Neighbors: A neighbor makes it on national television

"Holiday Organ Concert to Raise Funding for Pratt Library Building Restoration,” a benefit for the Arms Library Association’s “Put a Roof On It” campaign, will be held at the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Shelburne Falls on Saturday, Dec. 20,  at 4 p.m.

"Holiday Organ Concert to Raise Funding for Pratt Library Building Restoration,” a benefit for the Arms Library Association’s “Put a Roof On It” campaign, will be held at the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Shelburne Falls on Saturday, Dec. 20,  at 4 p.m.

Hello, neighbor.

Well, we have had a holiday (Presidents Day) to start off our week, and our younger neighbors have school vacation.

But today, I want to tell you about two of our neighbors, longtime educators and twin sisters, Charlene Galenski of South Deerfield and Shutesbury and Arlene Tierney of South Deerfield, who recently spent some time on “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire” with Meredith Vieira.

The two made the trip to New York City in November to be part of the show’s audience, but Charlene, who taught in Shelburne, Colrain and Buckland, and then in South Deerfield, and before she retired was principal in Erving, was chosen to answer one question for a chance at $1,000. Her sister Arlene said it appeared that her sister was randomly chosen from a group of 250 people.

The two said “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire” was one of many items on the bucket list they and their two college roommates created — the four women have been chipping away at that list, but have picked up a little more momentum since Charlene retired last fall.

Arlene set up everything for “Millionaire” by going online and signing them all up for tickets. They ended up there, in New York City, on one of the coldest days that last November had to offer. So cold, in fact, that they were allowed into the building hours before recording of the game show began. The two told me that as they sat in a room waiting to hear where they would go next, Charlene was approached by someone and asked to follow.

She was then asked if she’d like to be a “mini” contestant who would fill up some time, and in doing so, would have a chance at $1,000 by answering one question — the question that the contestant before her wouldn’t answer.

“I didn’t win, but it was one of the $250,000 questions, so it was pretty difficult,” she said.

The question was something like, “Ten years before the New York subway system was built, Alfred E. Beach’s invention helped with transportation (within the system). What was the invention?”

The answers to choose from were: rickshaw, gondola, horse and buggy, and pneumatic tube.

Do you know the answer?

It was pneumatic tube.

Looking back now, Charlene said what she should have done when asked the question is concentrate on the word “invention,” rather than the word “transportation,” like she did.

“There’s all sorts of lights and cameras and you get nervous,” she said. “It was really fun, even though I didn’t win.”

Anyway, the 63-year-old twins said they’d love to go on the show again, either as contestants or simply as audience members. They said Meredith Vieira is a lovely person, who sends each contestant, including Charlene, a thank-you note for being on the show.

Charlene and Arlene told a couple of “Millionaire’s” secrets, including that the audience is directed to be lively, and that the show brings out a comedian to keep the audience entertained and engaged during breaks.

The show in which Charlene appeared aired last Friday.

The two said they’ll continue to try to top each of their adventures. They’ve been to Washington, D.C., Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard, Boston, and New York City. They’d like to travel to Nashville, Tenn., Florida, Niagra Falls, and other places around the country.

Bon Voyage! Have safe and happy travels, ladies.

And now, here’s what’s happening closer to home:

THE GIFT SHOP AT BAYSTATE FRANKLIN MEDICAL CENTER in Greenfield is sponsoring “Cabin Fever” raffles to benefit the patients and services at the hospital. Some of the raffle items include a Kindle Fire HD, a Keurig office coffee maker, a Fuji SL300 red camera, and an Oral B electric toothbrush. Raffle tickets are one for $2, three for $5, and 12 for $10, and are available in the gift shop at BFMC. The drawing will be March 15 at noon in the gift shop.

ARMS LIBRARY IN SHELBURNE FALLS will hold a raffle to benefit its “Put A Roof On It Campaign.” Tickets will be available through Feb. 28, and the drawing will be March 2 at 2:30 p.m. Raffle tickets, which can be purchased at the library, are $2 each or $3 for two. Illustrator Margot Apple has donated an original piece of artwork for the raffle, which was framed by Jo Anne Sherburne of JH Sherburne Fine Art Portraits and Framing in Shelburne Falls. For more information, visit:

VIETNAM VETERANS OF AMERICA CHAPTER 232 in Greenfield is holding a fundraiser to support its programs and activities. Some proceeds will be donated to the American Legion Post 81 in Greenfield. The raffle will have 12 cash prizes ranging from $25 to $500 (grand prize). Only 120 tickets will be sold at $20 each. Drawing will be on Feb. 28 at 7 p.m. Call 413-772-0857 for more information.

A SUGAR ON SNOW SUPPER sponsored by the local Kiwanis will be held Saturday at the Shelburne-Buckland Community Center on the corner of Main and Church streets in Shelburne Falls. Seatings are at 5:15 and 7 p.m. Join your friends and neighbors for ham, baked beans, au gratin potatoes, coleslaw, deviled eggs, and rolls. The meal will be topped off with doughnuts and warm maple sugar on snow. Tickets are $10. Children under 12 are $5. Call Kevin Hollister at 413-625-6355 to make reservations.

ANOTHER NURSE MADE HER WAY TO WORK during our last storm by skiing through it. We ran a story about a week ago in which my colleague Chris Curtis told you about a Baystate Franklin Medical Center nurse who skied from Leyden during the storm.

I’m told Cheri Monette, a nurse with Hospice of Franklin County, trekked through the snow on her cross-country skis so that she could provide the necessary care and support for her patients that evening.

THE KNITTING CIRCLE at the Greenfield Public Library will begin again at the library on Thursday at 10 a.m. Knitters will return to the LeVanway Meeting Room, where they will join others to talk about knitting, crafts, and books. The program is free and open to the public. Bring your own project.

TRAPROCK CENTER FOR PEACE AND JUSTICE, in collaboration with the environmental justice class at Greenfield Community College, will sponsor a presentation by animal rights activist Marian Kelner, who also happens to be Greenfield’s Precinct 1 town councilor, on Friday at
1 p.m. in GCC’s Sloan Theater. She will discuss how addressing and eliminating actions that cause suffering in animals and plants will be key to bringing peace and justice to the earth. The talk is part of the Roots of Peace Speaker Series and is free and open to the public.

PAPER DOG BONES will be sold at Foster’s on Thursday from 9 a.m. to noon to benefit Harry, a dog at the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office Regional Dog Shelter in Turners Falls. Each bone, on which donors may write their names for the public to see, will cost $1 and will help with the cost of heartworm treatment for Harry, who is currently receiving the treatment. Nancy Paciorek said the shelter is about $400 short for his treatment. She said any money raised above that amount on Thursday will go toward running the shelter.

To contact Anita Fritz, a staff reporter at The Recorder, send an email to: or call 413-772-0261, ext. 280 or call her cell at 413-388-6950. You can also reach Anita on Facebook at Anita’s Neighbors. Information to be included in Neighbors may also be sent to: up to noon on the day before you want it to run.

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