Volume 8 | April 2019
Notes on Connection From Around Westborough
Welcome to the April 2019 Westborough Connects newsletter. The goal of this periodic communication is to shine a spotlight on the positive things going on in our community, including upcoming/recent events from Westborough Connects and other Westborough community organizations, interesting interviews with local people, examples of "connection" across our community, and noteworthy resources in Westborough and beyond. We welcome your input and would love to highlight the things that matter to you , so please send ideas/comments to WestboroughConnects@gmail.com.
Support for our neighbors
of all faiths and backgrounds
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In the wake of the New Zealand mosque attacks, some Westborough residents attended the Southborough Neighbors for Peace screening of The Sultan and The Saint and participated in community conversations. We collected letters from Westborough community members and sent them to our neighbors and friends at the Islamic Society of Greater Worcester. Additionally, we mailed beautiful cards of support written by students in Ayesha Osmany's Gibbons' Social Studies classes, written directly to the community of Christchurch, New Zealand. Reaching out to our neighbors and beyond to let them know people care is always important.

As we draft this April newsletter, we are still hearing details about the devastating attacks in Sri Lanka. We are again saddened and asking "what do we do?" We are fortunate in Westborough to have a strong interfaith community - focused on promoting tolerance and acceptance and love for all. We have been and will continue working with interfaith and other community leaders on programs and initiatives that support all of our community members and foster a more connected community for all. That is the mission of Westborough Connects and we welcome you to join us!
Upcoming Events from Westborough Connects
Westborough Connects, Westborough Recreation  and the  Westborough Educational Technology Fund  are working together to host the highly anticipated WESTBOROUGH UNPLUGS , as part of National Screen-Free Week. We are encouraging everyone to “unplug” from entertainment/recreational screen time and explore what our community has to offer.

There's an  AMAZING  line-up of partner events and activities. Partners hosting free events include:  Westborough Public Library, Rotary Club of Westborough, Westborough Youth & Family Services, Unplugged Adventures, Release Well-Being Center, Westborough Community Land Trust, David French Music, Board & Brush Creative Studio, Elsie Kaye Glassworks, Rebound Physical Therapy, MassBike  and  Nourse Farm . We will host an Unplugged Family Picnic to end the week on May 5th from 5-8pm at Baystate Commons!

For more information and a detailed listing of events, visit the Facebook Event page  HERE  or the Westborough Connects website HERE . Some events require advanced registration, so be sure to check it out!

All the events are  FREE  to attend. However, they are  not free to produce . Partners have graciously donated services and time. Additional fixed costs include portable toilet rentals, police details, signage, etc. If you are interested in contributing to this amazing program, Westborough Education Technology Fund, Inc. has set up a campaign to raise funds. Click HERE  to donate. Any amount will help. Thank you!
Recent Westborough Connects Events
Thank you for helping us celebrate so much KINDNESS in our community!

We felt a special energy spread through town during our first ever Westborough Kindness Week (April 7-13, 2019). With more than a dozen "Partners in Kindness" and small events and initiatives, this was a great start to what we plan to be an annual week in Westborough. From the Westborough Public Schools' "Free Hugs and Kindness Van" bringing students out into the community throughout the week to the Westborough Senior Center delivering beautiful flowers to residents who needed a sweet little spring "hello" to the inter-generational WCLT Earth Day town-wide clean up, it was a beautiful thing to know that people of all ages and through many organizations were celebrating and choosing kindness TOGETHER.

In case you missed it or want to re-visit the details, please visit the Westborough Connects website HERE .
Westborough TV was out and about all week and you can find a nice wrap up video with scenes from around the community HERE . To view their recording of Kickoff to Kindness Week keynote speaker and The Kindness Rocks Project founder, Megan Murphy, click HERE . (Thank you to SPARK Kindness for sponsoring her! She ROCKED, pun intended.)

We've compiled many many photos from the week - click HERE to see the slideshow.
We are so grateful to all our Partners in Kindness and the broader community for pulling together during this special week. We are also thankful that the Westborough Interfaith Clergy directed the 2018 Interfaith Thanksgiving Service offering to this initiative.

We hope to see the ripple effects of banding together in such a positive way - please help us keep it going! Feel free to visit the Resources section of our website for ideas and reading suggestions for kindness.

Be on the look out for information next fall about planning next year's 2nd Annual Kindness Week in spring 2020!
More than 230 people attended Lynn Lyons' "Managing Anxiety at School and Home: Interrupting the Worry Cycle" presentation on April 3rd, co-hosted by Westborough Connects and Westborough Youth & Family Services.

Click HERE for the follow-up note from this event. Lynn offered practice strategies for addressing anxiety in both children and adults.

We are grateful to our financial sponsors for making this event possible - Westborough Civic Club, Middlesex Savings Bank, Westborough Youth & Family Services, Gibbons Parent Group, Hastings Parent Group and Westborough SEPAC.
The March 28th Square One event was a great start to a community conversation on substance use awareness and prevention in our community. Click HERE for the follow-up note from this event.

A second event was held tonight - Dr. Ruth Potee's presentation, "The Physiology of Addiction: The Effects of Drug Taking Behavior on the Brain," with more than 100 adults and teenagers in attendance.

The organizers of these events - Rotary Club of Westborough, Westborough Youth & Family Services, Westborough Public Schools and Westborough Connects - will use attendee feedback to direct future programs and initiatives. We absolutely welcome (and need!) input and involvement from the community - stay tuned as we reach out on next steps.
Committee Updates from Westborough Connects
  • Steering Committee: The Steering Committee will meet on May 13th from 6:30-8:30pm. The focus of this meeting will be to vote on previously drafted and reviewed By-laws and Articles of Incorporation as well as to elect an initial Board of Directors for Westborough Connects. If you are interested or want to learn more, please email Maureen Ambrosino at maureenconnects@gmail.com.
  • Diversity & Inclusion Committee: Click HERE to read meeting notes from the February 14th Diversity and Inclusion Committee meeting.
  • Programming Committee: The Programming Committee is looking to schedule a meeting in late May or June. Please click HERE to help us choose a date.
  • Community Engagement Committee: Click HERE to read the meeting notes from the April 10th Community Engagement Committee meeting.
We are still forming and welcome new members!! Interested in Westborough Connects, but you haven't signed up or aren't sure how you want to be involved? Here are some options:
  • Subscribe to our mailing list to receive our newsletters, invitations and information.
  • Attend one of the upcoming committee meetings.
  • Join one of our committees. Click here for a description of our current committees and here to sign up for one of them.
  • Contact our Steering Committee Chair, Maureen Amborsino (maureenconnects@gmail.com) or one of our Steering Committee Co Vice-Chairs, Kelley Petralia (kelley_click@hotmail.com) or Heena Suratwala (heena.ankurs@gmail.com) with questions.
Upcoming Community Events
PLEASE NOTE: A goal of this newsletter is to highlight free, community-focused events that are open to all and bring us together. We do our best to keep up with all the great things going on around town, but we need your help! Please reach out and let us know about any events that would be important to include! Email us at westboroughconnects@gmail.com. Thank you.
The Annual Westborough Little League parade will take place Saturday, April 27th from 9:45-11am. The parade route will begin at Westborough High School and travel through town to Baystate Commons. This is a fantastic tradition and all community members are invited to line up along the parade route and cheer them on!
The Boroughs YMCA will celebrate YMCA's Healthy Kids Day on April 27th from 10am-2pm at the Boroughs Branch. Free and open to all, the event is part of a national initiative to "improve families’ health and well-being, features activities such as music, games, and arts and crafts to motivate and teach families how to develop a healthy routine at home." For more information, visit the website HERE or their event page on Facebook
The Islamic Society of Greater Worcester, located at 57 Laurel Street in Worcester, will host Open Mosque Day on April 28th from 2-5pm. The afternoon will include a tour and cultural snacks and refreshments, as well as a chance to learn about Islam and the history of the center.

This is a wonderful opportunity to visit a local mosque where many Westborough community members worship!

(Please note: additional parking will be available at Venerani Academy, 27 Edward St, Worcester).
Central MA Connections in Faith presents An Introduction to Hinduism . Hosted by the Chinmaya Mission of Metro-West, this event will take place at Congregation B'nai Shalom on May 4th from 5-8pm. Join community members for small group conversations with people of all faiths and backgrounds, featuring a vegetarian dinner. This event is free and open to the public, but registration is requested. For more information and to register, click HERE .
The Rotary Club of Westborough will host its annual Spring 5K on Sunday, May 5th (the last day of Westborough Unplugs!). The race starts at 9am at Westborough High School followed by a Kids' Dash at 10:30am. For more information and to register, click HERE . Even if you don't plan to run or walk, consider coming out to cheer on your neighbors as they make their way around town.
Westborough Civic Club is sponsoring their 12th Annual Fishing Challenge on Saturday, May 11th from 9am-1pm at Minuteman Park (91 Upton Road).

Free and fun for all ages! Rods and Bait available or bring your own. Fishing license is not required during event. Great chance for youngsters to try fishing with guidance from onsite Mass Wildlife instructors! For more information, view the flyer HERE.
CONNECTion Spotlight
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Check out these recent and upcoming examples of connection from some great organizations in our town.

  • A record 320 people participated in this year's WCLT Earth Day Clean Up! It was nice to walk and drive around town knowing that so many hands helped make the streets and open spaces free of litter, just as the buds were starting to pop on the trees and plants! Thank you WCLT for organizing this very important effort to keep our town beautiful!
  • The Westborough Cultural Council works very hard to support so many cultural programs in town - connecting us all to and with the arts. They have recently re-launched their "brand" and the Council has also announced October 5th as the date for the 10th Annual ARTS IN COMMON. Check it out on Facebook HERE.
  • Looking for a way to connect in town through volunteering? The Westborough Senior Center is in need of volunteers for things such as meal deliveries and transportation to medical appointments outside of Westborough. For more information, call the Senior Center at 508-366-3000.
  • Project Graduation Westborough, Inc., a registered 501(c)(3), non-profit run by parent volunteers, gives residents the opportunity to help make WHS graduation fun, safe and substance-free for WHS seniors on the night of graduation. "Pay it forward," "Pay it back," or whatever applies to you! The success of this program depends on support from the community. To learn more about the program and how you can help, click HERE or visit their Facebook page. In addition to accepting financial donations, there are many ways to contribute without spending any money.
Noteworthy Articles & Resources
  • We love sharing articles on the power of kindness, like this one from Positive News. We were struck by this quote by Jaime Thurston, “How we treat each other determines the kind of community we live in, which determines the kind of country we live, which determines the kind of world we live in...I believe that kindness is one of the most powerful tools we have.”
  • This Saturday, April 27th is National Rx Take Back Day. We wanted to share with you that the Westborough Fire Station accepts prescription returns 24/7/365! You'll find a collection container in the station lobby whenever you need it to safely dispose of unneeded prescription medications.
  • The Westborough Public Library and Rotary Club of Westborough are sponsoring a Repair Café on Saturday, May 4th from 9am-noon at the library. Bring your broken "stuff" and watch or help volunteers try to fix them. For more information, click HERE.
  • Westborough Girl Scouts Troop 30510 will host a Textile Recycling event on May 4th from 9am-noon at WHS front entrance. For more information, click HERE.
"Kind people are my kind of people."
 - Unknown
About Westborough Connects