NoteWorthy – 4/16/17

Joseph Girard-Meli on April 16th, 2017

NoteWorthy is your weekly news roundup of happenings, movers and shakers, and community events in the Merrimack Valley.

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Rich Napolitano Honored for Advocacy Work

Rich Napolitano, senior vice president of external relations and chief development officer with Greater Lawrence Family Health Center in Methuen, has been honored by National Association of Community Health Centers with the Elizabeth K. Cooke Most Valuable Player Award. The award is named after the late Elizabeth Cooke, whose constant effort and unflagging persistence as an advocate for America’s Health Centers and their patients set an example for advocates to follow.

Napolitano joined GLFHC in January 2014. He oversees communications, public relations, development and fundraising for the center, as well as legislative and community affairs. He has represented Greater Lawrence and its patients in local initiatives such as the City of Lawrence, Mayor’s Health Task Force Executive Committee and the Lawrence Partnership. He has also advocated on behalf of health centers at the state and federal level, and has over 25 years of experience in nonprofit management roles, specifically focusing on advancement programs, strategic planning and operations.


L-r: Dr. Arthur Gonsalves, vascular surgeon; Debra Silberstein, Lawrence General board chair; Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera; Dianne J. Anderson, president and CEO, Lawrence General; Richard Santagati; Marilyn Santagati; State Senator Barbara L’Italien; Dan Tsai, assistant secretary of MassHealth.

Lawrence General Opens Region’s Most Modern Surgery Center

Surgeons, hospital staff and community and business leaders attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony on April 13 to observe and celebrate the historic opening of the Merrimack Valley’s most modern surgical center. The Santagati Center for surgery — named in honor of benefactors Marilyn and Richard Santagati — is five times the size of the current surgical service, which was built in the 1960s. The center boasts seven technology-rich operating rooms, more space and privacy in the pre- and post-surgical patient areas, an advanced and brand new Sterile Processing Department that supplies the operating rooms with equipment and supplies, and a spacious new family waiting area (due to be completed in June).

The new center, along with complete renovation of the hospital’s intensive care unit and other adult inpatient units, provides the resources that allow more patients in Northeastern Massachusetts and Southern New Hampshire to access state of the art medical care, without having to travel into Boston. The 43,000 square foot facility is a $56 million dollar investment, the single largest capital project in the hospital’s 140-year history, and the largest private investment in health care in Lawrence since the hospital opened its new Emergency Center in 2006. The Santagati Center took just shy of two years to complete, from the ground breaking to opening, and came in on-time and on-budget.


Sal Lupoli of The Lupoli Companies.

Thorndike Exchange Experience Center Opens

The Lupoli Companies celebrated the opening of its Thorndike Exchange Experience Center, located at 17 Shattuck Street in Lowell, on Wednesday with a gathering of local officials, business owners and others. Thorndike Exchange is a mixed-use development located at the former Comfort Furniture building on Thorndike Street, across from South Common in Lowell. A key feature of the development will be its direct connection to the MBTA Commuter Rail through an elevated, covered walkway, along with four planned dining establishments and office space.

The initial 62 market-rate, luxury apartments are expected to be ready for occupancy by the end of 2017, with another 90 or so planned in a new building to be constructed.

The Experience Center offers an immersive inside look at the project with a simulated residential unit created by Boston Interiors, which includes furniture, stunning architectural finishes and more. A promotional video called “The Vibe” was premiered at the event and offers viewers a unique look into what living at Thorndike Exchange will be like.


Enzo Fossella, founder of the Andover Service Club, presents the “Make a Difference Award” to Joanne and Brad Heim from Atkinson, N.H.

Brad and Joanne Heim Receive “Make a Difference Award”

The Service Club of Andover recently honored Brad and Joanne Heim with the prestigious “Make a Difference Award” at the 21st Annual Fundraising Gala Dinner & Auction at the Andover Country Club. Brad Heim, a graduate of Penn State University and Joanne Heim, a graduate of Merrimack College, have a long history of service to the community.

There’s a special place in the Heims’ hearts for The Service Club of Andover, as a mutual good friend arranged for them to meet at the Service Club Auction in 1995. They were married two years later. When not devoting their time and energy to their jobs and family, they have been very active in the community.


Back row, L-r: Doug Barry, president and CEO, Humane Society for Greater Nashua; Christopher Johnson, David Wallace, president and CEO, Lowell Five Bank; Bob Dolan, Nicole Mack, Cheryl Popp, Craig MacKenzie, Debbie Trull. | Front row, L-r: Aimee Knight, Jennifer Moura and Bentley, adoptable pet.

Lowell Five Announces Humane Society for Greater Nashua as Q1 ECGC Award Recipient

The Lowell Five Employee Charitable Giving Committee has announced that the Lowell Five Charitable Giving Award recipient for the first quarter of 2017 is the Humane Society for Greater Nashua. Lowell Five Bank CEO and President Dave Wallace, and a group of representatives from the Employee Charitable Giving Committee visited the Humane Society for Greater Nashua and presented its President and CEO, Doug Barry, with a check for $7,745. The ECGC also delivered donations of bedding, cleaning products and pet care products collected by the committee and donated by Lowell Five employees.

Each year, Lowell Five’s employees choose four charitable organizations from a list of employee elected nominees to be the recipients of a Quarterly Charitable Giving Award. The proceeds of the award are comprised of voluntary employee donations matched by the bank. The Humane Society for Greater Nashua provides hope, health and homes to over 3,000 animals each year.


Mark S. Cochran, president and CEO, Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union (middle) presents Barbara Alves (left) and Candace Gordon (right) of Marguerite’s Place with a $1,500 donation.

Marguerite’s Place Wins $1,500 From Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union

As the first quarter of 2017 came to an end, Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union closed out the first Give-A-Click campaign of the New Year with Marguerite’s Place as the latest winner. The Nashua-based nonprofit organization received a $1,500 donation from the Credit Union’s We Share A Common Thread Foundation.

Marguerite’s Place provides transitional housing, child care and a wide array of supportive services to help women and their children make their way from homelessness to permanent self-sufficiency. They assist with finances, job-training, education, community involvement, health care and more.

Local Authors Win Prestigious National Book Award

The newest book by Tom and Ellen Zappala, “The 100 Greatest Baseball Autographs,” was awarded top honors at the 29th Annual IBPA Benjamin Franklin Awards ceremony in Portland, Oregon.  The coffee table book showcases the most desirable signatures in the history of America’s national pastime while detailing the professional and personal story of the men who signed their names on the sweet spot.

Written by Tom and Ellen Zappala of Merrimac, with contributions by Methuen writer John Molori and Professional Sports Authenticator President Joe Orlando, “The 100 Greatest Baseball Autographs” features baseball greats from Ruth to Jeter and all those in between. The selections were made by highly regarded autograph experts using criteria including rarity, historical importance and popularity.



Joseph “Jody” White, of Tyngsborough, has been announced as the new chief executive officer of Lowell General Hospital and Circle Health, the integrated healthcare delivery system serving the Merrimack Valley and surrounding area. The appointment was unanimously approved by the Circle Health board of directors. White joined Lowell General Hospital in 2003 and served for 10 years as executive vice president and COO before becoming president in 2013.



Karen Holmes, West Newbury resident and owner of Holmes Physical Therapy, LLC, was the named Dance Champion of the Third Annual Stepping Out with the Valley Stars event. The event, held at the Blue Ocean Music Hall, is an annual fundraiser for Emmaus Inc., a Haverhill nonprofit that provides housing and services to homeless adults and families. More than 350 people attended the competition and more than $60,000 was raised to support various programs of the agency.



Nancy Cook was honored at the Roudenbush Community Center’s 3rd annual Person of the Year Event. Cook received the titular award due to her involvement with many nonprofit organizations in the Merrimack Valley, having given much of her time, talent, and expertise to those who need it most.




 April 19

Element Care, in collaboration with the Lowell Community Health Center, will hold a Khmer New Year Celebration from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at their 166 Central Street location in Lowell. Traditional Khmer music and dancing will be performed by students from the local charter school. Lowell, Mass. | (978) 513-7300

April 22

Every year, Groundwork Lawrence partners with Comcast to clean up the city on Earth Day. 2017 is no different: since this is the organization’s biggest community event of the year, everyone is welcome to come help clean over 30 sites around the city. Lawrence, Mass. |

April 28 – 29

Seaglass Restaurant and Lounge will be holding their 2nd Annual Coastal Arts Festival. April 28 from 6 to 9 p.m. is the Seaside Soiree Coastal Arts VIP Preview & Cocktail Reception, while April 29 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. is the Arts Festival itself. Shop from dozens of crafters offering handmade gifts, view a giant indoor sand castle by master sand sculptor Greg Grady, and enjoy live music and guest speakers. Salisbury, Mass. |

May 1 – 31

Artists who live or work in Greater Lowell are invited to submit works for inclusion in ArtUp, an innovative program that places art work by local artists throughout Lowell Community Health Center as part of a permanent collection enjoyed by patients, staff and visitors. Artists may submit work for consideration until May 31. Lowell, Mass. |

May 4

The Mental Health Association of Greater Lowell is holding its 2017 Toast to the Arts event to benefit MHA programs for children including Community and Family Counseling Services and Project C.A.R.E. The event will feature an address by Marylou Sudders, Secretary of the Executive Office of Health and Human Services. Proceeds from this event will receive a 5% match from the Rodman Ride for Kids. Lowell, Mass. |

Nashoba Learning Group‘s Expansion Campaign Gala will be held at the Boston Harbor Hotel at 6 p.m. Raise money for the organization’s work helping people with autism while enjoying dinner, auctions and a guest speaker. Boston, Mass. |

Merrimack Valley Food Bank will hold their 12th annual Grape Expectations Wine Tasting & Silent Auction at Lenzi’s from 6 to 10 p.m. In addition to a huge selection of wines and spirits to taste, attendees will enjoy hors d’oeuvres, live entertainment and a raffle. Dracut, Mass. |

May 6

LifeLinks, Inc. will host their 5th annual Champagne & Champions Kentucky Derby Party at the Vesper Country Club from 5 to 8 p.m. Catch the excitement of the race, enjoy special Derby-themed cocktails and listen to live music provided by the Dick Carpentier Quartet. Tyngsborough, Mass. |

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