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Executive Board Letter
It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade. ~Charles Dickens, Great Expectations
Congratulations! We have almost made it through yet another New England winter. March is a transition month-winter is at our back door, and spring is just around the corner. Just like Charles Dickens expresses above, March sometimes feels like summer, and sometimes feels like winter. We never know what each day will bring. And just as the weather changes from day to day and hour to hour, I feel like my mood changes on a daily basis. On sunny, almost-spring days, people are out walking, working on their houses, and you can feel the hustle and bustle in town. I feel rejuvenated, refreshed, motivated to get outside and be active. But when the March snows come, I feel like I can’t deal with one more day of winter, and I just want to hunker down inside and wish the snow away.
As we say good-bye to winter and hello to spring, we will also say goodbye to Winter Fun at the end of the month. Join us for our last two Winter Fun sessions of the year on Wednesdays, March 12 and March 26. We also welcome spring with one of the most popular LexFUN! events of the year the already sold out Barn Babies. What a perfect way to welcome spring by visiting with baby animals! Another perfect way to welcome spring is to get things done that we haven’t been motivated to do over the winter months. If doing your estate planning is hanging over your head, the time is now, and David Adams can help at his seminar, Everything You Need to Know to Get Your Estate Planning Done, on March 4. We hope you’ll also join us for another great seminar this month, Oral Health for Children on March 26, with Dr. Carolyn Coppe. Both seminars have been presented to LexFUN! in the past and are proven winners. Or maybe you’d like to teach your kids about Community Service. Join us on March 19 at Youville for our monthly visit with the senior residents there. They always enjoy seeing the children’s smiling faces!
Enjoy this lovely time of year. Not only are the days growing longer and brighter, but spring tends to slow down after the hustle and bustle of the holidays and before the busy-ness of the end of the school year and summer travel. We hope you will find time to enjoy the outdoors, start planning your garden, begin spring cleaning, don’t forget to pull things out for the LexFUN! Consignment Sale on May 17th-it is not too early to start tagging! Make sure to note of the updated sale time and location information below in The Buzz! Clean those closets or do whatever makes you feel rejuvenated, refreshed, and ready for spring!
-Courtney Lauriat for the Executive Board
LexFUN! Executive Board:
- Patrice Cleaves, Co-President
– Lindsay Wedell, Co-President
– Julie Callahan, Vice President, Community Service
– Sam Carreiro, Vice President, Advertising & Sponsorship
– Courtney Lauriat, Vice President, Membership
– Kristina Santonelli, Vice President, Events
– Valerie Machinist, Treasurer
– Leigh-Ann Durant, Secretary
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Guest Column: What’s New at Cary Library by Alissa Lauzon, Head of Children’s Services at Cary Memorial Library
The Children’s Room at the library is a busy place and has many exciting offerings for families with young children. 2014 at Cary Memorial Library is the “Year of Discovery,” a major initiative that will focus on community driven programming around science and technology. The Children’s Room is thrilled to be offering a variety of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) programming for children of all ages in support of this initiative. Particularly of interest to families with children under the age of five are our monthly Lego® Block Party where we invite children of all ages to bring an adult and come create with our Lego® and Duplo® bricks. Our next Block Party will be Saturday, March 8th. In addition, we have added a special new Saturday story time for ages 3 – 5 called Story Explorers where we explore science, math, art, and music through picture books and hands-on activities. Registration is required and our next session will be on March 8th (registration beginning March 3rd).
in addition to our scheduled programming, here are some fun science stories and activities to explore with your child:
Mouse Paint by Ellen Stohl Walsh
Explore primary colors and color mixing! Give your child red, blue, and yellow fingerpaint and let them explore what happens when you mix colors.
Who Sank the Boat? By Pamela Allen
Play a game of “Will it float?” at bathtime! Pull together a variety of objects and have your child guess whether the item will sink or float.
Just A Little Bit by Ann Tompert
Turn your children into human scales! Have them stand with their eyes closed and their arms out to their sides, palm up. Place one item in each hand and then have your child decide which item is heavier and lower that arm down and raise the arm of the object that is lighter. You can also make your own scales and have your children experiment with weight by putting a heavy object on one side and have them add weight to the other until the scale balances.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
Have your child act out the lifecycle of a butterfly. Egg: have the children round their body into the shape of an egg. Larva: have the children wiggle like a worm. Pupa: have them crawl into a sleeping bag, or under a blanket, with colorful handkerchiefs or strips of colorful paper inside. Have them emerge from the cocoon as a butterfly, swaying with the handkerchiefs in hand
In the Small, Small Pond by Denise Fleming
Talk a walk around a pond and see what kind of life you can find!
Seeds, Seeds, Seeds by Nancy Wallace
Long term science fun! Plant some seeds and watch them grow!
The Glorious Flight by Alice and Martin Provensen
Make and fly paper airplanes. Fly them in different condition (throwing up the stairs and down, with a fan and against a fan) and talk about how their flight changes.
All of these stories can be found in the Children’s Room-come in and check them out!
In addition, new this year at Cary Library we have a bi-weekly Saturday morning story time geared towards ages 0 – 5! Story Play is a low-key, interactive program of stories, songs, and rhymes, and is followed by a time to play and socialize. Stop by March 15th at 9:30 am and check out the fun!
The Children’s Room at the library is a great place for families with young children to read and explore. We hope that you and your children will be able to join us for some of our upcoming STEAM programming or explore some of the above science and art activities on your own. Have fun-and happy reading!
Alissa Lauzon is the Head of Children’s Services at Cary Memorial Library. If you see someone running around in a purple tutu, fairy wings, or another crazy costume, it’s probably her! Please stop by the Library and say hi! She loves visiting with the kids and parents about what they want to see at Cary Library!
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Youville Place Time with Seniors – Next visit March 19th at 10am
Come stay warm and make some new friends at Youville. Your children will have a lot of fun doing a craft and reading books with the residents. They bring so much joy to one another! Please join us for the March event with LexFUN! families and Youville Place residents on Wednesday, March 19th from 10:00am until 11:00am. Youville Place is located at 10 Pelham Road in Lexington (off Mass. Ave.). Please contact Elizabeth Restivo at email@example.com if you have any questions.
SAVE THE DATE FOR CLUB SHAKE IT 2014! A pop-up dance club on Hayden Field, benefiting COMPASS for Kids on Saturday June 14, 2014 – Hayden Lower Field, Lexington.
Pull out the hair spray & shoulder pads as
Shake It goes clubbing again this year – 80s style!
Club Shake It is a pop-up dance club on Hayden Lower Field – Lexington, benefiting COMPASS for kids’ COMPASS for homeless families program on Saturday June 14, 2014
Support life-change for local homeless families* by:
-Joining the committee (buy or put together a table with your friends)
-Soliciting/donating auction items
-Helping us market the event
*There are now close to 300 homeless families living in Lexington, Bedford and Waltham motels. For more information or to get involved please contact Sarah Humphreys, COMPASS for kids, Friendmaker,firstname.lastname@example.org, 781-862-4446
Meals on Wheels: Get Out and About!
It is a great time to get out and help the seniors in our community. Please consider delivering Meals on Wheels. You can do the deliveries with (or without!) your children, and you may sign up for as little as one delivery at a time, which means you can participate when your schedule allows. Many of our drivers find this a rewarding activity for themselves and their children. The seniors really look forward to the weekly interaction. To sign up or find out more about delivering meals, please email Katherine Huang at email@example.com.
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Is your child going to Kindergarten this fall?
Spring is upon us, and with it comes the beginning of preparations for fall! Registration packets have been mailed from the LPS (Lexington Public Schools) Office, and the Town-Wide Kindergarten Orientation is on Thursday, March 20th at 6:45 pm at the Harrington School.
Please also consider signing up for Kindergarten Connection
, a playdate-based program that enables you and your child to meet other Kindergarteners and their families at your school over the summer – it’s a great way to ease the transition in the fall with some familiar faces! To sign up, visit www.lexfun.org/kindergarten
WATCH THIS SPACE!
Kindergarten Parents’ Panel is coming on April 30, 2014!
LexFUN! presents an evening of discussion and Q&A with parents of current Lexington Kindergarteners. From what supplies to buy and daily routines, to food services and whether to bus, walk or drive to school, our panelists are available to answer all of your questions about the Kindergarten experience from a parent’s perspective, and maybe a few you didn’t even know you had!
Fall 2014 Kindergarten To-Do List:
• If you have not yet received your school registration packet from Lexington Public Schools, please call your elementary school directly.
• Prepare for Kindergarten Registration – fill out those forms!
• Attend Town-Wide Kindergarten Parents’ Orientation Night,
Thursday, March 20th starting at 6:45 pm
Harrington Elementary School, 328 Lowell St, Lexington.
Hosted by Lexington Public Schools.
• Watch this space for details on our upcoming Kindergarten Parents’ Panel!
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The Buzz: All Things Consignment!
#1: Shopper Tip: SAVE THE DATE!
DATE: Saturday, May 17th
TIMES: Presale is now 8am-9:30am *for registered sale volunteer’s only
Public Sale is 10am-2pm
Brown Bag sale is 2:15pm-3pm $20 to fill a brown shopping bag
NEW LOCATION: Lexington High School Field House
LexFUN!’s Annual Consignment Sale is a fantastic one-day sale of high quality, gently used children’s clothing (newborn to 8 – all seasons), toys, games, books, strollers, car seats, high chairs, cribs, baby furniture, bouncy seats, baby gear and equipment, bikes and wagons. We bring together hundreds and hundreds of buyers and sellers under one roof for this exciting one-day shopping event! Also, to make shopping as convenient as possible, we accept Visa, Mastercard & Discover credit cards.
*No strollers allowed inside while you shop; you’ll be asked to leave your stroller in our designated stroller parking area
#2: Seller Tip: Tagging items is easy with
Would you like to get rid of your clutter, make some money AND help a very worthy cause in your community? Then sign up to consign your children’s outgrown clothes, toys, books and baby equipment at LexFUN!’s Annual Spring Consignment Sale! Now is the perfect time to start collecting and tagging items for the Sale.
Selling items at our Sale is super easy! Just log onto our special Consignment Sale Website at www.myconsignmentmanager.com/lexfun and create your own barcode price tags. If you consigned last year, use the “Returning Sellers” section and click “register” (to sign up for the 2014 Sale). If this is your first year consigning, use the “New Sellers” section. All sellers receive 50% of the proceeds, with the other 50% going towards LexFUND, LexFUN!’s Community and Preschool Scholarship Fund.
Save Time with “POWER TAGGING”
Discover the time-saving feature used by many of our high volume sellers – Power Tagging!
If you have more than one item that you want to sell for the same price (e.g., 10 pairs of boy’s pants for $3.00 each or 20 books for $1.00 each), you can save a lot of time by using the “Power Tagger” feature on our Consignment Sale website. It’s really easy!! You can create over 200 tags in one minute!
You only have to enter 3 fields– price, size (but you can chose “Not applicable”) and category (but you can choose “Miscellaneous” to cover many different items). You can enter other fields if you want to, but you don’t have to.
- In the section called “Power Tagger: I want to create ___ items(s) with the same information”, chose how many tags you want to create (pick any number of tags up to 20 tags).
- Then click “Add Item(s)”.
- This saves the items to your “inventory” list (in blue at bottom of screen).
To create 20 more tags, go through the same steps again.
Tagging Deadline: All tags must be printed by midnight on Saturday, May 10th, 2014. The Consignment Sale Website will be locked down and closed at midnight on Saturday, May 10th. This means tags cannot be printed after this date. So please plan accordingly. This deadline is only about 10 weeks away.
Drop-off Date and Time
Items can be dropped off to the Lexington High School field house Friday, May 16 only from 5:00pm – 9:00pm. This includes donated items as well. Have your items already sorted by size, gender, and type to make this process easier for yourself.
Contact the Consignment Sale Co-Chairs Puja TenPas and Jill Tierney at Lexfunconsignmentsale@gmail.com
#3: Super Power Tip:
Be Eligible to Shop the Private Pre-Sale – Sign up to Volunteer today!
We are looking for volunteers to help us with our 7th Annual Consignment Sale on May 17th. To make the Sale a success, we need lots of help from volunteers!
Last year, over 300 people – LexFUN! Members, family members, grandparents, Lexington high school students and other Lexington residents – donated their time and helped with the Sale.
Who can volunteer? You don’t have to be a LexFUN! Member or even a Lexington resident. Anyone can volunteer!
- Moms looking to meet other moms in town
- Parents and grandparents who want first selection at our spectacular Private Pre-Sale Event
- High school students who need community hours
Volunteer Benefits: Shop Early! All volunteers will be eligible to shop at the Private Pre-Sale Event on Friday night for the best selection of items.
To receive volunteer benefits, you must register on our website as a volunteer. Go to www.myconsignmentmanager.com/lexfun and go to the “Volunteer” section.
Volunteer responsibilities will vary by shift and day. Volunteers are asked to give 2.25 hours of their time and will be assigned a particular role when they arrive for their shift.
Below are some of the volunteer jobs.
- Organization & set up
- Check-in of items being dropped off
- Sorting and tagging donated items
- Assisting Consignors in placing their items on the sales floor
- Greeting customers
- Keeping sales floor organized & straightening racks
- Cashier and check-out
- Cleaning up & breaking down of tables/racks
Can’t work the day of the sale? We do have some volunteer opportunities that you can do before the sale and still qualify for shopping the Pre-Sale. These jobs include things such as posting flyers around town and helping to distribute lawn signs. To volunteer for these jobs, please contact one of our Sale Co-Chairs Puja or Jill at Lexfunconsignmentsale@gmail.com
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Sponsor Spotlight: Pathway Law
James Gandolfini’s Last Will and Testament
(click here for a PDF version of this article)
James Gandolfini, who played Tony Soprano on the HBO hit series The Sopranos, died unexpectedly of a heart attack last year at the age of 51. He is survived by his wife Deborah, son Michael (age 13) and daughter Lillian (age 1). You can review Mr. Gandolfini’s Last Will and Testament here: http://wills.about.com/library/James-Gandolfini-Last-Will-and-Testament.pdf.
This much-loved actor’s will is instructive on many fronts for those wishing to get their estate plan in order. Here are a few observations.
He had a will. On the positive side, Mr. Gandolfini had a will in place. This allowed him to appoint an executor to carry out his instructions described in his will. Mr. Gandolfini was known as a generous man and his will reflects this. In addition to providing for his wife and children, he left meaningful gifts to several friends, nieces, a godson, and his personal assistant. Absent a will, the state of New York’s “laws of intestacy” would have directed his estate to be distributed only between his wife and his children, clearly not what Mr. Gandolfini intended.
He chose a guardian. Mr. Gandolfini’s will also appointed a guardian in the event of his and his wife’s deaths. Had he and his wife died without a will, other relatives would have had to come forward to seek court appointment. Having a judge decide on who should be your child’s guardian can lead to significant family strife and very likely the wrong decision.
I think we have a tax problem! This estate is said to be worth around $70 million. If so, a quick calculation would estimate the New York and federal estate taxes to be as much as $20 million. It is unclear why Mr. Gandolfini did not use a revocable trust that could have been drafted to carry out his apparent goals of providing first for his spouse, then his children, but would have avoided a significant amount of this estate tax. The technicalities of such planning are stuff for another article, but “marital” trusts (also known as “A-B” or “credit shelter” trusts) are basic planning tools for couples in New York and Massachusetts, both states that tax individuals at their deaths once an estate reaches $1 million. Using such a trust can reduce estate taxes for families with even modest estates by hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Do we want a one-year old to inherit $14 million? If the estate is worth $70 million, then daughter Lillian inherits $14 million. (Interestingly, son Michael appears to be receiving $7 million from a separate life insurance trust.) Under the terms of the will, Lillian will receive this money at age twenty-one. This is quite curious. Most parents, even with much more modest estates, would think twice about their child having complete control of a large amount of money at such a young age. Would their child be motivated to go to school and work hard to accomplish personal goals? What about a poor decision regarding a partner and this inheritance being lost in a divorce? What about bad decisions being made in a child’s early twenties regarding investing these assets? Mr. Gandolfini’s gift to his daughter, as well as sizeable gifts to nieces and his godson, could have been left in trust for their benefit, but with the oversight of a trustee. The trust would allow the trustee to use funds for proper purposes (spelled out in the trust) and provide protection from a host of things that life can throw at our children, which would deplete their inheritance. The trustee can also been instructed to distribute trust assets outright to our children when they a reach a certain age, like thirty or forty.
Let’s avoid probate. There is no reason this estate needed to go through the public probate process. Trusts avoid the probate process, including associated costs and delays before distributions can be made. In New York, an executor is entitled to a fee based on the total value of the estate. A $70 million estate means an executor fee of $1.5 million! A little estate planning could have avoided the probate process altogether.
We should find a good Italian estate planner. Finally, Mr. Gandolfini left a home in Italy to his two children. Typically, foreign property should be controlled by a foreign will, in order to minimize tax exposure and the probate costs and fees in the country where the property is located. It is important, therefore, to coordinate a person’s U.S. will with the non-U.S. will. The cost of this planning will typically be significantly less than the fees your heirs will have to pay to sort through a legal mess after your death.
David Adams is a trusts and estate attorney at Pathway Law LLC (www.PathwayLaw.com). Even if you are not a famous mob boss actor, you can contact him at (617) 484-6610 with any estate planning questions.
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Ongoing Programs and Events
Would you like to participate in a LexFUN! book group? LexFUN! book groups are a great way to connect with other parents of preschoolers. Once you are a LexFUN! member, you are welcome to join our book groups (and there is no charge for joining them). Book clubs meet at book club members’ houses and/or local restaurants at mutually determined times. You certainly don’t have to be a reading buff to join!
As you consider joining a LexFUN! book group, please think about your preferences in the following areas:
• Day of the week and time of day/night for regular meetings • Possible book suggestions or theme for a specific genre you might be interested in • Location (meet at each other’s houses or try out a new restaurant)
Please look for the book group subgroup on Big Tent to get connected. Alternatively, you can email Jessica Paul, Book Groups Chair at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Subgroups / Interest Groups Like running but need some motivation to get out there? Want to find another LexFUN! Member to go biking with? How about a “Last Minute” play date? LexFUN! Subgroups are for you. Join a sub-group to connect with others who share your specific interest(s). Current subgroups include running moms, cycling moms, outdoor playgroup, foreign language playgroups (French and Spanish), LexFUN Dads and “last minute” play dates. If you are interested in joining an existing group, please visit the Big Tent Home Page www.bigtent.com, click on the subgroups tab and join one! Group leaders are still needed for most of the subgroups, so please email Jessica if you would like to take the lead in organizing outings and helping to moderate a group’s activity.
OR start your own group! Don’t see a group here that your were hoping to see? Contact Jessica Paul to get the ball rolling or with any questions: email@example.com or (617) 417-9137
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Inspire – Play – Create For over 50 years, 5 million families worldwide have trusted Yamaha Music School to inspire a lifelong love and appreciation for music learning, playing, and creative expression. Featuring innovative lessons for children through adults, Yamaha’s programs are designed to meet the unique needs and abilities for beginner through advanced students. The method combines a comprehensive curriculum with a fun, engaging classroom environment to promote a strong, well-rounded educational foundation. Now it’s your child’s turn! Enroll in a class today. See your membership card for special LexFUN! discount.
2013-2014 membership materials (annual guide and discount cards) have been distributed to all members. For new members who sign up throughout the year, it will take a week or two to receive your materials, so please check your mailbox a few weeks after you sign up. Contact Emily at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions.
We hope you have been taking advantage of all the benefits your LexFUN! membership has to offer. Don’t forget to use your LexFUN! discount card at many of the retailers in town who offer discounts to our members. Some of our participating businesses such as Crafty Yankee and Catch a Falling Star even offer free gift-wrapping! Your membership also allows you to receive discounts when you purchase tickets to LexFUN! special events throughout the year, such as our Barn Babies going on this month and to attend all of our seminars for free. The more you use your card, the more your membership pays off, so keep it in your wallet so you always have it when you need it!
MEMBER DISCOUNTS For more details about LexFUN! membership discounts and for a full list of participating businesses please click on the Membership Partners tab above, visit lexfun.org or look over your new card! Check out the new companies that have joined this year. Start saving today and your membership will soon pay for itself. You can also enjoy the fact that you are supporting local businesses. Remember to keep your discount card handy. You must present your card at the time of purchase and please keep in mind that discounts cannot be combined with other offers. In addition each month we will highlight retail news from select local merchants offering members discounts.
Each month we highlight retail news from local merchants offering members discounts year round.
Check out Newbodi.es
to achieve your health, fitness, and general life goals. Their offerings span three major categories – in-home personal training (or at BSC in Lexington), health/diet/wellness coaching and high protein bars to help people get to their goals. They also have several free resources including a podcast and blog that are great. Contact Bryan Falchuk at the above website to discuss a 10% discount for LexFUN! members. Newbodi.es
, is offering a 10% discount to LexFun! members on coaching and personal training services. Learn more at www.newbodi.es/lexfun
or email email@example.com
Lexington Power Yoga
: LPY is now offering heated Barre and Soul classes in addition to the unheated classes. The teachers are great and you get an excellent workout. You can use your LexFUN! card for 10% off a 10 pack. lexingtonpoweryoga.com
YMCA of Woburn
: This top of the line facility provides a wide variety of services and programs, including 2 indoor pools, gym, mind-body studio, kids’ gym, climbing wall, steam room, sauna, personal training and wellness classes. Use your LexFUN! card for 10% off monthly membership. www.ymcaboston.org/northsuburban
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With Many Thanks To…
Board Members, Take a Bow
Thank you to our Seminar team, Lisa Glenn and Kristin Pechinsky, for bringing us a great speaker about healthy eaters! Hopefully some of those techniques will work on our pickiest of eaters.
Thank you to Laurie Lane and Alissa O’Shaughnesy for organizing what turned out to be a fabulous Tanglewood Puppet Show. The Fairy Circus was a hit! The kids were really excited for the show and afterwards being able to touch and ask questions about the puppets was fantastic!
As we move into March, we want to thank our Consignment Sale team for all of the work they have done already to help make our sale one of the biggest and best in our area! Hats off to Puja Tenpas, Jill Tierney and Kimberly Ryan, and everyone involved on the Consignment Sale Committee for already motivating and recruiting other moms out there to lend a hand during our largest fundraiser of the year!
Every month we each get to read lots of good stuff within the LexFUN! Newsletter. This could not happen without Joyce Dvorak pulling it all together for us! Many thanks Joyce!
And lastly, Thank you to Leigh-Ann Durant, who every week keeps us on our toes with all the happenings via Big Tent, Board Mtgs, Events around Town and all in all, keeping Lindsay and Patrice in line with everything we have going on!
Thanks so much to all of you for your incredible service and amazing company!
Lindsay and Patrice – LexFUN! Co-Presidents
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Newsletter brought to you by LexFUN!
Joyce D. Editor – March: In like a lion, out like a lamb – let’s hope so!