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Current Edition -3/24/23
Current Edition - 03/17/22


0423 non profit 2x2
Click HERE to vote for April's featured!

Congratulations to March's winner,
Buddy Dog, Sudbury
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Become an Adult ESOL or Basic Literacy Tutor!

LOWELL: Have you been looking for a great volunteer opportunity? If you would like to make a difference in the life of an adult with limited English or basic literacy skills, Literacy Volunteers of Massachusetts at Lowell's Pollard Memorial Library offers free, confidential, one-on-one or small group tutoring on a flexible schedule to adults in the greater Lowell area. You do not need prior teaching experience or knowledge of another language. All you need is an open mind, a desire to help an adult improve their skills, and the ability to meet with your student for 2 hours per week! In-person, remote, and hybrid tutoring options are available. Before being matched with a student you also will be required to successfully complete an 18-hour tutor training.  
Tuesday, March 28, 6:30-8 pm 
Tuesday, April 11, 6:30-8 pm
To RSVP to one of the above sessions, or find out more about our program, please contact Literacy Director Sarah Miller at, Literacy Assistant Mary  Hartmann at, or call us at (978) 674-1541. 
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Free Meditation Workshop at CPL

CHELMSFORD: Aldersgate United Methodist Church invites you to the following worship services and special events during Holy Week, April 2-9:
  • Palm Sunday: April 2 – Worship services at 8:30am & 10:45am. Pancake breakfast hosted by Boy Scout Troop 81 from 8-11am. Suggested donations of $10/$8 appreciated.
  • Maundy Thursday: April 6, 7:30pm – Worship service of Tenebrae & Holy Communion.
  • Eggs-tra! Eggs-stra!: April 8, 10-11:30am – Fun activities for children including crafts, a movie about the first Easter, and an “egg-citing” Easter egg hunt (held indoors in case of inclement weather).
  • Easter: April 9 – Worship services at 8:30am & 10:45am. Full-course breakfast served from 7:30-10:30am. Vegan and gluten-free options available.

Aldersgate UMC is located at 242 Boston Road (Rt. 4). For more information, contact the church office at (978) 256-9400 or, or visit

Free Meditation Workshop at CPL

CHELMSFORD: A free Sahaja Yoga meditation workshop will take place April 2 at 3pm in the Chelmsford Public Library, 25 Boston Road (McCarthy Meeting Room). An ancient solution to modern problems, Sahaja Yoga nourishes the roots of our mental, physical and emotional systems through an experience called Self-Realization (kundalini awakening) that can occur within each human being. This awakening allows entry into a new state of thoughtless awareness where all fatigue, fears and anxieties spontaneously drop out. As a seed sewn in the Mother Earth sprouts without any effort, Sahaja Yoga is a natural, living experience of awakening ones innate energy. In this workshop participants will have the opportunity to enjoy a guided meditation, chat with seasoned Sahaja Yoga practitioners, receive resoures for continued practice at home and, most importantly, feel the peace within. Sahaja Yoga is always offered free of charge and no physical efforts are required. As explained by Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi, the founder of Sahaja Yoga, "Sahaja Yoga is different from other yogas because it begins with Self-Realization." For more information visit or email

Businesses in Your Community

Rotary Club of Nashoba Valley Awards Scholarships to Local Students for Upcoming (RYLA) Conference in June

The Rotary Club of Nashoba Valley announced that it has awarded scholarships to this year’s Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) Conference to be held in June. The lucky scholarship winners are Nevaeh Duplessis, Vincenzo Porfino, Riley Dinjian and Madison Oxnard.

Robert Johnson, local Committee Chairperson, said that the chosen students will be among the more than 150 Massachusetts high school sophomores who will attend the RYLA Conference. Aimed at developing the leadership potential of young men and women, the conference will feature many thought-provoking events including interactive Leadership Labs, exciting guest speakers, and challenging mental and physical activities that will provide the participants with a chance to excel amongst and with their peers. Topics will include decision-making, critical thinking, communicating effectively, ethics, and public service. To be chosen, the candidates needed to qualify by showing leadership potential and good citizenship characteristics and showing a strong desire to attend and benefit from the conference. Additionally, in their individual interviews, they needed to stand out from the other applicants.

Congratulations from the Rotary Club of Nashoba Valley to this year’s scholarship winners and their families! Anyone interested in obtaining further information should visit or contact
Robert Johnson at, (978) 875-3143 or any other member of the Nashoba Valley Rotary Club.

Chelmsford Police Participating in Sigma Tactical Wellness Program to Reduce Injury from Heart Disease

CHELMSFORD: Chief James Spinney reports that the Chelmsford Police Department is participating in the Sigma Tactical Wellness program, aimed at reducing injuries from a leading threat to police officers — heart disease.

Thanks to generous funding from the Town of Chelmsford and the American Rescue Plan Act, the Chelmsford Police Department is the first police department in Massachusetts to offer 61 officers an opportunity to participate in Sigma Tactical Wellness's program, designed to detect potentially deadly heart conditions in police before routine medical screenings would catch them.

Studies have shown that police officers have a life expectancy of approximately 22 years less than average community members, and heart disease is among the leading causes of line of duty deaths.

While police officers must pass physical fitness tests during the police academy and work to remain healthy afterward, repeatedly responding to high stress situations throughout a career can take a major toll on heart health.

Sigma Tactical Wellness offers a program for public safety personnel that tests for early markers of coronary issues that traditional medical insurance would not cover, and which typical municipal testing regimes do not include.

Tests include active electrocardiogram with physician interpretation and evaluation, cardio metabolic stress tests, advanced lipid panels including cardiac inflammatory biomarker analysis, and carotid intima-media thickness ultrasound. Additionally, the program provides consultations with clinicians and exercise physiologists, as well as an in-depth nutritional analysis based on individual results of cardio metabolic testing.

"Through this aggressive and cutting-edge technology, the rates of heart attack, obesity and other metabolic illness can be drastically reduced, if not eliminated," according to Sigma Tactical Wellness. "Not only does Sigma’s program help to decrease the prevalence of heart disease among law enforcement officers and increase the life expectancy of LEOs, but it can work to bring down departmental healthcare costs."

Chelmsford Police Lt. Gary Hannagan first learned of the program while attending the Northwestern University Police Command and Staff School, where he met Sigma's CEO and Founder Dr. Benjamin Stone. Lt. Hannagan then worked with Chief Spinney and the Town of Chelmsford to get the program funded.

"I have always been passionate about officer wellness in my role within the Chelmsford Police Department," said Lt. Hannagan. "I want to strive to build a culture that puts emphasis on the people who take care of people, and I'm grateful that Chief Spinney and the town both supported this effort."

"Any police department's most valuable resource is it's employees, and I'm grateful that the Town of Chelmsford supported our efforts to be the first police department in Massachusetts to work with Sigma Tactical Wellness," said Chief Spinney. "This program could save lives, save healthcare costs, and will ensure our officers all have a better chance at a happy and healthy future."

To learn more about Sigma Tactical Wellness, visit:

SAVE THE DATE: "The Power of Angels" 2023 Kitty Angels Fundraiser May 6 & 7

AMHERST, NH: Plans are coming together for another fabulous fundraiser for Kitty Angels, Inc., so mark your calendars! This year’s event will take place on May 6 & 7, from 9am-5pm at Treasures Antiques and Collectables, 106 Ponemah Road (Route 122). Yes, pets are always welcome! 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!

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, Heart’s Design Jewelry. Forever Clean Soaps, Gabe’s Creations, LAB House, Shire Enduring Creations, Dubz Dyes, Morel Woodworking, Baby Snuggz, SoGo Metal Art, Happy Cat Creations, Vinyl Revival, Dusty Finds, Blueberry Cove Creations, Damsel In Defense, Willey’s Whirleys, Baboosic Lake Gourds, Anthony Acres, Color Street, Paws & Spas, Lynda’s Felted Critters, Custom Care Designs, Fiber Art by Eve Huston, Cam’s Shop, Amherst Animal Hospital and so many more. The bands and soloists for the event, consist of keyboardist/band member Joey Peavey, Side Effects, Jensing, North Sound Duo, 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. Consider adopting a new life-long forever-friend!

Interested in becoming a vendor at the event? Contact Sherry or Rick Tobin, at (603) 672-2535.  
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Chelmsford Art Society Presents Brooke Lambert Demonstration

CHELMSFORD: The Chelmsford Art Society is pleased to present Brooke Lambert, an
outstanding printmaker and artist who will be demonstrating her medium of collagraph printing at the CCA on March 15 at 7pm. She will explain her unique process of creating embossed paper prints from low relief inked plates, that invoke the textures of the sea and other natural environments. While she currently works out of Studios 447 at Western Avenue Studios in Lowell, she has also exhibits her work in New York and New England galleries. In addition to her exhibitions, she currently teaches adult classes and workshops in MA, NH, and Maine. For more information, visit

Got Too Much Stuff? Need to Downsize?


• Are your closets, cupboards and other storage areas overflowing with stuff?
• Is it difficult to use your kitchen or bathroom utility areas?
• Do you struggle with letting things go?
• Do more items come into the home than go out?
• Do you want to declutter but are overwhelmed on where to begin?

If you can answer ‘yes’ to one or more of these questions, then this free, 15-week, in person Buried in Treasures (BIT) Workshop may be for you. This is a relaxed, non-judgmental program that teaches you how to build insight, skills and strategies to help declutter, get organized and reduce acquiring. The program addresses all clutter levels from just a few messy areas, to excessive collecting, to hoarding tendencies/disorder. It'll be held every Tuesday afternoon starting March 14, 2-3:30pm, in person at Chelmsford Public Library.

This program is open to all Massachusetts residents.  The class size is limited to 10 students (18 yrs +) and 2 facilitators. Registration is required. Please call or email Taryn Angel with any questions or to register at (978) 250-5241 or

Meet Agatha Christie & Dolley Madison at CCoA

CHELMSFORD: On March 9 at 12:30pm in Room B07 of the Chelmsford Senior Center, take a tour of Agatha Christie's London courtesy of Beeyonder, a virtual tour company. Follow a slideshow through Christie's "The Mousetrap," "Death On The Nile," "Hercule Poirot," "The Mirror Crack'd," and "Miss Marple" – all of these from Dame Agatha Mary Clarissa Christie, one of the twentieth century's most prolific writers, best known for her crime fiction and whodunnits. This presentation will focus on her time in London, looking at the places she lived, worked and studied, and where she wrote many of her most popular works of fiction.

On March 24, in honor of Women's History Month, enjoy tea and cookies at 12:30pm, followed by a live performance at 1pm in the hall. Mrs. Dolley Madison herself will reveal truths about “America’s Forgotten War” and its influence on the evolution of our country. Gain a behind-the-scenes look at the War of 1812, as Dolley shares secrets she learned from eavesdropping on her husband, President Madison and his advisors! This performance brings The War of 1812 out of obscurity and ofers audiences insight into its associated catastrophes, heroics and legacy.

The Chelmsford Senior Center is located at 75 Groton Road in North Chelmsford.  For more information or to register for these programs, call (978) 251-0533 or email

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 FreeGarden Compost Bins for $25 and FreeGarden Rain Barrels for $70. The 11 cubic ft. capacity Compost Bin is a single-unit main body construction with easy assembly and durability in extreme weather. The 55-gallon Capacity Rain collection system comes with brass standard size spigot, extension hose and no base required. Its sleek flat back square design fits naturally in any location around your home. You can pre-order online at with debit or credit cards by March 17. Orders will be available for pick up on March 25 from 9am-1pm, at the side entrance of DPW, 9 Alpha Road.

CHS Students Named Lions Pride/Rotary Students of the Month

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CHELMSFORD: Six Chelmsford High School seniors were recently named Lions Pride/Rotary Student of the Month recipients for the month of February. Seniors David Barber and Diana Snider were named from Emerson House while Narissa AlDayaa and Isabella Mirasolo were honored from Hawthorne House, and Jonah Abraham and Malena Lombardo from Whittier House.

Sponsored by the Chelmsford Rotary Club for more than 30 years, the Student of the Month program recognizes outstanding students from each of CHS’s three academic houses – Emerson House, Hawthorne House, and Whittier House – for their achievements in and out of the classroom.

For more information about Chelmsford Schools, please visit

LIRA Invites Retirees to Join Spring Semester

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LOWELL: The Learning in Retirement Association (LIRA) invites all retirees to join their Spring semester classes (some live, Zoom or hybrid. A sampling of offered Spring classes includes:
1. The U.S. Constitution, based on material from the National Constitution Center.
2. Our Immune System & how it works.
3. Groton Hill Music Center, tour this new incredible teaching and performance facility.
4. Police Reform, presented by Ed Cronin - Former MA Police Chief & International Police advisor & author.
5. What, Why & How of EV’s; benefits, brands, selection resources and rebates/incentives.
6. Waste Management Recycling Center tour, 2 billion pounds in, sorted & sold.
7. Heroes & Legends: The Most Influential Characters of Literature
8. The Peloponnesian War, UML Assistant Professor Jane Sancinito covers the lead up to the messy end.
9. The Old Manse Tour, built 1770 overlooking the North Bridge.

10. Critical Issues in K-12 Public Schools. Curriculum, national models of school effectiveness & more.
11. That THINK You Do, Author Joseph
Carrabis shares 60 ways to be happy.
12. Exploring the Universe, an overview of the Universe, Our Solar System, Stars & Citizen science projects.
13. The Politics of the United Kingdom, UML Emeritus Professor John Wooding; politics, history, culture, parties & the UK constitution.
14. A Greek Odyssey, historical & current context of its history, photos & experiences as a Fulbright Fellow.
15. A Three-Week Course on Frankenstein by UML Professor Bridget Marshall
16. Searching the Exoplanetary Atmospheres for Clues by UML Professor Emeritus Bob Gamache
15. Great Decisions discussion group topics; Energy Geopolitics, War Crimes, China & the US, Economic Warfare.
16. Book discussion group; The Age of Innocence, The Revolutionary, Clara, and the Sun.
17. Film discussion group; Dances with Wolves, Chariots of Fire, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.
18. 150 years of Bridal Fashion – tour at the Nashua Historical Society.
19. UML South Campus Art tour; paintings, sculpture, mosaics & the artist who made them.

Detailed descriptions, schedules, and information to join LIRA Some classes begin March 6. Half year membership fee is only $75; $125/couple. You can take as many classes as you wish. For questions, email

Ash Wednesday Worship Service & More at Aldersgate UMC

CHELMSFORD: To begin observing the Lenten season, there will be an Ash Wednesday worship service at Aldersgate United Methodist Church on February 22 at 7:30pm. The service will include participants from Aldersgate UMC and West Chelmsford United Methodist Church. All are welcome to attend. The service will also be livestreamed on Aldersgate’s YouTube channel and recorded for later viewing.
Also, starting March 1, Aldersgate will offer a weekly series of soup suppers followed by worship services based on the theme of forgiveness. Suppers begin at 6pm, with worship services are at 7pm.
Aldersgate UMC is located at 242 Boston Road (Rt. 4). For more information, contact the church office at (978) 256-9400 or, or visit and
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Find Out about Affordable, Reliable, Clean 21st Century Nuclear Energy

The climate crisis is no longer hypothetical. It has arrived. The fastest way to de-carbonize the planet and reduce use of fossil fuels is to incorporate more nuclear energy into the regional power grid. Energy educators are offering free public talks to groups of all kinds – schools, libraries, religious communities, as well as civic, service and environmental organizations in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, southern New Hampshire and Maine and northeastern Connecticut. 

Learn about modern safety procedures, the science and enormous power of uranium and thorium as a 21st century solution to meet the escalating world demand for electricity. Examine the fears underlying discussions of nuclear operations, waste and safety. Find out how modern nuclear reactors feed regional power grids with clean energy 24/7, and how other countries are developing this dense low-carbon energy source. Explore Eco-Nuclear Solutions, a non-partisan, volunteer, grassroots group of scientists, educators and environmentalists at To reserve a date to explore the potential of nuclear power, contact

The one-hour presentation is an introduction to nuclear energy and how it benefits the planet and the world’s people. Access to reliable affordable electricity is a gateway out of poverty, which typically leads to lower birth rates. Nuclear power is experiencing a renaissance as one of the most reliable, affordable and zero-carbon sources of electricity that requires minimal land. It is the only electricity generating technology that sequesters  and/or safely disposes of all byproducts which, along with its demonstrated reliability, makes it a rockstar to provide energy, the lifeblood of the world. The Seabrook, NH and Millstone, CT, nuclear plants provide 20% of electricity to the New England grid. Scientists and activists will share data, stories, slides and videos about the world’s drive for reliable, affordable and clean energy.

The team includes: David Butz, a self-educated living encyclopedia of nuclear energy, past, present and future; Carolyn McCreary, Ph.D, who served two terms on the Ayer Select Board and led the town to become a Green Community; Dale Levandier, Ph.D., a chemist with knowledge of nuclear physics; and other scientists and environmental activists.
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Theater Lovers Invited to Join Volunteer Usher Team

LOWELL: If you enjoy live plays with professional actors, become a volunteer usher at the Merrimack Repertory Theater. It's an opportunity to meet great people, see great shows for free, receive complimentary ticket vouchers, and be invited to seasonal parties for volunteers and special events at the theater.

Volunteers must be 16 and older, willing to usher at least two performances of their choice of the many day and evening times, and to wear black and white. Enjoy top quality live theater close to home with free parking.  Interested people are invited to usher once to try it out. Learn more at Contact John Dyson, house manager for more information, All people in the theater are required to wear masks to protect the actors.

Upcoming plays include Letters from home, How High the Moon: The Music of Ella Fitzgerald, and Red Riding Hood. The MRT proudly employs equity actors and offers a mix of drama, comedy and plays featuring music and singing. The theater is adjacent to the Lowell Memorial Auditorium on Merrimack Street in downtown Lowell. 

GLCF Seeks Request for Proposals for 2023 Discretionary Grant Cycles

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LOWELL: The Greater Lowell Community Foundation will open its 2023 Discretionary Grant Cycles on February 1 and is seeking requests for proposals from nonprofit organizations. The Foundation will award $200,000 through the Discretionary Grant Cycle. Nonprofit 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.

Grant funding from the Greater Lowell Community Foundation’s 2023 Discretionary Grants Program includes the following strategic funding categories:
  • Racial Equity and Inclusion (details below) - The Foundation will award multiple grants of up to $15,000 that focus on racial equity and inclusion. The grant funding should focus on one or more of the following goals:
    • Increase understanding of our community’s challenges with racial equity and race relations
    • Provide access to stories and diverse perspectives on the lived experience of racial inequity in Greater Lowell
    • Strengthen relationships among Greater Lowell residents, particularly across racial and ethnic groups
    •  Increase awareness of resources and best practices related to advancing racial equity
  • Leclair Elder Services - The Foundation will award five grants at $7,000 each to organizations that support services to seniors (55 years+) in our service area.
  • Children’s Services - This year, thanks to the generosity of our donors, GLCF will award seven grants at $7,500 each to projects that support services for children. The Foundation welcomes proposals that improve the quality of life for children and young adults (birth to age 22.)
Grant applications must be submitted by noon on March 3, 2023. Grant recipients will be announced in May. More information is available online at

For more information about the grant process, contact Sharon, GLCF Grants Coordinator with any questions at

PHOTO: Clarendon Early Education Services received a 2022 Discretionary Children’s Grant to support their Comfort Kits for Foster Kids.
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16 Adults Complete Carpentry, Welding, Robotics Evening Courses at Minuteman Technical Institute

Programs Are Tuition-Free for Many Students Thanks to Funding from Massachusetts Workforce Skills Cabinet Grants
LEXINGTON: Sixteen adults of a variety of ages and backgrounds were recently celebrated for completing programs in carpentry, welding, and robotics at Minuteman Technical Institute. The 15-week programs were tuition-free for most students thanks to Career Technical Initiative grant funding from the Massachusetts Workforce Skills Cabinet and the Northeast Advanced Manufacturing Consortium.
The Minuteman Regional Technical School District has received more than $3 million since 2020 in grants from the Workforce Skills Cabinet, which support high school and adult career technical education programming. The funds are used to help students, including those from under-represented backgrounds, work in career trades where there is a high demand for skilled workers.
The adult students and their families attended a “Signing Day” ceremony to celebrate their completion of the fall 2022 evening programs in carpentry (pre-apprentice), welding, and robotic technician. Many students brought their families as they signed ceremonial letters of commitment to build careers in their fields of study.
“Our incredible adult students are seeking rewarding careers in high-demand trades to build their futures for decades to come,” said Dr. Kathleen A. Dawson, Superintendent of the Minuteman Regional Technical School District. “From single moms pursuing carpentry to military veterans learning high-tech robotic skills, we welcome students from all backgrounds to help them reach their dreams. In the process, we are educating highly skilled professionals for our regional economy in trades where there are critical shortages of skilled workers.”

“Our adult students are truly committed and dedicated.” said Dr. Nancy Houle, Executive Director of Minuteman Technical Institute. “They often work full time jobs and take their courses in the evenings. We congratulate and celebrate these students for their accomplishments and for contributing to the growth of our regional economy.”

Carpentry (Pre-Apprentice) Program

The following students completed the Carpentry Pre-Apprentice program, which was hosted in collaboration with the North Atlantic States Carpenters Training Fund. They each earned the following industry-recognized credentials: OSHA-10 Safety, Hot Work, Fall Protection, Mobile Elevated Work Platform (MEWP), Scaffold Use Certification.
  • Alexa Cipkas of Norfolk
  • Nicole Crane of Saugus
  • Stephen Foley of Norwood
  • Kateri Gerald-Burns of Boston
  • Seikha Kim of Lowell
  • Lina Lopez of Revere
  • Nathan Oun of Dracut

The following students completed the Robotic Technician program. They each earned the following industry-recognized credentials: OSHA-10 Safety and Hot Work.
  • Raul Gonzalez of Lowell
  • Benjamin Judge of Malden
  • John Ko of Chelmsford
  • Michael Keating of Burlington
  • David Pardey of Millis

The following students completed the Welding program. They each earned the following industry-recognized credentials: American Welding Society (AWS) D1.1-Sheilded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW)-S.S, AWS-D1.1-Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW)-5.18, AWS D1.1-SMAW-Structural, Hot Work, and OSHA-30 Construction Safety.
  • Paul Damon of Chelmsford
  • Jacob Malkasian of Northbridge
  • Jacob Stuczynski of Northbridge
  • Luke Nichols of Woburn

PHOTO: Front row L-R: Instructors Garrett Rice and Tom Akers of the North Atlantic States Carpenters Training Fund;

Middle row: Students Lina Lopez of Revere, Nicole Crane of Saugus, Alexa Cipkas of Norfolk, Nathan Oun of Dracut, and Kateri Gerald-Burns of Boston;

Back row: Dennis Lassige, Regional Manager for North Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters; Stephen Foley of Norwood; Seikha Kim of Lowell; Chris Clifford, career counselor for MassHire South/West; Kevin Kelly, regional manager for Local Union 339; and Eric Martinez, recruitment officer for North Atlantic States Carpenters Training Fund.
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Chelmsford Cultural Council Awards 22 Grants

CHELMSFORD: The Chelmsford Cultural Council has announced its grant awards for fiscal year 2023. Twenty-two grants were approved, totaling $19,942 in funding. The Chelmsford chapter is part of a network of 329 local cultural councils serving all 351 cities and towns in the Commonwealth. Consisting of municipally appointed volunteers serving two three-year terms, cultural councils support community-based projects in the arts, sciences and humanities every year with funds allocated by the Massachusetts Cultural Council.
Members of the Chelmsford Cultural Council who were in attendance to vote on the 32 applications included co-chair Doug Sparks, co-chair Barbara Reilly, treasurer Elaine D’Alessandro, clerk Cindy Cantrell, Subroto Mukherjee and TJ Beary.
“This is one of the most important committees in Chelmsford, as it provides grant money from the state to our artistic neighbors,” Reilly said. “This money helps to keep the arts alive in our area.”
The grant recipients for 2023 are as follows:

· Cara Bean: $500 for “Draw Your Story”
· Carlisle Community Chorus: $700 for Carlisle Community Chorus concerts
· Chelmsford Art Society: $2,250 for “Chelmsford Art Society Trifecta Art Shows”
· Chelmsford Center for the Arts: $3,250 for “Re-Mix: Teen Mixed Media Art & Storytelling”
· Chelmsford Community Band: $2,160 for summer concert series
· Chinese Family Network: $1,000 to use Lego bricks to teach math, science and arts
· Clear Path for Veterans New England: $617 for “Arts from the Hearts”
· Kimberley Connors: $350 for local Native American archaeology
· Discovery Museum: $300 for “Open Door Connections”
· Rhonda M. Frazio: $600 for “Dyeing to Wear It”
· Jeyanthi R. Ghatraju: $1,000 for “Navarasa (Nine Emotions) in Shakespearean Work”
· Francis Hart: $350 for “A Cultural and Historical Reflection of the 1960s Through the Music of The Beatles”
· Michael Lopez: $900 for VitalSaenz 2023 fall production
· Massachusetts Educational Theater: $750 for the Massachusetts High School Drama Festival
· Marilyn Morales: $850 for “Always Remember”
· MUSIC $600 for “Hip Hop Chair Dance for Seniors”
· MUSIC $580 for “I Am Autistic, I Am Fantastic”
· The Delvena Theatre Company: $635 for “Meet Julia Child!”
· The Vision for Innovation Academy: $800 for “Celebrate Cambodian Heritage Through Dance”
· Westford Chamber Players: $200 for “Learning Diversity Through Music”
· Westford Chorus: $1,000 for “Winter Concert: All About Love”
· Matt York: $550 for “The Highwaymen Songs & Stories”
For more information, visit
PHOTO: CCC members (L to R): Subroto Mukherjee, treasurer Elaine D’Alessandro, clerk Cindy Cantrell, TJ Beary, Roberta Witts, co-chair Barbara Reilly & co-chair Doug Sparks.

Local Students Named to Dean's List at Fitchburg State

FITCHBURG: Fitchburg State University President Richard S. Lapidus has announced the students who qualified for inclusion on the Dean’s List for the Fall 2022 semester. A student is placed on the Dean’s List for the semester if an average grade of 3.20 or better is attained, and the student is attending the university full time.  Congratulations to:

Acton / Boxborough / Maynard
Catherine Abrams
Yilver A. Aguilera

Zainabu A. Bosungmeh 
Joseph D. Ditavi
Abderrahmane Garchali 

Ryan B. Kidder 
Carl W. Lindberg
Kyle J. Lindfors

Jonah T. Sallese 
Zachary J. St John 
Ayer / Shirley / Groton / Harvard / Devens
Chassity P. Boo 
Kaitlyn M. Bremer 
Jonathan W. Bremer 
Hailey G. Burke 
Savannah D. Caldbeck
Matthew J. Carey 
Andrew T. Esielionis
Emily J. Hanson 
Kayla A. Holland 
Curtis J. Holmes
Kabriana T. Kien 
Ryleigh A. Levensailor 
Brady W. Madigan 
Deven J. Muldoon 
Eli Norton 
Mishayla S. Silver
Megan R. Strout
Mark K. Terhune 
Danielle M. Varner 
Jing Wang
Stephen T. Wells

Chelmsford / North Chelmsford
David E. Kelley 
McKenna G. Moore 
Sara Najm 
Karen A. O'Rourke
Seth E. Rigby

Concord / Carlisle / Bedford
David P. Eisenberg 
Shujiao Liu

Hudson / Stow
Brian K. Boland 
Emily Cristobal 
Molly J. Flanagan
Isaiah French

Emily G. Hallsworth 
Nicholas D. Solimine 
Cameron J. Sousa
Dale A. Sousa 
Courtney M. Walsh

Marlborough / Sudbury
Julia M. Barnes 
Ava E. Hannon 
Kaleigh A. Morales 
Nickolai Voskanian

Westford / Littleton 
Vincent A. Colavita 
Erick K. Gakuo 
Benjamin R. Golash 
Kyanah Long 
Nathan S. Martin 
Edith Masembe 
Adam E. Quinlan 
Alyssa K. Ramirez 
Asha L. Speller 
Benjamin G. Stormwind
Meaghan J. Walsh

Additionally, Fitchburg State University President Richard S. Lapidus has announced the names of students included on the President’s List for the Fall 2022 semester. The President’s List honors students for consistently high academic achievement. A student is named to the list after achieving a 3.75 average in each of three successive semesters.  Congratulations to:

Acton / Boxborough / Maynard
Owen C. Thayer
Chelmsford / North Chelmsford
Alyssa J. Fields
Emily F. Klein 
Sophia A. Piper

Learn more at
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Local Partners Address Youth Food Insecurity with In-School Food Pantries 

LOWELL: Recognizing the growing issue of food insecurity among local children and youth, the Greater Lowell Community Foundation (GLCF) has partnered with Catie’s Closet and the Merrimack Valley Food Bank (MVFB) to establish five school-based food pantries, known as Mill Markets, in Lowell Public Schools.

GLCF’s Youth Food Insecurity Initiative was launched in 2021 and expanded on a pilot food pantry set up at Lowell High School in 2017 by a group of LHS students. These new, GLCF-supported Mill Markets are well-organized and stocked with culturally appropriate foods that appeal to students. They are located at Lowell High School (B House), Bartlett Community Partnership School, Freshman Academy at LHS, Frederic T. Greenhalge Elementary School, and Joseph G. Pyne Arts Magnet School. “After conducting a regional survey about youth food insecurity, and examining the barriers that can prevent kids and teens from accessing nutritious food, the Foundation learned that a lot of need could be alleviated by establishing and maintaining in-school food pantries,” explained Jay Linnehan, GLCF President and CEO.  “So, we turned to two of our trusted local nonprofit partners -- Catie’s Closet and Merrimack Valley Food Bank -- to help implement our vision of bringing healthy, shelf-stable food directly to youth in their schools.”

Enlisting the assistance of MVFB and Catie’s Closet made sense, as both nonprofits are already addressing the needs of low-income students in the Lowell schools. Through Operation Nourish, Merrimack Valley Food Bank supplies food for 1,200 students a month in Greater Lowell and Lawrence. And Catie’s Closet provides clothing and toiletries to students through its in-school Closets, which are set up like retail stores, where students can “shop” for items, free of charge. “When GLCF first approached me about establishing Mill Markets, I said, ‘Whatever you do, it needs to be in the schools,’ ” explained Mickey Cockrell, CEO and co-founder of the highly successful Catie’s Closets. “These kids have no means of transportation to visit a regular food pantry and then get the food home. We have based our Closets in school settings, and are located in all Lowell schools,” she added.  “We want kids to run toward the school to solve these problems.”

Another suggestion Cockrell made was to make sure older students can select which food items they want to eat. “I think giving teens the agency to choose is essential,” said Cockrell, who has an extensive background in retail sales. “That has been key to the success of Catie’s Closet: The kids get to select -- and try on -- the clothes they want to wear. And I imagined it would be key for youth food pantries, too.”

Armed with these suggestions, GLCF elected to add Mill Markets to already-established Catie’s Closets in the five schools, explained Jennifer Aradhya, GLCF’s Vice President of Marketing, Programs & Strategy. “Mickey and Catie’s Closet supplied the food-storage cabinets, signage and staffing for the new Mill Markets,” said Aradhya. “And, based on the Catie’s Closet model, students can access the food pantries confidentially.”

GLCF turned to Merrimack Valley Food Bank (MVFB) to provide nonperishable food for its Mill Markets. The Foundation has also provided funding to support a part-time MVFB employee assigned to keep the pantries well stocked, according to Aradhya. The collaboration has proved so successful that more in-school food pantries are being established, added Aradhya. In early 2023, a new Mill Market will open at Henry J. Robinson Middle School, thanks to a recently announced $25,000 GLCF grant in honor of the Foundation’s 25th Anniversary. GLCF has also contributed funding to support food pantries at Lincoln Elementary School and Leblanc Therapeutic Day School.

“Mill Markets are basically mini-food pantries,” explained Roberta Emerson, Program Director of MVFB’s Operation Nourish. “They sit right next to, or are located inside, a Catie’s Closet, so students can make one stop and get everything they need. For example, if a student needs a sweatshirt or deodorant, they can visit the Catie’s Closet in their school. Then a staff member might say, ‘Check out our new Mill Market over here. You might see some food you’d like to prepare for your family tonight.’ ”

“We do our best to provide familiar foods to the Mill Markets,” said Debbie Callery, MVFB’s Executive Director. “Each school gives us a list of what their students prefer. Staples like macaroni & cheese, and pasta are popular, as well as tuna, peanut butter, and shelf-stable milk – plus different varieties of dried beans and rice. “Kids can go to Mill Markets whenever they want – and as many times as they want,” stressed Callery. “There’s no registration or application. They could be grabbing something for dinner that night or just picking up a snack. After-school snacks are especially popular with student athletes headed to practice.”

GLCF’s partnership approach aligns with the Lowell Public Schools’ Community Schools Strategy, according to Lauren Campion, Director of LPS’ Student Resource Center. “Basically, this strategy means we are intentionally integrating community partnerships into our schools to meet the wrap-around needs of our students and their families,” she said.  “These strategic partnerships support learning and the academic success of our students.”

All 28 Lowell public schools, at all grade levels, serve free breakfast and lunch, explained Campion. “Mill Market food pantries very much complement the food service we already provide through district funding,” she added. School administrators with Mill Markets in their facilities, agree. “Having the food pantry here at school is amazing,” said Monica Melo Ernest, Community School Manager at Greenhalge Elementary School, which serves students from pre-K through 4th grade. “According to my data, we've already had about 134 families access the Mill Market at some point this year. We have 62 families that consistently use it -- and we’re adding families.”

Solangel Polanco, Community School Manager at Bartlett Community Partnership School (pre-K-8) is equally enthusiastic. “The location of the Mill Market here at Bartlett is within the same space as our Catie’s Closet, which works well, because students might need to visit both places. “We are definitely seeing an increase in students receiving food. Last year, we were providing weekly bags of food to 25 elementary students (who are too young to shop for themselves). This year, we are up to 46. And the kids seem to like the food -- especially the microwave-ready soups and snacks.”

To learn more about GLCF, visit:
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“Making Films on a Micro Budget” with Chelmsford Art Society

CHELMSFORD: The Chelmsford Art Society is delighted to present a unique program “Making Films on a Micro Budget”, on January 21 at 2pm at the Chelmsford Public Library. While this exciting program is open to the public, it is also aimed at indie filmmakers, on a tight budget, who are exploring films with an alternative vision of the world. For more information about this program, visit and

The main speaker is Jim Higgins, who has published several photography books, and short/medium length films with his company, The Flying Orb Productions. This film company was founded in 2005 in Lowell with James and two principal dancers from the Angkor Dance Troupe. One major focus of this indie film company deals with the legacy of America’s war in Southeast Asia, especially on Cambodians, and other refugees.
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LIRA Winter Intersession Classes Free for All Retirees; In-Person or via Zoom

LOWELL: The Learning in Retirement Association’s winter Intersession classes are free for all retirees. Attend a class on Zoom, or in-person. A sample of classes;  1. Online Gambling: The facts behind the fiction.  2. Construction & Development of the Fusion Tokamak in Devens, MA.  3. Book Appraisals by Kim & Bev Rudeen – collectors/dealer/book lovers for 40 years.  4. Professor Nelson Eby talks about Geoscience & Critical Minerals for green technology.  5. Stories from Antietam, one of the most consequential battles of the Civil War.  6. Her Majesty’s A Pretty Nice Girl – a talk by Professor Emeritus John Wooding on the British monarchy.  7. Sancho & Clarchies: Black Men of Letters & Music in the 18th & 19th centuries.  8. Island Lore-Shipwrecks – a view from New England history, art & photography.  9. Richard Hollman, a Ph.D. Physicist talks about his turn to writing science fiction including a sci-fi trilogy. There are more LIRA classes including book and film discussion groups.

Classes start on Jan 4, 2023. For the complete list of classes, descriptions with dates and times: then click on "Course Schedules."

Guests, to receive the links for the Zoom classes, email your full name and email address to (LIRA members will receive the links by email).
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Action Holiday BINGO! Wrapping Up Soon

Have you been playing The Action's Winter BINGO! this season?  The game will be wrapping up soon, so be sure to dab your numbers, cross your fingers, and when you find yourself with a row completed horizontally, vertically or diagonally, copy or scan your cards and send them to "" or 100-1 Domino Drive, Concord, MA 01742.  One winner will be drawn from all verified submissions.
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How to Recycle String Lights

CHELMSFORD: Any type of string lights such as Christmas tree lights are considered electronics and can not be placed in curbside recycling nor should they be placed in the trash as they contain small amounts of lead. The Chelmsford Recycling Committee has several solutions for disposing of your string lights. First, they have set-up three stations around town where you can recycle them: inside front entrances of Adams Library, DPW, and the Senior Center. Just place them in the designated boxes at these locations. They will collect the string lights until mid-January then send them to Scrap It, a metal recycling center in Lowell. In addition, Lowe’s in Lowell has a bin for recycling string lights inside their main entrance.
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Christmas Eve Services at Aldersgate UMC

CHELMSFORD: Aldersgate United Methodist Church invites you to worship with us at the following Christmas Eve services:
  • 4pm - Children’s Service – A shorter service for families with younger children.
  • 7pm - All-Ages Service – A traditional service of scriptures and carols.
  • 10pm - Candlelight and Communion Service – A meditative service of scriptures, carols, and Holy Communion.
Aldersgate UMC is located at 242 Boston Road (Rt. 4). For more information, contact (978) 256-9400,, or visit or

Bidding Continues for Local Online Auction

CHELMSFORD: Congregation Shalom in Chelmsford is continuing its 15th annual online auction fundraiser. The second session of four began on November 15 and goes until 11:59pm on November 28. The third and fourth sessions go from November 29 through December 12 and from December 13 through December 26. All are welcome to participate. The congregation’s easy-to-use auction program with anonymous bidding is found at

“It is always loads of fun with lots of great bargains,” says Laura of the Fundraising Committee. Items have been generously donated by area businesses and by congregation members and friends.

Bidding generally starts between 25% and 50% of the face value, allowing for some great bargains. “The current two-week session has some great items,” continues Laura, “including an autographed football; jewelry; theater tickets; gift certificates to popular restaurants and stores; artwork; and more. Take a look and have fun!”

While shoppers have fun finding bargains, the funds help Congregation Shalom continue its extracurricular music and art programming for children and other engaging programs. Visit to use an email address and password to log in or register and bid. For auction information or help, regarding an old password or anything else, email Ava at Winners can pay securely online, adding the actual cost for shipping, or making arrangements to pick items up at Congregation Shalom. For pick-up arrangements, call the temple office at (978) 251-8091or email Laura at Hours are Friday, 1-8pm, and Saturday, 10am-2pm. Bidding for the silent auction ends at noon on Saturday.

The Friends of the Chelmsford Senior Center Host January 2023 Calendar Raffle

NORTH CHELMSFORD: The Friends of the Chelmsford Senior Center will be holding a calendar raffle this coming January. The purpose of the raffle will be to raise funds to enhance the lives of Chelmsford area
seniors. A ticket will be drawn each day for the entire 31 days of January. Amounts for each day’s drawing will be either $50, $100 or $500 depending on the day. A ticket costs $10 and each ticket is good for the whole month. If lucky you can win several times with the same ticket. To buy a ticket(s), please send a check to The Friends of the Chelmsford Senior Center, Inc., 75 Groton Road, North Chelmsford, MA 01863. Please include an address for mailing the tickets. Or if you wish, visit the Senior Center in North Chelmsford and buy tickets in the Thrift Shop.

GLCF Awards $150K in Additional Grants to Address Mental Health Needs

LOWELL: The Greater Lowell Community Foundation (GLCF) announced it deployed a new round of COVID-19 related grants, providing an additional $150,000 to seven nonprofits in Greater Lowell addressing mental health needs. These grants were part of the latest round of distributions from the GLCF COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund.
Grants were determined through a competitive process with community members serving on the selection committee. GLCF solicited applications from nonprofits and local programs addressing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health in Greater Lowell.
“GLCF received more than $700K in grant requests for this cycle – the needs are enormous as the community deals with the mental health implications of COVID-19,” said GLCF president & CEO Jay Linnehan. “We are grateful to our volunteer selection committee that used their collective expertise to review many worthy applications to make some hard decisions relating to grant funding.”
The seven nonprofits receiving grants to address mental health needs are:
  • Adolescent Consultation Services (Cambridge) for Direct Mental Health Services for Court-Involved Children in Greater Lowell - $25,000
  • Alternative House (Lowell) for Support for Child Survivors - $15,000
  • Boys & Girls Club of Greater Billerica for Club Social Worker - $50,000
  • International Institute of New England (Lowell) for Lowell Refugee Youth Mental Health Initiative - $30,000
  • ThinkGive (Concord) for SEL program expansion to five Greater Lowell sites serving under-resourced youth in 2022–2023 - $5,000
  • UTEC (Lowell) for Improving mental health for proven-risk adolescents - $20,000
  • Westford Health Department for applying under the shared grant service NorthWest Coalition (Lowell, Westford, Acton, and Dracut) Youth Mental Health First Aid trainings - $15,084
Among the grants funded, Boys & Girls Club of Greater Billerica received a grant to support a club social worker. “Mental Health is often overlooked, young people, today, more than ever, are facing pressures, stress and other mental health issues, post pandemic,” said Michelle Vichot, CEO, Boys & Girls Club of Greater Billerica for Club Social Worker. “We are so grateful to GLCF for their impactful generosity as we work on this critical issue together.”
Additionally, International Institute of New England received a recent $30,000 grant for their program: Lowell Refugee Youth Mental Health Initiative. “IINE has special programming for refugee youth and this grant support of our Lowell Refugee Youth Mental Health Initiative will allow us to add new strategies and resources to better support their healing from experiences of forced migration and other early traumas,” said Alexandra Weber, LICSW, Senior Vice President, International Institute of New England. “GLCF's support will allow us to better educate staff, youth, and parents on risk and protective factors to promote youth emotional well-being.”
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 140 local nonprofit organizations with grants totaling over $7 million. 
Established in 1997, the Greater Lowell Community Foundation (GLCF) is a philanthropic organization comprised of more than 400 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 $35 million to the Greater Lowell community.
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Parker School Opens 2023-24 Enrollment Season

DEVENS: Francis W. Parker Charter Essential School announced the enrollment season for the 2023-2024 academic year is now open. Parker is a free public charter school open by lottery to students entering grades 7, 8 and 9. Applications can be submitted online at until February 1, 2023. The lottery will be held on February 7, 2023 at 4pm. All application, lottery, and enrollment regulations, as outlined in the enrollment policy will be followed.

In addition, Parker has limited openings in grades 7 and 9 for mid-year entry during the current (2022-23) school year. There are no openings in grade 8 for the 2022-23 school year at this time. Applications for the current school year can be submitted online and will be accepted until January 4, 2023. If more applications are received than there are available spaces, a lottery will be drawn on January 12, 2023 at 4pm. Enrollment offers will be made with an intended start date of the first day of second semester (January 24, 2023).

Parker Charter School educates 400 students in grades 7-12 from more than 40 towns in Massachusetts. Founded in 1995, Parker is committed to the principles of progressive education—inclusive community, low student-teacher ratio, project-based learning, and promotion based on mastery of core intellectual skills. Learn more at Sign up for an information session at

FINANCIAL FOCUS: What to Know about Sustainable Investing

December 6, 2022
You may have heard about “sustainable investing.”  But if you're not familiar with it, you may have some questions: What does it involve? Is it right for me? Can I follow a sustainable investing strategy and still get the portfolio performance I need to reach my goals?

Sustainable investing can be defined in different ways, with different terminologies. However, one way to look at a sustainable approach is by thinking of it as investing in a socially conscious way which may involve two broad categories: environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing and values-based investing.

As its name suggests, ESG investing incorporates a broad range of environmental, social and governance risks and opportunities, along with traditional financial measures, when making investment decisions. This approach may have a neutral impact on performance because it maintains a focus on managing risk, traditional fundamental analysis and diversification. Here's a quick look at the ESG elements:

    • Environmental – Companies  may work to reduce carbon emissions, invest in renewable energy, decrease pollution and conserve water resources.
    • Social – A business  may promote gender and pay equality within its workforce, and maintain positive labor relations and safe working conditions for employees.
    • Governance – Companies distinguished by good governance may institute strong ethics policies, provide transparent financial reporting and set policies to ensure it has an independent, objective board of directors.

You can pursue an ESG investing approach through individual stocks, mutual funds or exchange-traded funds (ETFs), which hold a variety of investments similar to mutual funds, but are generally passively managed – that is, they do little or no trading. As an ESG investor, you don't necessarily have to sacrifice performance because ESG investments generally fare about as well as the wider investment universe. Some investments may even gain from the ESG approach. For example, a company that invests in renewable energy may benefit from the move away from fossil fuel sources.

Now, let's move on to values-based investing. When you follow a values-based approach, you can focus on specific themes where you may choose to include or exclude certain types of investments that align with your personal values.

So, you could refrain from investing in segments of the market, such as tobacco or firearms, or in companies that engage in certain business practices, such as animal testing. On the other hand, you could actively seek out investments that align with your values. For instance, if you’re interested in climate change, you could invest in a mutual fund or ETF that contains companies in the solar or clean energy industries.

One potential limitation of values-based investing is that it may decrease the diversification of your portfolio and lead to materially lower returns due to narrowly focused investments, prioritization of non-financial goals and too many exclusions.

Ultimately, if you choose to include a sustainable investing approach, you will want – as you do in any investing scenario – to choose those investments that are suitable for your goals, risk tolerance and time horizon.

If sustainable investing interests you, give it some thought – you may find it rewarding to match your money with your beliefs.

This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor Mandy Calouro, Chelmsford, MA. - Edward Jones, Member SIPC
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Holiday Events at The Brush Art Gallery & Studios

LOWELL: The Brush Art Gallery & Studios is located in a former silk manufacturing building in the Lowell National Historical Park and was the first to have open working artist studios.  It was originally founded by the Lowell Historic Preservation Commission of the US Department of the Interior in 1982, and just celebrated its 40th anniversary in August. There are museum quality exhibitions, educational programs, and collaborations with many other non-profit groups.  There are currently eleven artists who produce paintings, illustrations, photography, jewelry, sculpture, ceramics, quilts, and handwoven items.
The Annual Members' Exhibition includes artist members of The Brush Art Gallery & Studios and the New England Sculptors Association.  This year, small works were encouraged because they make great gifts.  The free exhibition runs through December 23, with a reception on December 10, from 2-4pm.  Refreshments will be served.
On December 9, from 11am-2pm, the annual Soup & Shop will be held.  Enjoy a hot cup of a variety of home-made soups while you walk around and view the open studios and meet the artists.
On December 17 and 18 from 12-4pm, the annual Sugar & Spice Holiday Marketplace will be held.  Enjoy cookies and pick up any last minute gifts you may have on your list.
The Brush Art Gallery & Studios is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization and is supported by the Lowell National Historical Park.  They are located behind the National Park Visitor Center in Downtown Lowell at 256 Market Street.  The gallery is handicap accessible and validated parking is available at the HCID Parking Garage, located off Dutton Steet.  For more information, please call (978) 459-7819 or visit
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Theater Lovers - Join MRT Ushering Team!

LOWELL: If you enjoy live plays with professional actors, consider becoming a volunteer usher at the Merrimack Repertory Theater. It's an opportunity to meet great people, see great shows for free and receive complimentary ticket vouchers to share with friends. Volunteers are also invited to seasonal parties and special events. Ushering volunteers must be 16 and older, willing to wear black and white and to usher at least two performances of their choice of the many day and evening times. Free parking provided and no need to drive to Boston for top quality entertainment. You are invited to usher once to try it out! Learn more by visiting or contact House Manager John Dyson at for more information.
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Supporting Someone with a Mental Health Condition?

The Family to Family course from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) could prove helpful to you. This is a free, evidence-based, weekly, eight-session virtual course for family members and friends of individuals living with mental health conditions. Topics include understanding the symptoms of mental health conditions, learning about treatments and therapies, practicing communication and problem-solving skills, creating a positive team approach, and self-care. Importantly, the course offers family members the invaluable opportunity of open conversation and mutual support in a stigma-free environment. The class is taught by NAMI trained family members from the local NAMI Central Middlesex affiliate. The course will meet Mondays via Zoom, starting January 16, 6-8:30pm.  Registration is required. Go to for additional information, the registration link, and more course offerings. To converse with one of the teachers, contact Patti at; (978) 621-1065 or Lindsay at; (781) 864-7003.
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Annual Holiday Concert at Chelmsford Senior Center

NORTH CHELMSFORD: Ring in the season with the Chelmsford Community Concert Band as they present a program guaranteed to fire up your holiday spirit.  Led by director Eric Linsner, they will close out their 50th year of performing for Chelmsford’s community members with a festive concert at 2pm on December 11, at the Chelmsford Senior Center at 75 Groton Road.  
This year’s concert will feature a solo vocal performance by Emily Caissie, a junior from Tyngsboro High School, and select songs performed jointly with the Carlisle Community Chorus.  The Carlisle Community Chorus is directed by Amanda Kern and is in its 12th year.

The band members will also share holiday sweets, baked goods, and drinks throughout the show.  This is a fantastic opportunity for families to enjoy live music together in a relaxed atmosphere.  Admission is always free, but donations are gratefully accepted to help support expenses like the band’s rehearsal space and sheet music purchases.  Suggested donations at the door are $10 for children and seniors and $20 for others.

The Chelmsford Community Band has a 60-piece Concert Band and a 20-piece Jazz Ensemble made of dedicated volunteer musicians and they have been bringing live musical performances to this community for 50 years.  Follow them on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, and find them online at

FINANCIAL FOCUS: Protect Financial Accounts From “Cyberthieves”

November 29, 2022
Cybercrime is booming. In 2021, the FBI reported that cybercriminals scammed nearly $7 billion from Americans — a figure slightly higher than the gross domestic product (GDP) of Switzerland for that year, according to research organization World Economics. How can you protect yourself from cyberthieves? Here are some suggestions that can help:
  • Watch out for “phishing” attempts. You may receive emails that appear to be from a legitimate firm, requesting information your financial institution would never request online — confirmation of an account number, password, Social Security number, credit card number and so on. These notes can look official, often incorporating a firm’s logo, so pay close attention to what’s being asked of you.
  • Think twice before clicking or downloading. If you are suspicious about a communication, don’t click on a link or download an attachment — instead, go to your financial firm’s website or use their app to verify they sent the information or request.
  • Become adept with passwords. Use a different password for each of your accounts and change your passwords regularly. Of course, maintaining multiple passwords can be confusing, so you might want to consider using password management software, which generates passwords, stores them in an encrypted database and locks them behind a master password — which is the only one you’ll need to remember.
  • Use your own devices. Try to avoid using public computers or devices that aren’t yours to access your financial accounts. If you do use another computer, clear your browsing history after you log out of your account.
  • Be cautious about using Wi-Fi when traveling. When you’re on the road, you may want to use public hotspots, such as wireless networks in airports and hotels. But many people don’t realize that these hotspots reduce their security settings to make access easier, which, in turn, makes it easier for cyberthieves to intercept your information. In fact, some hackers even build their own public hotspots to draw in internet-seekers in an effort to commit theft. So, if at all possible, wait until you can access a trusted, encrypted network before engaging in any communications or activity involving your financial accounts.
  • Don’t give up control of your computer. Under no circumstances should you provide remote access to your computer to a stranger who contacts you, possibly with an offer to help “disinfect” your computer. If you do think your device has an issue with malicious software, contact a legitimate technician for assistance.
  • Know whom you’re calling for help. If you need assistance from, say, a customer service area of a financial institution, make sure you know the phone number is accurate and legitimate — possibly one from a billing or confirmation statement. Some people have been scammed by Googling “support” numbers that belonged to fraudsters who asked for sensitive information.
  • Review all correspondence with your financial services provider. Keep a close eye on your account activity and statements. If you see mistakes or unauthorized activity in your account, contact your financial institution immediately.

Advanced technology has brought many benefits, but also many more opportunities for financial crimes. By taking the above steps, and others that may be needed, you can go a long way toward defending yourself against persistent and clever cyberthieves.

This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor Preston Carbone, Westford, MA  -, Edward Jones, Member SIPC
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Annual Holiday Faire and Festival at Aldersgate

CHELMSFORD: The Aldersgate United Methodist Church CHelmsford Faire and Festival on December 2 and 3 offers a celebration of holiday cheer with delicious homemade food, beautiful wreaths and other greenery, crafts, jewelry, a silent auction, and much more. A children’s area will provide a fun and safe place for kids to make their own crafts and decorate cookies while the grown-ups shop. Aldersgate is located at 242 Boston Road (Route 4). For more information, contact the church office at (978) 256-9400 or or visit or Hours are Friday, 1-8pm, and Saturday, 10am-2pm. Bidding for the silent auction ends at noon on Saturday.