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CTNOW

Community News For The Valley Edition

Kindergarten Search

CANTON — Children who turn 5 years old by January 1, 2019, are eligible for kindergarten next fall. Parents are asked to call Cherry Brook Primary School at 860-693-7721 or email tring@cantonschools.org for info.

Great Gatsby New Year's Eve

CANTON — On Sunday, Dec. 31, Eight to the Bar will be playing a night of Motown, swing, and some twenties music at Bridge Street Live, 41 Bridge St., from 8:30 p.m. until 12:30 a.m.

The evening will feature a champagne toast, open bar until midnight, dance floor, party favors and a farm-to-table dinner presented by The Green Door. Cost to attend is $140 for the gourmet dinner and open bar. Tickets to attend after 9 p.m. cost $75 and include light snacks and an open bar. Visit www.41bridgestreet.com or call 860-693-9762 for more information.

Unionville Museum 2018 Calendar Available

UNIONVILLE — The Unionville Museum 2018 calendar is now available. The calendar is a collection of photos from the museum archives, showing Unionville places and people from the past.

The calendar is available at the museum or from the following locations: Farmington Town Hall, The Library, Farmington Motor Sports, The Deming Agency, George's Pizza, The Bottle Shop & the Kof C, all in Unionville.

The Christmas Tree exhibit will remain open through Sunday, Jan. 7. The museum hours are Wednesday, Saturday and Sundays from 2 to 4 p.m. Call 860-673-2232 fro information.

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.

Blue Christmas Service

AVON — Avon Congregational Church, 6 West Main St., invites the community to a Blue Christmas Service of Hope and Light at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 21. This service will recognize that not all experience joy and merriment at this time of year.

The church welcomes those who may be experiencing ill health, a broken relationship, the pain of isolation, those who feel stressed, anxious or depressed, as well as those struggling with addiction and abuse. Family, friends and supporters are welcome to attend as well.

This service will offer the space and time to acknowledge the pain that many people experience during this difficult time of year. All are welcome. For further information, visit www.avon-church.org or call the church 860-678-0488.

Coat Drive

SIMSBURY — West Street Wines and Spirits, 131 West St., will be a Button Up Connecticut drop-off location for the month of December. Button Up Connecticut's mission is to collect clean, new and gently used coats and distribute them to residents in need all across Connecticut.

The coats are received from various companies, schools, churches and other organizations throughout the state who run their own coat drives and donate the coats they receive to Button Up Connecticut for distribution.

Tunxis Gallery Exhibitions Showcase Student And Faculty Works

FARMINGTON — The public is invited to the following free exhibitions in December at Tunxis Community College's Barnes-Franklin Art Gallery, 271 Scott Swamp Road.

"The 100's Show," a selection of works from 100 consecutive days of drawing and painting by 60 Tunxis art students, will be on display from Dec. 12 to 15. Students in "Drawing I" and "Color Theory" courses taught by Tunxis art professors Carianne Garside and Jackie Decker, were each challenged to create 100 small works over the 15-week semester.

The annual Farmington Public Schools Faculty and Alumni Art Show will be held from Dec. 21 to Jan. 19. The show opens with a reception on Thursday, Dec. 21, from 5 to 7 p.m. The Barnes-Franklin Art Gallery is open Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and by appointment. Email Arthur Simoes at asimoes@tunxis.edu for more information.

Friends' Fundraisers

CANTON — The Friends of the Canton Public Library are holding two fundraisers this holiday season. The volunteer group is selling the new 2018 Greater Hartford Edition Dining and Entertaining TASTE Books. These books have hundreds of money saving coupons for area restaurants, shops, entertainment venues, museums and so much more. The books cost $25 and $10 from the sale of each book goes directly to the Friends to help enrich the library. The books are currently on sale at the circulation desk of the library at 40 Dyer. Ave.

The Friends are also holding their annual holiday book sale in the lobby of the library from Nov. 29 through the holidays. Holiday-themed books, fiction and nonfiction for all ages, DVDs and CDs are featured. These books are in pristine condition and reasonably priced. All proceeds are used to provide resources and programs for the library.

Belden Forest Court Holiday Event

SIMSBURY — Belden Forest Court, 40 Firetown Road, is offering Christmas music at 10 a.m. Dec. 23. Local students will perform Christmas music to spread holiday cheer. These children play the violin, cello, viola, and double bass.

Tunxis Gallery Exhibitions Showcase Student, Faculty Works

FARMINGTON — The public is invited to the following free exhibition in December at Tunxis Community College's Barnes-Franklin Art Gallery. Tunxis is located in Farmington at the junction of Routes 6 and 177.

The Annual Farmington Public Schools Faculty and Alumni Art Show will be held Dec. 21 to Jan. 19. The show opens with a reception on Dec. 21 from 5 to 7 p.m.

The Barnes-Franklin Art Gallery is open Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and by appointment. Email Arthur Simoes at asimoes@tunxis.edu for more information.

Christmas Tree Sale

AVON — Featuring freshly cut trees from Canada and Vermont, the Avon Boy Scout Christmas Tree sale will take place outside J. Foster Ice Cream Shop on the corner of Bailey Road and Route 44.

Scouts will be selling trees every Thursday and Friday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. until Dec. 22. Avon Boy Scouts will be prepared to help you pick out the perfect tree, wrap it up, and tie it to your vehicle. All proceeds from the Christmas tree sale go directly to scouts attending Boy Scout High Adventure Trips to Florida Sea Base, Washington, D.C., and the Blue Ridge Mountains this summer. While in Washington, D.C., Scouts will lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery. All proceeds benefit the Scouts' trips.

Historical Society Launches New Website

AVON — The Board of Trustees of the Avon Historical Society announces the launch of a newly designed website, www.avonhistoricalsociety.org, provided by funding from the William A. Yandow Trust.

Terri Wilson, president of the society, encourages everyone to view the site and send back comments to info@avonhistoricalsociety.org.

The new website is the anchor of a new branding campaign for the society to bring attention to local history. The society has created new marketing materials to match the historic colors and logo including a tri-fold brochure, letterhead, newsletter, business cards, a news release template, and more. All this will be more visible in the coming months. The new website was designed by PairDesign of Avon, with photographs and text provided by members of the Society.

Coming soon to the website will be the addition of the gift shop with e-commerce capabilities, not only for the purchase of items, but also for payment of annual membership and donations.

High School Athletic Banner Auction

CANTON — Canton High School Alumni: Did you play on a winning sports team in the years between 1973 and 2002? Lights On Canton is auctioning the large banners which previously hung in the Canton High School Gym.

These NCCC and State Championship banners include basketball, soccer, softball, baseball, cross country, tennis, wrestling and field hockey teams. Constructed of heavy felt with white and gold trims, the banners would make a unique gift or nostalgic collectible ready to hang in your home or office. To view the photos of the banners or place a bid, go to www.32auctions.com/LightsOnCanton or contact Kimberly Marze at 860-693-6717.

Community Action Agencies Accepting Energy Assistance Applications

AREA — The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services just released $67,255,113 in Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) funding. This amount is 90-percent of LIHEAP funds allocated for the State of Connecticut.

Connecticut residents struggling to pay their utility bills this winter can apply for home heating assistance through Connecticut's Community Action Agency Network. The Community Action Agencies (CAAs) are the only nonprofit agencies administering LIHEAP, which provides home heating assistance to Connecticut's most vulnerable residents. Each CAA has application intake sites throughout their service regions. Some sites may include local town halls, and customers should check with their local CAA for a complete site listing.

In Connecticut this program is called the Connecticut Energy Assistance Program (CEAP) and is housed under the Department of Social Services (DSS). The state's Community Action Agencies administer the $74M+ program locally in all 169 cities and towns. CAAs are now accepting CEAP applications for the 2017-2018 winter season and expect more applications in the coming weeks, especially as temperatures begin to drop. Homeowners and/or renters may apply, and funds may be used to pay for whatever source of heating residents have in their homes. This includes wood, electric, oil, kerosene, or natural gas.

CAAs will certify oil deliveries starting Wednesday, Nov. 15, for those who heat with oil, propane, and deliverable fuels. May 1, 2018, is the last day households can apply for benefits unless the household is utility heated and has a shut off notice for its primary source of heat. May 15, 2018 is the last day a utility heated household with a shut off notice for its primary source of heat can apply for benefits.

Another protection for Connecticut's struggling families is the utility moratorium, or winter hardship, which provides protection for eligible households against heat source shut-offs between November 1st and May 1st. Gas and electric utilities cannot be shut off (summer or winter) if lack of the utility creates a life-threatening situation. If a customer is having trouble paying their utility bills during the winter moratorium period, Community Action Agencies will work with them on affordable utility payment programs, including the Matching Payment Program (MPP) and Below Budget Payment Plans. MPP is a payment incentive program that allows eligible utility customers to maintain year-round electric and gas service and pay an agreed-upon amount each month to pay down the balance on their heating bill. If customers cannot afford the utility payment plan, CAAs work with the customer and can submit a Below Budget Payment Plan based on the household income and expenses.

A CEAP benefit to a household automatically makes that household eligible for weatherization services. So, in addition to heating assistance, CAAs will refer customers to those agencies providing weatherization services, which helps minimize energy-related costs and fuel usage in homes through retrofits and home improvement measures. Additionally, there are funds available this year through the CAA for heating system repair and replacement if such services are deemed necessary and as the amount of funds allocated allow. Lastly, when a customer comes to a CAA for energy assistance, the agency will also assist customers in accessing other benefits for which they may be eligible including SNAP and other food programs, financial counseling, child care, and case management.

Connecticut's poorest families struggle each and every year to heat their homes in this a state with one of the highest utility rates in the country; customers many times having to choose between heating and eating or heating and paying for their medicines. CEAP allows them to not only cover high home energy costs and keep warm during the cold winter months, but gives low-income families the opportunity to address other critical, basic needs, rather than having to choose between them. Any resident who needs help paying their heating bill this winter should contact their Community Action Agency immediately.

For more information on Connecticut's Energy Assistance Program, how to find your local CAA to apply, or to make a donation, visit www.cafca.org or contact the Connecticut Association for Community Action (CAFCA), 144 Clinton Street, New Britain, CT, 06053, 860-832-9438.

Special Needs Hockey Team Recruiting New Players

AREA — The Connecticut Chasers, an ice hockey team for individuals with physical and intellectual disabilities, is recruiting new players for the 2017-18 season, running from Nov. 4, through March 10, 2018.

Weekly practices are at Simsbury Farms Skating Rink in Simsbury from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

The team is looking for players of all abilities and skill levels ages 8 and up. "Learn to Skate" sessions are offered for those new to the ice.

Prospective players and their families are invited to attend a practice to see the fun for themselves. Some equipment is available to borrow for anyone who wants to try a practice session before joining.

Athletes from throughout the Greater Hartford Area and beyond are welcome. Current players are from Avon, Canton, Ellington, Farmington, Glastonbury, Simsbury, South Windsor, and Windsor.

The Chasers were founded in 1997 by former Hartford Whaler Kelly Chase and the Connecticut Down Syndrome Congress to provide a team experience for the players while helping them improve their self-esteem, social skills, gross motor skills and coordination. The team is a proud member of the American Special Hockey Association and Special Hockey International.

Last season, the Chasers had the honor of serving as "Blue Line Buddies" for the Hartford Wolf Pack, standing on the ice with the team during the National Anthem before a game at the XL Center. The Chasers are looking for similar opportunities this season.

The team also has scrimmages with the Southern Connecticut Storm of Bridgeport and the East Coast Jumbos of Hopkinton, Massachusetts. Email Ctchasershockey@gmail.com for more information.

The Night Before Christmas

AVON — The Avon Historical Society's holiday exhibit from the private collection of Society member Elisabeth Neff, entitled "The Night before Christmas: Antique Toys, Dolls, Books and Puzzles - 1904-1918."

It will be on display outside the Marian Hunter Local History Room of the Avon Free Public Library, 281 Country Club Road, from Nov. 1 through December. Neff has a family collection of books for display such as a 1913 book with Clement Moore's famous poem "Twas the night before Christmas" that belonged to her mother. All items on display are 100-years-old or older. Included in the display will be two feather trees from 1910, family antique ornaments and a Schoenhut piano with stool made in America in the early 20th century.

For those who love good books, there will be a first-edition Beatrix Potter book, seven of the "Five Little Pepper" books and a beautiful illustrated Mother Goose book. There will be puzzles, a small doll's trunk with two dolls and several dresses with hats from 1912, all with original clothing. Sitting with the dolls will be a Steiff teddy bear from 1909.

Also part of the display will be vintage postcards and the stories of legend of Santa Claus, the Christmas Tree, and the history of blown-glass ornaments will be available for reading.

Tunxis Offers Free FAFSA Help Sessions

FARMINGTON — Tunxis Community College will host a session 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 for the Jan. 5 session. 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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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