Hopeful news

There are weeks when life can seem too heavy with the weight of too many challenges, then there are other weeks when things happen that are uplifting and worthy of note. This week is one of the latter. There were two stories in The Lakeville Journal in the past few weeks that gave good reasons for hope and joy.

The Hotchkiss Library of Sharon has met its goal for its capital campaign, which went from 2020 to now. When one realizes that goal went from $1.5 million to $3.5 million mid-campaign, this fact is made all the more awe inspiring. The library is a gem and a treasure, as are others in the Northwest Corner, and its board has been trying to find a way to renovate and expand it for years. Now, after so much effort on the part of its board, its staff and the town, this will finally happen.

Kudos to all who worked on this over the years, but especially to Board President Tom Trowbridge, Chair of the Capital Campaign Lorna D. Edmundson, Chair of the Building Project Committee David Moore and Executive Director Gretchen Hachmeister. Their keeping at this with such dedication has led to a new design for a larger library, and the beginning of construction after so much planning. This is a major achievement that will benefit their town and the wider community, as there can be space for more events that will welcome in many more people from around the region.

At Salisbury Central School, SOAR Director Linda Sloane is retiring after five years at the helm of that unique after-school program. In honor of that milestone, a mural that was created with the help of the American Mural Project in Winsted and students at the school. Last week, in a ceremony at the school, it was dedicated to SOAR’s founder, the late Zenas Block.

SOAR (Seek, Originate, Aim, Reach) was the brainchild of Block, who was charmingly relentless in his advocacy and dedication to forming an after-school program that would give children the chance to expand their knowledge, their learning and their fun. He funded the program, encouraged others to do the same, and designed it in a way that has made it survive and thrive over many years.

So many from the community have taught a wide variety of classes as part of the SOAR program, giving students the chance to learn about the varied creative activities that are open to them in life. And so many students have been affected over the years by having this kind of program available for their after-school hours. Here’s hoping all those children have found ways to incorporate what they learned after school, as well as in school, into more full and enriching lives in the years that followed those they had at Salisbury Central.

Let’s all take heart from these two stories and find the hope to start our own creative initiatives that will benefit our wider community.

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