ROSES to all the volunteers involved with the Bennington Empty Bowls Soup Supper fundraiser for the Food and Fuel fund of the Greater Bennington Interfaith Community Services Inc. Held at St. Peter's Episcopal Church in Bennington on Sunday, the dinner drew hundreds of diners, all of whom were able to choose a unique hand-crafted and painted bowl in which to be served from their choice of a variety soups from local restaurants as well as bread and cookies. Everyone was well-fed and money was raised to help support people in the Bennington area undergoing financial crises.

ROSES to the Village School of North Bennington for giving students the opportunity to learn, have fun and get some exercise while working with Troy Wunderle, director of clowning for Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus. Wunderle told the Banner that one of the "most beautiful things about working with youth is that they haven't forgotten how to play." It seems he hasn't, either. School Principal Tom Martin said the program and others like it help to create a culture where children are excited to learn.

THORNS to the young man on a North Bennington hayride who decided that darkening his face with makeup in the blackface tradition was acceptable for a Halloween costume this week. There were people at the event who were offended, and there were children there who now know what the face of hate looks like.

ROSES to the Mount Anthony Union field hockey team, who made it to the Vermont Division I field hockey tournament Wednesday vs.


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Essex. No. 4 MAU lost to top-seeded Essex 7-0. "We played our hearts out, and did the best we could," MAU player Leah Holland told the Banner. MAU ended its season at 11-5.

ROSES to Hoosick Falls Central School's field hockey team, which has made it to the Section II, Class C finals with a 3-1 win Wednesday over Warrensburg. The Panthers move on to the finals Sunday at Schuylerville against nemesis Greenwich.

THORNS to those who were involved in a fracas after the Hoosick Falls Central School football game on Oct. 26. Supposedly items that were set up for the next day's Fallapalooza were tampered with and some tables were pushed over.

ROSES to Mark Ballard, who was recently inaugurated as the first president of the new Northeastern Baptist College at 104 Kocher Drive in Bennington. "Four years ago today, the planning and work began for this project," Ballard said at the inauguration ceremony Monday. "I feel so blessed to see what it's become and I thank you for all your prayers and support." Congratulations and well wishes.

ROSES to those who hung a colorful banner on a Dumpster outside the home of David and Marian Wohlsen this week stating "Our thoughts and prayers are with you" along with individual messages from neighbors. The Wohlsen's Union Street home was crashed into by a Pownal man who was reportedly under the influence of drugs three weeks ago.

ROSES to the BluesBusters program envisioned by Emeritus at Fillmore Pond to help make seniors' holidays less lonely. The BluesBusters are experts from the senior living community who pay visits to area seniors at this time of year, bringing a meal, a complimentary wellness check and resources to help the seniors stave off depression.

~Michelle Karas