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The Commons

Around the Towns

Originally published in The Commons issue #150 (Wednesday, May 2, 2012).

Vermont Old Cemetery Association to meet in Wardsboro

WARDSBORO — The spring meeting of the Vermont Old Cemetery Association (VOCA) will be held on Saturday, May 5, at the Wardsboro Town Hall, just of Route 100.

Coffee and snacks will be served at 9 a.m., with the VOCA meeting convening at 10 a.m. Following lunch at noon, Charlie Marchant will present a talk, “Where Were They Then, Where Are They Now?”

Marchant, a Townshend Cemetery Commissioner and trustee of the town’s Historical Society, will outline the research required to locate burial sites of Civil War veterans and the techniques used to find nearly 100 soldiers who were credited to Townshend.

VOCA is the oldest cemetery preservation group in the United States, and it works to preserve the nearly 2,000 cemeteries located in Vermont.

For more information on VOCA, contact Marchant at 802-365-7937.

BF Rotary Club to hold annual Penny Sale

BELLOWS FALLS — The Bellows Falls Rotary Club will host its annual Penny Sale on Saturday, May 5 at the Bellows Falls Union High School auditorium.

The Penny Sale will include three separate rounds, with each round raffling off 100 prizes. Tickets for each round are $1 each, or six for $5, and will be on sale that evening. Winning tickets are placed back in the tumbler for that round so that ticket could win multiple times. As $1 buys 100 chances to win a prize in each round, it comes out to a penny per chance — hence the name “Penny Sale.”

Area businesses have donated more than 300 prizes, from stuffed animals, toys, tools, and ski passes to gift certificates for local services and restaurants. Several grand prizes include a kayak and three bicycles.

The sale ends with the drawing of the cash raffle, with a chance to win $50, $150, $250, or $500. You do not need to be present to win the cash, but if you are present you will win an additional $25 with a winning ticket. See a Rotarian to purchase your cash raffle tickets.

For more information, contact Hugh Haggerty at 802-463-4159 or Raynie Laware at 802-376-9972. Admission is free. Refreshments will be provided by Bellows Falls Union High School Class of 2015.

The Penny Sale is the Bellows Falls Rotary Club’s largest fundraiser, proceeds from which support many local organizations such as Our Place Drop In Center and Parks Place. The sale also funds scholarships for graduating seniors and the Rotary International Youth Exchange Program.

The doors will open at 5:30 p.m., and the first round of prizes starts promptly at 6 p.m.

BAPC offers parenting class on May 5

BRATTLEBORO — The Brattleboro Area Prevention Coalition (BAPC) will offer a free course for parents or guardians of young children, on Saturday, May 5, from 9 a.m. to noon.

“Parenting Young Children Wisely” teaches parents skills and techniques to help them better understand and deal with children ages 3-9. Two trained facilitators will guide participants to help build understanding and communication among all members of the family. The course teaches constructive skills proven to improve family relationships by illustrating typical family situations and the common ways in which parents try to handle them.

All participants will receive a “Parenting Young Children Wisely” workbook, a parent resource packet, a certificate of completion, and a $25 gift card upon completion of the course. Child care and snacks will also be provided during the course.

This program is sponsored locally by BAPC. Space is limited. For more information or to register, contact BAPC at 802-257-2175 or, or visit

TEDxSIT conference returns on May 6

BRATTLEBORO — The second annual TEDxSIT event, “Building Bridges: Connecting Our Communities,” will take place at the New England Youth Theater on Sunday, May 6, from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Speakers will include “Eat More Kale” accidental activist Bo Muller Moore, director of “Color of Fear” and master diversity trainer Lee Mun Wah, Compassionate Communication specialist Raj Gill, nationally acclaimed poetry duo Climbing Poetry, LGBTQ and anti-oppression activist YK Hong, Hans Estrin from the local food network, Amy Frost from Circle Mountain Farm, Bill Holiday of Brattleboro Union High School, Sabine Rhyne of the Brattleboro Food Co-op, Moutarou Diallo from Senegal performing West African music, and many more.

Tickets are $20 and can be purchased online at Tickets are limited.

In addition, the conference will be streamed live at Marlboro College. For more information, email

End-of-life issues discussed in Putney

PUTNEY — As part of its ongoing educational series “Tea and Talk,” Putney Cares will present an end-of-life planning session on Sunday, May 6, from 3 to 5 p.m., at the Activity Barn on Kimball Hill.

Claudia McCarthy of Senior Solutions will lead a discussion of issues that one faces in planning for oneself or one’s parents as the end of life approaches. Senior Solutions has worked with seniors in this capacity for many years, and this meeting will offer an opportunity to hear about the organization’s services, as well as to discuss participants’ own plans and wishes.

State Rep. Mike Mrowicki will lead the second half of the program and will present up-to-date materials from the Vermont Ethics Network on advanced directives (formerly known as living wills). Participants will receive materials to create advanced directives and information about electronic registration with the state so that they are available when needed. There will also be updates on organ donation.

There will be ample time for questions and discussion.

To sign up, or for more information, contact Putney Cares at 802-387-5593, or

Next tobacco cessation workshop at BMH starts May 10

BRATTLEBORO — Brattleboro Memorial Hospital will host another installment of the “Fresh Start: Tobacco Cessation Workshop” in BMH Room B beginning Thursday, May 10.

A facilitator trained by the Vermont Department of Health Access will run the free, four-week class, which takes place every Thursday through May 31 from 9 to 10:30 a.m.

To register in advance or get more information, call 802-251-8456.

Grace Cottage begins new Zumba classes

TOWNSHEND — Grace Cottage Hospital’s Wellness Center will host an eight-week Zumba class on Tuesdays, May 8 to June 26, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

The Zumba workout combines easy-to-follow dance moves with invigorating Latin music, creating a fitness program that is both effective and fun. Appropriate for all ages and fitness levels, the only requirements are comfy clothes, low tread sneakers, a water bottle, and the ability to have fun! Taught by certified Zumba instructor Carrie Goldsmith, this class has quickly become one of the Wellness Center’s most popular offerings.

The Grace Cottage Hospital Wellness Center is at 133 Grafton Rd./Route 35. The class is limited to 20 participants. Fee: $80; $13 drop-in fee. Call 802-365-3649 to pre-register.

Rotary presents $5,000 to Boys & Girls Club and Pure Water for the World

BRATTLEBORO — The Brattleboro Rotary Club and Renaissance Fine Jewelry raised more than $5,000 for the Boys & Girls Club of Brattleboro and Pure Water for the World via a raffle in memory of Norm Kuebler, a longtime community member, businessman, and Brattleboro Rotarian who died in 2010.

Rotary President Elizabeth Harrison presented two checks — each for $2,545 — to Boys & Girls Club representative Beth Baldwin-Page and Pure Water for the World representative Philip Steckler, during the club’s April 5 meeting.

Ian Harrison of Townshend won the drawing for a $1,000 store credit donated by Renaissance. To add your support to these organizations, which were two of Kuebler’s favorites, find them online at and

Thompson Trust awards matching grant to WCCA for Bookmobile

BRATTLEBORO — Windham Child Care Association (WCCA) has been awarded a $10,000 challenge grant by the Thomas Thompson Trust to help support the transition of the Bookmobile program from Windham County Reads to WCCA.

The Thomas Thompson Trust will match each new donation from Windham County Reads supporters with a 2:1 match and each additional gift by WCCA’s existing donors at 1:1.

WCCA Executive Director Elizabeth Raposa said her organization will roll out the program under its new name, Early Learning Express.

The matching grant will be in effect until June 30. Appeal letters have been mailed out to both organizations’ mailing lists; donations can also be made online at, or mailed to Windham Child Care Association, 130 Birge St, Brattleboro, VT 05301.

For more information about Windham Child Care Association’s programs, including the Early Learning Express, call 802-254-5332.

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