Trick or Treat in Raymond Village

Raymond Village Community Church will kick off Halloween week with a costume party and parade on Saturday, Oct. 26, from 3-4:30 p.m. RVCC is located at 27 Main St. The event is a chance for kids to try out their costumes before the big night and have some pre-Halloween fun in a safe and controlled environment. There will be games, crafts, storytelling and snacks. This event is open to all children.

Sixteen years ago my family moved to our new home in the heart of Raymond Village. It wasn’t until nine months later we realized a very important disclosure had been left out of our contract. We should have been forewarned at the closing that Halloween is a huge event in Raymond Village. Let’s just say many little goblins left with cans of tuna fish and full packages of Oreo cookies in lieu of any candy since our supply ran out an hour into the festivities.

Halloween in Raymond Village is one of the highlights of the year for both kids and parents in the community. The road is shut down and houses from one end of Main Street to the other spend days preparing and decorating. Families plan their decorating tactics carefully making sure to impress. And impress they do. I have seen houses that have built a pirate ship off their porch, grown the Charlie Brown Pumpkin Patch, turned their home into Emerald City and played Halloween movie classics on the side of their home. Raymond Fire Department and volunteers set up a haunted house and the farm next to the library serves hot cocoa.

Each year, residents in the Raymond Village area receive on average up to 400 trick-or-treaters on Halloween (although we have counted more than 600 before). The Raymond Village Library helps out by collecting goodies donated by patrons, which will be distributed to the neighborhood by volunteers. Please bring in your candy donations to the library by Sunday, Oct. 27, so they can be brought to homes in the village area. Your donations help ensure all the ghosts and goblins get a treat at each stop as well as helps out the families that so generously give to all that stop by.

On a final note, to the new residents I saw putting dimes and pennies into little pumpkin buckets last year, I can only assume you ran out of candy as well your first Halloween. My apologies for not warning you to start buying candy in January!

Host an Exchange Student

Have you ever considered opening your home to a foreign exchange student? CCI Greenheart, a nonprofit student exchange organization, seeks volunteer host families to host exchange students for the second semester of the 2013-14 school year. Each year, CCI Greenheart provides more than 800 exchange students from more than 60 countries the opportunity to study in local public high schools for a five-month semester or a 10-month academic high school year.

“Host families make all of the difference,” said Allison Graham, CCI Outreach and Training Manager. “They influence a young adult’s life, changing world views, and making dreams come true. When the family is so willing to give, they have just as many rewarding and enriching experiences as the student.”

Volunteer host families come from varied economic, religious and racial backgrounds and include working parents, empty nesters, singles and single parents. They are to provide:

Open communication, encouragement, patience and sound advice.

A separate bed, which can be in a shared room with a host sibling of similar age and same gender, and a quiet place to study.

Three daily meals.

Treatment as a member of the family, which may include household rules, responsibilities and privileges.

While host families are not compensated, the Internal Revenue Service has authorized families to claim a $50 per month charitable contribution deduction on their itemized tax returns.

Students have their own accident and health insurance and bring their own spending money. Students are encouraged to participate in school-sponsored activities, community service and environmental programs. CCI Greenheart provides regular communication and support to both host families and students. Host family applications are being accepted now

For more information, contact Beth at [email protected] or at 807-7405.

Making Strides

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk will be held at Fort Williams on Oct. 20. Raymond resident Kimberly Furbish Curless has formed a team to help raise money for this cause. Like many, this walk is personal for Kimberly when her best friend, Stacia, was diagnosed with breast cancer. At the time, she knew nothing about breast cancer and turned to a friend who works for the American Cancer Society for help, support and education. She was beyond impressed with the knowledge, resources and support that ACS had to share.

Making Strides is an opportunity to say thank you to the ACS, honor breast cancer survivors, remember people we have lost, help raise funds for groundbreaking research and most importantly to CELEBRATE cancer survivors. Kimberly’s team, “Bubby and Bodacious,” currently has 20 walkers for the event. If you would like to join her team or make a donation please email Kimberly at [email protected].

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