Welcome to “News & Notes,” where we look at the happenings here in Westchester County…

Let’s start off with some thoughts on the marvelous month of March. I hope we all get through the Ides of March with no ill effects; we remember to spring ahead on March 14 at 2 a.m.; and survive the green beer on St. Patrick’s Day. Cheers to this week’s “March Madness” edition of “News & Notes.”

I’ve been resting my stomach in anticipation for the 12th annual Chili Cook-off hosted by the Katonah Chamber of Commerce from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, March 19. Each ticket gets you a lovely limited-edition reusable jute bag, eight chili samples, toppings, bread from LMNOP Bakery, sweet floral gift from Wild Fig Floral, and other sides from local sponsors. They recommend one ticket per person, but if you do share with another, they kindly ask for only one vote per ticket.

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Caramoor has released their schedule for livestreams from the Music Room for the 2021 season. The March 21 stream has Dashon Burton, an original member of the innovative Grammy-winning vocal ensemble, Roomful of Teeth. Burton is known for his nobility and rich tone. His wide-ranging program with pianist David Fung combines Schumann’s complete “Dichterliebe” with works by John Dowland, Charles Brown, Florence Price, Margaret Bonds, Ernest Charles, and William Bolcom, as well as a set of spirituals. Following the concert, there will be a Q&A with Burton and Fung, including an opportunity for the audience at home to ask questions, moderated by Caramoor’s artistic director, Kathy Schuman.

In cooperation with the town of Bedford, our wonderful public libraries in Katonah, Bedford Hills, Bedford Village, Pound Ridge, and Mount Kisco are encouraging residents of all ages to join in a Community Read of “Just Mercy” by Bryan Stevenson through March 15.  A Community Read is an open reading experience that engages people within a region to join together as neighbors focused on a single book. Adults and teens within the Bedford Central School District and Katonah are invited to participate.

Our friends at the Community Center of Northern Westchester have once again come up with a very cool way to give back to our community. COVID-19 has made it difficult for many of us to enjoy dining out as frequently as before the health crisis. Imagine what a difference the money saved on all these dinners out could make for local families struggling to put food on their tables.  When you donate to the center’s “Give from the Heart” fund, you provide hot meals to hungry families. A generous donor wants to reduce hunger in our community and has offered to match donations to this fund up to $10,000. If you give by March 31, your donation will be doubled. Now, that’s what I call exciting.

Here is a “roar” out to my fellow Bedford Hills Lions Club members who recently held a “Have a Heart” food drive with the cooperation of DeCicco’s Family Market of Katonah. The outpouring of support from the community was overwhelming, with over 600 pounds of food items and cash donations collected for the Community Center of Northern Westchester. Way to go!

Cheers to a happy and hopeful spring, and a big thank you to all essential personnel who are on the job: health care workers, first responders, truck drivers, grocery store workers—anyone out there on the front line—thank you for your dedication, your service, and being there for all of us!

I would like to wish everyone a very happy and safe St. Patrick’s Day. May the road rise to meet you, may the wind be always at your back, may the sun shine warm upon your face, and the rains fall soft upon your fields. See you all soon.