Volume 3 | September 2018
Notes on Connection From Around Westborough
Welcome to the September 2018 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.
Upcoming program: "Lost Boy" Gabriel Bol Deng
October 25th, 6:30-8pm, Mill Pond School auditorium

Gabriel Bol Deng will bring his inspirational story to Westborough on October 25th. One of the "Lost Boys" of South Sudan, Gabriel became a refugee in 1987 at the age of 10 when North Sudanese militiamen led a violent attack on his village. He spent many years in refugee camps and faced enormous physical and emotional challenges, without his family, ultimately arriving in the U.S. in 2001 as part of the Refugee Re-settlement Program. He returned to his village of Ariang in 2007, witnessing what years of devastating conflict had done to his community. He was moved to establish the HOPE for Ariang Foundation to help re-build the community and opened the Ariang Primary School where over 650 students currently attend. For more information on Gabriel, check out this ONE profile on him.

Through all he endured, Gabriel believed in what his parents taught him: the power of hope .

Gabriel's message of hope , resilience and the importance of giving back to your community fit so well with the mission of Westborough Connects and we are excited for him to come and share his story with us!!

Registration information will follow at a later date. This program is FREE and open to the public. We recommend adults and children in 6th grade or above attend. Westborough Public School's 6th grade curriculum includes a study on refugees.
What has Westborough Connects been up to?
We took time to enjoy the summer months while also doing some behind-the-scenes work, planning upcoming programs and initiatives, and introducing Westborough Connects to some people in town. For those already signed up for Westborough Connects committees (Programming, Community Outreach and Diversity), stay tuned for detailed updates coming soon to your inbox.

Westborough Connects serves!
During the summer, the Westborough Council on Aging hosts an evening of food and entertainment every Tuesday night and members of Westborough Connects had the good fortune of serving "Breakfast for Dinner" at the senior center on August 21st. We were honored to be there, connecting with familiar faces and meeting new people while serving a delicious meal made by the awesome senior center crew. Some of us also pitched in on Meals on Wheels deliveries in August. We look forward to more opportunities like these in the future!

Help us help our neighbors
We are currently looking for help with fall clean-ups in the yards of senior citizens around town. This is a GREAT opportunity to perform a really valuable service for your elderly neighbors in need - with just a few hours of raking leaves! We are looking for individuals, couples and families with children ages 10 and above. Interested in hearing more or volunteering? Please email westboroughconnects@gmail.com.
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.
  • Join one of our committees. Click here for a description of our current committees and here is a form to sign up for one of them.
  • Contact our Programming Committee Chair, Kelley Petralia (kelley_click@hotmail.com) with questions.
Community Event Highlights
Hooray for fall!
Rotary Club of Westborough is sponsoring a Fall Family Festival from 11am-dusk on October 13th (re-scheduled from the spring)

Come join in the fun - A vendor market, live music, food, craft beer tent, kids' carnival and a doggie dash are just some of the things in store!! Admission is free.

Thank you Rotary Club of Westborough!
Veterans' Luncheons
The Westborough Senior Center will host its quarterly luncheon for military veterans and community members on Thursday, September 20th at noon. There is no cost for veterans ($5 for non-veterans).

Carol Callaghan is the featured speaker. Callaghan is a National Accredited Service Officer with the Vietnam Veterans Of America for the last 15 years. She has assisted 100s of veterans across the state to secure their earned benefits with the Department of Veteran Affairs.

The luncheon is sponsored by Chick-fil-A and Cumberland Farms. Please RSVP by calling the Senior Center at 508-366-3000.
Westborough Community Land Trust sponsors:
Family Nature Hike & Scavenger Hunt
Sunday, October 14, 1:30 - 3:30 PM at Gilmore Pond

This kid-length hike will provide kids an opportunity to explore the nature and trails in our own town with their parents. After the hike, kids can participate in a fun scavenger hunt for ages 6 and up to practice what they've learned. Prizes will be awarded! For more information on this and other WCLT events and programs, click here .
October 11th is National Depression Screening Day

FREE, CONFIDENTIAL mental health screenings for depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and PTSD, offered by Westborough Youth & Family Services and Pastoral Counseling Centers of MA.

When: Thursday, October 11th, 2018 from 10am-6pm
Where: Westborough Youth & Family Services, Central One Federal Credit Union, 2nd floor, 40 South Street
Who: Ages 6 through adult (minors must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian).
How: To make an appointment, please call 508-366-3090 or email yfs@town.westborough.ma.us

If you are concerned about mental health for yourself or your child, please take advantage of this free offering. You can help spread the word to others who may benefit.
SAVE THE DATE: Westborough's First Annual MLK Jr. Community Celebration - an interfaith community celebration and honoring of the life and enduring legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. At 10:00 AM on January 21st, 2019, Westborough will gather together at the high school auditorium to hear speakers, enjoy refreshments, and work together to complete service projects. More details to follow, including an essay contest for high school students with opportunities for students to speak at this wonderful community event, sponsored by Westborough Interfaith Clergy, Central Massachusetts Connections in Faith, and Westborough Connects.
Welcome Cara Presley!

Westborough Youth & Family Services provides critical services to residents of Westborough and we are thrilled to have Cara on-board. Come join the rest of her team in welcoming her to Westborough.
CONNECTion Spotlight
Westborough's Public Library rocks!
The recent library open house gave residents an opportunity to explore the library and learn about new resources and programs, including a new program on the history of Westborough and W.A.V.E., for teens who wish to volunteer at the library. If you weren't able to attend, consider checking out their Facebook page or dropping by the reference desk at the library and asking "what's new?" You'll find something for everyone and it's always FREE!

On the move
One of the coolest new things from the library is the Mobile Library which brings select books, audio and video materials to the people of Westborough at events around town. We spotted them at this summer's Screen on the Green and found, among other things, a great new movie for a rainy summer day! We love this example of connecting the people to the resources in our community!
Spreading kindness in the streets
Some of you may have noticed inspirational chalk art around the downtown area or welcoming Armstrong students for the first day of school. We have and we love it! The Gevalis family participated in the 8th annual international Chalk the Walks event, sprinkling the sidewalks of our town with kind sayings. Keep an eye out for them, especially when you need a little smile! This same family also recently installed a Little Free Library on Gary Circle. Check it out - take a book, leave a book. Kids books, adult books and doggie treats, too! Thank you, Gevalis family.
Noteworthy Articles & Resources
  • Happy Fall! For many people, a change in seasons brings new routines. With this, comes an opportunity to create new habits and move away from habits that don't serve us well. Here is a noteworthy CNN article on the subject of habits - how to make and break them.

  • With Gabriel Bol Deng's visit to Westborough coming up in October, we wanted to share this brief HuffPost blog post on the "Power of Hope."

  • The Westborough Board of Selectman held two community meetings on September 17th to review outcomes from their recent work on a draft strategic plan for the town. Residents have a unique opportunity to provide input to this process, which will shape and guide the future direction of Westborough. The board wants to hear from YOU! Visit the Engage Westborough site to have your voice heard (do it soon because they are wrapping up this part of the process).
If you want to go fast, go alone.
If you want to go far, go together.
- African proverb
About Westborough Connects