October 21 - 28, 1998

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Hartford News: Oct 21 - 28

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MCI Brings Internet to City Youths
Hundreds of Hartford youngsters hitched a ride on the information superhighway last Friday, October 16, as part of MCI WorldCom's "Great American Net Test" program. The program, which was held at Quirk Middle School on Edward's Street, introduces youngsters to the Internet by combining it with basketball. Hartford is one of only 13 communities across the nation who were chosen to participate in the program.

MCI is also awarding a $15,000 community grant to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Hartford for the purchase of computers and programs.
"Technology and access to technology are the nation's most critical educational needs today. MCI WorldCom has the ability and the desire to invest in America's future by providing these students with the opportunity to develop critical technology skills to enable them to compete at school and in the workplace,"said MCI WorldCom Regional Director John Boolukos.

House of Bread and Foodshare Open Job Training Program
A $25,000 grant from the Phillip Morris Company to the House of Bread and Foodshare will provide initial funding for a new training program known as FEAST (Food Education and Service Training).
The program will train ten students in basic kitchen, work and life skills in order to prepare them to enter the job market. The program will be held four times a year.

The students will work at the House of Bread's soup kitchen on Chestnut Street under the direction of a chef-supervisor. The food the students prepare will be donated by Foodshare and served to the clients of the soup kitchen.

"This is not just a win-win program," said Gloria Mc- Adam, President of Foodshare, "It's a win-win-win! We will be training people for jobs, helping make them self-sufficient. We will be providing top quality, nutritious meals to clients of the House of Bread soup kitchen. And we will be using some of the highly perishable or hard-to-use food items that are donated to Foodshare every day, thus making sure that food is not wasted."

Free Mental Health Education Program
A free mental health educational program, entitled "Families Helping Other Family" will be given at the Capital Health Center next Thursday, October 22. Betsy Smith, President of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) of Connecticut, will be the featured speaker at the event. The program, which is free and open to the public, will be held at 2:30 pm at the Capital Region Mental Health Center, 500 Vine Street.

Smith will speak about the importance of learning about what a relative of someone with a mental illness is actually experiencing and will also discuss the possibility of setting up a family support group in the Hartford area. For more information about the conference, call 297-0925.

Celebration in Sigourney Park
The Asylum Hill Organizing Project (AHOP) will host a party this Saturday, October 24, from 12-5 pm in Sigourney Park to celebrate renovations to the park. Food, entertainment, raffles and more will be featured.

The renovation project has been underway for the past six months and includes new basketball courts, water sprinkler, horseshoe pit, benches, tables and a playscape which is still under construction.
Funding for the project was provided by $350,000 in state bonding money, which was appropriated largely through the efforts of State Representative Tom Ritter (D-2nd) and Marie Kirkley-Bey (D-5th), and $50, 000 from the Hartford Parks Trust Fund.

For more information on Saturday's celebration, call 249-7691.

Bus Tours of South Meadows Offered next Thursday
The Greater Hartford Chamber of Commerce will be conducting bus tours of the South Meadows next Thursday, October 29, from 4:30-7:30 pm. The tours will highlight businesses and services in the South Meadows, including the Mid-Connecticut Waste-to-Energy facility on Murphy Road, which is operated by Resources Recovery Systems of Connecticut (RRSC). RRSC representatives will serve as guides for the tours. For more information or to pre-register, contact Kathy Lilley at 525-4451, ext. 234.

Salvation Army Opens New Women's Wing
On Sunday, October 18, the Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center at 333 Homestead Avenue dedicated its new Helen and Harry Gray Women's Wing. The new facility will provide 30 beds for women recovering from drug and alcohol addiction and is expected to begin servicing clients next month. The center currently has 100 beds for men recovering from addictions.

The women's facility was named after the Grays in recognition of their lead contribution to the new facility. United Technologies Corporation, Phoenix Home Life Mutual Insurance Company and Fleet Bank also made major contributions to the effort. For more information on the center and the services it provides, call 527-8106.

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