NoteWorthy – 5/28/17

Joseph Girard-Meli on May 28th, 2017

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

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L-r: Emmaus Director of Philanthropy Gretchen Arntz; Health and Wellness Educator AmeriCorps VISTA Volunteer Annapurna Ravel, Coordinated Entry Program Manager Tammy Guerrero, Executive Director Jeanine Murphy, Controller Diane Moran, Associate Director Leslie Lawrence and Chief Financial Officer Steve Donahue.

Emmaus Receives $100,000 Grant from Cummings Foundation

Emmaus Inc. has announced that it is one of 100 non-profits in Eastern Massachusetts to be awarded a $100,000 grant from the Cummings Foundation as part of their annual “$100K for 100” grant initiative. This grant, which will be payable over three years, will allow Emmaus, a nonprofit community housing development organization located in Haverhill, to hire a street outreach worker to engage, assist and connect unsheltered adults to housing and community services in the Lower Merrimack Valley, focusing initially on Haverhill, Amesbury and Newburyport.

“We are so thankful to The Cummings Foundation for this grant award,” said Emmaus Executive Director Jeanine Murphy. “It will give Emmaus the opportunity to take our level of service to those in most need to the next level and enable us to seek solutions for the most difficult to serve within the homeless population—those who live on the streets.”


Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera with Groundwork Lawrence Green Team members.

Groundwork Lawrence Open House Showcases New Island Street Office

Groundwork Lawrence recently welcomed community members and supporters to an open house at their new office, Learning Kitchen and programming spaces located at 50 Island Street.

The new GWL office includes a Learning Kitchen and programming space. The Learning Kitchen and a walk-in cold storage will allow for GWL’s Green Team youth and farm staff to come directly from Costello Urban Farm and store fresh produce for sale at the organization’s farmers markets, donation to local food pantries and for use in GWL’s healthy cooking classes. With the Learning Kitchen, the nonprofit is expanding its community cooking classes focused on healthy and culturally relevant recipes for adults and families and its popular Fresco Cooking Club.

The expansion and move has been a collaborative effort. GWL partnered with Lawrence CommunityWorks in building out the new space in phase one of their Union Crossing project.

“We are excited about the opportunities the new space provides,” said Executive Director Heather McMann. “The space provides great flexibility for our Green Team, Urban Adventures and other youth programming, for expansion of our healthy cooking classes, educational and job training programs.”


Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union Sponsors 2017 Football For YOU Clinic In Lowell

On Saturday, May 20, hundreds of Lowell area youth joined players from the New England Patriots Alumni at the UMass Lowell Cushing Athletic Complex to participate in “Football For YOU.” Sponsored for the fourth year by Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union, “Football For YOU” is a one-day, free football clinic, open to boys and girls, ages 9-14, of all skill levels.

More than 300 children registered for this event, presented by the New England Patriots Alumni Club. Patriots Alumni Ilia Jarostchuk, Rick Buffington, Jim Bowman, Steve Nelson, Steve King and Alumni Club President, Pete Brock, coached the kids in non-contact strength and conditioning exercises. Participants ran agility exercises across the field, maneuvering around cones, they were challenged to ladder jumps, and even practiced defensive blocks against pads.

The clinic also focused on education for parents and guardians which included topics such as nutrition, strength training, leadership and sportsmanship. A nutritious lunch was served to all participants.


Seated, L-r: Katie Dewey Rosenfeld; Jessica Caron; Sydnia Hayden and Ashley Serpa.
Standing, L-r: Colleen McKenna; Sen. O’Connor Ives and Katie Pietrzak, vice president, outpatient and children’s behavioral health for Lahey.

Senator Kathleen O’Connor Ives Meets with Lahey Clinicians

Mass. Senator Kathleen O’Connor Ives recently met with a team of Lahey Health Behavioral Services clinicians in Haverhill. Her May 19 visit was in recognition of National Mental Health Awareness Month. During her visit, Sen. O’Connor Ives learned about Lahey’s mental health services for local children and families. She also discussed how area residents can continue to access needed care.

The clinical team provides home-based and outreach (home or school) services for families in 13 towns across the lower Merrimack Valley. Currently, the Haverhill-based group has 84 local families in their care. In addition to the family-therapy team, Lahey operates an adult day treatment center at 200 Main Street and a mobile crisis emergency team at 62 Brown Street.

Merrimack Repertory Theatre Secures Education Funding

Merrimack Repertory Theatre has successfully raised $47,000 over the last month during performances of “My 80-Year-Old Boyfriend,” exceeding its goal of $35,000 which is being matched dollar-for-dollar by two anonymous donors. The campaign brings $82,000 in vital funds to the company’s education programs, and is the largest matching challenge grant in MRT’s history.

The $47,000 was raised in small contributions by many individuals. Much of it came in through collection boxes inside the theater lobby following performances of “My 80-Year-Old Boyfriend” from April 26 through May 21. Charissa Bertels, the star of the show, played a significant role in the fundraising effort, directly asking audiences to contribute after every performance.


Olu Ibrahim of Kids in Tech, Inc. has been selected as a finalist for the 2017 Nonprofit Excellence Awards. Ibrahim is being honored for her success as the founder of Kids in Tech, a Lowell nonprofit startup whose mission is to create the next generation of tech innovation leaders in mid-sized cities through after-school programming. She knows from experience that early engagement is key in developing tech talent, having helped her father build their first family computer at age 7. Under her leadership, Kids in Tech launched its first program, after-school tech clubs, partnering with school districts and youth development organizations to provide hands-on tech learning projects led by trained STEM professionals and educators for children ages 8 to 14. The Excellence Awards will be presented at MNN’s annual celebration of Nonprofit Awareness Day at the State House on June 5.

Michael Doane of Lowell received a $7,500 scholarship – the highest amount awarded – from the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation in recognition of his outstanding research contributions at UMass Lowell and during a National Science Foundation program he attended last year. Named in memory of the longtime U.S. senator, the award is presented to college sophomores and juniors in good academic standing who are pursuing research careers in the natural sciences, mathematics and engineering. Doane, 32, arrived at UMass Lowell from his hometown of Hayward, Calif., in 2014, about a year and a half after he lost his mother to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. An Honors College student, he is majoring in chemical engineering and biology, with minors in biomedical engineering, mathematics and physics.


June 2

The 20th Annual JD Golf Classic will be held at Merrimack Golf Club at 7 a.m. This golf tournament supports the JD Fund, which provides scholarships to graduating seniors pursuing careers in the arts. It was set up to honor the memory of JD, Joseph Anthony Daniels, who was killed by a hit-and-run driver in 1997. Methuen, Mass. |

June 4

Merrimack River Feline Rescue Society will host its 22nd annual Strut for Strays Walk & Festival to raise money for cats and kittens in need. The event will take place from noon to 3 p.m., rain or shine, at Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm. Newbury, Mass. |

June 8

Essex Art Center will hold New Paint: REIMAGINED, a party to celebrate local artists and raise funds for Essex Art Center’s programming. The event includes music, delicious food, fine wines and an exclusive silent auction including art work from local and regional artists in a variety of media. Andover, Mass. |

The Palace Theatre will hold its 18th Annual Gala Event at the Manchester Country Club. The evening will include performances by the Palace’s cast of “Million Dollar Quartet” while attendees savor hors d’oeuvres from local restaurants. Bedford, N.H. |

June 9

The 14th annual Northeast Independent Living Program Golf Tournament for Independence will be held at the Merrimack Valley Golf Club at 7 a.m. Funds raised will allow NILP continue to provide services and advocacy to people with disabilities who wish to live independently in the community. Methuen, Mass. |

June 10

First Lt. Derek Hines Soldiers Assistance Fund will hold its 6th Annual Flag Day 5K at Cashman Park. Stick around after the race for a reception with live entertainment and food. Newburyport,

June 14

Mill City Grows will hold a Farm-to-Cocktail Party at UTEC from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. to benefit the organization’s school-based food access and food education programs. Lowell, Mass. |

June 17

The 42nd annual Strawberry ‘n’ Arts Festival will be held at First Parish Church United from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event is free and features food, crafts, and live entertainment. Westford, Mass. |

June 18

The Seacoast Running Festival will be held starting at 8 a.m. Three different races are available: the Anna Jaques Father’s Day 5K, the Wall’s Ford 10K and the North Shore Half Marathon. Stay for Fathers Day brunch on the SurfSide deck after the race! Salisbury,

June 23

CLASS, Inc. will host the 4th annual Community Partners with CLASS donor and awards celebration at The Stevens Estate from 6 to 11 p.m. Attendees will celebrate under the stars with a Hawaiian-style luau, island-inspired drinks and music from the B Street Bombers. North Andover, Mass. |

June 24 – October 28

The Haverhill Farmers Market kicks off its next season at 40 Bailey Boulevard. The market is held every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and, in addition to fresh produce, includes food demonstrations, local music and children’s activities. Haverhill, Mass. |

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