Thursday, November 29, 2012

More on Kurn Hattin Graduate Lyssa Jackson

On this tribute by her other alma mater, Putney School...

There's a film about Lyssa Jackson that was shown at the AFP Awards ceremony in Stowe.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Victor Acquista MD, PRIME Column, 12/12

Client Victor Acquista, MD's column about Falls in the December 2012 edition of PRIME Magazine.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

For those of you who have been following my postings about Kurn Hattin Homes, particularly those about Lyssa Jackson, the KHH grad who raised money for her school and got a philanthropy award...

Steve Gilbert of the Keene Sentinel profiled Lyssa in a front page feature.

This is the spirit of Thanksgiving and philanthropy at its best.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Thursday, November 22, 2012

The Capitol Steps / Weekend Pick in the Boston Globe

Tickets for the Capitol Steps "Winners and Losers Edition" available for both performances on Saturday.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Good Press for The David Pakman Show

I'm pleased to see my client, the David Pakman Show, getting good press for some of its excellent programming and interviews.

Kurn Hattin Choir Audition Video

A recent video of the Kurn Hattin Choir, made for an audition. The perform with Natalie MacMaster on November 29 at the Bellows Falls Opera House (VT) in "A Cape Breton Christmas".

Monday, November 19, 2012

Media Release: Kurn Hattin Choir to Perform with Natalie MacMaster at Bellows Falls Opera House

DATELINE: November 19, 2012

Jaimie Scanlon
Rapt Creative
802-490-2164 (C) 802-579-8545

Mark G. Auerbach
Mark G. Auerbach Public Relations
413-733-7095 (C) 413-427-7352


Forty members of the Kurn Hattin Homes Children’s Choir have been invited to join Grammy Award winning fiddler Natalie MacMaster in her “Christmas in Cape Breton” concert at the Bellows Falls Opera House on Thursday, November 29 at 7PM.
Concert producer Jay Craven of Kingdom County Productions selected Kurn Hattin’s choir to perform several holiday songs with MacMaster, whose North American tour includes performances from local children’s choirs. “During this holiday season, the addition of the Kurn Hattin Children’s Choir reminds of the artistic riches available in our own communities, the vitality of young people, and the importance of helping others,” says Craven. The Kurn Hattin Children's choir, directed by Lisa Bianconi, performs regularly throughout the northeast.

For information on Natalie MacMaster:

For information on the Bellows Falls Opera House:

For information on Kingdom County Productions:

Tickets for Natalie MacMaster’s“Christmas in Cape Breton” are available by phone at 802-748-2600; online at and at the following locations: Village Square Booksellers, Bellows Falls or Misty Valley Books, Chester.  Information is also available by contacting Kingdom County series producer Jay Craven (

The Natalie MacMaster concert is presented in Bellows Falls by Kingdom County Productions, with generous sponsorship support from Rockingham Arts and Museum Project (RAMP), Vermont Festivals, Popolo Restaurant, and Vermont Public Radio.

Established in 1894, Kurn Hattin Homes for Children in Westminster, Vermont is a charitable home and school for boys and girls, ages 6-15, who are affected by tragedy, social or economic hardship, or other disruption in family life. Its mission: Kurn Hattin transforms the lives of children and their families forever.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

We Like to Brag About Our Clients

Here's some of our clients' upcoming activities as we move towards the holiday season.

Ongoing: The David Pakman Show. The internationally syndicated progressive political talk radio and TV show. Client: The David Pakman Show

Ongoing: Pathways to Health, an integral health community  founded by Victor Acquista, MD, author of “Pathways to Health: An Integral Guidebook”.  (Available at Client: Victor Acquista, MD

SAT: 11/24: The Capitol Steps perform “The 2012 Winners and Losers Edition” at Sanders Theatre, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA. Performances are 5PM & 8PM. Produced by our Client: The Mike Thornton Agency. Tickets: Harvard Box-Office: .

THU: 11/29: The Kurn Hattin Homes Children’s Choir performs with Natalie MacMaster in “Christmas in Cape Breton, at the Bellows Falls Opera House in Bellows Falls, VT. Client: Kurn Hattin Homes/ Rapt Creative. Tickets: by phone at 802-748-2600; online at and at the following locations: Village Square Booksellers, Bellows Falls or Misty Valley Books, Chester. For information on Kurn Hattin Homes:

SUN: 3/10/13: The Big Broadcast. Client: The Jazz Ensembles of Mount Holyoke College present their annual recreation of a 1940’s radio show with period music, commercials, skits, and songs. Chapin Auditorium, Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, MA. 2PM & 7PM Tickets go one sale after January 1, 2013.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Victor Acquista MD's latest article: Getting a Good Night's Sleep

The following ran in the 11/12/12 issue of The Westfield News. The paper's website has a paywall.

Health Wise

A health & wellness column by Victor Acquista, MD, Director Pathways Integral Health & Wellness, LLC; Author Pathways to Health: An Integral Guidebook

Getting a Good Nights Sleep

Many people have difficulty falling asleep, sleeping through the night, or getting a restful sleep. Many folks rely on prescription or non-prescription medications or herbs to help overcome their sleep difficulties. In general, I am not a fan of medications or herbs to be used in this manner; although, I do see a place for them. The basics of good sleep hygiene should be recommended as a starting point for anyone having trouble with insomnia.

In this column, I shall focus on habits and environmental factors that should be evaluated when you or a loved one are having sleep difficulties. I shall not cover medical conditions which can interrupt sleep. Conditions such as sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, or nocturia (getting up at night to urinate) should be evaluated by a medical professional as part of a strategy to improve sleep. A review of medications and non-prescription supplements should also be considered as many might have stimulants or can be activating in ways that affect sleep.


The body has a natural cycle which we refer to as a circadian rhythm. Having different schedules and erratic sleep wake cycles is disruptive to the body’s natural rhythm. A good place to start if you are having difficulty sleeping is to try and get on a regular schedule. To the extent possible, this cycle should correspond to the day-night cycle. Our bodies are naturally set to be awake during daylight and asleep at night.

Regular exercise is a good habit for many health reasons. When we are physically tired, it’s easier to sleep. However, it is not a good idea to exercise and then try and sleep. Exercise revs us up and it takes time to settle back down. In general, it is not a good idea to eat before bedtime. Among other reasons, going to bed with a full stomach tends to promote reflux of acid contents (GERD) which can interfere with sleep as well as damage the esophagus. Many people are sensitive to caffeine and caffeine like substances which are contained in foods such as chocolate and may be present in other consumables such as sports/energy drinks and diet aids. If you are having trouble sleeping it’s a good idea to avoid these. Similarly, alcohol and tobacco are generally things you should avoid if a good nights sleep is something elusive for you.


Although some of these might seem obvious, it’s a good idea to take stock of your sleeping environment focusing on sights, sounds, and comfort. Many people are sensitive to light. Even dim light can trigger an awake response in the brain and prevent sleep. In particular, blue light can be more stimulating.  Try to eliminate or cover light emitting diodes (LEDs) on your electric devices visible from your bed. If outside streetlights, flood lights or other sources of illumination are present, try to use shades or blinds to reduce the indoor lighting. You can also try night shades or patches to cover your eyes provided these do not feel too uncomfortable. Since it can be dangerous to get out of bed in a totally dark environment, have a bedside night light or flashlight available should you need to get up.

Sounds and noises can interfere with sleep. Try to reduce any noises such as ticking clocks, buzzing sounds, etc. Foam earplugs are effective and generally comfortable and can block annoying sounds. Some sounds may aide sleep such as white noise. There are inexpensive white noise generators and other devices (such as the sound of ocean waves) which may provide a better nighttime acoustic environment as-well-as block out other interfering noises.

Take stock of your mattress, blanket, and pillow. If any of these are uncomfortable they can interfere with your sleep. Many people sleep better with some weight over them as in a snug blanket. We can speculate that this feels more secure. However, some people can only tolerate a light covering. Temperature is another factor to consider and is highly individualized. If you are too hot or too cold you will not be in a comfortable sleep environment. Also consider your sleep attire and assess whether or not it is comfortable. Ventilation is another consideration. If a fan or vent is blowing on you, this can make sleep difficult. A stuffy room might also create sleep difficulties. Consider all of these environmental factors if you are experiencing trouble sleeping.

Other considerations

Many people lie in bed craving sleep while they review the troubling circumstances of their life or things that happened earlier that day. Many people lay awake thinking about what they need to do tomorrow as in the tasks, the work deadlines, responsibilities, etc. When the mind is engaged in worries, anxieties, angers, frustrations or even engaged reviewing happy and exciting things that have happened or are anticipated it makes it hard to calm down and get some rest. If mental chatter is keeping you awake, try some focusing mental techniques to help calm and quiet the mind. This can be as simple as deep breathing, especially abdominal breathing as this has a calming effect. Try focusing first on your feet and appreciate the sensations in your feet, then gradually work your way up your body thinking all the while about relaxing tight muscles. Even counting sheep is an age old trick to help reduce mental chatter and allow you to get to sleep.

Better habits to improve your sleep hygiene and more attention to environmental factors to reduce stimulation and increase comfort may go a long way in helping you achieve a restful sleep. Some simple focusing techniques to help calm your mind might also be helpful. If you continue to suffer from insomnia, check with your medical provider for more guidance.

Pleasant dreams!

Kurn Hattin Young Philanthropist Makes Headlines

Lyssa Jackson mentioned in Your Olive Branch. Front page story too.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Media Release: Kurn Hattin Grad Wins Youth in Philanthropy Award

DATELINE: November 12, 2012
Jaimie Scanlon
Rapt Creative
802-490-2164 (C) 802-579-8545

Mark G. Auerbach
Mark G. Auerbach Public Relations
413-733-7095 (C) 413-427-7352

Graduate of Kurn Hattin Homes for Children Wins Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy Award.
Awards Ceremony in Stowe, November 15th.

Lyssa Jackson, a graduate of Kurn Hattin Homes for Children in Westminster, Vt., has been awarded the 2012 Award for Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy by the Association of Fundraising Professionals’ Northern New England Chapter (AFP-NNE).

The award is given annually to an individual, ages 10–23, who has demonstrated outstanding commitment to the community through direct financial support, development of charitable programs, volunteering and leadership in philanthropy.

Jackson, currently a student at Skidmore College, will accept the award at a special luncheon during the AFP-NNE Conference at the Stoweflake Mountain Resort in Stowe, VT.  The event will take place on November 15th, 2021—National Philanthropy Day—and will be attended by more than 200 fundraising professionals from Vermont, Maine, and New Hampshire.

Having faced numerous adult-sized challenges during her early childhood, including the death of her father at a young age and coping with her mother’s mental illness, Lyssa was placed in the care of her grandmother at age 10. When her mother’s illness became more severe, the family chose to send Lyssa to attend school at Kurn Hattin Homes for Children, in Westminster, Vermont, a charitable home and school for children in need from throughout the northeast. The organization runs entirely on charitable donations. Lyssa graduated from Kurn Hattin Homes for Children in 2008 and then received a full scholarship to attend the Putney School.

Philanthropy Project
Last year, while a senior at the Putney School, Lyssa mobilized her fellow students to raise over $5,000 for Kurn Hattin Homes for Children, so she could give back to the place that she felt gave her a chance in life. “I can never fully repay Kurn Hattin for what they gave me, because what they gave me goes beyond value,” she reflected, “Kurn Hattin didn’t turn me into the person I am, but it allowed me to become the person I knew I could be.
As part of the Putney School’s 2nd Annual Community Workday, students performed manual labor tasks for residents in the community, with the proceeds going to a selected charity. Putney School students chose Kurn Hattin Homes for Children last year after a heartfelt presentation from Lyssa. She told of her hardship as a child and how a home for children just down the road helped her become who she is today.  Her classmates voted in her favor to not only support Kurn Hattin but also to support Lyssa, their friend and classmate. At the end of just one full day of hard work in the community, the group had raised $5,316 for Kurn Hattin. 

About Kurn Hattin Homes for Children
Established in 1894, Kurn Hattin Homes for Children in Westminster, Vermont is a charitable home and school for boys and girls, ages 6-15, who are affected by tragedy, social or economic hardship, or other disruption in family life. Its mission: Kurn Hattin transforms the lives of children and their families forever.

AFP of Northern New England is comprised of 230+ members from the states of New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine. The chapter organizes an annual conference every November (which rotates among the three states) and offers professional development, educational and networking opportunities to its members in all three states. The conference includes the awards ceremony, which honors individuals and groups for their outstanding philanthropic endeavors.

Credentialed media may request interviews with Ms. Jackson. If interested in attending the November 15th awards event in Stowe, media must call in advance and reserve a spot with: Jaimie Scanlon, Rapt Creative, ( or 802-490-2164

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Victor Acquista MD's "Pathways To Health" Discounted for Holiday Giving

Client Victor Acquista MD's book "Pathways to Health" price-reduced for the holidays. A great gift for you and your friends.

Hospital Serenade

The Kurn Hattin singers serenaded the school's executive director, as he recovers from surgery.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Media Advisory: Kurn Hattin Veteran's Day Celebration

November 5, 2012
Jaimie Scanlon
Rapt Creative
(W) 802-490-2164 (C) 802-579-8545



November 12, 2012
Kurn Hattin Homes for Children, Westminster, VT

Kurn Hattin Homes for Children in Westminster, Vt. will hold a special event in observance of Veteran's Day on Monday, November 12th. The Kurn Hattin children, coordinated by social studies teacher, Richard Long, will honor veterans with a full program of activities, including a Presentation  and Call to Colors, poetry and essay readings, and musical performances by the Kurn Hattin choir and band.

In addition, students will hold a candle lighting ceremony accompanied by a reading of the names of Vermont soldiers who have lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Several guest speakers from the local community, including current military personnel, will round out the program, and the event will conclude with a special luncheon.

This event is open to the public. PLEASE NOTE: Limited public seating available. Please call Heather Longe at 802 721-6916 to RSVP.

Kurn Hattin Homes for children is a charitable home and school for boys and girls, ages 6-15, who are affected by tragedy, social or economic hardship, or other disruption in family life. Its mission: Kurn Hattin transforms the lives of children and their families forever. www./


T'is The Season (Almost)

My latest blog article for "Succeeding in Small Business"

Media Release: Kurn Hattin Singers Selected for Connecticut Valley District Chorus

DATELINE: November 5, 2012
Jaimie Scanlon
Rapt Creative
(W) 802-490-2164 (C) 802-579-8545

Mark G. Auerbach
Mark G. Auerbach Public Relations
(W) 413-733-7095 (C) 413-427-7352

Students from Kurn Hattin Homes for Children Selected for Connecticut Valley District VI Chorus

Westminster, Vt.—November, 2012 | Kurn Hattin Homes for Children will be showcasing some of its most talented student singers on Saturday, November 17th at Springfield High School in Vermont.  The eighteen 7th and 8th graders, who auditioned and were selected, became members of the Connecticut Valley District VI Middle School Chorus. District VI is a division of the Vermont Music Educators' Association (VMEA) and serves all public schools in the southeast corner of Vermont.   The students from Kurn Hattin will perform with 65 other student singers from 10 schools throughout Southeastern Vermont.

The middle school performance, conducted by Terry Frey from Barre, Vermont, will take place from 3:00 pm on Saturday, November 17th and will conclude the two-day annual music festival. Kurn Hattin singers are Musa Abdi, Sairy Bernandez, Jahyde Bullard, Brianna Coble, Susanna Compare, D'Leanne Solovei, Dominic Cherbonneau, Spencer DeRose, Logen Dion, Jenitza Fernandez, CJ Hopkins, Amza Issa, Gamael Jean-Francois, Chrystal Longe, JJ Ortiz, Evany Rodriguez, Thomas Taylor, and Connor Towsley.  

Since Kurn Hattin’s inception in 1894, the music program has been an integral part the school’s curriculum. The choir and jazz band host annual invitationals, and the children perform over thirty musical engagements per year. A veteran at Kurn Hattin Homes, music program director Lisa Patno Bianconi has taught at Kurn Hattin Homes since 1985. She is responsible for teaching all general music classes, directing the marching, jazz and concert bands, as well as the beginning, select and advanced student choirs. 

Established in 1894, Kurn Hattin Homes for Children in Westminster, Vermont is a charitable home and school for boys and girls, ages 6-15, who are affected by tragedy, social or economic hardship, or other disruption in family life. Its mission: Kurn Hattin transforms the lives of children and their families forever.