NoteWorthy – 9/16/18

Joseph Girard-Meli on September 16th, 2018

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

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mvm Style Editor Lysa Pelletier-Gibbs’ home, pictured, suffered severe fire damage in the Merrimack Valley gas line emergency on Sept. 13. A GoFundMe campaign has been set up that will support her family as they recover. Photo credit: Mary Schwalm/AP

Here’s How You Can Help in the Wake of the Merrimack Valley Gas Line Emergency

If you’re wondering how you can help after the gas line emergency that caused fires and explosions in the Merrimack Valley towns of Lawrence, Andover and North Andover, consider donating to the Lawrence Emergency Fund here. The fund, established by the Essex County Community Foundation in 2009 to provide assistance during emergencies like this one, will go to serving all three affected communities.

The mvm family would also like our readers to know that Style Editor Lysa Pelletier-Gibbs’ home suffered severe fire damage related to the gas explosions. A GoFundMe campaign has been started to help them recover; any donations would be greatly appreciated.

You can find GoFundMe campaigns set up to assist others who have been affected by the gas line emergency here.


Other ways members of the Merrimack Valley community are helping:

Pentucket Bank Establishes Fund to Assist with Merrimack Valley Gas & Fire Disaster Relief Efforts

Pentucket Bank has established the Merrimack Valley Gas/Fire Relief Fund with a $25,000 contribution from the bank to assist members of the North Andover, Lawrence and Andover communities who have been impacted by the gas explosions on Thursday.

“Our hearts go out to the residents, families and businesses that have been impacted in any way as a result of the gas explosions this week,” said Scott Cote, CEO and chairman of the board at Pentucket Bank. “The Pentucket Bank family is committed to assisting our neighbors in the North Andover, Lawrence and Andover communities as they begin to make sense of this disaster and work toward recovery.”

Pentucket Bank is inviting individuals and businesses in and around these communities to join them in these efforts by making a tax deductible contribution:

The Merrimack Valley Gas/Fire Relief Fund
C/O Pentucket Bank
1065 Osgood Street
North Andover, MA 01845


Enterprise Bank Establishes Merrimack Valley Gas Explosion Relief Fund

In an effort to assist the residents of Lawrence, Andover and North Andover who were affected by yesterday’s devastating natural gas explosion, Enterprise Bank has established the Merrimack Valley Gas Explosion Relief Fund. Enterprise Bank will match up to the first $25,000 in donations made.

“This is a time for all of us to pull together and help our friends and neighbors in the Merrimack Valley who have been so adversely affected by this tragedy,” said Jack Clancy, CEO of Enterprise Bank. “Community is a core value of Enterprise Bank, and we are deeply committed to supporting those in need in the communities we serve.”

All funds raised will help the families in our communities to meet their basic needs such as food, shelter and clothing that were lost in the recent disaster. All funds will be distributed by the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army. Checks may be made out to Merrimack Valley Gas Explosion Relief Fund.


UMass Lowell Innovation Hub Open for Professionals displaced by Natural Gas Emergency

The UMass Lowell Innovation Hub is making its workspaces and resources available to business professionals affected by the natural gas emergency in Lawrence, Andover and North Andover. The iHub’s two locations are equipped with co-working space, high-speed Wi-Fi, conference rooms, printers and other amenities.

They will be open during regular hours, Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., to professionals who need space to keep their businesses running. The iHub is located at 110 Canal St., 3rd Floor, Lowell (978-934-6343) and 2 Merrimack St., 3rd Floor, Haverhill (978-934-5560). More information on the iHub is available at


Merrimack Valley Chamber Establishes Disaster Relief Fund

To assist the victims of the disaster in Lawrence, Andover and North Andover, the Merrimack Valley Chamber of Commerce is establishing a relief fund. If you would like to donate to this cause, please send a check made out to the Lawrence, Andover, North Andover Disaster Relief Fund, C/O Merrimack Valley Chamber Foundation, 264 Essex Street, Lawrence, MA 01840. Those wishing to donate clothing and nonperishable foods may drop those items off at the Merrimack Valley Chamber building.


Other Ways You Can Help

In addition to the initiatives above, you can also help by supporting emergency relief and disaster aid organization Heal Lawrence, or by donating to the relief effort during Mill No. 5‘s The Farm Market on Sunday between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.


Local Students Named NECC Presidential Scholars

Nine local 2018 high school graduates were accepted into Northern Essex Community College’s Presidential Scholars Program, an honors program devoted to high academic achievement. In its 19th year, the Presidential Scholars Program is designed to reward motivated high school students who will be attending Northern Essex. Students are selected based on their high school academic record and recommendations from high school guidance counselors and teachers.

“Our Presidential Scholars Program targets academically motivated high school graduates who have decided to start their college education at Northern Essex,” said Lane Glenn, president of Northern Essex. “Most plan to transfer to a four-year college or university after getting an associate’s degree from Northern Essex.”

This year’s Presidential Scholars include the following (by hometown):


Emily Petrillo, Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School, General Studies: Health Specialization


Yesebel Fermin, Greater Lawrence Regional Technical School, General Studies: Health Specialization
Erika Arias, Greater Lawrence Regional Technical School, Enrolling in the Spring


Mackenzie George, Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School, Early Childhood Education
Jessica Marchand, Methuen High School, Business Manager
Rajab Wasan, Methuen High School, Liberal Arts
Amine Ekinci, Greater Lawrence Regional Technical High Schools, Hospitality Management

North Andover:

Sofia Fedele, North Andover High School, General Studies: Individualized Option

Sandown, N.H.:

Shannon Duffy, Timberlane Regional High School, Criminal Justice


Lowell Community Health Center Awarded Ambulatory Health Care Accreditation

Lowell Community Health Center (Lowell CHC) has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for Ambulatory Health Care Accreditation by demonstrating continuous compliance with its rigorous, nationally recognized standards. The Gold Seal of Approval ® is a symbol of quality reflecting the health center’s commitment to providing safe and effective patient care.

Lowell CHC underwent a rigorous, unannounced, three-day onsite survey on in May. During the review, a team of Joint Commission surveyors with expertise in ambulatory health care evaluated compliance with ambulatory care standards related to areas including coordination of care, monitoring for procedures that involve use of sedation or anesthesia, infection prevention and control, management of medications, and patient education and training. The Joint Commission review takes place every three years.



Gallagher & Cavanaugh Welcomes Two New Partners

Jay V. Lee has been practicing law for twenty years and has been with Gallagher & Cavanaugh since 2006. He practices both in MA and NH courts, counseling clients in construction, products, business, real estate, and criminal litigation matters. Mr. Lee serves as an officer and member of the Angkor Dance Troupe Board of Directors, among other community involvements.
Sheryl M. Bourbeau has been practicing law for twenty-five years and has been with Gallagher & Cavanaugh since 2004. She counsels clients in complex employment and business matters as well as personal injury litigation. Ms. Bourbeau serves as an officer and member of the Lowell Community Health Center Board of Directors, among other community involvements.


Greater Lawrence Family Health Center CEO Named to National Board of Directors

John M. Silva, president and chief executive officer of Greater Lawrence Family Health Center, was named as the Region 1 Representative to the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) Board of Directors. NACHC serves as the leading national advocacy organization in support of community-based health centers and the expansion of health care access for the medically underserved and uninsured. Region 1 includes all six New England states. Silva joined Greater Lawrence Family Health Center in 2016 as the president and CEO and led the health center’s efforts in its new accountable care model, the Merrimack Valley ACO (Accountable Care Organization), a joint effort with Lawrence General Hospital to provide coordinated care for more than 32,000 patients.


September 22

Join over 40 food, craft and nonprofit vendors at this year’s Fall Equinox Fest in Exeter, N.H. There will be live music and a full day of yoga practice. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Exeter, N.H. |

September 27

Merrimack Valley Hospice will hold a Viva Vintage Vegas fundraising event with food, wine, a beer pairing and silent auction at Black Swan Country Club from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Georgetown, Mass. |

September 30

Lazarus House Ministries’ 19th annual Hike for Hope 5K Walk will begin at 1 p.m. at The Park on Bartlet Street. Participation and fundraising efforts help provide life-saving basic services to people in crisis. Andover, Mass. |

October 1

The 26th Annual Barry Faye Memorial ​Golf Tournament to benefit CLASS, Inc. will take place at Andover Country Club starting at 10 a.m. Proceeds from the tournament help the organization create more opportunities for job training, employment, fitness and more. (978) 975-8587 ext. 1209 Andover, Mass. |

October 7

The 32nd Annual Bobby Bell 5-Mile Road Race/Walk will kick off at The Lasting Room. Walkers get a headstart at 10:30 a.m., while runners begin at 11 a.m. Haverhill, Mass. |

October 14

Strongwater Farm will hold a Harvest Hoedown featuring a beer tent, food, a hay ride, a horse demonstration and the Jimmy Connors Band. All proceeds will benefit the organization’s therapeutic programs providing education, social opportunities and emotional support to those in need in the Merrimack Valley. Tewksbury, Mass. |


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