It has been almost 3 months since the Ledyard Food Pantry was filled to the rafters with donations from our holiday food drives. The pantry is now very low or out of the items on our wish list below. Please help if you can. Feel free to leave your donations in the boxes at Holdridge Farm Nursery, Village Market, Holmberg Orchards or the hallway at Gales Ferry Landing. Or at the Ledyard Food Pantry in Ledyard Center which is open Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 9-11AM and Thursday evening 5–7PM. If you prefer to shop online, we have made it convenient with our Amazon Wish List.
January is the month for lists. In the past, the local newspaper published a list of the top stories of the year in each of the area towns. It was something I always looked forward to reading but sadly that tradition has ended so I feel obligated, with a little help from my friends, to create my own list. The Ledyard Community Forum on Facebook helped with plenty of suggestions so coming up with top stories was fairly easy. Deciding which made the cut and then putting them in numerical order was the difficult part. I’m sure depending where you sit, some of the choices would be different.
In 2016 weather events didn’t make the top ten. No hurricanes, no major blizzards , no earthquakes and no lizards. May 2017 bring more of the same.
#10 We wish it had been a Trader Joe’s but Dollar Tree opened in the Ocean State Job Lot Plaza in a spot that seems to have been empty for a lifetime. Although the parking lot is still ugly, it sure did improve the over all appearance of the place. Now if they would just take care of the huge McCrater, at the traffic light exit. I’m hoping that in 2017 we will see some improvement at Cartway as even the mere mention of the name creates a firestorm on Facebook.
#9 The Ledyard Food Pantry celebrated the one year anniversary of its new location at the Ledyard Congregational Church. During 2016, the number of visits to the pantry tripled proving at least to me that the private sector often does a better job of government.
#8 The Ledyard Community Forum reaches 4000 members. Actually that didn’t happen until a week into January but membership rapidly increased through 2016. I would never imagined when I created the group in 2011 that it would grow as large as it is.
#7 Gales Ferry gets a Christmas Tree and Facebook Forum Headquarters. I've always thought it would be nice to have a community Christmas Tree in Gales Ferry/Ledyard. Well thanks to a whole lot of people, it happened. Former Mayor John Rodolico found the tree which was donated by Alan Habbe. Glenn McKenzie created an in ground stand for it. The Hirschfeld's volunteered to pick up the 16ft tree and transport it. The tree was transported on time to Ledyard Community Forum Headquarters at the corner of RT 12 and Military Highway owned by Merry Cassabria. Brouwers Tree Service volunteered their cherry picker for the lights. Residents donated cookies and lights and decorations and all around help. Barry Watrous helped direct and took some great photos. Steve Holyfield captured the official nighttime photo. How cool is #8?!
#6 Ledyard gets a cool new Superintendent of Schools. Jason Hartling was selected in August as the new Superintendent of Schools. I like his views on budgeting, transparency and communication. He’s even on Twitter. That’s cool. I’d call him the Great Communicator but I reserve that title for President Ronald Reagan.
#5 Gypsy Moths invade Ledyard. Ledyard was overrun by the nasty critters but those in Gales Ferry were hardly affected and may be in for a rude awakening. I’d recommend we all pray for a wet spring because the state seems clueless about how to handle the issue. There is a Town of Ledyard Gypsy Moth Committee that has been formed to consider aerial spraying. Visit www.OPENLEDYARD.com and select Gypsy Moth ad hoc committee for meeting group for meeting dates, agendas and minutes.
#4 Ledyard Trunk or Treat becomes YUGE. 49 Vehicles were decorated and 1600 people walked the grounds including 900 little ones. Merry and I passed out cotton candy. Can you say sticky?
#3 Speaking of YUGE, as a political junkie, 2016 couldn’t have been more interesting to watch. If someone would have told me a year ago that Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders would win the Ledyard Primaries each with about 53 of the vote, you could have knocked me over with a feather. I wasn’t surprised at all to see Trump go on to win in Ledyard in November. The lack of Clinton signs and local enthusiasm seemed to be a good indicator.
#2 Ledyard gets a new Police Station. Although the voters approved a new police station in May of 2013, it took over 3 years to complete due to site work issues. I think the location next to Town Hall made it worth the wait especially combined with the improvements in the Ledyard Town Center. In 2016, Ledyard Swore in its first ever Police Chief, John Rich as Ledyard moved to an Independent Police Department.
#1 Neighbors Helping Neighbors. Ledyard is an extremely generous community. Although I often worry about “donor fatigue”, Ledyard never stops giving whether it is for Food Baskets, Stuff a Cruiser, the Santa Drive, or our First Annual Comfort and Joy Event gathering warm accessories for our neighbors in need. The Boy Scouts collected over 7000 food items during their annual Scouting for Food Drive and the Cub Scouts were there to help then and though out the year as were our firefighters, Parks and Recs Department and many other groups throughout Town. Thank you.
Each of you who contributed in some way is #1.
Last week, Jessica Wrobel, her awesome husband Alan and I, on behalf of the Ledyard Forum and Friends of the Ledyard Food Pantry delivered the last of the 21 baskets to those in our community that needed a little extra help this Christmas. Thanks to members of the forum we were able to distribute a Turkey or Ham with all the fixins plus lots of little extra's. Bev Nachtwey and her sisters baked all week to provide home made goodies for each of our baskets. And although we called them baskets, each "basket" runneth over into bags and boxes. They were distributed to our neighbors that members of the Ledyard Community Forum on Facebook suggested who are not eligible to be helped by social services. Thank YOU!
In addition, we finished the distribution of hats, scarves, gloves and socks.Thank you again to all those that knitted including the Senior Center and the Gales Ferry Library Stich and Dish Knitting Group who showed off their talents with their beautiful donations.
Over 100 members of the Ledyard Forum contributed items of food, gift cards, and warm accessories that offered Comfort and Joy to members of our community.
I hope you never get tired of us thanking you for your contributions. We are very proud of our community.
The Friends of the Ledyard Food Pantry would like to thank all of you for your very generous donations to our "Comfort and Joy" event which collected hats, gloves, scarves and gloves. Donors came in all shapes and sizes. Thank you to the Ledyard Seniors and to the Gales Ferry Library Stich and Dish Knitting Group who showed off their talents with their beautiful donations. Over 50 attended the event and brought comfort and joy to those in our community that can use our help.
Ledyard and Gales Ferry Scouts broke a record this year when they collected almost 7000 individual food items for the Ledyard Food Pantry. I had the honor of presenting Scouting for Food Badges to Ledyard Cub Scout Troop 16. Good job boys! You have made a positive difference in our community. Photo by Dawn Berger-Debrodt.
Little Bites of Ledyard is a compilation of Ledyard news, events and items of interest in the Ledyard Community. Not enough for a blog post but just a bite with direct links to more information! This week I have news about the the next Ledyard Town Council Meeting, the Wednesday’s Farmers Market, voting and the Ledyard Food Pantry.
Ledyard MEETING NOTICE: The Ledyard Town Council meets Wednesday, September 28th at 7:00PM at the Town Hall Annex. Items on the agenda include purchase of a document management system, discussion of extra individual trash carts for a fee, change of start time for trash/recycling collection pick up from 7AM to 6AM.
There is still good stuff to be had at the Ledyard Farmers Market. Check out their NEWSLETTER for a list of vendors and food trucks. Yes, Ekonk Turkey Farm will be back with their famous turkey salad.
Only 42 days left until the Presidential Election. Comprehensive voter information is found at www.votect2016.org
The Friends of the Ledyard Food Pantry now have donation boxes at Village Market, Holdridge Farm Nursery, and the Hallway at Gales Ferry Landing. Household products from the new Dollar Tree in Gales Ferry make up our wish list! If you would like to donate from your couch, check our Friends of the Food Pantry wish list.
Little Bites of Ledyard is a compilation of Ledyard news, events and items of interest in the Ledyard Community. Not enough for a blog post but just a bite with direct links to more information! This week I have news about upcoming Ledyard Town Meetings, the Ledyard Food Pantry and of course the Ledyard Farmers Market.
The Town Council meetings for the week beginning September 18, 2016 can be accessed on the Accela (IQM2) Web Portal . Meetings are open to the pubic.
Rolling Tomato and Munchies food trucks will both be at the Ledyard Farmers Market on Wednesday. Perfect timing to grab dinner! You will find market information plus a list of all the vendors in this week’s market newsletter.
I launched the Friends of the Ledyard Food Pantry this week on Facebook. While the Town of Ledyard encourages donations of basic foodstuffs to the Ledyard Food Pantry, "Friends of the Ledyard Food Pantry" was created to provide and encourage the donation of additional food options, personal care items and household products. The pantry is opened on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 9-11AM as well as Thursday from 5-7PM. Signing up as a friend is free and you will be updated with latest news and activities of the Ledyard Food Pantry.
Speaking of the Ledyard Food Pantry, starting Monday, September 19 and lasting until September 30, the Ledyard Public Libraries will be accepting items for the Ledyard Food Pantry in lieu of fines.
ATTENTION all Community Organizations and Non profit groups based in Ledyard and Gales Ferry: The Ledyard Farmers Market will be hosting a Community Night on Wednesday, Sept. 14 during regular Market hours, 4PM-6:30PM. If your group would like to be included, go HERE and click on the Community Organizations link. Click on the link for the application, print out and mail to Ledyard Farmers Market Assoc. PO Box 334, Ledyard, CT 06339. Deadline for application submission is August 24. There is no cost to organizations.
Speaking of the Ledyard Farmers Market, Munchies will be back tomorrow as well as some old and new friends. You can read it all HERE.
Before you ask, “What is that low flying helicopter?” Eversource is conducting an aerial patrol of vegetation on transmission lines throughout the state. Ledyard is one of the towns being patrolled.
DATES INCLUDED: August 17, 2016 through August 26, 2016
DESCRIPTION OF AIRCRAFT: Blue & Gray Helicopter, Tail # N1431W & Blue & White Helicopter, Tail #N411DD.
FLIGHT TIMES: 7:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., weather permitting.
CONTACT INFO: Contact Matthew Colebrook at 860-368-9795 or Matthew.Colebrook@eversource.com
There are plenty of ways to help the Ledyard Food Pantry including donating clean and unoened toiletry items from hotels. We make cute little gift baskets with them! You can drop yours off at the food pantry which is opened Tues, Thurs, Sat 9-11 and Thurs 5-7. Or at the donation box in the hallway at Gales Ferry Landing behind CVS.
Ledyard Housing Rehabilitation Loan Program - The Town of Ledyard has received funding from the Connecticut Department of Economic Development under the Small Cities Community Development Block Grant Program and has established a town-wide housing rehabilitation loan program. You will find details on the Town’s website. For more information contact the Town Planner at 80-464-3215
The Ledyard Food Pantry has created an Amazon Wish List for those that would like to make donations from the comfort of their living room. The response so far has been excellent! The Ledyard Food Pantry is opened Tuesdays , Thursdays and Saturdays from 9-11AM plus one evening a week, Thursday 5-7 PM).
Speaking of the Ledyard Food Pantry, Emily and Mia bake their own treats for cats, dogs and horses. This week Chef Emily of Flipin’ Good Treats delivered some of their creations to the Ledyard Food Pantry. Due to silly rules, they can't sell them directly at this time, but please consider making a donation! You will find them at their darling Facebook Page.
Food Pantry visits go up in the summer just as donations go in the opposite direction. The Ledyard community is trying to buck that trend this summer. Last week I reported on the donations arriving from the Ledyard Parks and Recreation Playgrounds. On Saturday, the Cub Scouts from Pack 12 in Gales Ferry held a food drive in front of Ledyard Village Market and handed out a list of the pantry’s most needed items as shoppers entered the market. Who could resist these charming youngsters dressed in their uniforms in 95 degree weather? In just 3 hours, they filled their pick up truck with the most needed food pantry items and in the process helped many families in the Ledyard community this summer.
In the meantime, to make it easier for donors to shop, the Ledyard Pantry created an Amazon Wish List and donations are arriving daily via UPS, Fed Ex and the Postal Service. If you would like to donate to the pantry from your couch, visit the Ledyard Food Pantry Amazon Wish List.
Thank you the Cub Scouts from Pack 12 and to all those that donated whether in person or from your couch!
The Ledyard Food Pantry was dedicated on November 22, 2015. On that day, the responsibility of distributing food to those in need in our community, changed hands from town government to volunteers organized by the Ledyard Congregational Church. I am a firm proponent of the private sector including faith based groups taking on the role of feeding the hungry. I am convinced they do a better job in general with more compassion. The Ledyard Food Pantry is opened Tuesdays , Thursdays and Saturdays from 9-11AM plus one evening a week, Thursday 5-7 PM).