VERNON — Strong Family Farm, 274 West St., will host its fifth annual scarecrow contest this October and is looking for entries. Each of the farm's fence posts on West Street and Peterson Road in Vernon Center will be assigned to contestants.
There will be five categories: Family, youth group, adult group, business, and traditional. Set up will be from Sept. 23 through Oct. 2. Winners will be announced at the harvest festival on Oct. 21.
Special business entries are being taken this year. A suggested donation to the farm of $50 will go towards a rail with your name on it. Businesses will be assigned a prime post on West Street.
Letter: Thank you, Ellington
To the Editor: On March 22, my life as I knew it, changed overnight. I had a horrible tooth infection and finally ended up in the emergency room. Less than 24 hours later I was undergoing chemotherapy for Acute Myeloid Leukemia, a form of blood cancer! It all happened so fast that it didn't hit me that I, a healthy, active, thirty-four-year-old, mother of two young children, had a blood cancer. It wasn't until I was about to go back into the hospital for the second round of chemo because the first one wasn't effective, that I realized how scared I really was!
Not only did I have Leukemia but I had a strain that was known to be resistant to chemotherapy. Friends and family came out of the woodwork! The website that my husband and sister set up to keep everyone informed quickly had over 200 members. Neighbors were making dinners for my husband and kids and I was greeted daily with multiple cards and get well gifts. My name was added to prayer lists all over the United States. The Ellington Girl Scouts, MOMS Club of Ellington and Center School PTO held multiple fundraisers for my family and I.
I ended up going through two rounds of chemotherapy and unfortunately it didn't put me into remission. Finally, some good news came when my sister was a perfect match for a bone marrow transplant, which was my only option left! On June 16th, I once again entered the hospital to start the conditioning chemotherapy for the transplant. One of the worst parts of undergoing the chemo sessions was that I was away from my kids and home for over 30 days each time. I have also never been poked and prodded so much that I felt like a human pin cushion.
A few positive things came out of this horrific experience. I now have a newfound love of life and my friends and family. I also started to craft again. I found it to be a great distraction from all the stress of being ill. One night as I was lying all alone in my hospital bed, I had a great idea. I could sell my hair bows and headbands and a percentage of the sales could go towards supporting the Leukemia and Lymphoma society. This is how Kearcher Creations for A Cure came about. I make and sell hair bows and headbands, personalized party banners, gift bags, and party centerpieces. I love spreading cheer and helping a cause so near and dear to me.
After receiving a transplant, for an entire year, you are not allowed to be around crowds of people since my immune system has been wiped out. It can be a very lonely and isolating experience but crafting helps my mind stay busy and keeps me in a positive mood. To see a display of my work or to place an order, please visit www.kearchercreationsforacure.com.
Tracy Kearcher, Ellington
VERNON — The Vernon Historical Society is offering two programs on Vernon Center's early history.
At 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 17, researcher Jon Roe will present an illustrated lecture on Meetinghouse Hill, a section of farmland along Route 30 which contains the path that led up to the site of the first church in Vernon. Roe will discuss the history and importance of the first meeting house, later uses of the property, and future plans to preserve this land as open space for passive recreation.
At 1 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 24, a three-part walking tour of Vernon Center will showcase three historic areas. The rain date is Oct. 8. Roe will lead a walk up Meetinghouse Hill, following the path taken by worshippers to the first church on the hill. At the top of the hill, visitors can experience the spectacular view looking toward Hartford. Participants can then walk to nearby Elmwood Cemetery for a tour led by Museum Director Jean Luddy. In this rural style cemetery, Luddy will tell stories of local people buried there. She will also show examples of gravestone symbolism and discuss cemeteries as a place to understand social history through the years.
The walking tour will conclude at Vernon Congregational Church, where church historian Lynn Sweet will present a history of this church building which was built in 1826 to replace the aging meeting house. Sweet will use documents, artifacts and photographs in her talk and will discuss significant events in church history, including the devastating 1965 fire. Those who attend Roe's lecture on Sept. 17 will have the first opportunity to sign up to join the walking tour. Space will be limited to 40 people. Interested people can contact the Society after the program to see if space is still available. The Meetinghouse Hill lecture will take place at the Vernon Historical Society's building at 734 Hartford Turnpike, following a short business meeting. The program is free and open to the public. Donations are gratefully accepted. For further information, email firstname.lastname@example.org, visit www.vernonhistoricalsoc.org or call the Vernon Historical Society at 860-875-4326.
VERNON — The First Congregational Church of Vernon will be holding its annual shred event from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Sept. 16, at 695 Hartford Turnpike.
A book sale, bake sale and mum sale will also take place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Individuals or businesses with a need for document shredding may bring their documents and watch them be securely destroyed for $10 a box, the size of a case of paper. For questions or information, call 860-872-2690.
Vernon Garden Club
VERNON — The Vernon Garden Club is looking for new members and welcomes interested gardeners, from novice to experienced. The first meeting will take place at 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 18, at the First Congregational Church of Vernon, 695 Hartford Turnpike.
The September program theme will be "Gifts from the Garden." Items from members will be auctioned off during the meeting. Refreshments and a business meeting will follow. Guests and potential new members are welcome to stay through the whole evening. For more information call, 860-926-4332.
Hall Memorial Library Events
ELLINGTON — Hall Memorial Library, 93 Main St., is hosting the following events in September. A terrarium building workshop will take place at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 5. Participants will select a container and create a miniature garden to take home. Stones, moss, tiny plants and other treasures will also be provided. There will be a $5 per person non-refundable materials fee, payable within seven days of your registration. Sign up early as class size is limited.
The live music coffeehouse returns to the library on Friday, Sept. 15, with Junkyard Heartstrings, who have been rescheduled from a previous date. This musical duo consists of married couple Heidi and Jason Sheldon, performing songs from the '60s to the present in a variety of genres. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. and light refreshments will be available thanks to Ellington Subway restaurant.
At 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 19, Patrick Soucy will deliver a talk titled 'All About Antiques.' Soucy, owner of Golden Gavel Auctions, sold his first antique at age 13. He will teach how to discern whether those family heirlooms are worth keeping. Bring an item or two with you and if time allows, he will do a quick appraisal.
Historical entertainer Patricia Perry will portray Dolley Madison, wife of fourth U.S. President James Madison, on Thursday, Sept. 28, at 7 p.m.
September movies are "Silence," "Dean," "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" and "Queen of the Desert." Visit the website for time and date information.
With the exception of the terrarium workshop, the programs listed above are free but pre-registration at www.library.ellington-ct.gov or 860-870-3160 is required.
Meet Your Community Organizations Day
ELLINGTON — Meet Your Community Organizations Day will be held at the Ellington Farmers' Market on Saturday Sept. 2, from 9 a.m. to noon in Arbor Park on Main Street. Local organizations and clubs will be on hand with information concerning their missions and membership opportunities. Non-profit local groups or clubs are invited to attend to share information about their organization with the community. Meet the people and groups who enhance our community and discover the opportunities they offer. Contact email@example.com for additional information.
Friends Of Library Meeting
VERNON — The Friends of Rockville Public Library will start their new season and plan activities on Thursday, Sept. 7, at noon in the library, 52 Union St. The Friends meet the first Thursday of every month, except for June through August. Everyone is welcome to attend.
Friends would also like to remind residents that museum passes can now be obtained at RockvillePubliclibrary.org
Boating Safety Class
VERNON — A boating safety class offered by the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary will take place at Rockville High School, 70 Loveland Hill Road, starting Tuesday, Sept. 26, through Oct. 31. All classes begin at 6:30 p.m. and end at 9 p.m.
Earn your Connecticut Safe Boating Certificate and become a better recreational boater. Through six Tuesday classes, this beginner boating course will give you the knowledge needed to obtain a Certificate of Personal Watercraft Operation (CPWO) from the State of Connecticut. Many boat insurance companies will offer discounts on boating insurance to boaters who successfully complete About Boating Safely. The CPWO allows a person, (age requirements) to operate a personal water craft or a recreational vessel up to 65 feet in length.
The cost is o$45 and you can register on-line at the Vernon Regional Adult Based Education web site https://www.vrabe.com/CourseCatalog/catalogView.asp?id=30 or by calling 860-870-6060 for more information.
Register by Monday, Sept. 18. Payment is required prior to the start of the first class. For additional information, call instructor David Marriott at 860-430-2986.
The USCG Auxiliary will issue a Certification of Completion to each person who successfully completes the class. This Auxiliary Certificate can be used to obtain your State of Connecticut Boating Certificate; there is a $50 state charge to obtain this state certificate. Connecticut requires the student complete an approved class and pass the test with a minimum grade of 80-percent.
TOLLAND — The Town of Tolland will hold its annual community festival, Celebrate Tolland, on Saturday, Sept. 16, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the Tolland Recreation Center field at 104 Old Post Road.
The festival will feature food from local restaurants, musical entertainment, a kids' fun zone and informational booths featuring town departments, local non-profit and community groups and local businesses and vendors.
After town funds were eliminated, local businesses and residents made donations to make sure the event could be held. With a $1,000 donation, Headliners Hair Salon & Day Spa is the title sponsor of the event. Other donors were Wildflowers of Tolland, American Creamery, Kate and Tom Farrish, Tolland Family Dentistry, the Jones family, the Tolland Lions Club, Dunkin' Donuts of Tolland and United Site Services.
Entertainment will include bounce houses and a photo booth, Big Daddy's Racing, a Zumba demonstration by Marisa Paradis and her students from 11:15 to 11:45 a.m., a performance by the Malarky Jazz Quartet from noon to 1 p.m. and a performance by the Town and Country Duo from 1:30 to 3 p.m.
Food will be available for purchase at modest prices from American Creamery, The Country Butcher, Monet's Table and the Tolland Lions Club. The event is free. Parking is also free and will be available at the Recreation Center, behind the Hicks Municipal Building at 21 Tolland Green, at Tolland Intermediate School and across from the school and at the United Congregational Church of Tolland.
There is still time for community groups and local vendors to apply for a booth by Sept. 8 by emailing Recreation Director Bruce Watt at firstname.lastname@example.org, filling out an application at tolland.org/recreation or calling 860-871-3610. Booths are 10-feet by 10-feet and are given out on a first-come, first-served basis. The Celebrate Tolland Committee reserves the right to deny a vendor based on the appropriateness of products or duplication of vendors.
Any food giveaways are subject to inspection by the Eastern Highlands Health District and vendors must obtain a permit from the Health Department by calling 860-429-3325 to operate at the event. Vendors are responsible for bringing their own canopies, tables and tablecloths. There is no rain date planned.
Ellington Singers Seeking New Members
ELLINGTON — The Ellington Singers are looking for some new voices. Practice takes place at 10 a.m. Wednesdays, beginning Sept. 6 at the Ellington Senior Center, 40 Maple St.
Members must be over the age of 55. No audition is necessary. Call the Ellington Senior Center at 860-870-3133 for more information.
Stickney Hill Hike
ROCKVILLE — At noon Saturday, Sept. 9, the public is invited for a free hike at Stickney Hill, a 15.9-acre open-space property in Rockville, owned by the Manchester Land Conservation Trust.
Meet at the eastern end of Pleasant Street (at the dead end). Park along the street. Land Trust board members will lead the walk, over steep terrain, to the high point. The event is free, and will be held rain or shine, but extreme weather cancels. The hike is moderately paced with a steep hill and bumpy ground and is under a mile total, with pauses to learn about the history of the area. Local historian Jon Roe said the area was inherited by businessman John Stickney in the mid-nineteenth century. Stickney owned the mill for which nearby Paper Mill Pond is named and built a house nearby. His daughter, Caroline Alathea Stickney Creevey, 1843-1920, wrote several popular books on botany, as well as "A Daughter of the Puritans," an autobiography about her childhood in the area of Stickney Hill. The book is available online through Google books.
Library's Friends Plan Events
VERNON — The Friends of Rockville Public Library will start their new season and plan activities on Thursday, Sept. 7, at noon in the library, 52 Union St.
The Friends meet the first Thursday of every month except for June through August. Everyone is welcome to attend and a reminder to take advantage of museum passes, which can now be obtained online at RockvillePubliclibrary.org
COVENTRY — Creative Living Community of Connecticut presents its first annual fundraising golf event. The outing will take place at 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 16, at Twin Hills Country Club, 199 Bread and Milk St. It is a shotgun scramble format with first, second and third place prizes, drawings and contests. Lunch and dinner is included.
Cost to attend is $115 per person and $460 for a foursome. Title $250 and Tee $100 Sponsors are welcome. For event information, contact John Feeney at email@example.com or 860-878-9514 or. Visit http://creativelivingcommunityofct.org/category/events to purchase tickets.
CLCC operates a greenhouse program at the Tolland County Agriculture Center in Vernon. The Greenhouse provides a vocational training experience at no cost to adults with autism and other intellectual and developmental disabilities.
VERNON — The Rockville Public Library, 52 Union St., is hosting the following events. After a brief summer break, Book Discussions will resume starting on Tuesday, Sept. 12, at 2 p.m. The book to be discussed is "Caleb's Crossing," by Geraldine Brooks.
A program on essential oils will take place at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 14, with Nancy Alder, an essential oil educator who has been using essential oils for over 30 years.
To sign up for these and other events, visit rockvillepubliclibrary.org and click on "Events", or call 860-875-5892, ext. 100.
VERNON — Paint your personal vision of Vincent Van Gogh's sunflowers with artist Anna Harding, who will guide guests step-by-step. The event will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 31, at Arts Center East, 709 Hartford Turnpike.
Cost to attend is $35 and includes paints, canvas, brushes and refreshments. Visit artscentereast.org to register or call 860-871-8222 for more information.
Fire Dept. Seeking Former Members
VERNON — The Town of Vernon Fire Department is seeking retired and prior members from fire and EMS divisions to participate in a Recognition Walkway that will soon be constructed at the Public Safety Building on West Road.
They are hoping to connect with members that served prior to consolidation as well as those who have since left the department. Anyone who would like to purchase a personalized brick may contact Jean Gauthier at 860-871-7468, option 2, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Orders for the first phase of the project are being taken until mid-August.
Historical Society Memorabilia
VERNON — Come to the Rockville Public Library, 52 Union St., and enjoy a trip down memory lane. In the library's main reading room, the Vernon Historical Society is displaying its collection of memorabilia from popular businesses, eateries and gathering places that served and entertained generations of people who lived, worked and played in the Rockville/Vernon community.
The Vernon Historical Society exhibit includes artifacts donated to the society from community members who want to preserve their memories of life in this town. For more information, call the Rockville Public Library at 860-875-5892, ext. 100.
Tolland Recycling Collection Changes
TOLLAND — The Town of Tolland is switching to every other week recycling collection services.
As of Friday, July 28, Tolland households began receiving a new 95 gallon blue recycling cart in order to hold enough recyclables for every other week collection services. Currently, most households have a 65 gallon blue recycling cart (some have 32 or 95). The new 95 gallon cart is similar in size to your green trash cart.
Options: You may keep your current sized gallon blue recycling cart and new 95 gallon blue recycling cart and can place both containers out for collection every other week. If you choose to keep both carts, you do not need to do anything.
If you feel your current sized gallon blue recycling cart is adequate to hold your recyclables for two weeks and do not want to receive a larger one, call or email Willimantic Waste atTollandinfo@williwaste.com or 1-800-286-5335.
If you wish to keep your new 95 gallon blue recycling cart and not keep your current sized gallon blue recycling cart, you will need to make arrangements to have the container picked up, call or email Willimantic Waste at Tollandinfo@williwaste.com or 1-800-286-5335.
Grief Support Group
VERNON — An ongoing grief support group is being held at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesdays at the First Congregational Church, 695 Hartford Turnpike. Anyone who has lost a loved one is welcome. Anyone with questions may call 860-875-7580.
MS Support Group
VERNON — The Vernon MS Support Group meets at the Trinity Lutheran Church, 20 Meadowlark Road, from 6 to 8 p.m., on the second Friday of each month. For more information contact Patty at 860-874-3220.
Hall Memorial Library
ELLINGTON — The Hall Memorial Library, 93 Main St., will hold the following programs:
Babies & Books: Mondays 10:15 to 11:15 a.m., for babies 9 months to 2 ½ years old, with an adult.
Story Hour: Fridays 10:15 to 10:45 a.m. and Tuesdays 10:15 to 11 a.m. for children who are already 2 ½ years of age, with an adult.
Register at library.ellington-ct.gov or call the library at 860-870-3160 for details.
St. James School Accepting Applications
MANCHESTER — St. James School in Manchester is currently accepting new student applications for its pre-K, elementary school and middle school 2017-18 school year.
St. James School accepts students of all religious faiths and from all towns in the surrounding area. Tuition assistance is available to qualifying families.
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. For more information or to join, contact Al at email@example.com or call/text 860-205-1688.
HARTFORD — Operation Fuel's statewide network of fuel banks started taking energy assistance applications on Wednesday, July 5, from households that are in financial crisis and are in danger of having their utility services terminated.
Individuals who need energy assistance should call 211. The annual winter moratorium, which prevents households from having their electricity and gas shut off, ended on May 1 and will not resume until November 1, 2017.
Energy affordability is a year-round problem for more than 322,000 Connecticut households. Operation Fuel is Connecticut's only statewide nonprofit energy assistance program. For the fiscal year, which ends June 30, Operation Fuel has provided over $3.3 million in energy assistance to more than 7,830 households. This includes $2.1 million in energy assistance for the 2017 winter program and $1.2 million in energy assistance last summer.
Now in its 40th year, Operation Fuel is a statewide nonprofit program that provides emergency energy assistance year-round to lower-income working families and individuals, the elderly, and disabled individuals who are in financial crisis.
For more information on Operation Fuel or to make a donation, go to www.operationfuel.org. Donations also can be sent to Operation Fuel, 75 Charter Oak Avenue, Suite 2-240, Hartford, CT, 06106.