June 2015 - 5774

Volume LXIII #9

Member of the Union For Reform Judaism


Congregation Shalom is a Reform Jewish community committed to education, spiritual growth, and Tikkun
Olam (healing the world).  We are proud to be an extended family of equals - welcoming, caring, and inclusive.
 Together, we engage in religious observance, enjoy social activities, and pursue life-long learning.
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Rabbi From our Rabbirabbi

Dear Friends:


Although June is a time that we start thinking of slowing down, it is actually a VERY busy month for many of us. School is ending, graduations are happening, and suddenly our lawns need mowing! On the synagogue side of life, there are also a lot of really wonderful events and services going on and I hope you will find the time in the busyness of your life to come and participate. I know you will be enriched.


June 5th, is David Smerling's last Friday night with us. Please join us at the 7:00 Family Shabbat service as we have the opportunity to thank him for his years of dedicated service to our community. David will also be playing at all the b'nai mitzvah services through June, and of course these services are open to our entire community.


Then June 7th is our yearly Mitzvah Day. Our social action committee has been working hard to make this a meaningful day for all us. By now you will have received info explaining that as a community we will spend the day at the Paul Center, which is a wonderful organization that provides an awesome summer experience for kids with special needs. Plan on joining us for all or some of the day. We will be beginning there, NOT the synagogue. If you can't join us in person, there are other ways you can contribute with food items and more.


The next wonderful event that is happening is our choir Shabbat on June 12th. I am so excited to introduce our new, dynamic choir director, Michael Liu. Michael has really reinvigorated our choir members with his enthusiasm, positive energy, and musical skills. Please click here for Michael's bio if you are interested. The choir members are VERY excited about their work with Michael and I hope you will come and listen to the beautiful music they hope to share with you at Choir Shabbat. We are also very excited that Michael will be our choir director for the upcoming High Holidays.


Finally, I'd like to invite all of our members to come to this year's Installation Shabbat on June 19th. This will be a wonderful time to thank Stephen Rodman for his amazing service to our community as well as to thank all the outgoing board members. In turn, we will have a chance to celebrate with Tamar Wexler as she is installed as our new president and to welcome all our other new officers on the Temple, Sisterhood, Brotherhood, and Shalomite boards. Our community is as strong as it is because of the amazing gift of volunteerism. Please come to support these new lay leaders as they commit themselves to our community in the coming years.



Stephen Rodman's photoFrom our PresidentBarryTop    


Dear Friends:

Four years.  It seems like a long time, doesn't it?


Four years ago, I accepted the nomination to become president of Congregation Shalom. I agreed to serve as the chair of the Board of Trustees and to assume the office that many before have filled so admirably.


More than anything else, though, I accepted the responsibility that comes with being president - the responsibility to listen, to speak, to make decisions, to manage and to lead. Succeeding with this responsibility is not done in a vacuum. Rather, this responsibility is shared with an entire team. Without a team, I could not have fulfilled the trust you placed in me.


As I leave the office of president this month, I want to recognize those who have assisted, guided and mentored me along the way. At the top of the list are our Rabbi and our Education Director. Shoshana and Yael have been my partners at Congregation Shalom over the past four years. Together we have discussed, wrestled with and debated a myriad of issues related to Congregation Shalom. Although some topics were far more difficult to address than others, through discourse and communication we always came to a consensus. I thank them for working with me and allowing me to work beside them. While no one will ever make a decision that is correct in the eyes of every congregant, you should know that every decision made by Shoshana and Yael is done with the goal of reaching our mission.


I also need to thank all of the trustees and officers I have worked with over the years. Oftentimes the work undertaken by our trustees is thankless. More than just showing up at monthly meetings, they provide the guidance and oversight to manage and lead our congregation. They set the policies under which we operate and continue to thrive. I have valued their insights and I have learned a great deal from them. It has been a wonderful experience getting to know each of you.


Thank you to the committee chairs who have ably led their respective committees, supplied the Board with reports, and allowed the congregation to continue to function. I know that some of you have served longer than you have planned, but I hope that you all know you are appreciated for the time and energy you have, and continue to, invest in this congregation.


I would be remiss not to offer my thanks to the unsung heroes of the temple, our office staff. Joan, Bonnie, Phyllis (and Amy for my first three years) have made my life immeasurably easier. They deal with the day-to-day issues that arise and do so with a smile and a warmth of character. I could not imagine serving as president without relying on them.


Thank you to the presidents who came before me. Not only did you provide me with the model under which I served, but you were always present to provide advice and guidance when needed. I especially want to thank two past presidents who not only provided guidance these past four years but provided the inspiration to serve as president, my parents.


Finally, I want to thank Ilene, Naomi and Jonah. As they have learned over the past four years, the phone calls can come at any time, the meetings seem unending, and the demands on time are just that. I could not have served as long or as effectively without their support.


Although I have not been able to accomplish everything I set out to do, I hope I have made a small difference in the life of our congregation. While I now turn to our tasks within the congregation, I know that we will be ably led by our next president, Tamar Wexler. Tamar will be an amazing president.


Thank you, all, for an interesting, adventurous, and inspiring four years.



From Our Education Directoreddir  


It is not every educator who has the honor of working with talented teachers and dedicated madrichim. However, I feel truly blessed to work with my faculty each and every week as together we navigate our students' first steps on their Jewish journey.


As I reflect back on this year, I am once again humbled by the work that the educators in our building do each and every week. Our teachers have dedicated themselves to infusing our children with a love of Judaism and a passion for learning Jewishly. Each week tired Hebrew School students and bleary-eyed Religious School students enter into our building and my amazing teachers bring Judaism and the Hebrew language alive in their classrooms.


As for our unsung teachers - our madrichim who come in quietly, and lovingly model for our students how to grow and succeed. They are the role models and the support that keep our school flowing. They are committed not just to their jobs as madrichim but they see the strength and importance of l'dor vador and they bring it to their work every day.


In all ways, big and small, I encourage everyone to get involved in our school. Join us for a Maariv service, volunteer at our Hanukkah party, substitute in a classroom, become a part of our school committee, or join us in many other ways - become involved. Through your involvement you will enjoy observing as our teachers teach and our students learn and you will see that we, as educators, are able to learn from our students while teaching at the same time. Join us as together we are educating the next generation of young Jewish people who have a love of learning and a thirst for knowledge while operating as menshes in the world.


As we end another wonderful year, please be sure to stay in touch this summer. As always, encourage your students to practice their Hebrew so that we start the new year strong. I hope that you use this summer to rejuvenate and relax.


Have a peaceful, safe, and fun summer. I look forward to seeing everyone back in September.

  Yael Signature


Please click here to read previous columns on our website. 

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Social Action Committeesocialaction


Successful Blood Drive on May 18

Thank you to all our members who donated blood or volunteered at the Blood Drive we held on May 18 at our temple. The Red Cross was able to collect 40 units of much-needed blood. We look forward to hosting another blood drive again in the fall.


"Sneaker Shabbat" at Chelmsford Community Garden:

Friday May 29 at 6 p.m.

As this newsletter goes to print we are looking forward to our first annual Sneaker Shabbat at  the Chelmsford Community Garden at Sunny Meadow. The garden is located on Robin Hill Road in Chelmsford. We are planning a service, followed by the chance to plant the first of our congregation's crops in our new plot location in the gardens. We are looking forward to showing the garden to members who may not have had the chance to visit yet, and to encouraging more members to join in the care and harvest of our crops this summer!


Monthly Food Donations for Middlesex Transitional Living Center

Congregation Shalom is collecting food for the Lowell Transitional Living Center (LTLC). It is easy to help out with this mitzvah. Donations of meatloaf, and/or brownies and/or salad are accepted each month. There will be a cooler chest located by the doors of Congregation Shalom. Simply place your donation in the cooler and know that you have done a good deed! The food will be collected and brought to the Lowell Transitional Living Center in Lowell, where our donations are greatly appreciated each month. You can leave your donations in the cooler beginning on Wednesday, June 17 through Thursday, June 18.  July dates will be July 15-16 - mark your calendar now.


Volunteer at Table of Plenty in Chelmsford

Congregation Shalom is part of a team of volunteers at the Table of Plenty in Chelmsford, an organization that serves a free meal to all, no questions asked, every Tuesday from 5-6 p.m. at the First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church in Chelmsford Center. Our team serves every other month on the third Tuesday, and will next serve in July. If you have time to volunteer during the afternoon on Tuesdays and would like to take part, please send an email to and put Linda Newhard's name in the subject line.

Mitzvah Day activities will all be off-site this year.
The Social Action Committee is busy planning this year's Mitzvah Day, a congregation-wide day of social action. This year we are excited to be planning an offsite day of activities for all ages at the Paul Center at 39 Concord Road, Chelmsford.  We will help to prepare the building and grounds for opening. In addition, our choir will travel to the Atrium senior living center in Chelmsford to sing for residents. Click here for more information and to sign up.

Please join us starting at 9 a.m with breakfast and convocation at the Paul Center.


Questions? Need more information? Please contact


Fundraising Committee Annual Report, 2014-2015fundraising


We have had a spectacular year because of all your help. Our On-line Auction was over-the-top because of your bidding as well as your donations. Our supermarket cards continue to generate revenue for the Congregation. The link we have with brings in over $100 monthly (more during the holiday season and less during mid-winter). The 50/50 Raffle is on its way to reaching heights we only hope for. Need tickets/more tickets? Just ask by sending an email to We are always looking for more advertisers, so if you know of a business that may want to promote their business, please let us know. As always, we encourage you, the members, to use and support our advertisers. 'Igive' and 'Recycle That' contribute 'bit by bit' and those bits do add up.


We are planning a wonderful afternoon for the entire congregation. We know you have heard of Jeopardy with Alex Trebek - we have Jewpardy with our own Alex! You may have seen him wearing a grass skirt and coconuts  a few years ago. Adults vs Adults, Shalomites vs Shalomites and Students vs Students. All questions will be age appropriate. We need your help. This is a huge undertaking but it will bring every member, regardless of age, together for a fun-filled afternoon. If you want to be part of this enterprise, let us know. Entrance fees will be very do-able for those participating.


As always, we are looking for members to join us. Full time team members or part time, we welcome all. An added enticement - very few meetings.


Chair:  Laura Rodman

Deborah Cohen, Janet Dubner, David Holladay, Caryn Navy, Anne Rosenberg, Leah Shuldiner, Howie Snyder


Featured This Issue
Congregants of the Year
Choir Shabbat
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Save the Date


June 5  Shabbat to honor David Smerling

June 12  Choir Shabbat

June 19  Installation Shabbat

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QuickLinksQuick Links

Links to Our Website

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Congregants of the Year

It is my pleasure to announce that the Board of Trustees has selected co-Congregants of the Year, Janet Dubner and Margie Lotto.


Both Janet and Margie have played active, vital roles in the Congregation over many, many years, serving on numerous committees and enabling us to become the caring, vibrant community we are today. They have led by example and are truly role models for every member of the congregation. They are our extended family.


Please join me at our Shabbat service on June 19 as we honor Janet and Margie. Together we can show them our appreciation for their years of dedication to Congregation Shalom.

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Choir Shabbat - June 12 at 8 p.m.shabbat

We hope you will join us for Choir Shabbat on June 12th. We have just started rehearsals with a new, energetic director who will be leading the choir in an exciting program. Read about him by clicking here.


Choir members are excited and we hope you will be too.  It promises to be an evening of uplifting music - come hear a new, joyous sound and support our music program.


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thankyou ThankYou

Thank you to all for your "Get Well" wishes.

  Paul Rodman


Dear Friends:

Due to my clumsy fall on the pavement and breaking my knee and fracturing my elbow, I received many well wishes and many of you made generous donations to our temple. I want you all to know that I appreciate it very much and due to my broken elbow I cannot write personal thank you notes to everyone. I feel very fortunate to be part of such a caring and wonderful community as Congregation Shalom. Thank you again and have a great Summer.

  Judit Price

A Thank You and An Invitation


Stephanie Gallagher and Jon Libby have incredibly deep and lasting appreciation for everything large and small that so many people from Congregation Shalom have done for the last several years to support our family during Stephanie's heath crisis. We don't know how we would have gotten through it without the love, support, prayers, well wishes, meals, rides, childcare, building of a railing for our front stairs, gift cards, and so many other ways people helped. We are extremely pleased to report that Stephanie is now recovering well from her double lung transplant last August. While there were some ups and downs in the beginning, lately it has been a pretty steady upward trend. She is now driving again and while she still tires easily, she continues to be able to do more and more though she has to be vigilant about her exposure because of the immunosuppressants. We have decided to have a thank you brunch for everyone who supported our family during our time of need (details TBD), and are dreadfully afraid we will inadvertently miss someone because, during the crisis, we were focused on getting though each day not who did what. Please send an email to so we can be sure to include you and please don't be shy - we really want to show our gratitude.


Good and Welfaregoodandwelfare


It is with a heavy heart that I write of the passing of Bernard Berthold Giniger, father of our member Michael Giniger. Our deepest condolences go to Suzanne Revy and Michael Giniger.


It is with a heavy heart that I write of the passing of our member and friend, Raymond E. Riddick Jr. Our heartfelt condolences go out to Rosanne and Sage during their time of loss.

Newsletter Ads and You!


We are always looking for advertisers for the Temple newsletter. Ads can be placed at any time with special pricing for members. Ads need not be for a year so if you want to try us, we take ads for 3 months as well as six months. If you decide to continue your ad for a full year, we do pro-rate the price. As the saying goes, "Try us, you'll like us!"


Youth ScholarshipsYthScholar

Throughout the year, there are many enriching Jewish experiences available to our youth through our synagogue or the community. These include, but aren't limited to, summer camps and trips to Washington, New York, and Israel. Fortunately, there is some scholarship money available through the temple to those families in need of financial assistance for these opportunities. Please contact Margie Berenson at with any questions and/or for an application form. 

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Our New Choir Director, Michael LiuChoirDir

While he was pursuing his master's degree in piano performance at the University of Kansas, Michael developed a passion for playing the piano for vocalists and instrumentalists. As a result, he also earned a master's degree in collaborative piano. Michael was appointed as a graduate piano accompanist at Kansas University and at the University of Colorado in Boulder.


In addition to accompanying, Michael devoted himself to the world of opera and musical theater. He worked as a vocal coach and répétiteur at the Kansas Lyric Opera Theatre, the Pittsburgh Opera Theatre, and the Boulder Opera Company. He had the privilege to work with numerous conductors, including Wald Holmquist, Walter Morales, and Christopher Zemliauskas.


Michael earned his bachelor's degree in piano performance from Ohio University and his master's degree in piano performance and collaborative piano from the University of Kansas. He is currently working on his doctoral degree on collaborative piano from the University of Colorado.

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Changed Your Address?

Notify us at and we'll make sure all the right organizations at the Temple are informed. Please include your full name in your request.

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Deadline for the

July Newsletter is

Thursday, June 18.


Please send articles to  


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Join Our Mailing List
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Sisterhood Newssisterhood


I hope everyone is enjoying the long awaited warm weather that has finally arrived!


On May 5th we had a lovely evening at the temple for our annual "Dinner with the Rabbi". About 35 of us were there and enjoyed socializing with new and old friends while eating delicious food. During dessert we participated in an interactive discussion with Shoshana about Jewish values and which ones are important to us. Thanks to everyone who brought appetizers, beverages and dessert!


The annual year-end dinner is being held at John Ryan's pub in Billerica on Wednesday, June 10th at 6:30 p.m. An e-vite has been sent for this. The cost for the evening is $18.00/pp. If you are interested in attending and didn't get the invite, please email us ASAP.


Our annual pool party will take place at Debbie Arthur's home in Chelmsford on Monday, July 13th at 6:30 p.m. This is a pot-luck event.  An e-vite will go out a couple weeks before then, but mark your calendars in the meantime.


We still have an open position on the board for a programming chairperson. If you are interested please send us an email.


As always, your feedback is welcome. If you have ideas for a program you would like to see or an activity that interests you, please let us know. Also, anyone is welcome at our board meetings any time.  We meet at the temple on the first Tuesday of every month at 7:00 p.m.


Katie Ebersman, Sisterhood Board 


Click here to view the Sisterhood calendar at our Congregation Shalom website.


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Brotherhood Newsbrotherhood


Another annual Brotherhood retreat was a great success. The event is always held in Brewster, on the Cape, at Linger Longer by the Sea on the weekend before Memorial Day. We were a group of 18, arriving on Friday and officially ending Sunday. Some of us stayed through Monday without extra cost. We did golfing, rail trail biking  (22 miles long), kayaking, hiking, walking the beach directly adjacent our three cottages, or just hanging out enjoying great fellowship, music, and great food under the direct supervision of  chef Mel Starr. At less than $200 there is no greater value, but the experience is totally priceless. Sign up for next year will start soon, so reserve your spot early.


This past month, Brotherhood hosted a Bar-B-Q at the temple where attendees enjoyed recently brewed Brotherhood beer along with hamburgers and hot dogs.


Guys night out is offered to all each month. Watch for e-vite from Jon Boroshok.


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Shalom to all!


Since this is my last newsletter article, I'd like to take the opportunity to thank the community for all of the help and support that they have bestowed so willingly on the Shalomites this year. We were able to reach new heights this year thanks to the congregational community, breaking attendance records in NFTY Northeast's Spring Conclavette and bringing creative and fun programming innovations to the youth group.


The success of this group is also owed to the Shalomites' youth and adult leadership. In light of this, I am pleased to announce the incoming Executive Board, as follows:

         President: Julia Segal

         Communication and Liaison VP: Channah Powell

         Membership and Financial VP: Hannah Rosenstein

         Religious and Cultural VP: Sam Segal

         Programming VP: Abby Segal

         Social Action VP: Rachel Landress

         Recording Secretary: Megan Miller

         9th Grade Representative: Alexa Tanzer

         8th Grade Representative: Nathan Morrissey

         NFTY Representative: Ethan Karp

The Shalomites' leadership is also joined by some amazing committee heads: Maura Maguire, Caitlin Curry, Aaron Hunt, and Alyssa Stein.


Mazel Tov to all the inductees- this group is surely in passionate and capable hands!


Be on the lookout for announcements regarding Mitzvah Day and other Shalomite get togethers. After such a strong year, we're hoping to continue this participation as we move out to help the greater community at Camp Paul and make a difference together.



Hannah Muhlfelder, The Shalomites President 


Click here to view the Shalomites calendar at our Congregation Shalom website.


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Caring Yarns Yearlong ProjectCaringYarns   

Calling all knitters! We have a project for you that can be finished in one evening while watching TV. We have a pattern for making slippers for women that we will take to the Lowell Women's Shelter. The pattern comes in 3 sizes, requires size 9 needles, 2 stitch markers, a yarn needle and one skein of worsted weight (#4) yarn. You can make a few sets with this one skein.  Please click here for the pattern.

We will be working on this project through next summer. Thanks for joining us in this project.


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End of School Parties? Graduations?  


Or, if you are celebrating the sight of the green grass again and need to buy some groceries, just remember to help the temple at the same time!


Just look in the lobby on Sunday AMs during religious school or email Judy Beningson at and I will get you a card in whatever denomination you need: $25-$500! Hannaford, Stop & Shop and Donelan's all have programs to help us. THANK YOU.

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iGiveiGive for Congregation Shalom
Have you ever thought how great it would be to be able to shop online at 783 different well-known stores and still donate money to Congregation Shalom?  Well, you can do that!  It's free and easy so join those of us who have been sending donations to the synagogue for years simply by shopping by first going to the iGive website once you have established the link.  Click here to register for Congregation Shalom to automatically be the recipient cause.
If you make a purchase through iGive within 45 days of signing up, an extra $5.00 will go to Congregation Shalom.  If you have any questions, please contact Laura at


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June Yahrzeitsyahrzeits


Rose Coshnear, Marietta Finn, Barbara (Bobbie) Greenfield, Minnie Helfman, Elaine Hirsch, Gilbert Hite

Louis Kerzner, Sylvia Melnick Laider, Michelle Moarin, Eva Salgo, Leanore Shapiro



Phyllis Bass, Louise Chesno, Harry Fierverker, Catherine Holladay, Isadore Hovsha, Leonard Schwartz



Gloria Barkan, Dorothy Brahm, Jessie Ginsburg, Hyman Indorf, Linda Navy, Robert Perry, David Rosenberg, Mae Tack, Arthur Weisberger



Grace Iannini, William Lasky, Robert H. Sohn



Wilma Ruth Carrick, Josephine Dreher, Hilda Edelstein, Hy Frankel, Bernard Hovsha, Mary Rauch, Evelyn Rodman, Albert Shapiro 


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ExtendedCommunityExtended Community

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Join in on the Jewish Camp Experience this Summer!




Please click here for a summary of Jewish Summer Camps in our area.  You'll find contact info for all of them.








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From the Synagogue Council of Massachusetts ...


Join the Jewish Community for a fun-filled evening at Fenway Park for the Red Sox second annual Jewish Heritage Night on Monday, June 1, presented by the Synagogue Council of Massachusetts. The night will include special entertainment, concessions, and a Red Sox yarmulke!


Order today at:

For questions, contact Travis Pollio at





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Table of Plenty in Chelmsford

Free Dinner Served

Every Tuesday from 5:00 - 6:00 p.m.

at First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church in Chelmsford Center


All are welcome. No questions asked.

Also, if you know of someone who cannot get out,

but would benefit from a dinner being delivered to them, please contact us.


For more information contact:



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From the Visiting Nurse Association of Boston & Affiliates...


VNA Hospice Care needs volunteers! Hospice volunteers play a key role in helping to provide caring and compassion to patients and families facing life-limiting illness and loss. A volunteer may provide patients with company and emotional support, give the spouse, partner or other caregiver a needed break from care giving, and/or help caregivers run errands or get to and from appointments. A strong need exists for volunteers who can visit on weekdays. We also seek: musicians who would like to sing or play music quietly at the bedside of nursing home residents; Reiki practitioners who would like to offer Reiki to patients and/or caregivers; and people interested in visiting with their therapy dog. Volunteers who speak both English and a second language are also helpful. We provide volunteer training and ongoing support. Call 781-569-2888 and ask to speak to a Volunteer Coordinator for more information. Or email


Spiritual Poetry Journal


"Soul-Lit" is a new on-line spiritual poetry journal. A number of entries have been from Jews and have Jewish content. Writers are encouraged to submit their own poems which have a level of spiritual content to them. Two volumes have already been published.


To check out the website, please click here.


Please spread the word to members of the community who are writers / poets, and who may wish to submit their own writings.



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Please support our Congregation Shalom advertisers

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 new QPL ad Nov 2012
new Morse Bayliss ad
Dan Dubner new business card double
BethEl Cemetery
Sharon Grier Business Card 2011
Sky Meadow