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Neighbors

Have a Happy Mother’s Day. But, don’t forget those battling cancer

Hello, neighbor.

Before I say anything else, I’d like to wish all of you mothers reading this a very happy Mother’s Day. I hope you all have a wonderful time this weekend with those who mean the most to you.

Surprise! I will spend Saturday with my three children and three grandsons at daughter Christina’s and son-in-law Oliver’s home in Montague — I think Oliver might have something special planned for Christina on Sunday, her first Mother’s Day.

But it’s also that time of year again, when Relay for Life and Rays of Hope teams get out in full force to raise money for cancer research and cures.

Please don’t forget all of our friends, relatives and neighbors who have had to endure all that follows a diagnosis, and those who lost the battle.

As I’ve told you in the past, my best friend Judy has fought, and won, I might add, the battle several times over the past decade. I’ve watched, and certainly felt, the pain it has caused her and her three children, Courtney, Brandon and Cara.

I’ve laughed and cried with her, and worried incessantly. She is, by far, one of the strongest women I know. She is my hero.

Last year, another woman who has always meant the world to me, my former sister-in-law Debi, fought melanoma and won. She has been cancer-free for several months now, but I have to say that it was heartwrenching to watch her, and the people I still consider part of my family, go through the diagnosis, treatment, and finally, defeat of the terrible intruder.

I love you, Judy and Deb!

We will all most likely be touched in some way, at some point, by cancer. It might be that one of us will experience it firsthand, or that someone we love will end up fighting for their life.

It may be that someone we know will have to endure the excruciating pain and fear of waiting to hear about whether a lump or unusual looking mole is cause for real worry or is a false alarm.

Whatever happens, we should all take a little time to learn about the disease and what it does to families, and then decide what role we want to play — it might be helping to raise money or volunteering to work with cancer patients.

Here are a few options:

RELAY FOR LIFE TEAM “You’ll Never Walk Alone” will hold a Mother’s Day hanging basket fundraiser on Saturday from 8 to 11 a.m. in the parking lot of Dr. Z’s, 108 Northfield Road, and the Country Corner Store on Church Street, both in Bernardston. There will be a wide variety of baskets to choose from — each $22.

Contact Jean Dwight at 413-773-8278 for more information or to make arrangements for pickup if you can’t make it Saturday morning.

RELAY FOR LIFE TEAM “MISSION OF HOPE” will hold a food sale fundraiser Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon at the corner of Federal and Silver streets. They will be across the street from the Garden Club plant sale, which I told you about earlier this week. The Garden Club’s EXTRAVAGANZA will be held from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the Trap Plain Common — all proceeds will support community projects of the club.

SANDERSON ACADEMY’S KINDERGARTEN is also raising money for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life by sponsoring “Tape a Teacher.” For every dollar the youngsters raise, they will receive a foot of duct tape to fasten their teacher Katy Morey to the wall.

Katy said she will be going to school each day between now and the end of May wearing a different piece of duct tape jewelry to build excitement, and on May 31, donations will be tallied and she will be taped to a wall at an all-school assembly.

HILLTOWN FAMILIES WILL PRESENT MOTHER’S DAY MEMENTOS tonight from 4 to 7 at The Art Garden in Shelburne Falls. The event is free and open to the public.

People will make handmade cards and gifts to give their mothers.

Hilltown Families is an online grassroots communication network for families living throughout the four counties of Western Massachusetts. For more information, visit: www.hilltownfamilies.org.

ST. JAMES CHURCH IN GREENFIELD will hold a tag and book sale on Saturday in the parish hall on the corner of Federal and Church streets from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. I’m told there will be lots of items, including clothing, housewares and small furniture for sale. You might find something for mom there.

OUR NEIGHBOR GINNY GRAY is suggesting that instead of buying your mom another “typical” present for Mother’s Day this year, you make a donation in her honor, or memory, to Heifer International, which gives animals and training to needy families all over the world, including the United States.

A Heifer volunteer will be at the front counter at Green Fields Market today from 4 to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 9 to 11 a.m. Also visit: www.heifer.org or contact Ginny at 413-325-8386.

CONWAY GRAMMAR SCHOOL WILL HOLD “Swimmingly Sensational Saturday” on Saturday beginning at 9 a.m. at the school. The tag sale, bake sale, silent auction and two concerts will raise money to help restore the Conway Swimming Pool.

The first concert, for kids, will be at 3 p.m. and the second concert, for all ages, will be at 7 p.m. For more information, visit: www.conwayswimmingpool.org.

THE CONWAY GARDEN CLUB ANNUAL PLANT SALE will be on Saturday at 9 a.m. at Town Hall. It is the club’s only fundraiser.

A bake sale, which will happen across the street in Memorial Park at the same time will benefit a Relay for Life team.

NORTH QUABBIN TRAILS ASSOCIATION is inviting all of you to “An Evening with the Neighbors” on Monday from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Athol-Orange Elks on East Main Street in Orange. Doors will open at 5 p.m. There you will meet all sorts of representatives from that area, including business, political, retail, lodging and outdoor organizations. The evening will include a spaghetti and meatball dinner, with Pete Mallett’s “famous chicken noodle soup,” and a raffle. For more information or advanced tickets, contact Bobby Curley, NQTA president, at: nqtrails@gmail.com.

HONOR SOME OF OUR YOUNG NEIGHBORS ON THURSDAY by attending the 13th Annual Peacemaker Awards in the dining commons at Greenfield Community College at 7 p.m. The awards are sponsored by the Interfaith Council of Franklin County and Traprock Center.

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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