NoteWorthy – 5/26/19

Joseph Girard-Meli on May 26th, 2019


Merrimack Valley Housing Partnership Celebrates 33 Years of Promoting Financial Wellness

The Merrimack Valley Housing Partnership celebrated its 33rd anniversary at the Whistler House Museum of Art. Lowell City Manager Eileen Donoghue was the guest speaker and congratulated the organization on educating and preparing 18,000 families for home ownership. Students from the Lowell Community Charter Public School’s after-school performing arts program performed an inspiring mix of Cambodian dance, African dance and drums.

The reception was MVHP’s way of thanking all of their supporters and the volunteering professionals who help teach their homebuyer workshops.


GLCF President and CEO Jay Linnehan; Christine Zinke, co-director of integrative care, Healing Garden; Margaret Koch, executive director, Healing Garden; CFNCM VP of Development and Donor Relations Linda Mack; and Brianne Carter, co-director of integrative care, Healing Garden.

Nashoba Valley Community Healthcare Fund Awards 20K Grant to Virginia Thurston Healing Garden Cancer Support Center

The Virginia Thurston Healing Garden Cancer Support Center in Harvard received a recent $20,000 grant from the Nashoba Valley Healthcare Community Fund for their Clinical Cancer Support Programs and Services.

“The Healing Garden is extraordinarily grateful for the generous support from the Greater Lowell Community Foundation and the Community Foundation of North Central Massachusetts. Knowing the financial impact that a chronic illness makes, the Healing Garden strives to provide programs and services for low to no cost to patients,” said Margaret Koch, executive director, Virginia Thurston Healing Garden.


Lawrence CommunityWorks Awarded $75,000 at United Way’s First Venture Fund Pitch Night

Four community partnerships last night became the first to win grants of up to $75,000 at United Way of Massachusetts Bay’s first-ever Venture Fund competition, held in collaboration with Aetna. The live “pitch event” featured eight finalists, narrowed from an original pool of 76 applicants, who presented their ideas to an expert panel of judges and the broader community, with four winners awarded up to $75,000 on the spot from the United Way Social Innovation Venture Fund, presented by Aetna, to implement their initiatives.

Lawrence CommunityWorks was among the awardees. The organization works to create opportunities for struggling workers to achieve financial stability by transforming local manufacturing workplaces, shifting them into bilingual environments that can hire a Spanish-speaking workforce.


Bread & Roses Awarded $100,000 Cummings Foundation Grant

Bread & Roses is excited to announce the selection by the Woburn-based Cummings Foundation to receive one of the grants through its “$100K for 100” program. Funds from this grant will facilitate the expansion of critical services for the marginalized communities of Lawrence by a minimum of 30% over the next year, and further support sustainable growth of the organization through 2022 by retaining critical staff and keeping community food outreach mobile.



MRT Announces New Directors for 2019-20 Season

Boston director Shana Gozansky will direct: The Wickhams: Christmas at Pemberley,” and Chicago director Jessica Hutchinson will helm the world premiere of “The Lowell Offering” for Merrimack Repertory Theatre’s 2019-20 season. The pair replace former Artistic Director Sean Daniels as director of these plays. Gozansky, currently directing “Barefoot in the Park” at Gloucester Stage, will take the reins of “The Wickhams: Christmas at Pemberley,” the highly anticipated counterpart to last season’s “Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley,” which became the bestselling play in MRT’s 40-year history. As the events of Miss Bennet unfold upstairs at Pemberley, the servants below find themselves in the midst of a scandal; an unwelcome visitor has stumbled into the kitchen in the middle of the night – Mr. Darcy’s nemesis and Lydia’s incorrigible husband: Mr. Wickham.

Hutchinson has served as director and dramaturge for original plays throughout the country. She served as artistic director of Chicago’s New Leaf Theatre for five years and was a co-founder of Austin’s Groundswell, a new play development company. She came to Lowell last month to direct a workshop of “The Lowell Offering,” a joint effort between MRT and Middlesex Community College.


President of Notre Dame Cristo Rey High School Maryalyce Gilfeather was honored at the YWCA Northeastern Massachusetts’ annual Tribute to Women. This event honors a select group of women living or working within their service areas (helping to foster peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all) who have made outstanding contributions in their professions and communities. “We are thrilled that Maryalyce’s unwavering commitment to Notre Dame Cristo Rey High School, its students and their families was recognized,” said Rebecca Twitchell, the school’s marketing and communications director. “Her dedication to providing the unique opportunity of college preparatory education and work study to the youth of Lawrence is so very inspiring!” (Also in photo with Gilfeather: Mayor Dan Rivera of Lawrence.)
Ocean House Management Collection recently announced the appointment of Christine Smith as general manager at The Inn at Hastings Park, the Boston area’s only Relais & Châteaux hotel. Smith joins The Inn at Hastings Park after serving as corporate director of luxury sales & strategic partnerships at OHM. She previously held the positions of director of rooms and director of guest relations for the Ocean House, a Forbes Five-Star and AAA’s only Five Diamond hotel in Rhode Island. Prior to that, she served as a manager at The Grand Del Mar Resort in San Diego, another Five Diamond property. She has served on various community boards and received her bachelor’s degree from Mercyhurst College in Erie, Pennsylvania in hotel, restaurant and institutional management. Smith succeeds Trisha Pérez Kennealy, the owner of The Inn at Hastings Park, who will continue her strategic leadership and community spokesperson role for the property.



June 1

Merrohawke Nature School invites the public to join them for their annual Touch-a-Boat event on the waterfront from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The event is free to the public and all ages are welcome. Newburyport, Mass. |

June 8

Join Essex Art Center for their New Paint Fundraiser Gala at the Lawrence Masonic Lodge starting at 6 p.m. For this year, the Essex Art Center will be celebrating their 25th anniversary. Lawrence, Mass. |

Girls Inc. of Greater Lowell will host its 26th annual Celebration of Today’s Woman Gala at 6 p.m. at UMass Lowell Inn and Conference Center. The event honors local women who make a difference in the community. Lowell, Mass. |

Attendees of the Palace Theatre’s 20th Annual Gala Event will enjoy performances by the cast of the theatre’s professional production of “Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story” while savoring delicious hors d’oeuvres and desserts from some of the best local restaurants at Manchester Country Club. Bedford, N.H. |

June 10

Lowell General Hospital will hold its 20th annual TeamWalk for CancerCare. Funds raised enable the hospital to provide assistance, support, and services to help people feel better, build confidence and instill hope throughout their battle with cancer. Lowell, Mass. |

June 14

The 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. |

Mill City GrowsAnnual Farm to Cocktail Party will take place at the Lowell Masonic Center, celebrating the spirit of community and the region’s thriving local food movement with live music, live and silent auctions, plus signature farm-inspired apps and cocktails. Lowell, Mass. |

June 15

First Lt. Derek Hines Soldiers Assistance Fund will once again be returning to Cashman Park for the 8th Annual Flag Day 5K. As before, the course will go through the beautiful city of Newburyport and will end along the water. Newburyport, Mass.

The 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 17

Join the Greater Newburyport Chamber of Commerce for its 30th Annual Golf Tournament. Registration will begin at Ferncroft Country Club at 12:15 p.m. Middleton, Mass. |

June 22

Join Merrimack Repertory Theatre for its 40th Annual Gala at the UMass Lowell Inn & Conference Center for cocktails, seated dinner, silent and live auctions, and entertainment, all in support of MRT’s educational programming. Lowell, Mass. |

June 22 – October 26

The Haverhill Farmers Market will begin its new season at the end of June and finish at the end of October. The market is held every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 51 Merrimack Street and, in addition to fresh produce, includes food demonstrations, local music and children’s activities. Haverhill, Mass. |


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