Your Thanks

Monday February 11, 2013

Editor of the Reformer:

wanted to bring notice to the wonderful people at Cushing & Sons in Keene, N.H. They are a top-notch organization who fully understands the concept of customer service.

I was recently in the need of assistance with a well/water problem at my home in Brattleboro. I had been struggling with this problem for a few weeks this winter but it was a reoccurrence from last year so I was really desperate for a solution.

I was working with a local plumber to figure out the problem but wasn’t getting very far. At my wits end, I reached out to a friend who connected me to an employee at Cushing & Sons. Mo LeClair took his personal time, after hours, to listen to my problem and give me some direction and advice. He even asked me to call him back the following night for follow up.

After talking to Mo and waiting another week for the plumber to contact me, I decided to contact Cushing & Sons and see if they could help me. Upon my first conversation with Bart Cushing, I felt confident that my problem was going to be taken care of. Greg and Manny came to my home on one of the coldest days of one of the coldest weeks we’ve had in a long time. They worked outside for almost seven hours, with a temperature high of 17 for the day, and did not stop until my problem was fixed! Greg made me feel that my problem was the most important thing going on and he was not going to leave me without water. The well will not win! Manny was focused and on task, providing strong assistance to Greg. These two men were polite, professional, diligent and thorough. After the job was complete, I spoke to Bart again on the phone to finalize the job and he made me feel like I was an old family friend. The guys at Cushing & Sons are a blessing to their industry and I would highly recommend them to anyone needing their type of services!

Sandy Brassard

Brattleboro, Feb. 1 ***

Editor of the Reformer:

As the Greater Falls Warming Shelter serving the Rockingham area begins its third month of operation this year, we’d like to take a moment to thank all those who have been so supportive thus far.

There are 44 people who volunteer to take one of two shifts each night, from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. and 1 a.m. to 7 a.m. They make it possible for us to shelter the 30 people who have spent one or more nights with us so far.

Another group of folks prepares and brings in a meal each night, while others drop off goodies such as muffins, cookies or pizza. (Thank you, Famous.)

We also thank those who have donated sleeping mats, toiletries, lamps, paper towels, rugs, videos, DVDs, books, puzzles and so many other items to help make our guests comfortable. Not to mention generous cash donations.

A special thank you to the Bellows Falls Woman’s Club for all the hats, gloves, socks, scarves and other clothing items they collected, which were so appreciated by the guests.

And we can’t forget Sovernet, Speedy Steve’s Laundry, The Dish on Main, Chroma Technology, our fiscal partner SEVCA, the North Walpole town officials and the local churches, service clubs, social groups and individuals who have contributed in many ways.

We look forward to working with the Bellows Falls Opera House, which is sponsoring a benefit showing of "E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial" Thursday, Feb. 21, and Mike Mrowicki, Jesse Peters and other performers, who are donating their talents for a benefit concert Saturday, Feb. 23 at The Stone Church. In addition, the Vermont Symphony Orchestra has made us and Our Place Drop-in Center the beneficiaries of their concert in Bellows Falls March 8.

Finally, I would personally like to recognize our volunteer coordinator, Deb Clark, and the hard working shelter board that continues to give its heart and soul to support our mission of providing a safe, warm overnight shelter during the winter months for those in need.

Louise Luring,

Greater Falls Warming Shelter, Jan. 29


Editor of the Reformer:

The end of our 2012 Warrior Retreat season and gives the organization an opportunity to thank all the area businesses that have helped make these retreats possible.

Since Fall 2010, The Warrior Connection has hosted nine residential retreats for male warriors, women warriors, and the spouses of warriors at its locations in East Dummerston, Vt., and Walpole, N.H. The model and curriculum for each of the three programs continue to test the efficacy of using the expressive arts and mindfulness to resolve loss, repair moral injury, and mitigate PTSD with combat veterans.

Following a prescribed journey of self-discovery, veterans step into a timeless space where they can stop and truthfully face themselves. Being an inner warrior takes courage. Many veterans have fought an internal war lasting far longer than the one fought on the battlefield. For those veterans who are able to drop their protective armor and use the sword of vulnerability, they are discovering greater personal freedom and inner peace.

Ongoing association with fellow comrades plus being embedded within a supportive community rounds out the wellness prescription, giving veterans both inner tools and on-going external resources.

The Warrior Connection has been blessed with staff volunteers beginning with special forces combat veteran Frank Wetherby followed by iishana Artra’s research, development and doctoral dissertation using TWC data, Charles Monette’s educational program development, Kathy Terry’s office management, Alison MacDonald’s bookkeeping, Catherine Dianich Gruver’s photographic lens, Ram Ballen’s body work, Brett Avelin’s yoga, and Landmark College’s photography classes. A special thank you to Paul Grout and A Place Apart for providing the yurt for our retreats. Area businesses have consistently helped feed our veterans. A special thank you to Walker Farm for their organic produce, Brueggers, Brattleboro Food Co-op, Allen Brothers, Price Chopper, North End Butcher, Hannafords, and Amy’s Bakery Arts. Thank you to Radio Shack, a special acknowledgement to New Chapter for supplying TWC graduates with a six-month supply of vitamins and supplements and to master woodworker Terry Cox for our beautifully crafted sand tray boxes.

All dinners were prepared and served by community members. Many volunteer cooks have served at multiple retreats, because of the honor to be included in the event. Thank you to chefs Catherine Gruver and Gary Clay, Barbara and Frank Tarantino, Allycia and Michael LeCompte, VFW Ladies Auxiliary Post 1034 (Dixie Goodwin and Rosemarie Hazelton), Steve and Vicki Barrows, Charles Monette, Krista and Nikita Oarcea, Loribeth Robare and India Tatro, Lynette Johnson, Kris Tyson and Jody Coughlin, Terry and Kathy Cox, Mark Morey, Anne Black, Ram Ballen, and Andrea Ross.

And thank you to our volunteer facilitation staff for their selfless service: Warrior facilitator and Vietnam Marine Joe Doyle, Clarksville, VA; iishana Artra, Brattleboro; Penelope Simpson, Putney and Frank Wetherby, Vernon; Spouse Retreat facilitator, Barbara Tarantino, Walpole; and Women Warrior facilitator Krista Oarcea, Brattleboro. Anne Black, East Dummerston was lead facilitator for all retreats.

This ongoing level of community commitment and generosity is communicating a sincere message to our veterans -- we care about you.

For more information, to volunteer or to support TWC in creating a bridge between the veterans and civilians who share this community, call 802-258-2555 or email

Anne Black

Executive Director,

The Warrior Connection

East Dummerston, Feb. 4


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