Editor of the Reformer:

September 7 was a busy day for Brattleboro Memorial Hospital.

The day started at 6 a.m. with 60-plus trucks arriving at the Brattleboro Memorial Hospital parking lot for the fifth annual Touch a Truck event. And the kids and parents started lining up not too long after. Over 1,000 children, parents, and grandparents attended this year’s event and many of the vehicles were the traditional favorites: fire truck, police car, school bus, backhoe, utility vehicles and cranes. But there were also a few new participants including a helicopter and the Kona Ice truck.

And then at 1 p.m. as the trucks started pulling out of the parking lot, work was under way for the High Heels & Hard Hat gala to honor Art & Sue Greenbaum that evening. Starting at 6 p.m., under the tent in the BMH parking lot, approximately 150 people came together to recognize Art and Sue, raise dollars for BMH and dance and have a fun time.

Thank you to the many, many volunteers who served on the committees and assisted at each of the events, the sponsors who helped underwrite the costs, the in-kind gifts, auction items and raffle prizes from local businesses, both of the Brattleboro Rotary clubs, the truckers and all who attended. Everyone pitching in made the day a great success. Between the two events approximately $50,000 was raised to support the work of BMH and a wonderful time was had by all. Thank you.

To see photos from the day, visit the BMH Facebook page.

Ellen Smith,

Brattleboro Memorial Hospital, Sept. 18 ***

Editor of the Reformer:

The Abene African Dance and Drum Festival was held at The Brattleboro Stone Church August 23-25. Caro Diallo, from Senegal, taught six high-spirited dance classes; Alioune (Pape) N’Diaye, also Senegalese, taught two dance classes and Namory Keita taught West African drumming on the weekend. The film "Sahel Calling" about Malian musicians raising awareness about the unrest in Mali was shown on Saturday the 24th thanks to Jeryl Julian Cisse, followed by a beautiful set of African-inspired music by Derrik Jordan, Julian Gerstn, Tony Vacca and John Hughes. A spectacular performance with Caro Diallo, Pape N’Diaye, Namory Keita, Lisa Newell, Georgette Beighle and festival drummers and dancers rounded out the evening.

Many thanks for the generosity of all of the financial support from businesses that made it possible to bring Caro here and help cover some of the expenses of putting on the festival. Thanks go to: The Brattleboro Retreat and Abigail Rockwell Children’s Center, Community House Inc., Brattleboro Savings & Loan, Friends of the Sun, Altiplano, Amy’s Bakery Arts Cafe, The Brattleboro Co-op, Brown & Roberts, C & S Wholesale Grocers, Fireworks Restaurant, Everyone’s Books, A Candle in the Night, Putney Food Co-op, Hotel Pharmacy and in-kind donations from Grafton Village Cheese Company, United Natural Foods Inc., Price Chopper and Spartan Copies. Thanks to Ray Warren and The Brattleboro Stone Church and a special thank you to Petra Langner for her financial generosity and for making the festival banner.

Thanks also go to Caro Diallo for his skill, style and grace and for inspiring us with the passion, finesse and elegance of his dancing; to Pape N’Diaye for his spirited dancing and drumming; to the drummers: Namory Keita, Jay Stanley, Abou Camara and others for the important job of keeping the beat and energy going; to Gena Corea for being the initial creator and visionary for the Abene Festival and for hosting Caro and other guests; to Wendy Sherry for the graphics work; to David Rogers for giving rides to Caro; to Dieneba Macalou for bringing her delicious African food; to Anne Koplinka-Loehr for serving as the MC for the performance, to Jon Potter of the Brattleboro Reformer for writing a beautiful article about the film and festival, to all of the individuals who volunteered their time to making the festival happen; and to all of the dancers and drummers that came out and participated in the classes!

Gena Corea, Jon King, Petra Langner,
Naomi Lindenfeld, Ingrid Sell,
Wendy Sherry. Jan Thompson

The Abene Festival Planning Committee

Brattleboro, Sept. 12

***

Editor of the Reformer:

The Saxtons River Rec committee would like to thank all those who participated in our recent successful flea market. In spite of a brisk day, we raised $415 towards our goal of $5,000. Only $4585 to go!

Thank you to the following businesses for donating to the concession stand, with all earnings going to the rec:

Allen Brothers, C & S Wholesalers, Leader Distribution (Pepsi Cola), Lisai’s Market in Bellows Falls, Mr. G’s Liquidation Center, Russ Allen’s apple orchard, the Saxtons River Village Market, and Shaw’s.

Special thanks to those who donated to the bake sale and to Jill Newton for helping all day.

Watch for our next event: the Chili Cook-Off Saturday, Oct. 19. See you there!

Samantha Fletcher

Saxtons River Rec Committee, Sept. 18