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Catamount Womenaid invites you to a Meet & Greet & Shop on Friday, April 11, from 4:30 to 6:30 pm at the Chichester Country Store, 257 Main Street, Chichester. In the olden days, towns would come together to help neighbors in need. Catamount Womenaid continues to follow that model. Want to learn more? We want to meet you! Come have a snack, say hello to some neighbors, and learn more.

Catamount Womenaid is a group of women coming together for the communities of Epsom, Pittsfield, Deerfield and Strafford. We do grassroots fundraising, and the money goes directly back as emergency financial assistance to men, women and children. We are seeking to add to our Board and also engage volunteers in other roles. For questions or RSVP: Deb 463-9776 or help@catamountwomenaid.org or visit www.catamountwomenaid.org. Twenty percent of sales during this event will be donated to Catamount Womenaid.
Do you need CPR Certification? Does your job require First Aid Training? You’re in luck! Hill Library is offering a CPR/First Aid Certification Class on Saturday, April 26, at 10 am. The cost is $60 per person. The class will last approximately 4 hours. If you have any questions or to sign up for the course, please call Hill Library at 664-2800 or Martha English at 664-9089.
The Strafford PTO would like to invite community members interested in joining our PTO to contact us at www.straffordpto@strafford.k12.nh.us , or join us at our monthly meeting. While all parents of Strafford School students and teachers at Strafford School are members of the PTO, membership is also open to others in the community interested in the welfare of children. We would love your help to organize events to build community, raise funds to support the education of our students, or to be a volunteer to support various school activities. In the past three years we have provided countless volunteer hours and over $10,000 in funds to support requests from the teachers for classroom support and supplies, field trips, 8th grade graduation, Arts week, the music program, teacher appreciation week, Field Day for the students, and provided items and fuel assistance for families in need. As the School and community needs continue to grow, we want to continue to grow and expand our support. Please help us do this together! PTO meetings are held the first Tuesday of the month at 7 pm in the School Library. You can also join our Facebook Page “Strafford School PTO” for PTO updates. MORE...
Strafford Summer Arts is excited to be holding its “World Tales” one-week Summer Camp program at Strafford School from August 4 to 8, 2014 from 9 am to 3 pm with a Friday evening performance for the Community at 6:30 pm. Strafford Summer Arts offers the unique opportunity for children entering grades 3 - 8 from the greater Strafford community to have fun participating with professional artists from the NH Theatre Project while exploring a multicultural theme in a week-long arts experience. Guided by NHTP Director, Genevieve Aichele, activities include dramatic theater and movement instruction, theatre games, storytelling, costume design and set decoration/setup. Instrumentalist and instructor, Randy Armstrong, brings world instruments the children are excited to play; learning to play multi-cultural music, play sound effects, with no prior experience necessary. The emphasis of this camp is placed on collaboration, gaining self-confidence and and appreciation for world cultures through theater, art and music. And, of course, fun! MORE...
Get your running shoes out of the closet! On Saturday, June 14, 2014, we are hosting a 15K run around Bow Lake and a 5K fun run to benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. The races start at 10 am on Water Street in Strafford. Join us for a healthy run and stay afterwards for live music, a cookout, and fun for the whole family! Alone we can make gradual progress, together we can make miracles! Sign up to run at www.bowlakedam15k5k.com . To support the event as a sponsor or a volunteer, email racingtocureCF@gmail.com .
Strafford Library Association annual meeting will be held on Monday, April 7, 2014. At that time we will elect officers for the coming year and discuss what the Strafford Library Association will do from now on. The Hill Library Trustees have requested that the SLA run the Library’s volunteer program. We need to decide if this is something the SLA is willing to do and how it should be handled. We also will discuss upcoming events and programs. The museum pass program is up and running; so far one family has taken advantage of it. We should discuss what to do to increase usage. Lots of good things are happening at the Hill Library, and we want to keep that going.
“Fizz, Boom, Read!” Summer reading program is gearing up for the kick off. Stay tuned! Susan Rizzo drawings will be on display through April. Postponed from March, Hal Inglis of the NH Genealogical Society will present a program on “The Serendipity, Snags and Family Lore of Genealogy” at Hill Library on Wednesday, April 9, at 7 pm.  MORE...
Adopt A Duck - The Bow Lake Community Club is excited to be putting on our fifth annual Ducks Over The Dam event on August 30 this year at the Bow Lake Dam. This is a very important fund raising event for the Bow Lake Community Club in support of our care and maintenance of the Grange Hall. There will be games for the kids, good food, music and great atmosphere on the shores of beautiful Bow Lake. Be sure to adopt a duck or two or six or...so that you will be in the race to compete for great prizes—First Place $300, Second Place $150, Third Place $75.

Duck adoption forms will be sent to many residents as part of our membership drive in March or they can be purchased at Sheilah’s Deli and Market or from any BLCC Director. We are also beginning our “find the tiny duck” in this month’s issue of the Strafford Community Calendar. A free duck will be given to the first person who phones Missi Kerivan at 664-9093 or emails Bob Lee at bobbowlake@metrocast.net  stating the page and location of the duck. Only one free dduck per person. Join in the fun. Thank you for your continued support.

The Strafford Library Association (Hill Library’s “friends group”) has established a $500.00 per calendar year fund for reimbursement on admission fees to any museum in New England. A family can now request up to $25.00 per visit per year (amount not to exceed the actual admission fees). All you need to do following a visit to a museum is fill out a reimbursement request form (which will include the patron’s library card number) and submit it at the circulation desk in the Library, together with the receipt from your visit which shows the full cost, number of attendees, and the date. Requests made after the $500 fund is depleted will not be processed. The required form will be available at Hill Library or can be downloaded from the Library’s website—www.straflib.org. here are hundreds of museums throughout New England. Visit the following websites for more information: http://www.museumlink.com ; http://visitnewengland.com ; or HistoricNewEngland.org.
The School Board would like to thank those of you who attended the School District Meeting on March 12, 2014. We need the input of the Town to help guide our decisions, which is why community involvement is very important. The five of us are tasked with managing a very large budget, and we don’t take this lightly. One item we came away from the meeting with is to work harder at informing the public of meetings and decisions affecting the budget, but we need your help. Because the Town does not have its own newspaper, and the Strafford Community Calendar is a monthly publication, it’s difficult to get the word out to everyone. Official meeting notifications are posted at the SAU office, School, and Town Hall; and the school newsletter also publishes the information. The School and Town websites have links to the information, and there are a couple of Facebook groups that have started posting information. As stated at the District Meeting, we meet twice a month on Wednesday evenings and welcome public participation. If you have any questions about the School, the budget, or would just like to keep up with what’s happening with our kids and staff, please attend one. Again, without your input, we can only make decisions based on our own knowledge or of those who do come speak to us.
It is not too late to lace up your sneakers and join the NH Thunder Track and Field Program for the 2014 Track & Field season. Register and pay online at www.straffordrec.org b. Or you can print out and return the registration form with the program fee of $45.00 (includes uniform and meet fees) ($35.00 if you do not need a uniform and are using the one from last year) to SRS Track and Field, PO Box 261, Strafford, NH 03884. Registration Deadline was March 21; after that there will be a $10.00 late fee. Registrations will not be taken the first night of practice. MORE...
5th Annual Bow Lake 5K
Strafford Recreational Sports’ one-and-only fundraiser for the year is almost here—our 5th annual SRS Bow Lake 5K on Sunday, April 13, at 9:00 a.m. at the Grange Hall. 100% of the proceeds support your kids’ recreational activities—Soccer, Track & Field, Cross Country, Basketball, Skiing, Snowboarding, Softball and Baseball. We need your help to make this a success! MORE...
Let us assume for a moment that as you are reading this in April, it is finally possible to get out onto our Strafford conservation lands without snowshoes! In that case it is time for some maintenance work on the Town Forest, the Isinglass River Conservation Reserve (IRCR) and Evans Mountain. The Conservation Commission needs some additional volunteers! Our member Scott A. Young, who walks the properties probably more often than any of us taking his amazing wildlife photos, has compiled a list of maintenance projects. Here are some of the tasks for which we could especially use help: (1) Clean out water bars on trails of accumulated leaves and other debris; (2) Clear the cemetery on the Town Forest of brush; (3) Clean up areas used as campsites (which shouldn’t be necessary because anyone using our Town conservation lands should be doing it on a LEAVE NO TRACE basis!); (4) Help with planned invasive species control. MORE...
The SWC meeting this month happens on April 28, 2014, at 12:30 pm in the Idlepines room at Bow Lake Church. Join us for an April “Shower”. Bring a wedding picture or memento and story to share –number of years, favorite (or not so much) wedding gift, funny happenings or bloopers. No shower presents required, but we will have a guest of honor and dainty shower comestibles to enjoy. Please do bring a donation for the Strafford food pantry.
In March the Strafford Town Republicans had two Health Insurance Agencies speak about legislation changes—Brian Lynch, 603-722-0671, and Paul Doran with Diane Chase, 603-569-6464. It is often a better value to buy a basic plan and then get supplemental policies. Everybody is now required to have health insurance. Those who don’t are eventually going to be fined up to 2.5% of their adjusted gross income. These substantial fines are going to be tracked and collected by the IRS. Doctors must report those that show up with no health insurance. From March 31, 2014 to November 15, 2014, you will not be able to sign up for new health insurance with few exceptions. It will be illegal to not have health insurance, and you will not be able to buy any. We learned that the policies available in the exchange can be subsidized; and while these policies cover care throughout the country for emergencies, they are limited to nonemergency care in New Hampshire. The day-to-day care network does not include Frisbie Hospital or CConcord Hospital along with 20 or so other New Hampshire hospitals. Other policies can be purchased outside of the exchange that are not subsidized but do have a more broad network of doctors and hospitals. These can be used outside of New Hampshire for day to day. The more one spends on premiums, the lower the co-pays.  MORE...
The Bow Lake Community Club is hosting “Your Just Desserts” and Auction on May 10, 2014, from 7 to 9 pm at the Bow Lake Grange Hall. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the door, from Sheilah’s Deli, or from any Board member. We are honoring Mothers so bring your Mothers, Grandmothers, and your children’s Mothers. Enjoy live entertainment and a sampling of delicious desserts. Help us make this year’s auction the best ever by donating an item or cash. We have already received some generous donations from local businesses and crafters including two rounds of golf at Nippo Lake Golf Course, two rounds of golf at Rochester Country Club, a one hour golf lesson from Chris Mowers, hand- crafted jewelry, books from a local author, original canvas paintings, quilted bowls and more. Please call Sherry Waldron at 664-2487; Sheila Jenkins-Hamilton at 603- 235-5763; or any Board member to make a donation. All proceeds from this event support the upkeep of the Bow Lake Grange Hall. We appreciate all donations and look forward to seeing you on May 10.
We knew Spring would come, in time. And so the projects have begun. The basement floor—or as we like to call it, The Community Room—has a new look, new color. It was time to update the basement floor appearance from what it is, concrete. We are also on the hunt for a new refrigerator with a large freezer. Also in the planning stage are new posts, railings, and balusters for the stairs. Keeping up with a busy building is a never-ending task.  MORE...
We want to thank all of our Strafford friends for supporting Ready Rides for another year by your vote to include a $1500 donation from the Town. We have received support from all four of the original towns involved in Ready Rides. Ready Rides is a non-profit organization that was formed by folks from Strafford, Northwood, Barrington, and Nottingham to provide rides for senior and physically challenged neighbors who need transportation to medical appointments. Without your help and support we could not do what we do for all of our neighbors. THANK YOU!  MORE...
Third Baptist Church will host a Hymn Sing on Sunday, April 13, at 7 pm. Please join us for this hour of music followed by refreshments.

The Community Easter Services are as follows: Thursday, April 17, Bow Lake Church, Maundy Thursday; Friday, April 18, Crown Point Church, Good Friday; and Easter Sunday, April 20, Third Baptist Church Son Rise Service 6:45 am followed by breakfast for everyone.

On Saturday, April 26, at 6:30 pm “The Home Folks” concert will be held at Third Baptist Church. Please join us for a time of Bluegrass/Country Gospel (as well as oldies and other selections). For more information on any of these events, please call Pastor Muzzey at 664-7750.
This year the Strafford Women’s Club is offering two $850 scholarships to full-time, college-bound graduating seniors who are residents of Strafford. Scholarship application forms are available now at Coe-Brown’s Guidance Department, or may be mailed upon request by calling Dr. Pamela Marks at 603-822-2563. Your application must be in our hands by 5 pm on April 30, 2014. Time flies, especially in your senior year, so don’t delay!
The Bow Lake Church continues to extend an invitation to all community women to come together for a once-a-month pot luck breakfast. This gathering is designed for women of all ages to enjoy the fellowship of one another as well as giving the opportunity, through the easy channel of food, to become better acquainted. There is no charge, no homework, no deadline and no lists, but we do ask that everyone bring a dish to pass. Each breakfast features a new (and brief) speaker. Breakfast begins at 9 am on the first Saturday of every month in the Idlepines Room of the Church. Place settings and beverages are provided. Welcome! Come and enjoy.
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The Strafford Town Democrats’ sixth annual St. Patrick’s Day dinner in March was a big success, with a packed crowd at the Bow Lake Grange Hall enjoying a corned beef and cabbage dinner and hearing from many special guests. Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter headlined the evening, emphasizing the importance of the new health care law that is bringing access to medical care to millions of Americans for the first time, including many in New Hampshire. The Congresswoman described her efforts to reach across party lines and work with both Democrats and Republicans in Congress to pass legislation to improve the quality of life for all Americans. Then she brought the focus back to the importance of the months ahead, inspiring attendees to get involved and work actively to get Democratic candidates elected this fall. MORE...

Welcome to spring in Strafford! Many of the Strafford Garden Club winter activities were cancelled because of the extreme snow and ice that we experienced, so we are all eager to get on with the new season. We are looking forward to our “snowbirds” returning and getting back to our gardening.

We recently had a get together lunch at Jitters Café at 44 Main Street in Pittsfield, NH. The Owner/Proprietors, Paul Rogers and David Stout, made us feel most welcome at their new location; and everyone enjoyed the delicious food, comfortable atmosphere, and a chance to get together and chat. How wonderful it was that so many of our members were able to make it. We look forward to having lunch again at Jitters and also trying the Sunday Breakfast Buffet that we have heard so much about. MORE..


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