Monday July 8, 2013

Editor of the Reformer:

If you have ever listened to a fourth grader excitedly bringing his new instrument home for the first time, you have undoubtedly shared his sense of wonder.

At the same time, you may have (inwardly) cringed at the thought of hearing more of those joyful soundsÅ  or privately calculated out how many hours it might sound like that, before it turns into something more enjoyable.

Instrumental music teachers experience this every day. They have chosen to subject themselves to the noise, knowing that the pain at the beginning turns into something magical in the end. Mixed in between the loud squawks and admittedly less-than-perfect tones is the sheer joy of accomplishment: this thing can sound like something real!

For more than 40 years, Jim Kurty has encouraged (and endured) these moments during his teaching in Brattleboro’s three elementary schools. He -- probably even more than the kids themselves -- understood how hard it can be to learn to play an instrument. Just like most learning, there are some parts that are easy, and some parts that are downright hard. Many a frustrated elementary band student has wanted to just quit (and of course, many do).

But for those that do stick with it, suddenly, there is a hard-earned reward: actual music coming out of your own efforts. As the years and long hours of practice go by -- far after the elementary music teacher has finished with the beginning instrumentalist -- the kids "suddenly" are transformed. Their concerts are truly joyful for all to listen to.

There are many teachers that help our children. After 40 years, the parent groups at Academy School and Oak Grove have chosen to honor Mr. Kurty’s retirement with gifts to their schools.

We have purchased an instrument for each school. These will stay in the schools as a part of the instruments that can be given to families for their child’s use, in lieu of the cost of renting an instrument. Through Ellis Music (who generously gave our parent groups a discounted rate), Oak Grove has purchased a clarinet, and Academy has purchased a trumpet.

Oak Grove School’s parents have already raised all the money they need for this presentation, while Academy is still collecting. If anyone in the community would like to contribute, please send a check, made out to Academy School, 860 Western Avenue, Brattleboro, VT 05301.

Thank you again, Mr. Kurty, for your many years of listening!

Jill Stahl Tyler

ACT (Academy Community Together, parent group at Academy and FROGS (Friends and Relatives of Oak Grove School)

June 25 ***

Editor of the Reformer:

The Townshend School Club would like to thank C&S Wholesale Grocers, Walker Farm and The Brattleboro Co-op for helping to make Townshend Elementary School’s end-of-the year picnic a success. The generous donations from these area businesses went a long way toward helping to keep costs within our budget. Having an abundance of food is especially important, because this event replaces the food service program for the last two days of school, providing the students with meals they might otherwise not receive. Thank you again for contributing towards our success.

Carley Sanderson, President

Townshend Elementary School Club

June 21

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Editor of the Reformer:

The Bellows Falls Area Senior Center wishes to thank those who generously donated to our Annual Jamboree held at the Moose Family Center on June 9. Everyone enjoyed the great food and drink donated by the Moose Family Center, and the homemade desserts provided by our seniors. Playin’ Possum and friends kept the people up and dancing. Many thanks also to our volunteers who solicited the prizes, sold the tickets and helped during the event; Dave and Sue Kenney for standing at the grill; Kyle Marks and Morgan Kosut for delivering the food; and Ron and Sheila for keeping the drinks flowing.

Special thanks to the following sponsors for their contributions as Sponsors of the Jamboree: Moose Family Center, Rotary Club of Bellows Falls, Durand Toyota/Ford, Savings Bank of Walpole, Pierce Lawton Post 37, Polish American Club, Silver Forest of Vermont Inc., Edward Jones, and Scott Falzo.

The following individuals and businesses provided raffle items for the event: 5-Star Beverage, Abenaqui Car Wash, Agway, Allen Brothers, Athens Pizza, Aumand’s, BF Opera House, K. Beebe & Son, The Bellows Falls Country Club, Bellows House Bakery, Boccaccio’s, Bond Auto, L. A. Burdick, Coyote Moon, Curves, D&R Store, Dari-Joy, Diamond Pizza, Dish on Main, Tony Falzo Construction, Furniture Factory Outlets, Grafton Village Cheese, Greater Falls Insurance, Greater Falls Pharmacy, H&R Block, Halladay Harvest Barn, Harlow Farms (Café Loco), Hennessey Electric, Hooper Country Club, Ila’s Salon, J&B Glass, J&H Hardware, Johnson’s Greenhouse, Kasper and Associates, LaValley Building Supply, MJS Lawn Care, Mr. Gs, Murray’s, Newton Business, Penquin Market, Pinnacleview Equipment, Pizza Palace, P.K.’s, Popolo’s, Real to Reel, Blanche Reese, The River Valley Credit Union, The Richards Group, Saxtons River Inn, Chris Sherwin Glass, Simone’s Salon, Sovernet, Spaulding & Madden, Subway, Dr. Vern Temple, Vermont Country Store, Village Printers, Village Square Bookseller, Walpole Creamery Scoop Shop, Walpole Vet Hospital, Walpole Village Salon, Westminster Animal Hospital, Westminster Auto. Millie Williams and Linda Wilson. The Jamboree is an important fundraiser here at the Center, again many thanks to all who made it happen.

Fred Yates, Jamboree Chairman

Teagen Kosut, Executive Director

June 20

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Editor of the Reformer:

There’s so much bad news in the world. It’s wonderful when something happens to restore faith in human honesty and integrity. Last Monday night, I stopped for a coffee at The Works Bakery Cafe in downtown Brattleboro. An hour or so later, I couldn’t find my zippered cash pouch and knew I must have left it near the register after paying. Some kind person, probably an employee, turned it in to the manager rather than pocketing it. Thank you to Manager Tim Billings and staff for that important act of kindness.

C.J. King,

Jamaica, June 18