Community News For The Valley Edition

Life On The Homefront: An Avon Family During The Civil War

AVON — Life on the Homefront: An Avon Family During the Civil War will take place at 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28, at Avon Senior Community Center, 635 West Avon Road.

The Special Projects Committee of the Avon Historical Society are the presenters of the event, which is funded by the William Yandow Trust. This program will tell the story of one Avon family whose father left their home to fight in the CT 16th Volunteer Infantry Regiment. The period song and poetry selections were chosen to reflect three phases of the long war, the beginning, the battles and the aftermath.

The audience will note each transitional phase as depicted by historical re-enactors in vignettes, as well as, by the tone of the pieces. Two songs are modern. Each vignette is written to portray what was happening on the home front after the almost 100 men from Avon left to fight in the War.

Refreshments will be served following the program and guests will have the opportunity to meet the presenters after the show. Doors will open at 12:45 p.m. Free will donations are gratefully accepted at the door to support the work of the Society.

Pink Ribbon Bagel Benefits Connecticut Cancer Foundation

AREA — Panera Bread has partnered with Rebecca Lobo, basketball analyst, Olympic athlete, former WNBA and UCONN player, to support the Connecticut Cancer Foundation (CCF), formerly the Connecticut Sports Foundation, during its 16th annual 'Pink Ribbon Bagel' promotion.

Panera in Canton, 110 Albany Turnpike, is one of the participating restaurants. Throughout the month of October, a portion of proceeds from all Pink Ribbon Bagels sold will go toward helping the CCF assist local families battling breast cancer with rent/mortgage, utilities, transportation, medications and more. Patients are referred to CCF through a network of oncology social workers at Connecticut hospitals and cancer centers.

The Lobo partnership, now in its fifth year, kicked off Oct. 1 to commemorate national Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Lobo, a recent inductee into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, is the daughter of RuthAnn Lobo, a long-time breast cancer survivor who lost her battle in 2011 after living with the disease for 18 years. In 2001, Lobo launched the RuthAnn and Rebecca Lobo Scholarship for Hispanic students admitted to the UCONN School of Allied Health. As part of the Panera Bread partnership, the RuthAnn Lobo Award in Social Work was established in 2013 to support educating the next generation of hospital-based social workers working with cancer patients.

During the month-long fundraiser, a portion of the proceeds from every Pink Ribbon Bagel purchased at Panera Bread cafes in Connecticut will go directly to the Connecticut Cancer Foundation. Pink Ribbon Bagels are baked fresh daily in each Panera Bread café, formed by hand into a ribbon shape, and feature dried cherries, cranberries, vanilla, honey and brown sugar.

Participating Connecticut locations are located in Bristol, Canton, Enfield, Farmington, Foxwoods Resort & Casino, Glastonbury, Groton, Hartford, Lisbon, Manchester, Newington, Southington, South Windsor, Waterford, West Hartford, and Wethersfield.

Additional beneficiaries of the Pink Bagel promotion include the Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation. Sue Stees, one of Panera Bread's first franchisees and a breast cancer survivor, developed the idea for the Pink Ribbon Bagel in 2001 as a way to help support the cause.

Visit https://www.panerabread.com for more information on the fundraiser and locations of participating restaurants. Visit www.sportsfoundation.org for more information on the CT Sports Foundation.

FVSO Presents Comic Opera, "Cox And Box"

WEST HARTFORD — The Farmington Valley Symphony Orchestra will present a concert staging of Sir Arthur Sullivan's first comic opera, "Cox and Box," at its opening concert of the 2017-18 season on Saturday, Oct. 28, at 7:30 p.m. in the Millard Auditorium, University of Hartford, 200 Bloomfield Ave.

Featuring three experienced Gilbert and Sullivan singers from Broadway, Daniel Greenwood, tenor, James Mills, baritone and Matthew Wages, bass-baritone, "Cox and Box" is the tale of two long-lost brothers who unknowingly rent the same room from Bouncer, a scheming landlord, and discover that they share more than the just same bed.

Conducted by Jonathan Brennand, who begins his fourth season as Music Director of the distinguished 80-member all-volunteer orchestra, the concert will open with Wagner's "Prelude to Die Meistersinger" and Stravinsky's "Firebird Suite."

Tickets at $18 for adults, $15 for students and seniors, can be purchased in advance by visiting the web site: www.fvso.org. All ticket purchases at the door will be $20. Further information is available on the web site or by calling 800-975-FVSO.

Spooktacular Chili Challenge

SIMSBURY — The 3rd annual Simsbury Spooktacular Chili Challenge on Saturday, Oct. 28, is quickly becoming bigger and hotter every day. More than 15 registered amateur chefs will try to please the picky palates of the newly announced panel of 16 judges.

The Chili Challenge will take place at Simsbury Meadows Performing Arts Center, 22 Iron Horse Blvd., from noon to 5 p.m. The restaurant challenge runs from 2 to 5 p.m.

Registration for cooks is still open and encourages aspiring chefs ages 17 and under to sign up to compete in the NEW Youth chili cooking competition with their very own recipes. Categories are traditional Red Chili and People's Choice. Email info@simsburycoc.org to register.

And don't miss your chance for a spot in the new Touch-a-Truck area for kids and the Classic Car exhibit. Anyone interested in participating in the exhibit should contact Dan Correia at 860-408-1322.

The roster of top local restaurants throwing their ladles into the highly competitive Restaurant Chili Challenge continues to grow. They are vying for the coveted BDC, "Best Darn Chili", title and a Chili Bowl trophy. The Simsbury Inn is returning to defend their title, along with Abigail's Grille & Wine Bar, Attilio's, Avon Old Farms Inn, Avon Prime Meats, Iron Horse Sports Pub, Kane's Market, Market Place Kitchen, Plan B, Hop Meadow Country Club, The North House, The Old Well Tavern, Popover Bakery, Table 570, The Tavern at Keney Park, and Tower Ridge Country Club.

There's also still time for businesses and organizations to support this popular regional family event as sponsors. Join sponsors Fitzgerald Foods, Hassett & George, P.C., People's United Bank, Phase Zero Design, Simsbury Bank, Mitchell Auto Group and Robert Hensley & Associates.

Over 40 vendors such as Cabela's, Healthtrax, and The Hartford Courant will be onsite and vendor opportunities are available for just $150.

Interested cooks can sign up to compete on the ICS website,www.chilicookoff.com or by calling Simsbury Chamber of Commerce at 860-651-7307.

The amateur competition is a fully-sanctioned International Chili Society cook-off and is designed to appeal to the whole family. Along with the cooks, there will be local vendors, live entertainment, beer, wine, and hard cider. Children can look forward to trick-or-treating, costume contests, clowns, the touch-a-truck exhibit, and more. Non-chili food items will be available for sale.

Tickets are $10 in advance for age 11 and up. Children 10 and under are free. Tickets can be purchased on the event website, simsburychili.com, or by calling 860-651-7307.

Tunxis Offers Free FAFSA Help Sessions

FARMINGTON — Tunxis Community College will host sessions this fall for those who need help filing their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Prospective and current students are welcome to attend with their parents.

Personalized sessions are available by appointment on the following Fridays from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Email tx-finaid@tunxis.edu or call 860.773.1422 to reserve a spot: Dates are Oct. 27, Nov. 3, Nov. 17, Dec. 1, Dec. 15 and Jan. 5.

General sessions are available on the following dates: Nov. 9, 1 p.m. & 6 p.m.; Nov. 13, 6 p.m.; and Nov. 15, 9 a.m. & 6 p.m. All sessions will be held in the 300 Building Computer Lab except the evening session on Nov. 15, which will be in 200 Building, Room 203. No reservation is required for the general sessions.

Staff from the Financial Aid Services Office at Tunxis will be available to help those with questions about filing their FAFSA information and renewals. Visit tunxis.edu/fafsa-help for information on what to bring to the session.

Best Practices For Supporting LGBT Family Members

SIMSBURY — First Church of Christ - Simsbury will be hosting a talk by Lori Davison, recently retired PFLAG President, and will answer the question of " But What Do I Do Now?"

All are invited to attend this informative session on Friday, Oct. 27, at 7 p.m. in Palmer Hall, 689 Hopmeadow St. Contact ocbeckyct@comcast.net for more information.

Halloween Party

CANTON — Canton Community Nursery School's annual Halloween party will take place from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28, at 125 Dowd Ave.

The party is for children ages 2 to 5. Games, crafts, face painting, tattoos, a bounce house and a silent auction for the adults will take place. Child and adult-themed gift baskets and merchant gift certificates are part of the festivities. Cost to attend is $3 per child and adults attend for free.

Pet Adoption, Supply Drive

CANTON — Subaru of America and its retailers are committed to keeping all animals safe and healthy. This month, through the Subaru Loves Pets initiative, team members from Mitchell Subaru support The Simon Foundation, Inc. by collecting basic pet supplies to improve the quality of life for animals staying at the shelter.

As part of the Subaru Loves Pets initiative, volunteers from The Simon Foundation, Inc. will bring adoptable pets to an event on Saturday, Oct. 28, to the Canton showroom, 71 Albany Turnpike. The month-long program is part of the larger Subaru Love Promise Community Commitment effort dedicated to making a positive impact on the world.

Bruce Porter Memorial Music Series

GRANBY — Supported by a grant from the Granby Education Foundation and the music ministry at South Congregational Church, the Bruce Porter Memorial Music Series concerts are held at South Church, 242 Salmon Brook St. The church is wheelchair accessible from the side-door. For more information call 860-653-7289.

The events in this series are free and open to the public, with donations gratefully accepted for the continuance of the series.

At 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 3, the New England Ringers will present music of the season on a six-octave set of Schulmerich Handbells and six-octave set of tubular bells called Choirchimes. For those who are unfamiliar with the repertoire of the handbell choir, this will be a beautiful introduction to the magical sounds of bells by one of New England's finest ensembles.

At 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 19, 2018, the BPMMS will host the fifth annual Family Night at the Movies. The screening of a classic black-and-white silent film with live improvised accompaniment by Jason Roberts, organist, has become an annual tradition on the Bruce Porter Memorial Music Series.

Violin virtuoso Emlyn Ngai and the Hartt Collegium Musicum will be returning to the Series for their fourth appearance on the BPMMS on Sunday, April 22, 2018 at 4 p.m. The Hartt Collegium has been delighting the audiences for the Bruce Porter Memorial Music Series since it first began in 2012. Enjoy an afternoon of masterpieces by Bach, Handel, Vivaldi and Telemann played with precision and panache by an orchestra of violins, violas, cellos, basses, oboe, bassoon, flute and harpsichord.

Belden Forest Court Halloween Party

SIMSBURY — The active adult residents at Belden Forest Court, 40 Firetown Road, are welcoming back local Girl Scouts and Marilyn Douglas with her dog Beau from the animal therapy organization Tails Of Joy, for a Halloween celebration on Oct. 27 at 4:15 p.m. The Scouts will wear their costumes and enjoy crafts with the residents. The event is open to Simsbury seniors. Register at 860-651-0438 as seats are limited.

In addition to hosting public events at Belden Forest, the residents are always lending a hand to the larger Simsbury community. Tony Uanino Jr., Director of Operations at Belden Forest Court, not only served on the Board of Directors for the Simsbury Chamber, he is also the co-chair of the Simsbury Chamber Spooktacular Chili Challenge, taking place on Oct. 28. Uanino is also the chair of the event's new Touch-a-Truck area.

Visit www.beldenforestcourt.com or call 860-651-0438 for more information.

Italian Sunday Dinner

WEST HARTFORD — Farmington UNICO 's 48th Anniversary Sal DiMauro Italian Sunday Dinner will take place from 1:30 to 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 29, at the Holy Family Retreat Center, 303 Tunxis Road.

The menu features pasta, meatballs, Italian bread, salad, lemonade, coffee and homemade desserts. Cost to attend is $12 per adult, $6 per child ages six to 12, and free for children under five. Visit www.farmington-UNICO.org for more information.

International Film Series

AVON — The Avon Public Library, 281 Country Club Road, continues its International Film Series at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 26, with Footnote, directed by Joseph Cedar. The film introduction and post film discussion is led by local film expert, Bob Kagan, Professor of Communication at CCSU and University of Hartford. Snacks to share are welcome. The series is sponsored by The Friends of the Avon Public Library.

The films are free and open to the public; registration is not required. For more information, call the Avon Public Library at 860-673-9712.

Tuesday, Nov. 21, at 6:30 p.m. The Guard, 2011. What happens when an FBI agent, played by Don Cheadle, travels to Ireland to assist with investigating an international drug ring? Laughs and drama abound.

Thursday, Dec. 21: Under the Same Moon, 2007. This heartwarming story tells the tale of a young Mexican boy who travels to America to try to find his mother after his grandmother passes away. As his journey continues, his mother simultaneously begins to search for him. Subtitles.

NaNoWriMo Events

SIMSBURY — November is National Novel Writing Month and Simsbury Public Library, 725 Hopmeadow St., is again hosting events to support the budding novelists in the Farmington Valley.

On Nov. 1, participants begin working towards the goal of writing a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 p.m. on Nov. 30. Local libraries, such as Simsbury, Granby and West Hartford, support this effort with programs and creative spaces.

The Simsbury Public Library will be offering a series of programs beginning at 10 a.m. Oct. 28 with a workshop (lunch included) with Sarah Bradley on fundamentals of fiction writing.

On Nov. 2 at 6:30 p.m., best-selling author of "Lilac Girls," Martha Hall Kelly, will talk about the writing process and her book. On Nov. 30 at 7 p.m., two local authors, D.H. Robbins and Stephen Kushman, will share their experiences with self-publishing. These three programs are at the Simsbury Public Library and registration is required.

This year, the library is also partnering with the new Storyteller's Cottage at 750 Hopmeadow St. in Simsbury, where there will be write-ins on Nov. 11 from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Nov. 27 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. and the last ditch effort marathon on Nov. 30 from 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. to midnight.

At these events, guests will have the chance to work on their novel with other writers. All activities are free. Details and registration information for all events are on the library website, www.simsburylibrary.info, or by calling 860-658-7663, ext. 2200.

Preservation Workshops

AVON — A preservation workshop for documents will take place at the Avon Library Community Room, 281 Country Club Road. For more information, visit www.avonctlibrary.info or call 860-673-9712.

Documents and Old Maps Preservation Workshop: Saturday, Nov. 18, at 11 a.m. No registration required. Are you lucky enough to be entrusted with family documents or antique maps? Wondering how to store or display them? Join Conlan to learn how to care for these historic treasures. The workshop will discuss storage and display methods, beginning conservation techniques, and best practices to preserve other types of paper documents, including newspapers, scrapbooks, maps and more. Bring your questions.

Lennon And McCartney Dynamic

FARMINGTON — On Thursday, Oct. 26, the Farmington Libraries welcome back Aaron Krerowicz for a lecture on the dynamic between Paul McCartney and John Lennon. The program will begin at 7 p.m. at the Farmington Main Library, located at 6 Monteith Drive.

Professional Beatles scholar Krerowicz won a research grant through the University of Hartford in November 2011 to study the band and has the authored three books on the subject. This event is free and open to the public. Register by visiting www.farmingtonlibraries.org or calling 860-673-6791.

Tablescapes 2018

AVON — The Avon Historical Society is inviting all decorators, designers, florists and others who are creative to participate in Tablescapes, a fundraiser to be held on March 23 and 24, 2018 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the historic North House.

Tablescapes is an opportunity to create and display table settings of various themes for the public to enjoy. This local event is open to anyone in the Farmington Valley to show off their skill in table settings, fresh floral arrangements, centerpieces and accessories on one of 25 five-foot round tables in the Belle Ballroom of the historic North House at the bottom of Avon Mountain on Route 44.

There is no cost to rent a table, however there is criteria such as fresh flowers and a theme must be submitted prior to the event to avoid duplication. The society encourages individuals or groups such as garden clubs to participate in this first of its kind event in the Valley.

Artists who wish to explore a theme using a table setting and decorations as a canvas are encouraged to participate.

Anyone with questions may contact Mary Harrop at 860-670-3225, mcharrop@yahoo.com or Sharon Genovese at moldit16@aol.com or 860-559-2263. The deadline to sign up is Nov. 15.

Free Career Workshops

FARMINGTON — The community is invited to the following free career workshops at Tunxis Community College in the 700 Building, Tunxis Library Classroom, 271 Scott Swamp Road. Email skapros@tunxis.edu to register.

All workshops begin at 10 a.m. on the following dates: Nov. 14, and Dec. 5. Topics are, in order of appearance, resume writing, interviewing skills, networking with LinkedIn, creating a resume with your iPhone and social media and your personal brand.

Avon's World War II History

AVON — Thanks to the generosity of the Friends of the Avon Library, Katie Kukiolczynski, CCSU MA History graduate, was hired to process, scan, and summarize the World War II newsletter collection with the Marion Hunter History Room of the Avon Library.

Visit http://bit.ly/2vBxPMJ to view the collection, which consists of 14 resident-created newsletters spanning the years 1943-1946. The newsletters were intended for Avon soldiers, and were sent to them wherever they were stationed, either at home or abroad, as well as to their families in Avon. In addition to uploading the actual newsletters, Kukiolczynski detailed military commendations and created highlights of each issue. The newsletters also included some local town gossip and news for soldiers to stay up to date on current happenings around town, so Avon was always a part of them wherever they were.

Senior Bowling League Seeks New Members

SIMSBURY — The Farmington Valley Senior Bowling League invites all area bowlers ages 55 and older to join its Tuesday afternoon league, as a regular member or as a substitute. The team meets at Blue Fox Rock & Bowl on Hopmeadow Street in Simsbury, near the Granby line, from 12:45 to approximately 3 p.m., from mid-September into May.

All levels of ability are welcome. For more information, call Carol Scoville at 860-676-2711.

Drop-In Genealogy

AVON — Free drop-in genealogy at the Avon Public Library, 281 Country Club Road, will take place from 1 to 3 p.m. on the following Wednesdays: Nov. 1 and Dec. 6. Beginners are welcome. Marilyn Giese will provide assistance to those who attend.

Teen Job Center

SIMSBURY — The Simsbury Public Library and Simsbury Main Street Partnership are proud to combine efforts and offer the Teen Job Center, a joint effort designed to match teens looking for work with area businesses looking for help. They are currently accepting both teen job applications and business help requests.

The positions available will depend on local business needs and may include summer or year-long employment, paid or unpaid internships, or work study opportunities. Sara Ray, Teen Services Librarian at the Simsbury Public Library, will match interests and availability based on the applications received.

Visit http://www.simsburylibrary.info/teen/teen-job-center/ to fill out a teen job application or a business application.

Teens may contact Sara Ray at 860-658-7663 or email sarar@simsburylibrary.info. Businesses can contact Sarah Nielsen, Executive Director, Simsbury Main Street Partnership, at simmainst@sbcglobal.net.

Rotary Club

SIMSBURY — The Simsbury Granby Rotary Club meets every Thursday at 7:15 a.m. at the Hop Meadow Country Club, 85 Firetown Road. For membership information contact Club President Ed LaMontagne at edjlam@comcast.net.

Christian Science Reading Room

WEST HARTFORD — The Christian Science Church (First Church of Christ, Scientist) announced the relocation of its Reading Room from the church building at 235 Scarborough St., Hartford, to 8 North Main St., West Hartford, marking its return to West Hartford Center.

The Christian Science Reading Room welcomes all who wish to spend quiet time in study or prayer. Bibles and Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer and founder of Christian Science, may be read, borrowed, or purchased there, as well as other books, periodicals, and CDs about Christian Science, its founder, and the healing power of God. The Christian Science Monitor is also available. Attendants are on hand to assist and answer questions about Christian Science.

The Reading Room is open Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., with free parking available in the parking lot adjacent to the building. Those who wish to learn more may visit http://christiansciencect.org/hartford or http://www.christianscience.com, call 860-200-4710, or email csrrhartford@gmail.com.

Valley Veterans Meetings

AVON — Veterans may visit with members of VFW Post 3272 at Truffles on Main Restaurant, 300 West Main St., from 8 to 10 a.m., the first Saturday of the every month. To learn more about the Gildo T. Consolini VFW Post 3272, visit avonvfw.com.

U.S. Flag Collection

AVON — The Gildo T. Consolini VFW Post 3272 of Avon and the Avon Free Public Library, 281 County Club Road, have joined together to place a collection box in the library lobby for collection of worn U.S. flags.

The patriotic decorated wooden box was designed by Gary Kollberg, of Farmington, and was built by Brian Freeman, his wife, Charlotte, and daughters, Holly and Julia, pictured.

Residents of the valley are welcome to donate any and all worn U.S. flags during regular library hours. Members of the Avon VFW will pick them up on a regular basis for proper disposal.

Tabletop Game Nights

FARMINGTON — The Farmington Libraries will host a monthly tabletop game night on Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m., at the Main Library, 6 Monteith Drive. Pizza and snacks will be provided.

Games played will include Gloom, Munchkin, Settlers of Catan, Scrabble, chess, Apples to Apples, and more. Have suggestions for great tabletop games? Contact Anna at aboisvert@farmingtonlibraries.org. This event is free and open to the public, ages 12 and up. Space is limited. Registration required. Call 860-673-6791 for details or register through the library's website at farmingtonlibraries.org.

Watershed Inspections

AREA — The Metropolitan District Commission will be conducting its state-mandated annual watershed sanitary survey and inspection program in the towns of Barkhamsted, Hartland, New Hartford, Burlington, Harwinton, Torrington, Winsted, Avon, Simsbury, Bloomfield, and West Hartford.

The purpose of the program, which will continue through November, is to prevent contamination of the MDC's drinking water supplies as a result of, among other things, septic system failure, erosion, runoff, and other potential pollutants.

Routine watershed sanitary surveys are required by Section 19-13-B102(b) of the Connecticut Public Health Code.

Property inspections will take place in the towns of Barkhamsted and Hartland on the Barkhamsted Reservoir watershed; in New Hartford, Burlington, Harwinton, Torrington and Winsted on the Nepaug Reservoir watershed; and in the towns of Avon, Simsbury, Bloomfield, and West Hartford on the West Hartford/Reservoir No. 6 watersheds.

Routine field inspections take only a few minutes and will be conducted by MDC's Watershed Inspector who carries appropriate MDC identification and drives an authorized MDC vehicle. The Inspector does not enter homes; the inspection is limited to the exterior portions of the real property.

If a violation or an issue is detected, it is reported to the property owner and health officials as required by law.

Property owners may receive more information by contacting the MDC Watershed Management Unit, Barkhamsted Water Supply Division at 860-379-0916 extension 3103 or 860-278-7850 extension 3103.

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 Nov. 1.

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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