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Bedford Get Together to Celebrate Community's Shared Values

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August 29, 2017
Contact:  John Messier
Phone:  540-871-0142
Bedford Get Together to Celebrate Community’s Shared Values
Bedford, VA – August 28, 2017 – Bedford Get Together, a community event to be held on October 14, 2017, 10:00 am-4:00 pm at Edmund Street Park in Bedford, will be a celebration of our shared values.  The gathering will provide an opportunity for all members of the Bedford community to greet their neighbors and learn more about one another.  Activities will feature hands-on programing for kids, teens and adults of all ages.  The day will also provide many opportunities for learning about key issues that affect our community and highlight ways that our community works to care for one another.  The day will also include a variety of food, music, art and a special story telling project.
In early 2017, a small group of Bedford residents began to gather weekly to share concerns about the polarized political climate in our country.  In a short time, and as the group grew, they came to the realization that there is so much more that unites the Bedford community than divides it and the idea for the Bedford Get Together was born.  Over 40 people from a broad cross section of Bedford community have contributed to the planning of the Bedford Get Together.
“Everywhere you turn these days, its seems that someone or something is trying to pit people against each other,” says Sara Braaten, a member of the Get Together planning team.  “However, despite our individual differences, there are so many values that we share in common.  We see this reflected every day in the missions of our churches, schools, and service organizations.” 
The group recognized the following as among the shared values in the community:  compassion, kindness, service, creativity, imagination, culture, fairness, justice, equality, family, friends, neighbors, health, wellness, harmony, honesty, integrity, respect, order, safety, security.  For the Get Together, the organizers have sought out individuals and organizations whose core mission includes these values to participate in the event.  Some of the planned activities at the Get Together include:  safety demonstrations and activities with the Town of Bedford Police Department, Bedford Fire and Rescue, and the Bedford Sherriff’s Department; yoga and meditation; health screening and wellness resources; cooking demonstrations; voter education and registration and so much more. 
The centerpiece of the event will be a story collection project called “Our Bedford Story” which invites attendees to share how the Bedford community has formed their understanding of shared values.  These recorded stories will be presented at a future event and will be archived at the Bedford Museum. 
There will also be a main stage at the event featuring local DJ and emcee Jonathan Hayden as well as a variety of local musical performers.
“Sometimes we lose sight of just how special and caring this community is,” says John Messier, spokesperson for the Get Together.  “Certainly, we may have deep political or religious differences, but we are held together as a community by the core values that we share.  This event is not about being a Democrat, Republican, Independent or a Libertarian.  It is about reminding us that we are all neighbors who work and live together. The Bedford Get Together is a non-partisan event and is supported by a wide range of individuals and organizations.”
Organizers welcome others who wished to be added to this growing list of supporters or who might want to participate in the event.  Contact Julie Stanley or Patrick Ellis ( for more participant, sponsorship or supporter information.