ROSES to the hundreds who participated in and orchestrated the Relay For Life of Bennington County last weekend. The inspiring event held at the Mount Anthony Union High School track raised nearly $100,000 for the American Cancer Society.

ROSES to The Great Race for cruising through Bennington last Sunday, thanks to sponsors Hemmings Motor News and Nemer Motor Group, and bringing lots of fun vehicles and tourists into town. The rally that spans from Maine to Florida will finish in The Villages, Florida, this Sunday.

ROSES to Old Bennington trustee Arnold Ricks, who was honored by the village with a surprise celebration last weekend. Ricks, 90, was thanked for his 40 years of service to the village as a trustee with an inscribed stone bench on the grass island across from the Old First Church. He said at the bench dedication, "The genius of the village is that it is and was the heart of this small community, and an indispensable part of the larger community."

THORNS to vandals who destroyed plants in the Morgan Spring Community Garden between Sunday and Monday. Plants from plots used in the Learning Garden as well as some earmarked to be donated to a local food shelf were "heavily vandalized," according to Christina West, a certified master gardener. Anyone with information about this crime is asked to contact Bennington Police at 802-442-1030.


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Despite their disappointment about the crop damage, the garden posted a forward-thinking statement on the Banner's Facebook page: "Thanks for all the support everyone. The garden is a place for everyone in this town to enjoy. For those of you in town, feel free to stroll around the garden and the Rec center. Garden members grow food to feed their families, but we cultivate beauty for everyone to share. We will not let a bit of vandalism ruin the good thing we have going!"

ROSES to the Fund for North Bennington and the Preservation Trust of Vermont for re-envisioning the former bank building in North Bennington as a community space now known as the Left Bank. Used for yoga classes, art installations, ukulele gatherings, concerts, speeches, readings and other events, the Left Bank is a welcoming space that brings together village residents and those from beyond. It may be used for free if events hosted within have free admission.

ROSES to the Cambridge Central School and Hoosick Falls Central School classes of 2014, who, respectively, celebrated their commencements on Friday. Some words of wisdom for you from American philosopher John Dewey: "Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself."

~Michelle Karas