Park-a-Palooza 3 – Thank You!

Thank you for another successful Park-a-Palooza!

On Behalf of Greater Falls Connections, parent and youth organizers, we would like to share an ecstatic thank you to the many people, businesses and organizations that contributed to the Park-a-Palooza Neighborhood Block Party on Saturday, June 28th in Bellows Falls. Now in its third year, Park-a-Palooza is a completely community-driven, old school, crazy-fun block party. Festivities again took place at the Central Elementary School playground and included: A potato-sack race, jellybean contest, bicycle-powered smoothies, apple-bob contest, face painting, dodgeball, baseball bat spin-off and a water balloon “throw-down.” Plus, with a little help from our friends at the Bellows Falls Fire & Police Departments, kids and adults were able to cool off and play around a gushing fire hydrant.

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Thanks to our two Grill Masters, Rose Smith and Marcy Fazzolare, as well as the numerous people who brought food, people were able to eat and snack all day long.

Thank you to the following local businesses, community organizations and individuals for your generous contributions and involvement that were vital to the day’s success: The Moose, Lisai’s Market, Parks Place Community Resource Center, United Natural Foods, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Youth Services, Windham Northeast Supervisory Union, Bellows Falls Community Bike Project, the Fatherhood Project, Hannaford’s, Brattleboro Food Co-Op, and the VT Liquor Store in Bellows Falls.

Through creative play using the games our parents and grandparents taught us, Park-a-Palooza is another example of community-driven change in action. Community-led activities such as this build trust and create connection. Not to mention, a whole lot of laughter.

We thank everyone involved for creating a fun, positive and meaningful day.

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Recovery Month

Recovery Awareness Month
September 1-30.
Worldwide!

“Join the voices of recovery: speak up, reach out!” In its 25th year, Recovery Month promotes the societal benefits of prevention, treatment, and recovery for mental and substance use disorders.

Learn, share and connect. Stay tuned for upcoming events, resources and opportunities to connect. We’ll also be promoting the movie “The Anonymous People” throughout the month. Stay tuned for screenings and updates.

The Anonymous People – Trailer from Greg Williams on Vimeo.

Recovery Awareness Month

Recovery Awareness Month
September 1-30.
Worldwide!

“Join the voices of recovery: speak up, reach out!” In its 25th year, Recovery Month promotes the societal benefits of prevention, treatment, and recovery for mental and substance use disorders.

Learn, share and connect. Stay tuned for upcoming events, resources and opportunities to connect. We’ll also be promoting the movie “The Anonymous People” throughout the month. Stay tuned for screenings and updates.

The Anonymous People – Trailer from Greg Williams on Vimeo.

Rockingham Old Home Days

Rockingham Old Home Days
Saturday, August 2.
Village Square
Bellows Falls

Join GFC and many others to celebrate our community! GFC will be partnering with the Bellows Falls Boys & Girls Club on this year’s dunk tank. Look for us and soak your favorite teacher, town official or parent!

Annual BBQ Celebration

Annual BBQ Celebration
Thursday, July 17. 6:00-8:00pm
Rockingham Recreation Center
Bellows Falls

GFC is once again planning a summer BBQ celebration on Thursday, July 17 from 6-8pm at the Rockingham Recreation Center in Bellows Falls. It’s a time to celebrate the prevention successes we’ve collectively accomplished over the past 12 months as well as announce the recipient of the next A.C.E. Award. To learn more about A.C.E. and to make a nomination, click here. Please send all nominations to Deb Witkus no later than Monday, July 14th. Nominations can be sent to: deb@greaterfallsconnections.org.

Park-a-Palooza 3

Park-a-Palooza 3
Saturday, June 28. Noon-5pm
Central Elementary School Park
Bellows Falls, VT

In it’s third year, Park-a-Palooza is all about good ol’ fashion family fun…connecting with neighbors, old school games, tasty food and good laughs. This is what community looks like!

Join us starting at Noon at the Central Elementary Playground on School St. Interested in helping to organize? Contact Deb Witkus at 802.463.9927 ext 212.

RSVP to our Facebook event Here.

Roots Rules!

It’s not every day a non-profit organization gets the opportunity to enjoy a full weekend of sunshine, fabulous conversations, local food and sensational roots music. Not to mention, the chance to share our important work with everyone in attendance. Well, that’s exactly the opportunity we had during the 15th Annual Roots on the River Music Festival that took place in Rockingham June 5th through the 8th.

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Ready for conversation!

On behalf of its staff, board and members, Greater Falls Connections would like to thank the organizers of Roots for their generous and passionate support of our work. Greater Falls Connections, a local community organizing and substance prevention group, was chosen as this year’s non-profit partner. With that distinction, we were able to promote our efforts to achieve a supportive, nurturing and connected community. Additionally, through a 50/50 raffle, we were able to raise nearly $300 that will help increase our efforts to prevent substance abuse, de-stigmatize addiction and support recovery. Countless numbers of festival-goers shared their stories and their support for our work.

We would like to especially thank festival organizers Ray Massucco, Andrea Bernard and Ezra Veitch for publicizing our involvement beforehand, announcing our participation throughout the weekend and assisting with our booth, signage and the raffle on two of the busiest days. Additionally, we would like to thank them for their dedication to making the festival a smoke-free weekend.

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Greater Falls Connections is a community-driven organization and it would not exist without the support of individuals, businesses and organizations such as Vermont Festivals. We are humbled and thankful for the opportunity and support.

Cheers!
Chad
Greater Falls Connections

Grafton Community Forum

Grafton Community Forum
Tuesday, June 17. 6:00-7:30pm
Grafton Elementary School
58 School St.
Grafton

The Grafton Selectboard, in conjunction wtih Greater Falls Connections, is inviting everyone in Grafton and the surrounding communities to a public forum on Tuesday, June 17th, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Grafton Elementary School. The key topics are: What does opioid abuse and addiction look like in our communities? What steps can we take to raise awareness and prevent substance abuse? The panelists include representatives from the medical community, the mental health community, law enforcement, and the recovery community.

The purpose of the forum is to increase awareness about the substance abuse issues facing the Grafton community. Leave with an increased awareness and with actionable steps to address the issues. Provide information about what may be the signs of use and addiction and how can individuals and families respond.

RSVP to the Facebook event Here.

June Coalition Gathering

June Coalition Gathering
Thursday, June 19. 4:00-5:30pm
Parks Place
44 School St.
Bellows Falls

Join Team GFC for our monthly coalition gathering, now on a new day/time: every 3rd Thursday of the month, starting at 4pm.

This month, GFC will introduce the Ready By 21 group and share how community members can play a role in building community by supporting youth from birth to 21.

Ready By 21 is a diverse group of community members and organizations identifying ways to support families and improve systems in order to change the odds for children and youth. The goal is to have all young people ready by 21 for college, work and life. To find out more about the Ready By 21 model, click here.

We will also have some updates from our April 24 Community Forum follow-up, events and activities for the summer (including Park-a-Palooza III) and our annual July BBQ.

RSVP at our Facebook Event Page Here.

“More Dreams-Less Drugs!” Community Forum

April 24, 2014 community forum sponsored by Greater Falls Connections and MC’d by Mike Smith. The purpose of the forum was to learn more about why opioid use, misuse and addiction is happening in the Greater Falls Community and what the community can do to respond. Four panelists presented some powerful information and stories about “why here” and “why now.” We then spent the last half of the forum discussion solutions for addressing the issue and building a strong, vibrant community.