Briefs: Operation Christmas; Halloween for kids, adults; 5th annual outerwear drive; cooking classes & governor exhibits Chester artist’s work

Operation Christmas shoebox decorating

A workshop to decorate shoeboxes and make toys and games for Operation Christmas Child will be held in Willard Hall at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 313 Main St. in Chester, from 1 to 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 19. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Refreshments will be available. Come for an hour or stay as long as you can. For more information, call the church office at 802-875-6000 or visit

Break Maids at Stone Hearth for Halloween

The Break Maids spice up Halloween.

The Stone Hearth Inn & Tavern is hosting a Halloween party with The Break Maids beginning at 8:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 26th. There is no cover charge and all are welcome.
Put on a wild costume, or come as your own scary self. The evening will feature The Break Maids, Chester’s own 3-piece all female band made up of Emily, Faith and Ida Mae. They’re hot off a recent recording session and will rattle the rooftops with their original brand of homegrown rock ‘n’ roll.
Visit for event details, or call 875-2525 for more information about the Stone Hearth, 698 VT Rt. 11 W. It’s going to be a scream!

Children’s Halloween set with bonfire, Trunk or Treat

The Annual Chester Halloween Bonfire and Trunk or Treat will begin with costumed children gathering at Chester Andover Elementary School, at 72 Main St., at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 27.
Sandwiched between an escort of the Chester Vermont Police Department and the Chester Fire Department, the costumed kids will then march down Main Street, past the shops on the Green, then down Cobleigh Street to Cobleigh Field. At the field, Chester-Andover Elementary School parents will be selling baked goods, hot chocolate, soups and stews from the Rotary trailer to benefit programs of the CAES Parent-Teacher Group.
Wood carver Barre Pinske has donated all the materials for the bonfire, including a decoration for the very top. Everyone is invited to decorate his car in a festive Halloween theme, then park around the bonfire to hand out treats to the children.
Judges will be roaming the field to pick out the 10 best costumes. Gift certificates will be handed out to five boys and five girls. And, the best-costumed cars will also have a chance to win cash prizes: $25 for 3rd Place; $50 for 2nd Place and $75 for 1st Place. You just need to show up to participate. For more information, contact Chris at 875-6900.

Free family Healthy Cooking classes

A free healthy cooking class titled “Cooking Well With Families” is being offered at Rockingham Medical Group, 1 Hospital Court in Bellows Falls, beginning at 5:30 p.m. Thursday Oct. 25th.

The class will meet every Thursday until 7:30 p.m. for four weeks. It is free and open to the public. This class is designed to help teach families how to cook together to create healthy meals that taste good. It will cover what to include in a healthy meal, review tips to help the whole family achieve a healthy weight, and how to integrate lifestyle changes, while keeping it economical.

The program includes preparing child-friendly meals and the format will be a fun activity that parents and children can enjoy together. For more information, please contact the Rockingham Medical Group at 802-463-9000 or email Brook Sherwood at

5th Annual Blanket and Outerwear Drive

For the fifth year in a row, churches, schools and organizations in Chester and Andover are joining forces to collect new and gently used outerwear and blankets. Over the years, hundreds of coats, hats, mittens, sweaters, boots and blankets have been distributed free to anyone who feels they can use them.

Just look through your winter wear and blankets and donate any extra warm things you no longer need. We are especially interested in coats, boots and snowpants for children. Please have items clean and ready to use.

Donations are now being accepted. Collection boxes can be found at all the area churches, as well as at Chester-Andover Elementary School, 72 Main St., and Green Mountain Union High, 716 VT Rt 103 S., Chester Town Hall, 556 Elm St., and Andover Town Hall, 953 Weston-Andover Road. Donations are being taken through Oct. 28.

The “Choose What You’ll Use” event is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3, and Saturday, Nov. 10 at the Parish Center at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church at Rts. 103 and 11. All items are free. If there are items left, they will be delivered to the Chester-Andover Family Center.

Chester artist’s Irene art on exhibit in Governor’s Gallery

James Jahrsdoerfer, Clearing Skies . . . Rebuilding Begins, oil on canvas

Several works of Chester artist James Jahrsdoefer will be on display at the Governor’s Galley on the 5th floor of the Pavilion Building, 109 State St. in Montpelier. The exhibit will be up through Dec. 28.

Originally exhibited at the Chandler Center for the Arts in Randolph, this powerful collection of work was shown in August as part of a public event commemorating the one-year anniversary of Tropical Storm Irene. We Are Vermont Strong: Vermont works of art in response to Tropical Storm Irene features many pieces from the original exhibit.

When news of a pending show on the subject of Irene was made public, visual work emerged from artists, teachers, and community groups from many corners of Vermont. People were eager to share their experiences, emotions, and observations of this dramatic and historic natural disaster. The works convey fear, anger and frustration as well as gratitude, community pride and the joy of rebuilding. While no one story can explain the Vermont experience of Tropical Storm Irene, the works in this show reflect many of the ways in which the storm left its mark on the state.

The Governor’s Gallery is open Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. A photo ID is required for admission. The public is invited to an artists’ reception in the Governor’s Gallery from 3 to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 24. For more information, contact Tracy Martin, assistant state curator, at (802) 828-0749 or

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