ROSES to the week of activities planned by Bennington Interfaith Community Services that will raise funds for and increase awareness of the issue of hunger in our community. Beginning Oct. 19, the group put on a series of events that will call attention to the plight of those with not enough food to eat ith the community. Among the planned events is a CROP Walk is planned for Oct. 20 and is expected to raise $1,000 for food programs. The week of events will close with the annual Empty Bowls Soup Supper slated from 5 to 8 p.m. on Oct. 27 at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church. To learn more, call BICS Executive Director Sue Andrews at 802-379-0149. ROSES to the free online educational opportunities offered to Vermont residents through the state Department of Libraries. Vermont is enrolled in Universal Class, a learning program that offers access to more than 500 non-credit courses that will remain available at every library through 2014. Topics include guitar, cooking, essay writing, science and real estate. Up to five courses can be taken at once. To learn more, visit your local library or www.vermontstate.universalclass.com

ROSES to the new website, www.AccessibleAdventuresVT.org, that allows people to review the handicap accessibility of restaurants, shops, parks, houses of worship and public office facilities.


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Designed by the Vermont Statewide Independent Living Council, the site -- previously known as Rolling Gourmet -- was relaunched earlier this month to include more than just restaurants and already has received several hundred reviews and an endorsement by Gov. Peter Shumlin. "People with neurological, developmental, muscular or other disabilities should not be impeded from doing things," Sam Liss, council chair of the Vermont Statewide Independent Living Council, recently told the Banner.

ROSES to the new Vermont Welcome Center, which opened Friday on Route 279 -- just in time for Columbus Day weekend traffic. "This is important as we catch the last half of the Leaf Season visitors," said Bennington Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Joann Erenhouse. "What a great time to be able to help them toward their destinations while showcasing our town and region!" Hopefully the center will bring more tourist dollars into town.

ROSES to Bennington resident Mary Gerisch, who is in Geneva this week speaking for human rights standards. A longtime local activist, Gerisch is president of the Vermont Workers’ Center and has been battling for human and civil rights since the 1960s.

ROSES to the Mount Anthony Union Middle School "Advisory Class," which for 30 minutes each morning engages students with faculty advisors and with a goal of helping them in classes in which they may be struggling. "During this time we can target kids who may be having a bad day, make a note of it and then catch them later in the day to check in," said MAUMS School Psychologist Erica Fanning. This month students will be discussing ways to prevent bullying.

ROSES to Fisher Elementary School in Arlington and other area school that participated in Walk to School Day on Wednesday. Not only does the day promote a sense of community, it also encourages kids to get outside and get some exercise (something we could all use a little more of!) "It’s been proven that students do better in the classroom after physical activity," said teacher Michelle Tessier.

ROSES to the organizers of the 2013 Vermont Wounded Warrior Golf Tournament, part of the proceeds of which were donated to the Vermont Veterans Home in Bennington this week. A $20,000 check was presented Tuesday as a contribution to the home’s activity fund. Also on Tuesday, the tournament organizers presented $12,000 to the Veterans Outreach and Family Center, adjacent to the veterans home.

ROSES to the latest Oldcastle Theatre production, "Sherlock Holmes - Knight’s Gambit," now showing at the 331 Main St., Bennington, theater. "The show captures all the suspense, wit and intrigue of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous stories using a single set and a small case," wrote Banner Arts Editor Jack McManus in a recent review. We are fortunate to have this professional theater so close to home. To learn more, visit OldcastleTheatre.com

~Michelle Karas