NoteWorthy – 6/18/17

Joseph Girard-Meli on June 18th, 2017

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

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Middlesex Community College President James Mabry and David “Big Papi” Ortiz.

2017 Middlesex Celebrity Forum Welcomes ‘Big Papi’

Middlesex Community College President James C. Mabry recently welcomed David Ortiz, retired Red Sox designated hitter, to the Lowell Memorial Auditorium stage for the 19th annual MCC Celebrity Forum. “Big Papi,” as he is affectionately known by Red Sox fans, was interviewed by WBZ-TV’s Dan Roche. Proceeds from Celebrity Forum support MCC Foundation student scholarships.

Since 2004, $304,500 in Celebrity Forum Scholarships has been awarded to 122 Middlesex students. In addition, the MCC Foundation annually awards more than $100,000 in other student scholarships. Presenting sponsor of all 19 Celebrity Forum events is The TJX Companies Inc.


Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft and Patriots and Pro Football Hall of Famer Andre Tippett congratulate Tim Grover from Megan’s House Foundation for being selected as a 2017 Myra Kraft Community MVP Award second prize winner.

Kraft and Patriots Donate $200,000; Tim Grover of Megan’s House Among Recipients

Every year since 1998, the Kraft family and the New England Patriots have been celebrating those who give their time to help others. The program was originally known as the Community Quarterback Awards, and were presented to those who exemplify leadership, dedication and a commitment to improving their communities through volunteerism.

Back in 2011, the awards were renamed in honor of the late Myra Kraft, who committed her life to volunteering. As part of the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation’s ongoing Celebrate Volunteerism initiative, the Kraft family hosts a special luncheon each year to show their appreciation for local volunteers.

On Thursday, June 8, 26 volunteers were recognized for their contributions at an awards ceremony at Gillette Stadium. Fifteen local volunteers received a $5,000 grant for the nonprofit organization for which they volunteer. Ten others received grants of $10,000 for their New England-based nonprofit and one grand prize winner was presented with a $25,000 grant for their charity.

Tim Grover of Lowell, Mass., was selected as one of this year’s $10,000 second prize winners. Megan Grover was a beautiful young woman who had fallen victim to substance abuse when she was a teenager. She struggled with this addiction for years and sadly lost her battle in December of 2014. She was just 26 years old.

“The Megan House Foundation is extremely honored that our Founder and President, Tim Grover, was chosen as a Myra Kraft Volunteer Award recipient,” said Deb Belanger, Executive Director of Megan’s House Foundation. “Tim’s efforts, in his daughter’s memory, to educate and change the way society looks at addiction is an inspiration to us all. He and Megan’s House are truly making a difference in the lives of young women.”


L-r: Notre Dame Cristo Rey High School Class President Maya Concepcíon, salutatorian Alany Rodríguez-González and valedictorian Hanhnguyen H. Nguyen.

Notre Dame Cristo Rey Grads Awarded Over $9M in Scholarships

Graduates in Notre Dame Cristo Rey High School’s Class of 2017 have been awarded $9,000,000 in scholarships over four years from the colleges and universities to which they applied. Other interesting and notable facts about the class, which numbers just 67 students: they had an 100 percent acceptance rate into universities, and among the entire group, received over 100 letters of acceptance to colleges throughout the U.S.

Located in Lawrence, Notre Dame Cristo Rey High School is a Catholic institution that provides affordable, culturally sensitive, college preparatory education enhanced by professional work experience for young men and women from families with limited income.


L-r: Emma Brown, Susan Brown, Laura Marie, Luise and Larry Cancro, Rita Gardner, president and CEO, Melmark

Melmark New England Dedicates Center for Adults with Autism

Melmark New England, a service division of Melmark, Inc. and a leader in educational, clinical and residential services for children and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders and other intellectual and developmental disabilities, proudly celebrated the conclusion of its Promises to Keep capital campaign. Raising more than $22.18M from 4,354 donors across both service divisions, MNE recently held a reception for donors, volunteer leadership and friends of the organization.

The surprise highlight of the celebration was the dedication of MNE’s Riverwalk, Lawrence site as The Cancro Center for Adult Services, in honor of Andover’s own, Larry and Luise Cancro. The Cancros first brought their daughter, Lisa, to MNE on September 11, 2001; a memorable day for the nation as well. The family was searching for an evidence-based solution as other public and private educational programs had failed to help their daughter. Today, Lisa is a happy and engaged member of MNE’s adult community.


MRT founder Nancy Donahue dances at the 2017 Set the Stage Celebration. Photo by Meghan Moore.

Merrimack Repertory Theatre Raises Record Amount for Education at Auction

Merrimack Repertory Theatre raised $100,398 at the 2017 Set the Stage Celebration for its education programs. It is the most the 38-year-old theatre company has ever raised for its education offerings. The event was held at the UMass Lowell Inn and Conference Center on June 9.

The revenue from the event will support MRT’s two education programs: Student Matinees, which bring students from across the region to see MRT show; and Young Company, which has students tell their own stories in summer sessions, and stay connected with MRT all year long.


Mackenzie Barry, Julia Keenan, Daria Bakhtiari, Sarah Berube, Connor Gibbons, Sarah Gnerre and Laura Rossi of Anna Jaques, Deysha Santiago, Abby McMahon, Kailee Deabay (rear) and Erin McGinley.

Central Catholic High Students Raise $16,500 for Anna Jaques Cancer Center

Students from Central Catholic High School in Lawrence presented Laura Rossi, director of oncology services, and Sarah Gnerre, vice president of development, with a $16,500 check for the Anna Jaques Cancer Center affiliated with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center that was raised from the annual Catwalk4Cancer.

The annual event, which was founded by a Central Catholic student in 2008, was organized and hosted with the help of more than 250 students. More than 1,000 people, including students, families, faculty members, and friends from local business and the community, gathered to raise funds to help eradicate cancer and to support those fighting cancer.


L-r: Jean Poth, Betty Jaffe, Jill McCann, Geri Murphy and Carole O’Connor.

Women of Northern Essex Community College Raise Funds for Student Scholarships

More than 70 guests of the Women of Northern Essex Community College attended the 21st annual June fundraising event. Held at a private home in Boxford, the event featured cocktails, a buffet dinner, a silent auction and a raffle. Over $8,000 was raised for student scholarships.

The Women of Northern Essex Community College is a volunteer organization dedicated to assisting Northern Essex Community College and its students. The organization generates funds for student scholarships and special projects by conducting a variety of fundraising events throughout the year, including a Fall Membership Tea and a June Gala Open House event.


Visionaries in Educating Entrepreneurs Join Forces at Deshpande Symposium

More than 300 people came to UMass Lowell this week to further the role that educational institutions play in training the next generation of entrepreneurs to fuel the economy here and abroad. An estimated 27 million Americans are starting or running new businesses, and the Deshpande Symposium for Innovation and Entrepreneurship was launched by UML and the Deshpande Foundation to support efforts to train the next generation of entrepreneurs and help startups survive and thrive.

Now in its sixth year, the symposium attracted educators from across North America and as far away as India to UMass Lowell to participate in more than two dozen sessions across four tracks (ecosystems, curriculum, commercialization and trends), and to hear from speakers including Deshpande Foundation co-founder and tech entrepreneur Gururaj “Desh” Deshpande and UMass Lowell Chancellor Jacquie Moloney.



June 21

Attend an upcoming Open House and Site Tour at the Hamilton Canal Innovation District (HCID)  on Wednesday, June 21 from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at the UMass Lowell Innovation Hub. The City of Lowell will showcase the fifteen acre redevelopment site located at the gateway to the city’s downtown area. Lowell, Mass. |

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

A boxing exhibition titled Knockout Addiction II will take place at Fist Fitness Gym in Westford. The event benefits Megan’s House, and local legend Micky Ward will serve as special guest referee. A 50/50 raffle will also be held. Westford, 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. |

July 17

Over 200 golfers will converge on Andover Country Club in support of Lazarus House at their Drive for Dignity. In addition to golf, attendees will have the opportunity to enjoy lunch, dinner and both live and silent auctions. Andover, Mass. |

July 22

The Concord Chamber of Commerce will hold a Sizzlin’ Summer Sidewalk Sales event in Concord Center. Over 50 city businesses participate in this special event each year, offering special prices for one day only. Concord, Mass. |

Nashoba Learning Group will begin its 16th annual Bikeathon at 2 Crowell Farm Road. 25- and 50-mile options are available. Note that this year, the 2-mile Walkathon around Walden Pond will not be taking place. Concord, Mass. |

British Cars of New Hampshire will return to the Alvirne Hill House Field for the 21st annual “Show of Dreams” to benefit the Hopes Foundation of New Hampshire and the New Hampshire Food Bank. Hudson, N.H. |

The MSPCA at Nevins Farm will hold its 5th annual “Tails & Ales” Craft Brew Tasting. Nearly three dozen beers will be available for tasting, and food trucks will provide some hearty grub. The real focus, of course, will be on the organization’s selection of adoptable animals. Methuen, Mass. |


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