St. Luke's Christmas Festival
SOUTH GLASTONBURY — St. Luke's Church, 915 Main St., will host its annual Christmas Festival from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, continuing a tradition that dates back more than 50 years.
The highlight of the festival is always the amazing assortment of holiday greens lovingly arranged by dedicated and talented parishioners. Baked goods packaged for tasty gift giving, a unique boutique with gently used houseware items, retro jewelry, a Christmas emporium with ornaments and decorations, handmade crafts, and a silent auction where you can bid on gifts are part of the Christmas Festival. The café will serve tea, coffee, pastries and lunch.
For more information about the festival, contact St. Luke's Church at email@example.com or 860-633-7175.
Land Heritage Coalition Hike Cotton Hollow South Trail
GLASTONBURY — Walk off some of your Thanksgiving turkey while you learn a bit about the history of Glastonbury's Cotton Hollow from local historian/dentist, Dr. Brian Chiffer. This hike is sponsored by the Land Heritage Coalition of Glastonbury, Inc. and, as always, they are free and open to the public. Here are all the details: 1 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 26. Bad weather cancels. Coordinator and hike contact: Charley Smith at 860-508-1844. Difficulty: One mile hike round trip, rated mostly level and easy walking. For more information on LHC, visit www.lhcglastonbury.org or call 860-652-8995. Directions from Glastonbury Center: Navigate Main Street South to Route 17 South - about 5 miles. Meet at trailhead to the left of the new Fig's restaurant.
Docent/Leader: Brian Chiffer, DDS, has been a member of the Historical Society of Glastonbury since 2002 and is currently its president. Meet at South Glastonbury trailhead at Cotton Hollow Road behind the new Fig's restaurant, just south of the Roaring Brook Bridge on Main Street.
Cotton Hollow, encompassing 83 acres, is a rare example of a once heavily developed industrial area that has reverted to a natural state. It is a testament to nature's healing power. The only signs remaining of the many mills which once operated there along Roaring Brook are a few tumbled down stone dams and foundations. The western end of the preserve includes the remains of a 60-foot-high dam and the ruin of one of the mills, Hartford Manufacturing Co.'s granite and fieldstone cotton mill built in 1814.
Bacon Academy Book Fair
GLASTONBURY — The Bacon Academy Library Media Center will be hosting a book fair at the Glastonbury Barnes and Noble, 175 Glastonbury Blvd., on Sunday, Dec. 3, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
The fundraiser will showcase the talent of staff and students with performances and activities throughout the day. The high school library will earn a percentage of the sales all day as long as customers present the flyer or mention Bacon Academy at the register. Can't attend the book fair? Visit bn.com/bookfairs to support them online from Dec. 3 to Dec. 8 by entering Book Fair ID# 12265658 at checkout.
Warming Hands, Warming Hearts Clothing Drive
BOLTON — On Wednesday, Nov. 29, the East of the River Chamber of Commerce Association will come together for the 4th annual Warming Hands, Warming Hearts warm winter clothing drive event at Georgina's Restaurant and Banquets, 275 Boston Turnpike.
The drive collects new hats, mittens, scarves and jackets at each chamber office and at the event. Admission to the regional gathering is a donation of something to keep the kids warm or $10, which will be disbursed to the designated charities.
The five participating Chambers that make up ERCCA consist of Connecticut River Valley in Glastonbury, Greater Manchester, North Central in Enfield, South Windsor and Tolland County in Rockville, which will all be collecting new donations for children in their area until the big event on Nov. 29 when they will each present the thousands of items to their nonprofit in their respective areas.
For more information on this event or to donate, visit www.ercca.org or contact ERCCA at 860-659-3587. To drop off donations to a Chamber nearest you, collection boxes will be placed at each Chamber until Nov. 29. NEW donations of all children's sizes are desperately needed.
Glastonbury Chorus Performs
GLASTONBURY — The Glastonbury Chorus will present its annual holiday concert, Home for the Holidays, on Sunday, Dec. 3, at 4 p.m. in the Smith Middle School Auditorium, 216 Addison Road. A reception with sweets and savories immediately follows the performance in the school cafeteria.
There will be an audience sing-along of holiday tunes with special appeal to children, as well as an invitation to audience members who have previously sung Handel's Messiah to join the Chorus onstage to sing what may be the single most-performed choral work in the world: the "Hallelujah Chorus." Sheet music will be provided or people may bring their own Messiah scores.
Admission is $8 for adults and $5 for senior citizens and students. Children under 7 are admitted free, as are active-duty service personnel in uniform. Tickets are available at the door or from Chorus members. Non-perishable food items will be collected to augment the local food bank; please note that glass containers cannot be accepted.
The concert is presented in association with BackBeat City, Glastonbury's premier music education and performing arts center. Greg Colossale, founding director of BackBeat City, is artistic director of the Glastonbury Chorus, and singer-songwriter and music educator Abigail Winkler is musical director.
Holiday House Tour
AREA — The Friends of The Mark Twain House & Museum will hold its 37th annual holiday house tour on Sunday, Dec. 3, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The tour will feature Mark Twain's 25-room home at 351 Farmington Ave. in Hartford, the Wadsworth Atheneum's Austin House at 130 Scarborough St. in Hartford and three private homes, which will be decorated according to their homeowners' holiday traditions. The Mark Twain House will be decorated for a late 19th century Christmas. Visit www.marktwainhouse.org for more information.
Advance tickets are $30 each and will be $35 each on the day of the tour. To purchase tickets, visit http://bit.ly/2x7LpLK or call 1-860-280-3130. Tickets also can be purchased at the following local businesses: Emmy Lou's in Glastonbury; Floral Expressions in South Windsor; Flower Box in Wethersfield; Haworth's Flowers in Farmington; Horan's Flowers in Simsbury; and Moscarillo's in West Hartford.
The Friends of The Mark Twain House & Museum is a volunteer organization that has supported the museum for the past 50 years. Proceeds from the tour will benefit the continued restoration, preservation, and educational programs of The Mark Twain House & Museum, which is a National Historic Landmark.
Cub Scout Pack 241's 2017 Ornament
GLASTONBURY — Cub Scout Pack 241 has been honoring Glastonbury heritage for 27 years by introducing 100-percent pewter ornaments that are made in Connecticut. Each year features a different Glastonbury theme. As its only fundraiser, all proceeds support Pack 241 Cub Scouts activities.
This year the Scouts are trying to raise funds to sleep in the USS Massachusetts Battleship in Fall River, Mass. This year's ornament features The Glastonbury Trolley. The new 2017 ornament and all past 26 years are available at Emmy Lou's, 17 Hebron Ave., in the heart of central Glastonbury. Ornaments can also be ordered by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org; each ornament is $9 and the entire set can be purchased at the discounted price of $207.
Community Action Agencies Accepting Energy Assistance Applications
AREA — The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services just released $67,255,113 in Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) funding. This amount is 90-percent of LIHEAP funds allocated for the State of Connecticut.
Connecticut residents struggling to pay their utility bills this winter can apply for home heating assistance through Connecticut's Community Action Agency Network. The Community Action Agencies (CAAs) are the only nonprofit agencies administering LIHEAP, which provides home heating assistance to Connecticut's most vulnerable residents. Each CAA has application intake sites throughout their service regions. Some sites may include local town halls, and customers should check with their local CAA for a complete site listing.
In Connecticut this program is called the Connecticut Energy Assistance Program (CEAP) and is housed under the Department of Social Services (DSS). The state's Community Action Agencies administer the $74M+ program locally in all 169 cities and towns. CAAs are now accepting CEAP applications for the 2017-2018 winter season and expect more applications in the coming weeks, especially as temperatures begin to drop. Homeowners and/or renters may apply, and funds may be used to pay for whatever source of heating residents have in their homes. This includes wood, electric, oil, kerosene, or natural gas.
CAAs will certify oil deliveries starting Wednesday, Nov. 15, for those who heat with oil, propane, and deliverable fuels. May 1, 2018, is the last day households can apply for benefits unless the household is utility heated and has a shut off notice for its primary source of heat. May 15, 2018 is the last day a utility heated household with a shut off notice for its primary source of heat can apply for benefits.
Another protection for Connecticut's struggling families is the utility moratorium, or winter hardship, which provides protection for eligible households against heat source shut-offs between November 1st and May 1st. Gas and electric utilities cannot be shut off (summer or winter) if lack of the utility creates a life-threatening situation. If a customer is having trouble paying their utility bills during the winter moratorium period, Community Action Agencies will work with them on affordable utility payment programs, including the Matching Payment Program (MPP) and Below Budget Payment Plans. MPP is a payment incentive program that allows eligible utility customers to maintain year-round electric and gas service and pay an agreed-upon amount each month to pay down the balance on their heating bill. If customers cannot afford the utility payment plan, CAAs work with the customer and can submit a Below Budget Payment Plan based on the household income and expenses.
A CEAP benefit to a household automatically makes that household eligible for weatherization services. So, in addition to heating assistance, CAAs will refer customers to those agencies providing weatherization services, which helps minimize energy-related costs and fuel usage in homes through retrofits and home improvement measures. Additionally, there are funds available this year through the CAA for heating system repair and replacement if such services are deemed necessary and as the amount of funds allocated allow. Lastly, when a customer comes to a CAA for energy assistance, the agency will also assist customers in accessing other benefits for which they may be eligible including SNAP and other food programs, financial counseling, child care, and case management.
Connecticut's poorest families struggle each and every year to heat their homes in this a state with one of the highest utility rates in the country; customers many times having to choose between heating and eating or heating and paying for their medicines. CEAP allows them to not only cover high home energy costs and keep warm during the cold winter months, but gives low-income families the opportunity to address other critical, basic needs, rather than having to choose between them. Any resident who needs help paying their heating bill this winter should contact their Community Action Agency immediately.
For more information on Connecticut's Energy Assistance Program, how to find your local CAA to apply, or to make a donation, visit www.cafca.org or contact the Connecticut Association for Community Action (CAFCA), 144 Clinton Street, New Britain, CT, 06053, 860-832-9438.
Special Needs Hockey Team Recruiting New Players
AREA — The Connecticut Chasers, an ice hockey team for individuals with physical and intellectual disabilities, is recruiting new players for the 2017-18 season, running from Nov. 4, through March 10, 2018.
Weekly practices are at Simsbury Farms Skating Rink in Simsbury from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
The team is looking for players of all abilities and skill levels ages 8 and up. "Learn to Skate" sessions are offered for those new to the ice.
Prospective players and their families are invited to attend a practice to see the fun for themselves. Some equipment is available to borrow for anyone who wants to try a practice session before joining.
Athletes from throughout the Greater Hartford Area and beyond are welcome. Current players are from Avon, Canton, Ellington, Farmington, Glastonbury, Simsbury, South Windsor, and Windsor.
The Chasers were founded in 1997 by former Hartford Whaler Kelly Chase and the Connecticut Down Syndrome Congress to provide a team experience for the players while helping them improve their self-esteem, social skills, gross motor skills and coordination. The team is a proud member of the American Special Hockey Association and Special Hockey International.
Last season, the Chasers had the honor of serving as "Blue Line Buddies" for the Hartford Wolf Pack, standing on the ice with the team during the National Anthem before a game at the XL Center. The Chasers are looking for similar opportunities this season.
The team also has scrimmages with the Southern Connecticut Storm of Bridgeport and the East Coast Jumbos of Hopkinton, Massachusetts. Email Ctchasershockey@gmail.com for more information.