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“Labor Day is a glorious holiday because your child will be going back to school the next day. It would have been called Independence Day, but that name was already taken.” ~ Bill Dodds, acclaimed children’s poet and novelist
After weeks of hitting the pool, picking up wet swim suits, driving to camps (SummerFenn-loved it!!), cleaning up popsicle stains and swatting mosquitoes, some of us might see the beginning of school as a much needed break from the summer. Especially those parents, like me, who straddle two worlds – the elementary school world and the toddler world. The start of school is a time for us to catch our breath.
And it’s a time for everyone in my family to look forward to Fall fun with LexFUN! As my 8 year old heads off to third grade at Bridge, my 2 year old is looking forward to spending her days with all the fun things LexFUN! has to offer in the Fall –WinterFUN! on Wednesdays, Drop-In Center on Fridays, fire station visits, playgroups, and monthly crafts at Youville. Even though he’s technically aged out of LexFUN!, my 8 year old still loves attending LexFUN! events and is looking forward to the Membership Kick Off Party, especially the party with DJ Mike and Einstein’s Workshop.
Me? I’m looking forward to a grown-up evening at Moms’ Night Out and snagging my Swag Bag with goodies at the all new Membership Kick-Off Party on Tues. Sept. 16th (Swag bags are in limited supply so stop by early!) My husband? Well, he looks forward to the Halloween Parade every year. (Don’t tell anyone, but for the past 5 years he has secretly slipped into an Elmo costume and emerged at the center of town to lead all the children in the Halloween parade. Then, with the patience of a saint, he poses for photos with all the little tykes, until the very last one has left….)
There are just so many things to love about LexFUN! in the Fall. We hope you’ll take advantage of all of them. We’re looking forward to another amazing year!!! We hope to see you at our Membership Kick Off Party on Thurs. Sept. 16th at St. Brigid’s from 9 am – 7 pm!
- Leigh-Ann Durant for the LexFUN! Executive Board
LexFUN! Executive Board:
Co-President: Lindsay Wedell
Co-President: Leigh-Ann Durant
Vice President, Membership: Emily Wildfire
Vice President, Community Service: Julie Callahan
Vice President, Advertising/Sponsorship: Sam Carreiro
Treasurer: Valerie Machinist
Secretary: Joyce Dvorak
LexFUN! has now joined the thousands of other organizations nationwide who have joined the “SunWise” Program! The SunWise Program is a national health education program sponsored by the EPA that teaches children and their caregivers sun safety and how to protect themselves from overexposure to the sun.
What’s the goal of the SunWise Program?
Unprotected exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays during youth puts children at an increased lifetime risk for skin cancer. Overexposure to the sun can also lead to eye damage and immune system suppression. By educating ourselves and our children about UV-related health effects and steps for sun protection, we can ensure a healthy future for the next generation. LexFUN!’s goal is to promote public awareness about the importance of sun protection in an effort to decrease the incidence of skin cancer in our children.
Why be SunWise?
Skin cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in the US and Massachusetts.
The ozone layer forms a thin shield in the upper atmosphere, protecting life on Earth from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. In the 1980s, scientists began accumulating evidence that the ozone layer was being depleted. Depletion of the ozone layer results in increased UV radiation reaching the Earth’s surface. Overexposure to UV radiation can lead to serious health effects, such as skin cancer, cataracts, and immune suppression.
From 2001-2005, the rate of new melanoma diagnoses, responsible for 75% of all skin cancer deaths, was 26% higher in Massachusetts than the national average. An estimate 2,000 Massachusetts residents were diagnosed with melanoma in 2008 (the latest national statistics). More than 200 people in Massachusetts die of melanoma every year. Massachusetts had the 15th highest melanoma death rate nationally from 2001-2005 – 7% higher than the national US average.
What is LexFUN! doing to be SunWise?
The national SunWise Progam has demonstrated success in raising awareness and changing behaviors related to sun safety. LexFun! will be actively working to promote the sun safety message with its 600+ member families throughout the entire year. LexFUN! wants to make sure that every single one of its LexFUN! children is protected against overexposure to the sun.
Lexington Fire Station
Start the school year off in style while we honor some of Lexington’s best community helpers! Please join Community Service as we visit the Lexington Fire Station on Bedford Street on Tuesday, September 9 at 10:00am (barring emergencies!). At the visit, we will also be distributing homemade baked goods to show our appreciation for everything the Firefighters do for our community. If you are unable to join us, please consider contributing something delicious from your kitchen, which can be delivered on your behalf. Due to the nature of this event, space is limited and only open to members who are 3-5 years old. For more information about baking or to RSVP, please contact Julie Callahan at firstname.lastname@example.org
Youville is a monthly event where LexFUN! families join Youville Place residents to do a craft, read stories, have a snack, and make new friends. Join us on Wednesday, September 17th from 10:00am until 11:00am to see what the fun is all about. 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. Hope to see you there!
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 Anne Boulter at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Upcoming Fall/Winter Clothing Drive
Don’t Forget: The winter wear drive to benefit Cradles to Crayons is coming soon! As you begin to organize your family’s gear, please set aside winter clothing to donate to this wonderful cause in October!
LexFUN! is the voice for young families in Lexington and is always looking to make Lexington a better place for our little ones. Case in point – the new baby changing stations at the Old Res.
How did this come about? A few months ago, a LexFUN! member took her toddler to the Old Res. While changing her diaper in the bathroom, the toddler almost fell off the “changing table”. The “changing table” was nothing more than a piece of wood nailed to the wall. As the LexFUN! member looked closer, she saw a little old faded sign which said the “changing table” was donated by LexFUN in 1984 – over 30 years ago! She brought this to the attention of LexFUN! and LexFUN! immediately decided to address the situation. Within 7 days, LexFUN! had secured permission from the Town to upgrade the tables and had 2 changing tables on order – one for the women’s bathroom and one for the men’s (we support equal opportunity for diaper changing!).
LexFUN! Celebrates the Opening of the Lincoln Park Bathrooms
The Lincoln Park Bathroom Project has been in the works for a long, long time but this summer they became a reality.
LexFUN! was one of many local organizations who made donations and helped raise funds for the project. So to all the LexFUN! members who contributed to this effort – thank you!!!!!
The Drop-In Center
When it comes to indoor play spaces in Lexington, LexFUN!’s weekly Drop-in Center can’t be beat! Every Friday, preschoolers, toddlers, babies and their parents and caregivers drop in to play, explore and learn in a huge indoor play area filled with age appropriate toys and activities. Children develop social, physical, and sensory skills through hands on free play activities, books and crafts.
WHEN & WHERE: Every Friday from 9:30 – 11:30am during the Fall, Winter and Spring (from September 19th through April 10th) at St. Brigid’s Parish Hall, 2001 Mass. Ave.
Wingate Wealth Advisors
Plan for the Expected, Prepare for the Unexpected
LexFUN! is proud to have again partnered with Wingate for the 2014-2015 year and values their sponsorship and the services that they offer to young families.
Do you picture yourself owning or upgrading to a new home, saving for your child’s education, starting a business, building a or retiring comfortably? These are a few of the financial goals that may be important to you, and each comes with a price tag attached.
That’s where financial planning comes in. Financial planning is a process that can help you reach your goals by evaluating your whole financial picture, then outlining strategies that are tailored to your individual needs and available resources.Wingate Has Solutions for Your Specific Needs
Wingate Wealth Advisors is an independent wealth management and financial planning organization dedicated to serving the personal financial needs of individuals and families. Families with young children have so much to think about that financial matters such as life insurance, investments, college savings and retirement often seem overwhelming and get pushed to the wayside. Wingate helps you take charge of your financial future in an easy and organized manner.
Wingate has been providing financial guidance for over 25 years. Their integrated approach begins with financial planning to ensure your investment plan is aligned with your particular needs, goals and circumstances. In the initial conversation they’ll discuss your hopes and dreams, as well as your concerns and what keeps you up at night. You will talk about your goals – personal, family, financial and professional – about where you’d like to be in five or ten or twenty years. In short, they want to understand where you are now, how you got here and where you’d like to go so they can develop, implement and monitor you’re the best financial plan for your family. Afterwards, they’ll meet and talk with you often to ensure it stays that way even as your life changes.
The Wingate staff is comprised of highly credentialed associates with broad experience developing effective solutions for a wide range of personal financial situations. Their job is to help you plan for the expected, and prepare for the unexpected.
Contact Susie Neal at email@example.com today to learn how to get started and to take advantage of the genererous LexFUN! discount offered to members and be sure to attend their seminar on college savings this month.
LexFUN! (Lexington’s Five and Under Network, Inc.) invites all families with young children to celebrate the start of a new LexFUN! season at its All-Day, Non-Stop Membership Kick Off Party at St. Brigid’s Parish, 2001 Massachusetts Ave, Lexington, MA 02421 on Tuesday, September 16, 2014. The event will run from 9:00 am – 7:00 pm with non-stop programming throughout the day.
Ready for the best part? The event is open to the public and free of charge! LexFUN! invites both members and non-member families who would like to learn what LexFUN! has to offer to this event.
Parents can learn about all of LexFUN!’s social and recreational events, such as Drop in Center, WinterFun!, Playgroups, Halloween Parade, and Moms Nights Out. They can learn about LexFUN!’s educational programs, such as its seminar series on parenting skills, nutrition and preparing for kindergarten. They can also see first-hand the various charitable programs LexFUN! engages in with our young children and their families, such as Cradles to Crayons, food drives, and visiting local seniors. New families may become members of LexFUN! at the Kick Off Party. Existing members should renew online before the Party.
Schedule of Events
10:00 am Big Joe the Storyteller
11:00 am Interactive Baby Zumba Class **first time appearance at event**
12:30 pm Story and Songs with Cary Librarian
1:00 pm Karen K and the Jitterbugs musical performance
2:30 pm Dance Party with DJ Mike **first time appearance at event**
5:00 pm Interactive Einstein’s Workshop Class **first time appearance at event**Plus, there will be face paintings, crafts, balloons, snacks and surprises throughout the day.
LexFUN! Swag Bags filled with goodies, giveaways and coupons from businesses in Town will be given out on a first-come first-serve basis to Members who renew or sign-up on Big Tent prior to September 15th and to New Members who sign up for the 1st time at the Kick Off Party. Limited quantities will be available so come early. Swag Bags will also include:
● The 2014-2015 edition of The LexFUN! Guide For Young Families. This go-to book is an invaluable resource for all types of activities happening in and around Lexington and provides LexFUN! Family Favorites, a detailed list of child-care centers and preschools in Town, as well as a full listing of over 40+ summer camps. The Guide will also be available in an on-line version on our web site.
● The 2014-2015 Membership Card, now a convenient key tag, is your ticket to shopping, dining and entertainment discounts at local businesses in and around Town. This year’s discount list has been expanded to include even more businesses and discounts than ever, such as Bella Sante, Ruyi, Catch a Falling Star, MyCleaners,Via Lago and Pinot’s Palette! The Membership Card is also your FREE pass to our Member Appreciation Party in November.
Bring your children, re-connect with old friends, make new friends and see first-hand why everyone says “LexFUN! is your connection to EVERYTHING for young families in Lexington.” Sign up for a playgroup, a book group, or an evening seminar. Find out more about our upcoming family and parent-only programs, and stay for the fabulous FREE entertainment. There is ample free parking in St. Brigid’s parking lot so you can stay for as long as you want.
Learn more about member only benefits on Big Tent. (Big Tent is an online community that allows non-profits like LexFUN! to share information, communicate, and organize in an online community – Bigtent.com).
LexFUN! is a volunteer organization of families providing social, educational and charitable programs and activities to families with children ages 0-5. A non-profit organization, LexFUN! is not affiliated with any public or private school. Membership ($35 annually per family) is open to anyone in Lexington and surrounding communities. More information can be found at www.lexfun.org. To join today, log onto http://www.lexfun.org/join-lexfun
We would like to send out a big thank you to our SummerFUN! Co-Chairs, Natalie Fieldgate and Colleen Gallagher. They helped promote our LexFUN! community this summer by hosting our outdoor arts and crafts series and I know the kids around town enjoyed seeing their friends over the summer! Great job ladies!
Thanks to Samantha Carreiro, Shannon Duffy and Gretchen Mather for a stellar year of sponsors and booklet ad sponsorship! They had a very busy summer of collecting sponsors for our Annual Guide and our Annual Sponsors. Thanks to them, we’ve had a record year of ad sales for the booklet, which helps us give more to our LexFUND! Scholarship program! Awesome job!
Laura Wilkas our new LexFUN! Graphic Designer has been hard at work this summer updating and making us look more professional than ever! Thank you for all of your hard work!
Lauren Funk and Patrice Cleaves and the entire scholarship committee, have been hard at work this summer making decisions for LexFUND! We were able to send more children to preschool and we thank them for all of their hard work and dedication!
And finally, we would like to thank Natalie Cohen and Susannah Hoch for their work on the Annual Guide. This is such an important resource for all the young families in Lexington and we thank you for your hard work on this project!
Newsletter brought to you by LexFUN!
Tuna Chatterjee, Editor ~ Hello, Fall!