Posted: Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Hi, neighbors.

Last week, Sterling Elementary School had its holiday program, and I am told it was fabulous. Mick Audette organized a wonderful program with the fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders.

Thanks to the people whose invaluable assistance helped make the program possible — Billi Ingles, Mary Daigle, Beth Braxling and Debbie Clonan.

Allan Miller's sixth-grade class is selling holiday swags for $15, and you can arrange to buy one at the school. These youngsters made the evergreen swags for the purpose of raising funds so they can pay for a class trip to Otter Cove this spring. I need to get over there and buy one before they are all sold out.

A big thanks to community member Alice Bray for her donation of a Singer sewing machine to Sterling Head Start. The staff and parents at the school appreciate the donation. The machine will be set up in the office upstairs and is available to anyone in the community who would like to use it. I'm sure if you enjoy sewing, the staff can find all kinds of projects to keep you busy.

Wes Shipman has officially retired from his work at the Sterling Senior Center. Wes worked there for eight years. He plans to spend more time on his sideline and hobby of carving. Congratulations on your retirement, Wes.

Fifty-eight families were helped through the Thanksgiving food box distribution program put together by neighbors working cooperatively for the common cause. Organizers tell me the need is great and will continue through the Christmas season.

Christmas boxes will be assembled at the senior center Dec. 21. Additionally, there will be an angel tree at the center so you can choose to help a child in the community have a better Christmas. If you can give some time and help during this season, call 262-6808, especially if you can help Dec. 21. Thanks to all the neighbors who helped put the Thanksgiving boxes together and to all the neighbors who donated food. Sterling always seems to turn out when there is a special need.

A special thank you to Rickie Bowen who has been working diligently for many months putting together a memory scrapbook for the senior center. If you need advice on scrap booking, just ask Rickie.

There are lots of birthdays in our neighborhood this December, but a special one is Ken Reichert's, who was another year older last Sunday. Hopefully you got lots of presents and a big cake, Ken. Happy birthday a little late.

It looks like the crafty ladies at the senior center are taking a break from their sewing of quilts and the making of crafty things. I hear they are going to have lunch at a nearby inn and have their annual gift exchange. Happy holidays to that busy group.

If you are still looking for something special for that special someone, you might find just the thing at the senior center gift shop. Stop in and look. They tell me "You just gotta look."

Did you know that winter solstice is Dec. 21? The days will start gaining daylight. It doesn't seem as if we have really had winter yet, but sure enough April showers will be here before you know it. Hopefully, we will have some snow soon so you can break out those cross country skis.

The Masonic Lodge will meet at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the senior center and the Carving Club will meet from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.

Mike's Welding will hold a benefit for the Wiley Simons family at 6 p.m. Friday. Wiley and his wife are outside while he undergoes kidney replacement surgery. An auction will be held at 8 p.m. This is a potluck affair with games and a live band. All proceeds will go to the family to help them during these difficult times. Game prizes and auction item donations may be brought to Mike's. If you have questions, call Mike Kunz at 262-1323.

Whoopee, the kids are out of school Friday. They and their teachers will get a long, well-deserved break.

In the meantime, make your neighborhood glow with Christmas lights.

Lois Pillifant can be reached by phone at 260-3111 or by email at

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