Community News For The Glastonbury Edition

Exotic Animals Talk

GLASTONBURY — 'Cautionary Tales... Or Tails?' will take place from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 5, at the CT Audubon Society Center, 1361 Main St. Call 860-633-8402 for more information. Cost to attend is a suggested donation of $5 per person.

This program is geared toward people who have exotic animals as pets, such as birds, reptiles, amphibians or fish; people who are thinking about getting an exotic animal; those who wonder what happens when exotic pets are released into the wild; or those who want to see the Center's animals up close. Pictured is an eastern box turtle, taken by Twan Leenders.

Focus On Nature

GLASTONBURY — The Focus On Nature photography reception and exhibit's opening reception will take place from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 1, at the CT Audubon Society Center, 1361 Main St. For more information, call 860-633-8402.

Meet local photographers Jennifer Prat and Bill Canosa. Beer, wine and hors d'oeuvres will be served. As a fundraiser, a generous portion of each sale will be donated to the Center in Glastonbury. Tickets for the event are $30 per person.

Canosa has been juried in the Guilford CT Shoreline Arts Alliances Images contest as well as having several of his photos published in Animal Planet Magazine. Prat is a Fairfield based photographer and writer who grew up hiking in the White Mountains, skiing wherever anyone would let her, and sailing around Long Island Sound. Register online at www.ctaudubon.org/focus or call 860-633-8402.

The show and sale will continue during normal Center hours, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday through Dec. 28. Pictured is a photograph by Bill Canosa.

Holiday Reception

GLASTONBURY — The Historical Society of Glastonbury cordially invites residents of the town of Glastonbury and surrounding towns to its annual holiday reception to be held Sunday, Dec. 3, from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Museum on the Green, 1944 Main St.

Light refreshments will be served and the museum will be decorated for the season. All the decor throughout the museum is for sale and has been donated by members and friends of the Society. Those who attend the reception will get first pick of sale items.

The holiday reception initiates a week-long fundraiser to benefit the Society's education programs. The holiday sale will continue throughout the week of Dec. 4, during museum hours of Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and will end Saturday, Dec. 9, from 2 to 6 p.m.

Decor for sale include new and vintage ornaments including Christopher Radko European hand blown ornaments and other collectible pieces, prints, wreaths, tabletop and centerpiece decor, sleighs, elves, snowmen, Santas and many other festive decorations for other holidays throughout the year. Phone 860-633-6890 or visit www.hsgct.org for events and more information.

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 saintlukesglastonbury@gmail.com or 860-633-7175.

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.

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 cubscouts@pack241.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.

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