AROUND THE VALLEY
EforAll Celebrates Winners of Foodie Venture Pitch Contest
The EforAll Lowell team hosted their first in person event, the “Foodie Venture Pitch Contest” on Aug. 11 at the UML Innovation Hub. During the contest, pre-selected local entrepreneurs presented their ideas in a two-and-a-half-minute pitch to a panel of judges, shared their food business concepts and offered guests samples of foods, drinks and treats.
The judges awarded three cash prizes: $1,000 for the grand prize winner, $750 for second place, and $500 for third place. The audience also participated by voting for fan favorite who won $500. The grand prize went to Whitney Wilson of Whitney’s Kitchen. Taking second place is Yesenia Melo of Jessy’s Clean Meals, and the third place winner was Sandra Okiror of Wham’s Cafe. Salina Anderson of Sally J’s Cupcakes took home the fan favorite prize.
MVM recently profiled Yesenia Melo of Jessy’s Clean Meals. Click here to check out our feature story about this unique initiative.
RTK in Lawrence Gets Complete Makeover to Support Food Entrepreneurs
The Lawrence Partnership has announced a new approach to the Revolving Test Kitchen (RTK) that will expand the number of businesses that can take advantage of its shared commercial kitchen and support services.
The newly renovated space, which opened this month, is located at the Northern Essex Community College’s (NECC) Lawrence campus. Featuring shared culinary workspaces with multiple prep and cook spaces with dry and cold storage, RTK will accommodate a range of food businesses, including food trucks, catering companies, small batch manufacturers and food delivery companies, while offering its members access to culinary and business experts in the food industry.
“Our mission is to provide programming and strategies that create an inclusive, equitable approach to economic development that serves the entire community in Lawrence,” said George Ramirez, executive director of The Lawrence Partnership.
RTK will be open for food production from 4am to midnight, with 24-hour access for its members. Space is booked on a first-come, first-served policy.
UML to test COVID-19 Diagnostic Methods; Requires All Employees to be Vaccinated
UMass Lowell (UML) researchers and students will help evaluate the effectiveness of new, rapid methods to diagnose COVID-19 through a program overseen by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
The NIH awarded $935,000 to UML’s Solomont School of Nursing for the project as part of the federal agency’s Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics (RADx) initiative, created last year to help private industries develop affordable and accurate COVID-19 screening tests that can be administered and analyzed within minutes at home and at doctors’ offices, clinics, pharmacies, hospitals, and community testing sites.
AT UML, nursing faculty and students will oversee RADx clinical trials that assess the viability of new products to help diagnose COVID-19 that are being developed by established and startup medical device and biotech companies. Products to be evaluated could be anything from more comfortable nasal swabs to the machines that analyze samples. The initiative will also involve community partners that can offer COVID-19 testing sites for the study.
The trials will be conducted in partnership with a medical group that offers drive-through testing, UML’s own testing clinic and possibly mass testing events.
UML also announced that all employees working on campus will be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or be approved for a medical or religious exemption, following agreements finalized in the last week with its unions.
The university informed non-union and part-time employees Aug. 12, as well as contractors and vendors who work on campus, that they must be fully vaccinated. A survey of all employees conducted the first week of August indicated that more than 95% of employees are or will be fully vaccinated before the semester begins.
Enterprise Bank Celebrates Opening of 26th Branch
On Thursday morning members of Enterprise Bank’s senior leadership team, along with community and civic leaders, celebrated the opening of the bank’s newest branch located at 247 Chickering Road (RT 125) in North Andover, Mass. Led by Branch Relationship Manager Therese Leone of Methuen, the branch offers a full suite of banking services, including commercial lending.
NECC’s Life Long Studies Program is Back
Northern Essex Community College’s (NECC) Life Long Studies Program, which is open to adults 18 or older will return this fall, after a year-long hiatus due to COVID-19. The program is especially popular with seniors.
Back by popular demand are “Let’s Talk Current Events,” led by Frank Baggs, and “Tai Chi,” taught by octogenarian Allen Drelick, a certified Arthritis Foundation Tai Chi instructor, who has been teaching at NECC for six years.
New this fall are “The Journals of Lewis and Clark” and “Creative Poetry Writing,” taught by Mary-Ellen Morris, and “Water Collage/Three Dimensional Paper” and “Book-in-a-Box,” led by artist Sandra Golbert.
NECC history Professor Richard Padova is teaching “The History of Catholic Worship in Lawrence, Mass.” which will explore Catholic churches in the city over the years, starting with Immaculate Conception, which was the first Catholic Church in Lawrence.
Life Long Studies Programs will be taught in a classroom this fall, and everyone will be required to wear masks and socially distance. Programs meet once a week during the day and last for the entire semester or half the semester.
Horseshoe Grille Sold after Over 30 Years of Ownership
Last week, Pat and Kathi Lee announced that they have sold Horseshoe Grille. In a Facebook post via the Horseshoe Grille page, the former owners wrote: “First and foremost, we want to thank all our current and past employees who have helped make the Horseshoe what it is today. You are family to us and we will miss you all more than you know. To our valued customers, thank you for your continued support over the past 95 years. The Horseshoe will still remain as the Horseshoe, including the staff. The new owners are three outstanding gentlemen from Reading.”
The Horseshoe has evolved since its beginnings in 1926 as an apple cider stand. In 1955, the building was purchased by Pat Lee Sr. and his wife, Veronica, who built the “old” Horseshoe Lounge. Years later, Pat Lee Jr. and his wife, Kathi, took over the family business and helped transform it into the “polished casual” restaurant that remains popular today.
Be sure to check out our Generations profile on the history of the Horseshoe Grille, here.
MOVERS & SHAKERS
Creative Haverhill Director Selected for LEADS Cohort
Erin Padilla, director of Creative Haverhill, has been selected to serve in the Merrimack Valley’s final LEADS 3.0 cohort, a program that expands leadership capacity, connectivity and social capital in gateway cities. Padilla has spent the past eight years working in arts administration for nonprofit community organizations, including Creative Haverhill, of which Padilla is the single staff member. She has previously worked as an arts education coordinator, exhibition curator, a programs and festivals curator, and an arts administrator. The Oregon native moved to Haverhill in 2017 and enjoys spending time with her nieces and nephew, taking hikes with her dog, whiskey and wine tasting with friends, and traveling with friends and family.
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 until Sept. 1. For details, click here.
Bethany Communities’ Celebration of Innovation and Integration
Support Bethany Communities’ development of Merrimack Place, an extension of the Merrivista campus, by attending the Celebration of Innovation and Integration on Thursday, Sept. 9, from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Bradford Country Club. The event will include dinner, raffles and a live performance by local band Three Part. Visit here to reserve your spot at the event.
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.
Save Our River Festival
Join the Merrimack River Watershed Council for the first ever Save Our River Festival at the Newburyport Elks Lodge on Sept. 18. This family-friendly event will feature a giant cornhole tournament, barbecue food, a cash bar, live music, an art show, games and more. Click here to RSVP.
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, Sept. 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.
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.
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.
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.
PoF 2021 Spread the Joy Luncheon
Join the Power of Flowers Project for their annual Spread the Joy Luncheon on Wednesday, Oct. 6 from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Four Oaks Country Club. The event includes a basket and gift card raffle, a silent auction, a wine pull, and a golden ticket drawing to win a $500 Visa gift card. All proceeds to benefit the Power of Flowers Project, a non-profit organization assisting seniors, veterans and those living in care communities. For more information and to purchase tickets click here.
E for All Lowell’s Winter Accelerator Program
Looking to launch a business but in need of some guidance? Join E for All’s Winter 2022 Accelerator Cohort. The one-year program provides immersive business training, mentorship and access to an extended professional network. Online classes begin Nov. 30, and applications are due on Oct. 14. Visit here to learn more.
NILP 40th Anniversary Gala
Join the NILP as they celebrate 40 years of helping people with disabilities reach their independent living goals. The NILP’s annual gala — which features a silent auction, raffles, dinner and dancing — will take place on Saturday, Oct. 23, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Blue Ocean Event Center. Click here to purchase tickets.
YWCA 4th Annual Fall Fest with a Twist
Join the Northeastern Mass. YWCA for the 4th Annual Fall Fest with a Twist. The evening of wine tasting, music and raffles will take place at the North Andover Country Club on Wednesday, Oct. 27, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. 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.