Monday shorts: Running home, dry bottoms and historic preservation

  • The Town Hall Curtain, made in 1938 and now owned by the Whately Historical Society, will be restored by Curtains Without Borders to be reinstalled as a backdrop on the stage in the second floor of the Whately Town Hall. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Published: 7/8/2019 10:35:18 AM

Here are brief thoughts on some of the events taking place around Franklin County and the North Quabbin area.

Running home

Many people run for the health benefits. In Sheryl Saddler-Twyon’s case, she’s doing it to improve the health of others, in particular traumatized veterans.

Saddler-Twyon, a Montague resident, will be participating in the Red Sox Run to Home Base event July 27 for the fifth year.

Home Base is a Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital program that assists veterans who need treatment for such issues as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and brain injuries. It is estimated one in three veterans returning home suffer from such problems.

Home Base offers treatment and programs at no cost. 

The Red Sox Run to Home Base is a 9K-run or 2.5-mile walk through Boston, ending at home plate in Fenway Park.

Saddler-Twyon is running in honor Major Gen. (retired) George Keefe, who died last year at age 79. He was a regular customer at the bank where she works.

Her goal is to raise $5,000. Want to donate? Visit: bit.ly/2XvMjyN.

Diaper drive

As any parent, grandparent or caregiver can testify, babies need clean, dry bottoms. But the cost of diapers can add up, especially for those who have a limited income.

People in Franklin County get it. And, once again, they’ve demonstrated their generosity by donating more than 10,000 diapers in a drive held recently in various locations in Greenfield.

The drive was a collaboration of the Franklin County Diaper Task Force, United Way of Franklin County and Community Action Pioneer Valley.

The biggest collection — 8,000 diapers — came June 22 on the Greenfield Common during the United Way’s Day of Action.

The drive had a one-year hiatus when its former organizer moved away. But plans are in place to keep it going. Another drive might be held this fall.

Consider that diapers can cost $70 to $80 a month, and there are no government programs to help parents in need. But diaper changes are necessary to prevent rashes and other problems.

The diapers from the drive will be available through the Family Center and other agencies.

We say well done to those who organized the drive and to those who gave.

Preserving history

The folks of Whately have decided to invest in restoring a theatrical drop curtain that was once used on its Town Hall stage. 

Painted in 1938, the muslin backdrop, owned by the Whately Historical Society, features local businesses, including a few that remarkably are still in existence. Robert Naves of the Crystal Arts Studio painted the backdrop — as well as curtains for theaters throughout New England. 

But the years have taken their toll on Whately’s curtain, including accumulated dirt and water stains from when a roof leaked.

Townspeople approved spending $4,500 in Community Preservation Act funds to have the curtain restored. That will happen when Curtains Without Borders, a traveling conservation company based in Burlington, Vt., makes a stop in September.

The work will include fixing the mechanics for hanging the backdrop, so it can be displayed on the second-floor stage in Whately Town Hall, which was recently renovated.

Community Preservation Act enables communities to maintain a dedicated fund to be used for preserving open space and historic resources, plus other needs through a surcharge on property tax bills. Participation must be approved at the local level.

Kudos to the town for choosing to preserve this bit of town history.

 


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