GFC briefs joint boards on community forum


BELLOWS FALLS -- The four staff members of local prevention coalition Greater Falls Connections spoke to two of the municipality's governing bodies Tuesday to tout the success of a community forum held last week to address opioid abuse in the area.

Frannie Waldron, Chad Simmons, Laura Schairbaum and Deb Witkus were slated as the second item on the evening's agenda and discussed the forum, titled "More Dreams -- Less Drugs!" that featured community figures such as Lt. Shane Harris of the Bellows Falls Police Department and Brooke Sherwood, a registered nurse from the Rockingham Medical Group.

Simmons, the media coordinator at Greater Falls Connections, said about 50 people came out to the Rockingham Free Public Library on Thursday and some great ideas were brought up. He also mentioned that 77 percent of heroin addicts say they started using the drug only after first trying painkillers approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration.

Witkus, the parent outreach coordinator for Greater Falls Connections, said people last week shared their dreams and their opinions of how to make the community a drug-free one.

In other business:

-- Stearns mentioned Vermont Green Up Day will be held on May 3. According to information from the town, local clean-up efforts will be carried out in downtown Bellows Falls and on side streets, along Route 5 north and south of the village, near Herrick's Cove, along Routes 121 and 103, on Rockingham and Pleasant Valley roads and on U.S. Route 5 in Westminster.

Volunteers are welcomed to meet at Bellows Falls Union High School at 9a.m. on May 3 and encouraged to bring gloves, bright clothes and a pick-up truck, if possible. Information from the town states the Bellows Falls Rotary Club will provide volunteers with pizza at Athens Pizza House Inc. at noon.

Special Green Up Day bags will be available at BFUHS and Rockingham Town Hall and can be deposited at the Westminster Recycling Center between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. Volunteers are urged not to pick up any medical waste, such as hypodermic needles, and instead report the findings to Dinnany.

People interested in volunteering are encouraged to call Ed Dinnany at 802-869-2397 or Rockingham Town Clerk Doreen Aldrich at 802-463-3964.

-- The Bellows Falls Community Health Day is slated for May 17. It is scheduled to last from 11 a.m. To 4 p.m. at the Bellows Falls Waypoint Center.

Activities will include live music, food vendors, bike rodeo and a bounce house.

Domenic Poli can be reached at; 802-254-2311, ext. 277. Follow Domenic on Twitter @dpoli_reformer.


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