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Grafton Democratic Caucus

Governor Patrick and Aaron

Aaron’s Letter to the Editor, Grafton News February 17, 2010.

To the Editor,

I was excited to be invited to the Democratic meeting that was held at the Historical Society in Grafton on Saturday. I have been interested in politics for quite a few years and volunteered on both John F. Kerry’s and Barrack Obama’s presidential campaigns. I also held signs in front of the high school for Deval Patrick in 2006 and Michael Moore in the 2008 elections.

I like politics and consider myself a Democrat. I think it is important for young people to get involved in the elections because I have two brothers who have disabilities. I feel that the Democrats are more concerned about people with disabilities, as well as the homeless.

I was very upset when Scott Brown was elected to the Senate and that is why I felt I should get more involved in politics.

I was so happy to meet Governor Deval Patrick. He gave a speech and did a great job. He talked about how he is actually doing some positive things about the economy and that we need to get the word out that things are getting better. He said that our state was in better shape than a lot of states, but the job is not done yet.

State Senator Michael Moore was also at the meeting. I met him back in 2008.

In my opinion we need to use our tax dollars to help those who are homeless and struggling. Of course I also think we should care about people with disabilities and accept all people even if they are different. I believe that the Democratic Party will do a better job at this than Republicans. Deval Patrick said that we sometimes need a helping hand to be the best we can be and that is one of the roles of government. He did say that government can not solve all our problems (like math in school!).

I have been invited to attend the monthly democratic meetings and am in hopes of getting a ride to the meetings with Kim Edgren and Lisa Kelly who are good friends of mine. They were both elected as delegates on Saturday. I was also invited by Ms. Saxe to be a student volunteer at the Democratic Campaign Institute meeting at the end of the month. I am in hopes of meeting John F. Kerry and telling him to keep advocating for my brothers.

Aaron Bissell
Sophomore at Grafton High School

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Grafton275.org

My latest web project:

This year marks the 275th anniversary of the incorporation of the Town
of Grafton Massachusetts
. As part of this yearlong celebration, the Grafton News is
compiling a virtual scrapbook of the towns history at
www.grafton275.org. The site will include ‘then and now’ photos, old
historic photos, documents, videos and events celebrating this milestone
in our towns history. Grafton275.org is a volunteer project through the Grafton News to help celebrate Grafton’s Birthday. This site will be a work-in-progress throughout the coming year.

I’m having lots of fun learning about our towns long and interesting history. Grafton, MA is a perfect example of a quaint New England town with it’s Native American roots, and town history dating back before the American Revolution. The Grafton News has been a part of the towns history for over 50 years and we have lots of historic documents and photos to share.

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Koomey Family Donates Handicap Accessible Van

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(L-R) Eric Bissell, Evan Fredette, Brendan Griffin, Rachel Hull-Gordecki, Brian Hanna, Taylor Dee, Marika Jolovcich, Lee Coz, Johnathan Carlson
(L-R) Eric Bissell, Evan Fredette, Brendan Griffin, Rachel Hull-Gordecki, Brian Hanna, Taylor Dee, Marika Jolovcich, Lee Coz, Johnathan Carlson

The Grafton Public Schools accepted the very generous donation of a handicap accessible van at a dedication ceremony Wednesday morning in the Grafton High School parking lot. The van was donated by the Koomey Family in memory of longtime Grafton resident Dr. John G. Koomey.

Shortly before he passed away, Dr. Koomey recognized the need for van transportation at Grafton High School. His family said, “This is a way of fulfilling his wish and we are pleased and honored to do this in his memory.”

The vehicle will become a part of the Functional Academic School-to-Work Program at Grafton High School. The program assists students with functional academics, life-skills, and vocational skills needed to become independent adults within the Grafton Community.

“We tailor each program to the individual child,” Mrs. Barry, Grafton High School Special Education teacher said. In the past, the students access had been limited to establishments that were within walking distance of the school.

“This van allows us to get out into the community; it really expands what we can do.” Mrs. Barry went on to say, “I can not overemphasize what this means to our children and to the school as a whole. It is incredibly generous.”

Superintendent Dr. Joseph Connors and School Committee members Daryl Rynning and Peter Carlson were on hand to accept the donation along with Special Education Director Kathleen Baris. A special plaque, signed by the students in Mrs. Barry’s class, was presented to the Koomey family.

Dr. Koomey was fondly known as “Poppy” by his grandchildren, two of whom are special need students in the Grafton public schools. The words “In Memory of Poppy” are inscribed on the back of the van.

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Shriver’s Dream Evident in Grafton Special Olympians

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Upon her passing August 11th, politicians and celebrities from around the world came to Hyannis to pay their respects to Eunice Kennedy Shriver. But there was also another group who came to say their goodbyes. A team of Special Olympians, holding torches, gave light to the pallbearers as they carried the coffin of the Special Olympics founder to Saint Francis Xavier Catholic Church.

Eunice Kennedy Shriver believed that every child, regardless of ability, deserves to live in a neighborhood, attend school with other children, and play any sport of their choosing. The Special Olympics honor guard represented the thousands of families, whose lives have been touched by her dream of a more welcoming world.

Watching the joy and smiles on the faces of the Grafton Special Olympics children playing softball on the field at Grafton High School this summer, it is clear that her dream remains alive. For the past six Sundays, these kids, along with their fans and coaches Phil Jackson and Wendy Watkins, have come here to play softball.

Special Olympics is about more than winning and losing, it is about courage and sharing and finding commonality. The kids who participate in the Grafton Special Olympics not only gain physical fitness, they have a chance to do something that many children take for granted.

Just about everyone can learn something from the Special Olympics; things like everyone has something to offer, and never to give up no matter how many obstacles stand in your way. Maybe most importantly we can learn that we can accomplish a whole lot more working together than we can going it alone. We are a community and we all belong.

But I don’t think any of the athletes playing on the field at Grafton High were thinking about these things. They were just there to have fun. The softball season ended this past Sunday with a well-deserved ice cream party at Swirls & Scoops, who donated the ice cream.

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