NOV. 1,2,3

The Odyssey: Lawrence Academy presents The Odyssey, a new theatrical telling of Homer's epic story, in a performance created collaboratively by the student ensemble. In this classic tale, the Greek hero Odysseus is challenged by monsters, enticed by sirens, and both helped and hindered at the whim of the gods as he strives to return home to his faithful wife Penelope. Sixteen cast members have distilled the story into a fast-paced, colorful, interpretation that features live music and sound. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. in the handicapped-accessible Richardson-Mees Performing Arts Center on the Lawrence Academy campus in Groton. The public is welcome. Entry is free and refreshments will be served. For information, please contact LA Theatre Director Joel Sugerman at jsugerman@lacademy.edu or by phone at 603-943-0910.

FRIDAY, NOV. 2

Blood drive: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Nashoba Valley Medical Center, 200 Groton Road , Ayer. Appointment preferred; call 800-redcross.

Applewild Annual Rummage Sale: Applewild School Parents' Association will hold its annual Rummage Sale from 4:30-7:30 p.m. and Saturday, Nov. 3, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Simonds Gym at the school, 120 Prospect St. in Fitchburg. Those wishing to donate items (no electronics are being accepted) can do so on Thursday, Nov. 1, or Friday, Nov. 2, from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. For more information, call the school at 978-342-6053.


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SATURDAY, NOV. 3

Huge Indoor Community Yard Sale: The Parker School will be holding its fifth annual Community Yard Sale on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. (no early birds, please). This is an indoor, rain or shine, yard sale with all sorts of items available, including toys, games, sports equipment, books, clothing, music, household items, holiday and novelty items, crafts, outdoor and gardening items, and all sorts of other great things. The Yard Sale features items that have been donated from within the school community and are being sold at bargain prices. All proceeds benefit the Parker Yearbook. The sale is located at 49 Antietam St., Devens (exit 37 off Route 2 or off West Main Street in Ayer). Signs will be prominently posted as you near the school. From 1-1:30 p.m., any remaining items will be free, though donations are encouraged.

Applewild Annual Rummage Sale: Applewild School Parents' Association will hold its annual Rummage Sale from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Simonds Gym at the school, 120 Prospect St. in Fitchburg.

Comedy night: The Groton-Pepperell Rotary Club and Ayer Rotary are having their third annual Comedy Night at the Bull Run in Shirley. Tickets are $20 each or tables of eight. Make a night of it. Have dinner at the bull Run and then a great night of comedy. All profit from this night of fun goes to Rotary charities. If you want tickets call Derek TenBroeck ASAP as tickets are limited at 978-877-0156 or email me at Derek@tenbroeckins.com. Cocktails (cash bar) at 7:30 p.m., show at 8:30 p.m.

SUNDAY, NOV. 4

Masons breakfast: The Ayer Masonic Association will hold its monthly fundraising breakfast at the Ayer Masonic Center, 11 Sculley Road, Ayer, from 7:30-10 a.m. Menu includes eggs cooked to order or pancakes with bacon or sausage, potatoes, toast, juice and coffee. In addition to the usual menu, specials for this month are Eggs Benedict, Texas French Toast with strawberies and whipped cream and pumpkin pancakes with cinnamon and whipped cream. Come early and bring your friends.

Sunday breakfast: The Ayer Sportsman's Club resumes its Sunday Breakfast from 8 to 11 a.m., until Mother's Day. The breakfast menu includes pancakes, French toast, omelets, sausage, bacon and ham, and free coffee and juice. Full breakfast $7. Orders-to-go also available. Proceeds benefit the children's fund. (Room rentals also available." The club is located at 255 Snake Hill Road, Ayer.

Nashoba Tech open house: 1-4 p.m. Prospective students and their families and the community are invited to attend. For information, call 978-692-4711 or visit www.nashobatech.net.

SUNDAY, NOV. 4

All-district practice session: 1-4 p.m. Attention music students trying out for senior district auditions (winds, brass, strings, percussion, and voice). Perform for professional faculty at Indian Hill Music School and receive feedback at 36 King Street (Route 495/Exit 30), Littleton. FEE: $10 per person. Call 978- 486-9524 ext. 114 to register for a 15-minute time slot.

THURSDAY, NOV. 8

Healing Sound Journey: 11:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Cost: $10 for Healing Garden (Harvard) members, $15 for nonmembers When you enter a relaxed, meditative state, you enter a space of healing. Sound is a wonderful vehicle, which can easily carry you to this healing space. Participants should bring a blanket or yoga mat to lie on and whatever pillows are needed for support and comfort. Please call 978-456-3532 to register.

Open house: Join the Nashoba Valley Chamber of Commerce at the one-year celebration open house of the Hilton Garden Inn and Great American Grill Restaurant at Devens Commons. The celebration of great food, beverages, and raffles starts at 4 p.m. Bring an unwrapped to for Toys For Tots and be entered into a raffle to win a 65-inch LED 3D TV -- and many other prizes!

Wine-tasting to benefit The Healing Garden: Hosted by the board of the Virginia Thurston Healing Garden, 6-9 p.m., at Nashoba Valley Winery, 100 Wattaquadock Hill Road, Bolton. Please join us for a fun evening of wine-tasting and winery tour. Wine, hors d'oeuvres and entertainment. Your donation of $75 per person directly benefits The Healing Garden. Space is limited -- reserve early by calling 978-456-3532 4# or emailing janet @healinggarden.net or online at www.healinggarden.net.

Parent talks: Hollis Preschool presents "Parent Talks," free and open to the public at 7 p.m. Dr. Tricia Harmon Stone (Ed.D., Harvard University) will present "Gender Matters in the Life of Your Child: Turning Points in Boys' and Girls' Development." Dr. Harmon Stone will discuss the prominent gender issues that raise difficulties for boys and girls at different ages and how to disrupt harmful patterns. The talk will be held at Hollis Preschool (5 Marketplace, Hollis). Space is limited. Please register at curriculum@hollispreschool.com.

FRIDAY, NOV. 9

3Rivers Arts gala: The 3Rivers Masquerade Ball -- an unforgettable night and celebration of new beginnings at Devens Common Center, Devens, 6-11 p.m. Dinner tickets for the event are nearly SOLD OUT. However, a number of party tickets are still available to enjoy the after-dinner events and dancing from 9-11 p.m. Party tickets are $30 at ww.3RiversArts.com. The theme is a twist on 2012's end of the Mayan calendar celebrating new beginnings and the launch of a new era of arts and culture. Guests are invited to wear their own mask or purchase a handmade mask at the door. The night's events include a cocktail reception with signature Tres Rios cocktails, a seated dinner with a Mayan flair, pop-up art gallery, silent auction, "end-of-the-world" photobooth and plenty of dancing and mingling. The evening's entertainment highlight will be a fashion show, showcasing distinctive, out-of-the-ordinary pieces inspired by the mystery of the ancient Mayans and the curiosity of Victorian Steampunk.

Dinner & Absinthe Tasting with Jeremy Bell: Fruitlands, 7 p.m. Learn how "Absinthe made the Art Grow Fonder" with the inimitable Sir Jeremy Bell! A private dinner by Fireside Catering and Absinthe tasting will be accompanied by a hilarious night of history. Jeremy will tell you how Absinthe influenced art and poetry. Fruitlands members: $50, nonmembers: $75. RSVP by Nov. 2 to kcastorano@fruitlands.org.

SATURDAY, NOV. 10

Fort Devens Museum: A Veterans Day open house will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the 94 Jackson Road, third floor, museum. Guest speakers on the hour. For more, go to www.fortdevensmuseum.org or call 978-772-1286. Free and open to the public. Handicapped-accessible.

Holiday art show and sale: "The Gift of Art," the Hollis Arts Society's 5th annual holiday show and sale, will be held Nov, 10-11 at the Lawrence Barn, 28 Depot Road, Hollis, N.H., 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. This year there will be a plethora of art, including framed paintings, photography, mixed media, encaustics, wood working, clay works, fiber art, glass work, and jewelry. Some unique relief sculpture, interesting animal portraiture and greeting cards will also be available for purchase. There is no fee, and there will be live music. Refreshments will be available for purchase, and there will be a raffle of art pieces donated by the artist participants.

Faculty concert: Indian Hill Music School presents American guitar duos (ragtime, blues, jazz and Hawaiian styles) with faculty member Jamie Dunphy (parlor guitar) and Olav Chris Henricksen (parlor and Hawaiian guitars) at 3 p.m. on 36 King St., Littleton. Free admission; donations accepted at the door. Learn more at (978) 486-9524 or www.indianhillmusic.org.

Kilimanjaro: 7 p.m. Renowned photographer and wildlife observer, Peter Christoph, will share his experiences climbing Mount Kilimanjaro via a slideshow enhanced with music and pithy comments. Pete, currently residing in South Lancaster, was born in Massachusetts, but, with his parents and siblings, spent many years in Ghana, Africa, before returning to Massachusetts. On a recent visit to Tanzania, he hiked up Africa's highest peak, Mt. Kilimanjaro (19,340 feet) and thus endured many climate zones, going from tropical jungle to cool, arid regions and ending in a polar environment. Peter will present his program at the Lancaster Community Center, 695 Main St., Lancaster. This event is sponsored by the Friends of the Oxbow National Wildlife Refuge. Kindly register for this presentation by phoning Rona at 978-779-2259 or by emailing ada@friendsoftheoxbow.org.

COMING UP...

SUNDAYS

Pepperell Christian Fellowship

Worship schedule: Early service 8:30-9:45 a.m. followed by adult and children's Sunday School from 10-10:45 a.m. The second service is from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Nursery care is available for children up to age 5 during the worship services and children's church is offered for children between the ages of 5 and 7 during the sermon. Worship services are filled with song, prayer and a sermon given by Pastor Stephen Witmer. We are located at 17 Main St. in Pepperell (next to the library). Additional information is available at www.pcfchurch.org or by calling the church at 978-433-6360.

Shirley, Trinity Chapel Episcopal

Church services with Eucharist begin at 11 a.m.; breakfast is offered from 10 to 10:45 a.m., Sunday School starts at 11 a.m. and child care is available.

TUESDAYS

Bible study

Every Tuesday evening from 7 to 8 p.m., there is an informal bible study at the West Townsend Reading Room, Dudley Road, West Townsend. Come and join us for a real spiritual treat as we study God's word together. For information, call 978-597-8116.

WEDNESDAYS

Prayer Service

All are invited to join us for an evening of prayer on Wednesdays, from 7:30 to 9 p.m., at Union Congregational Church in Groton, 218 Main St. There will be music, candles, Scripture, sharing and silence.

In November...

Christmas Fair

Mark your calendars to attend the Congregational Church of Hollis' Christmas Fair on Saturday, Nov 17, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the church at 3 Monument Square. Something for everyone and all ages: custom arts and crafts for sale, a pet boutique, holiday greens sale, used books, our "angel loft" offering inexpensive gift items for the children to buy, homemade bake goods, raffle baskets and our popular soup and bread luncheon! Talented musicians and carolers will provide a lively holiday atmosphere. This event is open to the public and all are invited. For information, contact Julie Kopser at 325-5745 or Julie@kopser.net

Fair Trade Fair

The annual Fair Trade Fair will be held at the Fellowship Building of the Unitarian Church, Elm St. (near the Common), Harvard, on Sunday, Nov. 18, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The fair is designed to help industrious women in developing countries support their families and educate their children. It is free to the public.

Artisans from Central and South America, the Middle East, India and Bangladesh will be among those represented by vendors who are area certified in fair trade and/or have signed statements that fair wages were paid for all items being sold. The sales price to you is set by the vendors under Fair Trade laws which regulate the amount of profit allowed.

These beautiful items will be hard to resist as holiday gifts for others and as special gifts for yourself. Raffle items will be donated by the vendors and refreshments will be available for purchase. The Unitarian Women's Alliance and Social Action Committee are sponsors of the event.

Attention runners!

Registration is now open for the Ayer Fire Department's 8th Annual Thanksgiving Day Road Race on Thursday, Nov. 22. The first 475 to register will receive a T-shirt! Registration ends on Nov. 18. Race begins at 8 a.m. sharp regardless of weather. For more, go to www.ayer.ma.us/Pages/AyerMA_Fire/info.