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Neighbors: Enjoy asparagus, strawberries before they’re gone

Hello neighbor.

Well, my move is over and I’ve settled into my new place in Greenfield. Many of my neighbors have stopped to welcome me to the neighborhood and, most importantly, I have approval, and then some, from grandson Justin.

It was a beautiful weekend, though a little warmer and more humid than I like it. Can you believe we’re just a little less than a month away from hitting the halfway mark for 2013? Time does fly.

Be watching for the Full Strawberry Moon on June 23 — June is strawberry season here in New England, so also be looking for those green berry baskets filled with red, juicy deliciousness.

And don’t forget to pick up some asparagus. Come July, that season will be over. Of course, then we’ll have mouth-watering local sweet corn to look forward to.

What a great county we live in, so get out there and enjoy.

SHELBURNE FALLS AREA WOMEN’S CLUB will hold a tag sale on Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon as part of the Riverfest Celebration in Shelburne Falls. The tag sale, which will be in front of the Village Information Center at 75 Bridge St., will benefit the Bridge of Flowers and scholarships given by the club each year.

BAYSTATE REGIONAL CANCER PROGRAM at Baystate Franklin Medical Center will sponsor its 9th annual “Community Sacred Gathering: For Those Whose Lives Have Been Touched By Cancer” on Friday from 7 to 8 p.m. in the Survivors Tent during the Relay for Life at Franklin County Fairgrounds.

The gathering will include prayer, blessings, music and readings.

For more information, contact Vicki Sutton at 413-773-2570.

THE UNITED CHURCH OF BERNARDSTON has become a drop-off point for the Alfred H. Marengo Jr. Veterans Foundation Inc.’s “Red Barrel Program.”

The foundation collects DVDs, VHS tapes, audiobooks, blu-rays, and other small electronics, which are sold on BostonMediaStore.com. The money raised will be used for clothing, toiletries, haircuts and other items for veterans.

For more information and to help our veterans, visit: www.ahmjd.org.

THE CATAMOUNT HILL ASSOCIATION Book Committee will hold a Catamount Hill Flag Day celebration on June 15 at 11 a.m. at Colrain Historical Society in Colrain Center.

A new flag will be raised at the monument beginning at 10 a.m. at the Brick Meeting House next to the Town Common.

Joe Williams, a Shippee, Farley, Tenney descendant, will lead the way, and the day’s events will include an exhibit of articles originally made by or owned by folks who lived on Catamount, a historic early settlement area in Colrain.

The event will be child friendly, with activities planned.

If you are a descendant who did not receive a flier about the event, or you would just like more information, contact Muriel E. Russell at 413-624-3311 or Dot Willis Giffin at 413-625-9009.

NEW ENGLAND HEALTH CENTER, formerly known as Cozy Corner Nursing Home, will sponsor the “Longest Day,” on June 21 from 6 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

The fundraiser, for residents, staff and community members, will benefit the Alzheimer’s Association, so join in for a day of fun, refreshments and activities at 61 Old Amherst Road in Sunderland.

For more information, call Robin Martin at 603-336-5814.

It’s a great cause. I lost my aunt to the disease and, let me tell you, it was heartbreaking to watch as her memory slipped away. Of the two of us, I was the only one left to cherish those memories as the disease progressed. So sad!

JOHN NOVE WROTE ME LAST WEEK to ask that I tell you about “The 500 Hats Project,” which was started by a group of valley knitters and their friends.

Knitters plan to make at least 500 warm winter hats, which will be given to area children and adults in need this fall.

The project was inspired by the 75th anniversary of “The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins” by Springfield’s Dr. Seuss.

The group is looking for more volunteer knitters and crocheters to make at least one hat and to spread the word to others.

Hats will be collected at 10 sites throughout the Pioneer Valley, including Metaphor Yarns in Shelburne, World Eye Bookshop in Greenfield and Tilton Library in South Deerfield.

What a great idea!

For more information, visit: www.500hats.org. You can also email at: warmhats@gmail.com.

THE SHELBURNE ARTS COOPERATIVE will celebrate its 15th anniversary in August.

In know this is early, by the people planning this celebration would like you to know that work of the cooperative’s 50 local artists will be on display from July 31 through Aug. 26.

So, keep your eyes and ears open for more information as the event date approaches.

SUNDERLAND ELEMENTARY SCHOOL’S Out-of-school-time Program has a new reading buddy whose name is Lilly.

Lilly is a 2-year-old labradoodle who visits the program once a week to listen to children read.

Lilly and John Lankarge are a volunteer therapy dog team certified by Bright Spot Therapy Dogs Inc., a nonprofit that mentors and evaluates therapy dog teams and works with facilities to establish and run programs.

John and Lilly visit the Sunderland program every Wednesday, Deb Lane, director of the out-of-school-time program tells me.

What a lovely program — and how much fun must that be for the students.

IT’S TIME ONCE AGAIN for The Mutton and Mead Medieval Festival Renaissance Faire at 210 Turners Falls Road in Montague on June 22 and 23 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Currently, organizers are looking for volunteers to help bring the finishing touches to this innovative, experiential, interactive medieval festival. They need people to set up the pavilions and decorations, as well as people to help the days of the festival.

Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for children and seniors, and children under 6 are free. Parking is $5.

For more information or to volunteer, visit: www.muttonandmead.com.

STEWARDSHIP OF TULLY TRAIL SYSTEM has been transferred to North Quabbin Trails Association Inc., which will be working on the trails to clean up different sections.

If you live near the Tully Trails, or you hike them, this is your chance to help make them better. The association will be setting up stewardship crews and you are all welcome to join.

For more information, email Bobby Curley at: nqtrails@gmail.com.

We need to keep our communities, and all that they provide us, clean for all our sakes.

ONE OF OUR YOUNGER NEIGHBORS, Cathal Davis, 8, was awarded a hockey puck signed by Boston Bruins star Brad Marchand for all of the reading he did last summer.

Cathal’s name was drawn by the state’s Board of Library Commissioners, which teamed up with the Bruins for a summer reading partnership. Children throughout the state were nominated by their librarians. Candice Cross, librarian at Wheeler Memorial Library in Orange, nominated Cathal and said he has promised to read even more this summer.

Way to go, Cathal.

SKYDIVERS AT JUMPTOWN IN ORANGE will be jumping with special stuffed teddy bears between June 6 and 9 as they participate in “Canopies for Kids,” a program that provides children in hospitals with support from “the bravest stuffed teddy bears in the world.”

The bears need to be purchased by you — they cost $20 and will take their jumps either with experienced skydivers, or, you could purchase a tandem jump and skydive with your teddy bear.

After the jump, the bears will go to UMass Memorial Hospital in Worcester and to the local Shriners hospital.

I’m told there are only 20 bears left, so call or visit Jumptown soon. There have already been more than 100 sold.

Along with the bears that come with a card on which you can write to a sick child, Jumptown will donate $5 of every sale to UMass Memorial.

You can call 978-544-5321 or go to Jumptown on Lucci Drive in Orange to get your bear.

Spectators are welcome to go to Jumptown any time Thursday through Sunday, to cheer on the skydivers and their bears.

I’ve been told that skydivers, on top of purchasing bears themselves, are also paying for their jumps. It seems they are all looking forward to participating.

OUR NEIGHBOR CRAIG WRAY, who owns and runs American Pride Painting, has told me he will donate a percentage of his profits this spring and summer to the Wounded Warrior Project.

If you would like to contact Craig, call 413-887-1105.

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 two days before you want it to run (Wednesday for the Friday column and Friday for the Tuesday column).

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