Community News For The Stafford Edition

The Packing House Performance Schedule

WILLINGTON — The Packing House, 156 River Road, released its February schedule. The venue is BYOB&F. Snacks and soft drinks are available. For tickets, more shows and general info, visit www.thepackinghouse.us or call 518-791-9497.

Friday, 2/2: Nicole Zuratis, Jazz. Doors, 7 p.m.; Show 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, 2/4: Mark and Beverly Davis, Classical Guitar. Doors, 2:30 p.m.; Show 3 p.m.

Friday, 2/9: Film Showing: "Pink Floyd - The Wall" (R). Doors, 7 p.m. Show, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, 2/10: Gracie Day, Indie.. Doors, 7 p.m., Show 7:30 p.m.

Tuesday, 2/13: EC-CHAP Information Exchange Meeting, 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday, 2/14: Talent Showcase. Doors, 6:30 p.m., Show, 7:30 p.m. Free admission.

Saturday, 2/17: Lisa Martin, Folk. Doors, 7 p.m., Show, 7:30 p.m.

Tuesday, 2/20: Drum Circle with Bob Bloom. Doors, 7 p.m., Show, 7:30 p.m.

Friday, 2/23: Jeff Przech with Ashlee Paraidis, Folk. Doors, 7 p.m. Show, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, 2/24: Ramblin' Dan Stevens, Blues. Doors, 7:30 p.m. Show, 7:30 p.m.

Stafford BOE Selects Superintendent

STAFFORD — On Monday evening, Jan. 8, the Stafford Board of Education selected its new Superintendent of Schools, Steven Moccio. Moccio will begin his tenure as the newly elected Superintendent of Schools for Stafford on Monday, March 12.

Moccio, a resident of Feeding Hills Mass., is the current high school principal in Suffield, where he has served since 2014. Prior to that, Moccio was principal at Windermere Elementary and Intermediate School in Ellington for six years. Moccio also served as the assistant principal at Ellington High School for three years. Moccio started his career as a physics teacher at Windsor High School in 1996 and moved to Newington High School in 1999 in the same capacity as a physics teacher.

Moccio is a graduate of Hartwick College of New York, where he earned his Bachelor of Arts in Physics. He earned a master's degree and certificate of graduate studies at Central Connecticut State University in 2001 and 2003 respectively. In 2014, Moccio successfully completed the Executive Leadership Program at the University of Connecticut, earning his certification as Superintendent of Schools.

The Stafford Board of Education and the Superintendent Search Committee were impressed with Moccio's passion for education, his approachability, organizational skills and his desire to be a collaborative decision maker. Moccio comes to Stafford with extremely high recommendations from his current Superintendent, Karen Berasi, and his former Superintendent, Stephen Cullinan.

Nominations Of Extraordinary CT Residents Over Age 60 Now Open

BLOOMFIELD — Nominations for the 2018 Class of 60 Over 60 are now open. For the second year, the 60 Over 60 awards are looking for 60 Connecticut individuals over age 60 who make a difference with their businesses; in their communities and for their families.

Duncaster created this award-winning program in 2017 as a way to recognize the state's movers and shakers over the age of 60. Last year's honorees came from 26 towns across the state of Connecticut. They included leaders in the fields of business, medicine, sports and nonprofit organizations; activists; artists; inventors; politicians; volunteers and outdoor enthusiasts.

Those wishing to nominate someone or themselves can go to the Duncaster website at www.Duncaster.org/60-Over-60; to nominate by email, contact ewest@aomc.com for a nomination form. The deadline for nominations is Feb. 13 at midnight.

A panel of judges, including three of last year's recipients, will pick the members of the 2018 Class of 60 Over 60. Winners will be notified by the end of March. They will be featured in a special statewide newspaper supplement, showcased on the Duncaster site and honored at a celebration in May.

For the second year, we are launching a search for 60 people over age 60 who best represent the doers and dreamers of Connecticut; those whose everyday acts of kindness or achievements make an impact on the lives of others, said Carol Ann McCormick, Duncaster's Vice President of Sales and Marketing. McCormick was recognized by LeadingAge Connecticut for creating the program in 2017.

Anyone may nominate someone who is age 60 or better by Feb. 13. Nominees must live in the state of Connecticut at least five months a year. Nominators need not be from Connecticut. Self-nominations and multiple nominations are encouraged. For more information, see Duncaster.org or call 860-380-5006.

Prayer Shawl Ministry

STAFFORD SPRINGS — The Stafford Prayer Shawl Ministry will now be meeting the second Mondays of the month from 2 to 3:30 p.m. at the Stafford Public Library, 10 Levinthal Run. All are welcome to attend. The next meeting for the Stafford Prayer Shawl Ministry will be on Monday, Feb. 12, from 2 to 3:30 p.m. at the Stafford Public Library.

Anyone who would like to attend and knit, crochet, or quilt prayer shawls is welcome to attend. People are on hand to teach guests how to knit or crochet. If you cannot make the meeting but want to make prayer shawls at home, someone will pick them up. If you or your pastor knows of anyone who could use a prayer shawl, we'll arrange for one to be picked up. Contact Kathy at 860-684-9484 or Karen at 860-684-3384 for information or pick up arrangements.

Willington Scholarship Foundation News

WILLINGTON — The Willington Scholarship Foundation is seeking donations and asks that people remember them when making year-end charity donations, either by sending a donation for their general scholarship fund for 2018 or perhaps by funding a named scholarship for 2018 at a higher level than last year.

Visit www.willington.dollarsforscholars.org for more information. Donations may be made at any time and mailed to P.O. Box 194, Willington CT 06279. If you have any questions, call Chopeta Lyons at 860-429-9594. New members are always welcome.

Free Braille Calendars

AREA — The Community Outreach Office of the National Federation of the Blind of Connecticut has 2018 Braille calendars, free of charge. For more information, contact info@nfbct.org or 860-289-1971.

Our Companions Animal Rescue Launches Fundraising Challenge

ASHFORD — On Saturday, Oct. 7, Our Companions Animal Rescue celebrated its 15th anniversary and the construction of three new cottages for homeless animals at their sanctuary.

The new facilities, which will officially open in early 2018, will double the number of homeless cats and dogs that can be rescued and rehabilitated at the sanctuary. The sanctuary, which borders the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp and is modeled after Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Utah, was originally built on a 43-acre plot of land donated to the organization in 2002.

The sanctuary, the only one of its kind in the region, rehabilitates abused, neglected, and special‐needs homeless cats and dogs in a peaceful, home‐like environment. The first rescue cottage was opened in 2012. Two subsequent cottages were opened in 2013. In 2015, Our Companions also acquired four additional acres, increasing the Sanctuary's size to 47 acres. Upon completion of future phases, likely by 2024, the Sanctuary will ultimately contain 16 rescue cottages and house over 350 animals.

Our Companions also leases a 6,000 square foot facility in Manchester, the Valerie Friedman Program Center, where it operates many of its other life‐saving programs to include dog training, dog and cat behavioral support programs, feral cat management programs, adoptions and more.

Our Companions, which has 22 full and part time employees and over 400 volunteers, is funded entirely by donations. To ensure Our Companions has the resources to meet the ever‐growing demand for its services, and to support its expanded operations at the Sanctuary, Our Companions has launched the Our Companions 15th Anniversary Challenge. If Our Companions can raise $900,000 for their Annual Fund by December 31, a small group of generous donors will collectively donate $150,000 for Sanctuary operations.

To learn more about the Sanctuary expansion, the Challenge, or anything else related to Our Companions, contact Susan Linker at susanl@ourcompanions.org or 860-242-9999, ext. 301.

Babcock Library Membership Campaign

ASHFORD — The Friends of Babcock Library is conducting a membership drive. Membership categories range from $5 to $200. There are many ways to become involved, including attendance at meetings, bake sales, book sales, and fundraising events. Email friendsofbabcocklibrary@gmail.com for more information.

Library Membership Drive

WILLINGTON — The Friends of the Willington Public Library Membership Drive is ongoing. Community members can help the library by attending book sales, bake sales, volunteer, donate money or become a member. Membership costs range from $5 to $100. For more information, call 860-429-3854.

Men's Club Volunteers Needed

STAFFORD SPRINGS — Evergreen Health Care Center, 205 Chestnut Hill Road, is sponsoring a men's club for male residents this summer. If you have an interesting hobby, cool vintage car, custom motorcycle or even just the gift to gab, there are a lot of fun opportunities and staff welcome your new ideas. Contact Karen at 860-684-6341.

Al-Anon Meeting

STAFFORD SPRINGS — Al-Anon meetings will take place at 7 p.m. on Thursdays at the Stafford Senior Center, 3 Buckley Highway, Route 190.

Support Groups Available

STAFFORD SPRINGS — Three support groups, the Alternatives to Suicide Peer Support Group, a Men's Support Group, and a Women's Support Group, will take place at the First United Methodist Church, 8 Church St., the big white church next to CVS, unless otherwise noted.

The Men's Support Group meets at the church in Room 101 on Tuesday evenings at 4 p.m.

The Women's Support Group meets at 10:15 a.m. Wednesdays in Room 101. Both these groups are for anyone who's had a loss in their lives. All are welcome to attend.

The Alternatives to Suicide Peer Support Group meets from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, in Room 204.

The church can be reached at 860-684-2468, on Facebook or at its website, http://fumcstafford.org.

Stafford Early Head Start

STAFFORD — Stafford Early Head Start has openings available for children ages birth to three and pregnant mothers. The Early Head Start program is designed to promote school readiness for children by enhancing their developmental and social competence. Applications are available at the West Stafford School. Call 860-684-3181 to make an appointment to enroll.

Free Video Production Training Program

WINDHAM — Northeastern CT Community Access TV is now taking applications for its Free Public Access Internship program at 207 Tuckie Road. Interns get hands-on experience in all aspects of video production. They cover community events and public affairs shows for airing on Charter channel 192, Frontier channel 99, and on CTV192.com. Interns have the opportunity to use their new skills to produce their own Public Access Television Programs.

Internships are non-paid and are open on a first-come, first-served basis to residents in the studio's service area. Interns must reside in one of the following towns to be eligible for internship: Ashford, Brooklyn, Chaplin, Coventry, Canterbury, Columbia, Eastford, Hampton, Lebanon, Mansfield, Pomfret, Scotland, Thompson, Windham, Woodstock, and Willington.

Visit CTV192.com or call the Community Access TV studio line at 860-456-8500 for an internship application and more information.

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