I am floating on air as I write this column tonight. We have just returned home from two marvelous holiday performances by the Rise dancers that marked Miss Amelia’s return to the stage after two long years of injuries and knee surgeries. She’s been through the wringer over the past two years, starting with a broken finger from basketball exactly two years ago, and going downhill from there with knee problems. It was so wonderful to watch her dance again, but my greatest joy came from seeing the happiness in her. To see her excitement as she prepared for the show and to watch her smile filled my heart with gratitude. That alone was the best holiday gift I could have received this year. I offer my sincerest thanks to Jil Matrisciano, all the teachers at Rise, her physical therapist Valerie Lavigne, and so many friends and family members, all of whom have helped and supported us through this challenging time and helped to get her back on her feet, literally. Words can’t express the gratitude I am feeling tonight.
Stellar as Amelia is, she was not the only kid in the show. Who knew? Jokes aside, the entire “Season’s Greetings VIII” was a wonderful event to set the tone for the rest of the week leading up to Christmas. So many of my students were in the show this year, and it was so great to talk to them Monday morning when I saw them again at school. They just love when their teachers see the great things they do. If you haven’t been, I would encourage you to go next year. The songs are fun, the dancing is wonderful, and the funds go towards the Rise Above Access program, which offers scholarships for kids who might not otherwise be able to afford to dance.
Mark your calendars now, because the Federated Church Free Lasagna Luncheons are coming soon! The first luncheon of 2018 will be on Sunday, Jan. 7, from 12:30 pm until 2:00 pm, at 45 South Summer St., Edgartown, in the Parish House. The luncheons will continue every Sunday through March 25. In the event of snow, if the roads are closed, luncheons will be canceled. The meal consists of a salad, a serving of lasagna, garlic bread, beverage, and something for dessert. This is a great opportunity to get out of the house, have a great meal, and make some new friends, or perhaps you haven’t had a hot meal in a while; please join them. For more information, call 508-627-4421, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or check out the website at federatedchurchmv.org.
If you’re looking for things to do with your kids over break, the Edgartown library has several options for you. Kids can decorate gingerbread houses on Wednesday, Dec. 27, from 1 pm until 3 pm, make galaxy slime on the 28th from 1 pm until 3 pm, make Rice Krispie reindeer treats on the 29th from 1 pm until 3 pm, and then enjoy a family New Year’s Eve party on Dec. 30 from 2 pm until 4 pm.
You can celebrate the Winter Solstice with a magical stroll through Mytoi, the Japanese-inspired garden on Chappy on Dec. 21 from 4 pm until 6 pm. Witness the garden come to life at night during this free special evening event.
This is just a reminder that on Sunday, Dec. 24, the Edgartown Federated Church will have two services; the first, at 10:30 am, for the fourth Sunday of Advent, and the second a candlelight service at 10 pm on Christmas Eve. For more information, call 508-627-4421.
I’m saddened to read that a care bag filled with food, toys, and puppy pads was stolen off a Steamship Authority baggage cart in Vineyard Haven on Sunday after the MV Woods Hole docked at 12:45 pm. The supplies were for Reggie, a rescue dog from St. Croix who is being fostered on-Island, courtesy of Angels Helping Animals Worldwide. Who would take such a thing? Here’s hoping that the mysterious “woman in white” who took the bag returns it to the SSA. If you have any information about the loss, or if you’d like to make donations to help, you can contact Angels Helping Animals Worldwide on Facebook.
I will close this week’s column with my warmest wishes to all of you and your families for a wonderful holiday. May you enjoy the love and comfort of friends and family and celebrate this joyous season. Merry Christmas to all.