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Worthington sisters plan walk in father’s memory for diabetes awareness

LAURA RODLEY
Kayla, left, and Clara Thatcher of Worthington created the first Charles' Angels Walk for Diabetes Education in memory of their father. It takes place June 1 at Hampshire Regional High School in Westhampton.

LAURA RODLEY Kayla, left, and Clara Thatcher of Worthington created the first Charles' Angels Walk for Diabetes Education in memory of their father. It takes place June 1 at Hampshire Regional High School in Westhampton. Purchase photo reprints »

Two Worthington sisters, Clara and Kayla Thatcher, lost their father Charles to diabetes in August 2009. In an effort to educate the community and those diagnosed with diabetes, they have created their own Charles’ Angels Walk for Diabetes Education in his memory.

It will be held June 1 at Hampshire Regional High School in Westhampton. They are seeking walkers and sponsors. Money raised will be donated to the Cooley Dickinson Center for Excellence in Diabetes Education in Northampton.

Tall and blond, Clara Thatcher, 14, and a ninth grader at the high school, spearheaded the project, with plenty of practice; the two previous years, she and her sister, Kayla, 19, now at home on break from Murray State College in Murray Ky., and their mother, Mandy Caputo, raised money for the American Diabetes Association by walking in Look Park in Florence.

Even so, the process has been difficult and taken a lot of work, said Clara Thatcher, crediting two teachers, Scott Green and Leslie Giordana, with helping her.

“They’ve been major supporters. Anything I need, they get it,” she said. She’s been broadcasting weekly announcements at the school over the intercom to inform fellow students and staff about diabetes, for which she was awarded the J.F.K. Make a Difference Award in Boston last year.

Limiting consumption of sugar and maintaining a proper diet is essential. The funds will help teach people how to cook, notes their grandmother, Chesterfield resident Betty Smith. She will be joining them on their walk.

Since her first walk, Clara has grown a foot taller.

“I’m really impressed that she wanted to take it to a different level. They wanted to see the money stay locally. It’s really important to them that it’s used for education for diabetes. Once they have it, they don’t really know what to do,” said Caputo.

There are no overhead or administrative costs. Their team has raised more than $400 towards their personal goal of $1,500, and 14 walkers are signed up. Participants create teams with friends and family and register online at www.charlesangels.weebly.com to start collecting donations.

Businesses wishing to sponsor the day’s festivities with raffle prizes and cash donations can visit the website or email Clara Thatcher at Charlesangels09@aol.com.

Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. June 1 and the event ends at 11:45 a.m. Donations to CEDE can be sent directly to the sisters, payable to CDHCC c/o Charles Angels’ Walk P.O. Box 165 Worthington MA 01098.

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Conwell center events

The private R.H. Conwell Education Community Education Center is ending this year with a bang.

On May 16, children brought their pets to school. A science fair was held Wednesday and today there is to be a Portable Planetarium Program, followed by a May 31 field trip to the Connecticut Science Center.

On June 5, dubbed Volunteer Appreciation Day, look for a sixth-grade graduation, with Raine Leue of Ashfield and Nicholas Reid of Worthington, both 12, graduating.

On June 6, Worthington resident Gail Bergeron camps out, fulfilling her pledge to do so if the school book fair raised over $1,250. School ends June 14 with a dance party.

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‘My Life, My Health’

A free six-session workshop, “My Life, My Health,” for those with chronic diseases including diabetes, arthritis, heart disease or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, is being held at the Meekins Library at 2 Main St. in Williamsburg on Fridays through July. Developed by the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program at the Stanford University Patient Education Research Center, the program helps create personalized plans through small steps taught by Mary Wheelan of Worthington and Enette Claxton-Toliver of Florence.

The sessions focus on physical activity, exercise, muscle relaxation, guided imagery, pain and fatigue management, healthy eating, communication skills and medication use.

The workshop is sponsored by Highland Valley Elder Services and the Hilltown Community Health Centers and open to Hilltown residents, with another planned in the Huntington area this fall.

To register, call 238-5511, Ext. 149 or 667-3009.

•••

A farewell

As this is my last column, I send my love to everyone in the Hilltowns. It has been a joy to work with you.

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