Westford/Littleton

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Current Edition - 7/19/24
Previous Edition - 7/12/24

HEADLINES

Concord Conservatory Of Music’s Fowler Library Storytime Takeover

CCM presents Family Notes Music Class on July 30 & August 13
Concord, MA—Get your young kids to love music! Concord Conservatory of Music is taking over two Fowler Library Storytimes in West Concord on Tuesday, July 30, and then again on August 13. CCM will present a fun and free Family Notes music class led by CCM faculty member Holly Jennings. As an early childhood educator, voice instructor, and performer, she will introduce music to your kids and get them moving.
The 45-minute Storytime Takeovers meet at the Labyrinth Garden at CCM (1317 Main Street in West Concord) with starting times at 10:00 and 11:00 am. In the case of poor weather, the free Family Notes music classes will be held in Fowler’s large meeting room.
Discover musical experiences that your whole family will love in a social setting that is celebratory of all ages, stages, and skill levels. Family Notes classes incorporate simple percussion instruments, creative movement, improvisation, and playful props. Children’s physical, language, social, cognitive, and musical development are all stimulated through musical play. What could be more enjoyable for a family than creating music together?
Register now for Family Notes’ 10-week fall semester! Classes are offered on Wednesdays and Thursdays starting September 18 and 19.
To learn more about Family Notes and all CCM programs, visit CCM’s website ConcordConservatory.org. Call (978) 369-0010 or email info@ConcordConservatory.org with questions. Financial assistance is available.
Dsndp cleanliness drive july 14  2024 8

Global Nonprofit DSNDP Volunteers From Massachusetts participate in Cleanliness Drive!

On July 14th ,2024, Massachusetts State residents joined hands as dedicated volunteers of the global non-profit organization Dr. Shri. Nanasaheb Dharmadhikari Pratishthan (DSNDP), undertaking Adopt-A-Highway & Adopt-A-Visibility-Site clean-up drive in collaboration with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) at (Adopt-A-Highway) 135 Eastbound side from Pond Rd. to Weston Rd, Wellesley, MA 02481 & (Adopt-A-Visibility-Site) at Gonzalez Lower Lot: Town of Dedham, 506 High St, Dedham, MA 02026.
In alignment with the motto “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” (The world is one family), DSNDP aims to foster a brighter future by advocating for cleanliness drives in collaboration with the US government by undertaking nationwide cleanliness drives since July 2022. These activities are executed under the guidance of the founders of the organisation Dr. Shri Appasaheb Dharmadhikari and Dr. Shri Sachindada Dharmadhikari.
Earlier in Massachusetts, the organization also carried out other cleanliness activities such as Adopt-a-Visibility-Site, Adopt- a-Highway, across 3 cities involving a total of 67 volunteers who worked for around 85 volunteer hours and collected 28 bags of waste resulting in approx. 420 pounds of trash.
Within the North America continent, DSNDP continues to collaborate with 18 states and 73 cities across the United States for nationwide cleanliness drive including 23 different programs such as Adopt-Highway/Park/Beach/ Street/ River etc. During these cleanliness drives, DSNDP has successfully engaged 2109 volunteers, actively collecting more than 34000 pounds of trash, resulting in significant cost savings for the government. The organisation has received accolades from various state and county governments in the form of 53 certificates and 51 signboards within the nation.
The organisation is also involved in tree plantation across 15 states and 33 cities within the US. DSNDP is also involved in health initiatives such as the Women’s Cancer Awareness Conference successfully hosted in February 2023 and blood/ plasma donation drives in Canada and the United States in recent years. DSNDP also recently organised a Mega Cleanliness Drive and Tree Conservation Event across 21 locations simultaneously to celebrate Earth Day 2024.
For more information, please visit http://www.dsndp.com
Nyara

The National Center For Missing & Exploited Children Is Seeking The Public’s Assistance In Locating Missing 14-Year-Old, Nyara Mitchell.

Nyara has been missing since June 22, 2024, from her home in Canton, Massachusetts. Nyara is described as 5’5”, weighs 170 lbs., and has brown eyes with black hair. Authorities believe that Nyara may be in Boston, Massachusetts area.
In an effort to bring more attention to Nyara’s case, her poster is being featured on the Ring’s Neighbors app as a part of a partnership between NCMEC and Ring. This feature reaches millions of users, providing real-time assistance in locating missing children.
If you have any information about Nyara or her disappearance, please contact NCMEC at 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678) or the Canton Police Department (Massachusetts) at 1-781-821-5090

News from the J.V. Fletcher Library

 
50 Main St., Westford, MA (1-978-692-5555), http://www.westfordlibrary.org
Unless otherwise noted, the following programs are made possible by the Friends of the Library.
Director’s Corner: It’s not too late!  Our Summer Reading Programs run throughout the summer. Read for fun and prizes! Register now for the Kids (up to grade 4), Young Adult (grade 5 and up), and Adult Summer Reading Programs.
Drawing with Rick Stromoski: Tuesday, July 23 at 4:00 p.m. in the Meeting Room Open to grades 5 and up. Calling all artists! Award-winning cartoonist Rick Stromoski will teach you to draw cartoons with a focus on OCEAN ANIMALS! Register here.
Family Concert with the BenAnna Band: Thursday, July 25 at 10:30 a.m. in the Meeting Room This nationally touring children’s duo focuses on music and inclusion for kiddos of all ages, abilities, and identities. The BenAnna Band wants to see you singing, playing, and dancing with them so there will be plenty of opportunities to follow the lyrics for group dancing, playing, and singing along with spotlight moments for everyone to rock out in their own way! No registration required.
Toddlerbilly Concert with Matt Heaton: Tuesday, July 30 at 10:30 am: Toddlerbilly artist Matt Heaton delivers a fun and upbeat show for all ages. Matt says call it children’s music, family music, kindie, or toddlerbilly but no matter what, it’s sure to please listeners of all ages. No registration required.
Mother Goose Time: Tuesdays – 10:30-11:15 a.m.: Mother Goose story time OUTSIDE for the summer on Tuesday mornings in July and August. This is a great early literacy program for you and your littlest ones. Get them started with reading fundamentals like rhymes, finger plays, and stories. We will move inside if it rains. No registration required.
Harry Potter’s Birthday: Wednesday, July 31 at 2:00 p.m. The Children’s Librarians will host our annual magical Harry Potter birthday party including games, crafts, and other surprises. Dress as your favorite character or wear your house colors.
Adult Nonfiction Book Club: Tuesday, August 6 at 6:30 p.m. – We’ll meet in the downstairs Meeting Room to discuss Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West by Dee Brown. Copies are available at Main Desk. No registration required.  Email Charles Schweppe for more information.
Party Band Concert: Thursday, August 8, Library Back Lawn
The Party Band is an original brass band embodying homegrown, unadulterated, unplugged fun. Their mission is to bring people together, celebrate the gift of being alive, and make the world a better place through the joys of quality live music in a way that is accessible to everyone. Originating in Lowell, MA, The Party Band has traveled the country blasting brass for fun, festivals, community events, schools, weddings, protests, and nightclub shows since their inception in 2013. The band has recorded three albums of original brass music inspired by the sounds of New Orleans and folk music from across Planet Earth. The Party Band believes it is important to be a force for good in the world, and to celebrate every day like the party that it is. No registration required. This concert is a collaboration with the adult and young adult summer reading programs and generously funded by the Friends of the Library.

We have added more titles to Hoopla Flex!:  Our Hoopla digital collection is growing! In addition to the 10 hoopla Instant borrows you receive each month with your Library card, Westford residents now will have 5 hoopla Flex borrows to use on bestselling titles specially marked hoopla Flex eBooks and Audiobooks
With Hoopla Flex titles you will find new and popular e-books and audiobooks that you can borrow now or place on hold to read later.  This collection is just for Westford card holders, so the wait time for new titles should be significantly less than other digital collections shared with the consortium. This collection will grow over time.
Not familiar with Hoopla? With Hoopla, patrons can read, watch, and listen to more than 950,000 eBooks, digital audiobooks, comics, movies, or TV shows that are available to stream or download. Patrons can sign up for Hoopla for free with a Westford Library card at hoopladigital.com or download the Hoopla app from their favorite app store.

Staff Recommends: Be sure to add The Midnight Feast by Lucy Foley on your summer reading list. “It’s the opening night of The Manor, and no expense, small or large, has been spared. The infinity pool sparkles; crystal pouches for guests’ healing have been placed in the Seaside Cottages and Woodland Hutches; the “Manor Mule” cocktail (grapefruit, ginger, vodka, and a dash of CBD oil) is being poured with a heavy hand. Everyone is wearing linen. And yet, outside The Manor’s immaculately kept grounds, and ancient forest bristles with secrets. The local community resents what they see as the Manor’s intrusion into the local woods and attempts to privatize the beach, and small skirmishes have erupted on the edges of the property between locals and the staff. And the whispers keep coming, about an old piece of pagan folklore--it must be folklore--the Night Birds, an avenging force that can be called upon to make right wrongs that elude the law. Though surely everything at the Manor has been done aboveboard. On the Sunday morning of opening weekend, the local police are called. There’s been a fire. A body’s been discovered. Something’s not right with the guests. What happened on the grounds of the Manor the past 36 hours? And who--or what--is the cause? Everyone has an agenda. Everyone has a past. But not everyone will survive...The Midnight Feast.’

 If you have questions or need assistance, please call us at 978-399-2300 or send us an email at westfordlibrary@westfordma.gov

Toastmasters Now Meeting at the Cameron Senior Center

TOASTMASTERS WILL HELP YOU:
· Speak and present compellingly
· Think clearly and quickly on your feet
· Become an effective leader
· Gain confidence
Westford Expressions is your local Toastmaster club, with weekly hybrid meetings. You are most welcome to join us at the Cameron Senior Center in Westford (20 Pleasant St.), or via Zoom. We are a non-profit community club, part of the world-wide Toastmaster International organization. You will learn communication and leadership skills in a supportive environment. You set the pace and attend meetings according to your schedule.
Join us at a meeting, any Monday evening at 7 pm except on holidays. For additional information about the club, contact us at: vpm-4690@toastmastersclubs.org To attend a meeting go to our web site, westfordexpressions.toastmastersclubs.org
Dsndp cleanliness drive july 14  2024 8

Global Nonprofit DSNDP Volunteers From Massachusetts participate in Cleanliness Drive!

On July 14th ,2024, Massachusetts State residents joined hands as dedicated volunteers of the global non-profit organization Dr. Shri. Nanasaheb Dharmadhikari Pratishthan (DSNDP), undertaking Adopt-A-Highway & Adopt-A-Visibility-Site clean-up drive in collaboration with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) at (Adopt-A-Highway) 135 Eastbound side from Pond Rd. to Weston Rd, Wellesley, MA 02481 & (Adopt-A-Visibility-Site) at Gonzalez Lower Lot: Town of Dedham, 506 High St, Dedham, MA 02026.
In alignment with the motto “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” (The world is one family), DSNDP aims to foster a brighter future by advocating for cleanliness drives in collaboration with the US government by undertaking nationwide cleanliness drives since July 2022. These activities are executed under the guidance of the founders of the organisation Dr. Shri Appasaheb Dharmadhikari and Dr. Shri Sachindada Dharmadhikari.
Earlier in Massachusetts, the organization also carried out other cleanliness activities such as Adopt-a-Visibility-Site, Adopt- a-Highway, across 3 cities involving a total of 67 volunteers who worked for around 85 volunteer hours and collected 28 bags of waste resulting in approx. 420 pounds of trash.
Within the North America continent, DSNDP continues to collaborate with 18 states and 73 cities across the United States for nationwide cleanliness drive including 23 different programs such as Adopt-Highway/Park/Beach/ Street/ River etc. During these cleanliness drives, DSNDP has successfully engaged 2109 volunteers, actively collecting more than 34000 pounds of trash, resulting in significant cost savings for the government. The organisation has received accolades from various state and county governments in the form of 53 certificates and 51 signboards within the nation.
The organisation is also involved in tree plantation across 15 states and 33 cities within the US. DSNDP is also involved in health initiatives such as the Women’s Cancer Awareness Conference successfully hosted in February 2023 and blood/ plasma donation drives in Canada and the United States in recent years. DSNDP also recently organised a Mega Cleanliness Drive and Tree Conservation Event across 21 locations simultaneously to celebrate Earth Day 2024.
For more information, please visit http://www.dsndp.com
Nyara

The National Center For Missing & Exploited Children Is Seeking The Public’s Assistance In Locating Missing 14-Year-Old, Nyara Mitchell.

Nyara has been missing since June 22, 2024, from her home in Canton, Massachusetts. Nyara is described as 5’5”, weighs 170 lbs., and has brown eyes with black hair. Authorities believe that Nyara may be in Boston, Massachusetts area.
In an effort to bring more attention to Nyara’s case, her poster is being featured on the Ring’s Neighbors app as a part of a partnership between NCMEC and Ring. This feature reaches millions of users, providing real-time assistance in locating missing children.
If you have any information about Nyara or her disappearance, please contact NCMEC at 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678) or the Canton Police Department (Massachusetts) at 1-781-821-5090

Littleton Historical Society Summer Hours

The Littleton Historical Society on 4 Rogers Street will be open on Thursday nights from 6-8 during the months of July and August. Stop by and pay us a visit!
We’re also open our regular hours: Wednesdays 1-4 and the second Sunday of the month 2-4.

The Merry Wives of Windsor coming
to Concord July 20-27

 
Once again, The World’s A Stage Players, Concord Players’ Shakespeare Troupe, will stage a free production on the lawn of the Concord Free Public Library. The Merry Wives of Windsor will be presented on consecutive Saturdays and Sundays, July 20-27 at 5 PM.
One of Shakespeare’s funniest and most accessible comedies, The Merry Wives of Windsor is, in many ways, a thoroughly modern production. “I think of Merry Wives as a contemporary soap opera,” says Director Jim Porter. “Everything is just pitched a little higher, everything is a bit more over the top, it’s all very dramatic … which, of course, makes for great comedy.”
The two Merry Wives, played by Hannah Clifford (Mistress Ford) and Jacey Lynn Rutledge (Mistress Page) are simultaneously wooed by the arrogant yet oblivious Falstaff (played by Mike Haddad). Once they discover his brazen pursuit, they decide to have a little fun at his expense and go to extensive lengths to make him look like a fool.
“Hannah and I have several scenes where we team up to undermine Falstaff’s egotism and self-importance,” says Jacey. “Our characters know what’s going on. The audience knows what’s going on. But Falstaff has no idea, which is a lot of fun.”
Mike Haddad, a frequent performer and director with The World’s A Stage Players, turns Falstaff’s foibles into comic gold. “His cluelessness is what makes him fun,” says Mike. “He thinks he’s God’s gift to humanity, and assumes everyone else thinks so too. It’s a great role to play and a funny one to watch.”
The show features some of Shakespeare’s best wordplay. Shakespeare creates several hilarious characters with non-traditional and/or non-English accents – the French Doctor Caius (played by Andrew Harrington) struggles mightily with his English, while the Welsh parson Sir Hugh Evans’ (played by John Small, making his World’s A Stage Players’ debut) malapropisms add to the humor. Andrew’s real-life wife, Jasmine Yong Hall, plays the inn-keeper Mistress Quickly with a full-on cockney accent.
Merry Wives also features strong women characters, which creates a sense of female empowerment that feels distinctly feminist.
“One of the best things about the show is that the women are firmly in charge,” notes Director Jim Porter. “The men range from jovial to profoundly jealous to utterly moronic, but the women are smart, clever and very funny.”
As always, The World’s A Stage Players draws on a cast of both regulars, occasional returnees and newcomers. Returnees from last summer include Ava Enoch, Michael Jay, Darin Kimball and AJ Gaudreau, along with newcomer Cherry Lynn Zinger and Rutledge. Other familiar faces include Katie Speed, Mike Lague, Julian Willard, Kathleen O’Connor (who is also producing the show) and Ed Bernard. Ed and Andrew Harrington are the only two performers who have
appeared in every World’s A Stage Players’ production. “This is the first time in several years where my character is both alive and married at the end of the show,” says Ed, a Concord resident. “Usually, I’m either dead or alone or both.”
Performances are scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, July 20, 21, 27 and 28 at 5 PM on the lawn of the Concord Free Public Library, with a rain venue at 51 Walden Street. There is also an indoor air-conditioned performance on Friday, July 26 at 7 PM.
Patrons are invited to bring blankets or chairs and sit on the lawn; a limited number of chairs will be provided. For more information, visit www.concordplayers.org.

BBB Scam Alert: Fake events & phone tickets

 
Many people are looking forward to fun festivals this summer. As usual, scammers are taking advantage of the building excitement. This time, they are cashing in with phony tickets—and even fake events.
How the scam works:
You see a fantastic deal on tickets to a summer festival in your area, usually through a link on social media. The event promises live music, all-you-can-eat meals, craft beer or wine, or other fun activities.
When you click the social media link, it takes you to a professional website with fantastic pictures. You enter your credit card information to buy tickets and think you are all set. But before you buy, do a little research. Whether the event is non-existent, merely disappointing, or you just bought phony tickets, the result is the same: someone pockets your hard-earned money!
BBB Scam Tracker has received numerous reports from people who purchased fake tickets to actual events or events that have yet to materialize.
A customer in Memphis reported buying tickets for $220 for a concert: "I saw an offer for presale tickets for the group Khruangbin for a concert in May. I clicked on the links and it lead me to what looked like a legit site until I realized that they are a resellers site and had marked up the ticket prices tremendously. The prices were also in USD and the service charge was astounding. I contacted the company right away but they just dismiss and ignore. They are SCAMMERS and need to be off the market. They have scammed lots of people and it is very humiliating and stressful."
One consumer who purchased tickets to a fake beer crawl reported: “Reviews across multiple platforms make it clear that these events are at best extremely misleading or at worst canceled. No refunds are given, even when their inconsistent and mostly-unreachable customer service email address responds to confirm a refund will be provided.”
How to spot a fake festival:
*Research before you buy. Search online for the festival's name and ensure the name advertised matches the website. Scammers often use names that sound similar to those of real festivals.
*Check for (working) contact information. The festival website should have a real phone number and email address.
*Watch out for prices that sound too good to be true. There is no way a festival can offer tickets at extremely low prices without losing money. If the prices are much lower than elsewhere, it's likely a scam.
What can you do?
*Pay with a credit card. You can dispute the charges if the business doesn't come through. Be wary of online sellers that don’t accept credit cards.
*Look for secure sites. The website should begin with HTTPS (the extra “s” is for security) and have a lock symbol on the address bar.
*Avoid tickets sold on Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, and other free online listings.  Scammers are skilled at providing realistic tickets and fake receipts. Check out third-party ticket sites at BBB.org before making purchases.
For more information:
Read BBB's tips for buying tickets to an event. For general information on how to avoid scams, visit BBB.org/AvoidScams.
Riverfest 1

RiverFest Summer 2024
Explore our Local Rivers

Now through July 28

Celebrate our federally protected Sudbury, Assabet, and Concord Wild & Scenic Rivers at RiverFest Summer 2024. Come to the riverbank by foot, or paddle, bring a picnic, and enjoy a day at the historic Old Manse (269 Monument Street, Concord, MA), Saturday, July 20 from 10am – 3pm.  Begin the day with outdoor yoga. Join local artists for plein air painting. Children will enjoy RiverFest Storytime. Have fun with arts and crafts by the river and play old fashioned yard games. Learn about who lives in our rivers through Mass Audubon’s hands-on explorations and how and why to protect our rivers. Also discover the history of our rivers. And become a Junior River Ranger. End the day with a guided walk through the pollinator gardens at the Buttrick House. There is something for everyone!
RiverFest is also offering walks, paddles, and talks in 9 communities from Lowell to Framingham this week through July 28!  Topics include history, nature, birds, wetlands wildlife and more.
For details and to see a full listing of Riverfest Summer 2024 events, visit www.sudbury-assabet-concord.org. These events are courtesy of the Sudbury, Assabet and Concord River Wild & Scenic River Stewardship Council and our partners working to protect our rivers. All events are free and open to the public.

Free Playgroups for Babies

First Connections is offering free playgroups this summer for babies and their caregivers, beginning the week of July 15. The groups will be facilitated by an early childhood educator, include free play and circle time, and take place at the following times:
Fridays at 10:30 at Maynard Library for 12-23 months
Thursdays at 10:00 at First Connections in Acton for 6-11 months
To register for either group, email Linda at lmatthews@jri.org. First Connections is the Mass. Dept. of Early Education and Care CFCE grant program serving all families with children age 0-6 in 11 towns. www.firstconnections.org

Summer Crafts Fair in Concord

 
The Summer Crafts Fair 2024 will take place on Saturday, August 3rd from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at First Parish in Concord, 20 Lexington Road, Concord, MA. In case of rain, the fair will be brought indoors on the same date. This juried fair will offer a wide variety of handmade works by fine artists, photographers, jewelers, fiber artists, woodworkers, florists, specialty food providers and other artisans. Great browsing and shopping for people of all ages. Food will be served all day on site. A few vendor spaces are available to rent. Call 978-369-9602 to rent a space.

Chelmsford Community Band coming this month!

The Chelmsford Community Concert Band, directed by Eric Linsner, invites you to join them on the town green at 7pm on Tuesday July 16, 23, and 30.  Spread your blanket or set up your chairs on the grass for fun and lighthearted music as the stars come out.
Having recently celebrated its golden anniversary, the Chelmsford Community Band is a 501(c)3 nonprofit consisting of a 65-piece concert band and a 20-piece jazz ensemble made of dedicated local volunteer musicians with a proud tradition of bringing live musical performances to the Chelmsford community since 1972.  They provide indoor concerts throughout the year and can be seen on Chelmsford Common Tuesday nights in the summer.  Come to more performances of the concert band at 7pm on Tuesdays in July, and listen to the jazz ensemble Tuesday nights in August.  They are supported by multiple Mass Cultural Council grants, including one for Cultural Sector Recovery.  Follow them on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter/X, and find them on the web at www.chelmsfordcommunityband.com

Toastmasters Now Meeting at the Cameron Senior Center

TOASTMASTERS WILL HELP YOU:
· Speak and present compellingly
· Think clearly and quickly on your feet
· Become an effective leader
· Gain confidence
Westford Expressions is your local Toastmaster club, with weekly hybrid meetings. You are most welcome to join us at the Cameron Senior Center in Westford (20 Pleasant St.), or via Zoom. We are a non-profit community club, part of the world-wide Toastmaster International organization. You will learn communication and leadership skills in a supportive environment. You set the pace and attend meetings according to your schedule.
Join us at a meeting, any Monday evening at 7 pm except on holidays. For additional information about the club, contact us at: vpm-4690@toastmastersclubs.org To attend a meeting go to our web site, westfordexpressions.toastmastersclubs.org

Westford Composting Open Houses

 
Saturdays, July 13, and August 10, 2024, from 9:00 am – 11:00 am
Location: 39 Main Street, Westford (across from Muffins on Main)
Volunteer members of the Westford Recycling Commission will show Westford residents how to compost organic material. Composting diverts food wastes from the trash and reduces the high cost of Westford’s trash collection. Organic material can represent up to 20% of the weight of our trash.
Earth Machines composters will be available to Westford residents at the demonstrations for only $25 at a discount from a state grant. Checks should be made out to the Town of Westford.
At any time, Westford residents can purchase Earth Machine backyard composters for $25 by contacting Nicole Feliciano at the Westford Highway Department at 978-692-5520 or by email: nfeliciano@westfordma.gov. For more information, visit www.westfordma.gov/recycling.

News from the J.V. Fletcher Library

 
50 Main St., Westford, MA (1-978-692-5555), http://www.westfordlibrary.org
Unless otherwise noted, the following programs are made possible by the Friends of the Library.

Director’s Corner: Due to town budget reductions, Library hours have been reduced.
Weekly Hours:
Mon – Thurs 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Friday 1:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Improv with Little Spark Theater: Friday, July 12 from 2:00-3:00 p.m. Open to grade 5 and up. Join us for Improv with Ali from Little Spark Theater! Perfect for the theater pro or newbie. We’ll explore the basics of improvisation and acting through high-energy games, so get ready for some antics, shenanigans, and a ridiculously fun time! Improv promotes creativity, quick thinking, problem-solving, and confidence! Outside unless it rains. Registration is required.

Middle Grade Book Club: Tuesday, July 16 at 3:00 p.m. The Middle Grade Book Club is open to grades 5 through 8. For our next meeting, we will discuss The Lost Library by Rebecca Stead. Copies of the book will be available for registered attendees at the Main Desk prior to the meetings. Registration required.

The Yo-Yo-Guy: Wednesday, July 17 at 1:00 p.m. World Champion and four-time Guinness World record holder John Higby will be here to present his unique high energy comedy yo-yo show. This program takes place outside unless it rains – then it is in the Meeting Room. For ages four and up. No registration required. This program is generously funded by the KDK Foundation in honor of Kurt Kelly.

Teen Board Game Night: Wednesday, July 17 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. For 8th grade and up. Bring your own game to share OR play one of the many games we will have available. We'll have many classics and new favorites available! Free snacks and beverages will be provided. Register to receive a reminder. Extra friends and drop-ins are always welcome!

Hawks and Hawk Watching: Thursday, July 18 at 6:00 p.m. Join us as we welcome back Dr. Steve Hale from “Open World Explorers”. This presentation includes the region’s vultures, hawks, eagles, and falcons that are regularly observed during Fall migration. Enjoy high quality images of each species in flight, as they might appear passing by or overhead at a favorite hawk watch location. Technical tips on species shape, coloration, and behavior will also be explored to enhance your ability to ID these fabulous birds. Registration required.
If you have questions or need assistance, please call us at 978-399-2300 or send us an email at westfordlibrary@westfordma.gov

Staff Recommends: The One Perfect Couple by Ruth Ware does not disappoint! Grab a lemonade and find a comfy chair on the deck. Once you start reading, you won’t be able to put this one down. "Lyla is in a bit of a rut. Her post-doctoral research has fizzled out, she's pretty sure they won't extend her contract, and things with her boyfriend, Nico, an aspiring actor, aren't going great. When the opportunity arises for Nico to join the cast of a new reality TV show, One Perfect Couple, she decides to try out with him. A whirlwind audition process later, Lyla find herself whisked off to a tropical paradise with Nico, boating through the Indian Ocean towards Ever After Island, where the two of them will compete against four other couples--Bayer and Angel, Dan and Santana, Joel and Romi, and Conor and Zana--in order to win a cash prize. But not long after they arrive on the deserted island, things start to go wrong. After the first challenge leaves everyone rattled and angry, an overnight storm takes matters from bad to worse. Cut off from the mainland by miles of ocean, deprived of their phones, and unable to contact the crew that brought them there, the group must band together for survival. As tensions run high and fresh water runs low, Lyla finds that this game show is all too real--and the stakes are life or death."

Momentum Plays “On the Common”

Saturday, July 20
2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Parish Center for the Arts "On the Common"
10 Lincoln Street
Westford, MA 01886
For years, Momentum has been rocking the Merrimack Valley with a diverse mix of recognizable tunes from Beatles to Black Keys. From festivals to bars, covers to originals, there's always a strong groove, great lyrics, and a musical surprise around every corner! Always a rockin' good time! Learn more about the band at Momentum-Rocks.com. Suggested Donation is $5 for this On-the-Common open event. BYOB, food & chair. (Rain date: 7/21/24)

3rd Friday Bluegrass Jam to be held July 19

A community event open to the public and all are welcome, 7-10pm. Bring your banjo, fiddle, voice, or just come to watch every 3rd Friday in a month!  Come have a great time. Coming up…8/16, 9/20, 10/18, 11/15, 12/20…
Parish Center for the Arts is located at 10 Lincoln Street, Westford


Make a Donation!
The PCA is a private, non-profit arts organization located in a historic building (1829) that requires constant attention, repair and restoration. A volunteer-run organization, we receive no government funding for our operations and are funded by donations, event revenues, and private rentals. Would you like to make a contribution and be a part of PCA's endeavors such as the recent South Wall project, the Bell Tower & Cradle Restoration, our Historic Window Restoration, needed Facility Upgrades and Repairs... even a nice coat of exterior paint?? Thank you in advance!
Darren  bassette

Nashoba Park Kicks Off Summer with Lively Annual Concert Series

AYER — Nashoba Park Assisted Living had a musical start to the summer with the first performance of their annual Starry Nights Concert Series! Residents, families, and friends of the community gathered for this exciting tradition in Nashoba Park’s lively courtyard.
Country singer Darren Bassette took to the stage, playing the guitar and performing country songs for the crowd. Attendees also enjoyed a fantastic spread of food from the grill, including burgers, hot dogs, and other classic cookout fare.
The blend of entertaining music, the peaceful outdoor setting, and the quality time spent with family and friends makes this a cherished tradition for the Nashoba Park community and the greater Ayer area, and it is a fantastic way to embrace the blissful first days of the season.
Concerts are free and open to the public, and those interested can look forward to upcoming performances by Nate Ramsayer on July 18th at 6:00 PM and Jumpin’ Juba Duo on August 8th

Volunteer Now for '24-'25 Gallery Hours at PCA

One of the things we're planning on next season is further incorporating the amazing friends who have offered to volunteer at events. Would you like to plan ahead?  Gallery hours are generally noon-2pm on Sundays, with a couple of exceptions for receptions, demonstrations, etc.  Effort level for this gig - LOW.  Efforts needed, sitting in the PCA for a couple of hours in case visitors have questions or need information about how to connect with an artist about a purchase. NO training needed, though you will be given information you need to answer those questions!  Receptions and demonstrations may also include setting and cleaning up refreshments.  Sign up for at least three Sundays and you'll get a free PCA tote bag at the end of the season!

John Ferullo at PCA “On-the-Common”

 
Saturday, July 13
1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Parish Center for the Arts, Westford Common
10 Lincoln Street
Westford, MA 01886
Want to get an idea what Open Mic Night is all about before diving in come Fall? Meet and speak with host John Ferullo, then enjoy a sampler of the PCA's in-season 2nd & 4th Sunday Open Mic events "On-the-Common" (Westford Common)!
Bring a lawn chair, a blanket, a picnic and/or snacks for a wonderful afternoon of music from some PCA musician favorites.

TOASTMASTERS NOW MEETING AT THE CAMERON SR CENTER

 
TOASTMASTERS WILL HELP YOU:
· Speak and present compellingly
· Think clearly and quickly on your feet
· Become an effective leader
· Gain confidence
Westford Expressions is your local Toastmaster club, with weekly hybrid meetings. You are most welcome to join us at the Cameron Senior Center in Westford (20 Pleasant St.), or via Zoom. We are a non-profit community club, part of the world-wide Toastmaster International organization. You will learn communication and leadership skills in a supportive environment. You set the pace and attend meetings according to your schedule.
Join us at a meeting, any Monday evening at 7 pm except on holidays. For additional information about the club, contact us at: vpm-4690@toastmastersclubs.org To attend a meeting go to our web site, westfordexpressions.toastmastersclubs.org
John ferullo

There’s Always Something Happening at the PCA

The PCA has formally wrapped up the 2023-24 season, but coming this summer will be another year of Concerts-on-the-Common! Pack up your blankets and chairs, and your picnics for these terrific events coming to Westford Common:
  • July 13 - John Ferullo's Open Mic Night Sampler, 1-4pm
  • July 20 - MOMENTUM (Rain date, July 21), 2-4pm
  • August 3 - Common Picking Mini Bluegrass Festival, noon-7pm
  • August 10 - Ed McCarron (Rain date, August 11), 2:30-4:30pm
The PCA is located at 10 Lincoln Street, right on Westford Common. For information, visit pcawestford.org, call (978) 692-6333, or email to admin@pcawestford.org to receive weekly updates!

Letters to Publisher: Happy 4th Of July

 
It's independence day
And we'll all sing and dance
Today and we'll remember our
Loved ones who fought for

Our freedom and it
Came with
A heavy price
War is not pretty
nor is it nice

So let's take a minute
To remember our
Brave men and women
Who sadly passed away
Fighting for our freedom

And the fireworks
Has just begun and
The kids are having so
Much fun waving American flags
And while the adults have a few
Beers and
Hug and kiss each other
And everyone is full of love
So raise your glass or your can
Of beer and
Toast for the 4th of July
And it's a beautiful
And perfect day to
Celebrate our independence day
Fourth of July
Fourth of July

And this special day is
Forever inside our hearts
Our freedom
And liberty we won so let's
Get this party started
And we'll have so much fun and
We'll never forget our true hero's who
Died for this day so scream out loud
Happy 4th of July and
God bless you all and peace and love
To every American on our independence day.

David P Carroll
Student financial fair

Littleton High School Students Participate in Second Annual Financial Literacy Fair

Superintendent Kelly Clenchy is pleased to announce that Littleton High School students recently participated in the school's second annual financial literacy fair.
The financial literacy fair took place on Tuesday, May 21. The event was designed to help students learn how to budget, manage, and spend their money responsibly.
Students were asked to provide their choice of career earlier this year in preparation for the event. On the day of the fair, students received a folio with a career profile, a mock paycheck, an assigned credit score (reflective of their attendance), and a budget worksheet.
During the event, students visited 13 stations where they had to make typical financial decisions they may face as a young adult. Booths included housing, furniture, food, health insurance, clothing, transportation, philanthropy/community service, education, luxuries, insurance (car and renter), savings, investing, and retirement, the Reality Wheel of fortune or misfortune, and budget counseling.
"The financial literacy fair is an amazing event for our students to assume adult responsibility as they prepare to enter the world outside of high school," said Superintendent Clenchy. "Thank you to all who helped put this event together!"
Paddling on the sudbury river riverfest 2023

Celebrate our Local Rivers at RiverFest
July 6 – July 28

RiverFest Summer 2024 is your opportunity to explore our federally protected Sudbury, Assabet, and Concord Wild & Scenic Rivers. In the MetroWest area, from Lowell to Framingham, three weeks of free events in 9 communities will be hosted on and along the rivers, highlighting what makes them unique and special.
This year’s events include family festivities at the Old Manse in Concord (July 20) and Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge in Sudbury (July 27), guided canoe & kayak trips, nature walks, history talks, bird watching, outdoor yoga, plein air painting, and even a walking book group stroll. Kids may especially enjoy events allowing them to explore the riverbanks or get an up-close look at some wildlife. There’s something for everyone to enjoy, whether young or old, adventuresome or more interest in a leisurely picnic along a river!
Please go to www.sudbury-assabet-concord.org to view a complete listing of RiverFest Summer 2024 events taking place from July 6-28.
Ruta beggars

Audiences are Beggin’ for More when The Ruta Beggars Come to Town


WESTFORD: Appealing to traditional and progressive acoustic music fans alike, The Ruta Beggars combine bluegrass and early swing to create a timeless act filled with intricate vocal harmonies, fiery instrumentals, and plenty of fun. The Beggars will be playing the Parish Center for the Arts, 10 Lincoln Street, on June 28 at 7:30pm.  Tickets range from $12 (Card-to-Culture pricing) to $25, and are available by calling (978) 692-6333, or online at pcawestford.org.  BYOB and snacks for a full evening of entertainment!
The Ruta Beggars have been praised for their creative yet tasteful arrangements and charming performances. Since 2018 they have brought the joy of their live show to audiences across the US and Canada from festival stages to storied folk listening rooms and as support for legacy acts Lyle Lovett and Ricky Skaggs. The Ruta Beggars are 2019 Thomas Point band competition winners, 2023 IBMA official showcasing artists, Freshgrass Foundation commissioned composers, Freshgrass Award finalists, and Skyline Records artists. Best-of-friends since their inception, The Ruta Beggars are Micah Nicol (guitar), Trevin Nelson (banjo), Noah Harrington (bass), Sam Stage (fiddle), and Jean-Baptiste Cardineau (mandolin), who met through studying in Berklee College of Music's American Roots Program.
This event is honoring the Massachusetts Cultural Council "Card-to-Culture" program (https://massculturalcouncil.org/organizations/card-to-culture) with a special discounted ticket price available to card-holding members. C2C cards will be requested when you pick up your tickets at the box office.
Direct ticket link: https://parisharts.square.site/product/6-28-24-the-ruta-beggars/178
Though this is the last concert of the Parish Center’s 2023-24 formal season, don’t miss upcoming summer Concerts-on-the Common!
  • July 13 - John Ferullo's Open Mic Night Sampler, 2-5pm
  • July 20 - MOMENTUM (Rain date, July 21), 2-4pm
  • August 3 - Common Picking Mini Bluegrass Festival, noon-7pm
  • August 10 - Ed McCarron (Rain date, August 11), 2:30-4:30pm
For more information, visit www.pcawestford.org, or call (978) 692-6333.

Nashoba Valley Neighbors Club, Celebrating 59 Years – Summer Picnic

 
Acton, Ayer, Boxborough, Concord, Chelmsford, Littleton, Maynard, Groton, Harvard, Stow, Westford and Surrounding Towns – Celebrating more than 50 years of community building, the Nashoba Valley Neighbors Club will host its’ summer picnic to welcome interested community members in learning more about the club as well as those looking to reconnect with established members. The picnic is being held from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 22, at the NARA PARK PATIO TENT - 25 Ledge Rock Way, Acton, MA, 01720. Enjoy a potluck picnic, music, lawn games and other summer-time delights with the Neighbors - rain or shine under the Nara Park Patio Tent! Club members and guests interested in learning more about the Club are invited to this affair for neighborly conversation and enjoyment of summer picnic activities.
The Nashoba Valley Neighbors Club is excited to invite community members to join us in a variety of activities including Adventure Group, Game Night, Men’s Night Out, Ladies’ Night Out, Book Group, Wine Tasting, Lunch Bunch, dining in and out events, and special events.
Join our Facebook Page and visit the Club’s website at http://www.nashobavalleyneighbors.org for more information on this and other events, as well as information on how to become a member of the Nashoba Valley Neighbors. We look forward to seeing you!
The Nashoba Valley Neighbors Club is a non-profit social organization open to new and established residents from our communities. Celebrating our 50th Anniversary in 2015, we were originally known as the Welcome Wagon Newcomers Club of Acton. More recently, we have been known as the Acton-Boxborough Newcomers & Neighbors Club. Discovering that established residents in our surrounding communities are also looking to explore new interests and to make connections with new friends, we became the Nashoba Valley Neighbors Club in 2014.

Memory Lane Café at the Acton Senior Center

 
June 25, 2024, 12:00-1:30 pm at the Acton Senior Center, 30 Sudbury Road, Rear, Acton. A Memory Café is a welcoming place for people with memory impairment and their care partners /caregivers. Cafés are a place to talk with others, enjoy lunch and an activity or entertainment together. We do ask attendees to bring their care partners. Sponsored by the Acton Council on Aging, Concord Park Assisted Living and Memory Care Community and Cooperative Elder Services, Inc. An RSVP is not required but appreciated. For more information or to RSVP, please call Sharon Mercurio, Acton Council on Aging director, at 978-929-6652. Groups will be held on the last Tuesday of each month.
Concord Park Assisted Living and Compass Memory Support is a project of the nonprofit Volunteers of America Massachusetts, which has supported local seniors with specialized services for over 75 years.
Smile summer

SMILE Mass Continues Building Happy Memories One Summer at a Time
Non-profit brings accessible vacation opportunities throughout the season.


June 12, 2024 (SUDBURY, Massachusetts) – As a young mother to a child with severe disabilities, SMILE Mass founder Lotte Diomede quickly realized the world wasn’t built for children like her son, Nicholas. One day, Lotte tried to take Nicholas and his sister to their neighborhood park in Sudbury, MA, only to find that it didn’t have a swing that both kids were able to use. Her daughter Annabelle could enjoy the freedom of swinging high into the sky, while Nicholas had to watch from outside the fence of the playground. This life-changing moment sparked a determination in her and she approached the Parks and Recreation Department to see what could be done. Driven by a profound love for her children and a vision of inclusivity, she spearheaded an accessible playground project along with hundreds of other volunteers in the community and the first playground in MetroWest with a universal design, opening the door to simple joys and unforgettable moments for countless families.
Since that time, SMILE Mass (Small Miracles in Life Exist) “swung” into becoming a 501C3 non-profit organization that helps families raising children or adults with disabilities enjoy happy, healthy memories through education, vacation, and recreation experiences.  Though every season is vibrant and energetic for the MetroWest-based non-profit, the organization is at its most active during the late spring and summer seasons, when many of its programs are in full swing.
“Life memories are often made as the weather gets warmer and families vacation together,” explained Lotte.  “For those with a physically disabled family member, such a day can be far from relaxing, often filled with struggles and unexpected challenges due to the lack of accessibility to the beach and a consistent schedule. It was an extension of our playground project when we brought accessibility to the beach.”
Since its inception, SMILE Mass has donated more than 180 floating beach wheelchairs to public ponds and beaches throughout New England to make them more accessible to the disabled. The colorful chairs allow beachgoers with mobility disabilities to travel over the hot surface of the parking lot, roll seamlessly over the thick beach sand, and plunge right into the water like their typical friends and family. The chairs recline into three different positions and have two large wheels at the back and a smaller wheel in front allowing them to be pushed through the sand with relative ease. As a floating device, the chair can be immersed in the water and float gently with the tide. There isn’t a more relaxing way to enjoy a summer day than spending it on the beach.
Due to the overwhelming demand for the program, the organization launched the SMILE Mass Floating Beach Wheelchair Awards Program, which allows towns and cities to apply for their floating beach wheelchair. Officials associated with the city or town, or residents could apply for the award to make their beach location more accessible.
SMILE Mass recently presented new chairs to the towns of Newburyport, Amesbury, Manchester by the Sea, and the Massachusetts Audubon Society in Barnstable with additional chairs to be gifted to Easton, MA, Nahant, and Standish ME in the coming weeks.  Due to the success of the program, the town of Dennis added 20 new chairs to their beaches.
“We are grateful to beach and recreation director Dustin Pineau for being such an active proponent of accessibility. To say we have had success is an understatement – with the support of SMILE Mass, it is clear that the town of Dennis understands the importance of the program as they retire older chairs and consistently strive to make their fleet better.”
“We present the chairs surrounded by some excitement. It’s a big event when accessibility is introduced or expanded in an area, and the decision of the town or municipality to promote accessibility should be celebrated. People with disabilities have the same rights as others, and enjoying a day at the beach is not just a luxury but a right that anyone should be able to experience. We recently had wonderful events in Newburyport and Amesbury where a large contingent of townspeople with and without disabilities came to cheer on the town’s commitment to accessibility.” 
You can find a list of other participating beaches where the SMILE Mass chairs are located at https://smilemass.org/initiative/beach-wheelchairs/.
SMILE Mass also operates a free equipment loaner program for families with disabled family members who may be going on a day, week, or extended vacation. 
“The loaner program was started as an extension of the beach wheelchair program, explained Lotte. “Once word got out about the beach wheelchairs we were donating to public beaches, people started calling because they vacationed in an area that did not yet have one of the donated chairs.”
To help alleviate that issue, SMILE Mass started a loaner program out of Sudbury, Massachusetts. Families can borrow adapted equipment to take anywhere. The inventory includes floating beach wheelchairs, a bath chair with a back, a blue Freedom running stroller, a Hoyer lift, portable ramps and so much more. Any of these items can be borrowed to help families enjoy a day of recreation or a vacation away from home with the right amenities.
SMILE Mass also owns a fully accessible vacation home on the beautiful Truro beach in Massachusetts, providing families with disabled loved ones a much-needed break and an inclusive environment to create lasting memories. The handicap-accessible beachfront condo sits just 75 feet from the ocean and allows accessibility for any family traveling with loved ones with disabilities. The condo sleeps six, with a private beach, two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a roll-in shower, adapted equipment with a universal design flair and all exterior doors have ramps to allow easy access for those
Club SMILE Mass, the organization’s fastest-growing program to date, consists of hybrid classes to stimulate clients with disabilities both mentally and physically. Classes include access to one-on-one gym and swim or small group classes, swimming classes at Atkinson Swimming Pool in Sudbury, and seven-day-per-week access to any LA Fitness in Massachusetts. The program also includes in-person social groups, including music therapy, book club, storytime, bingo, small group workout classes, bike evaluations via Zoom, and more. A physical therapist performs the bike evaluations. All trainers of Club SMILE Mass are specially trained to work with people with disabilities.
“We have received dozens of inquiries from families and organizations struggling with the lack of available services due to the labor shortage in the healthcare sector. These services were previously available to this vulnerable population but dried up during Covid,” continued Diomede. “Through Club SMILE Mass, we provide much-needed daily activities with a focus on movement. There are currently no existing clubs for someone with disabilities, which is a huge problem, and this is why Club SMILE Mass has become so popular.”
SMILE Mass plans to purchase land, which will be the home of “Club SMILE Mass, Community within a Community,” to help bring a sense of equity and inclusion to the severely disabled population in MetroWest.   “Our goal is to create a hub that becomes the leading source of a well-rounded program that takes clients after school age and well into adulthood. Our clients never age out of the program.”
“We have been working to reach an agreement with the owners of a property in MetroWest to complete the acquisition of the property. The property will allow us to bring our Club SMILE Mass program in-house and provide immediate relief to thousands of families in Massachusetts currently without services. This is why fundraising is especially critical,” explained Ms. Diomede.  Every dollar raised is something we didn’t have prior. Each donation will make a profound difference directly into the community
“This is our biggest undertaking yet,” continued Lotte. It is an opportunity for those who believe in equity and equality to resolve a national crisis following the pandemic. We are a grass-roots organization that receives no state funding. All our programs are made possible through grants, fundraising, annual sponsorships, and donations by those who know of all the good SMILE Mass does for the population of the disabled and their families.”
We rely on our existing donors, new donors, and sponsors to take us through each phase of the three-phase Capital Campaign. There is a donation level for everyone, regardless of your financial means.” To donate to the Capital Campaign or any of our programs, visit the SMILE Mass website at smilemass.org or call Lotte at 617-967-7755. 
About SMILE Mass: Small Miracles in Life Exist (SMILE Mass) is a 501 C3 non-profit organization dedicated to helping families raising children or adults with disabilities enjoy happy, healthy memories through vacation and recreation experiences. For more information, visit www.smilemass.org

Electronics & More Collection

 
The Westford Recycling Commission is holding an Electronics & More Collection on June 22, 2024, from 9 am to 1 pm at the Westford Highway Garage, 28 North Street.
This is a fee-based collection FOR WESTFORD RESIDENTS ONLY. Westford utilizes the services of Northeast Materials Handling of Ayer, Massachusetts. CASH OR CHECK ONLY (checks must be made out to “Northeast Material Handling, Inc”). The Town of Westford receives no proceeds from this event.
For traffic safety reasons, entry to the access road off North Street will not be allowed until 8:45 AM. Residents arriving prior to 8:45 will be turned away.
The Northeast Materials' staff will take the items from the vehicle for them and collect fees from the driver’s side window.
*** WE DO NOT ACCEPT TOY PLASTICS, AT ALL***
For a list of acceptable Items: some free and some chargeable, visit
www.westfordma.gov/recycling. If you have any questions about what is
acceptable, please feel free to call 978-772-4545 or email: Francine@liquidatedstuff.com

Changes to Westford’s Curbside Recycling & Trash Program

 
A message from Mike Edwards, Assistant Town Manager – Strategic Operations, regarding recycling and trash.
Beginning July 1st, curbside collection of recycling and trash will be performed by the Town’s new contractor, E.L. Harvey. With the new contract, there are several changes you should be aware of.
· Your day of collection will remain the same, but the time may change. It is important that all items be curbside by 7 A.M. on your regular collection day!
· The Town’s current limit of 3 containers with a total of 96 gallons for trash will be enforced. Recycling will remain unlimited.
· Bulk waste (green sticker) and white goods (orange sticker) collection will change. Please visit the website below for detailed information or call the Town Manager’s office at 978-692-5501.
· Customer service will be provided by E.L. Harvey by calling 1-800-321-3002.
You can help to keep Westford’s costs low by choosing to divert items from our trash stream. For more information on how to do this, and on other curbside program changes, please visit www.westfordma.gov/recycling-trash.

Littleton Public Schools Receives Recognition Award

 
Superintendent Kelly Clenchy is proud to announce that Littleton Public Schools received a Healthy Meals Incentives Recognition Award for improving the nutritional quality of its school meals.
Awarded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) in collaboration with Action for Healthy Kids (AFHK), the District received the Innovation in the Cultural Diversity of School Meals Award for work in creating an inclusive school lunch menu. The menu encourages all students to feel welcome in the cafeteria and entices them to try something new and nutritious.
Healthy school meals are an essential part of the school environment and a proven tool for improving a child’s health, growth, development, and educational outcomes. The Recognition Awards spotlight innovative practices, student and community engagement activities, and strategies schools have used to provide meals that are consistent with the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
Littleton schools have added culturally inspired dishes such as chana masala, chicken tikka masala, confetti fried rice, mandarin fruit salad, and crispy tofu.
Students are given samples of these new lunch items a few weeks before items are menued to gauge interest. Once the new item has been approved and put on the monthly menu, elementary-level students are given "I tried it!" stickers for sampling new items.
“We congratulate Littleton Public Schools on this important achievement,” said Rob Bisceglie, Executive Officer & President for Action for Healthy Kids. “The HMI Recognition Awards are an opportunity to showcase innovative school nutrition practices that provide children with access to nutritious school meals.”
“One of America’s best opportunities to improve child health is by supporting schools in providing tasty and nutritious meals is,” said Cindy Long, administrator of USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service. “This Recognition Award highlights the remarkable achievements Littleton Public Schools has made in offering nutritious meals that students enjoy, and we look forward to them sharing their best practices to help other schools follow in their footsteps.”
"The Nutrition Staff at Littleton Public Schools have been busy these last three years since school meals have been free in Massachusetts. Students are eating with us in record numbers, and we have a great opportunity to diversify their palates in a way that school lunches have never been able to achieve. To better represent the diversity of our population, we have increased our offerings of vegetarian, Indian and Asian cuisine. Through training programs such as the John C. Stalker Institute of Food and Nutrition in Framingham, staff are creating culturally relevant meals that are nutritious and delicious,” said Littleton Food Service Director Leah Botko.
As an award recipient, Littleton Public Schools will receive national and local recognition and travel stipends to attend a national Healthy Meals Summit (HMI) in Las Vegas. Food Service Director Botko has also been invited to School Nutrition Association's Annual Nutrition Conference in Boston, where she will present on a panel to other Food Service Directors across America about the positive changes Littleton has been implementing.
More information about the HMI Recognition Awards can be found at www.healthymealsincentives.org/recognition-awards/.

HABITAT for HUMANITY NORTH CENTRAL MASSACHUSETTS AWARDED CUMMINGS GRANT

 
Habitat for Humanity North Central Massachusetts is one of 150 local nonprofits that will share in $30 million through Cummings Foundation’s major annual grants program. The affordable housing organization was selected from a total of 715 applicants during a competitive review process. It will receive $50,000 this year for its work in Middlesex County.
Habitat for Humanity North Central Massachusetts (Habitat NCM), formed in 1987, builds and repairs affordable homes in thirty cities and towns along route 2 in north central Massachusetts.  The funds will be used to build new, deeply affordable, and energy-efficient homes and repair existing affordable homes for low-income families in Middlesex County.
“The need for affordable housing has never been greater”, states Carolyn Read, executive director of Habitat NCM. “This funding will help us to build more homes faster for families in western Middlesex county.”
The Cummings $30 Million Grant Program primarily supports Massachusetts nonprofits that are based in and serve Middlesex, Essex, and Suffolk counties, plus six communities in Norfolk County: Brookline, Dedham, Milton, Needham, Quincy, and Wellesley.
Through this place-based initiative, Cummings Foundation aims to give back in the areas where it owns commercial property. Its buildings are all managed, at no cost to the Foundation, by its affiliate, Cummings Properties. This Woburn-based commercial real estate firm leases and manages 11 million square feet of debt-free space, the majority of which exclusively benefits the Foundation.
“Greater Boston is fortunate to have a robust, dedicated, and highly capable nonprofit sector that supports and enhances the community in myriad ways,” said Cummings Foundation executive director and trustee Joyce Vyriotes. “The entire Cummings organization is thankful for their daily work to help all our neighbors thrive.”
The majority of the grant decisions were made by nearly 100 community volunteers. They worked across a variety of committees to review and discuss the proposals and then, together, determine which requests would be funded. Among these community volunteers were business and nonprofit leaders, mayors, college presidents, and experts in areas such as finance and DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion).
“We believe strongly that grant decisions will be more equitable when made by a diverse group of community members,” said Vyriotes. “We’re incredibly grateful to the dozens of individuals who participated in our democratized philanthropic process.”
The Foundation and volunteers first identified 150 organizations to receive three-year grants of up to $300,000 each. The winners included first-time recipients as well as nonprofits that had previously received Cummings grants. Twenty-five of this latter group of repeat recipients were then selected by a panel of community volunteers to have their grants elevated to 10-year awards ranging from $300,000 to $1 million each.
This year’s grant recipients represent a wide variety of causes, including housing and food insecurity, workforce development, immigrant services, social justice, education, and mental health services. The nonprofits are spread across 49 different cities and towns.
Cummings Foundation has now awarded $500 million to greater Boston nonprofits. The complete list of this year’s 150 grant winners, plus nearly 2,000 previous recipients, is available at www.CummingsFoundation.org.
About Habitat for Humanity North Central Massachusetts
Habitat NCM is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing decent and affordable homes for those who cannot qualify for conventional mortgages, as well as doing Critical Home Repairs throughout the 30-town region. Habitat NCM relies on volunteers to accomplish its mission and is supported only by local funding and donations.
About Cummings Foundation
Woburn-based Cummings Foundation, Inc. was established in 1986 by Joyce and Bill Cummings of Winchester, MA and has grown to be one of the largest private foundations in New England. The Foundation directly operates its own charitable subsidiaries, including New Horizons retirement communities, in Marlborough and Woburn, and Cummings Health Sciences, LLC. Additional information is available at www.CummingsFoundation.org.

CHELMSFORD COMMUNITY EDUCATION PRIVATE MUSIC LESSONS

Registration for Private Music Lessons through Chelmsford Community Education is now open.  The 5-week summer session runs from July 8th to August 9th and is open to students of all ages living in Chelmsford or outside of town for the same fee.
For more information or to register, go to ChelmsfordCommunityEd.com or call us at 978-251-5151

STATEWIDE AGAINST the TIDE ATHLETICS EVENT to SUPPORT BREAST CANCER PREVENTION

 
Join Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition (MBCC) in 2024 and swim, run or walk to support breast cancer prevention!
MBCC will host its special 25th Anniversary Cape Cod Against the Tide event at DCR’s Nickerson State Park on Saturday, June 8th in Brewster, MA. The weekend after, join MBCC at DCR’s Hopkinton State Park on Saturday, June 15th for Against the Tide’s 32nd year!
MBCC will also host a virtual event from June 8th to June 15th for those who would like to participate in Against the Tide and support the mission of cancer prevention from any location!
Events include USMS-Sanctioned 1-mile swim, 1-mile recreational and competitive swims, ½-mile recreational swim, USATF-Certified 5K and 10K runs, and a 3-mile fitness walk.
In-person participants will receive an event t-shirt, bib, and goodie bag. Prizes will be awarded for the top swim and run finishers of the in-person events. Prizes will also be awarded to the highest fundraising individuals at the in-person events.
Events can be enjoyed by adults and children of all ages and abilities. The in-person registration fee is $40 per person per athletic component and the virtual registration fee is $20 per person with the option to participate in one or more events virtually. Visit the MBCC event web page, mbcc.org/swim, to donate to the event and learn how to create or join a team and fundraise for breast cancer prevention.
The funds raised through Against the Tide help to support and expand our community education program Let’s Talk Prevention: Reducing Toxic Exposures, MBCC Webinar Series, and the newly-expanded student environmental health program, Let’s Talk Prevention: Actions You Can Take.
MBCC was founded in 1991 as a non-profit organization dedicated to preventing environmental causes of breast cancer through community education, research advocacy, and changes to public policy.
To learn more about all of the registration options, to join or create a team, and to donate, please visit the MBCC website at mbcc.org/swim or call 508-246-3047.

CELEBRATE PRIDE 2024 EVENT

We are so excited to celebrate Pride 2024 with a full day of programming in partnership with @Pride Worcester on June 23 at Fruitlands Museum, in Harvard MA!
Join us for family-friendly crafts and activities from 10-3 across the Museum. At 4 PM  Award-winning and Billboard-charting artist @Flamy Grant will take the stage for a special family-friendly performance.
In the evening, put on your dancing shoes for Fruitlands' first-ever Pride Tea Dance (21+) with guest DJ Harlow Havoc.
We hope you join us in community and in celebration on the beautiful Fruitlands Hillside. thetrustees.org/event/419148/

CHELMSFORD MARKET on the COMMON

Saturdays June 1 – August 10, 11 am – 2 pm
Free
Farmers and artisans market of local vendors offering fresh local food, handmade crafts, and more at the Chelmsford Market on the Common. Each week brings a different assortment of vendors, so you’ll find something new no matter how many times you visit.

WESTFORD FREE STYLE DANCE JAM

Parish Center for the Arts, 10 Lincoln Street, Westford.
Wednesday, June 26 7-9:30pm
Dance your inner spirit in a non-judgmental, non-structured, supportive, respectful environment.
Music provided by DJ Alkemi, a veteran of many freestyle dances around the country.
Smoke and substance-free, 18+. Admission is $10. Some volunteer opportunities are available for event support tasks.
For more information, call 617-799-8680 or email: wefreedancejam@gmail.com

NASHOBA PLAYERS FALL PRODUCTION AUDITIONS

Auditions are upcoming for the Nashoba Players' Fall production of "[title of show]," with music and lyrics by Jeff Bowen and a book by Hunter Bell. The production will be directed by Ken Golner (stage) and Kathryn Denney (music). Auditions are by appointment only, June 24 and 27. Full audition details are available at nashobaplayers.org/auditions.

WESTFORD’S PARISH CENTER for the ARTS PRESENTS:

 
The Artist Circle of Groton “The Nature of All Things”
The exhibition will run through June 30 with a Wine and Cheese Reception on Friday, June 7 from 6-9pm. The Gallery is open to visitors each Sunday from noon-2pm.  For more information, visit www.pcawestford.org.
The Artist Circle of Groton members Dana Haigh, Claudia Owens, Michelle Ward, and Beth A. Smith proudly present "The Nature of All Things” as a joint exhibition during the month of June. Through the vibrant mediums of watercolor, alcohol inks, and acrylics, these four talented artists have crafted an extraordinary collection of works that pays homage to the boundless beauty of nature's tapestry.
Michelle Ward is a lifelong artist, commercial interior designer and member of the Artist Circle, Michelle Ward received her art degree from the University of Lowell(now UMass Lowell). Working in acrylic, using various tools and methods her paintings explore our natural world in layered color, texture and expressive composition.
Claudia Owens,a watercolor artist, finds inspiration in the enchanting wonders of nature,travels, and the timeless charm of children’s books. With a whimsical touch,she harnesses watercolor’s transparent effects to breathe life into vibrant scenes, each infused with a touch of fantasy. Claudia is a member of the Artist Circle,an elementary art teacher and teaches art to both adults and children at Groton’s Prescott Community Center.
Dana Haigh lives and works out of Groton. She has been obsessed with alcohol inks for the last four years. Instilling some control into this very fluid medium has been a lovely challenge that Dana has enjoyed. Dana is a member NVAG, HAS and teaches classes through the Prescott Community Center.
Beth Smith is a Groton-based self-taught watercolor artist. Her work is inspired by the shapes, light and shadows in natural landscapes.  She is drawn to the beauty of nature, its calmness and solitude and wants to impart those feelings to her audience. Beth has co-chaired the Westford Regional Art Event. and co-founded the PCA’s Gallery. She teaches watercolor classes at Prescott Community Center in Groton.
Don’t miss this unique display of art at the PCA during the month of June!
The PCA Gallery will also be open on June 15 during the Strawberry and Art Festival. Come and meet the artists on June 7 at the reception or at the Strawberry festival!

ARTIST SPOTLIGHT SHOW ANNOUNCED with Tom Richardson & Aaron Bilodeau

 
WESTFORD: The Parish Center for the Arts (PCA) is focusing on supporting local artists this June. On June 14 at 7:30pm, enjoy an eclectic mix of styles when singer/songwriter Tom Richardson and electronic indie funk artist Aaron Bilodeau take the PCA stage!  Tickets range from $10-$18 and are available by calling (978) 392-6333 or online at pcawestford.org. The PCA is a BYOB & food facility, so pack a picnic and plan out a full evening of entertainment at 10 Lincoln Street in Westford.
Folk-Americana singer-songwriter Tom Richardson found his way back to music after a long, more traditional career. With a style rooted in the 1970’s music of artists such as James Taylor, John Prine, and Glen Campbell, Tom features acoustic guitar over a modern, folk-country, Americana sound. His warm and expressive voice serenades with stories of life, love and longing. Tom’s second act as a musician and actor brings a lifetime of perspective and some wisdom to poignant and vibrant stories of a shared experience.
Aaron Bilodeau is known for his mastery of multiple instruments. He captivates audiences by seamlessly combining singing, bass guitar wizardry and synth manipulation — all performed with a flair that truly sets him apart through his unique blend of electronic indie funk. Aaron has demonstrated his creativity and talent through original works, culminating in the release of four solo albums. His latest, "Drone at Home," showcases his evolving musical vision and experimental spirit. With each performance, Aaron invites listeners into his musical universe, where boundaries are blurred and sonic landscapes are explored with boundless creativity.
When it comes to supporting local arts and artists, it's mutually beneficial. An exchange between artist and audience has rippling positive impacts on the individuals and the communities surrounding them. So visit a Gallery and/or take in a show. Make a donation. It fosters community.  It's good for the economy.  It's good for YOU!
Direct ticket link: https://parisharts.square.site/product/6-14-24-tom-richardson-aaron-bilodeau/179
Facebook: www.facebook.com/ParishCenterfortheArts
Twitter: www.twitter.com/PCAWestford
Instagram: www.instagram.com/pcawestford

THERE’S ALWAYS SOMETHING HAPPENING at the PCA:

 
The PCA is located at 10 Lincoln Street, right on Westford Common. For information, visit pcawestford.org, call (978) 692-6333, or email to admin@pcawestford.org to receive weekly updates!

The PCA will be wrapping up is 2023-24 season in June after a few more special guest visits:
Everyone loves Aidan Scrimgeour’s annual “Charlie Brown Christmas Jazz Concert,” but Aidan's "Mostly Aidans" trio will be in the house on June 8 at 7:30pm with a Duke Ellington tribute concert to ring in the summer! Tickets range from $10-$25. Visit https://parisharts.square.site/pca-jazz-cafe for more information.
The PCA is focusing on supporting local artists, and on June 14, audiences can enjoy a double bill - an eclectic mix of folk/Americana singer-singwriter Tom Richardson and electronic indie funk artist Aaron Bilodeau! Direct ticket link: https://parisharts.square.site/product/6-14-24-tom-richardson-aaron-bilodeau/179
Closing up the season will be the very talented group The Ruta Beggars. Appealing to traditional and progressive acoustic music fans alike, The Ruta Beggars combine bluegrass and early swing to create a timeless act filled with intricate vocal harmonies, fiery instrumentals, and plenty of fun. Direct ticket link: https://parisharts.square.site/product/6-28-24-the-ruta-beggars/178
Coming this summer will be another year of Concerts-on-the-Common.  Pack up your blankets and chairs, and you’re your picnics for these terrific events coming to Westford Common:
  • July 13 - John Ferullo's Open Mic Night Sampler, 2-5pm
  • July 20 - MOMENTUM (Rain date, July 21), 2-4pm
  • August 3 - Common Picking Mini Bluegrass Festival, noon-7pm
  • August 10 - Ed McCarron (Rain date, August 11), 2:30-4:30pm



CALL FOR ARTISTS
The PCA has re-opened its Call for Artists to fill in a couple new exhibition slots. If accepted, artist(s) will display their work as featured "Artist/s-of-the-Month" on the walls of our 10 Lincoln Street location. The PCA provides the exhibition space and guidance, including promotion and marketing. The artist is responsible for sharing promotional efforts, as well as hanging, hosting a reception and/or demonstrations/workshops (requested, but not required), and possible sittings during Gallery open hours. Artists retain 80% of all sales. Interested? Email 6-8 images (.jpg files less than 1mb), a bio & contact information to gallery-manager@pcawestford. org. For each image, include the title, dimensions and media. PLEASE NOTE: If you have already submitted materials, you do not need to resubmit. Questions can also be sent to admin@pcawestford.org.
Deadline for new submissions is JUNE 15, 2024!

THURSDAY NIGHT SING & JAM
Thursdays, 7-10pm. Bring your instrument and/or voice and join the Sing & Jam fun! $5 suggested cover for drop-in programs. This is an on-going weekly event. Coming up…6/13, 6/20, 6/27, 7/4, 7/11, 7/25, 8/1, 8/8, 8/15, 8/22, 8/29.


OPEN MIC NIGHT: June 9th
Held on 2nd & 4th Sundays in a month at 6:30 pm during the season. Open Mic Night is for all ages and levels of experience. Sing a song, play a tune, or speak your truth. The mic is on and everyone is welcome. Special guests will also stop by for some added fun. $5 suggested cover for all drop-in programs. Future Date: 6/23 (Final event until Fall).


3rd FRIDAY BLUEGRASS JAM: June 21st
A community event open to the public, 7-10pm. Bring your banjo, fiddle, voice, or just come to watch  every 3rd Friday in a month! All are welcome and all have a great time. Future Dates: 7/19, 8/16, 9/20, 10/18, 11/15, 12/20.

BRIDGES® by EPOCH at WESTFORD to be AWARDED PURPLE FLAG for DEMENTIA CARE™ ACCREDITATION on JUNE 11, & 10th ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION

 
WHEN: Tuesday, June 11, 2 PM
WHERE: 108 Littleton Road, Westford, MA
WHAT: Purple Flag accreditation and 10-year anniversary event for Bridges® by EPOCH in Westford.
EPOCH Senior Living, a premier provider of exceptional senior living services throughout the Northeast, announces its memory care assisted living facility, Bridges® by EPOCH in Westford, has earned the Purple Flag for Dementia Care™ accreditation. Purple Flag for Dementia Care™ is an accreditation program that recognizes excellence in caring for people living with Alzheimer's Disease and other dementias. Upon receiving the accreditation, providers receive the distinctive purple flag to fly proudly. Bridges® by EPOCH in Westford will also be celebrating its 10th anniversary. CONTACT: Victoria Hochman (914) 762-1900 vicky@thompson-bender.com