The Youth Group, Ignite, of Calvary Southbury church hosted a gift card drive to benefit the families staying at the Ronald McDonald House in New Haven. The group collected $690 in gift cards as well as two bags of wrapped toys for the children. Shown outside of the Ronald McDonald House, representing Calvary Southbury, are (from left) Savanna Stephenson, Janice Creighton, Kya Atkinson and Samantha Castillo. Not pictured is Donna Eisenbach.

MIDDLEBURY-SOUTHBURY — In a lot of ways, Satvik Nog is like most other fifth graders. He’s dedicated to his studies at Long Meadow Elementary School, plays basketball and plays the violin. Unlike most fifth graders, he is also a sitting member on the state’s Kid Governor cabinet and the first Kid Governor finalist from LMES. Kid Governor is a statewide program that teaches fifth graders about state government through a hands on approach that requires participants to build a platform and participate in a real-life election.

Work continued recently on the new water coaster raft ride at Quassy Amusement & Waterpark at 2132 Middlebury Rd. in Middlebury. The state-of-the-art attraction will be the first of its type in New England as two-person rafts plunge along its course and are pushed to the top of several inclines by water jets. High-banked turns will add to the thrills when the project opens next spring in Quassy’s Splash Away Bay waterpark. Sections of the elaborate trough system, designed by ProSlide Technology of Canada, are shown after being assembled at the lakeside property.

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SOUTHBURY — Paul G. Collimore, age 58, beloved husband of Jill…

Conversations With Nature, an exhibit and sale of works by seven area artists, continues through Saturday, January 29 at the Minor Memorial Library, 23 South St., Roxbury.  The exhibit displays the creativity of artists Ruth Jaffe, Elizabeth MacDonald, Didier Malaquin, Rebecca Rosow, Jim Stanton, Phil Stone and Joan Stracks. The artists explore nature in its many forms and dialects, offering the viewer a wide selection of perspectives. The piece by Dr. Jaffe pictured above is among the work in the exhibit.

WASHINGTON — The Judy Black Memorial Park and Gardens, 1 Green Hill Rd., has partnered with KMR Arts to present “Goodnight My Love,” a photography exhibit by Ernest C. Withers, documenting the Civil Rights Movement in the South from the late 1940s through the 1960s. His photographs have captured some of the most historic events in U.S. history, from the funeral of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., to the Mississippi trial of Emmett Till. The exhibit will be on view through Monday, February 7.