilled to see all these blankets come in when we were running so low. Thank you so much for being a community partner with us.”
 
For more information about the church, visit www.saintstephenlutheran.com or visit them on Facebook.
 
PHOTO: Marlea Dutt (Hudson) and Judy & Doug Kellogg (Marlborough) stack the more than 40 blankets and throws collected by St. Stephen Lutheran Church parishioners before they
are delivered to Fresh Start Furniture Bank.

Domestic Violence Roundtable Collects Valentine Donations for Families in Shelter

2018 roundtable valentines day bags decorated by children at sudbury extended day
SUDBURY: Each February, the Sudbury-Wayland-Lincoln Domestic Violence Roundtable collects items for Valentine’s Day and fills gift bags for women, men and children temporarily living in local domestic violence shelters and transitional housing programs: REACH Beyond Domestic Violence, The Second Step, and Voices Against Violence. The Valentine Bags are decorated by the children from Sudbury Extended Day.

Members of local communities are cordially invited to participate in this collection again this year. Donations are welcome, but due to Covid 19 restrictions and social distancing, donors will not be assembling the gift bags. However, this is still a great opportunity for civic organizations, workplaces, families, friends and neighbors to contribute to the Roundtable collection and to help make lives brighter for families affected by domestic violence. Small acts of kindness like the gift bags let families know they are supported in their decision to leave an abusive situation and brighten their day. These gestures are especially appreciated during the pandemic.

Some examples of needed items are gift cards for CVS, Target, Market Basket, Gas etc. For mothers and teens some items would include full size bath products, fuzzy socks, cosmetics, nail polish, hair products, journals, etc. Items for children could include playing cards, art supplies, small toys, small stuffed animals, matchbox cars, and educational items. Baby items may include toys, rattles, baby cups, baby socks, bibs, and baby body products.

In past years the Roundtable has provided as many as 125 bags for families in shelter and transitional housing. If you are interested in contributing to the Valentine’s Day collection and have questions, please contact the Roundtable at info@dvrt.org. Donations may be left in the collection baskets provided at Sudbury Wine and Spirits in the Rugged Bear Plaza Road, 410 Boston Post Road, Sudbury or at Maynard Spirits, (near Market Basket) 4 Digital Way, Suite 3, Maynard. The collections will start on January 22 and end on February 5.

Sudbury LWV Plans Forum on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion

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SUDBURY: Explore the challenges and opportunities around diversity, equity and inclusion in Sudbury during a “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Roundtable” virtual forum sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Sudbury Sunday, January 30, at 2pm. The forum is open to the public.  Registration is required; the registration link will be posted on the League website, www.lwvsudbury.org.  

Three organizations—the Sudbury Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Commission; Sudbury for Racial and Social Justice; and the Sudbury Commission on Disability—will discuss their work and participate in a roundtable discussion of diversity, equity and inclusion issues in Sudbury.  

The public is invited to submit questions for the panel in advance by email to lwvforumquestions@gmail.com.  Emailed questions will be accepted until 5pm on Thursday, January 27.

The League of Women Voters is a non-partisan organization and does not support or oppose any political party or candidate.  Information about the Sudbury League is available at www.lwvsudbury.org.

Wayside Inn to Host a Panel Discussion on Hospitality History

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SUDBURY: The tradition of hospitality has been a constant in The Wayside Inn’s long history. “During the 18th and 19th centuries, How’s Tavern served as a popular stop for travelers along the Boston Post Road,” said Katina Fontes, Education Coordinator for The Wayside Inn Foundation. The inn’s popularity continued into the Victorian period after the 1963 publication of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s Tales of a Wayside Inn. “Fans of Longfellow knew that our inn inspired the book’s setting, and during the late 1800s, many made the pilgrimage to Sudbury,” added Fontes. During the early part of the 20th century, Henry Ford purchased the property, built the Grist Mill and Martha-Mary Chapel, and moved the Redstone School from Sterling to the site. This all began a long period of tourism, which continues to this day, for travelers coming from near and far to visit the historic inn and grounds. “Throughout the last 300+ years, our goal has always been to provide good food, excellent service, and a memorable experience,” said Fontes, “and hundreds of staff members have worked hard behind the scenes to make this goal a reality.”

To research this history, Wayside Inn Foundation staff have reviewed documents related to former Inn staff and workers. “Our archive is a treasure-trove of information and we have shared short biographies of former staff members on social media,” noted Fontes. “However, our long-term goal is the publication of a comprehensive report or book on this topic and additional research is needed.” Last summer, college interns were recruited to assist with the project by analyzing Ford Era Hostess Diaries and interviewing current long-time staff members.

For those wishing to learn about this work, The Wayside Inn Foundation is hosting “Be Our Guest? Dinner and Panel Discussion on the History of Wayside Inn Hospitality” on Wednesday, January 19 at 7pm. Panelists will include interns Allison Densel and Lena Leavitt, Director of Community Engagement Sally Hild, and Archivist Lauren Prescott. Katina Fontes will moderate the discussion. Zoom links for the program cost $7 per household for members; $10 per household for non-members. Innkeeper’s Circle members may request a free link.

Takeout dinner options (for pick-up on the day of the event between 5:00-6:00 pm) are available for $25/dinner and include an assortment of Grist Mill rolls and muffins, fresh mixed green salad with house raspberry vinaigrette, choice of Wayside Inn chicken pie (all chicken, no vegetables, fresh crust) w/ whipped potatoes & green beans, OR butternut squash ravioli with sage brown butter sauce, and chocolate ganache cake

Program details and registration is available at www.tinyurl.com/our-guest.
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Winter Walk into History 

WESTBOROUGH: The former Westborough State Hospital is surrounded by beautiful woods as well as interesting history. On Sunday, January 23 from 1-3pm, a walk is being put on by the Westborough Community Land Trust begins at the new pavilion on the shore of Lake Chauncy. A brief introduction to the fascinating story of Westborough State Hospital will be given, illustrated by historical plaques in the pavilion. Then enjoy the crisp air and winter views on a two-mile walk exploring some of the lesser-known trails in the adjacent Wayne F. MacCallum Wildlife Management Area, on woodland trails with some small hills.

Directions: Take Dr. Solomon Carter Fuller Way [formerly Hospital Road] off Lyman Street in Westborough. Go straight up the hill, past the soccer fields on your left. Then take the very last left turn before the parking lot for the condo building. Where that road meets the lakeshore, park in the lot near the yellow gate. Meet at the pavilion by the parking area. No reservation needed. Check for weather cancellations online at https://westboroughlandtrust.org before setting out. For questions, contact  events@westboroughlandtrust.org.

The Thursday Garden Club of Sudbury presents Laura Bibler "Our Grandmothers Knew What They were Doing In The Garden"

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SUDBURY: The Thursday Garden Club of Sudbury will feature  Laura Bibler "Our Grandmothers Knew What They Were Doing In The Garden" as the speaker at their next general meeting on Thursday January 13, 2022.  Bibler is a graduate of the Radcliffe  Institute of Advanced Study, Harvard University and has been a landscape designer since 2000.  Laura has created and directed the installation of comprehensive landscape designs at private homes and historic estates.  Her projects range from modest garden spaces to inclusive master plans.

Laura's topic "Our Grandmothers Knew What They Were Doing" hopes you will find inspiration for your own garden from horticultural wisdom handed down from our grandmother's time.  This presentation brings to life the prominent garden writer of the early 20th century.  Their pearls of wisdom continue to inform us on color blending, cultural considerations, and plant placement.  Laura will also speak about some of the work she has done in designing and restoring the French Garden at Stevens Coolidge Place in North Andover.

This virtual meeting will start at 9:30am with the featured speaker beginning at 10am. If you would like to attend on zoom please email TGCSudbury1776@gmail.com before January 11 to receive the zoom info.
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Assabet Valley Mastersingers Bonus Concert

WESTBOROUGH: Assabet Valley Mastersingers is proud to provide a bonus concert this season. Glories of France, Requiem in d minor by Gabriel Faure and Gloria by Francis Poulenc, will be presented on Sunday, January 16, 2022 at 3:30pm at The Congregational Church of Westborough. Dr. Robert P. Eaton, Founder and Artistic Director, will conduct the chorus with soprano Kristen Watson and baritone Thaddeus Bell, accompanied by organist Brett McGuire.

This concert pairs two of France’s most acclaimed choral composers. Faure’s Requiem is a sublime statement of faith with some of the most beautiful melodies he ever composed. Like the Requiems of Durufle and Brahms, it provides comfort and consolation and has become a favorite of performers and audiences alike, By contrast Poulenc’s Gloria is an exuberant declaration of praise with lively rhythms, beautiful melodies and an overall eclectic musical style.

Concert tickets may be purchased through www.AVMsingers.org or at the venue the evening of the concert. The price is $20; $15 for seniors and students. All concert attendees are required to present proofs of vaccination. Masks are required with social distancing by attendee unit (family, friends with them).  It is an AVM core value to be responsible and community-minded. As such AVM will follow all public health guidelines provided by Federal, state, and local health departments and those of our concert venues.

For further information, visit www.AVMsingers.org . Programs are supported in part by grants from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and the Cultural Councils of Ashland, Boylston, Grafton, Marlborough, Northborough, Shrewsbury, Southborough, West Boylston and Westborough. AVM is also supported in part by grants from the Avidia  Charitable Foundation; from Southborough Community Fund, a fund of the Foundation for MetroWest.
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Enjoy Nature with SVT this Winter

SUDBURY: Anyone with an interest in nature and the outdoors is invited to participate in upcoming outings and webinars being sponsored by Sudbury Valley Trustees (SVT). Most programs are open to the general public at no charge.

SVT is a nonprofit land trust that conserves open space and farmland in 36 communities around the Sudbury, Assabet, and Concord Rivers. Through its wide assortment of programs, SVT encourages area residents to explore the region’s beautiful natural areas and gain an appreciation for the plants and wildlife that live among us.

During the winter, SVT will lead group walks at properties in Berlin, Wayland, and
Northborough. Wildlife-themed outings include a Full Moon Owl Prowl and a Winter Wildlife Tracking, both planned for February. For those who prefer to enjoy nature from home, SVT will broadcast webinars on “Sri Lanka: A Unique Journey Through Nature” and “Wildlife in Winter.”

All programs require registration. More details are available at www.svtweb.org/calendar.
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NACC Begins Rehearsals for May'22 Concert

NORTHBOROUGH: Rehearsals for Northborough Area Community Chorus (NACC)'s 2022 Spring Concert will begin in a few weeks. Under the direction of David Rose, with accompanist Mark Bartlett, they will begin Tuesday, January 11, 7:30pm, in the chorus room at Algonquin Regional High School, 79 Bartlett Street. NACC is encouraging new members to join, as well as welcoming back current and legacy members.

The NACC will present "Yesterday and Today", NACC's 50th Anniversary Spring Concert, on Sunday May 1, 2022 at 3pm at Algonquin Regional High School's auditorium. Public Schools of Northborough and Southborough District Covid protocols will be followed. For more information, call 571-331-0214 or 774-249-2497, visit the Northborough Area Community Chorus Facebook page, or visit them online at www.nacc.net.

NACC is supported in part by grants from the Northboro, Southboro, Marlboro, Westboro & Shrewsbury Cultural Councils which are supported in part by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

Commonwealth of Massachusetts Winter Advisory Regarding Face Coverings

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This Advisory has been updated as of December 21,  2021.

COVID-19 vaccines and vaccine boosters are highly effective at protecting against serious illness, hospitalization and death and every individual who is eligible and works, studies or resides in Massachusetts is strongly urged to get vaccinated and boosted. The Department of Public Health urges all eligible residents to get vaccinated against COVID-19 because vaccination provides the most effective protection from severe illness associated with COVID-19.

In response to the spread of the Delta variant and the emerging Omicron variant, the Department of Public Health now advises that all residents, regardless of vaccination status, wear a mask or face covering when indoors (and not in your own home). The DPH particularly urges this recommendation if you have a weakened immune system, or if you are at increased risk for severe disease because of your age or an underlying medical condition, or if someone in your household has a weakened immune system, is at increased risk for severe disease, or is unvaccinated.

Your primary care physician can advise you whether you are at increased risk.  Information from the Centers for Disease Control regarding the conditions that may put you at increased risk can be found at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/people-with-medical-conditions.html.

All people in Massachusetts (regardless of vaccination status) are required to continue wearing face coverings in certain settings, including transportation and health care facilities.  Please see www.mass.gov/maskrules for a complete list of venues where face coverings have remained mandatory since May 29, 2021.

The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s current mask requirement and Policy on Vaccination Rate Threshold issued on September 27th, 2021 is not impacted by this advisory.  As a result of the most comprehensive and robust school testing program in the country, with 99% of public, collaborative and charter districts enrolled, Massachusetts elementary and secondary schools remain open and safe for children and youth to engage in learning, with over 325,000 school days saved. Only schools who can demonstrate they have high vaccination rates of over 80% of all individuals vaccinated are able to remove masks for vaccinated individuals upon a written attestation.
For individuals who are not fully vaccinated, it is especially important that you wear a face covering or mask any time you are indoors and not in your own home to reduce the chance that you may spread COVID-19 to other people. People who show no symptoms of illness may still be able to spread COVID-19.

An individual is fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose in a two-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine. However, if a fully vaccinated individual becomes symptomatic, they should be tested and wear a mask until receiving test results.
When you wear a face covering or cloth mask, it should:
 
  • Fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face,
  • Be secured with ties or ear loops,
  • Include multiple layers of fabric,
  • Allow for breathing without restriction, and
  • Be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape.

For more information, please refer to the CDC at: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/fully-vaccinated-guidance.html

Businesses in Your Community

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Christmas Eve for All Ages at St. Stephen Lutheran Church

MARLBOROUGH: From a family-friendly experience for your pre-schooler to a traditional carols and candlelight service for everyone from the kids to Grandma, there is a Christmas Eve service to match your needs at St. Stephen Lutheran Church, 537 Bolton Street.

At 4pm on Friday, December 24, the Family Service will encourage participation through responsive readings, a story time, holy communion, and an opportunity to share prayers. “This is a time to come together to hear the Good News that Jesus is born,” said St. Stephen Pastor Joseph Graumann. “Kids are welcome to sit on the floor in the center of the church, and the first two rows will be reserved for their parents,” he added. This service will be a little shorter than the evening service.

The Festival Eucharist Service, at 7 pm, will offer a more traditional Christmas Eve with readings, prayers, holy communion, carols, and the lighting of candles. Both the handbell choir and the vocal choir will provide additional music. Those who attend will hear the creation story in a new way “as we celebrate God’s message, that Jesus is with us, here and now,” Pastor Graumann noted. “Whether you are new to church or newly returning, you have a place at Christ’s table.”

Masks are required for everyone age two and above, at both services, and those who are eligible are encouraged to be vaccinated. For those who would prefer Christmas Eve worship from home, both services will be available through YouTube. Visit www.saintstephenlutheran.com and select Visit our YouTube Channel.
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St. Stephen Day is Coming - Donate a Blanket

MARLBOROUGH: Singing, playing musical instruments, eating Christmas leftovers, feeding the birds, and going on sleigh rides are among a myriad of world customs for St. Stephen Day, December 26, but perhaps the most popular is to give gifts to the poor. The people of St. Stephen Lutheran Church are going to embrace that giving tradition of the church’s patron saint, and invite the community to join them.

Partnering with Fresh Start Furniture Bank in Hudson, St. Stephen church will collect new blankets and throws between now and Sunday, December 26. If you would like to participate in bringing a little coziness to our neighbors, you can drop off your donation to the church at 537 Bolton Street, Marlborough (Route 85) on Sunday, December 19, from 9am to noon. (The worship service will take place from 10-11, but items can be left in the lobby.) 

You can also bring your blankets to one of the Christmas Eve services, Friday, December 24 at 4 pm (Family Service) and 7 p.m (traditional service with candlelight, carols, and handbells). Please note that all items (blankets, throws, comforters) must be new and unused, and should be left inside the church, in the lobby.

At the 10am worship service on Sunday, December 26, the collection will be blessed and taken to Fresh Start the following week. Along with other area groups Fresh Start has been working hard to resettle many of the refugees coming to this area.

For more information about the church, visit www.saintstephenlutheran.com  or the church’s Facebook page. Saint Stephen is a member of the New England Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (www.elca.org). Parishioners come from Marlborough, Hudson, Berlin, Northborough, Southborough, Westborough, Shrewsbury, Sudbury, Stow, and Bolton.
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Town Office Closings for 2021 Christmas & New Year

SUDBURY: In observance of Christmas and New Year, the schedule for the Town Offices in the Town Hall, Flynn Building, Goodnow Library, Senior Center and offices located in the DPW Building will be as follows:
 
Friday, December 24, 2021: Closed
Friday, December 31, 2021: Closed


The Transfer Station will be closed on Saturday, December 25, 2021 and on Saturday, January 1, 2022.

Holiday hours for Park & Recreation Department in the Fairbank Community Center and the Atkinson Pool are TBD.

Please check https://sudburyrec.com for the latest hours of operation.
For additional information, please contact the Town Manager’s office at 978-639-3381.
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Sudbury Art Association Hosts Holiday Market

SUDBURY: Celebrate the arts and shop local at the 11th Annual Sudbury Art Association Holiday Market. SAA is a Sudbury organization which sponsors activities designed to promote the arts. Thirty artists and craftspeople will offer a variety of original, one of a kind items and this year we will be featuring visiting artists as well. The Market will feature a wide range of talents and skills, and offer unique gifts for sale at a variety of prices. Finely crafted offerings include functional and decorative pottery, jewelry, fiber arts, paintings, fine woodworking, sculpture, photography, ornaments and more. This event is always much anticipated and not to be missed. Visit the new location at 437 Boston Post Road in the TJMaxx Plaza.  They are open every day through December 24 (closed Thanksgiving), from 10am-6pm, Thursdays until 8pm.  To meet SAA artists, view their work and learn more about the SAA visit www.Sudburyart.org.
Jeff levine

Jeff Levine to Present: Financial Therapy 101

SUDBURY:  Join B’nai Torah online on Sunday, December 19 at 7pm for “Financial Therapy 101” with Jeffrey Levine, CPA, MST, a Wayland resident and member of Congregation B’nai Torah. Levine will present a primer on reviewing one’s net worth, cash flow, and goals and objectives for one’s financial future. This will be a general discussion on investments, retirement accounts, cash savings, typical spending and saving techniques, and some year-end tax planning. If Congress does agree on some tax changes for 2021 or 2022, that too will be discussed.
 
Levin has been practicing small business accounting, business and personal tax law, and personal financial planning for over 40 years.  He is a shareholder in Alkon & Levine, PC, Certified Public Accountants in Newton, MA. Along with serving a personal client base of over 700, he has been quoted frequently in Newsweek, The Boston Globe, and Fortune Magazine

Contact admin@bnaitorah.com or 978-443-2082 for additional information.

St. Stephen Church Knitters Send Christmas Gifts to Seafarers 

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MARLBOROUGH: Two groups contributed their skills, their time, and their money to make Christmas a little happier —and warmer— for mariners served by Seafarers International House, based in New York City. The Knit Wits of St. Stephen Lutheran Church, Marlborough and the Shrewsbury based Night Knitters created handmade hats and scarves, the basis for 30 gift satchels put together by St. Stephen church volunteers. The kits were also packed with a sweatshirt, a teeshirt, a pair of socks, a can of nuts, and a hand made Christmas card.

Seafarers are often isolated and lonely, sometimes without the means to contact family frequently, or purchase needed items while in port. Typical contracts put most at sea for 10 months a year, and they remain a largely forgotten population at the holidays.

This is the sixth year the St. Stephen knitters made sure Seafarers would be warm and not forgotten at Christmas. In the first year of participation, Saint Stephen sent five kits and they have been increasing their donation each year. Those who knitted, donated, or put together the satchels this year included Joyce Danielson, Lina Dickey, Martha Domke, Marlea Dutt, Ginny Fulham, Ann Gibson, Pastor Joe Graumann, Liz Greer, Peg and Don Harbert, Judy Kellogg, Elaine Recklet, Melanie Whapham and Jane Woolsey. Some funding for the sweatshirts was provided through a Thrivent Action Team initiative. Thrivent, a financial services company, supports a variety of outreach projects. The project was organized by Melanie Whapham, who also delivered the gift packages to a Seafarers chaplain in New Haven, Connecticut. An additional eight Hudson Food Pantry.

Seafarers International House is an ecumenical mission of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America to seafarers and sojourners, as well as people who are distressed, disadvantaged, and displaced. For more information, check out www.sihnyc.org.

Seven Lutheran chaplains support the Seafarers Port Mission. When requested, they will board merchant marine ships to provide pastoral care and counseling. During the holidays, chaplains distribute the packages to ships that port in New York, New Jersey, Baltimore, Philadelphia and southern New England that will be out at sea for Christmas.

For more information about the church, visit www.saintstephenlutheran.com  or the church’s Facebook page. Saint Stephen is a member of the New England Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (www.elca.org) . The church is a Reconciling in Christ congregation, inviting people of every gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, ability, marital status, or class. Parishioners come from Marlborough, Hudson, Berlin, Northborough, Southborough, Westborough, Shrewsbury, Sudbury, Stow, and Bolton.

PHOTO:
Marlea Dutt, Melanie Whapham, and St. Stephen Lutheran Church Pastor Joseph Graumann put together gift packages for mariners at Seafarers International House.
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St. Stephen Families Support Cathedral in the Night

MARLBOROUGH: More than 20 families from St. Stephen Lutheran Church participated in a recent outreach to the Northampton-based Cathedral in the Night, an outdoor community that offers Sunday evening worship followed by a free meal. In an effort spearheaded by youth group leader Sarah Maston, parishioners responded by donating and preparing food, bringing warm clothing, and/or purchasing needed items such as socks, sweats, and thermal underwear, through the CITN Amazon wish list.

In previous years, church youth had attended worship, served hot meals, and dined with the guests, but Covid  restrictions have meant that dinner is now prepared for takeout. The Maston family and six other volunteers dished out 80 hot meals for the to-go containers.

Cathedral in the Night, www.cathedralinthenight.org, is an outdoor Christian community in downtown Northampton, MA which seeks to create a safe place for all people: the homeless, the housed, the church-less, the churched, the student and the resident to explore, question and live out their spiritual beliefs; to gather for a meal and to empower one another to engage in issues of social justice by working to fight the causes of inequality and homelessness.

For more information about St. Stephen Lutheran Church, visit www.saintstephenlutheran.com.
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Light Up Northborough 2021: Tree and Menorah Lighting 

NORTHBOROUGH: The Northborough Community Affairs Committee is pleased to present Light Up Northborough on Saturday, December 4 at 4:30pm on the corner of Blake and Main Streets.  This year's celebration will include the first Menorah lighting and annual tree lighting as well as various singing groups to entertain such as Women of Note, the Northborough Community Chorus and Northborough Elementary Student Chorus. The hot cocoa and cookies are being donated by Metrowest Painting and the pizza is being donated by Northboro House of Pizza. Monetary donations for pizza will go directly to the Northborough Food Pantry.  There will also be a collection for Toys for Tots taking place. 

This annual lighting of the tree began in 1968 in honor of the memory of Neil Ellsworth, an Army private first class, who was killed in Vietnam in 1967 at the age of 19. He will be honored during the event. 

This celebration will be the grand finale to the exciting new event titled The Great Northborough Snowman Hunt which you can learn more about online at http://northboroughguide.com/snowmanhunt. For more information about the Northborough Community Affairs Committee, visit www.northborough cac.weebly.com or find them on Facebook @nobocac. 
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Chabad Center Offers Family-Friendly Chanukah Celebrations

SUDBURY: Chabad Center of Sudbury invites the community to join us for our family friendly and outdoor Chanukah Celebrations which will include some  exciting outdoor events on the first and last nights of Chanukah. The celebrations are open to all and all are invited to participate.
 
On Sunday, November 28 at 3:30pm, the community is invited to a Chanukah Kick Off Celebration & Show asthe first light of Chanukah is kindled along with a spectacular show by Davey the Clown. The crowds will enjoy the lighting of a 9-foot Menorah, Music, Hot Latkes and Donuts, Chanukah Refreshments, and a Gift for every Child. The event will take place on the lawn at the Chabad Center of Sudbury at 100 Horse Pond Road.
 
On the last night of Chanukah, December 5, the community is invited to a two-part Chanukah Celebration, starting with a joyous Chanukah Car Parade through town at 4pm, followed by the annual Sudbury Town Center Chanukah Celebration in front of the Town Hall. If you wish to join the parade, departure i at 4pm, meeting at 3:45pm. If you wish to join in at the Town Center,  the event will start at 5pm. 
 
Kindly RSVP at www.chabadsudbury.com or by calling 978-443-0110.
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Have a Holly Jolly Holiday with Northborough Area Community Chorus

NORTHBOROUGH: The Northborough Area Community Chorus 2021 Annual Christmas Concert, under the direction of Elinor A. Armsby with accompanist Mark Bartlett, is scheduled for Sunday, December 12 at 3pm at Algonquin Regional  High School, 79 Bartlett Street.  The program features timeless carols like “The Holly and the Ivy” and “O Tanenbaum” alongside newer works such as Eric Whitacre’s sumptuous “Glow” and “This Christmas” by the mysterious composer with the pseudonym “Pink Zebra”.  Songs like “Swingin’ St. Nick!” and “Ocho Kandelikas” reflect the joy of the season and contrast with more reflective carols like “White Christmas” and “What Child is This”. The St. Mary’s Parish of Shrewsbury Children’s Choir, composed of children from first grade through high school, is excited to be performing “Mary’s Little Boy Child” and “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” as part of the program.  Jan Cappello has been directing the children’s choir for 26 years.

Tickets are just $5.  Audience members are required to wear masks, according to school COVID-19 protocols.  For more information call 571-331-0214 or 508-393-8943 or visit www.nacc.net.

The NACC is supported in part by grants from the Northborough, Southborough, Shrewsbury, Marlborough, and Westborough Cultural Councils which are supported in part by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.
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Friends of the Goodnow Library Present “Low-Carb Holiday Recipe Transformations” With Chef Liz Barbour

SUDBURY: Join the Friends of the Goodnow Library for “Low-Carb Holiday Recipe Transformations” on Wednesday, December 1, 2021 at 7:30pm. Festive foods should always be delicious and healthy.  This class will transform 2 classic high-carb and high-starch holiday side dish recipes into healthier versions that taste amazing!  Chef/Cooking Instructor Liz Barbour shares low-carb cooking wisdom and easy recipes you will love preparing and eating as part of a low-carb lifestyle. Register for this class here:  https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_bzmMs75FT-mEXNCW_Yl_Xg . Fill in your information and you will receive a zoom link to this webinar.

Barbour is an entertaining communicator whose warm, relaxed approach to food and cooking resonates with her students.  With stories and instruction Liz shares her experiences as a working chef to demystify the cooking process.  She is a firm believer that any home cook can prepare fresh, flavorful meals with confidence if taught just a few basic but important skills. Liz is a regular guest on New Hampshire’s WMUR Cook’s Corner and her cooking demonstrations and recipes are featured in various publications including Where Women Cook, New Hampshire Magazine, the Nashua Telegraph, and The Hippo Press.

Domestic Violence Roundtable Invites You to Support Holiday Drives for Families Affected by Abuse

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Each year the Sudbury-Wayland-Lincoln Domestic Violence Roundtable sponsors a family for the holidays, and each year we invite our local communities to become involved in making the holidays brighter for families affected by domestic violence. Families in shelter for the holidays face a sad and difficult time as they are separated from family and friends and are hiding from their abusers.

The Covid 19 pandemic has been difficult for everyone, but it has been especially difficult for families affected by abuse. With the help of our local communities, these families can have happy holidays. There are a number of ways that you can help. Sponsoring a family can be a wonderful way for you and your family to do something together to help others. You can also involve extended family, neighbors, and friends. Or perhaps your colleagues at work, your book club, scout troop, civic organization, or club would like to organize a collection. Your participation in a holiday drive can help relieve the stress and depression that overcome shelter families at this time of year. The support that comes from the community at this time of year reinforces their decisions to seek safety and end violence in their lives. Each gift, each donation, each good holiday wish has a positive effect on their self-esteem and boosts their spirits.

Three local agencies offer services and programs for families affected by domestic violence. All of these programs conduct a Holiday Drive. For further information about how you might help, please contact:
 

Holiday drives start early so that agencies have time to process donations. In some cases, gift cards are being collected so families can shop and wrap their presents. Call now to see how you can help.

Rotary Turkey Shoot Returns LIVE to Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School

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MARLBOROUGH: Marlborough Rotarians will hold the 39th Annual Turkey Shoot on Saturday, November 20, again at Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School - LIVE AGAIN! at 6pm. “This is our big fundraiser of this season,” Marlborough Rotary Club President Aaron Aykanian stated. “Through the money raised at the Turkey Shoot, the Marlborough Rotary Club can make a special holiday season for deserving Marlborough families and veterans.”

This year’s chair of the Turkey Shoot is Peggy Sheldon. She is enthusiastic about the upcoming event. “The Turkey Shoot is always an outstanding fundraising event,” Peggy said. “We plan for this year’s Turkey Shoot to be just as great an evening for the more than 600 people we expect to attend it. It’s exciting and truly heart-warming expecting to see the people from the Marlborough community come out in support of the Rotary Club’s efforts this year after a year of going virtual. Our members really appreciate the generosity and support of the community!”

The Turkey Shoot will offer a wide variety of prizes including gift certificates to restaurants, gifts for the home, and all the fixings for complete turkey dinners.  The event will include the traditional “Turkey Specials,” which consist of super prizes like a bicycle, theater tickets, or even major league sports tickets!  A separate raffle will be held for a special table of children’s prizes.  Everyone can register FREE for the door prize of a television.  Over 200 hundred prizes with a value of more than $8,000 will be given away in a little more than three hours. “Businesses throughout the area donate items and gift certificates to this event,” Peggy added. “The prizes seem to be non-stop.”

To add to the party atmosphere, Rotarians will operate a snack bar with burgers, hot dogs, soft drinks, and even homemade baked goodies, so families can make a night of it.  It is an evening that parents, kids, and grandparents alike can enjoy – together. For more information, go to www.marlboroughrotary.org or our facebook page or call (508) 460-1920.
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SVT Plans “Give Thanks for the Land” Walk for November 26

SUDBURY:   On Friday, November 26, Sudbury Valley Trustees (SVT) will lead its annual “Give Thanks for the Land” walk at the Nobscot Scout Reservation. The public is invited to register for this free event. SVT bills its “Give Thanks for the Land” walk as an alternative to Black Friday shopping. The number of participants has steadily increased since the inaugural walk in 2014 and is expected to surpass 40 for 2021.

“We encourage people to get outside instead of fighting the crowds at the mall,” said Lisa Vernegaard, SVT’s Executive Director. “The Thanksgiving holiday is a reminder to be thankful for what we have. It is the ideal time to connect with others, enjoy the fresh air, and feel appreciation for all that nature has to offer.”

Vernegaard will lead the approximately 3-mile hike at an “exercise” pace that will provide participants a chance to get their heart pumping and work off that extra slice of pie from the day before. The route includes a few steep sections, but the payoff is a fantastic view from atop Tippling Rock with views to the Boston skyline. The two-hour walk starts at 10am. To register, visit www.svtweb.org/thanks.

SVT is a nonprofit land trust that protects land in 36 communities around the Sudbury, Assabet and Concord Rivers. In 2008, the organization worked with the Town of Sudbury to permanently conserve 303 acres of the Nobscot Scout Reservation land as open space and wildlife habitat.
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St. John Lutheran Church Worship is Back in the Building!

SUDBURY: St. John’s Lutheran Church is happy to announce that they are back to in-person worship in our sanctuary at 9:30am on Sunday mornings.  These services are also live streamed on YouTube @ St John Lutheran Sudbury.  Caring about the community and valuing the entire worship experience, in order to worship safely and allow the congregation to sing, St. John adopted the following mask policy:

Anyone over the age of two must wear a mask at all times while inside any part of the church building. Because access to masks can still be an issue, we will provide an N-95 mask to all adults, and a child size KN-95 mask to all children at the door prior to entry.  These masks are reusable for up to 4 services. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation in this attempt to love our neighbors and to love each other.

Most of St. John’s programs have resumed either in-person or continue via Zoom and are open to the community.  Sunday School and Confirmation classes meet on Sundays at the Church.  In addition, they offer new(ish) parent classes, a book group, Bible study, a senior exercise class and a discussion group on racism/anti-racism.  Pastor Rev. Eric Wolf is currently leading a class on Monday evenings called “The Way: Who Are We Now.”  Please call the church office for further details on any of our programs.  

The Church is located at 16 Great Road. For more information, call (978) 443-8350, or visit www.stjohnsudburyma.org.  They can also be found on YouTube at St John Lutheran Sudbury, or on Facebook and Instagram @stjohnsudbury.
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Marlborough Rotary Club Contributes $25,000 to Marlborough Public Library Building Fund

MARLBOROUGH:  At a recent meeting of the Marlborough Rotary Club, the club presented Margaret Cardello, Head Librarian and Marlborough Rotarian, with a check for $25,000 for the Library expansion project.  William Keyles of Main Street Bank and President of the Marlborough Public Library Foundation was present for the presentation.
Along with providing an update on the progress of this project, Ms. Cardello and Mr. Keyles expressed their thanks for the Marlborough Rotary Club’s donation and said that it would sponsor one of the quiet study rooms.

The Library held a formal groundbreaking ceremony on September 21st and the construction company came in October 4th to begin the preparation for the site and demolition. They are thrilled to see the progress beginning on this project.

Marlborough Rotary Club President Aaron Aykanian noted, “The Library is an integral part of the Marlborough community and the Rotary Club is pleased to be able to support such an important project during its Centennial year.”

Five Confirmations & a Baptism at St. Stephen Lutheran Church

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MARLBOROUGH: Recently, there was music, sacrament, and celebration at St. Stephen Lutheran Church, to mark not only Reformation Sunday, but also to baptize a child and confirm five youth.

Confirmands met with pastor Joseph Graumann during a two-and-half year program of study of the Bible and the church, and addressed what it means to be a Christian. The five who celebrated their confirmation were: Alexander Bruno (of Hudson), Ross Gibson (Maynard), Emily Haley (Hudson) and Erin Kaye and Steven Kaye (Shrewsbury). The group also participated in church services as acolytes, readers and assistants, and took part in community outreach projects. Confirmation is also referred to as “affirmation of baptism,” and the service included a baptism of Theodore Franklin Broz Walters, infant son of Alissa and John Walters of Marlborough.

“Even while the pandemic lingers, it is a joy to gather to celebrate life in our midst,” Pastor Graumann said. “We’re still here, and God is still here, gathering us and empowering us with His love.”

Special music was provided by the handbell choir, as well as musicians Linda Hanson (violin), Tammy Kaye (viola) and Ron Kaye (clarinet).

For more information about St. Stephen Lutheran Church, visit www.saintstephenlutheran.com. Worship is held each Sunday at 10am, with those attending asked to wear masks.

Mary Ann Morse Home Care Celebrates Home Care & Hospice Month

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FRAMINGHAM: Each November the home care and hospice community honors the millions of nurses, home care aides, therapists, and social workers who make a remarkable difference for the patients and families they serve. These heroic caregivers play a central role in our health care system and in homes across the nation. To recognize their efforts, Mary Ann Morse Home Care is joining the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) in celebrating November as National  Home Care & Hospice Month.

With 10,000 Americans turning 65 every day, the need for health care will continue to rise, and costs will continue to skyrocket. This is where home care and hospice come in. As the preferred choice for most patients, it also offers the greatest cost savings - helping many U.S. seniors remain comfortable, safe, and  healthy at home, closer to those they love.

“Mary Ann Morse Home Care honors and praises the compassionate and skilled caregivers who devote their lives to providing excellent care, helping others stay safe, healthy, and independent at home, “said Bethany Mercer, Executive Director of Mary Ann Morse Home Care in Framingham. “Our nurses and caregivers go well beyond the patient-nurse relationship every day, providing  socialization and companionship to often isolated seniors in the community. We’re extremely proud to celebrate their accomplishments this month.”

For more information about the National Association for Home Care &Hospice, Home Care & Hospice Month, and Home Care Aide Week, visit nahc.org/homecare-hospice-month.

Mary Ann Morse Home Care in Framingham is part of non-profit Mary Ann Morse Healthcare Corp.’s continuum of exceptional senior living, healthcare, and home care services, trusted for more than 25 years in Metro West. Visit maryannmorse.org/home-care for information.
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Mayflower Scouts Honor SVT’s Dan Stimson

SUDBURY: The Mayflower Council of the Boy Scouts recently presented an Award of Appreciation to Dan Stimson of Sudbury Valley Trustees (SVT). Stimson, a Westminster resident who is the Assistant Director of Stewardship at the nonprofit land trust, frequently advises area scouts who are interested in pursuing an Eagle project. He has mentored them as they develop project proposals, present those proposals to local conservation commissions, obtain permits, recruit volunteers, and obtain funding and supplies.

“In doing an Eagle project, there is lots of stress to manage complex planning, fundraising, benefactor goals, leadership, and doing the work,” said Bryan Corrigan, of the Post Road Advancement Team of the Mayflower Council. “Dan’s commitment to giving his time day and night to scouts is a great example of kindness, caring, and commitment to all involved.”

Over the years, scouts have improved the visitor experience at SVT conservation areas by clearing new trails, building boardwalks over wetlands, and designing and installing kiosks at trail heads.
“Great mentors guide you to solutions, stepping back early and stepping in when needed,” continued Corrigan. “Dan Stimson stands out among mentors in his ability to work with scouts in three areas: kindness, leading by example, and community service. The scouts of the Mayflower Council cannot thank Dan enough.”

Stimson responded, “I'm honored by the Mayflower Council's recognition. It's such a pleasure to work with scouts as they plan their leadership projects, and it’s inspiring to see the deep commitment that so many have to conservation in their communities.”
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Town of Sudbury ARPA Comment Period Open Through November 30, 2021

SUDBURY: The Town of Sudbury will receive approximately $5.9 million over two years for “COVID-19 economic relief” from the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). ARPA funds may be used only toward the following five categories:
 
  • Support public health
  • Address COVID-19 economic impacts
  • Replace lost public sector revenue
  • Provide premium pay for essential workers
  • Invest in water, sewer & broadband infrastructure for underserved communities

A FlashVote survey was conducted in October 2021 to learn more about the priorities that Sudbury residents would like to see ARPA funds directed toward. Sudbury residents, businesses, non-profits and other constituents are invited to share their ideas for use of Sudbury’s ARPA funds. A town-wide American Rescue Plan Survey on Constant Contact is open now through November 30, 2021.