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Community events and Calendar (week of Dec. 15, 2010)

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By Tom Wilmoth

Sign-ups and notices

    For information of events and activities at area churches, see the church news section in this week's paper.

It's Christmas Time In Bedford...
    This Friday, Dec. 17, have your picture taken with Santa Claus, from 6 to 9 p.m., by Bedford Photographer Jeff East. Santa will be in the window at 206 N. Bridge St. Take an old fashioned carriage ride through Historic Centertown Bedford from 6 to 9 p.m. in the Farmers' Market area. Hot chocolate, hot apple cider, and other refreshments will be available. Many of the merchants will be open.

Model train display
    The Bedford Museum and Genealogical Library announces the return of the model train display for the Christmas season. The annual “O” gauge model train exhibit will be on display and operational through January 29, 2011.  The train exhibit has been upgraded with a new town and interactive trolley. Different trains will run everyday of the week, including Children’s favorites “The Polar Express” and “Thomas the Tank Train” from December 20-30. Throughout the season, you can enter a raffle to win your own set of model trains. There is no charge for admission to the museum or train exhibit, but donations are gratefully accepted.  Large groups of people should call for an appointment.  The museum will be open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, with special hours Friday Dec. 3, 10 & 17 staying open till 9 p.m.  For more information call the Museum 540 586 4520.

Work on Route 741
    Weather permitting, starting Monday, Dec. 13, Route 741 (Beale Trail Road) between its intersections with Route 812 (Edgehill Road) and Route 695 (Goose Creek Valley Road) in the Montvale area of Bedford County will be closed daily from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. The road will be closed each day until Friday, Dec. 24 due to shoulder work and stump removal.  Motorists will need to seek alternate routes around the closure.

Upcoming Bloodmobiles
    The following information is subject to change. Please call 1-800-REDCROSS to confirm drive dates and times before attending. 
Dec. 20 – Bedford, Main Street United Methodist, 12:30 – 6 p.m.
    Dec. 22 – Forest, St. Stephens Episcopal Church, 1 – 6 p.m.
    Dec. 27 – Forest, The Kirk, 1 – 6 p.m.

Canned food drive
    Shenandoah Telecommunications Company (Shentel) will be hosting a canned food drive in the area throughout the month of December. Canned goods may be dropped off between the hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays at Shentel’s Bedford store, located at 715 Industrial Avenue, Bedford, VA 24523.

Children’s Art Exhibit
    At the Moneta/SML Library — see pieces from the Children’s Reflections Art Contest. The visual art was created by students at Moneta Elementary School with the theme “Together we can…” for entry into the Reflections Art Contest. Vote for your favorite for the People’s Choice Award! View the exhibit during regular library hours through the month of December. If you have any questions, call the Moneta/SML Library at 540-425-7004.

Book Fair
    Liberty High School will be holding a Scholastic Book Fair in the school library. The days of this event are December 13-16. The hours will be from 8 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. each day. There will be a variety of books, posters and accessories for all ages.

Holidays at Bedford Central Library
    Bring the kids in any time during Christmas break from school to Make and Take a fun Christmas craft.

Legacy International
    Legacy International invites you to host a visitor from Samara, Russia in your home Jan. 29-Feb. 17. Contact Innocentia Afa at 434-942-6143 and visit www.legacyintl.org for more information on this educational opportunity.

Live entertainment
    Live entertainment Saturday nights at Benjamin's in Forest from 9-11 p.m.: Dec. 18 - Burnt Toast & Jam; Jan. 8 - The Ruckus.

Donate to VT chapter
    The Franklin County / Smith Mountain Lake Chapter of the VT Alumni Association has announced a new incentive to donate to the chapter to help raise scholarship funds for Franklin County and Staunton River High School students heading to Virginia Tech. For every $5 in donations, donors can get an orange and maroon SML sticker for their car, boat, dock refrigerator or wherever they display their support of the Hokie Nation. Contact any member of the board or send an email to me at fcsmlhokies@yahoo.com.

Bedford County Foster Youth
    Christmas is right around the corner and the Bedford County Department of Social Services needs assistance in providing Christmas to our foster youth. These are youth that will not be able to be with their parents and families for Christmas. This Department is asking for monetary donations be made to the Bedford County Department of Social Services and can be sent to the attention of Tonda Wade at P.O. Box 1187, Bedford, VA 24523, or for additional information, contact Melissa Eggleston at (540) 586-7750 extension 2295. All donations are tax deductible.

Fresh air host families
    Through The Fresh Air Fund’s Friendly Town program, local families open their hearts and homes to inner-city children as volunteer hosts for up to two weeks during the summer. Since 1877, The Fresh Air Fund, an independent, not-for-profit agency, has provided free summer vacations to more than 1.7 million New York City children from low-income communities. Nearly 10,000 New York City children enjoy free Fresh Air Fund programs annually. In 2010, close to 5,000 children visited volunteer host families in suburbs and small town communities across 13 states from Virginia to Maine and into Canada. Additionally, 3,000 children attended five Fund camps on a 2,300-acre site in Fishkill, New York. The Fund’s year-round camping program serves 2,000 young people each year. For more information on hosting a Fresh Air child, contact Mary Poe at 434-239-5590 or The Fresh Air Fund at 800-367-0003. You can also visit The Fund’s Web site at freshair.org.

Medicare Part-D Sign-Ups
    The majority of beneficiaries enrolled in prescription drug plans should see only small changes in their Part D premiums or benefits in the coming year.  Although most Part D plans should have relatively stable premiums, all beneficiaries should compare their current coverage with the plans that will be offered in 2011 when information becomes available in October.  In particular, some beneficiaries who receive the low-income subsidy, or LIS, to pay for their premiums will need to move to a new plan to ensure that they can remain in a zero-premium plan in 2011 because the plan's premium will be higher than the 2011 subsidy amount.  CMS, working with its partners, will notify all individuals in this situation to make sure they are aware of their options.  Medicare Part-D Sign-Ups provide information and sign-up assistance. This will be offered Dec. 16, 17, 30 and 31. The location will be Main Street United Methodist Church computer lab and the Parish Nurse Ministry Office, Internal Medicine Building, 1710 Whitfield Drive, Bedford. Appointments are required. To make an appointment, get times or directions, call Pam Willoughby, VICAP/SHIP Counselor, at (540) 875-8655. You will need to bring your Medicare card and a list of your Rxs with dosage and frequency. On the average, about one in 100 people who compare plans year to year keep the same plan. Remember, the object is to find the best plan which has your Rx on their formulary for the best price, which you can afford for the coming year. The Bedford Parish Nurse Ministry, Inc., a 501 (C)(3), is made possible through private donations, the Carilion Foundation, the Bedford Community Health Foundation, the Greater Lynchburg Community Trust and the Presbytery of the Peaks.

Bedford Tax-Aide seeks tax volunteers
    Wanted a few good volunteers: The Tax-Aide program, a nationwide service, was founded to assist tax payers in the low and middle income brackets, with special emphasis for those 60 or older. More than 40,000 tax returns were prepared by AARP Tax-Aide volunteers in Virginia for the 2009 tax year, with approximately 2,500 of those in the Lynchburg District that includes Bedford. In order to continue and to expand operations in Bedford, the program is looking for volunteers to become qualified tax counselors and greeters. A Bedford site has been existence for over 15 years and is currently located in the meeting room at the Bedford Public Library, 321 N. Bridge Street.  The Tax-Aide program is funded roughly two-thirds from the AARP Foundation and one-third from the IRS. It is a free service for the tax clients although those desiring to contribute may do so. Volunteers should enjoy working with and helping others. Counselors should have experience preparing their own returns; feel comfortable working with computers; attend six required free training sessions (starting in October) and perform homework necessary to become certified. Counselors and greeters should be available to work two half days each week from Feb. 1 through April 15, 2011. Tax-Aide volunteers are provided with training materials and classroom instruction to assist them in becoming proficient in tax return preparation and to become certified via the IRS examination. All tax returns, federal and state, are prepared via computer software and the vast majority is electronically filed.
    People wishing to volunteer can fill out an application online at www.aarp.org/Tax-Aide or contact Letty Collins at 540 947-5187.

CASA training
    Applications are now being accepted for volunteers who are interested in becoming Court Appointed Special Advocates.  The next training program will begin on January 20 and will be held on Thursdays, through March 31, from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Pearson Regional Cancer Center, 1701 Thomson Drive, in Lynchburg (one block from Lynchburg General Hospital).   CASA of Central Virginia is a non-profit organization that recruits, trains, and supports volunteers to be advocates for the abused and neglected children in the 24th Judicial District.  This district includes the cities of Lynchburg and Bedford and the counties of Amherst, Bedford, Campbell and Nelson.  For more information about CASA of Central Virginia and how you can be trained as a Court Appointed Special Advocate, call (434) 528-2552 or e-mail at staff@cvcasa.org.   You may also check out the Web site, www.cvcasa.org.

Crisis Line of Central Virginia
    Crisis Line of Central Virginia is looking for volunteers who are dependable and caring individuals. You may choose from several volunteer opportunities such as Crisis Line/Teen Talk, Telerate, and the Sexual Assault Response Program. No prior experience is needed. Training starts in February. Call Vicki Leary at (434) 947-5921 or visit www.crisislineofcentralvirginia.org.  for more information.

Bedford Host Lions Club
    The Bedford Host Lions Club meets the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month. The Club is  active in the community helping to provide eye exams and glasses for those who qualify. The Club also helps with eye screening for the schools and they also help the Red Cross with their Blood Drives. The club works with the state and international Lions to provide help in a lot of different ways. If you would like to learn more about the Lions or would be interested in coming to a meeting, call Jim McSlarrow at 586-4712 or Margaret Anderson at 586-0082.

Caregiver Support Group
Dementia Caregiver Support Group at Bedford Memorial Hospital every third Thursday from 4-5 p.m. Join to share challenges and learn more to help the caregivers of those with memory impairment. Group facilitator is Wanda Gills, Life Enrichment director of Heritage Green DayBreak Assisted Living. RSVP to Wanda 434-385-5102 the day before each meeting.

Computer skills classes  
    The Bedford Public Library System is offering free instructional beginner classes in various areas of computer usage.  Topics include social networking, E-materials, online digital photo storage, web design, Microsoft Word 2007, and Internet Explorer.  The course topics being offered will vary according to library location.  All courses will be instructed using Microsoft Office 2007 software products and Internet Explorer.  To find a list of classes being offered at your library location,  visit www.bplsonline.org or call your library. Bedford Central Library (540) 586-8911; Big Island Library (540) 425-7000; Forest Library (540) 425-7002; Moneta/SML Library (540) 425-7004; Montvale Library (540) 425-7006; Stewartsville Library (540) 425-7008. 

Rotary Club of SML
    The Rotary Club of Smith Mountain Lake meets the second and fourth Thursday of each month. It is now meeting at The Westlake Country Club. The doors open at 7 a.m. and breakfast begins at 7:15. Visitors are welcome. For more information call Steve Strickland at 719-1411 or Steve Miller at 721-9003.

White Knight’s Chess Club
    Anyone interested in a battle of the mind is invited to come to the Moneta/SML Library on Fridays from 4:15 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. Daniel Criste II, a member of the United States Chess Federation, will be leading the club. Come make new friends, play a fun sport and improve your chess game. This program is open for players of all ages, beginners to masters, and those in-between. Call the Moneta/SML Library at (540) 425-7004 for details and more information.  

Bedford Community Quilters
    The Bedford Community Quilters meet at 6:30 p.m. every Monday at the John Early Community Center, 718 Blue Ridge Avenue, in Bedford.  Membership is open to ladies of all skill levels who are interested in learning quilting techniques, working on group and individual projects, and making new friends.  Annual dues are only $15.  For more information, contact Shirley Snead at (540) 586-9469 or Helen Hardy at (540) 586-3592.

Embroiders Guild
    The Blue Ridge Chapter of the Embroiders Guild of America will meet on the fourth Saturday of each month from 10 a.m. to noon at the Bedford Central Library on North Bridge St.  All levels of ability, including beginner, are welcome.  Call 587-9118 for further information.

Video Games Friday
    Come to the Bedford Central Library every Friday for a video game challenge. Starting at 3:30 p.m. the library will have Madden NFL 10, Guitar Hero V and DDR Supernova available to play on our big screen.

Star Stitchers
    The Star Stitchers Chapter of the Embroiderers' Guild of America meets the third Monday each month at the Moneta Library (Rt. 122 South) at 10 a.m. Modern as well as ancient embroidery techniques are learned as a group. Call 540 721-5449 for information.

Al-Anon
    Al-Anon meets every Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. in the Main Street Methodist Church. Use the side door entrance facing Otey Street. Al-Anon has but one purpose: to help families and friends of alcoholics whose lives have been affected by the disease of alcoholism.

Big Island Stitch-in
    Drop in with your portable craft. Knitting, embroidery, crocheting, quilting, whatever you’re working on. Come enjoy the company of other crafters every Thursday from 3-4:30 p.m. Pick up tips and hints or share patterns and ideas. Call Big Island Library at (540) 425-7000 for more information.

TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly)
    Get motivated to lose weight. TOPS is held at Bedford Baptist Church on Oakwood Street. Weigh-in is at 5:30 p.m. each Thursday. Call Judy Meador at (540) 586-1008.

Montvale TOPS
    Montvale (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) is a support group for people trying to lose weight that meets Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m. at the Old Montvale Elementary School.  Visitors interested in joining are welcome to attend.  Call either Janice at 586-0332 or Marie at 947-0065 for more information.

TOPS
    A TOPS meeting is held each Wednesday at Mountain View Union Church (460 West on Miller Lane beside Moose Lodge). Weigh in at 5:30 p.m. Low monthly dues. For women, men or teens. TOPS is an international network of weight loss support groups. For more information call Wanda Toms (540) 586-3308.

Holiday performance
    Leanne Ashley Dance Ensemble presents “Making Spirits Bright” at the Bedford Middle School on Dec. 18 at 7 p.m. and Dec. 19 at 2:30 p.m. Beautiful winter variations and Santa’s Magical Toy Shop. Family entertainment. For more information, call Leanne Ashley Studio of Dance at 587-7555.

Caregiver Support Group
There is a Care Giver Support Group at Carriage Hill Retirement Center, 1203 Roundtree Drive, Peaksview Building, Bedford. The Group is presented by the Alzheimer’s Association on the second Tuesday of the month at 2 p.m. The facilitator contact is Chris Davis, executive director, (540) 586-5982.  Call the Regional office phone (434) 845-8540, or visit alz.org to: attend this support group; find a support group in another area; learn about other Alzheimer’s Association programs and services; access services day or night; volunteer your time and energy to achieve a world without Alzheimer’s disease.

Garden Club of Bedford
    The Garden Club of Bedford meets at 10 a.m. on the second Wednesday of each month at the Bedford location of CVCC.  Contact Information:  childers3@JetBroadband.com, 540-586-6209 or flpdare@aol.com  540-297-3481. 

Military family support group
    A Military family Support Group meets each Wednesday at 6:15 in Room 167 at Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg. All family members of military personnel are invited to attend. Veterans are also welcome.

Look Good Feel Better
    Look Good Feel Better, First Monday of the month 10-noon. Contact: Anita Lowe 549-587-3308.

Eckankar Community HU Sing
    Experience the Light and Sound of God at the Eckankar Community HU Sing consciousness raising chant. All are welcome. They will be held Fridays at 7 p.m. at 208 W. Depot Street, Suite F, Bedford. For more information, call (434) 384-7959, email HuSinger@juno.com or visit www.Eckankar.org.

Living with Cancer                           
    First Monday of the month, noon. Contact: Anita Lowe 549-587-3308.

Bedford Mended Hearts #270
    Bedford Mended Hearts #270, Second Tuesday of each month at noon. BMH Auditorium Contact:  Karin 587-5462 or Connie 586-3059
                                                                                                                                         
Parkinson’s Support Group
    Parkinson’s Support Group, Second Thursday of each month at 2:30 p.m. BMH Auditorium Contact: Dave Ballard 586-1406.

Wellness Massage
    First Monday of each month. Everyone is invited to take advantage of this special one hour massage offer to our patients, staff and support group member of Bedford Memorial Hospital, certification training in Oncology Massage. Bedford Memorial Hospital, 1613 Oakwood St., Bedford. Fee: $45. Registration required by calling Ellen at 540-816-9988 or Trish at 540-875-8613.

Bedford Rotary Club
    The Bedford Rotary Club meets on Thursdays at 12:30 p.m. at the Elks National Home. Experience good fellowship and learn more about the Rotary concept of "Service above Self". For more information call 540-947-4648.

Calendar of events

Wednesday, Dec. 15

Blood Pressure / Blood Sugar Screening
    Sponsored by Bedford Memorial Hospital. Dec.  15, Wednesday, 9 - 11 a.m. Free AT Moneta Post Office, 14211 Moneta Rd. No registration required.

New Beginnings Support Group
    The New Beginnings Support Group, co-sponsored by Tharp Funeral Home & Crematory and Bedford Hospice Care meets the third Wednesday of each month. The purpose of the group is three fold: an opportunity to meet new people, information presented by interesting speakers and a good meal. The next New Beginnings meeting will be Wednesday, Dec.15 at noon. The meeting will be held at Liberty Station Restaurant, Bedford Ave., Bedford.  Newcomers are always welcome. The New Beginnings Support Group is a group that meets the needs of  widows and widowers in the Bedford, Moneta, Huddleston, Montvale and other surrounding areas. Dress is casual and the meal is Dutch treat. Reservations are not needed. For more information on this and other support group activities call Pam Willoughby, Bedford Hospice Care at 587-6592 or Kim Eckart, Tharp Funeral Home & Crematory at 586-3443.

Let's Talk
    The "Let's Talk" MS Group will meet Wednesday, December 15 at noon at the Bedford Baptist Church in the Bedford City. Persons with MS, their family and/or friends are invited to join us. Bring your lunch and let's talk about MS.

Thursday, Dec. 16

Caring for Caregivers
    Sponsored by Oakwood Health Rehab Services. Dec. 16, Thursday, 3 – 5 p.m. Free  at Bedford Memorial Hospital. Registration required by calling 587-3336.

Teen Night Thursday @ Forest Library
    Teens, go to Forest Library the third Thursday of each month for TNT! Enjoy video games, board games, snacks and hanging out with friends from 6 until 7:30 p.m. The next get together is December 16. For more information call Forest Library at (540) 425-7002.

Sunday, Dec. 19

Breakfast with Santa
    Santa Claus is coming to town to have Breakfast at Court Street Pizza. Good Ole Saint Nick will be enjoying all the delicious breakfast foods at Court Street Pizza on Bridge on Sunday, December 19. Breakfast is served from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and the jolly man in red will be in attendance to visit with the children and other patrons of the restaurant. The Breakfast Buffet is $6.99 per person plus the cost of any beverage. Children 2 and under eat for free. Some of Santa’s favorite foods will be served, such as scrambled eggs, bacon, home fries, hash, sausage, pancakes, ham, biscuits and gravy, sautéed apples, French toast sticks, and mini donuts and pastries.  Bring your cameras and your Christmas Wish List.

Monday, Dec. 20

Life for one Meeting
    Soup and get together- Bring a soup bowl and soup spoon and enjoy Southwestern Chicken Soup on Monday, December 20 at 11 a.m. at Trinity Ecumenical Parish, 40 Lakemount Dr., Moneta.

Tuesday, Dec. 21

Family Movie Night @ Bedford Central Library
    Join at the Bedford Central Library on Tuesday, December 21 at 5:30 p.m. for a special viewing of How to Train Your Dragon (PG) followed by crafts, games, books and fun! For more information, contact Youth Services at (540)586-8911 ex. 2107.

Stuffed Animal Sleepover and Christmas Story Time @ Bedford Central Library
    Stop by Bedford Central Library on Tuesday, December 21 and drop off a stuffed animal friend. Your critter will spend a fun filled evening at our library, exploring and having lots of fun with other stuffed animal friends. On Wednesday, December 22, enjoy a special Christmas story time at 10:30 a.m. when you come back to pick up your friend! There will be a slide show with pictures of the lucky animals that spent the night, too.

Wednesday, Dec. 22

Blood Pressure / Blood Sugar Screening
    Sponsored by Bedford Memorial Hospital. Dec. 22, Wednesday, 9 - 11 a.m. Free at Forest Post Office, 14805 Forest Road. No registration required.

Wednesday, Dec. 29

Pizza Challenge
    The December Pizza Challenge meeting at Bedford Central Library will be on December 29 at 4 p.m. and there will be an entertaining discussion about Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Bring your imagination and try your hand at inventing your own famous “chocolate bar.”

Thursday, Dec. 30

Family Movie Night @ Moneta Library
    Join at the Moneta Library on Thursday, December 30 at 5:30 p.m. for crafts and games, followed by a special viewing of Toy Story 3 (G) at 6 p.m. For more information, contact the Moneta Library at (540) 425-7004.

Friday, Dec. 31

Happy Noon Year party
    Have a foot stomping good time at the second annual Happy Noon Year party Happy Noon Year party! On December 31 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. there will be food, music, games, crafts and the High Noon bubble wrap stomp! No need to stay up late - ring in the New Year at noon.

Stewartsville Library Happy Noon Year
    Come to Stewartsville Library at noon on December 31 for a Happy Noon Year party. There will be games, crafts and fun for all. Don’t miss it! For more information call Stewartsville Library at (540) 425-7008.

Blood Pressure and Blood Sugar Screening
    Forest. Free blood pressure and blood sugar screening. December 31,  9-11 a.m. Cost:  Free at Forest Post Office. Contact Information: 540-266-6000 or 1-800-422-8482.