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St. Mary’s Lawn Party

AYER — Join in the 148th year of St. Mary’s Parish and the 35th Annual Lawn Party Sept. 8 and 9, featuring raffles, an auction, food, crafts, kids games and youth events. The lawn party will run Friday from 5 to 10 p.m. The auction begins Saturday at noon along with short-order cooking. Games and a chicken barbecue start at 5 p.m. and continue through 10 p.m.

The church is accepting donations of clean and readable books, clean and safe toys and clean and usable White Elephant items, but no appliances. The above items may be dropped off at the church hall.

Items for the auction may be left in the large, brick garage to the left of the rectory garage.

The following may be dropped off at the side entrance of the Parish House: non-perishable goods for the grocery raffle booth such as canned and dry goods, health and beauty aids, baby foods and products, and paper products. Handmade items for the crafts tables — crocheted, beaded, knitted, embroidered and painted items — are also welcome.

Coordinators are also looking for baked goods such as cookies, cupcakes, fudge and pies. For information call Dorothy Marino at (978) 772-2840.

Many hands make light work, we need help with setting up, participation and cleaning up. To help, call Pauline Hamel at (978) 772-2477 or Mary Lou Coalter at (978) 772-3569. Adult and teen volunteers are also needed for games and food tables. The youth group needs volunteers for the kiddy games. To help call Maureen Breault at (978) 772-5393, Sharon Hebert at (978)772-2446 or Janet Providakes at (978) 772-0538.

Tour Shirley’s Shaker Village

From 1793 to 1908, a commune of Believers in the Second Coming of Christ owned the property and lived, worked and worshipped together, holding all goods in common. They built large workshops, barns, and dwellings to house the men, women, and children who joined the group. The Shirley community was well-respected for its production of quality brooms, mops and applesauce. They also raised money by packaging certain herbs and making rose water and other household items.

To learn more about the Shirley Shakers, their property and their way of life, people must sign up in advance for a tour on either Sunday Sept. 17, Oct. 8, Oct. 15 or Oct. 29. Tours begin at 12:30 p.m. with an introductory talk at the Historical Society Museum at 182 Center Road in Shirley. Then the group boards a prison van for transport to the site where they go inside several of the old Shaker buildings. Note that there is limited space on the van, so the number of people on each tour is also limited.

The cost of the tour is $12 per person or $8 for society members and must be paid in advance by mailing a check to the Shirley Historical Society at P.O. Box 217, Shirley, MA 01464.

The society website – has more information on the Shirley Shakers and links to other Shaker sites.

Sharing recipes

PEPPERELL — One of our very own volunteers will be sharing her recipes with those who come to a hands-on cooking class at the Senior Center.

On Thursday, Sept. 7 at 1 p.m., learn how to make lumpia (egg rolls) and pancit noodles (lo mein) in this class but please sign up prior to the class at the center . Any questions, call (978) 433-0326. All are welcome.

Dig out those photos

On Wednesday, Sept. 6, bring in one of those pictures so they can be displayed and then the guessing game can begin. Who is that lovely little girl? Who is that handsome boy? Come on down and have some fun trying to figure out who is who. Any questions, call (978) 433-0326.

Singers needed

Singers are needed to learn eight traditional Shaker songs to be part of an historic presentation on the Shirley Shaker community. The Shakers are Believers in the Second Coming of Christ who formed 20 communal villages in eastern United States. One of these communities existed in Shirley from 1793 to 1908. The site now belongs to the commonwealth of Massachusetts and is part of the prison system. Some of the other Shaker sites are museums, some are in private hands, and some have disappeared. After 212 years, there is still one family of four Shakers living at Sabbathday Lake in Maine.

The Shakers believe that everything they do, from cooking and cleaning to growing crops or making boxes, should be done to the best of their ability as an offering to God. Their boxes and baskets and chairs and buildings are admired for the quality of their craftsmanship and their simple beauty.

The Shaker philosophy is very evident in their music so the music will be part of the historic presentation about the Shirley Shaker cCommunity at 4 p.m. on Sunday afternoon Sept. 24 at Fruitlands Museums in Harvard.

Chorus rehearsals will be under the direction of Meredith Marcinkewicz, Sunday evenings Sept. 3, 10 and 17 at 7 p.m. at the Shirley Historical Society Museum at 182 Center Road in Shirley. Teens and adults are welcome to join the chorus. If you are interested in taking part, phone the Shirley Historical Society Museum at (978) 425-9328 or e-mail so we know how many to expect at the first rehearsal.

For those who would like to be part of a narrated tour of the Shirley Shaker site, reserve a spot for a 12:30 p.m. tour on Sunday Sept. 17, Oct. 15 or 29 by contacting the historical society.

Everyday Life in Townsend

Everyday life is the focus of an exhibit presented by the Townsend Historical Society’s Exhibit Committee. “Daily Life:1820-1920” brings together a collection of artifacts that illustrate how ordinary people lived and worked in Townsend during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

The exhibit opened in the Spring to great acclaim. It will be open again on Saturday, Sept.r 2 from 1-4 p.m., at the Harbor Church, 76 Main Street, (Rt. 119) in Townsend. The exhibit, which is free of charge, will appeal to adults and children, and to the wider community. “Daily Life” features photographs, clothing and other objects, most from the Townsend Historical Society’s collection. Men, women and children are represented by the tools they used and the work they produced. War, work and leisure are among the themes brought to life in this display.

Whether viewing an early list of Townsend Militia men, examining the nineteenth century housewife’s tools or admiring well-loved children’s toys, it becomes apparent that, athough we live in a different culture today, the challenges and amusements of daily life have remained unchanged throughout time.

Kara Fossey served as chairperson of the Exhibit Committee. Fossey earned a B.A. in Art History at Wheaton College in 2003. With the installation of this exhibit, Ms. Fossey earned a Certificate in Museum Studies from Tufts University.

The Townsend Historical Society office is open Tuesday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Please call Society director Jeannie Bartovics at (978) 597-2106 for further information about this outstanding exhibit.

Munson and Shirley

William A. Newman and Wilfred E. Holton of Northeastern University have published a book titled “Boston’s Back Bay: The Story of America’s Greatest Nineteenth-Century Landfill Project.” This big-dig project took almost 30 years to complete, dealing with politics, new technology, get-rich-quick schemes, financial disasters, railroad fatalities and mysterious disappearances.

The authors will be showing slides, talking about their book, and autographing copies at Hazen Library on Saturday Sept. 16 at 1 p.m. The Shirley Historical Society will have a limited number of copies of the book for sale ahead of time. The price of the book is $25 for SHS members and $30 for non-members. To reserve a book, stop by the museum at#182 Center Road on Saturdays between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. You may also phone the museum at (978) 425-9328 or e-mail

Farnsworth family

Farnsworth family members will be traveling from far and near on Sunday, Sept. 17 to honor Matthias Farnsworth, their first progenitor to immigrate from England to the American Colonies. He is also a Founding Father of Groton. A memorial ceremony will begin at noon in the Old Burying Ground. A bronze memorial the Farnsworth family has had cast and shipped to Groton will be placed in the Old Burying Ground next to the headstone of his daughter, Sarah Farnsworth Stone.

The family would like to extend an invitation to the Groton community to join in this ceremony, in honoring one of Groton’s earliest proprietors.

Sunday School registration

The children attend the first part of Sunday service with their parents and then go to Sunday School classes. Nursery care is offered for infants and toddlers during the entire worship service. To download the registration form, go to and click on Christian Education. A suggested donation of $5-10 per child will offset the cost of snacks and supplies for the year. For more information, contact the church office at (978) 448-2091. Union Congregational Church is located at 218 Main Street.

Shannon O’Brien to speak at AAUW meeting

Begin the election season with a bang at the Wednesday, Sept. 6, opening meeting of the Bedford-Lexington Area branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW), and hear Shannon O’Brien speak on “Election 2006: The Consequences for Women.” The meeting will be held at the Bedford Public Library, 7 Mudge Way from 7 to 9 p.m.

O’Brien, an “ex-pol” with years of political expertise as a state representative, a state senator, Massachusetts state treasurer (and even a gubernatorial candidate) will be speaking from the perspective of her position as CEO of Patriots’ Trail Girl Scouts, part of the world’s largest and oldest organization for girls.

As pundits are discussing the particular implications of this fall’s election results, O’Brien can be expected to touch on such topics as education and the “No Child Left Behind” bill; on issues of reproductive choice; Supreme Court nominations; foreign policy and security issues; influence of both science and conservative religion on government; and how the federal budget and pay equity affect the lives of women and girls. State concerns will be addressed, as well, with many obvious parallels and contrasts between state and federal levels.

Coffee and refreshments precede the meeting, and O’Brien promises to allow time for questions and comments following her talk.

AAUW, founded in 1881, is the nation’s leading advocate for education and equity for women and girls. For additional information, contact Lois Pulliam at (782) 275-0090 or Liz Blumenthal at (781) 643-5159.

Creating positive social change

Community Builders will host a conference on creating positive social change on Thursday, Sept. 27, at the Four Points Sheraton in Leominster.

The half-day program, “Together, We’re Better: Creating Change 2006,” is designed for nonprofit, civic and business leaders or anyone who is interested in driving positive social changes in their community, according to Karin Oliveira, coordinator of Community Builders.

Bill Shore, who founded Share Our Strength in response to the Ethiopian famine, will be the featured presenter. His organization has raised more than $190 million to support more than 1,000 anti-hunger and anti-poverty groups worldwide. Shore has also authored “The Light of Conscience” and “The Cathedral Within,” which details how individuals can make the most of their lives and create something that endures.

In addition, four workshops will be held: Effective Practices in Neighboring; Best Practices/Trends in Workplace Volunteer Programs; Successful Business Nonprofit Partnerships: Delivering ROI; and Change and Youth Service Models in Education. Participants will learn new techniques and methods to be more effective in collaborating to drive positive social change.

Individuals can find more information or register for the conference by visiting or by contacting Karin Oliveira at (978) 840-3221, ext. 201.

The event is being hosted by Community Builders, a partnership between United Way of North Central Massachusetts, Mount Wachusett Community College and Askhoka Innovators for the Public, and its corporate sponsors Bemis Associates and Unitil.

Ayer Police comedy night

Tickets for this 21-plus show are $15 each and available at the door the night of the event. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m.

Open house at Cong. Shalom

Congregation Shalom, a Reform Jewish congregation serving the Merrimack/Nashoba valley areas, is hosting an open house on Wednesday, Sept. 6, at 7 p.m. for prospective new members.

Congregation Shalom is a welcoming, dynamic community with a diverse membership. Congregation Shalom offers a full array of prayer services including Shabbat services on Friday evenings, Tot Shabbats, family services, Torah study, and high holiday services, as well as holiday celebrations throughout the year. Congregation Shalom has a strong commitment to quality Jewish education with a program that ranges from early childhood play groups to high school graduation, as well as a diverse program of family and adult Jewish education. Most importantly, Congregation Shalom is a caring community that supports its members in all stages of their lives.

Congregation Shalom is located at 87 Richardson Road in North Chelmsford. At the open house there will be an informal discussion between synagogue members and guests. This will be a great opportunity to meet our Rabbi and/or Educator and learn more about the congregation. Light refreshments will be served. To RSVP or for more info, please call Susan McHugh at (978) 250-1975 or e-mail

Plants and fungi

The Friends of the Oxbow National Wildlife Refuge will continue the 2006 field trip program with a session on plants and fungi on Saturday, Aug. 26. This year’s program will focus on the northern part of the refuge located in Shirley and Ayer.

The program on plants and fungi will be lead by Joe Choniere, director of Mass. Audubon’s Wachusett Meadows Sanctuary. Wear appropriate footwear, dress for forecast weather conditions and bring water and tick (mosquito) repellent.

Meet at the ntrance to the refuge off MacPherson Road on the Ayer/Shirley line at 9:30 a.m. Rain date is Aug. 27.

For more information contact Rona balco at (978) 779-2259. Call for reservations, as space is limited.

Vietnam memorial golf tournament

The committee for the Massachusetts Vietnam Veterans Memorial at Green Hill Park in Worcester is holding its fifth annual golf tournament on Friday, Sept. 15.

The Florida-style tournament will be held at Cyprian Keyes Golf Course in Boylston ( starting at 1 p.m. Thhe cost is $150 per golfer, with hole and tee sponsorships available for $175 and dinner is $35. Donations for tthe raffle and/or corporate sponsors would be appreciated.

Tournament registration forms are available at or by calling Phil Madaio at (508) 798-2215, Karen Greenwood at (508) 799-1041, Martha Akstin at (508) 799-3948 or Stan Filipowski at (508) 791-4752.

Open auditions

Center Stage is pleased to announce open auditions for “Noelle and the Nutcracker Prince,” an original holiday production written and directed by artistic director Tish Anne Kilgore. Children between the ages of 6 and 18 are invited to audition on Saturday, Sept. 16, at Center Stage, 359 Littleton Road, Westford. For more information, call (978) 392-3433 or visit

Auditions will take place as follows:

* 9-10 a.m.: Ballet dancers for the following scenes: Snow, Spanish, Arabian and Flowers.

* 11-noon: Actors, singers and dancers, ages 6-18.

Center stage will also hold open auditions for Center Stage Singers, with singers and dancers performing Broadway hits and popular classics. Children 6-18 are invited to audition 10-11 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 16, at Center State, 359 Littleton Road, Westford.

The Valley Girls

Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church is happy to announce The Valley Girls, a new group for women who love to do interesting things, make new friends and have fun doing so! Monthly get-togethers! Sometimes even get-aways!

First event is a Full Moon Picnic Paddle down the Nashua River (weather cooperating..) Meet at the Nashoba Paddler, Rte, 225 in W. Groton, Sept 8 at 6:30 p.m. Cost: $20.00 includes a light picnic and canoe rental cost. Reservations are limited and need to be made along with cash or check no later than Aug. 30. Call Diane with reservations and any questions at (978)448-2893.

Come by and see us at the Shepherd of the Valley booth at Grotonfest!! Sign up there to be on The Valley Girls e-mailing list for future events!

Upcoming at Indian Hill Music School

OPEN HOUSE: Saturday, Sept. 9, 10 a.m. to noon, Indian Hill Music School, 36 King Street (Rte. 495/Exit 30), Littleton. Enjoy a fun morning of musical activities: including performances; instrument petting zoo, young child music class demonstrations; refreshments, and more! Free admission. Call (978) 486-0540 or visit

BACH’S LUNCH CONCERT: Indian Hill Music School presents outstanding violinist Peter Krysa and friends. Thursday, Sept. 21, noon to 1 p.m., Indian Hill Music School. Free and open to the public. Coffee, tea and cookies served; bring your lunch. For more information call 978-486-0540 or visit

MUSIC LESSONS/CLASSES: Sign up now for Fall Term music lessons, classes, ensembles and workshops for all ages and abilities at Indian Hill Music School. Classes begin week of Sept. 18. Call (978) 486-9524 for information or view offerings online at

ART EXHIBIT: The Gallery at Indian Hill presents an exhibit of color photographs of projects designed and built by The Office of Michael Rosenfeld, Inc., Architects, of Acton. A concurrent interactive exhibit in the Indian Hill lobby will suggest similarities between the processes of music study, practice and composition, and the steps involved in the architectural design process from brainstorming to construction documents. On display Sept. 7 through Oct. 29 at Indian Hill Music. Exhibit hours: Mon. – Fri., 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sat., 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free and open to the public. Call (978) 486-0540 or visit

Jimmy Fund drive in Groton

The Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association gas once again joined forces with the Jimmy Fund to make a difference in the lives of cancer patients now and in the future.

The Mass. police chiefs have played an essential role for the Jimmy Fund over the past 53 years, and continue to support the cancer research and care at Dana-Faber Cancer Institute in Boston through the 2006 Jimmy Fund canister drive.

“Jimmy Fund canisters will be on display in local businesses throughout the region from now through December,” said Groton Chief of Police Robert Mulhern. “We have always relied on the generosity of the businesses and residents of Groton to make our fund-raising for the fight against cancer a success.”

Located on countertops across the area, the canisters offer stores’ patrons an opportunity to join the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police in their quest to raise more than $250,000 for the Jimmy Fund in the coming months. Please join the Groton Police Department and the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association on the front lines of this fight.

For more information about how to help, please go to or call (866)-JFW-HERO.

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