Monday January 28, 2013

Editor of the Reformer:

Yes, we did it. Spring has sprung early as we planted 1,000 daffodil bulbs at Exit 1 on Nov. 10. And we could not have done it without all of you.

We thank all those individuals who so generously donated their dollars (both large and small) so we could actually buy those bulbs -- which came from Van Engelen, Inc. Along with business donations from Enright Salon and GPI Construction. We thank you. Behind the scenes were the helpful staff of the Brattleboro Department of Public Works, the Outlet Center, Lotus Graphics, Windham Regional Career Center, landscaper Martin Webster, and overall organization and coordination by Martha Ramsey and Julia Perks.

And of course there were more than 25 of you who so enthusiastically came to help plant those beautiful bulbs. We especially acknowledge Sierra Sylvester housemother at Kurn Hattin who brought six of her girls. They were just awesome. Also John and Julia Perks and friends from Saxtons River, Darrell Brown and photographer Greg Worden. The day wouldn’t have been complete without shovels from Ricia Gordon along with food and drink from the Brattleboro Food Co-op and Jasmin’s Bakery.

During the October Gallery Walk in downtown Brattleboro, Martha Ramsey, Darrell Brown, and Karolina Oleksiw had fun soliciting and gathering your donations as well as sharing information about our beautification project. We thank Allison Macrae of Verde for Garden and Home who donated our table space in front of her store. Suzy Worden of Kitchen Sync, Jan Norris of Delectable Mountain Cloth, and Alva-Jean and Dan Unwin of Taylor for Flowers all contributed to make our table beautiful and inviting.

So thank you, thank you, thank you one and all.

The Folks of the Exit 1 Gateway Project,

Brattleboro, Dec. 24 ***

Editor of the Reformer:

Valley Cares, Inc. wishes to thank the local artists and donors who made our Art Show & Auction such a success last month. We had a tremendous turnout! We auctioned off over 60 pieces of artwork and received many donations toward the expansion of our Assisted Living.

We send a heartfelt thank you to everyone who donated artwork: Carolyn Allbee, Ronald Allbee, Bobbi Angell, Pat Ballou, Beverly Bates, Ray Bates, Sigrid Beazej, Karen Becker, Joel Beckwith, James Brisson, Jennifer Connor, Maisie Crowther, John Hagearty, Kimberly Hartman Colligan, Richard Foye, Lucy Gratwick, Ailyn Hoey, Noel Hoffman, Cristel Holden, Mark Hunter, Homer Johnson, Joan Lake, J.Mark Littlehales, Priscilla Lyman, Paul Madalinski, Walter Meyer, Margaret Miller, John Nopper, Cathy Osman, Warren Patrick, Matthew Peake, Janet Picard, Jean Pollock, Susan Potter Smith, Leonard Ragouzeos, Darlene Rutnik, Deidre Scherer, William Schommer, Timothy Segar, George Steinmeyer, Matthew Tell, Lydia Thomson, Margot Torrey, Christine Triebert, Malcolm Wright, and Somara Zwick. We are humbled by your kindness and awed by your artistic brilliance!

Hors d’oeuvres and beverages were provided by Valley Cares’ volunteers, Board of Directors and staff. Thank you also to Price Chopper for their donation of food.

We thank Newfane Greenhouse and Sally Winchester of Windham Flowers for their donations of beautiful floral arrangements for the event.

Thank you to Dr. Shafer for his premier performance as our auctioneer, and to the volunteers, board member and staff who planned this event.

And a warm thank you to the residents of West River Valley Assisted Living. Many of these residents are, themselves, talented artists whose artwork was on display throughout the building. We thank them for sharing their creations and thank all residents for graciously welcoming the community into their home.

To everyone who attended the event or purchased art, thank you for your generous support to Valley Cares, Inc. and the expansion of our Assisted Living. Our expansion project will break ground in next month!

Susanne Shapiro, program director

Bob Crego, executive director

Valley Cares, Townshend, Jan. 15

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Editor of the Reformer:

I want to thank Bob Audette for his thorough story reporting the dangers of hardened ice on the tops of vehicles ("Police urge people to clear snow and ice from vehicles," Jan. 11). I can not begin to express how unreal it was to see a plywood sheet sized piece of solid ice peel up from atop a trailer on 1-91. It hung suspended for what seemed an impossible amount of time, directly in my path. I was well behind the vehicle but at 60 mph the giant tile was able to fly like a glider or a kite. I was near the end of the West River bridge with no place to go. The giant plate hit me full force, crushed my hood, warped a fender, then smashed into the windshield. I held the road. When my mind cleared and realized my car was still drive-able, I followed the vehicle and flashed my headlights. The driver did not stop. He probably did not know what happened. I called 911 and reported the license plate to the Vermont State Police. When I got out of the car and surveyed the actual damage, I was shocked, both at what had happened to my car, and at the idea of what might have happened. My life was spared by a few inches of drift. If the edge of the missile had hit the windshield instead of the hood, I probably would not have survived the impact.

I grew up in New England and have driven in this climate since 1964. This sort of event has never happened to me, but there have been plenty of times when I have seen snow and ice flying off vehicles at high speed. I urge my fellow motorists, and especially the drivers of buses, vans and trucks, to do a thorough job of cleaning off before they get on a highway. The plate of ice that hit me weighed a great deal more than a sheet of plywood. Imagine driving with an unsecured load of plywood, even a sheet of plywood, on your rooftop? Not at all a good idea.

The next day after the impact, I contacted Bob Audette, showed him my car, then drove to the police barracks. Sergeant Trudeau was on the case. He was very helpful and said the police hoped to locate and contact the owner of the vehicle that unwittingly caused the damage. I am grateful to be able to say, that Sergeant Trudeau was successful and I hope my insurance company is able to recoup from the gentleman’s insurance.

I hope that everyone who reads about this accident will share the story and will schedule the few extra minutes it takes to inspect and clear their cars of snow and ice. It is only winter etiquette, after all. And those extra minutes may save a life.

Again, many thanks to the Reformer, to 911 and to our excellent State Police for their help in calling attention to this critical hazard on our roads and highways.

Andrea Scheidler,

Putney, Jan. 17

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Editor of the Reformer:

The Knights of Columbus St. Charles Chapter, Council #753 in Bellows Falls has graciously donated $2,203 to Health Care and Rehabilitation Services. These proceeds are used to benefit individuals with developmental disabilities in the Bellows Falls/Rockingham area.

The Knights of Columbus and HCRS would like to thank the town of Rockingham and Greater Falls area residents for their generous donations during the recent Tootsie Roll Campaign.

Alice J. Bradeen,

Executive Administrator & Communications and Grants Manager,

Springfield, Jan. 18