NoteWorthy – 12/3/17

Joseph Girard-Meli on December 3rd, 2017

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

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AROUND THE VALLEY

L-r: Steve Kelley, Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera and Natasha Ballou.

Lifelong Lawrence Residents Steve Kelley and Natasha Ballou Inducted Into Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence Alumni Hall of Fame

Steve Kelley, associate director of the Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence, and Natasha Ballou, a vice president at J.P. Morgan Corporate & Investment Bank, were recently inducted into the Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence Alumni Hall of Fame. Ballou is only the second female inductee at the club, which began serving girls in 1990. The Alumni Hall of Fame was established to honor the personal and professional achievements of some of the club’s notable alumni. This recognition inspires youth members who are striving to make their own mark in the community and beyond.

“We congratulate our two new inductees, Steve Kelley and Natasha Ballou, who join the 69 previous members of our Alumni Hall of Fame,” said Markus Fischer, executive director of the Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence. “For our kids, the names on the Alumni Hall of Fame wall signify that the way to a better life is through hard work. Such positive role models are critically important, and we are fortunate to have so many representing the best of what the Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence stands for.”

Kelley, associate director of the Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence, became a club kid at age 10 and never left. A beloved basketball coach and father figure, he recently celebrated his 51st year as an integral employee of “Kelley’s Club” named in his honor in 2000.

Ballou joined the Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence at age 10 when her working parents needed a safe place for her to stay after school. In addition to playing basketball and volleyball, she was an active member of the Keystone Club, through which she assisted with the supper program and performed community service projects. Ballou, who earned Girl of the Year honors, credits those early leadership experiences with developing her entrepreneurial spirit and other best practices that have proven valuable throughout her career.

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NoteWorthy - 12/3/17Cedardale Breaks Ground on New Facility

On Monday, Nov. 20, Cedardale Health & Fitness, in conjunction with Mailloux Brothers Construction of Methuen, MA and S3 Design of Braintree, Mass., hosted a groundbreaking ceremony marking the initial stage of reconstruction after a March 1 fire destroyed a significant portion of the original building. The new 140,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility will incorporate many of the familiar favorites of the old club, including a 4-lane lap pool, 10-indoor tennis courts, two basketball courts and several group fitness studios. Cedardale was the largest multipurpose membership-based health, fitness and recreation facility in New England prior to the fire, operating for over 45 years and home to over 4,000 members.

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L-r: Isabella Reynoso, Heather McMann, Chet Sidell, Litzie Alvarez, Kate O’ Brien, Marianne Paley Nadel and Maggie Super Church.

Groundwork Lawrence Glow Gala Raises $140,000

Groundwork Lawrence has called their 2017 Glow Gala their “most successful to date.” Nearly 350 people raised a record-setting $140,000 toward the organization’s mission of “bring[ing] about the sustained regeneration, improvement and management of the physical environment by developing community-based partnerships which empower people, businesses and organizations to promote environmental, economic and social well-being.” The organization hopes to raise $10,000 more to reach their goal. This year at the gala, they launched the Sidell Impact Fund, honoring longtime friend Chet Sidell’s lifelong dedication to the city of Lawrence.

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Mill City Grows Awarded Community First Grant to Increase Healthy Food Access In Lowell

Whole Cities Foundation, an independent nonprofit foundation established by Whole Foods Market, awarded Lowell-based Mill City Grows a $5,000 Community First Grant to fund healthy eating initiatives in the city. Mill City Grows is using grant funds to transform the local food system in Lowell by improving fresh food access and nutrition education resources for local residents, and produces a combined 30,000 pounds of produce each year.

Now in its second year, the Community First Grant Program aims to support partnerships between Whole Foods Market Team Members and community-led organizations working to increase access to healthy food and nutrition information in their communities. The grant awarded to Mill City Grows in Lowell is part of a $220,000 investment in 44 organizations in 40 cities across 26 states. Projects funded this year include urban farming projects, mobile produce markets, and educational programs for healthy eating, gardening and agricultural skills.

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COMMUNITY CALENDAR

December 4

Northern Essex Community College’s Women of NECC will host its annual holiday luncheon with guest speaker Boston journalist Maria Stephanos on 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Andover Country ClubAndover, Mass. | NECC.Mass.edu

December 7

Lowell Community Health Center will host its third annual Winter Mixer from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Enjoy food with catering by UTEC, music by Harry and the Squires of Soul, raffles, and general merriment. The mixer is a great way to kick off the holiday season. Proceeds will benefit the health center’s Teen BLOCK program, which supports the healthy development of young people and empowers them to become leaders in the community. Lowell, Mass. | TrailBlz.info

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Know something NoteWorthy we should include? Email Joseph Girard-Meli at jgirardmeli@512mediainc.com with your news tips.

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