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Community News For The Manchester Edition

Neighbor Of The Year

MANCHESTER — Manchester resident and KeyBank branch manager Rebecca Gentile was recently awarded with the bank's 2016 Neighbor of the Year Award at a ceremony in Cleveland, Ohio. Throughout her career with First Niagara, which merged with KeyBank in 2016, Gentile coordinated many employee volunteer efforts, acting as co-chair to the Employee Volunteer Council for three years. Gentile continues to immerse herself in the Manchester community, as she currently serves as an ambassador for the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, on the Board of Commissions for the Downtown Manchester Special Services District, the board for Manchester Soccer Club, and as an active member of Big Brother Big Sister.

Pictured here, from left to right, are KeyBank CEO Beth Mooney, Gentile and KeyBank Foundation CEO Margot Copeland.

Weaving Demonstration

MANCHESTER — The Manchester Historical Society and artists from the Hartford Artisans Weaving Center will present a demonstration of artisanal weaving at an open house, taking place from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, March 19, at the Cheney Homestead, 106 Hartford Road.

Guests will have an opportunity to try their hand at weaving on floor and tabletop looms and enjoy live music from a folk string band. A tour of the house will take place.

Donations are welcomed, for the upkeep of the Homestead. For more info, visit www.manchesterhistory.org.

Opioid And Heroin Addiction Talk

SOUTH WINDSOR — A community conversation on opioid and heroin addiction will take place from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 28, at the South Windsor Public Library, 1550 Sullivan Ave.

The featured guest speaker is John Lally, APRN, psychiatric nurse and president of Today I Matter, Inc, a nonprofit organization founded in the memory of his son, Timothy, who died from a heroin overdose in 2016.

Panelists include South Windsor Police Officer Kevin Geraci, Manchester Chief of Police Marc Montminy, a representative from Narcotics Anonymous, and Clinical Program Director at Community Health Resources Donna Camerota, LCSW.

For more info, contact Liz Langevin, Director of Youth & Family Services at 860-648-6361 or Kathy Reed, SW Youth & Family Services School Outreach Specialist at kathy.reed@southwindsor.org.

Candelight Service

MANCHESTER — A Celtic Vespers service will take place at 7 p.m. Sunday, March 12, at St. Mary's Episcopal Church, 41 Park St. The service will feature prayers and music inspired by the Celtic tradition of Ireland, Scotland, England, and Wales.

This candlelight service invites one to enter into a place of rest, prayer and reflection as we seek wholeness and peace. A reception with light refreshments will follow. For more information, call St. Mary's at 860-649-4583 or visit www.stmarysct.org.

Resume Writing Workshop

MANCHESTER — Manchester Community College Alumni Association will sponsor a resume writing workshop, open to MCC alumni in preparation for career advancements of all kinds. The event is free for all alumni who wish to attend.

The workshop will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, March 16, in room A142, first floor of the Raymond F. Damato Building, Learning Resource Center, 60 Bidwell St. Pre-registration is required to attend the workshop, but seats are limited. Call 860-512-2909 or email alumni@manchestercc.edu to reserve a seat.

Neighborhood Memory Café

TOLLAND — The Neighborhood Memory Café, an event to share stories and socialize with others who have worries about their memory, will take place from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, March 18, at Senior Moments Adult Day and Resource Center, 31 Kingsbury Ave., on the Vernon/Tolland line.

The event is geared toward people with early to moderate dementia and their care partners, as well as those who worry about memory problems. For additional information, contact 860-643-9500 or visit www.seniormomentsllc.com.

"The Music Man"

MANCHESTER — Stage East, the theatrical production company of East Catholic High School, will present The Music Man on Friday, March 10, at 115 New State Road.

The cast of 43 have all made considerable achievements in singing, dancing, and acting, and most are between the ages of 14 and 18, with special appearances by younger cast members. The principal cast features senior Nathan Bell, as Professor Harold Hill; sophomore Victoria Zacharski, as Marian Paroo; senior Elise Moreau, as Mrs. Paroo; freshman Nicholas Walsh, as Winthrop Paroo, seniors Will Palauskas and Audrey Pion as Mayor Shinn and his wife, Eulalie;; and Senior Ethan Denton, as Marcellus Washburn.

The production also includes a barbershop quartet composed of seniors Grant Evans, Kevin Insignares, and Gavin Dias, and junior Christian Winicki. This year's choreography will once again feature student-generated choreography from assistant choreographer and junior Victoria Leger.

Jennifer Moros directs Stage East's latest production, while still providing vocal music direction, along with a talented student orchestra under the direction of East Catholic instrumental music teacher David Brudz, original choreography by Alida Lamagna, a new addition to the Stage East team, production management by East Catholic religion teacher Patrick McLaughlin, costuming by East Catholic mathematics teacher Sarah Poirier, and scenic painting by members of East Catholic's chapter of the National Arts Honors Society, under the direction of student-artists Seniors Jillian Ferrigno and Jill Strandberg and Junior Clare Poirier.

Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for students and seniors, and $3 for students of East Catholic High School. All ticket purchases take place at the door. Show dates are Friday, March 10, and Saturday, March 11, at 7 p.m. The show's language and themes are family-appropriate, and all are invited to attend.

Basketball Game

MANCHESTER — Manchester Travel Basketball is proud to sponsor a basketball game between the Manchester Police Department and the Manchester Fire Department, taking place at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 16, at Clarke Arena in Manchester High School, 134 East Middle Turnpike.

Doors open at 6:15 p..m. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for seniors 60 and older. Children under six attend for free. Soda, water and snacks will be available for purchase. Giveaways will take place. For more info, visit www.manchestertravelbasketball.com.

Scrapbooking Session

MANCHESTER — The Whiton Branch Library, 100 North Main St., presents Scrap Happy, a scrapbooking session for adults, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday, March 16.

Guests may bring pictures, tickets, and other memorabilia to create pages. Registration is not required for this free program. Some paper crafting supplies will be available, but participants are encouraged to bring their own materials.

For more information, contact Ashley Spears at: 860-645-0821 or e-mail aspears@manchesterct.gov.

Alturas Duo Performs

MANCHESTER — The Friends of Music at Emanuel will present Alturas Duo with Gonzalo Cortes at 7 p.m. Saturday, March 11, at Emanuel Lutheran Church, 60 Church St. Guitarist Scott Hill and charango/viola player Carlos Boltes will be joined by flutist and Andean woodwind specialist Gonzalo Cortes for a program of Latin American music that includes the Brazilian composers, Sergio Assad and Raimundo Penaforte, Cuban composer, Leo Brouwer, Argentine Composer, Ariel, and folk music from Chile learned in the oral tradition.

There is no cost to attend, but donations are gratefully accepted. A reception will immediately follow the concert. For additional info, call 860-643-1193.

Library Events

MANCHESTER — The following events will take place at the Mary Cheney Library, 586 Main St.

The Manchester Public Library, 586 Main St., will show a science fiction thriller during Cheney Cinema Saturday at 2 p.m. Saturday, March 18. Due to license restrictions, since admission is free, the name of the movie cannot be released. Light refreshments will be served.

An Irish Fairy Grandmother's Magic Show will take place at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, March 11. An amazing magic teapot is the centerpiece of Magician Debbie O'Carroll's show. Full of enchanting magic, silly comedy and loads of audience participation, the Irish fairy grandmother delights children aged 3-7 with Irish fun, lore and laughter. Call 860-645-0577 for more information.

No registration is required. For more information, call 860-643-2471 or visit http://library.townofmanchester.org.

Join the discussion of "A Morbid Taste For Bones" by Ellis Peters at 7 p.m. Monday, March 6, in the Howroyd Room at the Mary Cheney Library, 586 Main St. Copies are available in the main Library's Reference Department and at the Whiton Branch.

The free program is open to the public and registration is not required. Light refreshments will be served. For further info, call Adult Services/Reference at 860-645-0821 or visit http://library.townofmanchester.org.

Author Jim O'Loughlin will visit Whiton Branch Auditorium, 100 N. Main St., at 7 p.m. Monday, March 20. A Manchester native, MHS alumnus (Class of 1984) and currently an associate professor in the Department of Languages and Literature at the University of Northern Iowa, O'Loughlin will read from his new collection of flash fiction, "Dean Dean Dean Dean."

Books will be available for sale and signing. Registration is not required for this free program. For more info, call Reference and Adult Services at 860-645-0821.

Poets And Writers

MANCHESTER — The Wit & Wisdom Poets and Writers Club in Manchester is looking for new and established poets and writers. Club meetings are held at the Arbors, 403 W. Center St., on the second Saturday of each month, between 1 and 3 p.m. For more information, contact Charles Gilbert at 860-647-7348 or email Debbie at wwpoetryclub@gmail.com

Pride In Manchester

MANCHESTER — Volunteers are needed to help plan Pride in Manchester, taking place the weekend of June 1 through 4. The weekend will include free activities, including Imagine Main Street arts and cultural festival, a dance for seniors, the Concert in the Park and Art in the Park.

Volunteers are needed to supplement the core group, many of whom have been working on this for the 20-plus years since its inception. A planning meeting is scheduled for Monday, Feb. 27, at 5:30 p.m. in the Manchester Room at Town Hall, 41 Center St.

For more information or to contact event planners, leave a message on the Pride in Manchester Facebook page.

Junior Achievement Day

MANCHESTER — The Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce is looking for 50 volunteers to assist with youth education. The volunteers will spend seventh and eighth grade students learn the importance of spending money within a budget; saving and investing wisely; and using credit cautiously, through fun games and activities.

GMCC JA Day will take place at 8 a.m. Friday, March 3, at Illing Middle School, 227 Middle Turnpike. Contact April to volunteer or to get more information at 860-646-2223 or april@manchesterchamber.com.

Train Show

MANCHESTER — A train show, sponsored by the Southern Chapter of New England Train Collectors Association, in conjunction with the Army Navy Club, will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, March 12, at the Army Navy Club, 1090 Main St. The show is open to the public. Admission is $5 per person and children under 12 are free when accompanied by an adult. For info, call 860-432-2124.

Lifeguard Training Courses

MANCHESTER — The Manchester Recreation Department will be offering an American Red Cross Lifeguard Training Course on Tuesday evenings, March 7 to May 30, from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Successful completion of the course will result in Lifeguard Certification that will allow one to work as a lifeguard this summer. Interested participants must be 15 years of age and pass certain swimming requirements to attend the course. Attendance at each class is mandatory.

The cost of the class is $170 for Manchester residents and $210 for non- residents. Registration is underway. Call 860-647-3164 or visit http://reconline.townofmanchester.org to register.

Water Safety Instructor Course

MANCHESTER — The Manchester Recreation Department will be offering an American Red Cross water safety instructor course on 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Thursdays, from March 9 through June 1. Successful completion of the course will result in a certification that will allow one to teach swimming lessons this summer.

Interested participants must be 16 years of age and pass certain swimming requirements to attend the course. Attendance at each class is mandatory. The cost of the class is $290 for Manchester residents and $350 for non- residents. Registration is underway. Call 860-647-3164 or visit reconline.townofmanchester.org.

MCC Library Goes Live

MANCHESTER — As part of the Integrated Library Project, the Raymond F. Damato Library at Manchester Community College has gone live with a comprehensive online search tool that will find and deliver materials stored not just at MCC but also at the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities (CSCU) libraries and the Hartford-based Connecticut State Library.

Any state resident of high school age or older with valid ID is welcome to register as a borrower at MCC's Library. To use the new search tool, visit www.manchestercc.edu/library and enter keywords.

Mental Illness Support Group

MANCHESTER — The National Alliance for Mental Illness support group meets on the third Thursday of every month at the Center Congregational Church, 11 Center St. The meeting is open to all families and friends of people with mental illness and focuses on sharing experiences and information. All information is held confidential. For more information, contact Sarah at 860-875-5238.

Adult Coloring Book Club

BOLTON — An adult coloring book club is held at the Bentley Memorial Library, 206 Bolton Center Road, Wednesdays from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Call the library at 860-646-7349 or email bentley@biblio.org for more information.

Programs At Beth Sholom B'nai Israel

MANCHESTER — Beth Sholom B'nai Israel, 400 Middle Turnpike East, will hold the following Shabbat programs:

BSBI Academy, a collection of four week mini courses, is held Tuesday nights 7:30 to 8:30 p.m., with Rabbi Konigsburg:

The Way to the Jewish Mystical Tradition: What the Jewish Mystics teach us about God, who we are, and the meaning of life. March 14-April 4.

Visit www.myshul.org for details.

Youth Mini Grant Program

MANCHESTER — The Manchester Youth Commission is requesting proposals for mini grants. Applications for the Manchester Youth Commission Mini Grant Program are available at townofmanchester.org. Contact Heather at 860-647-5215, or heatherw@manchesterct.gov for details.

Hoopla Digital Content Available

MANCHESTER — Manchester Public Library card holders can download the free Hoopla digital mobile app on their Android or iOS device or visit hoopladigital.com to begin enjoying thousands of titles. Once registered patrons can borrow up to 10 items each month and Hoopla digital's automatic return feature eliminates late fees. Hoopla allows multiple simultaneous downloads so there is no wait to borrow. Titles are available for instant streaming or temporary downloading. To learn more about this exciting new offering click on the "Online Databases" link at library.townofmanchester.org

MS Support Group

MANCHESTER — The Manchester MS Support Group meets at the Presbyterian Church, 394 Lydall St., at 10 a.m. on the first Monday of each month. Contact Nancy at 860-742-5155 or Karen at 860-746-4247. Visit ctfightsMS.org or call 800-FIGHT MS.

Free Income Tax Help

AREA — Beginning now through April 18, VITA's IRS-certified financial volunteers will again help eligible taxpayers prepare and electronically file their state and federal income tax forms at no charge. Refunds are available in seven to 10 days.

Free, in-person help is available by appointment to individuals and families with household incomes up to $54,000 at VITA sites in Hartford, Enfield, Manchester, New Britain, Vernon, West Hartford, Windsor Locks, and the Windham region.

To schedule an appointment with a VITA tax assistance volunteer, dial 2-1-1 and press '3' or visit www.211ct.org. For a list of VITA tax assistance sites, visit www.thevillage.org/2017VITAsites.

Energy Assistance Applications

HARTFORD — Operation Fuel's statewide winter energy assistance program has begun taking applications. Families and individuals who are struggling financially and need energy assistance should call 211 to find their closest fuel bank. For more information on Operation Fuel or to make a donation, go to operationfuel.org. Donations also can be sent to Operation Fuel, 75 Charter Oak Ave., Suite 2-240, Hartford, CT 06106.

Race For College Scholarships

STATEWIDE — The Connecticut Cycling Advancement Program recently launched the Dr. Marc Eisen Scholarship Award, a statewide indoor cycling competition for high school students that will award the male and female champion a scholarship to college.

The CCAP will be traveling to schools around Connecticut and host indoor school cycling events on stationary trainers. To earn a chance to win the Dr. Marc Eisen Scholarship Award, check with your cycling club to learn the time the CCAP will be holding races in your school. The championship event will take place in May 2017 at Rentschler Field in East Hartford.

The fastest male and female high school student from each indoor school cycling competition throughout the season will earn a spot in the season championship finals at the end of the school year.

The season championship finals will bring together all of the fastest riders from around the state. The male and female winners that record the fastest time that day will be awarded a $500 scholarship for college.

The winner's school club will also receive a separate $125 award to encourage continued success of the club. All students are eligible for a $250 leadership award, including students who do not reach the season finals. All finalists must submit a one-page essay prior to the season championship finals event describing their participation in their CCAP school club. Essays must describe the student's regular season participation in club practices and race events, demonstrate a commitment to team success and illustrate an impact cycling has made on the student.

For more information, visit CTCyclingadvancement.org.

Softball Umpires Sought

STATEWIDE — The North Central Connecticut Board of Softball Umpires is seeking new members for the 2017 season. Our board provides services to schools, youth and adult recreational leagues in the greater Hartford area. No experience necessary, training is provided and classes begin in mid-January. For more information or to join, contact Al at prez798@aol.com or call/text 860-205-1688.

Scholarships Available

STATEWIDE — The Wethersfield-based Connecticut Funeral Directors Association is accepting applications from across the state for its 2017 college "Family Support Services Scholarship" program.

The CFDA scholarship awards support graduating high school seniors who are pursuing careers in a profession that provides emotional or medical support for families. This includes fields such as counseling, social services, psychology, psychiatry, nursing, medicine, social work, gerontology, or funeral service. A total of eight $500 college scholarships will be presented, one to a student in each of the state's eight counties.

To be eligible for the Connecticut Funeral Directors Association's Family Support Services Scholarship program, candidates must be a high school senior who will graduate in June 2017, be a legal resident of the State of Connecticut, be pursuing a career that provides emotional, medical or physical support for families, and have maintained at least a B grade point average in the 10th, 11th and 12th grades.

All candidates must submit the application form and a current high school transcript and essay responding to the question: Why did you decide to pursue a profession that supports families? The application form must be neat and legible, and filled out completely.

The deadline for applications for the Connecticut Funeral Directors Association's Family Support Services Scholarship program is Friday, April 14.

To download an application and get contest rules, go to www.CTFDA.org. Anyone with questions may call the Connecticut Funeral Directors Association at 860-721-0234 or 800-919-2332.

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