Chelmsford

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Current Edition -05/20/22
Current Edition - 05/13/22

HEADLINES

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CAS Presents Live Demonstration with Jimmy Lee

CHELMSFORD: The Chelmsford Art Society invites art lovers/artists and the public on Wednesday, May 25, to see an exciting live demonstrator, Jimmy Lee, as he combines his love of crafting unique wood designs with digital illustrations. After drawing his images digitally with a few layers, and separating them into pieces, he inks and handcuts the plywood images using a coping saw to create a dimensional illustration framed in a shadowbox. This demonstration starting at 7pm at the Chelmsford Center for the Arts, will be in person and also Live Streamed. His studio #404 can be found at Western Avenue Studios, where he works as both a Graphic Designer and WordPress Developer. Visit https://chelmsfordartsociety.com for more information.
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Chelmsford Recycling Committee Begins Plastic Collection Campaign with Trex

CHELMSFORD: The Chelmsford Recycling Committee will be collecting clean plastic bags, plastic wraps, and plastic film at three separate donation sites around town: Town Hall (Lower Level), Senior Center, and Adams Library. Their goal is to collect 500 lbs. of plastics now until October 2022.  Visit www.chelmsfordrecycles.com for a complete list of plastics that are accepted. Questions?  Contact chelmsfordrecyclingcommittee@gmail.com
 
Trex Outdoor Furniture makes composite decking material and outdoor furniture out of reclaimed wood and plastic film. The Trex Company will turn our collected plastics into a new bench that will be placed in town (location TBD) while keeping these plastics out of our trash and landfill.
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Chelmsford Community Band Celebrates Spring

CHELMSFORD: The Chelmsford Community Band invites you to join them for a live celebration of the spring season as they gather for a concert on Sunday, May 22 at 2pm, in the auditorium of the McCarthy Middle School. This concert will be the first of the band’s golden anniversary year as it celebrates 50 years of bringing live music to Chelmsford.  There will be a takeaway bake sale and the traditional spring fundraising raffle, with themed baskets donated by local businesses and sections of the band.  Stay tuned to social media for sneak previews of the prizes to come.

The CCB never requires anyone to pay for tickets, but donations are accepted at the door with gratitude so they can continue to pay for their rehearsal space, music, and directors.  The suggested donation is $20 for adults and $10 for children or seniors.  Masks are requested for the continued safety and peace of mind of all attendees.

The Chelmsford Community Band was founded in 1972 and is a volunteer group of adult musicians who greatly enjoy bringing live music to the greater Chelmsford area.  The concert band and jazz ensemble both perform several concerts throughout the year and on Chelmsford Common every summer. Look for them online at www.chelmsfordcommunityband.com, or follow them on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

GLCF Awards Additional Grants from Afghan Resettlement Fund

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LOWELL: The Greater Lowell Community Foundation (GLCF) announced it had granted an additional $12,000 to three nonprofits in Greater Lowell that are working to address the immediate needs of new refugees from Afghanistan resettling in the community.

These grants were disbursed from the GLCF Afghan Resettlement Fund, which was created last fall, to assist nonprofits who support refugees arriving from Afghanistan to Greater Lowell and ensures that those in need are welcomed and connected with housing, employment, transportation, food, acculturation, and other related support. No administrative fee was charged by GLCF, so that all donations to the fund supported local nonprofits who were optimally positioned to provide immediate assistance and support.

“Our generous donors who gave to the GLCF Afghan Resettlement Fund provided area nonprofits with the critical support needed to welcome and resettle our new Afghan neighbors,” said Jay Linnehan, GLCF’s President and CEO. “This grant funding complemented the work of local nonprofits and expanded our community’s capacity to meet the needs of Afghans who fled their homeland to come to the U.S. seeking safety.”

Recipients of recent grants from the GLCF Afghan Resettlement Fund include:  
 
  • Aaron’s Presents (Andover) - $2,500 to fund projects for Afghan refugee families in Greater Lowell
  • Andover Islamic Center - $6,000 for bridging the gap for new Afghan arrivals to Greater Lowell for clothing, technology, assistance with resume writing, career placement, and transportation 
  • Open Table (Maynard) - $3,500 for Afghan Groceries Program in Greater Lowell
 
Among the organizations funded was Aaron’s Presents, a nonprofit that provides hands-on, individualized mentoring, materials/services, and logistical help to any child in 8th grade or below who want to carry out an idea that benefits at least one other person, animal, and/or the environment. Since the winter, Aaron’s Presents have been providing visits and socialization opportunities for Afghan children. “These visits, initiated by Lowell youth who are part of Aaron’s Presents, have given our mentors and kids more than we have given to the  Afghan families. We have been moved by their gracious and unhesitating welcome of these strangers into their homes, their generosity of spirit, and the ability of play, kindness, respect, and genuine goodwill to transcend language and cultural barriers,” Leah Okimoto, Executive Director, Aaron's Presents. “This funding by GLCF will make more of these personal interactions having fun with other kids possible.”

Overall, state officials say 1,887 Afghans have relocated to Massachusetts. International Institute of New England (IINE), who received a previous round of grant funding, reports that they have settled 228 Afghans in Greater Lowell. To date, the GLCF Afghan Resettlement Fund has distributed $42,300 in grants. 

Donations to the GLCF Afghan Resettlement Fund can be made online at www.glcfoundation.org or by mail to the GLCF Afghan Resettlement Fund, c/o GLCF, 100 Merrimack Street, Suite 202, Lowell, MA 01852.

Business in Your Community

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Open Gate Garden Club of Chelmsford Plant Sale

CHELMSFORD: Open Gate Garden Club of Chelmsford will hold its Annual Plant Sale on Saturday, May 21  in the Chapel at the First Parish Unitarian Church in Chelmsford Center beside the Common. The sale goes from 9am-1pm. Checks, cash and credit cards are accepted.

This has been the club’s only fundraiser since it was begun in 1973 and was usually held the Saturday before Mother’s Day until Covid hit and things changed. Last year it was held outside at a member’s home, but we are happy to be back at the Unitarian Church for this years’ sale.
Funds from the sale go to community projects such as the garden at Perham Corner and the urn in front of the library as well as The June Cook Memorial program during April vacation at the library for children on nature subjects, projects at The Paul Center and donations to the Chelmsford Conservation Land Trust to mention a few.

At the sale there will be perennials dug from members gardens, a pollinator table with special plants to encourage bees, butterflies and other pollinators, some shrubs, annuals, vegetables, a herb table with a large assortment of herbs, a daylily table from a Daylily Society and club member’s daylily display garden and a specialty table with houseplants and other interesting plants for inside and outside. There will also be a Master Gardener present to answer any gardening questions that you may have about the plants.
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Students Present Research at MCC’s 11th Annual Honors Conference

CHELMSFORD: Middlesex Community College hosted its eleventh annual Commonwealth Honors Program (CHP) Research Conference on Wednesday, April 20. The virtual event allowed Middlesex honors students to present their research on a topic of their choice.

“MCC’s honors program is another example of how the college fosters student success, providing learners with knowledge and experiences that will benefit them at their four-year institutions and in their careers,” said Binnur Ercem, MCC’s Professor of Sociology & Cultural Anthropology and Director of the CHP. “In addition to developing valuable research and presentation skills, the CHP’s annual research conference is an opportunity for our community to come together to celebrate our students' determination, perseverance, hard work and desire for learning.

An MCC Math Transfer student from Chelmsford, Thomas Kerkhove (pictured) presented his research on Native American filmmakers in the late 20th century. He created his poster for his final project in MCC’s U.S. History through Film course, discussing “how Native Americans are slowly beginning to move past their cinematic misrepresentation in Hollywood on their own terms.”

“One of the key aspects of the conference that I struggled with initially is how to condense all of my hard work into a short description for the judges,” Kerkhove said. “I have had to spend some time really figuring out how to convey the key ideas of my project – a skill that I know will be
important for the future.”

For their presentation, honors students created digital posters and then spoke over Zoom, talking about their work and answering questions. Due to the nature of the virtual conference, students can share their work for a longer period of time, including having a chat function that allows visitors to ask questions and students to respond.

Kerkhove joined the CHP in order to hone his presentation skills and participate in seminar-style courses. He believes the best parts about MCC’s honors program have been being able to work with more challenging subject material, engaging in conversations with classmates, and feeling as though he is in a cohort of honors students.

Interactions with classmates and his professors – including Stephanie Pesce, Jennifer Bauer, Deborah Botker and Ercem – have also been a benefit of MCC’s CHP for Kerkhove. The experience has worked to “broaden my horizons with courses I might not have taken otherwise if
they weren’t part of the Honors selection. He plans to transfer to the University of Massachusetts Amherst in the Fall.

“I find these experiences valuable because they provided an opportunity for me to practice my presentation skills in a low-stakes environment,” he said, “building confidence for my future college experience, as well as the presentations in my future STEM career.”
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Kids and Teens Can Have a Productive and Fun Summer at MCC

LOWELL: Kids and teens can have a productive and fun summer in Middlesex Community College’s College for Kids and College for Teens programs. This summer, the programs will return to in-person offerings, as well as online options for some of the College for Teens courses.

“We want students to have fun this summer while they’re learning something new or strengthening valuable skills,” said Lauren Ellis, MCC’s Program Manager for Community Education and Training. “It is never too early to explore career paths or areas of interest and at Middlesex, students of all ages benefit from discovering what it is they like to do. Our programs allow children and teens to dive into topics that are often not taught in school, setting them up for long term success for their future college careers.”

College for Kids and Teens offers a unique opportunity to explore careers, learn new skills, meet new friends and boost self-confidence. Middlesex designs interactive and engaging summer programs that are taught by MCC professors, public school teachers, and experts in their field.

For Summer 2022, MCC’s College for Kids will run in-person for six weeks, starting on July 11 and going until August 18, Mondays through Thursdays. Full- and half-day offerings include courses focused on STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), cooking, arts and crafts, photography, fashion design, online gaming, graphic and web design, creative writing and filmmaking. Programs are offered on the Bedford and Lowell campuses.

A theatre program at MCC’s Academic Arts Center in Lowell will put on a production of “Matilda, Jr.” Taught by MCC’s  Performing Arts Chair Karen Oster, the theatre program will offer two performances on Saturday, August 13 and Sunday, August 14.

In the College for Teens program, high school-aged students 14+ can take courses from a number of MCC’s Pathways, including Arts & Humanities, STEM and Business. In addition to honing
students’ skills in these subjects, these programs offer hands-on opportunities to learn more about different fields and potential career paths for the future – before students start even college.

Please note that Middlesex requires all students to be vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to come to campus, as of January 2022, including students enrolled in noncredit courses, such as
College for Kids and College for Teens. Students who are unvaccinated can still choose to take online classes and access online resources and student support services.
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MCC’s Theatre Department to Present “The Rocky Horror Show”

LOWELL: The Middlesex Community College Theatre Department will present “The Rocky Horror Show” in five performances at MCC’s Richard and Nancy Donahue Family Academic Arts Center.
Curtain times are 7pm on April 28, April 29 and April, 30; and 2pm on May 1. There will also be a midnight show on April 30 where audience members are encouraged to dress up as their favorite characters.

“When the film ‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show’ came on the scene, it became iconic in that it paved the way for so many to feel as if they could be accepted for who there were,” said Karen Oster, MCC’s Performing Arts Chair. “It celebrated individuality, freedom of expression, non-conformity and it was a blast. We offer this production of the stage version as a celebration of all of these things in a time when we are all in need of a little distraction and a big party.”

Peter Carranza of Tyngsboro (pictured) – who will play the character Frank-N-Furter – has wanted to perform in the musical since he first watched the film adaptation. The MCC Theatre major came to Middlesex after talking to Oster at a production at his high school, and will graduate in May 2022. He was drawn to MCC because of all of the opportunities to perform that the college and Oster provide to students.

“Performance opportunities allow for an environment where like-minded people can safely express themselves and work toward something they love,” Carranza said. I’ve made so many friends from performing at Middlesex and they’re all such wonderful people that I feel accept me for who I am.”

Carranza describes the musical as “a parody of Frankenstein with the addition of rock and roll, gothic subculture, science fiction and most importantly, love, sexuality and identity.” Throughout
the show, there are references and familiar tropes from B-movies from earlier decades. Music, lyrics and book of “The Rocky Horror Show” are written by Richard O’Brien.

Tickets are $10 for MCC students, faculty and staff, and senior citizens, and $20 for general admission.

“Everyone on our team is in love with this show and has been waiting to do it for so long,” Carranza said. “We’re all so passionate about the project and it’s a total dream come true.”
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2022 Earth Week Town-wide Clean Up

CHELMSFORD: Earth Day is Friday, April 22nd this year, but why not celebrate all week?! Join Chelmsford’s Annual Town-wide Clean Up by helping to pick up litter along its roads, neighborhoods, parks, and recreation areas. Sign-up at DPW, 9 Alpha Road and pick up yellow bags between April 11-15 from 7:30am – 4pm. Plan your clean-up for the week of April 18.  Whenever possible, bring your bags to your home curbside and they will be picked up with your regular trash until Friday, 4/29.  Broadcast what awesome work you’ve done by sending before
and after photos to sustainability@chelmsfordma.gov or tag yourselves "#ChelmsfordCleanUp2022" on social media.  Questions: Sustainability Manager at above email or 978-250-5203.
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Chelmsford Quilters’ Guild Hosts Biennial Quilt Show

CHELMSFORD: Excitement is in the air for this upcoming Quilt Show! After four years without a Quilt Show, members of Chelmsford Quilters Guild are hosting their 2022 Quilt Show. Show hours are Friday 10am-5pm & Saturday 10am-4pm. This exceptional show will feature over 100 Traditional, Modern, and Art quilts made by members who live in Chelmsford, Lowell and surrounding towns, Members’ Boutique, Raffle of Themed Baskets, Quilting demonstrations, Charity Quilt Raffle, Silent Auction of Mini-quilts, Show Vendors Bits N' Pieces Quilt Shoppe of Pelham NH and mobile shop The Quilting Bee of NH, and More! $8 admission; children under 12 are free. Wheelchair accessible and plenty of free parking! For more information, visit www.chelmsfordquiltguild.com.
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Greater Lowell Community Foundation Annual Meeting Celebrates 25th Anniversary with Presidential Historian and Pulitzer Prize-winning Author Doris Kearns Goodwin 

LOWELL: On June 2, the Greater Lowell Community Foundation (GLCF) will host its 25th Annual Meeting from 5pm to 7pm at the UMass Lowell Inn & Conference Center. The event will feature a conversation with presidential historian and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Doris Kearns Goodwin.

Doris Kearns Goodwin is a world-renowned presidential historian, public speaker, and Pulitzer Prize-winning, New York Times #1 best-selling author. Her seventh book, Leadership in Turbulent Times, was published in September 2018 to critical acclaim and became an instant New York Times bestseller. A culmination of Goodwin’s five-decade career of studying the American presidents focusing on Presidents Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt, and Lyndon Baines Johnson, the book provides an accessible and essential road map for aspiring and established leaders in every field and all of us in our everyday lives.

“As we celebrate GLCF’s 25th anniversary, we are honored to welcome world-renowned historian Doris Kearns Goodwin. Her work brings to life some of our most successful presidents and provides insight for today’s leaders,” said Jay Linnehan. “As we reflect on a quarter-century of improving the lives of the Greater Lowell community through philanthropy, we are thankful for our supporters, partners, and grantees who have helped to make our work possible.”

Event tickets are $25, and registration is required. 100% of the ticket price will be directed to 25th GLCF Grants addressing essential needs in the Greater Lowell community. Limited in-person tickets are available. Register by May 26. To learn more about this event or to register, visit: https://www.glcfoundation.org/event/2022-annual-meeting-celebrating-25-years.
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MCC Alum Featured in “World of Music” Concert Series

LOWELL: Middlesex Community College will welcome the Dylan Jack Quartet for a performance as part of the Spring 2022 “A World of Music” concert series. The quartet is led by MCC Music alum and noted drummer Dylan Jack.

“It means so much to come back to MCC in a different role,” Jack said. “I’m coming back to the institution where it all started for me and I’m beyond ecstatic to share my passion with everyone at the place that set me up for my lifelong journey.” The Dylan Jack Quartet will play music from their new album “Period Pieces.”

About the album, Eric Snyder for JAZZIZ Magazine wrote, “This Boston quartet has conjured up a triumph. Hofbauer’s slurry acoustic guitar, Jerry Sabatini’s intrepid trumpet work, Tony Leva’s acoustic bass and trippy electronics, and Jack’s wonderfully musical drumming meld into a flowing suite of improvised pieces that move through spacey free improv, smoldering funk, warped bop.”


A 2008 graduate, Jack came to Middlesex to learn as much as he could about music. Crediting his professors for their encouragement in pursuing music, he is thankful for their guidance in expanding his perspectives, approach and style of music. He went on to earn a bachelor’s from the McNally Smith College of Music in Saint Paul, Minn. and a master’s from Modern American Music from the Longy School of Music in Cambridge. Jack now teaches the History of Jazz at Emerson College.

The performance will take place at 3pm on April 10 at MCC’s Richard and Nancy Donahue Academic Arts Center in the Recital Hall, 240 Central Street. Middlesex requires all audience members to present proof of vaccination against COVID-19.

For more information about MCC’s Spring 2022 concert series, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/worldofmusic/ or contact Rodríguez-Peralta at peraltac@middlesex.mass.edu or 781-280-3923. With parking not available on site, the nearest public parking facility is the Early Garage on 135 Middlesex Street. Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/transportation/ for more information.
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Garden Plot Lottery at the Chelmsford Senior Center

CHELMSFORD: Names are being taken for the Garden Plot Lottery at the Chelmsford Senior Center starting Friday, April 1 through Thursday, April 21.  Register for a chance to use half of a raised garden bed plot at the Center! Chelmsford seniors 60+ and Senior Center volunteers only. Winners will be called at noon on April 22. Call 978-251-0533 or email ndussault@chelmsfordma.gov to add your name.
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"The Power of Angels" 2022 Kitty Angels Fundraiser

AMHERST, NH: Plans are in the works for another fabulous fundraiser for Kitty Angels, Inc. This year’s event will take place on April 30 and May 1 from 9am-5pm. The kitties and vendors have taken the necessary precautions and are excited to have you get out of the house and come visit with them  for some fabulous finds, great “free” entertainment and most important of all, to help Kitty Angels! The weekend festivities are being held at Treasures Antiques, 106 Ponemah Road (Rt. 122).

Look for all your favorite vendors, including artist Eric Nickola, dba WolfpacStudios, Artist Lori-Ellen Budenas of Respect the Wood, Monica Gesualdo of Trading Faces, Food Vendor  B’s Grumman Grub, Jewelry designers - Freedom Jewelry & Heart’s Design Jewelry. Forever Clean Soaps, Morel Woodworking, Baby Snuggz, SoGo Metal Art, Scroll-N-Tole, Happy Cat Creations, Vinyl Revival, Dusty Finds, The Spirit of Cacao, Puckerbrush Life, Anthony Acres, Color Street, Paws & Spas, Heavenly Goddess, Usborne Books, Fudge & Stuff, Lynda’s Felted Critters, Tupperware, Custom Care Designs, Amherst Animal Hospital and many more. Updates will be made when available. Interested in becoming a vendor at the event? Contact Sherry or Rick at (603) 672-2535.

The bands and soloists for the event, consist of keyboardist/band member Joey Peavey, Side Effects, Diamond Edge Band, North Sound Duo, Levi Maxwell with Jeff Damon, Sunset Rhythm and Wildwood.

Featured throughout the fundraising weekend and into the month of June, is an electrifying raffle of numerous and diverse prizes, all generously donated by local and national businesses, professional sports teams, private individuals and some of the awesome on-site vendors.

Kitty Angels, Inc. is the sole beneficiary of this event. They are a no-kill cat shelter and are made up of all unpaid volunteers, dedicated to rescuing stray and abandoned cats and kittens, furnishing them with treatment for injuries or other health issues and then placing them into new forever homes with compatible owners. They are a non-profit, 501(C) 3 charitable corporation where all donations are fully tax-deductible and every penny of every donation is used in the caring of cats.

End Hunger New England Announces Plan to Send up to 1 Million Meals to Ukraine & Refugee Centers

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PEMBROKE: EndHungerNE announced that it has started a funding campaign to package and ship up to one-million meals to Ukraine and refugee centers in surrounding countries. The plan is to raise $350,00 in the next 2 months. All of the money tagged for the Ukraine will be used for food. 

Matthew Martin, the organization’s Development Coordinator stated, “We have been working on this for a while and just coordinated with a shipping and distribution partner to get our meals overseas. The situation in Ukraine is dire, our volunteers and supporters have been asking if we were going to get involved – and the answer to that is YES! We’ll start packaging this weekend.”

“The financial and volunteer support we have experienced over the past two years has been incredible. Over 1200 volunteers are regularly showing up at our Pembroke facility – brownie troops, high schoolers and sports teams, local civic and church groups, seniors – it's just been amazing! The more funding we can acquire, the more meals our volunteers can pack.” 

To make a donation or volunteer, please visit www.endhungerne.org. Checks can be made out to The Outreach Program (parent non-profit of EndHunger NE) and sent to 93 Whiffletree Lane, Marshfield, MA 02050. Please write Ukraine on the memo line and please check with your company to see if they offer a corporate match or are seeking to support the mission of EndHungerNE.

Businesses in Your Community

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Compost Bins and Rain Barrels for Sale for Chelmsford Residents

CHELMSFORD: Are you interested in being more sustainable at you home? The Town of Chelmsford has partnered with EnviroWorld to offer its residents Backyard Compost Bins for $30 and Rain Barrels for $70. You can pre-order online at www.enviroworld.us/chelmsford with debit or credit cards by March 20. Orders will be available for pick up on March 26 from 9am-1pm, at the DPW, 9 Alpha Road..

GLCF awards more than $30K in Grants from Afghan Resettlement Fund

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LOWELL: The Greater Lowell Community Foundation (GLCF) announced it had granted $30,300 to five nonprofits in Greater Lowell that are working to address the immediate needs of new refugees from Afghanistan resettling in the community.

These grants were disbursed from the GLCF Afghan Resettlement Fund, which was created last fall. The fund assists nonprofits who support refugees arriving from Afghanistan to Greater Lowell and ensures that those in need are welcomed and connected with housing, employment, transportation, food, acculturation, and other related support.

“As Afghan refugees and evacuees continue to arrive in our community, the GLCF Afghan Resettlement Fund is supporting area nonprofits providing the critical support needed to welcome and resettle this population,” said Jay Linnehan, GLCF’s President and CEO. “This work is ongoing, and we are so grateful to our generous donors who support these important resettlement efforts.”

Recipients of grants from the GLCF Afghan Resettlement Fund include:
 
  • Andover Islamic Center - $5,000 for Afghan refugee clothing, technology, assistance with resume writing, career placement, and transportation in Lowell
  • International Institute of New England (Lowell) - $10,000 for Afghan Resettlement
  • Mill City Grows - $5,000 for ROOT Kitchen to cook, prep and pack traditional Afghan meals.
  • Open Table, Inc. (Maynard) – $8,000 for Afghan Meal Program with IINE (Lowell)
  • U.S. Department of Homeland Security - $2,300 for filing fees for humanitarian parole

Donations to the GLCF Afghan Resettlement Fund can be made online at www.glcfoundation.org or by mail to the GLCF Afghan Resettlement Fund c/o GLCF, 100 Merrimack Street, Suite 202, Lowell, MA 01852.

Award-Winning Poet to Speak on Writing to MCC Students

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LOWELL: Dedicated to guiding students to success, Middlesex Community Colleges provides opportunities inside and outside of the classroom that allow them to explore their potential careers, interests and fields of study. Middlesex will host poet Dr. Sandra Lim as part of the college’s Visiting Writers Series, in which the poet will speak with students on writing and share her work.

"There are many things to talk about with students these days, but I am happy to talk with them about what gifts poetry confers,” Lim said. “Mainly, I hope I can simply reflect on how certain poems come alive to me, and that the enthusiasm catches – the enthusiasm may then lead students into the deepest reaches of a work of art."

Lim’s event will take place in the Lowell Campus Federal Building Assembly Room at 12:30pm on March 2. The author of three books of poetry, she is a professor of English and teaches creative writing at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. In addition to her three books – “Loveliest Grotesque” (Kore, 2006), “The Wilderness” (W.W. Norton, 2014), and “The Curious Thing” (W.W. Norton, 2021) – Lim’s poems have appeared in journals such as The New York Review of Books, Poetry, Literary Imagination, The Baffler, The New Republic, The Yale Review, and The New York Times Magazine, among others. Her poems and essays have also been included in the anthologies Among Margins: An Anthology on Aesthetics (Ricochet, 2016), The Echoing Green (The Modern Library, 2016), The Poem’s Country (Pleiades, 2018), and Counterclaims: Poets and Poetries (Dalkey Archive Press, 2020).

For her work, she received a 2021 Guggenheim Fellowship, an American Academy of Arts and Letters Awards in Literature, the Levis Reading Prize and Barnard Women Poets Prize for “The Wilderness,” a Pushcart Prize, and fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the Vermont Studio center, the Jentel Foundation, and the Getty Research Institute.

MCC Visiting Writers Series is co-sponsored by the Creative Writing Program and the Office of Student Engagement. Contact StudentEngagement@middlesex.mass.edu or call 978-656-3363 or visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/english/creative.aspx for more information.

Women Working Wonders Fund Award $10,000 in Mini-Grants to Local Nonprofits Impacting Women and Girls

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LOWELL: The Women Working Wonders (WWW) Fund, a permanently endowed fund of the Greater Lowell Community Foundation, has announced the recipients of $10,000 in mini-grants. These grants will support local nonprofit programs that empower women and girls to effect positive change in the community.

“As we have worked hard to continue to grow our endowment, we have the privilege to increase grant support to our community beyond our annual grant cycle each summer,” said Carolyn Gregoire, Women Working Wonders Fund board president. “COVID-19 has increased the needs of the community, and WWWF is responding by providing $10,000 in mini-grants to help area nonprofits during this challenging time.”

Recipients of 2022 WWW mini-grants include:
 
  • Coalition for A Better Acre (Lowell) - $1,000 for the Acre Dance Group
  • Girls Inc. of Greater Lowell - $2,000 for Mental Health First Aid Training for Staff
  • Lowell Parks and Conservation Trust - $1,000 for Women in Stewardship
  • The Megan's House Foundation (Lowell) - $1,000 for Travel Subsidies
  • Whistler House Museum of Art (Lowell) - $2,000 for Building Repairs
  • The Wish Project (North Chelmsford) - $1,000 for new bras and underwear
  • Women Accelerators (Lowell Chapter)- $2,000 for Accelerating Women Leadership Program

“We are thrilled to receive a 2022 Women Working Wonders Fund Mini-grant. This timely grant will be used to support our Accelerating Women Leadership program, which will be starting in March,” said Susu Wong, co-founder of Women Accelerators. “This program is designed to equip female leaders with the specific strategies, mindsets, and behaviors they will need to confidently lead themselves and others as they advance within their organizations.”

WWWF provides annual grants in three key areas: assist women in transition, provide leadership development as well as contribute to the beautification of the environment. Established in 2004, the fund has granted nearly $300,000 to nonprofits supporting women and girls in the Greater Lowell area.

PHOTO: The Wish Project received a 2022 Women Working Wonders Mini-grant to support the purchase of new bras and underwear for clients. Pictured, Wish Project staff member Brandy Dailey sorting underwear.
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Middlesex CC’s Theatre Department Returns to Live Performances

LOWELL: Curtain times for Middlesex Community College’s production of William Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” are 7pm on Friday, February 11 and Saturday, February 12, and 2pm on Sunday, February 13. “Shakespeare is back,” said Karen Oster, MCC’s Chair of Performing Arts. “We are excited to be presenting this production of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ to you. It is so important that every theatre student have the opportunity to take part in a Shakespearean play. Therefore, every other fall theatre program at Middlesex has been presenting one of Shakespeare’s works.”  Shakespeare’s play features five connecting stories centered around the wedding of the Duke of Athens Theseus and the Amazon Queen Hippolyta. One of Shakespeare’s comedies, the play is based in the woodlands of the fictional Fairyland and set under the moonlight.

Oster – who is the director of the play – emphasizes that the college will be following strict health and safety guidelines for performers and audience members based on state mandated COVID-19 protocols. Because of the pandemic, she has chosen projects that allow performers to remain safely distanced while on stage. Throughout the first part of the pandemic, Middlesex was able to successfully put on livestreamed and socially distanced productions. The show’s cast and crew – including MCC Studio Arts and Technical Theatre student Jade Gordon who is designing the lights and costumes for the show – is excited to return to performances in front of a live audience.

“After over a year performing with livestreamed audiences in a silent, empty theatre, I can’t express how excited I am to know the cast and crew’s hard work on ‘Midsummer’ will be presented to an in-person audience,” Gordon said. “Karen has done a wonderful job keeping our
community tight-knit and forward gazing throughout the pandemic, but there’s nothing quite like the promise of hearing real, live laughter to inspire us to all bring our best work to the stage.”

The performances will take place at MCC’s Richard and Nancy Donahue Family Academic Arts Center. Tickets are limited. Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/performingarts/ for more information or contact  mmcarthy21@mail.middlesex.edu to reserve tickets. The Arts Center is located at 240 Central Street. With parking not available on site, the nearest public parking facility is the Early Garage on 135 Middlesex Street. Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/transportation/ for more information.
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Pre-order Period for At-home Covid-19 Tests Has Begun

The Biden Administration is offering free rapid tests to all residents in the United States. The pre-order period for the at-home COVID-19 tests via www.covidtests.gov has begun. Every household in the U.S. is eligible to order four free at-home COVID-19 tests. The tests are completely free and will usually ship in 7-12 days. Please visit www.covidtests.gov to submit an order and learn more.

Greater Lowell Community Foundation Seeks Request for Proposals for 2022 Discretionary Grant Cycles & Nashoba Valley Healthcare Fund

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LOWELL: The Greater Lowell Community Foundation will open its 2022 Nashoba Valley Healthcare Fund and Discretionary Grant Cycles on February 2 and is seeking requests for proposals from nonprofit organizations. The Foundation will award $160,000 through the Discretionary Grant Cycle. Funding areas for 2022 include children’s services, elder services and racial equity/inclusion.

Non-profit organizations serving the communities of Acton, Ashby, Ayer, Bedford, Billerica, Burlington, Carlisle, Chelmsford, Concord, Dracut, Dunstable, Groton, Littleton, Lowell, Pepperell, Shirley, Tewksbury, Townsend, Tyngsboro, Westford, and Wilmington are invited to apply.

Additionally, GLCF will open its 2022 Nashoba Valley Healthcare Fund Cycle on February 2. The foundation seeks requests for proposals from non-profit organizations supporting the advancement of community health of residents in the following GLCF communities: Ashby, Ayer, Dunstable, Groton, Littleton, Pepperell, Shirley, Townsend, and Westford. The Foundation will award $80,000 through this grant program.

Nashoba Valley Healthcare Fund Cycle grant awards will range from $5,000 up to $20,000; however, larger scale collaborative projects that are more than $20,000 will be considered if the funding request is justified by the impact of the project. Of particular interest are proposals that address systemic issues like (but not limited to) addiction/ substance abuse, domestic violence, food insecurity, mental health, suicide screening and prevention, obesity, racial equity and inclusion and other specific issues as indicated by community needs.

Grant applications for both grant opportunities must be submitted by noon on March 4, 2022. Grant recipients will be announced in May. More information is available on the foundation’s website: www.glcfoundation.org.

For more information about the grant process, contact Sharon, GLCF Grants Coordinator with any questions at sharon@glcfoundation.org.

Established in 1997, the Greater Lowell Community Foundation (GLCF) is a philanthropic organization comprised of more than 390 funds dedicated to improving the quality of life in 21 neighboring cities and towns. With financial assets of more than $55 million, GLCF annually awards grants and scholarships to hundreds of worthy nonprofits and students. It is powered by the winning combination of donor-directed giving, personal attention from Foundation staff, and an in-depth understanding of local needs. The generosity of our donors has enabled the Community Foundation to award more than $25 million to the Greater Lowell community.

PHOTO: Catie’s Closet, Inc. received a past Discretionary Children’s Grant to support their Lowell program. Pictured, Catie’s Closet volunteers with special request bags packed with urgently needed items for children.
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The MCC Foundation Invites the Community to “Take a Seat!”

LOWELL: “The work that the Middlesex Community College Foundation does makes such a difference in the lives of Middlesex students, and that is all thanks to our wonderful and generous donors,” said Judy Burke, MCC’s Executive Director of Institutional Advancement.

The MCC Foundation is inviting the community to “take a seat!” and donate to the college’s Aspire fundraising campaign in support of students, arts programming at Middlesex, and MCC’s Richard and Nancy Donahue Family Academic Arts Center, which opened in 2018. Raising funds, connecting to the community, and supporting students is at the heart of both the missions of the MCC Foundation and Middlesex Community College, according to Burke.

“The Foundation raises money for student scholarships, provides opportunities for engagement inside and outside of the classroom, and creates and maintains spaces for our students to learn and thrive,” Burke said. “Often, this means the difference in a student’s ability to  complete their education, transfer to their next school, or enter the workforce equipped with the skills they need to be successful.”

Gifts donated as part of the “Take a Seat!” campaign can be made in honor of a family member, business or friend whose name will be engraved on a specially crafted metal plate and placed on a seat in the Academic Arts Center Theatre or Recital Hall.

“The Take-a-Seat effort offers our faculty, staff, students, alumni, College for Kids alumni and their parents an opportunity to share in the history of the Academic Arts Center, as well as the vision of the future,” said Sherri McCormack, MCC’s  Dean of Advancement. “By purchasing a
named seat, remembering a loved one, or honoring someone special, donors ensure that the state-of-the-art facility will remain so for many years to come.”

MCC’s Academic Arts Center holds classroom and performance spaces for the college’s theatre, music and dance programs, as well as space for multi-purpose activities. The center provides
space for educational activities serving Middlesex students, including College for Kids summer programming, the Lowell community and public-school system, the National Park Service, and other public and private agencies and organizations who partner with the college.

The Academic Arts Center Theatre holds 190 seats, while the Recital Hall has 103 seats. Donors can choose which space they would like their seat, based on availability. Each seat is a $750 donation. For more information, contact Judy Burke at burkej@middlesex.mass.edu.

While the tax-deductible contribution does not reserve a seat at any performance, the donation highlights the donor’s generosity in supporting local arts and cultural programming.
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Free classes for Retirees!

LOWELL: The Learning in Retirement Association’s Zoom Intersession classes are free for all retirees. It’s always fun to learn new things and some of these will likely interest you.

1. Mount Washington Observatory: Home of the World's Worst Weather, presented by the observatory’s staff.  2. The Wyeths: An American Artistic Dynasty.  3. Volcanos, join Assistant Professor Richard Gasching and learn about the most volcanically active place on earth.  4. Banding Northern Saw-whet Owls at Lookout Rock.  5. Green Fertilizer, three UMass, Lowell graduate students developed fertilizer from air, water, and solar energy.  6. Railroads in the Western USA, from the transcontinental railroad to today’s essential transport system.  7. Cool Science is about climate change and extreme weather, presented by Associate Professor Jill Lohmeier.  8.  Japanese Dolls and the Friendship Exchange and “All About Ginny.”  9.  Turner’s Modern World - the British artist JMW Turner's career spanned tumultuous changes in Europe.  10. The Behavior of Cephalopods (Octopus, Squid, and Cuttlefish) by Professor Jane Boal.  11. Book discussions on Sapiens by Yuval Noah, and Hamnet by Maggi O’Farrell.

For more detailed class descriptions with dates and times for these free Zoom classes: www.uml.edu/LIRA then click on Course Schedules.

Guests, to receive the links for the free Zoom classes, email your full name with code AU1 to LIRA@uml.edu.
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MCC and Living the Dream Partners to Host Virtual MLK Jr. Event

LOWELL: “Social progress is never attained by passive waiting. It comes only through the tireless efforts and passionate concern of dedicated individuals,” said Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during his address delivered at the National Biennial Convention of the American Jewish Congress on May 14, 1958 in Miami Beach, Florida.  For over 20 years, the Living the Dream Event has celebrated the teachings and legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., first started by Lura Smith and family, and the Middlesex Community College Foundation. 

A time for reflection and inspiration, at the 2022 virtual event, the Living the Dream Partners and Middlesex Community College invite the community to “take action” and do something meaningful inspired by Dr. King’s “Living the Dream.”

“From the teachings of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., we have learned that even small actions lead to big changes,” said the Living the Dream Partners. “As we focus on creating a more equitable community, standing up for civil rights, and fighting against institutional racism, it is important that we not only ‘take action,’ but motivate others to do so as well.”

The celebration seeks to highlight the ways in which community members’ daily actions make a positive change in the lives of others. This year’s event will take place at 1pm on Monday, January 17, 2022, streaming on YouTube. 

Darcy Orellana, MCC’s Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, emphasizes the importance of 'intentionally participating in ongoing racial healing learning and practice.' “This program has a history of bringing us together for the day,” Orellana said. “This year, we are called to action beyond just the day to envision what the community might look, feel and be like when racism is ended. Through relationship building, truth-telling and healing, we have the foundations for racial equity and transformative change together.”

"It is an honor and a privilege to serve as a partner and sponsor of the Living the Dream celebration to honor the life and legacy of The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,” said Susan West Levine, CEO, Lowell Community Health Center. “It is an opportunity for us all to collectively renew our commitment to anti-racism and to continue to take bold steps, both large and small, in support of a just and equitable community."  

This year’s event will recognize four Living the Dream Together Award recipients for their service to the community and will feature musical and dance performances as well as pledges and reflections from across the community.  Visit https://livingthedreampartners.org/ for more information about the Living the Dream Partners, volunteer opportunities in the community, and sponsorship opportunities to go toward supporting student success.

Commonwealth of Massachusetts Winter Advisory Regarding Face Coverings

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This Advisory has been updated as of December 21,  2021.

COVID-19 vaccines and vaccine boosters are highly effective at protecting against serious illness, hospitalization and death and every individual who is eligible and works, studies or resides in Massachusetts is strongly urged to get vaccinated and boosted. The Department of Public Health urges all eligible residents to get vaccinated against COVID-19 because vaccination provides the most effective protection from severe illness associated with COVID-19.

In response to the spread of the Delta variant and the emerging Omicron variant, the Department of Public Health now advises that all residents, regardless of vaccination status, wear a mask or face covering when indoors (and not in your own home). The DPH particularly urges this recommendation if you have a weakened immune system, or if you are at increased risk for severe disease because of your age or an underlying medical condition, or if someone in your household has a weakened immune system, is at increased risk for severe disease, or is unvaccinated.

Your primary care physician can advise you whether you are at increased risk.  Information from the Centers for Disease Control regarding the conditions that may put you at increased risk can be found at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/people-with-medical-conditions.html.

All people in Massachusetts (regardless of vaccination status) are required to continue wearing face coverings in certain settings, including transportation and health care facilities.  Please see www.mass.gov/maskrules for a complete list of venues where face coverings have remained mandatory since May 29, 2021.

The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s current mask requirement and Policy on Vaccination Rate Threshold issued on September 27th, 2021 is not impacted by this advisory.  As a result of the most comprehensive and robust school testing program in the country, with 99% of public, collaborative and charter districts enrolled, Massachusetts elementary and secondary schools remain open and safe for children and youth to engage in learning, with over 325,000 school days saved. Only schools who can demonstrate they have high vaccination rates of over 80% of all individuals vaccinated are able to remove masks for vaccinated individuals upon a written attestation.
For individuals who are not fully vaccinated, it is especially important that you wear a face covering or mask any time you are indoors and not in your own home to reduce the chance that you may spread COVID-19 to other people. People who show no symptoms of illness may still be able to spread COVID-19.

An individual is fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose in a two-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine. However, if a fully vaccinated individual becomes symptomatic, they should be tested and wear a mask until receiving test results.
When you wear a face covering or cloth mask, it should:
 
  • Fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face,
  • Be secured with ties or ear loops,
  • Include multiple layers of fabric,
  • Allow for breathing without restriction, and
  • Be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape.

For more information, please refer to the CDC at: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/fully-vaccinated-guidance.html
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Advent Invitation from Central Congregational Church

CHELMSFORD: Everyone has had their own experience through these past Covid months. For some it has been a time of great upheaval, loss, grief, disconnection. As we slowly tiptoe towards our new normal, many are finding themselves a bit adrift, uncertain, isolated, discontented, sad. Even beyond the impact of Covid, December has long been a difficult month. Our bodies mourn the lack of sunlight as the winter darkness creeps in; for many, the Christmas season brings strong memories of pain, loss or frustration.  This time of year coincides with the Church’s liturgical season of Advent.

Advent is a season of expectant waiting and preparation for Christmas. It is a season of hope in the darkness. This year, Central Congregational Church is inviting anyone who is isolated, in mourning, feeling untethered; or who simply wants to hear the Christmas hymns again that they remember from their childhood to on the four Sundays of Advent. You do not need to believe, or donate money, or feel an expectation to attend regularly. As a mission to the community, the Church would like to offer up a safe, sacred space for any who would benefit from being in a community, listening to beautiful music and having a space to simply be. All are welcome. 


Recognizing that walking into a new Church can be exceptionally difficult, while you are welcome to visit the Church every Sunday, you may also wish to call Pastor Rich Knight to arrange to have someone meet you at the door and - if you wish - sit with you and help guide you through the service. You may also simply slip into the back pew or the balcony. Regardless of how you choose to visit, please wear a mask for the safety of all. 

If you are feeling adrift and disconnected, think about participating in these four weeks of expectant hope. Hope is something that we all need right now. Four Sundays of Peace, Hope and beautiful music – November 28, December 5, 12 and 19.

Four Sundays of Peace, Hope and beautiful music – November 28, December 5, 12 and 19 - 10:00AM at Central Congregational Church, UCC, 1 Worthen Street. To speak to Pastor Rich Knight or for more information, call (978) 256 5931.
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GLCF Scholarships Enable Donors to Give Back

LOWELL: A local business looking to hire engineers set up a scholarship program to help bring more woman into the field. A 24-year-old started a modest scholarship, funded in part by walking the Appalachian Trail, to help students at her high school pursue college degrees. Anonymous donors endowed a two-year scholarship for community college students after being inspired by the generosity of a complete stranger.

These are just a few of the unique scholarships the Greater Lowell Community Foundation (GLCF) has helped benevolent individuals, groups and businesses set up over the years – all with the goal of giving back to their communities. “The Foundation manages about 400 scholarships per year,” said Jay Linnehan, GLCF President & CEO. “Education is a big part of our mission. It is, and always will be, a gateway to success.”

Scholarships can be as varied as the students they benefit, added Howard Amidon, GLCF’s Vice President of Philanthropy. And it’s his job to make donors’ wishes come true. “I work with individuals and businesses to support their philanthropic goals,” Amidon explained. That can mean helping donors who reach out to the Foundation with very specific plans for a scholarship. Or working closely with altruistic individuals who don’t always have all the details figured out. “Sometimes donors come in and say, ‘I want to do something good, but I don’t have anything specific in mind.’ In that case, we ask them, ‘What are your goals? What do you hope to accomplish?’ ”

Amidon is particularly excited about GLCF’s new Verda Annan Scholarship. It was established in honor of Verda Tetteh (pictured, now Verda Annan), then a 17-year-old Harvard-bound student who graduated from Fitchburg High School last June. At her graduation ceremony, Annan spontaneously declined the $40,000 FHS General Excellence Award she had just won. Instead, she asked the administration to pass on the award to a student – or students -- headed to community college who needed it more than she did.

After reading about Annan’s story, Amidon explained, a couple contacted GLCF with a unique request. “They wanted to emulate Verda’s generosity by establishing a two-year scholarship to help support graduating Lowell High School students go on to community college.” And, he added, the donors wanted to name the scholarship in honor of Annan, while they remained anonymous. Beginning this spring, the Verda Annan Scholarship will award $2,500 a year for two years to a qualified LHS student planning to attend any community college.

“These very generous people were inspired by someone they didn’t know, and saw that as a way to give back,” said GLCF President Linnehan. “They have succeeded because of their educations, and community colleges are very important to them. And, over time, as their endowment grows, this scholarship will grow, too.”

Annan, who changed her last name when she turned 18 to match her mother’s, was totally surprised when she learned about the prospect of an endowed scholarship established in her name. “My jaw dropped,” she said. “I’m so honored. When I initially gave up the FHS scholarship, I never imagined my actions would have a ripple effect. These donors went out of their way to be so generous and to help more students.”

Annan is also pleased the scholarship supports community college students. “When I was applying to colleges, there was a huge emphasis on being the ‘perfect’ student. We were advised that we needed to have a 4.0 GPA, be active in student government, in clubs, and play a sport. “But I understand that a good student who can be successful in college may not always check all those boxes,” she said. “And they may not have the resources to be engaged in those kinds of activities.”

With the help of a GLCF scholarship, local students can keep moving forward, said Linnehan. “It’s a privilege for the Foundation to help donors create scholarships to provide the resources these talented students need to continue their education.” To learn more about GLCF scholarships, visit: glcfoundation.org.
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Chelmsford Community Bad Returns to Live Indoor Concerts

CHELMSFORD: The Chelmsford Community Band will return to live indoor concerts on Sunday, December 12.  Join them for a musical holiday excursion: bundle up in your sleigh, listen to the bells, enjoy the lights, and feel the warmth of shared joy in beloved traditions and new favorites.  The music starts at 2pm at the McCarthy Middle School on North Road.  Admission is free, but donations are gladly accepted to help support the band’s rehearsal space and sheet music purchases.  Suggested donations at the door are $5 for children and seniors and $10 for others. There will be seasonal raffle prizes available as well.  Masking will be required in the school.

The Chelmsford Community Band was founded in 1972 and is a volunteer group of adult musicians who greatly enjoy bringing live music to the greater Chelmsford area.  The concert band and jazz ensemble both perform several concerts throughout the year and on Chelmsford Common every summer. Look for them online at www.chelmsfordcommunityband.com, or follow them on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. 
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Middlesex CC’s Theatre Department Returns to Live Performances 

LOWELL: “Shakespeare is back,” said Karen Oster, Middlesex Community College’s Chair of Performing Arts. “We are excited to be presenting this production of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ to you. It is so important that every theatre student have the opportunity to take part in a Shakespearean play. Therefore, every other fall theatre program at Middlesex has been presenting one of Shakespeare’s works.”

William Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” features five connecting stories centered around the wedding of the Duke of Athens Theseus and the Amazon Queen Hippolyta. One of Shakespeare’s comedies, the play is based in the woodlands of the fictional Fairyland and set under the moonlight. Oster – who is the director of the play – emphasizes that the college will be following strict health and safety guidelines for performers and audience members based on state mandated COVID-19 protocols. Because of the pandemic, she has chosen projects that allow performers to remain safely distanced while on stage. 

Throughout the first part of the pandemic, Middlesex was able to successfully put on livestreamed and socially distanced productions. The show’s cast and crew – including MCC Studio Arts and Technical Theatre student Jade Gordon who is designing the lights and costumes for the show – is excited to return to performances in front of a live audience. 
“After over a year performing with livestreamed audiences in a silent, empty theatre, I can’t express how excited I am to know the cast and crew’s hard work on ‘Midsummer’ will be presented to an in-person audience,” Gordon said. “Karen has done a wonderful job keeping our community tight-knit and forward gazing throughout the pandemic, but there’s nothing quite like the promise of hearing real, live laughter to inspire us to all bring our best work to the stage.”

Curtain times for MCC’s production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” are 7pm on December 9, 10 and 11, as well as 2pm on December 12. The performances will take place at MCC’s Richard and Nancy Donahue Family Academic Arts Center, 240 Central Street. Tickets are $15 for general admission, $10 for MCC faculty and staff, and free for all Middlesex students. Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/performingarts/ for more information or contact mmcarthy21@mail.middlesex.edu to buy tickets.

With parking not available on site, the nearest public parking facility is the Early Garage on 135 Middlesex Street. Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/transportation/ for more information.

Hybrid Holiday Faire at Aldersgate UMC

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CHELMSFORD: Aldersgate UMC in Chelmsford, 242 Boston Road, is hosting its annual Holiday Faire both online and in person this year. From November 29 through December 4, use the link http://bidpal.net/aumcfaire2021 to:
 
  • Purchase wreaths & swags online
  • Bid on knitting & other craft items online 
  • Bid on items offered through the silent auction (bidding ends at 2pm on Saturday)

You can also contact the church office to place an order by phone at 978.256.9400 or email at aldersgatechelmsford@verizon.net. Payments may be made online with a credit card or by check or cash when items are picked up.
 
On December 4 from 10am to 2pm, visit the faire in person for a limited selection of wreaths, swags, centerpieces, crafts, and “grab and go” baked goods.All items can be picked up at the church on Sunday, December 5, between 11am and 3pm.

Note: Masks must be worn at all times while in the church building.  For more information, visit www.aldersgateumc.us.

Domestic Violence Roundtable Invites You to Support Holiday Drives for Families Affected by Abuse

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Each year the Sudbury-Wayland-Lincoln Domestic Violence Roundtable sponsors a family for the holidays, and each year we invite our local communities to become involved in making the holidays brighter for families affected by domestic violence. Families in shelter for the holidays face a sad and difficult time as they are separated from family and friends and are hiding from their abusers.

The Covid 19 pandemic has been difficult for everyone, but it has been especially difficult for families affected by abuse. With the help of our local communities, these families can have happy holidays. There are a number of ways that you can help. Sponsoring a family can be a wonderful way for you and your family to do something together to help others. You can also involve extended family, neighbors, and friends. Or perhaps your colleagues at work, your book club, scout troop, civic organization, or club would like to organize a collection. Your participation in a holiday drive can help relieve the stress and depression that overcome shelter families at this time of year. The support that comes from the community at this time of year reinforces their decisions to seek safety and end violence in their lives. Each gift, each donation, each good holiday wish has a positive effect on their self-esteem and boosts their spirits.

Three local agencies offer services and programs for families affected by domestic violence. All of these programs conduct a Holiday Drive. For further information about how you might help, please contact:
 

Holiday drives start early so that agencies have time to process donations. In some cases, gift cards are being collected so families can shop and wrap their presents. Call now to see how you can help.

Open Gate Garden Club of Chelmsford Makes Donation to The Paul Center

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CHELMSFORD: Open Gate Garden Club began as a club in 1962 and started its long association with Camp Paul/The Paul Center in 1968 with a garden therapy program creating vegetable and flower gardens with the children and also helping with landscaping projects. The Paul Center, which began as Camp Paul is “dedicated to assisting individuals with disabilities in developing their maximum potential and independence.” The place was named for Ray Paul who provided the land for the place to be built.

In 2015, one of the club’s original members, Helen Ralowicz passed away. A fund was begun by members of her family to honor her. It was decided to do something with the money at The Paul Center and discussions with The Paul Center were entered into as to what could be done. A plan was decided on. The Center wanted to put up decorative fencing and plantings around campus to provide a visually appealing and safe environment for students with challenges and include raised beds which will highlight the entrance to the Barrett Center and provide a learning opportunity for students to plant and maintain the flowers. Also planned was a new walkway and patio area behind the Administration Building, as well as new perennial gardens in that area. There are currently 3 raised vegetable beds in need of some minor repair, but also plans to further enhance the vegetable gardens. Not only will this facilitate a learning experience around gardening, but also will allow for opportunities such as cooking or perhaps even running a small vegetable stand, where students could share what they have grown and work on social and money skills. The teaching opportunities are many. The club was excited about the projects and agreed to donate to it.

The Ralowicz family was approached and also like the idea as Helen had spent many summers working with the club’s garden therapy program there and had even chaired the program. The Paul Center agreed to put a plaque on the fence in Helen’s name, but her family requested that more of the club be remember. Four other names will be added to the plaque (June Cook, Betty Cole, Elinor Eschner and Sally Sweeney), all of whom were original club members who had remained in the club until their passing and all of whom had worked in and chaired the garden therapy program at the camp.

The Paul Center began the project and then Covid hit slowing the project. Recently the project has begun moving forwarded and the Open Gate Garden Club Treasurer, Janet Veino presented a check for $4000 to the center for the project. 

PHOTO: Cindy Sabella, Co-Executive Director; Brian Reidym Board VP & Brian Landers, Board President with Open Gate Treasurer, Janet Veino.

Middlesex CC to Host Writer at On Campus Event

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LOWELL: As part of the Visiting Writers Series, Middlesex Community College will host fiction and creative nonfiction writer Matthew Zanoni Müller at an event where he will talk to students about the value of writing. He hopes to show students the ways in which writing can help them better understand their own thinking. 

Calling writing both a “clarifying force” and “a tool for inquiry,” to Müller, “using words as a medium for communication – whether we are writing them or reading them – allows for greater empathy and understanding in the world.” During MCC’s Visiting Writers Series, Müller will read from some of his work and students will have the opportunity to ask questions. The event will take place in the college’s Assembly Room of the Lowell campus Federal Building at 12:30pm on Thursday, December 2, 2021. 

“Writing has given me a way of existing in the world that has heightened my observational skills, my engagement with other people, my interest in human behavior, politics, art and nature,” Müller said. “My hope – in talking to students about writing – is that I can impart some of these gifts and get them excited about taking on writing projects of their own.”

An Associate Nonfiction Editor at Pithead Chapel – an online literary journal and small press –– Müller is an Associate Professor of English at Berkshire Community College. He holds a BA in Creative Writing and Literature from Emerson College and an MFA in Fiction from Warren Wilson’s MFA Program for Writers. In 2014, Loyola University’s Apprentice House Press published “Drops on the Water: Stories about Growing Up from a Father and Son,” a memoir co-written with his father. Müller’s work has also appeared in literary journals and magazines – The Southeast Review, NANO Fiction, The Boiler Journal, decomP magazine, Halfway Down the Stairs and Hippocampus.

The event is co-sponsored by the Creative Writing Program and the Office of Student Engagement. Contact StudentEngagement@middlesex.mass.edu or call 978-656-3363 or visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/english/creative.aspx for more information.

Calling all Bakers for the Gingerbread Village

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CHELMSFORD: Calling all Bakers for the Gingerbread Village at All Saints’ Church at 10 Billerica Road, being held this year on December 4 from 2pm to 7pm, and December 5 from 3pm to 6pm. All Bakers, non-bakers, Girl and Boy Scout troops, clubs and families are encouraged to be creative. All entries - homemade or pre-made kits - are welcome to the display. There is no charge to participate. Builders timeline for drop off the Gingerbread Houses at the Church is Thursday, December 2 between 10am and 6pm. Each house that is donated will have a box for raffle tickets in front of it. Raffle tickets will be sold at the event to raise money for St. Paul’s Soup Kitchen in Lowell. For more information, visit www.allsaintschelmsford.org/news-events.

GLCF Awards $56K in Additional Grants to Greater Lowell Nonprofits

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LOWELL: The Greater Lowell Community Foundation (GLCF) announced it deployed a new round of COVID-19 related grants, providing an additional $56,650 to 14 nonprofits in Greater Lowell serving vulnerable populations. These grants were part of the latest round of distributions from the GLCF’s COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund and Community Needs Fund.

“Greater Lowell nonprofits have demonstrated remarkable creativity and resiliency throughout the pandemic,” said GLCF president & CEO Jay Linnehan. “Through the generosity of our donors, we continue to support nonprofit programs that are so vital to our community through this latest round of funding.”

The 6 nonprofits receiving grants in the latest round of the GLCF COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund to address needs are:
 
  • $10,000 to The Phoenix for Community Recovery Support Program in Lowell
  • $10,000 to Budget Buddies for BB Signature Financial Empowerment Program
  • $10,000 to Troubled Waters (Lowell) for Avoiding Isolation during COVID
  • $6,900 to Dwelling House of Hope for Family Hygiene Day (PPE) And COVID-19 Educational
  • $10,000 to Whistler House Museum of Art (Lowell) for COVID Safe Support
  • $1,750 to Leaving the Streets for Holiday Assistance Food Baskets Program

Among the grants funded was The Phoenix for Community Recovery Support Program in Lowell. “We know that community support and meaningful relationships are key factors in helping folks thrive in recovery,” said Sydney Durand, Regional Director, The Phoenix. “While the isolation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated an already devastating addiction and mental health crisis, The Phoenix was able to adapt programs to ensure that many more individuals and families affected by addiction could access a safe, sober network. The Phoenix is so grateful to the Greater Lowell Community Foundation for its support and continued partnership to keep the community connected to free recovery support.”

Since March of 2019, through grants from the GLCF COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund and the Massachusetts COVID Relief Fund, the foundation has supported more than 130 local nonprofit organizations with grants totaling over $4.9 million.

The 8 nonprofits receiving $1,000 grants from the GLCF Community Needs Fund to support Thanksgiving food insecurity initiatives for vulnerable populations in Greater Lowell are:
 
  • Billerica Community Pantry, Inc.
  • Chelmsford Community Exchange
  • Elliott Church (Lowell)
  • End 68 Hours of Hunger/Dracut
  • Open Pantry of Greater Lowell
  • People Helping People, Inc. (Burlington)
  • Pepperell Aid from Community to Home (PACH Outreach)
  • Stone Soup Kitchen - Living Water Fellowship (Ayer)
  • Westford Food Pantry (pictured)

Established in 1997, the Greater Lowell Community Foundation (GLCF) is a philanthropic organization comprised of more than 390 funds dedicated to improving the quality of life in 21 neighboring cities and towns. With financial assets of more than $55 million, GLCF annually awards grants and scholarships to hundreds of worthy nonprofits and students. It is powered by the winning combination of donor-directed giving, personal attention from Foundation staff, and an in-depth understanding of local needs. The generosity of our donors has enabled the Community Foundation to award more than $25 million to the Greater Lowell community.

Lowell Chamber Orchestra Performs in MCC’s “World of Music”

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LOWELL/BEDFORD: As part of Middlesex Community College’s Fall 2021 “A World of Music” concert series, the college will host a live, in-person performance of “As One,” a ground-breaking opera portraying the challenges, joys and fears of the trans experience.

Middlesex is dedicated to providing all students with access to an equitable education and opportunities that enrich their time at the college. Offering performances that emphasize acceptance, inclusivity and representation is important to a student’s overall college experience and future success, according to Orlando Cela, MCC Assistant Professor of Music.
“The Lowell Chamber Orchestra is proud to collaborate once more with MCC’s ‘A World of Music’ concert series to put on this performance,” Cela said. “It is so important to provide platforms for those whose voices need to be heard and celebrated, especially by performers who represent that particular population. The significance of the concert is made even more special by being performed on November 20, International Transgender Day of Remembrance.”

The concert will feature mezzo-soprano Tona Brown and baritone Rahzé Cheatham in the lead roles, supported by the Lowell Chamber Orchestra, with Cela conducting. “As One” was written by Laura Kaminsky (music and concept), Mark Campbell (libretto), and Kimberly Reed (libretto and film). 

In October 2021, The Lowell Chamber Orchestra was awarded third place in the country for The American Prize Competition for the Performing Arts.  The performance will take place at 7:30pm on Saturday, November 20 at MCC’s Richard and Nancy Donahue Family Academic Arts Center in the Theatre in Lowell. While all of the performers and speakers have agreed to be fully vaccinated, the college is requiring audience members to wear masks to performances throughout the duration of the Fall 2021 concert series.

The final performance of MCC’s “A World of Music” Fall 2021 concert series will be an MCC Student Recital at 12:30pm on Monday, December 13 in Bedford.

All “World of Music” concerts are free and open to the public. For more information about MCC’s Fall 2021 concert series, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/worldofmusic/ or contact Rodríguez-Peralta at peraltac@middlesex.mass.edu or (781) 280-3923.

NETSCOUT Awards Seventh Grant to Lowell Association for the Blind with Greater Lowell Community Foundation

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LOWELL: The Greater Lowell Community Foundation, a philanthropic organization comprised of over 390 funds, currently totaling over $50 million, dedicated to improving the quality of life in 21 neighboring cities and towns, announced that NETSCOUT, a leading provider of service assurance, security, and business analytics, has awarded its Heart of Giving community program’s seventh grant through the Greater Lowell Community Foundation. The annual grant program builds relationships with nonprofit organizations and engages employees in learning about service opportunities in the communities of Greater Lowell.

“Giving back to the community in which it operates amplifies a company’s greater purpose and NETSCOUT demonstrates this commitment to supporting important local causes,” said Jay Linnehan, president and CEO, Greater Lowell Community Foundation. “Connecting philanthropic businesses and individuals to the needs of their communities is at the heart of our work. We are proud to be in the 7th year of the NETSCOUT Heart of Giving Community Grant at the Greater Lowell Community Foundation.”

“The Lowell Association for the Blind would like to thank NETSCOUT for this grant that allowed us to get a new embosser which can print and do Braille on the same document, as well as the Greater Lowell Community Foundation for their hard work and assistance in making this grant available,” said Elizabeth Cannon, Executive Director, LAB. “The embosser can also do tactile graphics, and it is amazing to hear our clients when they feel the graphics.  It’s always ‘that’s so cool!’”

From reading a grant proposal to learning about the organizations in the community and filtering through the worthy applications in order to select the finalists, and participating in work sessions with the Greater Lowell Community Foundation, employees have the opportunity to learn how nonprofits are addressing important issues in the community. From the grant submissions, three finalists were selected and invited to virtually present to NETSCOUT corporate headquarters and share how their organizations would best serve the community, how they would use the grant funds, and their ideas for employee community service projects.
The NETSCOUT Heart of Giving global philanthropy program includes disaster relief, community service projects, employee matching gifts and volunteer grants, and corporate charitable contributions.

Lowell Association for the Blind (LAB) is a nonprofit, community-based organization dedicated to working with the blind and visually impaired. Established in 1923, the Association has been serving the Greater Lowell/ Merrimack Valley community for over 91 years. LAB is supported by contributions from memorial donations, grants from foundations, and program funding. The office in downtown Lowell provides 4,000 sq. feet of easily accessible space for meetings, adaptive equipment training, Braille lessons and a radio/recording studio.
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MCC’s “World of Music” to Hold a Halloween-themed Performance

LOWELL/BEDFORD: Middlesex Community College is celebrating Halloween early with a live, in-person performance of their Fall 2021 “A World of Music” concert series. Audience members can experience “The Black Cat” by Larry Bell for cello, piano and narrator, based on the poem by Edgar Allen Poe. 
“Larry and I overlapped at Juilliard many years ago, and I have been an admirer of his compositions ever since,” said Carmen Rodríguez-Peralta, MCC’s Chair of the Music Department. “He truly captures the gothic quality of Poe’s writing in this work. This is a program which everyone will enjoy, and we are so delighted that we can present this live!”

Additional haunting music by Gabriela Lena Frank, Edvard Grieg and Camille Saint-Saëns will be featured. MCC faculty members Rodríguez-Peralta, piano, and Orlando Cela, flute, will be joined by Sam Ou, cello, and Bell, composer/narrator.
The performance will take place at 8 p.m. on Friday, October 29 at MCC’s Concert Hall in Bedford. While all of the performers and speakers have agreed to be fully vaccinated, the college is requiring audience members to wear masks to performances throughout the duration of the Fall 2021 concert series.

Other performances in the semester include a concert featuring the Lowell Chamber Orchestra in “Opera: As One,” at 7:30pm on Saturday, November 20 in Lowell, and a Middlesex Student Recital at 12:30pm on Monday, December 13 in Bedford. 

All “World of Music” concerts are free and open to the public. For more information about MCC’s Fall 2021 concert series, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/worldofmusic/ or contact Rodríguez-Peralta at peraltac@middlesex.mass.edu or 781-280-3923. Visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/transportation/ for directions to campus and more information about parking.
Chelmsford

Announcing a Change to Mattress & Box Spring Curbside Collection Effective November 1st

CHELMSFORD: In an effort to continue to reduce environmental impact, the Town of Chelmsford in a partnership with UTEC Mattress Recycling, will begin to recycle mattresses and box springs collected at the curb. Not only will this divert material from the incinerator, but it reclaims valuable material from the waste stream and supports a local social services enterprise.
 
The Town has been awarded a Mattress Recycling Incentive grant from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MA DEP) to develop a recycling program that will eventually be mandated by the State through a waste ban on mattress and box spring disposal. In order to take advantage of subsidized recycling costs and to adapt to this change before it is required through legislation, the Town of Chelmsford is rolling out the new program on November 1st, 2021.

Residents will now need to visit www.utec-mattress.org/schedule to schedule and pay for curbside collection of mattresses and/or box springs. The fee for pick up is $30 per piece ($30 for the mattress and an additional $30 for the box spring). Mattresses and box springs will be scheduled to be picked up from the curb twice a month and you will receive your scheduled collection date in a confirmation email from UTEC once scheduling is complete.
 
  • MATTRESSES ACCEPTED: Traditional mattresses, mattress & box springs; full foam mattresses; discolored or worn mattresses that are not wet; twin, double, queen, king, CA king and crib sized.
  • MATTRESSES NOT ACCEPTED: NO futons or fold-out sofa beds; NO mattress pads or toppers; NO infant sleeping pads; and NO air or water beds.

PLEASE NOTE: Republic Services will no longer be picking up mattresses and box springs at the curb. If you have questions or need assistance scheduling online, please call Melissa Joyce, Sustainability Manager at 978.250.5203.
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Chelmsford Has a New Public Garden

CHELMSFORD: Next Spring when you drive around the corner in front of the Adams Library in Chelmsford Center, you will see a new garden full of blooming native and pollinator attracting plants. In 2004, The Country Lane Garden Club of Chelmsford, under the leadership of Sue Spicer, designed and installed an educational garden at the Adams Library in Chelmsford. It is located on the corner with the flag pole in the Center. Since that time the members of the Club have consistently maintained the garden. The garden design was based on plants that would have been in vogue in 1894, the year the main Library was constructed. A brochure was written to explain the uses of all the plants, both medicinal and culinary.

During the intervening 17 years garden conditions (more shade from a nearby tree, warmer summers) and horticultural concerns have changed. Eighteen months ago, the Club members determined that it would make sense to replant the plot with  native plants that would stand a better chance of thriving and filling in thus making weeding less necessary and creating more visual impact for pedestrians and passing car traffic. These plants would also attract more pollinators which is a major concern with the climate changes that are under way.

Funding for the projected cost of $2000 was provided by the Garden Club Federation of Massachusetts, Friends of the Library, and by the Club itself. Country Lane worked with Weston Nurseries to obtain the plants, some of which were hard to find. A committee of five Club members compiled and then edited an extensive native plant list, and Alison Tannenbaum executed the design and planting plan.

This past week the Club completed the replanting task. The entire 14-member Club participated in the effort. Beginning in Fall 2020 , close to 30 plants were removed and potted up for sale at Country Lane’s annual Spring plant sale. In Spring 2021, 44 plants were installed and more plants were removed. In October 2021, another 78 plants were put in. Wood chips were laid in the path ways. Next spring, mulch and a more durable surfacing for the pathways will be installed.

“We hope that visitors to the library and passersby will enjoy the newly renovated garden”, said current Club President Brenda Morris.

The Country Lane Garden Club meets the second Monday evening of the Month 8 times a year. Currently the Club is exercising Covid protocols and holding many meetings by Zoom or outdoors. For further information about the Club and becoming a member contact countrylane824@gmail.com.
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