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Neighbors: Rejuvenate, renew and grow

Hello neighbor.

“Spring is the time of year when it is summer in the sun and winter in the shade,” wrote Charles Dickens in “Great Expectations.”

What a beautiful weekend that has just passed, though it was a little too cold to go without a jacket and a little too warm to feel comfortable wearing one.

I hope your weekend was as nice as mine. Surprise! I spent it with my three grandsons.

We still aren’t seeing a lot of outdoor events and activities happening, but they’re just around the corner. Each year, Franklin County is ripe with farmers markets, spring and summer fairs, and more, so it’s just a matter of time.

Be looking for a listing of them in upcoming Neighbors.

Remember, spring is a time of rejuvenation, renewal, and new growth.

Birds are returning to the deck outside my back door. Tiny flowers are popping through a ground that thaws a little more with each new day. Days are getting longer.

But it is not just about nature, it is about you — you can rejuvenate, renew, and certainly, there’s room for all of us to grow.

“Although no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending,” wrote American author Carl Bard.

ONE OF OUR YOUNG NEIGHBORS, 12-year-old Colin McCarthy, who lives in Greenfield, needs our help.

Colin was born with semilobar holoprosencephaly, so he cannot speak and has spent his entire life in a wheelchair, depending on loved ones to do everything for him.

Colin’s family has the opportunity to win an accessible van as part of a National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association program to celebrate National Mobility Awareness Month (in May).

Colin needs votes to make it to the semifinals.

His mom, Angela, told me he has 2,806 votes so far. She said if he makes it into the top 5 percent of vote getters, he will have a chance at winning one of three vans.

Angela said once someone makes it into the semifinals, the three winners are chosen by NMEDA based on their profiles and needs.

She said it is getting more difficult to transport Colin, because he is now over 5 feet tall and about 90 pounds.

Help Colin and his family by voting for him (you can vote at least once a day) at: www.mobilityawarenessmonth.com/entrant/colin-mccarthy-greenfield-ma.

TURNERS FALLS HIGH SCHOOL SOFTBALL COACH Gary Mullins will serve as grand marshal in the third annual Franklin County Spring Parade on April 20.

Gary has celebrated his teams’ victories as state champions numerous times, so organizers of the parade thought it was time to celebrate Gary.

“The amount of spirit that has returned to the sports program at TFHS during the Mullins era is incredible,” said Michael Nelson, chairman and organizer of the parade.

The parade will begin on “the hill” in Turners Falls, making a 3-mile loop, beginning at 1 p.m., at Sheffield School on Crocker Avenue.

Nelson is encouraging residents along the route (Crocker Avenue to Montague Street, to Turnpike Road past Turners Falls High School, down Millers Falls Road to High Street, and back to Sheffield) to fire up their grills, have something to drink, and relax in the sun with friends as they wait for the parade to pass.

The theme for this year’s parade is Hawaiian Luau. Homes along the route may participate in competitions, including “Best Themed House,” and “Best Crowd.”

Anyone interested in marching in the parade should contact Nelson at 413-522-0712 or email him at: michaelnelsonmba@gmail.com.

MILLERS RIVER WATERSHED COUNCIL will host “River Verses” Poetry Night on Friday at 7 p.m. at the Millers River Environmental Center, 100 Main St. in Athol.

Selected poets of all ages will read their poems about how the waters of our area inspire them.

The poems were penned over the winter and will be shared in celebration of National Poetry Month.

A panel of local poets will serve as judges.

Local businesses have donated prizes.

For more information, contact Keith Davies at 978-248-9491 or watershed@millersriver.net.

GREENFIELD COMMUNITY COLLEGE CHORUS will hold its annual spring concert on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

This year’s concert, “From Colonial Times to Present: American Choral Music,” will be held in the Sloan Theater.

The concert is free and open to the public. The theater is fully accessible.

ROSEMARY CHRISTOPH OF SHELBURNE FALLS will offer “Consicousness and Conscience,” a talk on the Gurdjieff-Ouspensky work on Sunday from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Green River Yoga and Movement Arts at 158 Main St. (above World Eye Bookshop) in Greenfield.

The talk is part of a monthly series offered on the first Sunday of each month.

Rosemary will talk about what kind of effort is needed to awaken, how true consciousness brings about more connection to conscience, and what implication awakening has for life, ourselves and others.

For more information, contact Rosemary at 413-625-0275 or rosemarychristoph@comcast.net. You may also contact Ana and George Bennett at 978-544-5225 or anabennett@gis.net.

DO YOU WANT TO MAKE ORANGE MORE APPEALING?

If so, you will have a chance to join others on Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon.

Orange Community Development Office will provide supplies for the downtown cleanup.

For more information, call the office at 978-544-1101.

NEW SALEM PUBLIC LIBRARY WILL HOLD its Pizza and Pages for teens and tweens this evening from 5 to 6:30 p.m.

The books for this month is “The Lightning Thief” by Rick Riordan.

The book for May, by the same author, is “The Sea of Monsters,” and for June, by Riordan, is “The Titan’s Curse.”

GREENFIELD HIGH SCHOOL MUSIC DEPARTMENT will hold its annual Spring Scholarship Concert on Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the high school auditorium.

Admission is $5 per person. All proceeds will go to scholarships for GHS graduating seniors.

The concert will feature all of the school’s performance groups, including concert band, high school chorus, select chorus, and eighth-grade chorus.

It will be a wonderful evening of music that will support the musicians and singers in the Class of 2013.

I’ve told you once or twice that I was a “bando” or “band geek,” when I was in high school. Nothing made us, the members of the band, feel better than to look out at a full auditorium.

ALSO AT NEW SALEM PUBLIC LIBRARY, Reading Aloud for Grown-ups will be held April 10 at 7:30 p.m. in the library. This month’s readers are Dorothy Johnson and Scott Bourne.

Admission is free, but donations are accepted.

Refreshments are sold during a brief intermission. Proceeds go to the Friends of the New Salem Public Library.

For more information on other events, visit: www.newsalem-massachusetts.org.

I THINK WE ALREADY KNOW THIS, but I heard from our prognosticator Farrah Pomeroy last week. She said the mess we got the week of March 20 was it, as far as her prediction was concerned.

“I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sure that’s the end of it,” she said to me. “At least I hope so!”

APRIL IS FOOD-ATHON FUNDRAISER MONTH in Orange and Athol.

The food-athon fundraiser will be held April 9 in both downtowns from 6 p.m. to 6 p.m.

The event unites volunteers from the North Quabbin food pantries and meal sites in an effort to raise food and funds to support those programs.

We all know what it’s like to feel hungry, but I don’t think we can even imagine what it’s like to feel hungry every day of your life or, especially, your child’s life.

North Quabbin Community Coalition is the sponsor of the event and the Feinstein Foundation donates money to support the fundraising.

Any individual, school, church, club or organization is also encouraged to hold a fundraiser or food drive — proceeds from such events may be delivered to one of the downtown donation sites on April 9.

Deja Brew in Wendell will be donating 10 percent of all dinner bills through the month of April.

To contact Anita Fritz, a staff reporter at The Recorder, send an email to: anita.alice.fritz@gmail.com 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: neighbors@recorder.com up to noon on the day before you want it to run.

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