Editor of the Reformer:

Today eight Costa Rican students and their three leaders left Brattleboro after nine days full of activity with their hosts at BUHS. The Costa Ricans, who had never seen snow, went for a sleigh ride at Fairwinds Farm, went skating (several times!) at the Memorial Park rink, visited Rescue, Inc. and went bowling at Brattleboro Bowl -- and visited Spanish classes and presented Costa Rican dance to an appreciative audience at BUHS. Last Saturday the American families held a welcome potluck for their guests, and last night the visitors cooked Costa Rican food for their host families.

The group would like to thank everyone who helped make their guests’ visit a success -- Jay and Janet Bailey of Fairwinds Farm; the employees of the Brattleboro Bowl; the staff at Rescue, Inc., who showed the visitors how the service works and demonstrated life-saving procedures; Liz DeNiord, chair of the Art Department at BUHS, who helped them make self-portraits; administrators at BUHS and BAMS; Tom Yahn, who arranged for the farewell dinner at the Famolare Farm; Danielle Cullinane, Allison Cram, and the language teachers, who brought their classes to the dance presentation; and all the teachers at BUHS who welcomed the students in their classes on the very first day of the new semester. We would particularly like to thank Judy Abascal, newly-retired chair of the Modern and Classical Languages Department at BUHS, who hosted one of the leaders and helped in countless ways.

In April, nine BUHS Spanish students will travel to Costa Rica with two teachers. They’ll spend a week helping to teach English at an elementary school and staying with their younger "brothers" and "sisters" from that school before spending two days with their high-school partners. They will also visit the Arenal volcano and rainforest.

To help pay for their trip, the students are organizing a Costa Rican supper for the public this Friday, Jan. 31, at 6:30 p.m. at the West Village Meeting House in West Brattleboro. Tickets will be $10 for adults and $8 for students; pre-school children will be free.

Maggie Cassidy and Karin Blakeson

Co-leaders of BUHS Abroad Costa Rica

Brattleboro, Jan. ***

Editor of the Reformer:

We would like to thank all the people who generously contributed to help make this year’s Charlie Slate Annual Christmas Day Breakfast another huge success.

Thank you for your generous contributions to: G. Housen; Black River Produce; Keene Industrial Paper; Dunkin Donuts; Hidden Springs Maple; Larry Lynch; Steve Glabach; Hannaford Grocery Store; and Price Chopper.

To the many volunteers who gave up their Christmas morning to help make this happen: The wait staff, greeters, drivers, cleanup crew and the amazing kitchen staff that prepared a delicious breakfast for more than 700 people, we cannot thank you enough. Our apologies to anyone we may have missed or forgotten.

Thanks to Tim Johnson at WTSA, Kevin O’Connor at the Rutland Herald and Howard Weiss-Tisman at the Reformer for their continuing coverage of this annual event.

We would like to express our sincere gratitude to the American Legion Post 5 and to our "saving angel," Deirdre Baker. She again took over the final preparations and helped us through our most difficult time, the loss of Judy Flynn, this year’s organizer. We could not have gotten through this without Deirdre.

A special thanks to the community for the outpouring of support and encouragement given to our family these past few weeks. We are honored to keep this tradition, and the spirit of giving, alive, which our father, grandfather and great-grandfather began more than 32 years ago.

We hope to see you all again at the American Legion on Christmas morning this year.

The Charlie Slate Family,

Brattleboro, Jan. 1

***

Editor of the Reformer:

We would like to express our heartfelt thanks for the overwhelming love, support, prayers and cards our family received during the recent loss of our beloved Judy Flynn.

A special thanks to Stan Garland, Don and Linda Strange, Lori Nelson, the Sons of the American Legion and the entire American Legion family; to the American Legion Post 5 Auxiliary and the Marine Corps League for their generous food and monetary donations; and to the American Legion Color Guard for the honorable dedication in her memory.

Thank you to Walter Roberts and Martin Toney for the beautiful service and eulogy, and to Jen Lisia and Dawn Petrovsky for the contribution of the balsam table centerpieces.

To the Atamaniuk Funeral Home, Dr. Fleming and the medical staff at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, and to all of Judy’s friends throughout the state, that helped us through this difficult time.

We were grateful for the time we had with Judy and she will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved her.

The family of Judy (Slate) Flynn,

Brattleboro, Jan. 1

***

Editor of the Reformer:

Due to a shortfall in blood supply a special Blood Drive was held on Tuesday January 7, 2014 at The United Church on School St. in Bellows Falls.

A Big Thank You to all the donors who attended this special Blood Drive. We were able to collect 29 pints of much needed blood.

Our special Thank You goes to The United Church for the use of their building and Rev. Janice Chilek and Clarence Gochey for all they did to make this Blood Drive possible. And to Bill O’Connor for serving food to our donors.

Michelle Heleba, Red Cross Donor Recruitment Rep. Burlington,Vt.

Marlene O’Connor, Red Cross Blood Drive Chairman

Bellows Falls, Jan. 9