Celebrating 75 Years of Bedford Santa in 2020 by Going Virtual

The 75th year of the Bedford Community Santa Program will be like no other.

Like so many traditions throughout the Covid-19 world, the experience will be virtual.

Dave Dalrymple, who serves as spokesman, said the organizing committee is using pre-registration to survey participants and others to see which of two likely options they prefer to replace the pre-arranged in-home visits – with gifts — by Santa Claus that have defined the holiday for thousands of Bedford children over three generations.

Bedford Rotarians at Work, Removing Invasive Vines at 9/11 Memorial

A minor transformation is underway at Bedford’s Rotary September 11 Memorial Park, and you are invited to visit and enjoy the results!

The Rotary 9/11 Memorial Park, created as a place of remembrance and reflection, was initiated by the Rotary Club of Bedford following the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. The park is located at Springs Brook Park, on the right, just beyond the entrance gate, and is open to the public year-round.

Support Bedford’s Neighbor Brigade and the 2020 Pam’s Run

In case you need a reason to stretch your legs for a good cause in this crisp  New England fall weather, mark your calendar for Sunday, October 18 when  Pam’s Run will step off at 8:30 am as a virtual 5K walk or run. Sponsored by the Bedford Neighbor Brigade, the local event may be just what you are looking for.  Participants of all ages and abilities are welcome to join Pam’s Run.

Amy Mason, Bedford Neighbor Brigade Chapter Leader, explained, “Pam’s Run began in 2012 and has been held annually in Wayland, MA. It is going virtual this year due to Covid-19.

“Bedford’s Neighbor Brigade Chapter will be taking part in the event via a 5K course here in town. We’ll be staggering the start times to keep everyone safe, wearing masks, and staying socially distanced. It’s virtual in the sense that instead of hundreds of participants, sponsors, vendors, and volunteers all gathering together in Wayland, runners and walkers this year will have the option to follow a 5K Bedford route on October 18 or create their own 5K or 10K route anywhere they like during the week of October 18-24. Pam’s Run has been rated as one of the top 10 Best Road Races in Massachusetts and attracts over 600 participants each year.”

Bedford’s Neighbor Brigade says “Thanks for Your Gifts of Back-to-School Masks”

Thank you to everyone who donated masks to the Bedford MA Neighbor Brigade Back to School mask drive!

We were able to collect or purchase, wash, iron, individually bag, sort by size, label, and deliver 455 masks in time for school to start. We brought 230 masks for distribution at the Bedford Food Bank, and 225 masks to the BPS Guidance Department in every color and pattern from tiny preschool to high school appropriate sizes.

Saving the Planet One Electric Vehicle at a Time ~ Drive Green ~ September 26 to October 4

Bedford’s chapter of Mothers Out Front sponsors a small sub-group to focus on transportation issues in and around Bedford. It has recently been discussing the use of electric vehicles as a necessary transition to reduce fossil fuel use. Electric vehicles are fun to drive, easy to charge, and can save you money!

Students Surprise Returning Davis School Teachers

Thanks to a Labor Day initiative undertaken by B.E.S.T. (Bedford Elementary Schools Together) appreciative sentiments were added to the sidewalks — and parking spots — at Davis School

Davis School’s assistant principal Jess Colby sent the following images and said, “Staff were surprised to be greeted Tuesday morning by chalked words of encouragement and appreciation! “

Laura Bullock Joins The Bedford Citizen’s Board of Directors

Laura Bullock was elected to the Board of Directors of The Bedford Citizen at its annual meeting on April 22nd.  She is a long-time resident of Bedford with interests that range from protecting Fawn Lake to heading up a local basketball program to fundraising for the first Habitat for Humanity home construction.  In addition to these volunteer activities, Bullock is a licensed realtor presently working with local agencies as a home stager. 

Spotlight on Diverse Stories ~ A Bedford Library Zoom for Kids ~ 10:30 am on Saturday, August 22

The Bedford Free Public Library, Bedford Embraces Diversity (BED), and the Parents Diversity Council (PDC) offer children from Pre-K through grade 5 and their families a chance to expand their bookshelves with a special “Spotlight on Diverse Stories” storytime on Saturday, August 22, at 10:30 am via Zoom.

The 45-minute event will highlight some of the best recent books and videos by culturally diverse authors, including YOU MATTER, the newest picture book by Caldecott and Coretta Scott King Honoree Christian Robinson, and the Oscar-winning short film HAIR LOVE, created by Matthew Cherry and based on his picture book of the same name.

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.”

Click to read more

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.