By Barbara Van Reed
If you've been to an Indian Ranch concert this year, you may have seen John Moon and the NEADS booth just inside the entrance gate. John and his crew are there to talk about the Canines for Combat Veterans (CCV) program-- which matches highly trained assistance dogs with wounded veterans--and to sell tickets for a cash raffle that benefits the program.
John asked us to give a shout out to the people at Indian Ranch, especially Suzette Raun, president, who invited them to attend the concerts last summer and again this year. She arranges for them to have the prime position at the entrance, giving them an opportunity to inform and educate people about the NEADS programs. “We get to talk to people about how someone with physical limitations can gain some independence and mobility with a highly trained canine at their side to do some of the tasks most of us take for granted – picking up a set of keys, our cell phones, even a quarter, or opening up a refrigerator door to pull out a bottle of water or medication.”
He said, “It costs NEADS nearly $25,000 to raise and train an assistance dog over 18 months, and as a non-profit, we rely on the generosity of others – time, talent or treasure. We give the veterans their dogs for free.”
The raffle at Indian Ranch is for $500 cash, and John told us he raises as much as $1,700 per concert. “We are very thankful for the exposure to so many considerate and generous people who attend the concerts. Many raffle winners give back some or all of their winnings to support the CCV program.”
Headquartered in Princeton, MA, NEADS ( National Education for Assistance Dog Services), the non-profit was founded in 1976 to train dogs to assist people who are deaf or have a physical disability. The group was invited to Walter Reed Army Hospital in 2006 to discuss how their trained dogs could be of assistance to combat veterans. NEADS recognized the growing population of combat veterans and formed the Canines for Combat Veterans program to specifically address their needs. They have placed more than 35 dogs with veterans since then.
John, who is the director of programs and communications for NEADS, invites people to visit their main campus in Princeton on Rt.140 or to attend the next graduation on November 18 at the Four Points Sheraton in Leominster.
Letter from the editor 8-15-12, part 2
Oxford Bandstand celebrates 25 years of concerts in the park
The Oxford Bandstand Committee this year celebrates the 25th anniversary of its dedication and first concert. Joyce Sirard recently brought us a copy of the 1987 dedication program, which describes how the idea for the bandstand came about.
She writes “the Bandstand idea came to me after working on the Founders Day Committee. Permanent staging for Joslin Park was needed for performances during Founders Day.” She goes on to say that a notice was put in the papers and seven people came to an organizing meeting in October of 1986. All agreed that a bandstand was needed.
At a second meeting held the following month, Loretta Johnson, a member of the Oxford Women's Club, and also interested in constructing a bandstand, attended, and she and Ms. Sirard became the co-chairmen of the Oxford Bandstand Committee. Rick Ghilani, chairman of the Ashland Bandstand Committee was a guest speaker at the meeting. Ashland had just finished a bandstand and Rick had some excellent ideas. “That was all we needed. We were ready to forge ahead,” she writes.
February saw finalization of the design concept and the beginning of fundraising. By March, the committee, now meeting every other week, conveyed its design wishes to Larry Crowley of Crowley Construction.
The groundbreaking ceremony was held April 11, with music provided by the Oxford Middle School Band under the direction of Klancy Martin. It was the last band to play on Joslin Park before the construction of the bandstand.
The dedication program lists many of the people and companies instrumental in getting the bandstand built. They included Jim LaMountain of LaMountain Brothers Co. (excavation), Lee Moody of Depot Road Leasing (foundation forms), John Esposito of L & L Concrete Products Co (foundation), Lorenzo Bilodeau and David Cournoyer of Custom Masonry (bricking), Harry Richardson and Mark Anderson of Quality Remodeling (wood structure) along with Ray Wood and Ken Myers, David Kemp (floor forms), John Rickets (electrical), Bob parker of Parker Welding (wrought iron fence), Paul Bilodeau of JG & L Landscaping (landscaping).
In addition to Ms. Sirard and Ms. Johnson, the original bandstand committee members were Karen Olival, Violet Gillies, Rita Spooner, Ruth Morgan, Nancy Peters, Ted Peters, Paul Bilodeau, Harry Richardson, Larry Crowley, Russell Rheault, and Roger Bacon.
Twenty-five years later, Joyce Sirard is still actively managing the bandstand concert schedule and activities. Bring a blanket or chair and enjoy the final concert of the season on Sunday, August 26, at 4:30. The Inlaws will be performing.
Joyce has notified us that Children's Day and Teen Night have been rescheduled for August 25. the events were rained out on the 11th.
- Wednesday, 15 August 2012
- Posted in Categories: : Letter From the Editor