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Education foundation awarded nearly $17K in grants in 2017

AEF logo Innovations in Education grants support programming, materials and professional development that allow students and teachers to delve deeper into their studies or explore a new element within the curriculum. 

The Arlington Education Foundation (AEF) recently awarded $16,928 in grants to Arlington Public School educators. AEF is grateful to all the applicants who join us in our commitment to enhancing Arlington’s public schools through innovative education.

AEF’s Innovations in Education grants support programming, materials and professional development that allow students and teachers to delve deeper into their studies or explore a new element within the curriculum. The Innovations in Education grants awarded include:

Math Anytime: Video math tutorials directly aligned to the curriculum will support sixth graders as they learn new concepts

KerbalEdu: Hands-on learning for High School astronomy students teaches orbital mechanics by designing, building and flying virtual rockets

3D Printing for All: A 3D printer for the High School Makerspace will allow students to explore the link between digital design and the creation of objects

Cold War Pinball: Some ninth-grade history students will create a Pinbox3000 pinball game, bringing Cold War history to life in an engaging way

Teaching Artistic Behavior: A Peirce after-school art program will inspire confidence through small group exploration, cultivation and expression of ideas

Story Box Library: Visually impaired students will use touchable objects that illustrate story concepts and enhance student understanding

Read more ...

Education foundation raises $9,944, a 25% increase

AEFUPDATED, Nov. 28: The Arlington Education Foundation (AEF) asked for community support at its fall fund-raiser, Nov. 20, at Ristorante Olivio -- and it received plenty.

Supporters mingled with AEF grant recipients and guest speakers, connecting over their common interest: enriching the educational experience of Arlington Public School students.

The event raised $9,440 for the foundation, a 25-percent increase over last year. All funds raised will directly support AEF’s work supporting and advancing public education in Arlington.

The theme of the night was "Partners in Education," highlighting the partnership between the public schools, AEF and Arlington residents.

Read more ...

Anonymous donor offers $25,000 challenge grant for ACA fund

ACA Future Fund logoUPDATED, April 16: Linda Shoemaker, executive director of Arlington Center for the Arts, sang no blues on Saturday, April 15.

Yes, BluesApocalypse 3.0 was underway, and plenty of others were letting loose with vocal and instrumental blues. "I got a phone call at 9:30 this morning," she told the sold-out crowd. "An anonymous donor has offered a challenge grant of $25,000."

Applause and cheers followed. The donor will contribute that amount to the ACA's Future Fund if the public matches it by June 1.

The goal of the fund, now up to $1 million, is to pay for the center's new home in the Senior Center and related costs. The ACA must vacate its home of 27 years by June 30 so the former Gibbs School can be renovated to a new sixth grade by September 2018.

Read more ...

First Parish fair harvests 160 years ...

Celebratory, historic fund-raiser held, but its story lasts


Quilt created by church member Marilyn Jackson to be raffled off at the fair.Quilt created by church member Marilyn Jackson was raffled off at the fair.

UPDATED, Nov. 21: If you drove by First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church -- that’s the big, white, modern building in the center of town – just before 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 19, you were likely to see a line of people making its way from the church door down to Mass. Ave. and out toward Pleasant Street. “What’s going on here?” you might well ask yourself. The answer is an event that’s been happening almost every year since 1856 – a church fair that blooms like a desert rose for one day and then vanishes without a trace. Now known as the Harvest Moon Fair, this salute to autumn reaches back 160 years.

The poster for the first fair announced that it would be held at Town Hall in “a room … fitted up in the fashion of one hundred years ago.” Hosted by the women of the Social Circle, the fair was held to raise funds for rebuilding the “meetinghouse,” which had been destroyed by fire on New Year’s Day in 1856. According to church member and historian Jo Anne Preston, the Social Circle (which later merged with the Women’s Alliance to form the Social Alliance) was one way for women to participate in the life of the church and allowed them, in Preston’s words, “to have their own money and therefore their own power.”

Read more ...

Dallin Museum fund-raiser celebrates Cutter House renewal

Restored Jefferson Cutter House sports a new yellow glow.Restored Jefferson Cutter House sports a new yellow glow.

To celebrate the completion of a major exterior restoration, the Cyrus Dallin Art Museum will hold a Summer Soiree gala fund-raiser on Sunday, Aug. 7.

The event will begin with remarks at the museum at 5 p.m., followed by a reception at the historic Whittemore-Robbins House, from 5:30 to 7:30. The house is next to the Robbins Library, at 670R Mass. Ave.

This festive summer evening will feature performances by violinist Coleen Bennett, flutist Elaine Huff and harpist Tess Epperson Maxwell. Guests will also enjoy gourmet hors d'oeuvres and desserts, wine and beer (cash bar) and a silent auction promising exciting surprises.

The soiree will raise funds to support the museum's high-priority goals for the coming year, including expanded education programs and exhibit upgrades. Proceeds will also provide crucial funding for collections care and operations.

Reservations for the event are $50 per person or $60 the evening of the event.

For more information, or to make a reservation, visit or contact the museum at 781-641-0747 or info[@]

The exterior restoration of the Cyrus Dallin Art Museum's town-owned building, known as the Jefferson Cutter House, is the result of a collaboration between the museum's nonprofit and the Town of Arlington.

"I would like to thank Ted Fields and Jennifer Raitt in the Department of Planning and Community Development, the Arlington Board of Selectmen, Redevelopment Board, Historical Commission, the Museum's municipal Board of Trustees, and Town Manager Adam Chapdelaine for their commitment to this project and to the Dallin Museum," Heather Leavell, the museum's director/curator, said in a news release Friday, July 15. "Together we have built a successful model for how nonprofits and municipalities can work together to achieve their goals."

Built about 1830, the Jefferson Cutter House is listed on both the State and National Registers of Historic Places. The groundwork for the restoration was established in 2013, when Leavell secured a grant on behalf of the town for a conservation assessment of the building.


Architect Wendy Frontiero of Beverly was selected to document the building's conservation concerns. She found significant deterioration of the wood-shingled roof, failing gutters and downspouts, and areas of decay on sills, corner boards, trim, siding and windows.

In 2015, Leavell, with the help of Arlington's former Director of Planning and Community Development Carol Kowalski and museum adviser Patrick Guthrie, secured a $65,000 grant from the Massachusetts Historical Commission Preservation Projects Fund to address the exterior concerns documented in Frontiero's report.

Additional funds

Additional funds for this ambitious $200,000 project were contributed by the town and the Community Development Block Grant Program. After a public bidding process, the town selected the Aulson Co. of Methuen as the general contractor. Ted Fields, Arlington's Economic Development Planner, served as the project manager.

"Guiding the restoration of the Cutter House was a great honor," Fields said in the release. "The project showcases the best aspects of historic preservation: a committed team working collaboratively to not just preserve, but enhance, an important community asset and a vital link to Arlington's past."

The project team was composed of Chris Pocoli, Aulson Co.; Fred Lamburn, Town of Arlington building craftsman; Patrick Guthrie; Geraldine Tremblay, museum board director; and Sarah Burks and Aimee Taberner, museum cochairs; Fields, Leavell and Frontiero.

The scope of the restoration included a new cedar shingle roof; repair of the roof drainage system; conservation of sills, siding, trim, and doors; restoration of all 28 windows; historic paint analysis and exterior painting.

Preservation consultant William Finch of Beverly conducted the paint analysis by examining samples taken from the building's exterior. He determined that the house was originally white. Desiring a fresh look (the building has also been white for the last 26 years), the project team selected the original 1850s color scheme: dark yellow (matched to Sherwin Williams "Golden Fleece") with white trim.


Confluence of business, culture

As the location of the Cyrus Dallin Art Museum, Arlington Chamber of Commerce and Cutter Gallery, the Jefferson Cutter House is a tremendous resource for the community.

Jennifer Raitt, director of planning and community development, explains why this project has been so important: "Preserving the Jefferson Cutter House allows the sharing of special spaces and environments across generations. Many studies have shown the positive economic benefits of historic preservation.

"Arlington is lucky to have this resource in Arlington Center. With the site's proximity to the bikeway and transit, it's easy to visit the museum, Cutter Gallery and Chamber, relax in Whittemore Park, and shop and dine at the many surrounding businesses."

Members of the Chamber and Cutter Gallery were in full support of the project. "We are extremely pleased with the improvements to the Jefferson Cutter House," said Beth Locke, executive director of the Arlington Chamber of Commerce. "The building is the perfect home for the Chamber. It's central location and proximity to parking makes the Chamber office easily accessible to our members and prospective members. We appreciate all of the hard work that has gone into making the project such a success."

The Dallin Museum, which has been closed for construction since March 28, will reopen Saturday, July 23, for Arlington Public Art's annual popup exhibit Chairful Where You Sit and a performance by the Creek River String Band in front of the museum.

The Summer Soiree, the museum's largest annual fund-raiser, will mark museum's official reopening, on Aug. 7. "The Soiree gives us the opportunity to thank all those who worked so hard to make the restoration a success," says Tremblay, museum board director. "We look forward to celebrating this major accomplishment with members of our community, all of whom support and recognize the Museum for the gem that it is."

Soiree guests will have the opportunity to participate in a silent auction, which includes a private tour of Cyrus Dallin's home, a VIP travel package to Salt Lake City and Springville, Utah (Dallin's birthplace), a behind-the-scenes look at the world famous Skylight Studios in Woburn, a gorgeous, hand-turned oval mirror produced at the Old Schwamb Mill, and beautiful artworks by Anne-Marie Delaunay Danizio and Dennis Lucas. For descriptions of these, and dozens of other auction items generously donated by museums, sports teams, theaters, art centers, attractions, restaurants and individuals, click here >>


The soiree is made possible by the generosity of these sponsors:

Visionaries: Daniel Johnson, Ken, Betsy & Jean Dallin Doherty, Winchester Co-operative Bank

Altruists: American Alarm, Century 21 Adams, Century Bank, The Dallin Family, Anne Ferguson & Peter Drench, Leader Bank, Mirak Automotive Group, and Watertown Savings Bank

Sustainer: Bowes Real Estate Real Living

Advocates: Arlington Adult & Family Mediation LLC, Arlington Community Media, Sarah Burks, Doukakis-Corsetti Insurance Agency, Inc., Hilt Studio, Gibbons Electric, Rogers & Hutchins Funeral Home, Tibbetts Landscaping Inc.

About the Cyrus Dallin Art Museum

The mission of the Cyrus Dallin Art Museum is to promote new insights into our shared history by exploring the life, work, and values of this celebrated sculptor of Arlington, Massachusetts. The Museum, located at 611 Massachusetts Avenue in Arlington Center, is open Fridays through Sundays from 12:00-4:00 P.M. For information on admission, exhibits, and programs, visit or call 781-641-0747.

The Arlington Chamber of Commerce is proud to promote and support its more than 250 members by creating a collaborative environment among businesses, community and government within the Town of Arlington; by assisting members in their professional development by offering education and information; and by providing opportunities to make connections and build relationships. The Chamber celebrates it's 100th anniversary this year. For information visit or call 781-643-4600.

The Cutter Gallery Arlington is dedicated to the promotion and support of aspiring and established local artists by providing exhibition space, support, and encouragement to bring creative arts to life. For more information visit

The Jefferson Cutter House is a well-preserved example of early 19th-century domestic architecture. Jefferson Cutter was a seventh-generation descendant of one of Arlington's founding families.

Cutter was a turner, millwright and edgetool maker. He built his Greek Revival, salt-box-style house around 1830 to accommodate his growing family. Of particular importance is the home's elaborately carved main entry door, whose design appears to be unique and likely the work of Jefferson Cutter himself.

The interior of the house remains largely intact, retaining its four room, center hall plan, fireplaces, and much of its original interior trim and moldings. The house was originally located two miles north on Mass. Ave. The Mirak Family owned the property and generously donated the house to the Town of Arlington in 1989 to make way for their dealership. Following the transfer, the town of Arlington moved the Jefferson Cutter House to its present location in Arlington Center.

This extended announcement was published Monday, July 18, 2016.

TO THE RESCUE: Elegant dinner supports Food Link

Rescued appetisers: Carla DeFord photo                                                   Carla DeFord photo

First were the appetizers: caprese skewers (at right), salmon mousse on cucumber rounds, pastrami and tenderloin steak-tip sliders and crackers-and-cheese platters with grapes.

After the 90 guests were seated, Lex Eat Together volunteer servers went into action and brought out the soup course: watermelon gazpacho, followed by the entrée: fish-and-crab cakes with greens and red-cabbage slaw.

Then the dessert carts rolled out of the kitchen loaded with flourless chocolate cake, fresh fruit salad and warm homemade bread pudding. That was the menu on the evening of Thursday, July 27, at the Food Link Rescue-to-Table fund-raiser dinner, held at the Church of Our Redeemer in Lexington, where Lex Eat Together provides weekly community meals for those in need. The event raised $13,000.

Fresh shots of the fund-raiser >>

A feast fit for royalty, 80 percent of Thursday night's dinner was prepared from rescued food.

As chef Bruce Lynn, who created the meal, noted when speaking to the guests, eating rescued food is *not* dumpster diving. To prove his point, Lynn, a Food Link volunteer and the lead chef of Lex Eat Together, said that the same kind of high-quality produce served that night is provided by Food Link to the Lex Eat Together program every week.

DeAnne Dupont, cofounder of Food Link, thanked the board and volunteers of Lex Eat Together for hosting the dinner and the church for the use of its beautifully renovated basement room, a k a the Great Hall. She noted that 40 percent of food grown or sold in the United States goes to waste and that one in 10 residents of Massachusetts does not get enough nutrients. 

Food Link was founded to help stop the waste and "break the barrier of access," as Dupont put it, by rescuing nutritious surplus food from local retailers and distributing it, free of charge, to 30 social-service agencies. Doing its work with the help of more than 100 volunteers, Food Link is on the job every day of the year except for Christmas and Thanksgiving, "because that's when the stores are closed," Dupont noted. 

Among those in attendance at the dinner were Arlington Selectman Joe Curro, state Representative Jay Kaufman, newly elected state Senator Cindy Friedman and Rabbi Howard Jaffe of Temple Isaiah in Lexington. The guests left with bouquets of rescued flowers and gift bags containing recipes for dishes made that night as well as a few rescued goodies. 

It was a summer night to remember -- a celebration of food rescue and the Food Link community.    

For further information about or to volunteer with Food Link, visit

May 24, 2017: As Food Link turns 5, big birthday surprises

Oct. 11, 2016: Chamber honors nonprofit cofounder

Aug. 8, 2016: Linking up with DeAnne Dupont: By-the-numbers retiree rescues food

This news announcement was published Monday, June 26, 2017, and updated to a news summary by YourArlington Carla DeFord on July 31. 

Arts center tops $25K challenge, issues new goal for June

Awarded $187,000 state grant after signing lease for new home

MCC Executive Director Anita Walker, Linda ShoemakerMCC Executive Director Anita Walker, left, with Linda Shoemaker.

Updated, June 2: Arlington Center for the Arts' $25,000 match challenge has been met, ahead of schedule, with more than 140 individual gifts, totaling $25,418, Executive Director Linda Shoemaker announced Friday, June 2. 

To continue the momentum, members of ACA's board and staff have issued a new $10,000 challenge during June.

"I want to extend a big thank you to each and every one of you who helped us meet this challenge," Shoemaker wrote in a news release. "The "New ACA" is a giant step closer, thanks to your generous support."

She urged supporters to chip in again and meet the latest challenge.

The ACA, securing its new home on the third and fourth floors of the Senior Center after signing a lease with the Redevelopment Board, received word May 18 that it has been awarded a $187,000 Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Fund Grant. 

ACA was one of 61 projects funded under the state effort in this year’s grant cycle. Awards were announced on Thursday, May 18, at a reception with Governor Charlie Baker and leaders of the Massachusetts Cultural Council and MassDevelopment, who jointly administer the fund.

Read more ...

NOT SO TRIVIAL: Stratton Smarties sweep 22nd bee

Event raises nearly $20,000 for schools

UPDATED, March 28: With a record 36 teams participating and nearly 400 attendees, Town Hall was abuzz with activity on Sunday, March 26, at the 22nd annual Arlington Trivia Bee hosted by the Arlington Education Foundation.


The atmosphere was electric when fifth-grade teams from each elementary school were introduced. Participating for the first time, teams of three students from each school eagerly took the stage to challenge their knowledge. In the end, Dallin School fifth graders Henrietta Rota, Aaron Podesky and Nolan Roof won in a sudden-death pesticide round.

More photos here >> and here >>

Wearing creative, modular-shaped hats, the Stratton Smarties (at left) -- parents Leslie Meltzer and Stewart Deck with Principal Michael Hanna -- set a Trivia Bee record by answering every question correctly and winning the 2017 Trivia Bee championship.

Teams donned creative hats and outfits representing '90s film stars, rock bands, security enforcers, artists, cartoon and book characters and construction workers. Team Back to School -- consisting of School Committee alumni Joe Curro, Leba Heigham and Sue Sheffler -- won the prize for best costume. They were dressed as Peanuts characters the Red Baron, Linus and Lucy.

Host Irwin Grossman kept the crowd laughing, pianist Todd Bearson kept the atmosphere lively and judges Kathleen Bodie, superintendent of schools; Henry Brush, president of Arlington Soccer Club, and Linda Shoemaker, executive director of the Arlington Center for the Arts interpreted answers.

To the question "In 2016 in Rio, what U.S. swimmer became the first woman in 48 years to sweep the 200, 400 and 800 freestyle races at the same Olympics?" the creative answer of the day went to the School Committee, who answered "Nancy Pelosi" when members could not recall Katie Ledeky's name.

The event raised a record $19,671 from AEF's 2017 business sponsors and team fees.

The event raised awareness for AEF's work enriching public education in the Arlington Schools. Relying entirely on community donations, AEF awards approximately $125,000 per year to the Arlington Public Schools.

This free, townwide, family-friendly event is an Arlington tradition that includes activities for kids and opportunities for audience participation. Each team includes three adults who are game for an afternoon of Trivial Pursuits.

Participants face off to answer questions about sports, literature, history, current events, music, science and local lore.

The Arlington Education Foundation works to advance and support public education in Arlington. Thanks to all who participated to help celebrate AEF's work in the Arlington Public Schools.

Variety of teams

The teams represented a wide variety of Arlington’s civic organizations and interest groups. They include:

Arlington Center for the Arts
Arlington Democrats
Arlington EATS
Arlington Education Association
Arlington Health and Safety Coalition
Arlington High School Science Department
Arlington Philharmonic
Arlington School Enrollment Community Group
Cub Scout Pack 306
Friends of the Robbins Library
Parent Enrollment Community Group
Peirce School
School Committee
School Committee Alumni
Stratton School
Thompson School
Many neighborhood groups and friends 

AEF thanks its local sponsors.

Platinum Sponsor ($5,000)
Belmont Orthodontics & Belmont Pediatric Dentistry

Gold Sponsors ($1,500)
Quad Cycles
Zipwall Dust Barrier System

Silver Sponsors ($500-$1,000)
AFC Urgent Care Arlington
Arlington Orthodontics
Belmont Savings Bank
Brookline Bank
Eye Level Learning Center
Watertown Savings Bank
Winchester Savings Bank

Bronze Sponsors ($250)
Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc, Maureen Igoe
Arlington Heights Nursery School
Avenue3 Real Estate 
Beaujolais Catering
Belmont Day Summer Camp
Bistro Duet
Coldwell Banker
Home Harvest
Intelligent Labor
Leader Bank
Leone & Leone Attorneys at Law
Mirak Automotive Group
Nitwits Intelligent ice Treatment
Rockland Trust
Running Brook Camps
Sidekick Sports Academy
Summer Fenn Day Camp

March 26, 2016: 21st annual Trivia Bee raises more than $10,700 for schools

March 24, 2015: Education foundation trivia bee raises $6,900 for public schools

This announcement was published Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017, and updated March 28.

Police participate in 2nd annual Murphy Foundation holiday drive


The Arlington Police Department has participated in the Katy M. Murphy Foundation’s second annual holiday toy drive and helped deliver the toys collected to Boston Children’s Hospital.

On Monday, Dec. 12, Arlington police provided a police escort to Katy’s family and friends with a truck full of donated toys to Boston Children’s. Arlington Police had been collecting unwrapped gifts for children ages infant to 18 in the lobby of the police station since Nov. 21.

The foundation was started in honor of Katy Murphy, who was born with a congenital heart defect and spent much of her young life at Boston Children’s.

In February 2014, Katy received a heart transplant and passed away just six months later because of complications from transplant rejection. She was only 6 years old. In honor of her birthday, in December, the foundation held its second annual toy drive.

Now, the foundation raises money to support programs that keep children happy during hospital stays, provides assistance for the cost of headstones and collects toys to distribute to children in the hospital during the holidays.

“This family has been through an unimaginable tragedy, and their ability to turn around and help other families facing a similar struggle is inspirational,” Chief Fred Ryan said in a news release. “We are honored to do our part by using our station as a drop-off location for gifts and escorting the family to distribute the donated toys.”

This announcement was published Thursday, Dec. 15, 2016.

Fund-raisers held in memory of Makayla

Makayal Guerriero

Last March, YourArlington published a story about Makayla Guerriero, a 15-year-old with ties to Arlington who committed suicide last year. A fund established in her name has two events set for Saturday, Sept. 21. They are:

     -- A golf tourney, with a shotgun start at 11:30 a.m. at the Ridder Country Club, East Bridgewater; and

     -- A benefit from 6 p.m. to midnight at the Whitman VFW Post.

For tickets and sponsors, click here >> 

"Forever & Always" is theme of Makayla Guerriero Memorial & Scholarship Fund.

Her mother, Kellie Guerriero, says the funds will be used to heighten awareness about the causes and prevention of teen suicide in local middle, junior and high schools.

During the 2012-2013 school year, the fund participated in the Ottoson Middle School's first SOS (Signs of Suicide) day, and those at the school plan to contribute during this school year.
In keeping with her love of sports, donations to the fund will also be used to help pay for sports equipment and fees for one student each season who would not otherwise be able to afford to play a chosen sport.

In addition to students at Abington High, those in other towns where Makayla had friends will also be eligible for funds, including worthy students at South Shore Vocational Technical School, Rockland High and Weymouth High.

For information about making donations, fund raising and coming events, email MKGMemorialfund at

Donations are also being collected through Using this site, members can generate donations by shopping at any of more than 1,200 stores. For details, click here >>

Interested persons are also invited to visit and join the Makayla Guerriero Memorial page on Facebook. The fund's website is Tweet to @themakaylafund.

This story was published Friday, Sept. 6, 2013. The author is on the board of the Makayla Guerriero Memorial Fund.

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