Community News For The Stafford Edition

Craft Fair

STAFFORD SPRINGS — The Women's Ministry of First United Methodist Church, 8 Church St., will be holding its annual Church Mouse Market Craft Fair on Saturday, Nov. 18, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Local crafters and vendors will be attending. A white elephant table will be part of the festivities. There will be lunch served, as well as a cookie walk. For more information, contact the church at 860-684-2468.

Nondenominational Bible Talks

STAFFORDVILLE — Nondenominational Bible talks are being held at the Stafford Fire Dept., 9 Colburn Road, from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Nov. 14. These talks are quiet, reverent, upholding the life and teachings of Jesus. There is no cost to attend. For information, call 860-267-7541.

Thanksgiving Worship Service

STAFFORD SPRINGS — A Community Thanksgiving Worship Service will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 21, at First United Methodist Church, 8 Church St.

There will be an ecumenical choir and also pastors from different churches in Stafford taking part in this service. A free will offering will be collected. For more information, email officefumcstafford@gmail.com or call the church office at 860-684-2468.

Scholarship Foundation Open House

WILLINGTON — The Willington Scholarship Foundation, recipient of Scholarship America's 2017 National Affiliate of the Year Award, will hold its annual open meeting on Monday, Nov. 20, at 7 p.m. in the Common Room of the Town Office Building at 40 Old Farms Road. All are cordially invited to attend.

New members are always welcome. Visit willington.dollarsforscholars.org or call Chopeta Lyons at 860-429-9594. Donations to benefit future graduating high school seniors may be sent to WSF, P.O.Box 194, Willington, CT 06279.

Holly Day Fair

UNION — A traditional holiday fair will be held at the Congregational Church of Union, 976 Buckley Highway, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 18. Admission is free. The church is handicapped accessible.

The fair will feature a variety of quality hand crafted Christmas gifts and decorations, crafters and vendors table, home baked holiday pies, jams, pickles and jellies, cookies by the pound; homemade candies and caramel apples; a teacup raffle of gift baskets and gift cards; Tombola, a silent auction including a fully decorated themed tree and antiques; children's activities include, write a letter to Santa, picture with Santa, decorate a cupcake, face painting, a variety of games, and an ice fishing game.

Fresh wreaths, swags and cemetery boxes will be for sale. Beverages and lunch will be served throughout the day. Contact Heather at yorklass39@cox.net for more information.

Willington Scholarship Foundation News

WILLINGTON — Willington Scholarship Foundation Dollars for Scholars (WFSDFS) is pleased to announce it has been selected as the 2017 Irving A. Fradkin National Chapter of the Year by Scholarship America.

The WSF chapter began in 1995 as a scholarship committee of the Willington PTA and then in 1996 became affiliated with Citizens' Scholarship Foundation of America (currently known as Scholarship America) and its Dollars for Scholars program. In 2014, WSFDFS re-affiliated with Scholarship America which meant more benefits for students and their parents through the use of ChapterNet.

This allowed high school students planning to further their education to log on for free to create a profile with information about themselves that will be helpful when they apply for college and scholarships. The website has additional information to help students and their parents know more about what will be expected of them related to the college experience.

The Chapter of the Year Award honors and recognizes Dollars for Scholars chapters that have performed outstanding service to their community and exemplify the commitment of Dollars for Scholars, a program of Scholarship America, to making postsecondary success possible for all students.

Willington Scholarship Foundation Dollars for Scholars will receive $3,000 for their scholarship program and be recognized at Scholarship America's 2018 Dreams to Success National Education Dinner on May 22, 2018 at the JW Marriott, Washington, D.C.

In 2014, WSFDFS applied for and was fortunate to receive a $5,000 grant from the Jeffrey P. Ossen Foundation. That grant was crucial in allowing for a matching fund initiative through which individuals and businesses could have their generosity enhanced to the point of awarding a scholarship in their name, the name of their business or the memory of loved one.

In 2015, WSFDFS was one of just 13 Dollars for Scholars chapters nationwide and the only one from Connecticut to receive a $5,000 Matching Grant to help fund the WSFDFS Matching Fund Initiative.

In 2016, due to dwindling membership, The Corp. Henry Toberman VFW Post 938 & Ladies Auxiliary decided to disband. Its members voted to donate most of its accumulated treasury to WSFDFS. The large sum was designated to assist area students facing financial hardships that would hinder their pursuit of continuing their education. The VFW's generous donation will allow for two $2,000 scholarships to be given in their name for the next ten years. Also, at long last, WSFDFS was able to achieve its long-time goal of being able to award its very first need-based, renewable scholarship. This enables a student who has successfully completed the freshman year at an institution of higher learning to receive a scholarship for the junior year and again for the Senior year providing s/he remains in good academic and behavioral standing with that college or university.

Over the past 22 years, the WSFDFS has awarded approximately 369 scholarships, equal to about $405,000. In 2017 alone, local businesses and organizations such as, Willington Pizza, MycoScience, Inc., Key Bank, Stafford Lions, the PTA, Anything Printed, Mansfield Lions, the many small farms, cottage industries and individuals too numerous to list provided more than $36,500 in 17 scholarships to 14 students. The Town of Willington is to be commended for its continuing support of its young residents.

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.

Holiday Artist Market

ASHFORD — Ashford Arts Council's Holiday Artist Market will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 18, at Knowlton Memorial Hall, The Babcock Library, Route 44/25, Pompey Hollow Road.

Thirty skilled, talented and accomplished artisan/vendors will fill Ashford's historic Knowlton Memorial Hall and Reading Room, the lovely New England field stone structure built in 1924, formally Ashford Town Hall. Demonstrators spinning wool, weaving, a wildlife painter, and fine jeweler are also part of the event.

Live music will be performed and Conto Lino's Authentic Southern Italian Mobile Food Trailer will be on-site. For more information, contact Debra Gag/Chair at 860-487-0032.

Craft Fair Seeks Vendors

STAFFORD SPRINGS — St. Edward Church, 6 Benton St., will be hosting its 15th annual Craft Fair held at St Edward's Hall from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, and 8 to 11:30 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 3.

Cost to vend is $35 for Saturday or $50 for both days. Visit https://goo.gl/MJMuC2 to fill out an application. Anyone with questions may email stedwardcf@gmail.com or call 860-214-1078 and leave a message.

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.

Strides For Scholars 5K Trail

UNION — The Union School Association Scholarship Foundation will be holding its annual Strides for Scholars 5K Run/Walk to benefit the scholarship fund. The event will be held on Nov. 12 at Bigelow Hollow State Park, CT-171.

Registration will begin at 8:30 a.m. with a race kick-off at 10 a.m. Cost for adults is $25 in advance and $30 on race day. T-shirt prizes are free for the first 100 registered. Awards will be given for male and female winners according to various age groups. Go to www.firstmile-fitness.com for more information and to register.

Crafters Sought

STAFFORD SPRINGS — The Women's Ministry of First United Methodist Church, 8 Church St., is looking for a few more crafters for its annual church MouseMarket event to be held on Saturday, Nov. 18. Cost to participating is $30 and includes one 8 foot table or $25 if you bring your own. Contact Sue at suelauz@gmail.com with questions or to reserve/pay for your table.

Holiday Craft Fair

WEST STAFFORD — The West Stafford Fire Dept. Aux. is holding a holiday craft fair from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. Nov. 18. Set-up is at 8 a.m. Cost to participate is $20 for an eight-foot table of $15 for those who bring their own table. To reserve a table, contact Nancy either at emtmom@cox.net or call 860-851-8878.

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.

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.

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.

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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