Greetings dear friends and kind readers and welcome back for our Indigenous Peoples Day visit here on the Front Porch where the sun rose this morning at 6:55 and will set at 6:12 p.m. and where we are mourning the loss of Pat and Austin Murphy, two mighty, much-loved pillars of the Westerly community who were ultra involved with both the Chorus of Westerly and the St. Clare Church choir. Pat and Austin (he was a proud member of the United States Marine Corps,) were so proud of their children and grandchildren, as everyone who knew them can attest. Our hearts go out to Pat and Austin's family as we savor memories of stories that were shared, songs that were sung, and laughs that were had!

Thanks to our wonderful Front Porch pal Larry Hirsch, we learned that Valenti Subaru has joined the national Subaru organization's long-standing commitment to help shelter dogs — especially those with special needs like the older, deaf, blind and 'different' dogs that we lovingly call 'Underdogs" — get adopted. During "Subaru Loves Pets Month" Valenti Subaru will donate $100 to Stand Up For Animals for every shelter per adopted in October, and on Oct. 22, will celebrate the third annual "National Make a Dog's Day," when "Subaru encourages all dog lovers to do something extra special for their dogs." #MakeADogsDay. Woof Woof! By the way, another of Larry's favorite groups, the Westerly Track Club, (thank you Nick Bottone and Jimmy Hirst!) recently announced its rescheduled "Runners Reunion." Nick predicts that a "great group of running pioneers" will be "partying up the memories" on Wednesday, Oct. 27, at The Malted Barley beginning at 5 p.m. 

Nick also gave a shout out to Ray Castagna, the original club's first president, and shared photos of a number of club superstars who were the recipients of 2021 "Recognition Awards:" Larry Hirsch (of course,) Tom and Arlene McCoy (of Tom McCoy Fun Run fame,) Robert and Doris Recor and Genevieve "Jogging Genny" Kurdziel ("the oldest living member of the club at 96 years young," Nick said.) We will share those photos next week, along with an explanation of how the club transformed into the Westerly Track & Athletic Club (it's name today.) 

Speaking of beloved members of the Westerly Track Club, how good it was to see Bob and Ida Benson, across a crowded room Friday evening at the Westerly Library Friday during the 12th Gold Leaf Award Ceremony when Ellen Madison and Rosebud Weston were honored for their "exemplary support and dedication" to the library and Wilcox Park over the years and the "significant impact" their work has had on the library association. Betty-Jo Cugini, the recently-elected president of the library board of trustees, made the presentations. (Congratulations Betty-Jo!Bob Benson is a past Gold Leaf Award honoree, as is Donna Celico and Rick Constantine both of whom were in attendance, as were Mary Goodman, Mojie Friel and Nick Stahl, Judy and Lou Toscano and Bill and Warren Miller (among many others.) What fun to catch up Brigitte Hopkins, Bill Lancellotta and Stacey Jackson from the library, and with Lisa Konicki and Maria DiMaggio from the Ocean Community Chamber of Commerce, two of the busiest women in town. Lisa said she was taking a deep breath before the next round of events: Fusion, Oct. 22; Athena Awards, Nov. 2; the Stonington Lobster Trap Tree Lighting, Nov. 27 and the Westerly Light Parade, Dec. 12. WOW!

Please also keep Front Porch friend Joanne Basile in your thoughts. I know she would love to hear from her Westerly friends, especially now that she has been moved from Rhode Island Hospital to the Oakland Grove Health Care Center, 560 Cumberland Hill Rd, Woonsocket, RI 02895. Be happy, JoJo!

That's it from the Front Porch for this week, dear readers, until next time, please consider sending your news and photos (of weddings, birthdays, parties and celebrations, Halloween decorations, new babies) my way, getting vaccinated if you haven't already and masking up when necessary! Also, stay safe, be kind, and ciao bella!

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