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October 28, 2016Dudley Woman's Club Supports the Veterans History Project
March 10, 2016Special Thanks to Nipmuc Indian Chief Cheryll Toney Holley
February 12, 2016St. Andrew Bobola Church in Dudley Opens Soup Kitchen
January 15, 2016Caring Continues Helps Dudley Families In Need
December 22, 2015Special Thank You to the Dudley Women’s Club
December 18, 2015DWC Seeing Success With New Care Kits Program
September 25, 2015Sgt. Pam Daniels Memorial Care Kits for Kids
October 28, 2016

Dudley Woman's Club Supports the Veterans History Project

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The Dudley Woman's Club, in collaboration with Nichols College and the Webster/Dudley Veterans Affairs departments, will be participating in the Veterans History Project sponsored by the Library of Congress. This project was begun in 2000 in order to collect and preserve the personal accounts of American Veterans of all war eras.

The accounts will be videotaped and remain unedited. The interviews can contain photographs, diaries, journals, military documents and unpublished memoirs. These interviews can then be used as primary sources for researchers and educators.

The Dudley Woman's Club is honored to be part of this team whose goal is to preserve the important story of our American Veterans.

Learn more about this important project:

"Volunteer interviewers are
to preserving the legacy of
America’s veterans."

March 10, 2016

Special Thanks ...

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Thank you to Nipmuc Indian Chief Cheryll Toney Holley (L) for the moving and informative presentation about women's roles and Nipmuc culture past and present. And, a big shout out to the folks from the Southern Worcester County Educational Collaborative for the wonderful food and camaraderie! Elizabeth S. Fitzmaurice, SWCEC executive director (R).
February 12, 2016

St. Andrew Bobola Church in Dudley Opens Soup Kitchen

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From left, St. Andrew Bobola parishioners Pauline Sroczynski and Cathy Damian, both of Dudley, cut up ingredients during preparations for the opening night Feb. 3 of the church's Fellowship Meals program in Dudley.
Photo/T&G Staff/Paul Kapteyn
By Debbie La Placa, Correspondent

DUDLEY – St. Andrew Bobola Church has opened a soup kitchen to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty and welcome the stranger.

The Rev. Krzysztof Korcz, known as Father Chris, said he saw a need his Catholic parish could fill and from his vision arose a "Fellowship Meals" ministry to feed the poor and disadvantaged two evenings a month.

A small group of parishioners, supported by communitywide charity, has served its first meal to more than 45 people Feb. 3 in the church hall on Main Street.

"I realized that in this area we serve food only twice a month at the United Church," Rev. Korcz said. "I wanted to be part of this program and it would be good of us, as Catholics, to be active too, so I encouraged my parishioners to form a special committee to make this program."

While overseeing preparations for the inaugural meal, committee chairwoman Carol Cooke said Pope Francis had declared this the Holy Year of Mercy and for her parish, that's about feeding the hungry.

Bobola's Fellowship Meals are served from 5 from 6 p.m. on the first and third Wednesday of each month.

The program, Ms. Cooke said, was developed to complement the Bread of Life Supper, served from 5 to 7 p.m. on the second and fourth Tuesdays at the United Church of Christ on Church Street in Webster.

Ms. Cooke found her inspiration while scouting a Bread of Life Supper.

"The first time I went down there, I was in shock because I just could not believe the love that was in that room," she said. "There were so many people and with all the chaos, there was such joy and happiness and peace."

Ms. Cooke formed a small committee of Bobola parish women and set their will to finding a way.

First came the gift of funding.

"A wonderful parishioner gave us a large donation and she said she would fund it," Ms. Cooke said of Marilyn Fels.

The Fels' family contribution was followed by financial gifts and food donations from parishioners and later, the greater community.

"Everybody has been so positive, it's been wonderful," Ms. Cooke said amidst a swirl of volunteers readying for their first dinner guests.

The volunteers, who nearly rivaled the number of diners, included parish members, local charitable organizations, the Webster-Dudley Youth Group and students from Dudley Elementary and Dudley Middle schools.

Dudley Middle School teacher Claudette Eagleton arrived with 19 student volunteers to serve dinner and bus tables.

"We live in such a fortunate community that it's nice to get out there and do something for someone else," Ms. Eagleton said.

In giving, the Grade 5 through 8 students gained.

"It used to be that if you asked kids to do something, they expected something in return. Through this, they're just giving without any expectation of return," Ms. Eagleton said.

Chatting with a classmate while pouring drinks in donated paper cups, seventh-grader Nathan Miglionico said he was surprised to learn how many people were in need of food.

"I came because other people aren't as fortunate as me," he said.

Also among those leading young volunteers was Laura Kenney, coordinator for the Webster-Dudley Youth Group, which is made up of the five Catholic parishes in the two towns.

While standing alongside her children Alex, 9, and Kaitlyn, 6, Ms. Kenney said the soup kitchen is a good resource for the hungry.

"I feel there are so many people who may not have enough," she said, adding, "I feel like I've been blessed so I like to help others."

One of those "others" was dinner guest Barbara Roteth, who was served a robust plate of salad, pasta and bread.

Ms. Roteth learned of the new soup kitchen while attending the Bread of Life Supper.

"A lot of people have only so much money, they're hurting, food is expensive and this helps," she said.

Parishioner and meal volunteer Lauri Joseph said her husband, Selectman Paul Joseph, serves on the board of HANDS (Helping Address the Needs of Dudley Seniors) and the new Fellowship Meals augments the work he and other board members do to care for low-income seniors.

"I really feel that there are a lot of people who need it. I just think this is awesome, I really do," she said.

The call for a ServSafe-certified cook to manage the kitchen and organize meal preparation was answered by William Shenette, a prep cook at Point Breeze Restaurant in Webster, who also recently joined the kitchen crew at the Bread of Life.

Mr. Shenette volunteers at soup kitchens because, he said, "these meals are important and matter to those in need."

The Bread of Life Supper is directed by A.J. Alkire of Point Breeze Restaurant with the assistance of several local churches, schools and nonprofits.

The United Church of Christ also operates the Webster-Dudley Food Share in the church basement from 9 to 11 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

January 15, 2016

Caring Continues Helps Dudley Families In Need

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From left, Caring Continues members Lisa Scola, Liam Zimmer, Leigh Zimmer, Anne McElroy, Terri Caffelle, Jane Bannister, Pam Holt, Lorna Wade and Jean Tilly with 100 packed bags to be dispersed to 25 families one weekend at a time.
Photo/Debbie La Placa
By Debbie La Placa, Correspondent

DUDLEY - Dudley Elementary School is eliminating one "barrier to learning" with a weekend food-share program that helps dozens of low-income families put nutritious meals on the table for their students.

"Being undernourished can affect a student's physical and mental health, often making it difficult to concentrate in school," Principal Terri A. Caffelle said. "Students who have food in their bellies are ready to learn and give their best effort daily."

At the Grade 2-4 school, one in three students qualify for the federally subsidized free and reduced-price lunch program that gives kids one complete meal each school day. Yet, those students may go without on weekends.

The Caring Continues weekend food share was established by a small group of parents, community members and school staff who sought to provide eligible families with meals for weekends.

A call for food and monetary donations filled bags to pilot the program last spring. The formal startup in October has been filling weekend pantries for 101 people in 25 families, some of which are sibling students in other Dudley-Charlton Regional schools.

"It certainly takes a village and we have a lot of amazing people who are supporting us," Ms. Caffelle said. "It would not be possible if I didn't have people calling to volunteer and people offering donations."

Ms. Caffelle credited community volunteers Jean Tilly and Lorna Wade, third-grade teacher Brooke Beverly and parent Leigh Zimmer for developing and operating the program.

Caring Continues has achieved momentum with wide community and business support.

Food donations accumulate daily.

One day each month, a flurry of volunteers fill shopping bags. A household of four receives a bag each Friday with breakfast, lunch and dinner for four people for two days.

In assembly-line style, the volunteers pack and stage one bag of nonperishables per family for each weekend of the month, or 100 bags of food.

Shortly before the bags go home, community volunteers Lorna and Joseph Wade pick up donations from Panera Bread in Webster, as a part of its Day End Dough-Nation program. The couple add the bread to the bags set to go home that weekend.

Ms. Tilly, Ms. Wade, Ms. Beverly and Ms. Zimmer were joined by community volunteer Pam Holt, teachers Jane Bannister and Anne McElroy, and parent Lisa Scola for the Jan. 6 bag packing.

"It's a huge cause. When it's lined up and you see how much food is needed, it really pulls on your heart strings," Ms. Zimmer said.

While Ms. Scola's third-grader, Gianna Cariglia, filled bags, Ms. Zimmer's son Liam, a fifth-grader at Dudley Middle School, inserted fliers with information on the Webster-Dudley Food Share, where families may seek additional support.

One weekend food pack is dispensed anonymously in a "discreet and caring manner" to students for the bus or car ride home on Fridays.

Ms. Caffelle said hunger prevents kids from reaching their full potential, and it's an epidemic that threatens America's future.

More than 16 million children, she said, live in households that struggle to put food on the table, which is one in five children.

Of the school's 360 students, the 120 who qualify received an invitation to the program; 25 signed up.

Whether a family qualifies is determined by annual income.

The Federal Eligibility Income Chart says children in a family of four earning an annual income of $31,525 or less are qualified to receive a free lunch at school. Those in the same size family earning $44,863 or less qualify for a reduced-price lunch.

Mitigating hunger at home to fully engage students at school, Ms. Caffelle said, is a worthy pursuit with many less tangible benefits.

"Yes, they're hungry and yes, this helps them learn, but I think it also helps them see that their school cares about them," she said. "It's that feeling that if I need something, my school is going to help me."

Superintendent of Schools Gregg J. Desto agreed.

"This particular program is more about our community," he said. "It is a whole bunch of people - parents, students and staff - and local businesses who have come together to ensure that our kids have one less barrier to learning."

In a show of kids helping kids, the Dudley Middle School student council held a movie night in the fall, where the 100 or so kids attending donated more than 250 food items to aid the efforts at their sister school.

The many local businesses and organizations who have been staples of support for Caring Continues include Stochaj Insurance, CJA Donuts, Wilson Language Training, Gentex Optics, Sts. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church and Walmart.

New supporters include P & P General Contractors Inc., Family Dollar, Target, Shaw's and Optim, LLC.

Caring Continues will break for summer vacation. Ms. Caffelle is working with folks at Nichols College in Dudley to partially sustain pantry support for program families during the summer.

December 22, 2015

Special Thank You to the Dudley Women’s Club

The Dudley Police Department collected donations for needy families during the holiday season. Many people and area businesses made generous donations to this worthwhile cause. A large volume of toys, clothing, and other gifts were provided to Dudley residents who needed assistance during these difficult times. These were distributed on Monday, December 21st. Thanks to the generosity of those who donated, some 23 local families, which included approximately 55 children, will enjoy the holiday season when they would have otherwise gone without. Special thanks go out to Officers Chandler Boyd and Marek Karlowicz for coordinating and organizing this year’s drive once again. Also, a special thank you goes out to the members of the Dudley Women’s Club, The Dudley Senior Center knitters, the Fels’ Foundation, and Nichols College Public Safety for their assistance with this program.

The Dudley Police Department would like to thank the many residents and all the others whose generosity to this worthwhile cause made this a success once again. We wish everyone a Happy, Healthy, and Safe Holiday Season and New Year.

Pictured are members of the Dudley Police Department with the many donations received. From left to right Officer James Annese, Officer David Carpenter, Chief Steve Wojnar.

December 18, 2015

DWC Seeing Success With New Program

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Dudley Woman's Club President Jean Tilly and Dudley Police Chief Steven Wojnar show off just a few of the items set to be distributed to children involved in crisis or removed from their homes due to legal action through the Sgt. Pam Daniels Memorial Care Kits for Kids Program.

Wojnar touts service as fine addition to local community

By Jason Bleau, News Staff Writer, December 18, 2015

DUDLEY - The Dudley Police Department made an appearance before the Dudley Board of Selectmen at the end of November touting the significant success of a new program launched by the Dudley Woman's Club called the Care Kits for Kids Program, in memory of one of Dudley's own, Sgt. Pam Daniels.

Police Chief Steven Wojnar said his department was contacted awhile back about the possibility of putting together the program and he credited the efforts of the Dudley Woman's Club for getting it off the ground.

"A little while back I was contacted by members of the Woman's Club in regards to a program that was taking place in another part of the country. The basic design of the program is to provide some type of personal care items, or different things like that, to help children who happen to be displaced for some reason," said Wojnar. "The idea is to give them a backpack or some items that they might be able to use - probably some toiletry items, school supplies or items like that."

Wojnar said the cruisers used by the department are now equipped with boxes that contain backpacks and other items for different age groups, which are meant to be given to children involved in different high stress or emergency situations involving the police, especially those removed from their homes or parents as the result of illegal activity or police response. Wojnar told selectmen that the department most recently utilized the program during a drug raid just before the Thanksgiving holiday, where a child was involved and had to experience the arrests of those close to them.

Dudley Woman's Club President Jean Tilly said the program was the brainchild of one of their members, and that the club worked hard to put together an effective program from the start with the help of some outside resources to determine how best to satisfy the need in the community.

"We talked with [Wojnar] and had conversations with the [Superintendent Gregg Desto] to get an idea of the kids and what they identified as the needs when they are thrown into these situations. We had conversations with New Hope and the Department of Children and Families and through all that we came up with some great ideas," Tilly said. "It also helps establish a relationship with the Police Department that's more positive than the situation the kids might find themselves in, so we thank the Police Department and Chief Wojnar for allowing us to participate in this program."

Wojnar called the program a work in progress but something that has already proven to be a big success. He feels there's a lot of room for growth for the initiative and believes it to be a great addition to the services his department already provides and the never-ending commitment the Dudley Woman's Club has shown to the local community.

"We're trying to determine what the needs are over time, but it's another fine thing for the Woman's Club who have graciously stepped up to help people in our community," Wojnar said.

The chief added that donations, monetary or otherwise, should be made directly to the Woman's Club, while Jean Tilly acknowledged that the club hopes to see the program expand beyond Dudley and include several other local communities in the cause over time.

Jason Bleau may be reached at 508-909-4129, or by e-mail atjason@stonebridgepress.com

September 25, 2015

Sgt. Pam Daniels Memorial Care Kits for Kids


In our continuing effort to support our communities and aid those in need, we present a new club program: Sgt. Pam Daniels Memorial Care Kits for Kids

Care Kits are backpacks with comfort and care items for children in crisis or suddenly removed from their home or parents. Dudley police officers carry the Care Kits in their cruisers for on-the-scene comfort and about 48 hours of essentials for children transitioning to foster care.

We have collaborated with Police Chief Steven Wojnar, School Superintendent Gregg Desto and representatives of New Hope and the state Department of Children and Families in developing this new club program. We plan to start small with bags for various ages in Dudley and, hopefully one day, expand it to other communities.

About the time we were finalizing program details, our beloved Sgt. Daniels passed away. To honor her countless contributions to our community, we dedicate the police cruiser Care Kit program in her memory.

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Thank you club members for your generous donations to launch the Care Kit program!

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