AROUND THE VALLEY
Baker Sets Vaccine Mandate for Long-Term Care Staff
Under a new mandate rolled out by the Baker-Polito administration, Massachusetts long-term care workers will be required to get fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Oct. 10.
The Executive Office of Health and Human Services announced that skilled nursing facilities and the two state-run soldiers’ homes must ensure that all personnel, including those employed directly or by contract, are fully vaccinated to help protect older residents.
Massachusetts has 378 level one to level three skilled nursing facilities and two soldiers’ homes, who serve older adults more vulnerable to COVID-19, that will be covered by the mandate. The administration said Wednesday that 155 of those facilities had less than 75 percent of their staff fully vaccinated as of Monday.
Workers who are not yet vaccinated must receive a first dose by Sept. 1 and be fully vaccinated by Oct. 10 to comply with the new requirement. Anyone with medical restrictions or with sincerely held religious beliefs that prevents them from receiving vaccines will be exempt from the mandate.
The Edge Group Announces Merger with Lawrence’s Bell Tower Management
The Edge Group Inc. announced a merger with Bell Tower Management of Lawrence and will be expanding its services, staff and coverage area. The following statement was issued by Fred Faust of The Edge Group and Gary Sidell of Bell Tower Management LLC:
“This consolidation of our companies will enhance our services, from property management to brokerage and consulting. In terms of areas of service, we will now be able to work together in a coordinated fashion to cover the Merrimack Valley and Southern New Hampshire. On a personal basis, we have worked together informally for over 15 years and appreciate each other’s skills, experience and care for community.”
While keeping his existing role with current clients, Sidell will also assume overall responsibility for property management and administration, while Faust will now focus on brokerage and consulting. The Edge Group staff will remain in their current positions in the Lowell office.
Inspiring the Art of Community with ‘Imagina Arte’
Saturday, Aug. 21, marks the the grand reopening of Essex Art Center (EAC) under the new leadership of Monica Manoski. In celebration of the event, the street will close down for a block party featuring over 180 local works of art on display, live performances and activities.
To celebrate EAC’s work and highlight Lawrence’s creative community, Creative Collective and MassDevelopment TDI are hosting “Imagina Arte,” a collaborative after-party and pop-up art gallery.
This after-party is the third installment in the “Imagina Essex” series that features immersive exhibitions intended to inspire both residents and property owners of the possibilities that lie within vacant spaces in Lawrence’s downtown. To learn more about Imagina Essex and Creative Collective, click here.
GLCF’s Women Working Wonders Fund Awards More Than $56,000
The Women Working Wonders (WWW) Fund, a permanently endowed fund of the Greater Lowell Community Foundation (GLCF), has announced the recipients of $56,800 in grants. These grants will support local nonprofit programs that empower women and girls to effect positive change in the community.
WWW provides annual grants in three key areas: assist women in transition, provide leadership development, and contribute to the beautification of the environment.
Recipients of 2021 WWW grants include:
- Budget Buddies for New Workshop for Women: Financial Health for Families with Children
- Challenge Unlimited for Equine Encounter: Healing to Leadership for Girls and Women
- Coalition for a Better Acre for Sewing Training Program
- Girls Inc. of Greater Lowell for Leadership Academy
- Refuge Lowell for Girls and Young Women Creating Community Through Public Art
- International Institute of NE for Creating New Avenues for Success (CNAFS)
Jaffarian Volvo Cars Awarded 2020 Volvo Excellence Award
Jaffarian Volvo Cars received the Volvo Excellence Award from Volvo Cars USA in 2020. The award, which Jaffarian has won this four out of the last five years, recognizes those who deliver exceptional results in all aspects of a dealership’s operations.
The award qualifications include exceeding sales expectations, customer satisfaction for sales and service, achieving outstanding parts and accessories sales, and ensuring that each employee meets Volvo’s training requirements.
Beyond Walls in Search of Lowell Artists
This summer, Beyond Walls and Project LEARN are planning site-specific street art installations in Lowell and are calling for local, regional, national and international artists who are interested in collaborating with them for this project. Artists will have the opportunity to be a part of prioritizing Lowell’s creative and culturally enriched ecosystem.
Those interested in applying to join the initiative should fill out this form by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 18.
MOVERS & SHAKERS
MCC Professor and Alumna Awarded for Public Health Nursing
Gail Johnson, a public health nurse at the Westford Health Department and instructor of nursing at Middlesex Community College (MCC) received the Presidential award from the Massachusetts Association of Public Health Nurses (MAPHN). Johnson, who began her nursing education at MCC and earned a bachelor’s degree at the University of Massachusetts Lowell in 2014, worked as a registered nurse at the Rehabilitation Hospital in Woburn for 22 years. For the past seven years, she has been working at the Westford Health Department. Johnson became an adjunct professor at MCC in 2017 where she works with students in the simulation lab. After working at the bedside of her patients for over 20 years, she is happy to now educate her community about the importance of health in all different aspects.
The Edge Group and Bell Tower Management Hire Sales Associate and Property Manager
Vladimir Saldana of Lowell was recently hired as by the Edge Group and Bell Tower Management as sales associate and property manager. Saldana graduated from University of Massachusetts Lowell (UML) with a B.S. in business finance and management. He recently earned a certificate in project management from UML and graduated from the LEADS Fellowship Program. He is also a former staff member to U.S. Rep. Lori Trahan and was previously employed by Lawrence Community Works.
Amesbury’s Shop Local-Opoly
Amesbury businesses and non-profits have teamed up to organize “Shop Local-Opoly,” encouraging the community to shop local. For the entire month of August, community members can participate in this game, where thirty-two businesses and nonprofits each signed up for a space — called a “property” — on the monopoly-like game board. While the game supports many local businesses, each category also has a property that can only be earned through a $5.00 donation to a particular nonprofit. Click here to access the game board.
GWL Greenway 5k
This year’s Groundwork Lawrence (GWL) Greenway 5K walk/run event will happen both remotely and in-person. Remote runners can register for the GWL Boundless 5K and run anytime between Aug. 8 and Aug. 15. Those interested in participating in the in-person event will run on Sunday, Aug. 15, at the Spicket River Greenway. Click here to register.
2021 Summer Theater Workshop
Registration is open for the Academy of Creative Arts at Trinity’s for the 2021 Summer Theater Workshop. Open to kids ages 6 t0 16, the program will be held August 9 through 13, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. with a 5 p.m. show on Friday, August 13. Participants will learn, rehearse and perform Roald Dahl’s beloved musical “Willy Wonka” kids version. No child will be turned away for financial issues. For details and access to the registration form, contact Janet King at email@example.com.
Lazarus House Ministries Food & Clothing Drive
Help support a local cause and donate to the Lazarus House food and clothing drive on Saturday, Aug. 14. The event will be held at Central Catholic High School from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., and participants will also have a chance to win one of three draw prizes by registering their donations. Visit here for details.
The Longest Table
Don’t miss Haverhill’s most exciting inclusive dining event. The Longest Table will be held on Thursday, Aug. 19, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. This a 21+ event, and participating restaurants include 110 Grill, The Barking Dog, Casa Blanca, Essex Street Grille, The Hidden Pig, Krueger Flatbread, Battle Grounds Coffee, and more. Visit here for more information.
Diamonds & Pearls, Cash & Kings Fundraiser
Visit Blue Ocean Music Hall on Friday, Aug. 20, for Jozay and Patti, Diamonds & Pearls, and Cash & Kings, who will perform a benefit concert for the Foster Kids of the Merrimack Valley. Accompanied by a 7-piece band, they will bring you the sounds of artists like Neil Diamond, Janis Joplin, Johnny Cash, Cher, Roy Orbison, Carole King and more. Visit here for more information, or click here to purchase tickets.
MVFB 27th Annual Golf Tournament
The Merrimack Valley Food Bank’s 27th Annual Golf Tournament and Awards Dinner will be held on Monday, Sept. 13, at Indian Ridge Country Club, with registration beginning at 11:00 a.m. The tournament will honor the heroic staff at Lowell General Hospital, and your participation directly supports the MVFB’s mission. Visit here to register.
25th Annual Elder Services Golf Classic
Bring out your inner Phil Mickelson and support a good cause during the 25th Annual Elder Services Golf Classic on Tuesday, Sept. 14, at the Haverhill Golf & Country Club. The event features contents, raffle prizes, a luncheon, a $10,000 putting content, and more. This event sells out on a regular basis so visit here to save your spot today.
19th Annual Mill City Mentors Golf Tournament
Enjoy a day of golf while supporting a good cause during the 19th Annual Mill City Mentors Golf Tournament. The event supports Community Teamwork’s Mill City Mentors program, and takes place on Thursday, Sept. 16, at the Sky Meadow Country Club in Nashua. Click here to learn more.
Tour de Greenbelt: Cycle for Land Conservation
For beginner riders to seasoned cyclists, Essex County Greenbelt’s annual Tour de Greenbelt: Cycle for Land Conservation offers a variety of courses to fit all abilities. Taking place on Saturday, Sept. 18, the ride benefits Greenbelt’s local land conservation work, and cyclists will enjoy routes that wind through the scenic landscapes of Essex County. Click here to learn more and register for the event.
Emmaus Annual Cycle for Shelter
Registration is now open for the 2021 Cycle for Shelter. Join the ride to help raise money to defeat homelessness. This year riders have the option of riding virtually or joining in-person on Sunday, September 19, if COVID restrictions allow. If the in-person ride is limited in numbers due to state restrictions, the event will operate under a “first-come, first-served” model and those who registered first will have the opportunity to participate. Click here to register.
LGH TeamWalk for CancerCare
Last year, Lowell General Hospital transitioned their annual TeamWalk for CancerCare to TeamWalk on your terms, and the will be continuing this tradition this year. TeamWalk on Your Terms allows you to hold TeamWalk on your turf and on your time. When it is safe and you feel comfortable, simply choose when and where you want to walk. Get your team together for a three or six mile walk on the date and time of your choosing. You can walk anywhere between May 23 and September 1. For details, click here.
Merrimack Valley Hospice’s Virtual Silent Auction
This year, Merrimack Valley Hospice’s annual food, wine, beer-sampling and silent auction is going virtual. Enjoy a snack and your favorite beverage browsing their auction items from the comfort of home. Proceeds will benefit Merrimack Valley Hospice’s comfort care and supportive services for patients nearing the end of life and bereavement services for their families and loved ones. The auction will run from Thursday, Sept. 23, to Saturday, Sept. 25. Click here for more information.
The Wish Project: Backpack Attack
July 1 through mid-September. New, filled backpacks are distributed to children in need in the Merrimack Valley. For a $60 donation, The Wish Project can provide a complete backpack filled with all of the school supplies that a child needs to begin school. Learn more here.
2021 October Fun Fest
Support the Community Giving Tree and have some fun at the October Fun Fest on Saturday, Oct. 2, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. This event will feature True North Ales beer truck, the Urban Epicurean mobile pizza oven, and music from the local band RevelUp. All proceeds from this event will support Community Giving Tree’s programs that provide everyday essentials to local children in need. Visit here to find out more.
29th Annual Trot for Special Tots 5K Road Race
The Professional Center for Child Development, a local non-profit, will host its 29th Annual 5K Road Race – Trot for Special Tots, on Saturday, Oct 2, at 32 Osgood Street in Andover. The event spreads awareness for the programs they offer, such as early intervention, special education school and child care, and raises funds to support children and families throughout the Merrimack Valley. Click here for more information.
Smiles4Families Dental Fund
The Lowell Health Community Center (LCHC) is looking for support for the Smiles4Families Dental Fund. Dental care can be very expensive, and many procedures are not covered by insurance companies. By donating to the Smiles4Families Fund, you will help the LCHC assure that every patient has access to exactly the dental care they need — regardless of ability to pay. Visit here to donate.
Greater Lawrence Summer Fund
Consider providing opportunities for thousands of children this summer by donating to the Greater Lawrence Summer Fund. The fund gives children from low-income families a chance to experience life-changing summer activities that not only keep them safe but provides them with opportunities that open doors for a promising future. Click here to consider helping this community organization.