Community News For The Vernon Edition

Halloween Pet Parade

ELLINGTON — The Halloween Pet Parade will be held at the final outdoor Ellington Farmers' Market on Saturday, Oct. 21, at 10:30 a.m., in Arbor Park on Main Street. Bring your pets dressed in their Halloween finery and join the parade. Any kind of pet is welcome to enter. A panel of judges will be on hand to narrow the field down to the top three entries.

Market customers will then vote via applause on first, second and third place. Gift certificates to the market will be awarded to the winners and treats will be given to all dogs entering the contest.

Birds Of Prey Presentation

ELLINGTON — The Ellington Farmers' Market is hosting a Birds of Prey program presented by Horizon Wings Raptor Rehabilitation and Education Center at 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 14, in the gazebo at Arbor Park on Main Street.

The presentation features a bald eagle, owls and other birds of prey. Learn what features all raptors have in common and their individual stories as well as the characteristics and behaviors of each species. Bring a chair to watch the program and view these magnificent creatures up close.

Friends Of Bolton Lakes Meeting

VERNON — On Thursday, Oct. 19, at 6:30 p.m., the Friends of Bolton Lakes will hold its annual business meeting, followed immediately by the annual forum at Camp Newhoca, 186 Grier Road.

Status and issues affecting the Bolton lakes, which are located in the towns of Bolton, Vernon, Coventry and Tolland, will be discussed. The featured speaker is Dr. Robert M. Thorson, a professor of geology at the University of Connecticut, a columnist for the Hartford Courant, and an expert on the origin of the New England landscape. He is also a devotee of American lakes and rivers.

During his talk "Bolton Lakes in Context," he will share his thoughts about the origin of the Bolton Lakes and the larger contexts of managing this resource for the future. Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions and participate in discussions.The Friends of Bolton Lakes is an organization dedicated to protecting the watershed of the Bolton Lakes. Email FriendsofBoltonLakes@comcast.net with questions.

Northern CT Land Trust Protects 80-Acre Property

STAFFORD — The NCLT has acquired 80 acres of upland forest near Roaring Brook in Stafford. The property abuts the Nipmuck State Forest and connects through the forest to the NCLT protected White Farm. The NCLT plans to name the new property Nipmuck Woods.

Nipmuck Woods was purchased from the Stafford Fish & Game Club for $203,395. Funds were provided by the CT Department of Energy & Environmental Protection, the Cox Family Fund at the Boston Foundation, The Bafflin Foundation, the Fields Pond Foundation, and friends of the NCLT.

The NCLT plans to develop the old logging roads on the property into a network of trails that connect to the Nipmuck State Forest. When the trails have been completed and marked, the property will be open to the public for passive recreation. A map of the planned trail system is attached.

The Northern CT Land Trust is an all volunteer organization serving the public in the towns of Enfield, Somers, Stafford, East Windsor, Ellington, Vernon and Tolland. Visit northernctlandtrust.org for more information.

Bears In CT Talk

VERNON — On Monday, Oct. 16, the Vernon Garden Club will host Paul Colburn speaking on "Bears in Connecticut." The program will begin at 7 p.m. at the First Congregational Church of Vernon, 695 Hartford Turnpike.

Colburn will speak on the natural history of black bears in Connecticut, an overview of the black bear habitat, diet, behavior, reproduction, current research efforts and practical recommendations for optimum coexistence with the black bear population. Black bear artifacts will be shared with the audience. There is handicap parking on both sides of the church. Refreshments and a business meeting will follow. Guests are welcome. For more information, call 860-926-4332.

Arts Center East Events

VERNON — Arts Center East, 709 Hartford Turnpike, is hosting the following events. Visit artscentereast.org to register or call 860-871-8222 for more information

Adult Classes offered are Zentangle, pastel painting, a writing workshop, painting with acrylics and watercolors.

Call for Crafters: The Holiday Arts and Crafts Festival and Sale will take place Dec. 7 through 10 and Dec. 14 through 17. Sale hours are 1 to 5 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Sunday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Eligible merchandise includes soap, jewelry, candles, textiles, stationery, ceramics, wood, and other craft items. All items must be hand-made. No paintings.

There is no table fee and vendors need not be present during the sale. Vendor commission: 70-percent. Sales tax will be added by Arts Center East. Visit www.artscentereast.org for more information or an application.

Exhibits: Renaissance in Pastel 2017, 24th Annual National Juried Exhibit; Exhibit Dates: Oct. 4 – Nov. 4; Gallery Tour/Demo: Oct. 21, 1 to 3 p.m.; Reception: Oct. 21, 3 to 5 p.m.

Gallery Listing: Pamela Flynn, Out of Context; Exhibit Dates: Oct. 8 – Nov. 4; Reception: Oct. 21 from 1 to 4 p.m.

Fall Kick-Off: Music by Walt Gwardyak, renowned jazz pianist, hors d'oeuvres and sweet treats offered; Thursday, Oct. 19, 6 to 7:30 p.m. The event is free; donations are appreciated. RSVP to Arts Center East by Oct. 16 at info@artscentereast.org or 860-871-8222.

Zentangle Night: Enjoy a relaxing night out with Zentangle – a meditative drawing technique. The class will be guided by Elizabeth Krall a certified Zentangle instructor. October's theme is Jewel of the Tile. No experience necessary. Date: Oct. 19, from 7 to 9 p.m. The fee is $35 and includes materials

October Paint Night: Artist Anna Harding will guide you step-by-step as you create an intriguing painting of a moonlit tree. No experience necessary. Date: Thursday, Oct. 26, 7 to 9 p.m. Fee: $35, includes paints, canvas, brushes and refreshments.

Monthly Book Club Meeting: "A Man Called Ove" by Frederik Backman; Joan Shapiro will lead the discussion. Wednesday Oct. 25, at 1:30 p.m. Cost: ACE Members, free; Non-members: $5 suggested donation.

Classes: Nanowrimo Workshop, November is National Novel Writing Month and the perfect time to jump-start your novel, memoir, essay, or short story. This four-hour workshop will focus on elements of the writing craft. Instructor-led discussions and guided writing prompts will help you unleash your creativity and free up writer's block. This is a great opportunity to hone your writing skills and meet fellow writers.

Instructor: C. Flanagan Flynn is Managing Editor of Brain,Child and Brain, Teen magazines. She holds an M.A.L.S. from Wesleyan University and has edited the work of essayists, memoirists, poets, short story writers, and novelists for nearly two decades. Date: Wednesday, Nov. 1, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Fee: $50. Make checks payable to Arts Center East or pay online at artscentereast.org. There is a 10-percent discount for members. Register early as there is a class minimum of five students and a maximum of 12.

Writing Workshop: Write something new or dust off your memoir, novel, essays, or short stories in this workshop. Through in-class prompts and discussions, you'll learn to effectively use sensory details, create compelling characters and hone your voice as a writer. We will also explore the many paths to publishing. Instructor: C. Flanagan Flynn, Managing Editor of Brain, Child and Brain, Teen magazines holds a M.A.L.S. from Wesleyan University. She has edited the work of essayists, memoirists, poets, short story writers, and novelists for nearly two decades. Dates: Wednesdays, Nov. 8 through Dec. 20 (No Class Nov. 22) (Six classes); Time: 10 a.m. to noon. Fee: $125. Make checks payable to Arts Center East or pay online at artscentereast.org; there is a 10-percent discount for ACE members.

Scrabble Challenge Fundraiser

VERNON —The Rockville Public Library is seeking teams for the 3rd Annual Scrabble® Challenge fundraiser, to be held on Saturday, Oct. 28, from 6:30 to 9 p.m. The proceeds will fund library programs to promote lifelong learning in Vernon.

The fundraiser will be held in the historic Reading Room at the Library, 52 Union St. The fee, which includes the buffet, is $120 per team or $30 per individual. Players can sign up as a team or as individuals, and be matched with a team if desired. For extra luck, players may buy a peek at a word list, get help from an expert, or purchase a blank tile. All registrations with payment are due by Oct. 14. The event is limited to the first 20 teams to sign up.

Trophies and prizes will be awarded to the top three teams as well as a special prize for the contestant with the highest scoring word. RPL welcomes sponsors or corporate teams to participate in this year's challenge.

For complete details and registration forms, visit www.rockvillepubliclibrary.org or call Sharon Redfern, Head of Fund Development at 860-875-5892, ext. 113. Visit http://weblink.donorperfect.com/2017ScrabbleChallenge to register.

Talcottville History, Geology And Fall Foliage Walk

VERNON — The public is invited to a free walk at 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 14, beginning in the historic Talcottville section of Vernon. Meet in the parking lot at the Talcottville Congregational Church, 10 Elm Hill Road, for a three-mile hike to see the Talcott Ravine, Hop River Rail Trail, historic bridges and buildings, the sites of former mills and fall foliage.

Speakers include geologist Dr. Gary Robbins from the University of Connecticut; Gail Faherty, director of the Northern CT Land Trust; Jon Roe, historian and webmaster of the Tankerhoosen/ Talcottville web sites; and Susan Barlow of the Manchester Land Conservation Trust. Some of the terrain is steep and bumpy, so please wear sturdy sneakers or shoes. This moderately paced two-hour walk will teach hikers about earlier times in the Talcottville area. The hike will be held rain or shine, but extreme weather cancels. No dogs, please. Visit www.tankerhoosen.info for a preview of the hikes.

The Opening Knight Players Present: Student Written One Acts

ELLINGTON — The Opening Knight Players Drama Club at Ellington High School will present five original plays written by students at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 13, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 15, at the Gordon C. Getchell Auditorium, 37 Maple St.

Tickets are $8 for adults and $6 for students and senior citizens. Visit www.openingknightplayers.com to purchase tickets. Tickets can also be purchased at the door.

The five plays being presented this year include the club's first original musical called, ABC, written by Grace Palmer. Other plays include After Armageddon, written by Gillian Sanville that explores what life's like after a nuclear apocalypse. Junior Spencer Leach explores a string of mysterious murders set in the 1930s called 2 while Aadhya Lal, also a junior, depicts the challenges of a girl who slowly finds herself becoming invisible in The Invisible Girl. Finally, Julia Dubosz takes her audience into the world of a spunky third grader in Crayons.

Rockville Children's Library

VERNON — The children's department of Rockville Public Library, 52 Union St., has scheduled these programs for the month of October 2017. Register on the library's website: rockvillepubliclibrary.org or call the library at 860-875-5892, ext. 150, to sign up.

Storytime for Children; ages 2-4 on Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m. No pre-registration is required.

Halloween Craft workshop on Wednesday Oct. 18, at 4 p.m. Children will make a festive ghost windsock.

Movie Time; Hotel Transylvania, rated PG, will be shown.on Thursday, Oct. 19, at 4 p.m.

Puzzles & Games for children ages 3 and up, on Saturday, Oct. 21, at 10:30 a.m.

Chicken Biscuit Supper

VERNON — From 5 to 6:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 20, the First Congregational Church of Vernon, 695 Hartford Turnpike, will hold a chicken biscuit supper. The menu will feature chicken, salad, broccoli, dessert and a beverage. The cost is $12 per adult and $6 per child. For more info, call 860-875-7580.

Dining For A Cause

VERNON — The Ellington Women's Club is holding a fundraiser on Wednesday, Oct. 18 at Ninety Nine Restaurant, 295 Hartford Turnpike, from 5 to 10 p.m.

Present the "Dining for a Cause" voucher at this fundraiser and Ninety Nine Restaurant will donate 15-percent of your check to the Ellington Women's Club. Vouchers can be downloaded from Ellington Women's Club website at www.ellingtonwomensclub.com or from the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ Ellington-Womens-Club-223543307789871 or obtained from any club member.

Patrons may purchase tickets during this event for $5 each to enter into a random drawing to win $99 worth of Connecticut Instant Lottery Tickets. Email ellingtonwomensclub@gmail.com for additional information.

Read To The Dogs

ELLINGTON — Children ages 5 to 12 years have an opportunity to practice their reading skills by reading aloud to a very eager listener, who just happens to have four legs and a wagging tail. Healers with Halos, formerly Allen's Angels Therapy Dogs, will be at the Hall Memorial Library, 93 Main St., on the following dates: Oct. 21, Nov. 18, and Dec. 16. These therapy dogs are specially trained for this and other service events. Children are asked to choose a favorite story or perhaps, a chapter of a favorite book from home, to bring with them on these Saturday mornings between 10:30 and 11:30 a.m.

Online registration is recommended and is ongoing. To register, visit www.library.ellington-ct.gov and click on the library event calendar. Choose the date you are interested in then, click on the sign-up hand. Children will get 10 to 15 minutes to read to one of the dogs. Parents will be asked to wait in the children's area of the library during the program. This and all children's programs are free and open to the public. For more information, call the library at 860-870-3160.

Layette Mass

ROCKVILLE — The Layette Mass, sponsored by the Ladies of Saint Joseph Church, 33 West St., will take place at 7 p.m. Wednesday. Oct. 25, during the 7 p.m. mass. It is the conclusion mass for the nine week novena to St. Jude. Please bring an unwrapped baby gift and place it near the altar prior to mass. All donations will be given to the Hockanum Valley Community Council for needy mothers in the area. Call 860-871-1970 with questions.

Halloween Programs

TOLLAND — The following events will take place at the Tolland Public Library, 21 Tolland Green. Visit www.tolland.org/library for more information.

Pumpkin Decorating: For ages 3 and up. Saturday, Oct. 21, from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Sign-up is requested.

Trick-Or-Treat Preschool Storytimes: Halloween storytimes for ages 2 to 5, with stories and a quick craft

followed by a "Trick-or-Treat" parade in the library, will be offered on Wednesday, Oct. 25, from 10:15 to 11 a.m. and Thursday, Oct. 26, from 1:30 to 2:15 p.m. Children are welcome to come in costume. To sign up, contact vbrousseau@tolland.org or call 860-871-3620.

Family Spooky Tales Storytime: Ages five and up. 6:30 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 26. Mildly spooky but not too scary stories will be featured. No sign-up is required; children are welcome to come in costume.

MOMS Club Open House

TOLLAND — The MOMS Club of Tolland, Stafford and Union are holding an open house for potential new members at their annual Halloween party on Monday, Oct. 30, from 5 to 7 p.m. at Crandall Lodge, 120 Cider Mill Road. There is no cost to attend. Food, games, a trunk or treat and more will be offered.

Parks And Rec Activities

VERNON — Vernon Parks and Recreation is offering the following events.

Preschool Fitness: Get your little ones on their feet and ready to have some fun with Ms. Pat. This program is a for children ages 3 to 5 years old. Participants will play fun games with hula hoops, parachutes, sing songs, skip, jump and much more. This class will help your child develop motor, listening and social skills. Fridays; Oct. 13 through Nov. 3, 9:30 to 10:15 a.m., Vernon Teen Center Fitness Room. Fee: $35 for residents and $40 for non-residents.

Move n' Groove: Class designed as movement exploration for children ages 18 to 36 months to complete with their parent/guardian. The use of props, mats, and sing-along songs allows each parent/guardian to help their child develop motor and coordination skills in a fun, structured environment. This class is a perfect opportunity for the littlest ones to get in on the dance fun before they are old enough to join class on their own. Parent participation is required for this class. Thursdays; Oct. 5 through 26, 10:30 to 11:15 a.m. Vernon Teen Center Dance Room. Fee: $35.

Cross Country Challenge: The meet is open to all students in Vernon elementary schools in grades K-5. Experience with running is not necessary. The event stresses participation and fun. All participants will be acknowledged for their efforts. Pre-registration is required, participation is free. Mon. Oct. 23, RHS Track; K-1 at 5:30 p.m. (1x around the track); Grades 2-3, 6 p.m. (2x around the track); Grades 4-5, 6:30 p.m. (3x around the track).

Zumba: Mondays & Wednesdays, 7 to 8 p.m., Center 375 Gym, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Vernon Teen Center Dance Room, Drop-in rate: $8 per class.

Halloween Boo Bash: Come and enjoy an afternoon of fun and safe Halloween activities with a walk down trick-or-treat aisle, play games, lots of candy and giveaways. A special thank you to Price Chopper for their support and donations. Children ages 3-10; Sat., Oct. 28, 3 to 4:15 p.m. Vernon Teen Center (begins at the lower level side entrance). Fee: No fee, however, we ask all that come to bring a can good for the Tri-Town Food Shelter.

New York City Bus Trip: Enjoy a fun day on your own in NYC on Sat, Dec. 9. This is a perfect time of year to view the famous tree in Rockefeller Center, see the amazing windows decorated in the stores, shop for holiday gifts, and get tickets to a show. The bus will leave from the Vernon Teen Center at 8:30 a.m. to arrive in NYC at approximately 10:45 a.m.The bus will depart from NYC at 6:30 p.m. to arrive back in Vernon at approximately 9 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 9. Fee: $45 per resident; $55 per non-resident.

Festival Of The Bands

VERNON — The 25th annual Festival of the Bands will take place at 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 14, at Rockville High School, 70 Loveland Hill Road. All Rockville High School marching band alumni are invited to attend.

Admission is $10 at the gate and $8 in advance. Contact Steve Ransom at steve-ransom@att.net for more information.

CPR Classes

VERNON — Heartsaver CPR/AED courses will take place at the Public Safety Complex, 280 West Road, on the following Wednesdays from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.: Oct. 18, Nov. 15 and Dec. 13.

The price for each class is $35 per person. Seating is limited for each class. Email learncprvfd@yahoo.com for more information or to register. All classes are facilitated by certified American Heart Association Basic Life Support Instructors in the Vernon Fire Department.

Book Sale

ELLINGTON — Friends of Hall Memorial Library at 93 Main St. is holding its semi-annual bag of books sale from Oct. 13 through 15. Over 10,000 books and other media is available for children through adults. Cost is $9 per bag, with bargain Sunday being $5 per bag.

Hours are Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 4:45 p.m. Anyone with questions may call the library at 860-870-3160.

Pasta Dinner

ELLINGTON — The Ellington Centennial Lions Club will be sponsoring its first ever community pasta dinner from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 20, at the Ellington Senior Center, 40 Maple St.

Dinner includes pasta with meatballs, salad, bread, beverages and dessert. The cost to attend is $10 per adult and $5 for children under the age of six. Proceeds will benefit local charitable community activities sponsored by the Ellington Lions.

Mattie's Togs

TOLLAND — Mattie's Togs, a thrift shop at St. Matthew Church, 111 Tolland Green, is open Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The shop features clothing for infants, boys and girls, as well as baptismal outfits, Halloween costumes, first communion dresses, flower dresses and more.

NYC Bus Trip

VERNON — The Vernon Center Middle School bus trip to NYC will begin at 7 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 28, from 777 Hartford Turnpike. The bus will leave at 7 a.m. and depart from NYC at 7 p.m. sharp.

Cost to attend is $40 per person. Contact Stephanie at bratty1230@gmail.com to reserve your seats for the NYC trip. Checks only payable to: VCMS Staff Club and sent to: 777 Hartford Turnpike, Vernon, CT 06066, attention of Dianne Grimaldi.

Friends Of Bolton Lakes Meeting

VERNON — At 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 19, the Friends of Bolton Lakes will hold its annual business meeting, followed immediately by the annual forum at Camp Newhoca, 186 Grier Road.

Status and issues affecting the Bolton lakes, which are located in the towns of Bolton, Vernon, Coventry and Tolland, will be discussed. The featured speaker is Dr. Robert M. Thorson, a Professor of Geology at the University of Connecticut, a columnist for the Hartford Courant, and an expert on the origin of the New England landscape. He is also a devotee of American lakes and rivers. During his talk "Bolton Lakes in Context," he will share his thoughts about the origin of the Bolton Lakes and the larger contexts of managing this resource for the future. Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions and participate in discussions.

The Friends of Bolton Lakes is an organization dedicated to protecting the watershed of the Bolton Lakes. Email FriendsofBoltonLakes@comcast.net with questions.

Strong Farm Seeks Volunteers

VERNON — On Saturdays from 9 to 11 a.m., Strong Family Farm welcomes volunteers to help do different projects at the farm such are weeding, raking, painting and more. There is no need to register ahead of time. Clean up will start for the Harvest Festival and BBQ on Oct. 21. Strong Family Farm is located at 274 West St. Email info@strongfarm.org for more information.

Donations Needed

VERNON — The Vernon Historical Society will be having its annual holiday craft fair and sale on Saturday, Nov. 25, and Sunday, Nov. 26. In addition to the work of local crafters, the craft fair offers the popular Nearly New table with treasures and holiday items at reasonable prices.

Any donations are appreciated and the proceeds from the sale of the Nearly New items go to support the work of the Vernon Historical Society. Donated items can be dropped off at the Historical Society's Museum at 734 Hartford Turnpike on any Tuesday morning, 10 a.m. to noon; Thursday between 10 a.m. and noon and 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.; and the second and fourth Sundays of the month between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.

To make other arrangements for bringing items to the museum or for further information, call the Society at 860-875-4326.

Holiday Craft Fair

ELLINGTON — Local crafters and vendors are sought for the Ellington Senior Center Holiday Craft and Vendor Fair, taking place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, at the Senior Center 40 Maple St.

Contact Samantha Baer at 860 870 3133 or sbaer@ellington-ct.gov with any questions or to register.

Flu Clinic

TOLLAND — A flu clinic at Senior Moments, 31 Kingsbury Ave., will take place from 1 to 2 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 11. Call 860-643-9500 to register.

Civil War Museum Hours

ROCKVILLE — The New England Civil War Museum and Research Center is now open every Sunday, excluding holidays, from noon to 3 p.m. The museum is located on the second floor of the Vernon Town Hall at 14 Park Place. Visit newenglandcivilwarmuseum.com for more information. There is no admission charge; donations are greatly appreciated.

Strong Family Farm Harvest

VERNON — The Strong Family Farm's 5th annual Harvest Festival, 274 West St., will take place from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21.

Activities include an apple pie baking contest, old-fashioned demonstrations, canning, spinning and beekeeping, the announcement of results of the farm's 6th annual scarecrow contest, apple and pumpkin sales, hay bale climbing, crafts, old fashioned games, farm animals, tractors, vendors and music by Gypsy Hearts.

Admission is free. Limited parking for a donation of $2 in the farm field with an entrance on Peterson Road is available. Parking is also available on side streets and neighbouring schools. Visit www.strongfamilyfarm.org/programs for more information.

Hall Library Events

ELLINGTON — Hall Memorial Library, 93 Main St., is hosting the following events. Visit www.library.ellington-ct.gov for more information or to register. All library programs for children are free and open to the public.

Babies & Books for children 9 months to 2 ½ years old, along with an adult, will begin Monday, Oct. 23, at 10:30 am. The beginning date has been changed from what was previously announced, but will still run for five weeks.

This hour-long program contains 15 minutes of reading board books, singing songs, and doing movement activities, followed by 45 minutes of playtime and interaction. Toys are provided by the library. Online registration is required and will begin Oct. 15.

Story hours for 3- to 5-year-olds who are ready to attend independently will be on Tuesdays from 10:15 to 11 a.m. Led by the Children's Librarian, these seven sessions will include stories, songs, and movement activities. Online registration is ongoing.

For children 2 ½ to 3 years old, along with a parent or caregiver, story hours will be Fridays from 10:15 to 10:45 a.m. Also led by the Children's Librarian, this program begins Oct. 20 and continues until Nov. 17. It will include stories, songs and a book related or season related craft. Online registration will begin Oct. 8.

Scarecrow Contest

VERNON — Strong Family Farm, 274 West St., will host its fifth annual scarecrow contest this October. 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. Winners will be announced at the harvest festival on Oct. 21. Visit www.strongfamilyfarm.org/programs for more information.

Ellington Singers Seeking New Members

ELLINGTON — The Ellington Singers are looking for some new voices. Practice takes place at 10 a.m. Wednesdays 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.

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. Contact Jean Gauthier at 860-871-7468, option 2, or email jgauthier@vernon-ct.gov for more information.

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.

Applications may be obtained by visiting the school's website, www.SaintJamesSchool.net, e-mailing aguenther@SaintJamesSchool.net, or calling the school's main office at 860-643-5088.

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 prez798@aol.com or call/text 860-205-1688.

Energy Assistance

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.

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