Editor of the Reformer:

We want to thank the donors who attended our May 31 Blood Drive at the Masonic Temple in Bellows Falls. We collected 58 pints.

Thank you goes to all our loyal volunteers who worked our drive, to the Masonic Temple for the use of their building, and to the American Legion Post #37 who sponsored our drive.

We had one first time donor, George James. Multi-gallon donors were Richard Wallace III and Lester Cook with one gallon each.

Thank you everyone for the gift of life.

Marlene O’Connor,

Blood Drive Chairman

Ginny Ferguson,

Co-Chairman,

Bellows Falls, June 4 ***

Editor of the Reformer:

The Brattleboro Area Prevention Coalition (BAPC) and Brattleboro Union High School (BUHS) partnered to hold a "Community Conversation on Preventing Teen Prescription Drug Misuse" on the evening of April 29th in the BUHS Multi-Purpose Room. The event was co-hosted with members of the BUHS’s ATI 802 Above the Influence Club.

This was the 4th Community Conversation held by BAPC and BUHS since 2008. Underage drinking had been be focus of the three prior Community Conversations.


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The decision to hold a conversation on teen prescription drug misuse is in response to the 2013 Youth Risk Behavior Survey which reported that 1 in 5 BUHS students have misused a stimulant and/or pain reliever/ opiate in their lifetime; with 1 in 10 stating they have done so in the past thirty days.

BAPC was thrilled to have nearly 50 people attend from our community and joined in the conversation - including teens, parents, law enforcement, school staff, service providers, and medical providers. The Community Conversation was a great opportunity for youth and adults to work on the issue of teen prescription drug misuse including what messages teens are receiving, how teens are perceiving medication misuse, and what reasons teens are misusing medication. Together groups generated interesting discussions and developed solid, creative action steps.

Special thanks to Maria Dominguez for filming the event which will be shown on BCTV and available on their website for streaming starting June 9th. BAPC will also have the video and written summary of the conversations on our website at www.brattleboroareapreventioncoalition.org

The event would not have been possible without BUHS staff Maryanne Kinney and Linda Heimerdinger; and ATI 802 members Nancy Young, Olivia Wright, Alexa Wainwright, Rebecca Freeman, and Carie Davis.

BAPC wants to thank everyone involved in making the Community Conversation a success!

A workgroup of teens and adults will be created late summer/early fall to develop and implement strategies based on the information gathered from the conversation.

Contact BAPC at 802-257-2175 if you are interested in taking an active role in helping to prevent teen prescription drug misuse in our community.

Cassandra Holloway

Brattleboro Area Prevention Coalition, June 3

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Editor of the Reformer:

On behalf of the Board of Directors, our staff and clients, we would like to thank everyone who helped make the Winter Emergency Shelter successful this winter. This was the first time that the shelter was open for six consecutive months. We opened the shelter on November 3 and closed on April 30. There were approximately 10 days that we had the shelter open around the clock due to inclement weather. We served 180 unduplicated people, 126 men, 47 women and 7 children. We were open for 179 nights, average people per night 25, meals served was 7,156. This number includes breakfast, lunch and dinners. Breakfast was served every Sunday by Trinity Lutheran Church volunteers, the center provides breakfast items the other days and lunch was provided during the snowstorms this past winter. I am truly grateful working with such a great group of people. Some of these folks are the staff and volunteers of the Brattleboro Area Drop In Center as well as the Interfaith Clergy Association, the shelter volunteers who man one of the two nightly shifts and the congregation of The First Baptist Church and also the support we received from our community. Without all of these people the shelter would not be operational. Again thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Lucie Fortier,
executive director

Brattleboro Area
Drop In Center, June 4

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Editor of the Reformer:

I want to take this opportunity to thank all the wonderfully creative folks and delightfully appreciative audience who came out for Act Out! this past Friday at the Hooker-Dunham. Actors and technical support from all three of Brattleboro’s local theater companies, VTC, ATP and Apron as well as performers from Bellows Falls and Peterborough, N.H., turned out for a delightfully eclectic evening that filled the theater with exciting new work! Thank you all for kicking off the Hooker-Dunham’s debut "production"! The show gave everyone a chance to see what exciting work is in store for us whether it’s VTC’s Shakespeare-in-the-park, ATP’s upcoming season in West Chesterfield, or Apron’s productions coming soon at Next Stage in Putney. It’s great to see what talent we have in our area and I look forward to seeing so much great work at all our area’s theatrical venues.

Community and creativity -- what great synergy!

Congratulations and deep appreciation to all!

Jon Mack, manager

Hooker-Dunham Theater and Gallery, June 9

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Editor of the Reformer:

I was so thrilled to be part of the "Little Gems Familiarization Tour" on May 31 in the West River Valley. The piece written by Howard Weiss-Tisman ("Making connections," June 2) was very comprehensive but gave me way too much credit. I was invited on this amazing adventure by Laura Sibilia and it was planned and hosted with planning and administrative support from Anthony Summers and Laura Sibilia, both of the Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation; Robert DuGrenier, of DuGrenier Glass Studio and West River Community Project; Katja Matthews, of Windham Hill Inn; Jenna Pugliese, of Stratton Mountain Resort; Christian Stromberg, of Saxtons River Distillery; and Randi Solin and Natalie Blake, of Fulcrum Arts Center.

I was so pleased with the entire event that I am sending two of my staff members and a receptive tour operator on the same trip next week but giving them two days to really be able to spend more time at each location as well as stop along the way. I have also recently spoken to the editor of the next Vermont Travelers Guidebook and will be sharing the itinerary with her.

The point that has hit home with me about this region going back to the days post-Irene is the sense of community. I am sure that visitors from all over the world will appreciate the efforts that are being made to welcome visitors as well as enhance the quality of life of the residents.

Thank you all for an unforgettable day.

Megan Smith,

Commissioner, Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing, June 10