Editor of the Reformer:

It’s not every day a non-profit organization gets the opportunity to enjoy a full weekend of sunshine, fabulous conversations, local food and sensational roots music. Not to mention, the chance to share our important work with everyone in attendance. Well, that’s exactly the opportunity we had during the 15th Annual Roots on the River Music Festival that took place in Rockingham June 5th through the 8th.

On behalf of its staff, board and members, Greater Falls Connections would like to thank the organizers of Roots for their generous and passionate support of our work. Greater Falls Connections, a local community organizing and substance prevention group, was chosen as this year’s non-profit partner. With that distinction, we were able to promote our efforts to achieve a supportive, nurturing and connected community. Additionally, through a 50/50 raffle, we were able to raise nearly $300 that will help increase our efforts to prevent substance abuse, de-stigmatize addiction and support recovery. Countless numbers of festival-goers shared their stories and their support for our work.

We would like to especially thank festival organizers Ray Massucco, Andrea Bernard and Ezra Veitch for publicizing our involvement beforehand, announcing our participation throughout the weekend and assisting with our booth, signage and the raffle on two of the busiest days. Additionally, we would like to thank them for their dedication to making the festival a smoke-free weekend.


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Greater Falls Connections is a community-driven organization and it would not exist without the support of individuals, businesses and organizations such as Vermont Festivals. We are humbled and thankful for the opportunity and support.

Chad Simmons

Greater Falls Connections, June 12 ***

Editor of the Reformer:

On behalf of the BUHS Students Supporting Veterans (SSV) I would like to thank the Brattleboro Union High School boys and girls lacrosse teams and the work that they have done to help our school-based organization. SSV is comprised of BUHS students whose mission is to raise public awareness concerning the issue of homeless veterans and to help financially support those homeless veterans in our own community. Our efforts are coordinated with Home At Last (HAL) which is a local non-profit organization that purchases mobile homes for veterans to rent. To date there are five homes located in the Brattleboro area.

Recognizing the serious problem of veteran homelessness and wanting to support the veterans in our community, the lacrosse teams coached by Chris Sawyer and Shannon Garrett joined SSV in its mission. On Sunday, May 4th, both lacrosse teams walked from house to house in our community to help spread the word about the plight of our homeless veterans and to collect money for our organization. Through their efforts, donations in the amount of over $1,300 was collected. SSV will use these funds to help buy mobile homes and to give direct assistance to veterans in maintaining these homes. Furthermore, because these teams took the time to help spread the word, our organization is still receiving donations through the mail.

I can’t say I’ve ever been more proud to be part of anything. This undertaking was something that could have taken place years ago and we believe that it’s important that small communities come together to help end homelessness amongst our veterans. These men and women put their lives on the line to protect us, and the least we can do in return is to make sure that they have a home.

While I thank the Brattleboro Lacrosse teams, the students on the SSV committee and BUHS for allowing our group to exist, I’d also like to take the time to thank three more groups. First and foremost I’d like to thank all the past and present military men and women who are serving or who have served our country with pride. SSV has the highest amount of respect for all of you and can’t thank you enough for what you have done for this great country. SSV would also like to recognize WKVT for publicizing this event and also helping to raise awareness of our homeless veterans. Finally, SSV and the Brattleboro lacrosse teams would also like to thank all the townspeople who donated to such a great cause. If anyone else is interested in making further contributions you can send any donation to BUHS/SSV care of Brattleboro Union High School at 131 Fairgrounds Road, Brattleboro, VT 05301. If you have any questions feel free to email me at HouleTr@bu6.org. SSV in correlation with HAL is a non-profit organization looking to improve the lives of our veterans.

Thank you.

Trevor Houle,

Co-Chair SSV, June 16

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Editor of the Reformer:

First United Methodist Church would like to thank all of the riders who participated in the Fifth Annual Blessing of the Motorcycles on June 15, as well as the following vendors who gave certificates for valuable goods and services: 99 Restaurant, Fast Eddie’s Ice Cream, Vintage Steele Motorcycle Shop, The Marina Restaurant, Friendly’s, Top of the Hill Grill, West Brattleboro Pizza, Thin Crust Pizzeria, Verizon and Mountainside Tattoo. See you all next year!

Jim Meachen, Ride Master

Brattleboro, June 16

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Editor of the Reformer:

This spring, Teddy Bear Teas were held at 15 Schools in Windham County. These Teas were sponsored by Early Education Services and Windham County Elementary Schools and were funded in part by Building Bright Futures. These annual Teas are designed to encourage an open and trusting partnership between home and school. This year, 469 children (ages 0-5), parents, grandparents, caregivers, school staff and early educators attended the Teddy Bear Teas. Attendees listened to stories read by principals and teachers. They socialized and decorated teddy bear puppets. Some toured their community school, while others sang songs and paraded around with their teddy bears (or other stuffed animal friends). At all the Teas, delicious teddy bear cookies were served with "magic" teddy bear tea.

It’s clear that the Teddy Bear Teas continue to be enjoyed by many. They would not have been possible without the support of the schools that held the teas, local businesses and many helpful individuals. The Mary Meyer Corporation and the Brattleboro Food Co-op funded snacks and supplies. Teddy bear cookies were made by RSVP members and students from the BUHS Family Consumer Science Foundation. Publicity was provided by local schools, Windham County libraries and many local media outlets including the Brattleboro Reformer and Parent Express. A great big thank you to all of them and to anyone else I forgot to mention! I’d also like to thank all the people who assisted at the teas. These included school staff, a student, Welcome Baby volunteers and Early Education Outreach staff. As the coordinator of these Teas, I sincerely appreciated all of the donations and support. Of course the children and adults who attended the Teas did too. I look forward to serving up some more "magic" teddy bear tea next spring!

Sandy Stark, coordinator

Welcome Baby and Teddy Bear Tea

Early Education Services, June 23