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Community News For The West Hartford Edition

WIAF Is Jan. 27 And 28

WEST HARTFORD - The ninth annual Wyvern Invitational A Cappella Festival celebrates vocal harmony at Kingswood Oxford School, 170 Kingswood Rd., on Friday and Saturday nights, Jan. 27, at 7 p.m. and Jan. 28, at 6:30 p.m. Proceeds go to Team Tobati (Paraguay). Tickets are available.

Local Students Recognized

WEST HARTFORD — Watkinson School recognizes and celebrates 18 students who are the school's Honor Athletes for fall 2016. Three of the designees are from Hartford, including Nicole Davis, Brycen Chen-Phang and Ryheem Mathurin. This distinction is given to students who earned a Varsity letter and also maintained High Honors for the fall season. Watkinson competes in the Housatonic Valley Athletic League and is a member of the New England Prep School Athletic Council.

Local Student Selected

HARTFORD — Ninth grade student Emma Macdonald, of West Hartford, is among the recipients of 2016 CHET Advance Scholarships. 2016 is the fourth year of the CHET Advance Scholarship program, which awards $2,500 scholarships to high school seniors and initial $2,000 scholarships to freshmen. The freshmen have the opportunity to receive an additional $500 if the student's family saves $500 in a CHET account by the time the student goes to college. A complete list of ninth and twelfth grade Connecticut students awarded CHET Advance Scholarship Winners may be found at courant.com/community/CHET

Animal Embassy

WEST HARTFORD — The Elmwood Community Center, 1106 New Britain Ave., will hold an Animal Embassy on Thursday, Dec. 29 from 1-2- p.m. Tickets cost $5 per child. Recommended age is 5 -12 and children must be accompanied by an adult. Register at elmwoodcommunitycenter.com or by calling 860-561-8160.

Pajamas In Support Of Patients

WEST HARTFORD — Children and teachers of the Mandell JCC Beatrice Fox Auerbach Early Childhood Center wore pajamas to participate in PJ Day for the Kids, which supports and raises money for patients of the Cancer Care Center at the Connecticut Children's Medical Center. The day was filled with activities that included a special storybook reading from Mandell JCC Executive Director, David Jacobs, PJ Library stories, art, food and fun. At the end of the day for Shabbat, the children learned a lesson about Tzedakah: the joy that comes from giving.

PJ Day for the Kids was started in 2011 by a 7 year-old boy, eager to give back for lifesaving cancer care his sister received at Connecticut Children's Medical Center. Each year, students and businesses across Connecticut come together to show support and raise funds for patients at Connecticut Children's Medical Center who wear their PJs while fighting cancer and other serious illnesses. To date, over $84,000 has been raised for the medical center.

Israeli Chanukah Party

WEST HARTFORD — Beit Modechai, 1137 Trout Brook Drive, will be holding its annual Israeli Chanukah Party on Thursday, Dec. 29, at 6 p.m. The party will include prizes, music and food. Cost is $10 per person with a maximum $30 per family.

Celebrating The Season With The Children's Museum

WEST HARTFORD –The Children's Museum, 950 Trout Brook Dr., is getting into the holiday spirit with, "Let it Snow!" the popular planetarium show, which plays daily through December. Families can receive one free ticket to see "Let it Snow" for their donation to the Mitten Tree which helps those less fortunate. New hats, mittens, gloves, scarves and socks are accepted. The museum also sponsors:

• Countdown to Noon Years. Celebrate 2016 a little early with the Countdown to Noon on December 31. Stop by the Museum for a celebration and activities starting at 10 a.m., all free with general admission or membership.

• Winter Science Camp. With kids out of school for the holiday season, the Museum has fun and educational day camps planned that keep kids in Grades 1-6 learning and entertained.

Winter Vacation Week Activities:

o Monday, Dec. 26: Learn About Lars, make cotton ball polar bears and learn about insulation.

o Tuesday, Dec. 27: Let It Snow, make a snow globe, cut out snowflakes and participate in story time.

o Wednesday, Dec. 28: Staying Warm When It's Cold, make hand warmers and learn how animals stay warm.

o Thursday, Dec. 29: The Northern Lights, find out the about the Northern Lights and create a stained glass window craft.

o Friday, Dec. 30: Fireworks, learn about the history of fireworks and paint some fireworks.

For further information on all holiday programming, visit www.TheChildrensMuseumCT.org

'Fire On Ice'

WEST HARTFORD — "Fire on Ice," the free community Chanukah celebration hosted by Chabad of Greater Hartford, will be held on Sunday, Dec. 25, at 4 p.m., at Blue Back Square, with a giant ice menorah, a chocolate gelt drop and a fire show. A Canorah will also be constructed with contribute cans of food, which will then be donated to local food pantries.

A Chanukah essay contest is a new initiative this year. Children, up to age 13, are encouraged to write an essay on "What Chanukah Means to Me", the winner will read their essay at the lighting ceremony. The essay has a 300 word max and should be submitted to info@ChabadHarford.com with subject line "Essay Contest" by Tuesday, Dec. 20. Prizes include a Samsung Galaxy Tablet, a Garmin Vivo fit Fitness Band and a Mini-Drone.

For more information, call 860-232-1116 or log on to www.ChabadHartford.com.

Let It Snow!

WEST HARTFORD — The holiday planetarium show, "Let It Snow: A Christmas Musical Journey," will be shown in the Travelers Science Dome at the Gengras Planetarium, 950 Trout Brook Drive. Let It Snow, a limited engagement holiday show, combines animated holiday images with classic Christmas music. For a detailed list seasonal activities and a schedule of planetarium shows at The Children's Museum and at the Roaring Nature Center, please visit TheChildrensMuseumCT.org.

Let It Snow is and has a cost of $1.50 per ticket for Museum Member and $3 per ticket in addition to the cost of general admission for Non-Members. Visitors can receive a free Planetarium ticket for a same day showing when they donate an item to the Museum's Mitten Tree, through Dec. 23. All other Planetarium shows are free for Museum members and $2.50 for non-members.

A History of Black-Jewish Relations

WEST HARTFORD — The Emanuel Synagogue, 160 Mohegan Dr., welcomes Cheryl Greenberg, PhD, Paul E. Raether Distinguished Professor of History, Trinity College, on Monday, Jan. 16, 2017, at 7 p.m., in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. "A History of Black-Jewish Relations and Why It Matters Today More Than Ever."Light Refreshments will be served. Open to the public. For more information call the Emanuel Synagogue office at 860-236-1275.

Programs At Holy Family Retreat Center

WEST HARTFORD — The Holy Family Retreat Center, 303 Tunxis Rd., will hold the following programs:

Women's Weekend Retreat: Friday-Sunday, Jan 6-8 or Jan 27-29.

Contemplative Enrichment Day: Saturday, Jan. 7, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Men's Weekend Retreat: Friday-Sunday, Jan 13-15 or Jan 20-22.

Visit www.holyfamilyretreat.org or call 860-760-9705.

Brunch And Learn Series

WEST HARTFORD — The Mandell JCC will bring United States Senator, Chris Murphy, as a guest speaker for its Brunch and Learn series, Wednesday, Dec. 28, at 12:15 p.m. at the Mandell JCC, Zachs Campus, 335 Bloomfield Ave. Attendees will enjoy a bagel lunch, after which U.S. Senator Chris Murphy will discuss "What's Next for Congress." $7 per person, $5 for JCC members. Advance reservations are required by Friday, Dec. 23. To make a reservation, contact Sharon at sholtzberg@mandelljcc.org or call 860-231-6311.

West Hartford Public Library

WEST HARTFORD — Nicole Blades, author of The Thunder Beneath Us, will be at the West Hartford Public Library, 20 South Main St., on Wednesday, Jan. 11 at 6:30 p.m., for a reading and book signing. Nicole Blades is a novelist and journalist who has been putting her stories on paper since the third grade. Born and raised in Montreal, Quebec, by Caribbean parents, Nicole moved to New York City and launched her journalism career working at Essence magazine. She later co-founded the online magazine SheNetworks, and worked as an editor at ESPN and Women's Health. To register call 860-561-6990.

Junior Maccabi Games

WEST HARTFORD — The Mandell JCC invites all young Jewish athletes ages 10-12, to join Team Hartford and compete in the 2017 Northeast Junior Maccabi Games. Team Assessments will be held beginning in January in the Siegal/Levy Gymnasium at the Mandell JCC, Zachs Campus, 335 Bloomfield Ave. The Junior Maccabi Games will offer competitions for boys and girls in the following sports: basketball, soccer, swimming and tennis.

Basketball Assessments: Boys- Sunday, Jan. 8, from 4:30-5:30 p.m. and Tuesday, Jan. 10, from 7 to 8 p.m. Girls- Sunday, Jan. 22, from 4:45-5:45 p.m. and Tuesday, Jan. 24, from 7 to 8 p.m.

Soccer Assessments: Boys- Sunday, Jan. 8, from 3:15-4:15 p.m. and Thursday, Jan. 19, from 7 to 8 p.m. Girls- Sunday, Jan. 29, from 4:45-5:45 p.m. and Thursday, Feb. 2, from 7 to 8 p.m.

For children planning to participate in tennis and swimming, there are no assessments, and the child is automatically guaranteed to have a spot on Team Hartford. Registration Forms must be completed and submitted with payment by Feb. 1, 2017 to ensure a spot. Registration forms are available at www.mandelljcc.org/JRMaccabi.

Library Seeks Proposals

WEST HARTFORD — Proposals are being sought for West Hartford's first-ever How-To Festival on Saturday, March 25, at the Noah Webster Library, 20 South Main St. Proposals for this event may be submitted at http://bit.ly/howto25march before Sunday Jan. 15, 2017. For more information email howto@westhartfordlibrary.org

Fern Street Community Kitchen

WEST HARTFORD — The winter schedule for the Fern Street Community Kitchen at the Universalist Church, 433 Fern St. follow:

The Mobile Foodshare will be distributing food in our back parking lot from 9:15 – 9:45 a.m. Breakfast is served from 9 to 10 a.m., Jan. 16 and 30, Feb. 13 and 27, and March 13 and 27.

The pantry hours are 10 a.m. to noon Jan. 21, Feb. 18, and March 18. Email communitybreakfast@westhartforduu.org or foodsharemobile@westhartforduu.org or FernStFoodPantry@gmail.com

Pajama Day Held

WEST HARTFORD — The Bugbee Elementary School, 1943 Asylum Ave., proudly worked together with the school community to raise funds in honor of the countless kids at Connecticut Children's Medical Center who wear their pajamas while fighting cancer and illnesses.

West Hartford Schools

WEST HARTFORD — The list of students who have been named to the West Hartford School System's Honor Roll may be found at courant.com/community/west hartford.

Summer Job Fair

WEST HARTFORD — The Mandell Jewish Community Center will host a Summer 2017 Job Fair for individuals 16 and older seeking employment, Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2017 from 4:30 to 7 p.m. at the Mandell JCC, Zachs Campus, 335 Bloomfield Ave.There are a variety of summer employment opportunities at the multiple Mandell JCC summer sites including Camp Shalom, a day camp in Windsor, Campareenah, a day camp for ages 3-5 and the Swim & Tennis Club in Bloomfield. Open positions include: lifeguards, swim instructors, sports staff chefs and cooks, front desk staff, snack bar, arts and crafts specialists, camp counselors, and more.

For more information on the different summer job openings through the Mandell JCC call the Member Services Center, 860-236-4571, or visit www.mandelljcc.org. For more information contact Karen at 860-231-6317, kwyckoff@mandelljcc.org or Sara at 860-231-6331, sbillings@mandelljcc.org.

Fitness Frenzy

WEST HARTFORD — The Mandell Jewish Community Center will open its doors to the entire community to share in free fitness and fun for individuals and their families on Monday, Jan. 2, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Mandell JCC, Zachs Campus, 335 Bloomfield Ave.

Throughout the day, attendees can workout in the Mandell JCC's state-of-the-art Fitness Center with cardio equipment and weight room, splash around in the 25-yard indoor lap pool, training pool and whirlpool, try out one of the JCC's renowned Group Exercise classes including Spinning, Zumba, Yoga, BodyPump, and more. Fitness Frenzy Day will also feature an array of fitness and fun for children including the return of Super Hero Fitness, along with open play in the basketball gymnasium, playscape and pools.

No registration required. For more information, contact Sara at 860-231-6331, sbillings@mandelljcc.org.

Operation Fuel Taking Energy Assistance Applications

HARTFORD — Operation Fuel's statewide winter energy assistance program has begun taking applications. Families and individuals who are struggling financially and need energy assistance should call 211 to find their closest fuel bank. For more information on Operation Fuel or to make a donation, go to operationfuel.org. Donations also can be sent to Operation Fuel, 75 Charter Oak Ave., Suite 2-240, Hartford, CT 06106.

North Central Connecticut Board of Softball Umpires

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, training is provided and classes begin in mid-January. For more information or to join, contact Al at prez798@aol.com or call/text 860-205-1688.

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