The members of Citizens for Milford are thrilled to be celebrating the 10-year anniversary of the group’s founding.
Since organizing in early 2014 as a nonpartisan, volunteer organization, Citizens for Milford (CFM) has spearheaded numerous projects and events aimed at encouraging active citizen participation and improving the quality of life in our community. Over these last ten years, the group has established an annual calendar of five foundational events: Candidate Forums in March; Beautification Day in April; Draper Memorial Park Field of Flags in May, July, and November; Veterans Day Ceremony in November; and the Christmas Tree Lighting in December.
Recognizing a need to help residents get to know the candidates running for local office, CFM’s very first event, held in our inaugural year of 2014, was a forum featuring candidates in Milford’s town election. CFM has hosted annual candidate forums every year since—including by ZOOM during the pandemic—offering members of the public the opportunity to meet the candidates and pose their own questions. CFM has also hosted forums featuring the candidates running for state senator and state representative when those races are opposed. Outreach is expanded through our partnership with Milford TV, which broadcasts each forum live and rebroadcasts the forums in the days leading up to each election.
In 2015 Citizens for Milford launched its first Beautification Day, a community-wide effort held in April to pick up trash around town and beautify the community. We work in partnership with the Milford Highway Department, Milford Parks Department, volunteers from the Worcester County Sheriff’s Department Community Service Program, E.L. Harvey & Sons, and Friends of the Milford Upper Charles Trail. Many local businesses, Scouts, church groups, youth organizations, families, and individuals volunteer to help each year. In recent years the Milford Lions Club has provided freshly grilled lunches free to all volunteers.
Draper Memorial Park Field of Flags
Citizens for Milford partnered with the Milford Corps of the Salvation Army in 2016 to organize the Draper Memorial Park Field of Flags, a tribute acknowledging the service and sacrifice of our veterans and active military personnel. The Field of Flags is a stunning display of American flags placed in Draper Memorial Park on three patriotic holidays each year. Over 200 flags are displayed on Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, and Veterans Day. Each flag is sponsored in honor or memory of a veteran, in honor of an active service member, or in honor of all veterans.
Veterans Day Ceremony
With support from the Milford Veterans’ Services office, CFM organized the first Veterans Day ceremony in Draper Memorial Park in 2016. The now annual ceremony begins at the conclusion of the Veterans Day parade and features the presentation of the colors, the singing of the “Star-Spangled Banner,” comments by local veterans, and prayers led by clergy. A highlight of the ceremony the performance of the “Armed Forces Medley” by the Milford High School band.
Christmas Tree Lighting
Citizens for Milford initiated a new holiday tradition in December 2015 when we worked with the Parks Department and tree warden to plant a Christmas tree in Draper Memorial Park. The Tree Lighting ceremony that year was short and sweet, but has grown over the succeeding years to include a holiday carol sing-along led by the Greater Milford Community Chorus, visits with Santa Claus, free cookies baked by the Milford Public Schools Food Services department, and free cocoa and chili served by Milford’s Red Heat Tavern.
Special Projects and Events
Other special projects and events we have coordinated include collaborating with the Milford Medal of Liberty committee to present the 2017 and 2018 award ceremonies; advocating for the revitalization of Milford’s two war memorial parks (Calzone Park and Draper Memorial Park); creating the Milford TV special programming event Confronting the Challenges of COVID-19 at Milford Regional Medical Center: Honoring Our Healthcare Heroes, a tribute to our community’s healthcare professionals; initiating the creation of the Town Meeting Working Group to advocate for changes in Town Meeting; and the hosting of special “Conversations with our Legislators” events, such as the “Conversation with Kennedy” in 2016.
Working together with town entities, community groups, Milford businesses, and media has been a priority in all that we do. In fact, we completely acknowledge that we could not carry out our projects without the support and help of the community.
As we initiate our plans for our eleventh year, we would like to share our sincerest gratitude to all our friends, neighbors, partners, and dedicated volunteers. With your support and participation these last ten years, we have created a solid foundation of community events and traditions that we look forward to hosting for years to come.
Our 2024 CALENDAR OF EVENTS is posted on the top-right of this page. We invite you to join us!