Looking back at summer 2012
By Lauri Voter - Staff Writer
Region - posted Thu., Jan. 3, 2013
Summer 2012 kicked off in the region with the town of Stafford selecting its annual “top dog” as part of dog licensing month. As the town clerk's office looked for a worthy dog to wear the No. 1 dog tag this year, the office personnel chose “Cooper,” a German shepherd owned by Stafford Springs resident Nancy Benway. Cooper's original destiny was to be a seeing-eye dog, but fate had other plans for him. “I was expecting to raise him as my 11th foster pup for Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation, but due to an injury to one foot when he was born, Fidelco decided not to put him in their program and offered him to me as a pet,” said Benway, who was determined that Cooper should have a career.
In honor of female musicians, Stafford Arts Commission sponsored a new event. The Herland Music Fair 2012 was held on Sunday, June 3. Stafford Arts Commission Chair Georgia Michalec based the name of Stafford’s event on the novel of the same name written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860-1935).
On June 19, the Stafford High School class of 2012 graduated. Class valedictorian Vivian Ojeda said that the theme of her speech was “if you want to be a certain person, you can go out and achieve it. All you have to do is be the painter of your own masterpiece.”
SHS class of 2012 president and salutatorian Melissa McCloskey asked her classmates to remember their high school memories and friendships as they take on their future endeavors. “I encourage all of you to pursue what is most important to you. Do something you love and you can make a difference in,” she said, adding that we determine our own future. “If you choose to, you can make every year your best.”
On June 23, residents of Avery Park senior housing in Stafford Springs received some special treatment from Air Force recruits during a volunteer clean-up day. During the event, recruits and some of their civilian friends and family members volunteered their time and effort to paint sheds, manage the community’s garden, plant flowers and spiff up the senior housing facility.
The Stafford Historical Society, in conjunction with The Friends of Vintage Base Ball, Inc., took sports and history fans “out to the ballgame” on June 30, when the two groups co-sponsored a vintage baseball double-header in Hyde Park in Stafford Springs. The event was played on the Little League field, where dozens of residents and curious spectators gathered in the shade to observe the historical curiosity, which was offered as part of a series of events to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the historical society.
During a July 14 ceremony, Willington sculptor Randall Nelson boarded a cherry picker to install a new Gov. Jonathan Trumbull statue that he was commissioned to recreate after the original statue he developed was accidentally destroyed. Connecticut Old State House Coordinator of Group and Interpretive Services Ronald Bolin, dressed as Gov. Trumbull, carried a basket of food as depicted in the sculpture. Nelson said that curious passers-by stopped to watch the activity. Other statues of historical figures cast by Nelson and displayed at the Old State House include Capt. Adrian Block, Joseph Cinqué, Prudence Crandall, Marquis de Lafayette, Capt. Joseph Wadsworth, Gen. George Washington and Roger Wolcott.
On July 28 and 29, Stafford Motor Speedway was the location for three Monster Jam performances. The event, which was held rain or shine, was well-attended by fans who endured rain during a Saturday performance to see the muddy, high-flying action.
Members of the Nipmuck Trail Riders Snowmobile Club held the final of its two summer Water Skip events on Aug. 5 in Union. Two events – one in July and one in August – are held each year to support the club. Club members compete by modifying and then driving their snowmobiles on water. Between competitions, drivers gave guests a taste of the action by providing snowmobile rides around the pond.
As summer neared its end, the Stafford Lions Club conducted its third Moonlight Paddle event on Aug. 24 to coincide with the full moon. The event, held annually for kayakers and canoers, took place at Staffordville Lake.