Saturday, December 26, 2015

Reflections the Day after Christmas

Christmas is ...  

Exciting arrivals
Greetings of joy
Reminiscence and laughter
Celebrating each moment



Christmas is ...

Deeply happy feelings 
In a place where you belong
With special people
Embracing togetherness


Christmas is ...

Gifts exchanged
All receiving the same
Most precious gifts
Renewal of love and life
 

Christmas is ...

Peace, contentment, love
and the greatest message. 

"I give you a new commandment:
love one another as I have loved you."
Jn 13:34



         -  By E. Richard Fortunato 



Friday, December 25, 2015

At St. Dominic In Southington and at St. Peter's Basilica "Joy to the World"

The Church of Saint Dominic, Southington, CT
 

 A Child is born... Let us rejoice and be glad . . .



There was no room at the inn. They lay Him in a Manger
[The outdoor creche at St. Dominic, early Christmas morning]

St. Dominic Altar Creche December 25, 2015

And at St. Peter's Basilica in Rome
Pope Francis delivers homily at Christmas Midnight Mass 
Vatican City • The following is the Vatican's official English translation of Pope Francis' Christmas Eve Mass homily, which he delivered in Italian:
"Tonight, 'a great light' shines forth (Isaiah 9:1); the light of Jesus' birth shines all about us. How true and timely are the words of the prophet Isaiah which we have just heard: 'You have brought abundant joy and great rejoicing' (9:2)! Our heart was already joyful in awaiting this moment; now that joy abounds and overflows, for the promise has been at last fulfilled. Joy and gladness are a sure sign that the message contained in the mystery of this night is truly from God. There is no room for doubt; let us leave that to the skeptics who, by looking to reason alone, never find the truth. There is no room for the indifference which reigns in the hearts of those unable to love for fear of losing something. All sadness has been banished, for the Child Jesus brings true comfort to every heart.
Today, the Son of God is born, and everything changes. The Savior of the world comes to partake of our human nature; no longer are we alone and forsaken. The Virgin offers us her Son as the beginning of a new life. The true light has come to illumine our lives so often beset by the darkness of sin. Today we once more discover who we are! Tonight we have been shown the way to reach the journey's end. Now must we put away all fear and dread, for the light shows us the path to Bethlehem. We must not be laggards; we are not permitted to stand idle. We must set out to see our Savior lying in a manger. This is the reason for our joy and gladness: this Child has been 'born to us'; he was 'given to us', as Isaiah proclaims (cf. 9:5). The people who for two thousand years has traversed all the pathways of the world in order to allow every man and woman to share in this joy is now given the mission of making known 'the Prince of peace' and becoming his effective servant in the midst of the nations.
So when we hear tell of the birth of Christ, let us be silent and let the Child speak. Let us take his words to heart in rapt contemplation of his face. If we take him in our arms and let ourselves be embraced by him, he will bring us unending peace of heart. This Child teaches us what is truly essential in our lives. He was born into the poverty of this world; there was no room in the inn for him and his family. He found shelter and support in a stable and was laid in a manger for animals. And yet, from this nothingness, the light of God's glory shines forth. From now on, the way of authentic liberation and perennial redemption is open to every man and woman who is simple of heart. This Child, whose face radiates the goodness, mercy and love of God the Father, trains us, his disciples, as Saint Paul says, 'to reject godless ways' and the richness of the world, in order to live 'temperately, justly and devoutly' (Titus 2:12).
In a society so often intoxicated by consumerism and hedonism, wealth and extravagance, appearances and narcissism, this Child calls us to act soberly, in other words, in a way that is simple, balanced, consistent, capable of seeing and doing what is essential. In a world which all too often is merciless to the sinner and lenient to the sin, we need to cultivate a strong sense of justice, to discern and to do God's will. Amid a culture of indifference which not infrequently turns ruthless, our style of life should instead be devout, filled with empathy, compassion and mercy, drawn daily from the wellspring of prayer.
Like the shepherds of Bethlehem, may we too, with eyes full of amazement and wonder, gaze upon the Child Jesus, the Son of God. And in his presence may our hearts burst forth in prayer: 'Show us, Lord, your mercy, and grant us your salvation' (Psalms 85:8)."
From The Vatican Publishing House
 A holy and blessed Christmas to all.  Peace on earth to all of good will. 

Knights of Columbus to hold Annual Youth Basketball Challenge January 9th

The Knights of Columbus is an international family-oriented fraternal service organization of Catholic men with over 1.8 million members supporting healthy youth activities in addition to contributing seventy million volunteer hours and $162 million dollars to diverse charities.

Locally, as part of its support of youth sports activities, the Southington Knights of Columbus, Councils 15 and 25, will be running their annual youth basketball challenge, a free  throw competition open to boys and girls from ages 9 to 14 residing in Southington, Plantsville, Milldale or Marion. 

The basketball challenge takes place at the Southington Catholic School gymnasium on Saturday, January 9, 2016. Registration begins at 11:00 am, continuing until noon. 

Competition starts at 11:30 and ends promptly at 1:00 pm. Participants will compete in brackets based on age and gender, e.g. nine year-old boys will compete as one bracket while 9 year-old girls compete in a separate bracket and continues in the same way for 10, 11, 12, 13 and 14 year olds.  Players will be placed in brackets according to age on January 1, 2016. 

There is no fee or charge of any kind for playing. Each player will have an opportunity to shoot 15 free throw shots at the basket. Player with most free throws scored in each age and gender group will advance to district competition. Inquiries: Phil Mazzati mazzophi@att.net or 203-395-4381.


Tuesday, December 22, 2015

STEPS Youth Group Caroling at The Mulberry Gardens

A group of seven middle school students representing the STEPS (Southington Town-wide Efforts to Promote Success) Youth Committee had a great time entertaining the senior residents of Mulberry Gardens on Wednesday, evening December 16th. The residents had filled a large recreation room in anticipation of the arrival of the young people who arrived in their season appropriate red STEPS T-shirts . 

The program was strummed-off with a guitar instrumental by a boy who started things off decking the halls with musical holly. That got the spirit going for a delighted audience who spontaneously joined the STEPS group in singing a series of traditional and contemporary Christmas Carols.  Residents, hosting staff members and the youth enjoyed a cheerful evening together. 


The STEPS coalition, now in its seventh year in Southington, has grown to the point of regularly seeing STEPS activities everywhere around town, in our schools, classrooms, community parades and other outdoor activities, walk-a-thons, Salvation Army Bell Ringing and Car Washes as they contribute to the non-profit charity and service groups in Southington.


Sunday, December 20, 2015

New foundation offers enhanced police training and education in the near term and long term

The finest stories of advancing our world and shaping its course are always about people and the dreams they bring to reality through purpose of heart and energy driven by caring compassion and generosity. Southington has it more than abundant share of stories of such otherwise ordinary takeholders in our community.  Here's one more. 

At a Southington Town Council meeting of December 7th, Councilor Edward S. Pocock III announced the recent launching of a 501 (c) (3) non-profit foundation, named the J. Allen Lamb & Edward S. Pocock III, (JAL&ESP3) Foundation, developed by Southington’s late J. Allen Lamb in close collaboration with Pocock in the years prior to Lamb’s death in October 2013 at the age of 64.  

The foundation’s objectives are focused on sponsoring enhanced law enforcement professional development and practices through the supply of equipment, training and formal education. The multi-dimensional program offers formal education for current and future command officers who will benefit from the Southern Police Institute’s (SPI) sponsorship of Command Officer Development Courses (CODC), both within New England and at SPI’s flagship Administrator Officers Course (AOC) held at the University of Louisville.  

“We are convinced that the University of Louisville leads the way in educating future young police officers in the latest practices. It is virtually an Air Force Academy of law enforcement, with its own section, SPI, dedicated to police education. Scholarships will allow students to become part of the SPI fabric as they gain important insights into the issues facing command officers in today’s world, while allowing them to have one of the best campus experiences in the United States.”, Pocock said. 

The Foundation is a long-term commitment. “Our ultimate objective is to have our criminal justice scholars become police officers, progress in their law enforcement careers and then seek a command scholarship after being in the trade for a while. Think of the programs as bookends on a bookshelf, the left side representing our kids, the right representing police commanders with the books in between representing the time it will take us to reach our objective.  When those two meet, we will have come full circle.” Pocock said.

To accomplish the end goal, JAL&ESP3 supports both ends of the book shelf scenario. “A
four-year scholarship of up to $44,000 for graduating seniors to obtain their criminal justice bachelor’s degree at the University of Louisville, while interning at SPI for up to 10 hours per week, will blend law enforcement hopefuls with the best and brightest in police command with SPI at the U of L, the logical place for our scholars.” Pocock said.

Current and future command officers will also benefit from the Foundation’s sponsorship of Command Officer Development Courses within New England as well at SPI’s flagship AOC at the University of Louisville. “We anticipate training  42 to 60 command officers each year beginning in 2016. For those up to the challenges, the Foundation will also offer full tuition, housing and fees paid for a New England officer attending SPI's AOC with a cohort in the spring and one in the fall.” Pocock added.

“Our commitment is long term, with a current annual budget of $95,000. As we progress, we expect to increase that to $120-135 thousand dollars through investment revenue to round out our giving portfolio.” Pocock said.


J. Allen Lamb

Pocock speaks with the greatest admiration for J. Allen Lamb, an accomplished leader, president, CEO and co-owner of a number of successful enterprises such as System Aire Supply Co. and Myjak & Lamb Property Management, both in Plantsville, and Control Aire Supply Co. Never actually a police officer, Lamb was a longtime supporter and friend of the Southington Police Department and a longtime member of the Southington Rifle Club .  “His passion was in helping others, needy children, future business leaders.” Pocock said. He devoted time and supported the work of Vocational Industry Clubs of America (VICA) and Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA). An accomplished pilot, Allen enjoyed his passion for flying his Warrior on weekends. 

Capt, Edward S. Pocock, III


The importance of this new foundation should be evident to anyone aware of the news of the times. It is a vital step, though only one is an enhanced future of law enforcement, police officers and society in general.  Contact e3@jalesp.org.  

Learn more about this advancement opportunity for career police personnel and the J.Allen Lamb & Edward S. Pocock III Foundation

Friday, December 18, 2015

Papanonno Alfonso

                                                 
Alfonso De Rosa
1846 - 1934
A Grandfather Remembers

I remember him         
In that big black chair                     
The long walk across the parlor        
Mom holding my hand.

'Too dark, papanonno'
Admonishing lightheartedly
She’d raise the shades 
Letting in the sun and the park scene

The big park, we’d go there later.
Pleasantly engaging him
She’d move me closer
"Here’s Sonny, papanonno"

Reaching out
Wrinkled face smiling
'Allo toe-nee'
Toothless broken English

‘Ah’, a candy for his great-grandson
The child touching his thin white hair
Completing the exchange.
Conversation without words.

I remember those visits
Seeing him in that big black chair.
The last time
He was all dressed up.

Everyone was there
Lots of chairs. No big black chair.
But I remember him
Even now, smiling in that big black chair.

I wonder if he knows I think of him.


-        Ephraim Richard Fortunato
1   16 December 2015                           

Monday, December 14, 2015

STEPS Youth Speak to the Community

At the end of a recent STEPS Advisory Board meeting I asked the members of the STEPS Youth Council, (they are also members of the full Advisory Board, to think about just one reason that inspired them to be involved with STEPS, one thing they'd like the people of Southington to know about STEPS. Here is what they said:

Justine Griffin, SHS Senior 

"I really want to reach out to the adults of
Southington and have them understand how dedicated and how hard the youth of this community work to promote lifelong success and leave lasting lessons for everyone, not just for us kids."




Trevor M. Rogers, SHS Senior

"We are trying to educate people on decriminalization, i.e., marijuana is still
illegal in Connecticut. The only change is the punishment for possession. Teens can get involved in STEPS and make a real difference. It’s not just adults!"




Sarah Lamb, SHS, Senior


"STEPS strives to make kids feel confident and happy in not only themselves but also in their community." 


Morgan Maccione, SHS, Junior 

"STEPS works to help everyone in the community. Everyone can be involved in making Southington a better place. Teens can make a difference. The Youth Council helped bring 2 ordinances in town to limit risks to youth."




Carson Stifel, SHS, Junior

"Most teens don’t recognize how important it is to stay drug-free. STEPS is here to keep you happy, healthy and on the path to success."

Julia Brilla, SHS, Junior

"STEPS helps reinforce positive decision making while teaching youth about the dangers of risky behaviors such as drinking and doing drugs. That’s the important message for our youth." 





The members of the STEPS Advisory Board include the above six high school students who are proactive members of the STEPS Youth Council.  The Youth Council is a group of about thirty high school and middle school students who meet regularly to address opportunities to develop new positive approaches, programs and youth activities that will inspire the active participation of young people in school, including the STEPS Asset Building Classrooms throughout our schools and work with parents and adults at in their homes at school and with others in the community.  

The STEPS Advisory Board meets monthly and is a group of volunteers representing and leading people within the thirteen sectors of the community who comprise the STEPS town-wide coalition. 


Committed to the prevention of the abuse of drugs, alcohol, tobacco, marijuana and other mind-altering substances which endanger the physical, mental and emotional health and successful growth as successful and responsible citizenship, STEPS works as a partnership of our educators, faith congregations, parents, youth, families, drug prevention agencies, the Town government and its health, law enforcement, safety and youth services departments as well as the business and professional communities and our veterans and military sector.  


Learn more at the STEPS website 

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Saturday, December 12, 2015

Angels without wings Adopt-a-Family

“Everyone has a story” and you never know when you’ll stumble across the next one.  The longer I’m around the more I see that to be true.  
Pepper Pot waitresses, Melissa Plourde, Diane
Marek and Carmella Lucawecki with gifts 
for the Adopt-a-Family program.
For example, I happened to be at the Pepper Pot after a breakfast meeting on Friday, December 5th. It’s not uncommon to run into people you know and exchange a few friendly words at that local restaurant. Just about to leave, I spied Jack Eisenmann, Executive Director of United Way of Southington, talking to Diane Marek, a waitstaff mainstay and picked up that Jack was on some kind of mission. 

Curious, as always, I caught Jack’s eye and I asked what he was up to.  

Pointing to five large shopping bags near the entrance, Jack said, picking up some gifts for the Adopt-a-Family holiday program, (sponsored by Southington Community Services, one of United Way's associated charitable agencies.  
I asked Diane to tell me what this was about. 

"Each year at this time, we, (the Pepper Pot staff and owner, Susan Acevedo).  pitch in together to buy gifts for a family.”, Diane said. She contacts Janet Mellon, (Director of Southington Community Services), to get a list of the needs of a family in need. 

This year Diane and her daughter, Melissa Plourde, also a waitress at the Pepper Pot, then went shopping with the staff's contributions and lists of suggested gifts for the family.  I asked Diane what kind of gifts they had bought for the anonymous family. “We followed the list pretty much and bought them sheets, linens, pots and pans, dishes and dinnerware. That's what the mother had asked for. The list included a few things for the three children, aged 7, 3 and seven months. We bought dolls, which one of the girls had asked for, musical toys, clothes for the children and baby clothes for the infant. The mother did not want anything personal for herself." Melissa said, "We loved doing it. It was fun.”  
Pepper Pot owner, Acevedo, who keeps a low profile, said, “The employees like doing this. They do it every year. I think it is good.”  

The Online edition of Appleseed presents excerpts of Dick Fortunato's weekly Appleseed column as published in the Southington Citizen plus other stories that capture special moments in Southington, the warm spirit of dedicated volunteerism, the good work  generosity  and genuine compassion of the people of Southington.  We invite you to scroll down for previous editions of Appleseed Online. 

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Southington's D'Agostino and Castellano win Knights of Columbus 2015 State Championship Soccer Challenge

Katie D'Agostino and Pio Castellano win K of C
State Championship 2015 Soccer Challenge
Southington middle school students, Katie D’Agostino, age 13, and Pio Castellano, age 12,  were each awarded a State Championship Trophy in their respective age and gender classes in the 2015 Annual Knights of Columbus Soccer Challenge held at Stanley Quarter Park in New Britain on Saturday November 7. 

The two participated in the state competition, along with five other Southington students who had successfully competed in two previous rounds in the K of C Soccer Challenge, sponsored by the Southington K of C Columbus Isabella Council 15, joined this year by the recently formed Rev. Walter F. Geraghty Council 25.  


The five other qualifying Southington kids at the state competition were Kate Hardy Age 12 -girls: Devin Giordano Age 9 - boys: Emma Ruccio, Age 11 - Girls: Kyle Martin Age 11 -boys; and Devan Fox Age 10 - boys.
Phil Mazzatti
“We have had a state championship winner on our team every year since we began competing in the program four years ago.” said chairman/organizer, Phil Mazzatti, of the 2015 Soccer Challenge sponsored by Southington's Knights of Columbus.    

The Knights of Columbus Soccer Challenge is an international program designed for boys and girls, ages 9-14, with players competing in the most basic soccer skill - the penalty kick.  At the district level and state level, the competitors must kick 25 shots at the soccer goal with the goal being broken up into 20, 10 and 5 point quadrants.  The competitor within each age and gender group scoring the most points wins.

“This year we had the honor of sponsoring the District level competition here in Southington and received rave reviews by K of C CT State youth director, Tom Sullivan.” Mazzatti said. He thanked the Southington Youth Soccer league, Ed Baker, President, and Dave Lapreay, Parks and Recreation Director, who helped promote the event and secure field arrangements. 

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Friday, December 4, 2015

Southington HS Marching Band wins highest rank in history at National Championship

The Southington High School Marching Band traveled to Met Life Stadium at the Meadowlands on November 7th for the USBands Open Class National Championship. 

The Blue Knights came in 4th place, out of 14 bands in their division, the highest ranking they have ever received at Nationals!

Southington was also presented with the Dinkles Spirit of Band Award which is given to the educators, students, parents and boosters of marching bands that exemplify school pride, friendship, creativity and good sportsmanship on and off the field. (The award is sponsored by DINKLES Marching Band Shoes).

The band was accompanied to the Meadowlands by four buses full of parents and fans. Band members and families participated in a tailgate dinner for over 400 people organized by the Band Backers. “Working with such committed people who truly value what the Marching Band and the Southington music program offers our children is a great pleasure,” said Erik Semmel, the Southington Band Backer President after this event.

This was the final competition of the season and followed the USBands New England Championships on Halloween where Southington was named the Class V Open Connecticut State Champion for the seventh time and the second year in a row.

The theme of the band’s 2015 show was "The Coven" based on Shakespeare's Macbeth and told from the standpoint of the "witch", performed in four movements: I. The Prophecy, II. Thane of Cawdor, III. Lady MacBeth and IV. The Forest Attacks. 

Additional photos and video from the SHS Band performances, and information on upcoming fundraisers such as  the Super Sub Sale, are available on the band’s Facebook page – www.facebook.com/shsbands



Meet the 2015 Southington H.S. Band


The 2015 Southington High School Band
at the USBands Open Class National Championships at the Met Life
More from Appleseed by Dick Fortunato presents excerpts of his weekly Appleseed column as published in the Southington Citizen plus more unpublished stories about the warm spirit of the people of the greater Southington Community. This e-newsletter is posted on the internet as a community service.


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Coming December 20th - The Annual St. Dominic Nativity Musical Production

St. Dominic Nativity Musical
Production of Dec. 14, 2014
             photo Paul Dinneen 
You are invited to the one evening performance of the Annual Nativity Musical production at St. Dominic Church on Sunday, December 20, 2015. 

Curtain at 6:00 pm sharp. Admission is free and all are welcome.  

This 37-minute musical, scripted, produced and directed by members of St. Dominic Parish is presented to the community each year at this time as gift of love, joy, hope and peace to the entire community. The entire cast, actors, singers and the St. Dominic Halleluia in Song choral group, costumers, technicians and crew are all pleased to make this significant, true to scriptures, musical production come alive with the message of the Birth of Jesus, King and Savior.

The final scene segues into a cast and audience singing of a few Christmas Carols. 

Note: There may be a few openings in the production. If interested, come to the church this Sunday, December 6th and arrive before the scheduled 6:30 pm rehearsal time.  See Director, Lisa Carroll to find out how about any openings or how you might help. 

Rehearsals and performance will be at St. Dominic Church located at Flanders Road and Laning Street in Southington, 


One Solitary Life *

A child is born in an obscure village. He is brought up in another obscure village. He works in a carpenter shop until he is thirty, and then for three brief years is an itinerant preacher, proclaiming a message and living a life. He never writes a book. He never holds an office. He never raises an army. He never has a family of his own. He never owns a home. He never goes to college. He never travels two hundred miles from the place where he was born. He gathers a little group of friends about him and teaches them his way of life. While still a young man, the tide of popular feeling turns against him. One denies him; another betrays him. He is turned over to his enemies. He goes through the mockery of a trial; he is nailed to a cross between two thieves, and when dead is laid in a borrowed grave by the kindness of a friend.
Those are the facts of his human life. He rises from the dead. Today we look back across nineteen hundred years and ask: What kind of trail has he left across the centuries? When we try to sum up his influence, all the armies that ever marched, all the parliaments that ever sat, all the kings that ever reigned are absolutely picayune in their influence on mankind compared with that of this one solitary life…

*Adapted from and original essay by Dr James Allan Francis in “The Real Jesus and Other Sermons” © 1926 by the Judson Press of Philadelphia (pp 123-124 titled “Arise Sir Knight!”).

More from Appleseed by Dick Fortunato presents excerpts of his weekly Appleseed column as published in the Southington Citizen plus more unpublished stories about the warm spirit of the people of the greater Southington Community. This e-newsletter is posted on the internet as a community service.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Your gift to the Southington YMCA Giving Tree Supports the mission of Sioux YMCA

This year's celebration ceremony of the Southington YMCA’s Annual Giving Tree will be Tuesday, December 8th from 6:30 to 7:30 pm at the YMCA’s Learning Center parking lot on High Street. 

That's next Tuesday, December 8th.
The Y’s 4 year-old pre-school kids and the Hatton School Choir will kick off this year's fundraiser with the children singing to support the mission of the Sioux YMCA through the International Committee. 

Donations in any amount will be accepted at the YMCA front desk and may be offered to honor or recognize someone special in your life. 

A feather with your special person’s name on it will be placed on the Giving Tree throughout the month of December. 
Evergreen mugs are also available for purchase. Join the YMCA in the spirit of the season as they light the tree symbolizing giving to those in need.



Monday, November 16, 2015

YMCA's Forever In Blue Jeans Honors Honors and more

YMCA honors veterans at its ...

At its 13th annual Forever in Blue Jeans gala at the Aqua Turf Club on November 20, 2015, the Southington Community YMCA will honor all veterans as well as those in active military service. In recognition of their dedication, sacrifice, and service to our community and country they will be the Y’s 2015 recipient of the Compass Award. With the theme of Americana, guests will be treated to red, white, and blue fun. The Southington Brass will perform as they play an Armed Forces Medley and other patriotic songs.   

YMCA Community Development Director, Donna Ayer said: “Southington citizens and the Y want to celebrate the commitment of military service and the heroes of our community and nation. We will proudly honor them as our 2015 Compass Award recipients. Forever in Blue Jeans is not only a great evening of fun for everyone, but it’s our principal fundraiser of the year.”  For tickets and more information visit www.sccymca.org, or contact  Donna Ayer at 860 426 9510 or email dayer@sccymca.org. There’s a special ticket discount for veterans. 

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Completion of Southington Community Arts Center Draw Closer with the community's support

Local artist Marjorie Low exhibits work

Renowned local artist, painter and author, Marjorie Low, has been invited to exhibit her work at a wine-tasting at the Pilgrim Furniture Store in Southington on Thursday evening, November 19th from 6:30 to 8:30 pm.  Low has chosen twelve oil paintings from her extensive lifetime of work and a dozen plus prints for her presentation and talk early in the program. The event is also a fund raiser for SoCCA, the Southington Community Cultural Arts Center. 

Name a window with a donation to SoCCA

You can be a supporter of the arts in Southington forever with your family’s name preserved in one of the windows gracing Southington’s  historic Gura Building soon to be the home of the SoCCA, Southington Community Cultural Arts center. Twenty-eight double hung windows on both the first and second floors are available at $1,500 each with the second floor Palladian window earmarked at $3,000. Tax deductible donations, (or pledges paid over three years), can honor or memorialize loved ones with a plaque placed within proximity of the window. "We are in the final stage of fundraising for the Gura Building capital campaign and what better way to support the arts in our community than to name one of the windows.  This is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," said SoCCA Board member Dawn Miceli. The downtown historic site is being renovated as a teaching, exhibiting and performing facility for the arts which will offer uniquely meaningful arts programming for all ages and provide a venue to local artists to exhibit and sell their work.  SoCCA’s placement in our downtown area offers Southington the potential of becoming a destination for culture seeking visitors with a concomitant positive impact on the town’s economy.  To name your window, please contact SoCCA at info@southingtonarts.org or call 860.681.8006. You may mail to P.O. Box 50, Southington, CT 06489.


Rendition of Southington Community Cultural Arts Center; Source: their Facebook page
This post excerpted from Friday, December 13, 2015 edition of Appleseed, published weekly in the Southington Citizen.  Contact free lance writer Dick Fortunato at dick617@gmail.com or comment below. 

Friday, November 6, 2015

Honor Veterans on Wednesday, November 11th

Veterans Day is one moment in the year when we have the opportunity to honor and express our gratitude with a sacred sense of enduring respect, the sacrifices made by millions who have served our country in times of armed conflict and in times of peace to ensure our enduring freedom and way of life.  

What we see and hear today of our wounded warriors is tragically sad. But imagine those soldiers and their families who deal with such sacrifices every day of their lives!   It is personal for every one of them.  It was personal for my parents when their three sons all served during the Korean War.  They and our young sister waited, hoped, prayed and lived in the ever-present fear for our safety. My 21-year old wife travelled across the country carrying our first baby so we could be together on weekends in a one-room flat with a Murphy Bed. Sacrifice?  I always felt that the family sacrifices of those on the home front were so much greater than ours for  they could only imagine what was going on. I will never forget the face of the mother of one of my fellow recruits when I visited her after her son was killed in action. It was tragedy was beyond comprehension.  May God protect our men and women serving our country.  Thank a veteran for the ‘slice of life’ he or she gave up for our country.

Veterans Day Concert
The Southington H.S. Music Department proudly invites the community to its annual Veterans Day Concert Tuesday, November 10th at 7pm at the SHS auditorium. Tickets available for a $5.00 donation with all money going to the Fisher House Foundation which builds and maintains long term residential facilities near military hospitals nationwide for the families of seriously injured soldiers who need a place to stay during the long process of rehabilitation. Fundraising continues for the construction of a Fisher House on the campus of the VA Healthcare System in West Haven, Connecticut. The foundation is poised to break ground sometime this year. 

YMCA Hosts Luncheon for Vets and family members 
The Southington Community YMCA supports military personnel and their families in November, Military Family Month, and year-round through programs and initiatives that improve their well-being. On November 11th, the YMCA will host a Free Veterans Day Luncheon from 12 to 1 pm for all Veterans and their family members in the 2nd floor all-purpose room at the YMCA. ‘Y’ membership is not required to attend. Contact Samantha McCarthy by November 6th at 860-628-5597 Ext 350 or at smccarthy@sccymca.org to reserve your place. In honor of Veterans Day, the Y is offering all active military personnel and veterans a complimentary opportunity to enjoy the facilities of the YMCA for the week of Nov. 9-15.

Gifts for Residents of Veterans Home
On Saturday, November 7th, members of the American Legion Kiltonic Post 72 will be at the Southington Walmart store on Queen Street from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm accepting gifts or cash donations to make this Christmas and holiday season a little brighter. Legion members will have lists of suggested items veterans need. Checks will also be gratefully accepted.  All proceeds go to the residents of the Connecticut Veterans Home in Rocky Hill, CT. Local organizations and businesses may send check donations to American Legion Post 72, PO Box 217, Southington, CT 06489, marking the check note for Rocky Hill Veteran’s Fund..