Remembering Kevin Sullivan

In the words of Past District Governor Bob Cassidy, this has been a difficult time for the Rotary Club of Bedford, as it has suffered a terrible loss. “How do you say goodbye to an old friend who has been a member of Rotary for 35 years?

“Past President, Group Study Exchange Team Leader, Unsung Hero of Rotary District7910, and whether it was RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Awards), ESSEX (Eastern States Student Exchange), or Gift of Life. When the Gift of Life New England corporation was started back in 1999, Kevin and Ellen were on the original Board of Directors.

“If it involved children and students, especially those from other countries, Kevin Sullivan was whole-heartedly involved,” wrote Cassidy, “Kevin and his dear wife Ellen, have hosted numerous students and children from all over the world.”

“If it involved children and students, especially those from other countries, Kevin Sullivan was whole-heartedly involved,” wrote Cassidy, “Kevin and his dear wife Ellen, have hosted numerous students and children from all over the world.”

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The Cost of Talking Amongst Ourselves

“A good newspaper…is a town talking to itself.” We’re paraphrasing Arthur Miller here (which is a little thrilling if you want to know the truth), who was seeking to express the importance of public dialogue generated by reliable reporting. Will you donate in support of The Bedford Citizen’s summer fundraising drive to keep our local conversation going?

Update: Bedford Embraces Diversity’s Forum featuring Joe Zellner

Longtime resident and educator Joseph Zellner enlightened and inspired more than 50 people Tuesday evening in the latest of Bedford Embraces Diversity’s continuing series of conversations about racism in society.

Zellner’s thoughtful and powerful remarks on the origins, prevalence, and effects of racism and the unique opportunity that has arisen to effectively combat it was followed by breakout sessions for dialogue.

Letter to the Editor: Neighbor Brigade ‘Fun Bag’ Thank you

Thank you!

As Bedford residents, BHS students, volunteers for Neighbor Brigade, and daughters of a Neighbor Brigade staff, we have watched our community and the communities around us rally around food insecure and vulnerable populations this spring.

We feel lucky to live in an area where we can quickly pull together funds and donations and mobilize resources and community members to get necessary supplies to classmates, families, seniors, and veterans. We hope that anyone struggling with food supplies or other issues at home will reach out to our town social worker, school administration or counselor, or Bedford Neighbor Brigade and receive the help that they need.

Rotary Club of Bedford Installs New Officers and Celebrates a Successful Year

As June, and Rotary’s year, drew to an end, a Zoomed assemblage of 30 of  Bedford Rotary’s members and friends celebrated the club’s annual leadership change.

Marie Tremblay bid farewell to her 2019-20 year as president, a year distinguished by many accomplishments, not the least of which was guiding the club out of pre-Covid normalcy and into the new normal of distancing and meeting virtually. Highlights from the past year include hosting a barbecue for the Bedford Council on Aging, the first “Service  Planning Project” sponsored by Enterprise Bank to bring local community partners together to strengthen our collective efforts in our community.  The club also held annual fundraisers on Bedford Day, and Breakfast with  Santa; funds raised at these events are distributed via grants through the Bedford Rotary Foundation.

Bedford Arts and Craft Society Members Serve Those in Need

Bedford Arts and Crafts Society (BACS) members have been making a difference, using their artistic skills to spread cheer through community service projects. Their current effort is making get-well cards for hospital patients and thank-you cards that are included with meals donated to health care workers through Operation Feed the Soul.

The BACS effort to participate in service projects began two years ago when Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan introduced Project Linus. BACS crafters went to work and hand-crocheted blankets that were donated for children in stressful situations. BACS crafting chair Jane Franklin remembers, “It was a ‘feel-good’ activity, so I actively looked for additional ways that BACS could support our community.” The next year fleece blankets were made and donated. Crafters then assembled an array of holiday gifts (made and donated by generous members) that were donated to the Bedford Food Pantry.

Other projects followed. Some ideas came to members, and others suggested themselves from crafts that were already part of the weekly BACS crafting program held (pre-shutdown) on Wednesday afternoons, 2:00–4:00, at the COA. For example, crafters have held a card-making afternoon about once a month, and many of the cards have found a destination at Cardz for Kidz, sending positive messages to children going through trauma. The card-making effort has continued with Christmas and Valentine’s Day cards for the Bedford VA. Many hands have pitched in, but particular recognition goes to Leslie Gabriele, Teresa Kvietkauskas, and Sandi Rosenfeld for leading these initiatives.

Some months ago, Bedford COA director Alison Cservenschi asked if BACS had use for an assortment of wooden canes. Members decided to repaint and decorate the canes and give them back for seniors to use. BACS crafter Marita Hartshorn took the lead. She brought the canes home, sanding, and putting a base coat on each. Members then used Marita’s suggestions for painting them with colorful designs.

Although the Wednesday crafting sessions have been on hold since the start of the pandemic shutdown, crafters have continued their handiwork from the safety of their homes. For additional information about BACS and its art and craft programs, visit www.bacsma.org

Don’t Miss It! The Bedford Arts and Craft Society’s current juried show at the Bedford Free Public Library is available on its website – Click https://www.bedfordlibrary.net/2020/06/24/virtual-art-gallery/ to see the show.

Will Bedford Day Take Place in Person on September 19?

Will it be safe to hold a conventional Bedford Day parade and street fair on September 19?

If there will be a cancellation, the Select Board will decide no later than August 1.

“It’s very much on people’s radar, but is it safe? Is this the right thing to do?” said Town Manager Sarah Stanton.

Select Board Chair Ed Pierce said, “we’re in a gap period right now, but groups need to order supplies, and if we wait too long some vendors may not be able to react in time.”

Recreation Director Amy Hamilton, who with her department has coordinated Bedford Day activities for many years, said she told the town manager she could wait until August before a decision is necessary. “People sign up online, and it does not take us that long to get things organized,” she said.

The 55th Annual CSF of Bedford Awards ~ 2020

The platform was Zoom, and the checks were mailed, but the Bedford Chapter  of Dollars for Scholars hosted its 55th annual awards presentation on a YouTube video released on Friday afternoon.

The names of the awardees are listed in alphabetical order, along with their probable college destination, and the scholarship(s) each received.

The designation Dollars for Scholars refers to awards underwritten by donations to the annual Phono-a-Thon held in March each year.

All of the recipients are Bedford residents, and most are Seniors at Bedford High School although the program is open to all students graduating with the Class of 2020.

Haley Portlock’s Senior Project ~ Music Serving Two Missions

BHS Senior Haley Portlock spent much of the past school year developing her senior project, an in-person concert. To adapt to the sudden impact of the coronavirus pandemic and social distancing restrictions, she decided to change her event to an online concert featuring the BHS students and instructors who would’ve appeared in the in-person event.

Growing Up and Into Bedford’s Annual Relay for Life

Ever since my first year in middle school, I have been an active team member for Relay for Life.  When I first heard about it from a video I saw in class it seemed to be a bunch of college kids talking about an event I didn’t fully understand.  Looking back, they were probably high schoolers but as a middle school kid, it didn’t appear to be something I could be part of.  But one day I saw a sign about joining Relay for Life and I attended the meeting to see what it was all about.

Celebrating 99 Safely but with Style

Tucked into the corner of the ell at Bedford’s 1712 Job Lane House, a memorial herb garden dedicated to former owner Lillian Dutton has been lovingly cared for by Josephine “Jo” Champney and a devoted crew from the Bedford Garden Club since 1978.

Observing proper social distancing, face coverings, and the 10-person limit, the herb garden crew and Garden Club members celebrated Jo’s 99th birthday on April 30, 2020.

Bedford PMC Kids Ride: Sunday September 13th

During these incredibly stressful, nerve-wracking and unprecedented times, we are ever hopeful that by the Fall, we will be able to resume some level of community normalcy. We plan to host the 16th annual Bedford PMC Kids Ride on Sunday, September 13.

Grab your bikes and join children and family members from Bedford and surrounding towns to ride in support of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Jimmy Fund.

Girl Scout Troop 85197 Busts Covid-19 Myths During Virtual Meeting

On Sunday, April 19 our 9th Grade Girl Scout troop met virtually for the first time to discuss the coronavirus and some of its myths. Our Girl Scout troop usually meets on Sundays, but our meeting was canceled because of the coronavirus. We have heard many different myths about the coronavirus, and our troop leaders know a lot about it, so we decided to have a virtual meeting to talk about it. Here are some of the myths we busted.

Responding to a Simple Call, Operation Feed the Soul has Flourished

In less than a month, Operation Feed the Soul has become something of a legend.

The grass-roots effort to support local restaurants and regional health-care workers has flourished beyond anyone’s imagination. Scores of volunteers are coordinating preparation and delivery, emailing and driving, and advocating. Its Facebook group has grown to more than 1,500 members.

Support Services for Addiction during COVID-19

Staying connected to support and services during the COVID-19 pandemic is critical for the millions of people who are struggling with substance use disorder (SUD) and recovery. 

Social support is crucial for people trying to recover from SUD, whereas social isolation is a risk factor for relapse.  Even though the social distancing measures being implemented nationwide are important for reducing disease transmission, they may be especially difficult for people in recovery because they limit access to meetings of peer-support groups or other sources of social connection. 

Groups such as AA or SMART Recovery have been shown to increase members’ ability to cope with risky social contexts and negative emotions, reduce impulsivity and enhance well-being, among other positive effects. 

Chinese American Association of Bedford Aids Town’s Covid-19 Efforts

As the containment measures for battling Covid-19 increased, members of Bedford’s Chinese American community began to express concern for the impact on our town.  Questions were asked about how best to help those on the front lines and those who might suddenly be in need.  To fill this gap, the Chinese American Association of Bedford (BCAA) offered to pool contributions and raise awareness about the impact on our town.  

The word spread quickly.  Family after family jumped into to do their part.  The momentum built quickly, and within a week more than seventy families contributed.  It was immediate action – no pledges, no follow-up needed.  And when the tally was finally registered, the total reached just under $10,000.  

On Tuesday afternoon, representatives of BCAA and its donors met with members of the Select Board and the Town Manager to deliver the donation.  The funds will be contributed to various community needs including assistance for the homebound, veterans, and patrons of the Council on Aging who have become food insecure. 

“We hope that this contribution will inspire everyone to do what they can to help our great town.  As proud members of the community, we know we can all pull together and emerge from this stronger than ever!” said one of the representatives of the Chinese American Association.

Bedford Neighbor Brigade ~ Helping the Community During Covid-19

You don’t have to look or go far to find heart-warming examples of Bedford residents doing one of the things they do best — being good neighbors to help and support one another. The Covid-19 threat and social distancing have clearly presented unique challenges but neighborhood by neighborhood, group by group, street by street, and individual by individual Bedford residents of all ages are taking care of one another – just like they always do. For more than a decade the Bedford Neighbor Brigade has been poised and ready to meet the needs of our residents.

Amy Mason, Chapter Leader of the Bedford Neighbor Brigade, shared her thoughts to update us on the role of the Brigade and how it assists those in need.  

Madelyn Anderson-LaPorte Receives Bedford Minuteman Company Citizenship Award

Despite the cancellation of Bedford’s annual Pole Capping Parade and Ceremony, the Bedford Minuteman Company awarded their Citizenship Award to Madelyn Anderson-LaPorte in a “virtual” ceremony on Saturday, April 11, 2020. 

Captain Chuck Hacala explained that the full name of the award is the ‘Marion Bryan Citizenship Award, presented by the Bedford Minuteman Company.’ 

Bedford Embraces Diversity Responds to Recent Episodes of Hateful Graffiti

The Board of Directors of Bedford Embraces Diversity this week issued a statement of response to recent episodes of hateful graffiti on the sides of a couple of local buildings. The grass-roots organization, which sponsors the annual Martin Luther King Jr. commemoration and multicultural festival, originated seven years ago in response to incidents of antisemitism.

Here is their statement:

The challenges presented by the worldwide pandemic are bringing out the best in people, and Bedford is no exception. Ordinary residents are stepping up, navigating the limits imposed by the virus, and finding creative ways to help those in need – health care professionals and support staff, neighbors who are isolated, anxious or elderly, and local first-responders. 

In that context, it is especially infuriating to learn of hateful graffiti discovered last week on two buildings on the eastern side of the town and at Shawsheen Cemetary. Let’s be clear: the swastikas and Hitler references not only symbolize hate, they represent the methodical destruction of millions of human beings and entire cultures less than two generations ago. They represent beliefs and policies that spit in the face of all the inspiring efforts to do good that we see around us. 

Precautions at Carleton-Willard Village

Carleton-Willard Village in Bedford is taking special care to protect its residents from Covid-19. Regular updates are posted via a link on the Village’s home page, www.cwvillage.org

Win-Win Initiative Supports Frontline Hospital Staff and Bedford Restaurants

A motivated network of hundreds of Bedford residents and donors is working daily with local restaurants to prepare and deliver meals and snacks to workers at hospitals in the area as well as Boston, the Merrimack Valley and the North Shore.

“We each take at least five hospitals and make sure we get something to them at least once a day,” said local realtor Suzanne Koller. “We raised more than $14,000 in a very short time. It’s the most beautiful thing.”