Around the Towns

Forest Moon holds winter fun benefit

BRATTLEBORO - A benefit day for Forest Moon: Celebrating Cancer Survivorship will be held on Sunday, Jan. 6, at Stump Sprouts Cross Country Ski Center and Guest Lodge in nearby Hawley, Mass. Proceeds from all registrations after 12:30 p.m., a buffet dinner, or overnight stay will go to support Forest Moon's free programs for people affected by cancer in western Massachusetts and southern Vermont.

Based in Brattleboro, Forest Moon offers free or low-cost classes, workshops, day-long and weekend retreats for survivors of all types of cancers and their family members to help them improve their emotional well-being and regain a joy for living.

Join them for an afternoon of cross-country skiing, snow shoeing, or a gentle walk, followed by a buffet from Stump Sprout's kitchen featuring hot dishes, salads, home-baked breads, desserts and beverages for $15 per person. The day will also feature inexpensive facility fees and equipment rentals, plus free lessons.

For reservations, email [email protected] with names in your group and seating time. Register before Jan. 3, and be entered in a drawing for a gift certificate from Berkshire Outfitters, Zoar Outdoor, or Sam's. For more information about Stump Sprouts, call 413-339-4265 or go to For more information about Forest Moon, go to or call 802-246-1368.

Merry Mulch Christmas tree collection offered by BUHS Music Department

BRATTLEBORO - The Brattleboro Union High School Music Department is once again offering the Merry Mulch Christmas tree collection service to Brattleboro residents.

This program, in its 22nd year, is endorsed by the Vermont Department of Agriculture as well as the New Hampshire/Vermont Christmas Tree Association.

For a $10 donation, members of the band and chorus will transport undecorated trees from homes to a community garden in West Brattleboro where they will be chipped into mulch to be used by the community. Since the town does not offer curbside pick-up of trees, the service saves residents the hassle of transporting their own trees.

Three Saturday pick-up dates are being offered: Jan. 5, 12, and 19. All pick-ups must be prearranged by calling one of the following numbers at least two days prior to your desired date: 802-579-1577, 802-387-3794, or 802-254-3360. Proceeds will benefit a planned trip to New York in May.

BaBB to hold special meeting on Jan. 3

BRATTLEBORO - Building a Better Brattleboro (BaBB) will hold a special Board of Directors meeting on Thursday, Jan. 3, at 8 a.m., at the River Garden on Main Street.

All BaBB members and the public are invited to attend. On the agenda is the organization's fiscal year 2014 work plan and budget.

Disaster recovery grant applications now being accepted

BRATTLEBORO - Vermont Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery Fund applications are now being accepted. Funds can be used to help businesses still recovering from Tropical Storm Irene.

Businesses may apply for funding to help with unmet needs that are a direct result of flooding. This is highly competitive, so apply early, attend an upcoming workshop for application assistance, and contact April Harkness at Brattleboro Development Credit Corp. at 802-257-7731 or Paul Kowalski at Springfield Regional Development Corp. at 802-885-3061.

Applications, workshop information, and important dates are all posted online at or

Turning Point offers Life Skills Workshops

BRATTLKBORO - Turning Point of Windham County and the Phoenix House are collaborating on a series of Life Skills workshops designed to help people get ready for job hunting. Anyone who's looking for work or who needs help with resume writing or interviewing may benefit from these workshops.

The two-hour, twice-weekly sessions are co-facilitated by a Phoenix House counselor and a Turning Point recovery coach. They welcome people to attend any or all of the sessions, more than once if they'd like. The four-topic series will be repeated several times over the coming months. Here are the specific topics covered:

Session 1: Employment Readiness and Community Resources

Session 2: Developing a Resume, Cover Letter, and List of References

Session 3: Employment Application; Scheduling Interviewing

Session 4: Interviewing; Practice Questions; Mock Interviews

The life skills workshops will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays, Jan. 8, 10, 15, and 17, from 1 to 3 p.m., at the center, 112 Hardwood Way (off Putney Road, behind Taco Bell and KFC). Guests may use the center computers to work on their resumes and cover letters, and to do online job searches. Call 802-257-5600 for more information.

Brattleboro School of Dance to hold spring semester registration

BRATTLEBORO - Registration for the spring semester at Brattleboro School of Dance will take place Monday, Jan. 7 through Sunday, Jan. 13. The studio on 22 High St. in downtown Brattleboro will be open for in-person registration from 1 to 6 p.m. each day, giving prospective students and their families a chance to see the facility and speak with the faculty.

People may also register by calling 802-254-6884, or online at

New classes for the spring include Martha Graham and Lester Horton modern technique for Intermediate Modern dancers, Ashtanga Yoga, Adult Beginning Modern, and Beginning Children's Tap (ages 6-10).

Classes run for 15 weeks starting Jan. 14 and ending May 12, with breaks coinciding with the weeks of Winter Carnival in February and the Brattleboro public schools' spring vacation in April. Offerings in ballet, modern, jazz, tap, pilates, yoga and belly dance are available for students ages 2 to adult of all ability levels.

Scholarships are also available for students in need of tuition assistance. Families can pick up an application at the studio or download one from the website. The application and all applicable financial paperwork must be submitted by Jan. 21 in order to be eligible for the spring 2013 semester.

Petrak to discuss winter birds in Windham County

DUMMERSTON - On Tuesday, Jan. 8, the Dummerston Conservation Commission will sponsor a presentation by Chris Petrak entitled “When the Snow Flies – Winter Birds in Windham County.”

This richly illustrated program will take place at 7 p.m. at the Dummerston Community Center, 166 West St., West Dummerston.

Drawing on the records of the Brattleboro Christmas Bird Count (the first count was in 1903), Petrak will take a photographic look at the changes in the birds that have been seen, and are being seen, in southeastern Vermont during the winter months.

Petrak has been writing about birds for local newspapers for over 12 years. His column, “Tails of Birding,” appears monthly in The Commons. For further information,

BF Woman's Club to meet on Jan. 8

BELLOWS FALLS - Members of the Bellows Falls Woman's club will meet on Tuesday, Jan. 8 at the United Church of Bellows Falls on School Street, beginning at 1:30 p.m.

The speaker for the meeting will be Windham County Sheriff Keith Clark. His presentation will include personal safety tips and steps to take to avoid identity theft.

The Bellows Falls Woman's Club is a member of the General Federation of Women's Clubs, an international women's organization dedicated to community improvement by enhancing the lives of others through volunteer service. The GFWC's signature project is domestic violence awareness and prevention.

Area women interested in joining the local club should contact Barbara Comtois at 802-344-0025.