Jan. 20, 2011
ELECTION LETTERS POLICY
Town Meeting Day is Tuesday, March 1. Please note the Observer will not run any Letters to the Editor pertaining to the elections on Feb. 24, the edition prior to Town Meeting.
All Letters to the Editor written in regards to Town Meeting MUST be received by 5 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 14, and will appear in the Observer on Feb. 17.
Please be aware that normal guidelines will apply, including a 300-word limit for all letters.
E-mail letters to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Recognition for mentors
Twelve years ago, a group of eighth grade students from across Williston Central School came together to plan a new “mentoring initiative” that was made possible by funding from Connecting Youth in Chittenden South. They envisioned strong youth-adult relationships based on trust, listening and caring.
Today, Connecting Youth Mentoring has blossomed into a thriving program that serves 125 middle school youth throughout the district. The reason this program has the impact it does is the support it enjoys from all of you. I see every day that this community of support fuels students’ connection to school and their motivation to learn.
On the back page of this week’s Observer, you will find a poster honoring the 55 dedicated community volunteers in this program at Williston Central School. They are trusted, nurturing friends who give their undivided time and attention to their student “mentees” each school week, conveying an attitude that says, “I believe in you and I’m thrilled to be with you!” In turn, our mentors gain a wonderful friend with whom they get to take time out of their day just to hang out and enjoy each other’s company.
Of all the indicators of success of WCS Mentoring, the one I am proudest to share is that 17 of our mentors have volunteered in the program for at least five years. Each of these individuals will be recognized on Jan. 25 at a National Mentoring Month breakfast to be sponsored by MOBIUS, the Mentoring Movement. I hope you will have the opportunity to congratulate them: Eric Adler, Justine Benoit, Nancy Colbourn, Sally Dattilio, Debbie Donnelly, Zoe Erdman, Bill Grover, Anne Marie Humbert, John Joachim, Cheryl Lalancette, Polly Malik, Shona Mossey-Lothrop, Nadine Paffett-Lugassy, Steve Page, Mike Thomas, Micaela Wallace and Charlie Wolf.
I am proud to be a part of this caring community.Nancy Carlson, Mentoring coordinator, Connecting Youth Mentoring, Williston Central School
Community efforts sustain Food Shelf
We are writing on behalf of the Williston Community Food Shelf to say thank you to the generous people of our area who have supported the Food Shelf over the past year.
In 2010, we had more than 1,680 family visits representing over 4,300 people. More than 65 volunteers have donated hundreds of hours keeping the Food Shelf running. Volunteers have been busy sorting, checking, stocking supplies, shopping with customers and at fund-raising events throughout the Williston area.
We wish to thank Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops, churches, school student groups, businesses and individuals who have donated money and thousands of pounds of food. Our holiday campaign to raise funds for rent, perishable food and gaps in food donations is very close to its goal.
Many of our neighbors are working hard but struggling to make ends meet. Families are trying to feed and clothe their children without missing fuel and rent payments. Seniors and disabled individuals are facing increasing costs on fixed incomes. The Food Shelf is able to help people to meet those financial needs by helping with their food bills.
Meanwhile, children are asking for food donations for birthday parties, high school students are collecting food for school projects, businesses are raising funds through work-related events and individuals are coming in with produce from their gardens in the summer. The Food Shelf is a true reflection of the kindness and sincerity of this wonderful community. Thank you all.Williston Community Food Shelf Board
Boy Scout mystery solved
As a follow-up to my letter last week (“Skeptical of ‘scouts’”), I would like to let the people of Williston know that I had a call from Williston Boy Scout Leader Bill Burbank to apologize for the misunderstanding described in my letter published in last week’s Williston Observer.
It turns out that it was not a scam; they were actually Boy Scouts and they were asking for donations in return for collecting Christmas trees and recycling them. The misunderstanding arose because our association had planned to collect Christmas trees for residents and we needed to have our trees out front by a certain date.
The Boy Scouts had left a flyer next to our mailboxes the previous week letting homeowners know that they would collect trees if we left them by the road for Saturday, Jan. 8. I did not read the flyer so was unaware of the plan. Because my tree was out in front, the Boy Scouts assumed that I had left the tree out for them and so did not explain what the donation was for. They put the tree in the road so that it would be easier for the truck following to pick it up and not as an act of mischief. The flyers they took from the mailboxes were the flyers they had placed there last week.
I am very happy to report that this incident was just a misunderstanding and not a loosening of Boy Scout principles or a scam. The Boy Scouts were providing a service and cleaning up after themselves, as Boy Scouts have always done.
Mr. Burbank said they would use this incident as a training tool for better communication. I realize that I also need to ask more questions before jumping to conclusions.Elaine Lawrence, Williston