GLCF to Host Annual Celebrate Giving Event with Focus on Cultural Equity

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LOWELL: On Wednesday, October 13, 2021, the Greater Lowell Community Foundation (GLCF) will host its annual Celebrate Giving event as a hybrid event, predominantly virtual, with limited in-person tickets. The event will highlight the contributions of local organizations committed to making an impact on the community through cultural equity.

This year’s keynote speaker is San San Wong, Director of Arts & Creativity, Barr Foundation. San San Wong directs Barr’s Arts & Creativity portfolio. She currently serves on the board of Grantmakers in the Arts, a national leadership and service organization that supports the growth of arts and culture. Prior to joining Barr in 2012, San San served as director of grants at the San Francisco Arts Commission, executive director of the National Performance Network, director of development and special initiatives at Theatre Artaud, and a performing arts producer and presenter. As an international arts consultant, her clients included the Ford Foundation, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, New England Foundation for the Arts, and Res Artis, among many others.

The event will be emceed by Sophan Smith, executive director of E for All Lowell. Celebrate Giving will feature presentations and performances by Lowell Chamber OrchestraFree Soil Arts Collective, and We Are America Project.

The event will also include the 2021 GLCF Business Philanthropy Partner Award presented to Western Avenue Studios and Lofts for creating an ever-evolving art hub with hundreds of studios and live workspaces. Western Avenue Studios and Lofts has helped attract innumerable artists and craftspeople to practice in Lowell. In addition, their events draw art lovers and patrons from across the region.

“Cultural equity embodies the values, policies, and practices needed to build strong and interconnected creative communities of diverse and distinct cultures,” said Jay Linnehan, Greater Lowell Community Foundation President and CEO. “This year’s Celebrate Giving will provide an opportunity to showcase creative collaboration and hopefully inspire others in our community to get involved in this important work.”

Celebrate Giving will begin at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are free but need to be reserved by October 10 online at Sponsorships are available.

Be a fraud fighter!
If you can spot a scam, you can stop a scam.

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Did you know that someone’s identity gets stolen every two seconds?  The AARP Fraud Watch Network provides you with tips and resources to help you spot and avoid identity theft and fraud so you can protect yourself and your family.  AARP's watchdog alerts will keep you up to date on con artists’ latest tricks.  It’s free of charge for everyone:  AARP members, non-members, and people of all ages.

SCAM ALERT #1: AARP Impostor Scams
One of the most effective things that criminals can do to gain your confidence is impersonate an organization that you do business with and trust. Sadly, no one is immune from this - not even AARP. Recently, the AARP Fraud Watch Network Helpline has been receiving calls about a scam involving phone calls from someone claiming to be with "AARP Security Systems" (or something similar sounding). The first question they ask is whether you own your home and then they hang up. Rule of thumb...Don’t engage with anyone claiming to be from AARP Security Systems, and if you get a call like this, call the AARP Fraud Watch Network Helpline at 1-877-908-3360, or reporting it on zour scam map ( Anytime you are directed to pay a debt or other obligation with a gift card, it is a scam.

SCAM ALERT #2:  “Smishing”
As more of us catch on to scam calls to our smartphones and block them or don’t answer them, scammers have taken to texting. “Smishing” is the term of art: SMS + phishing. Just as scammers phish by casting a wide net with email, so they do with smishing. The same things that we suggest in order to avoid phishing attacks apply to smishing.  But texts live in this space of immediacy – scammers know we are likely to respond much faster to a text than an email. To thwart their efforts, take a pause and consider the message. Is this really my bank, or Amazon, or PayPal, or the IRS texting me? Don’t click links – access the company or agency in a way you know to be safe and see if there’s an issue. Otherwise, don’t engage.

SCAM ALERT #3: Grandparent Scams
Criminals know that fear is the best motivator, and nothing drives fear more than a loved one in trouble. This is why scams targeting grandparents seem never to go away. If someone calls claiming to be your grandchild, or some authority calling about your grandchild who is in trouble or danger, it’s most likely a scam. It’s certainly a scam if the caller directs you to send money fast to resolve the problem. Your best move is to hang up and call your grandchild or reach out to family who would know his or her whereabouts.

SCAM ALERT #4: Utility Scams
Utility scams heat up as the temperatures rise (and when they fall), so much so that the Federal Trade Commission ranks utility impostors among the top reported scams. In this one, you typically get a call, email or text saying your account is past due and you must pay immediately, or they will cut off your power.  Another tactic is the “utility” claiming you overpaid your bill, and they request your bank account information to issue a refund. Utility scammers can also show up at your door after a power outage or severe storm offering to get your power back on for a fee. Utility companies typically don’t do business this way. Any unusual communication from your utility should raise a flag. Disengage and contact your provider at a number you know to be legitimate (off of a recent statement, for example). Chances are you’ll learn that there is no problem to address.

Be a fraud fighter!  If you can spot a scam, you can stop a scam. Report scams to local law enforcement. Contact the AARP Fraud Watch Network at for more information on fraud prevention.
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OARS Annual River Cleanup

It's OARS 35th Annual River Cleanup September 17-19. Join staff and volunteers as they spread out across the Sudbury, Assabet and Concord River Watershed to clean up our rivers, streams, ponds and trails. This year, to accommodate the comfort and needs of volunteers, there are two options.

Team Up Clean Up: During the weekend, gather family and friends for a walk or a paddle near or along the river, stream or pond. Pick up what trash and recycling you can and send OARS photos of your group cleaning up! People love to see what trash is no longer in our rivers.

Cleanup Day: Saturday, September 18, from 9am–noon. A team of volunteers will tackle sites in needing a larger group effort in towns including Framingham, Westborough, Hudson, Maynard, Concord and Billerica. The morning of hard work will be followed by a celebration with pizza. Registration is required. Details and registration information is available at

OARS is the watershed organization working to protect, improve, and preserve the Assabet, Sudbury, and Concord Rivers, their tributaries and watersheds for the purposes of public recreation, water supply, and wildlife habitat. 

Celebrate and Observe the 5782/2021 Jewish High Holidays with Congregation Shalom

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NORTH CHELMSFORD: Congregation Shalom in Chelmsford is excited to open its physical and virtual doors for the 5782/2021 Jewish High Holidays, which begin on Monday evening, September 6. Members and others seeking a “home” for the High Holidays are invited to register for the services and activities they choose for meaningful worship and joyous, enriching community experiences. Congregation Shalom is located at 87 Richardson Road.

In this ever-changing landscape, specific precautions are in place for in-person worship and activities, and other options are also available. Each individual or family can choose how to connect for each High Holiday service or activity. The options for many of the services and activities include connecting on Zoom, joining in person either indoors or outside, or live-streaming. Pre-registration is required for each in-person or Zoom service or activity. The arrangements are subject to change in response to any new developments with the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly with guidance from the CDC and state health officials.

The High Holiday services are led by Rabbi Shoshana Perry, with Meryl Gold as cantorial soloist. There is no charge for attending any of the services or activities, although donations are welcome. Congregation Shalom uses the Reform High Holiday prayer books Mishkan HaNefesh and Mishkan HaNefesh for Youth, which are available in various formats from the Central Conference of American Rabbis.

The services marked as family services are designed for families with older children who can read the youth prayer book, generally those in third grade or higher. Younger children, toddlers through second grade, are welcome instead at those services and activities marked either for children or for all ages.

Note that there will also be a food drive with collection of nonperishable items during Yom Kippur.

For the live-streaming of services, visit: For the High Holiday schedule and registration links, visit For more information about Congregation Shalom or these High Holiday plans, email, call the temple office at (978) 251-8091, or visit
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UML's LIRA Offers Fall Semester Classes

CHELMSFORD: The Learning in Retirement Association (LIRA) at University of Massachusetts/Lowell invite you to attend their Fall semester classes.  Most classes will be both in person and available via Zoom. A few will be Zoom only.

A quick sample of the Fall class topics; Women in History, Native Americans in New England, Great Decisions World Affairs Discussion Group, Abolitionist Movement in Lowell, Creation of the Universe, Hubble and the Milky Way, Scandalous History of the Masquerade Ball, Stained Glass Windows, History of Freemasonry, Dark side of Mill Girl life, The Stamp Act  and the British Colonies, Pirates of the Mediterranean, Understanding the U.S. Government, Discovering New England Stone Walls, History of the United States Post Office Through Stamps, Germany’s 2021 Election, Irish Identity: Independence, History and Literature, an interview with Enid Rocha, Discovery of a Masterpiece, and Condominium Law, The Merrimack River at Risk, and LGBTQ – History UnErased. Book and film discussion groups, a performance by the Lowell Chamber Orchestra and visits to The Museum of Printing and the American Heritage Museum will round out the program.

Detailed class descriptions, schedule and information to join LIRA - Classes begin September 13th. If you are not a member, the yearly membership fee is only $125 or $200/couple and you can take as many classes as you wish. A great way to learn and stay engaged in life.

NAMI Offers 9-Week "Family to Family" Mental Health Educational Program

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UPDATE: All programs, due to the increase in active Delta Covid transmissions and illness on the rise in MA, will be be conducted only on Zoom.

: Does a “Loved One” have Mental Health concerns? Mental health conditions touch one in five people, so it is likely a spouse, partner, child, parent, sibling or dear friend of yours may be living with a mental health condition. The National Alliance on Mental Illness, NAMI, is offering an eight week free family educational program called “Family to Family”. It is a designated evidence-based program taught by trained NAMI family member volunteers who have been there. Curriculum includes presentations, discussions, videos and interactive exercises.                                                                                

What will you gain? The class provides critical information and strategies for taking care of the person you love and you’ll also find - you are not alone! The group setting offers mutual support and shared positive impact – You will experience compassion and reinforcement from people who understand your situation. You can also help others through sharing your own experiences.   

You’ll learn about: Latest up-to-date information on mental health conditions and how they affect the brain ~ Current treatments; medications – their side effects and evidenced-based treatments and therapies ~ Local mental health services and supports ~ Managing crisis, solve problems and communicate effectively ~ The impact of mental illness on the entire family ~ Taking care of yourself and managing your stress. 

The program will be held IN-PERSON starting October 12 and November 30 from 6:30 -9PM. Proof of vaccination is required. To register contact Sara at 339-223-3146 or  or Phyllis at 978-973-3995, Additional course offerings and info at
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GLCF’s Women Working Wonders Fund Awards Grants

LOWELL: The Women Working Wonders (WWW) Fund, a permanently endowed fund of the Greater Lowell Community Foundation (GLCF), has announced the recipients of $56,800 in grants. These grants will support local nonprofit programs that empower women and girls to effect positive change in the community.

Recipients of 2021 WWW grants include:
  • $10,000 to Budget Buddies for New Workshop for Women: Financial Health for Families with Children
  • $10,000 to Challenge Unlimited for Equine Encounter: Healing to Leadership for Girls and Women
  • $10,000 to Coalition for a Better Acre for Sewing Training Program
  • $10,000 to Girls Inc. of Greater Lowell for Leadership Academy
  • $10,000 to Refuge Lowell for Girls and Young Women Creating Community Through Public Art
  • $6,800 to International Institute of NE for Creating New Avenues for Success (CNAFS)

Women Working Wonders provides annual grants in three key areas: assist women in transition, provide leadership development as well as contribute to the beautification of the environment.
Founded in 2004 by a small group of women coming together to form a collective giving organization that focused on women’s issues, the fund has made more than $250,000 in grants to organizations supporting women and girls in the Greater Lowell area. The WWW Fund’s Power of the Purse 2021 event is scheduled for October 21. For information about Fund and the upcoming event, visit:

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 $50 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. To learn more, visit:

Dangerous Heat Advisory Continues!

The National Weather Service (NWS) is forecasting a potential period of prolonged oppressive heat through Friday (8/13) in most of the Commonwealth. During this period, daytime temperature highs will be 90-99 degrees. Heat index (Apparent Temperature) values will be 95-110 degrees. Scattered showers/thunderstorms are possible in the afternoons, with the potential for a few strong to severe thunderstorms late Thursday. There is a low probability that the heat wave could continue through Saturday.
Impacts/ Potential Impacts:
- Very hot temperatures with moderate humidity. Little relief at night especially in urban population centers.
- Potential of heat related issues to at risk population and those doing higher levels of outdoor physical activities.
- Damaging straight line winds and localized street flooding are possible on Thursday in areas where severe thunderstorms occur.
Preparedness and Safety Information:
- Safety and preparedness tips for extreme heat:
- Never leave children or pets alone in a closed vehicle. Even with the windows cracked open, interior temperatures can rise almost 20°F within 10 minutes.
- Check with your local officials to find locations of cooling centers near you.
- Know the symptoms of and watch out for heat-related illnesses like heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke. Call 9-1-1 to report emergencies.
- Be a good neighbor. Check on family, friends, and neighbors, especially the elderly, those who live alone, those with medical conditions, those who may need additional assistance, and those who may not have air conditioning.
Power outage preparedness and safety information:
Preparedness and safety tips for thunderstorms and lightning:
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Join the Maynard Folds Virtual Origami Exhibition Contest

MAYNARD: Be an origami museum exhibitor in The Origami Museum, founded and led by artist and teacher, Lisa B. Corfman.  Corfman announces Maynard Folds, a virtual origami exhibition contest – come exhibit in the upcoming Origami Museum Community Gallery. The origami museum welcomes EVERYONE to submit from children and adults, and from novices to experts to be in the spotlight.

Entries can be anything you can do, neatly folded, nicely presented (with fitting paper used, etc.), without cutting, gluing, or drawing on the model.  Just share something you are happy with for fame in the origami museum’s online gallery.  Don’t fret, just enjoy and do your best.  Origami can be simple, fun, or even amazing.  A personal note with questions, comments or concern is always welcome.

All contestants who submit will exhibit within the origami museum website, receive a certificate of participation, have a mention on Instagram and Facebook and receive a selection of origami paper.  Awards for one top child and one adult winner features a certificate of honor, a solo Instagram and Facebook post and an online membership to OrigamiUSA.

There are three jurors and the just listed prizes.  Jurors are Ruthanne Bessman, Susan Dugan and Lisa B. Corfman.  Bessman is a long-term curator of origami exhibitions and contests.  Dugan is a 40-year veteran of origami and is a photography professor.  Corfman makes, sells, teaches, and showcases origami inspired art and she is bringing this opportunity to you!

There are the two categories for origami model submissions: under 18 and adults.  Eligible contestants are within a 20-mile radius from Maynard, whether home, work, or school.  Here are the towns in this eligible catchment area:

Acton | Ashland | Arlington| Ayer | Bedford | Belmont | Berlin | Billerica | Bolton | Boxborough | Boylston | Carlisle | Chelmsford | Clinton | Concord | Devens |Dover | Framingham | Groton | Hanscom AFB| Harvard | Hudson | Lancaster | Lexington | Lincoln | Littleton | Marlborough | Maynard | Natick | Northborough | Sherborn | Shirley | South Lancaster | Southborough | Sterling | Still River | Stow | Sudbury | Waltham | Watertown | Wayland | Wellesley | Westford | Weston

The juried contest is sponsored by the Maynard Cultural Council and OrigamiUSA.  The goal is to increase folds!

Find out more at: Maynard Folds information, statement about the jurors, and the application can be found there.

Help For Families: Mental Health Challenges

UPDATE: All programs, due to the increase in active Delta Covid transmissions and illness on the rise in MA, will be be conducted only on Zoom.

Mental illness touches one in five people. It is likely a spouse, partner, child, sibling, parent or dear friend of yours may be living with a mental health condition. The National Alliance on Mental Illness, NAMI is offering a FREE 8 session family educational program called “Family to Family”. It is a designated evidenced-based program. The program is taught by NAMI trained family member volunteers who have been there - and includes presentations, discussion, and interactive exercises.

What will you gain? The class provides critical information and strategies for taking care of the person you love, and you’ll also find out – you are not alone! The group setting provides mutual support and shared positive impact – you will experience compassion and reinforcement from people who understand your situation. You can also help others through your own experiences.

You’ll learn about: The latest up-to-date information on mental health conditions and how they impact the brain. Current treatments: Medications - their therapeutic use and side effects, current treatments and therapies. Local mental health services and supports. Managing crisis, problem solving techniques and effective communication. The emotional impact of mental illness on the entire family. Taking care of yourself and managing your stress.

Two Programs are sponsored by NAMI Central Middlesex for fall 2021.  Thursdays via ZOOM, Sept 16 – Nov 4th, 6:30 – 9:00 PM. To register contact Steve at 978-621-3253, or Lindsay at 781-864-7003, Tuesdays IN PERSON in Littleton MA Oct 12th – Nov 30th, 6:30 – 9:00 PM. proof of vaccination is required. To register, contact Sara at 339-223-3146, or Phyllis at 978.973.3995,

Chelmsford Military & Veterans Appreciation Cookout

CHELMSFORD: The Chelmsford Military Community Covenant Task Force is sponsoring a free cookout in appreciation of active, reserve, National Guard, veterans and their families on Tuesday, August 10 from 5-7pm at the Chelmsford Elks Lodge at 300 Littleton Road.  The general public is welcome to attend to meet and support our local military members.  On the menu will be cheeseburgers, hotdogs, watermelon, chips and soft drinks. A cash bar will be available.

The Chelmsford Military Community Covenant was established by the Chelmsford Board of Selectmen in 2009 in partnership with Hanscom Air Force Base as a formal effort to support military families living in Chelmsford. The primary purpose of the program is to make Chelmsford feel more welcoming for military families and veterans by drawing upon a support network of volunteers and contributions from the local business community. For more information or to volunteer with the Task Force, please visit

Chelmsford Recycling Committee Asks Residents to Complete Survey

CHELMSFORD: The Chelmsford Recycling Committee is asking residents to complete a brief survey that will help the town protect the environment and reduce disposal costs. In Massachusetts, compostable waste accounts for over 1 million tons and over 25% of the waste stream each year, according to the Recycling Committee. Composting is the best way to dispose of food scraps without sending them to the incinerator. The survey is open to both residents and business owners and will help the Committee determine local interest in curbside or drop off composting services. Please see the Town of Chelmsford website to take the survey:

Greater Lowell Community Foundation Elects Three to Board of Directors

LOWELL: At the Greater Lowell Community Foundation Virtual Annual Meeting on June 8th, the Board of Directors approved the election of three local business and community leaders to the board. These newly elected directors represent business, housing, and the technology sector. The new board members will each serve a three-year term. Joining the board of directors are:

- Stephanie Cronin of Dunstable, Executive Director of Middlesex 3: Stephanie Cronin is the Executive Director of the Middlesex 3 Coalition, a regional economic development organization (, which fosters business development and job growth and retention along the Route 3 corridor. In addition, Stephanie currently serves on the MCC Foundation Board of Directors, MassHire Greater Lowell Workforce Board, FORGE Northeast Massachusetts Advisory Council, Burlington Area Chamber of Commerce, and Hanscom Air Force Civic Leader Program.
 - Daniel Donahue of Lowell, of Gavin and Sullivan: Daniel Donahue earned his associate’s degree in Architectural Engineering Technology from Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1984. That same year he worked for the National Park Service in the North Atlantic Regional Office as an architectural, mechanical, and electrical draftsman. In 1985 he joined Gavin & Sullivan Architects, Inc. (formerly William J. Gavin Associates) as an architectural designer/draftsman and has remained with the company ever since.
- Diana Nguyen of Westford, Project Manager at MilliporeSigma: Diana Nguyen is currently Project Manager at MilliporeSigma in Burlington, MA. In this position, Nguyen provides critical support to the Integrated Supply Chain Operations leadership team, manages strategic projects, and develops a global talent pipeline of aspiring and curious leaders. Nguyen has been with MilliporeSigma since April 2017. Prior to joining the organization, she worked as  a Project Manager and participated in the Global Organizational Leadership Development Program at Avery Dennison. Nguyen is a Lowell High School graduate, and received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Management and Psychological Science from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and is pursuing a Global Executive Master of Business Administration degree from the Rotman and SDA Bocconi schools.

“I am pleased that such wonderful community leaders have accepted to serve on our board of directors. These individuals bring with them a wealth of experience and diverse perspectives,” said Jay Linnehan, GLCF’s President & CEO. “We are excited to welcome the talent, expertise, and energy of Stephanie, Daniel, and Diana to further GLCF’s mission.”

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 $50 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. To learn more, visit:

AARP Massachusetts Fraud Watch Update: July 2021

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Did you know that someone’s identity gets stolen every two seconds?  The AARP Fraud Watch Network provides you with tips and resources to help you spot and avoid identity theft and fraud so you can protect yourself and your family.  Our watchdog alerts will keep you up to date on con artists’ latest tricks.  It’s free of charge for everyone:  AARP members, non-members, and people of all ages.  Be a fraud fighter!  If you can spot a scam, you can stop a scam. Report scams to local law enforcement. Contact the AARP Fraud Watch Network at for more information on fraud prevention.

Warm weather is here which means door-to-door sales crews are here, too. But what they’re selling isn’t always legit. Be cautious anytime a stranger comes knocking, especially if the visitor is trying to sell you goods or services. Be wary of contractors who say they stopped by because they just happened to be in the neighborhood. The good ones are usually too busy to roam around in search of work. Also be on guard for high pressure tactics to make a quick decision for a steep discount, and requests for payment upfront. Your best bet is to proactively seek out services if you need them, versus reacting to an unexpected sales pitch. It’s always okay to explain you don’t do business at your front door (or to not answer when strangers knock).

Many scams originate right at your fingertips through your computer or smartphone. The good news is the way to block them is also within your grasp. Here are three tips to keep your devices safe from criminals. Make sure your devices’ operating systems are up to date; you should be able to set an auto-update feature that downloads the latest software when available. Next, make sure to change the password on your Wi-Fi router so it’s different from the password it came with. If you have a lot of devices connected to it, they could be vulnerable if the router is compromised. Lastly, a password manager is a great way to create unique and hard-to-guess passwords for all of your online accounts and apps.

America is open for business again and millions of people are traveling, or planning to. One thing you may run into is sticker shock – especially with rental cars. The lack of travel in 2020 led rental companies to sell a lot of their inventory of cars. Now that demand has spiked, supply is tight and prices are high.
Unfortunately, criminals are paying attention and posting fake rental car deals at rock bottom prices online. While everyone loves a good deal, doing business with an entity you aren’t familiar with could be risky. Whatever your travel needs, stick to reputable websites with proven track records. If you do find a deal with an unfamiliar provider, do your research: look up the company name with “scam” or “complaint” and see what appears, and check out reviews.

Who doesn’t love something for free? But beware, that “free trial offer” might mean months of payments that you didn’t know you signed up for and will have a hard time canceling. These types of sales tactics are called negative options – a customer signs up for a free trial and unwittingly accepts a subscription – sometimes for a questionable product – often by not seeing a pre-checked box in the very tiny print. When it comes to free trials, research before you enroll. Fully understand the terms and conditions by reading the fine print. Keep a close eye on your credit and debit card statements so you spot unexpected charges right away. Contact your bank or credit card company to address the issue; calling the company you inadvertently signed up for a subscription with will likely get you nowhere.

Be a fraud fighter!  If you can spot a scam, you can stop a scam. Report scams to local law enforcement. For help from AARP, call 1-877-908-3360 or visit the AARP Fraud Watch Network at

Haarstick Wraps Up SVT Term; Two Openings for 2021-2022

CHELMSFORD: Jonathan Haarstick of Chelmsford is wrapping up his term of service at Sudbury Valley Trustees (SVT) in Sudbury, where he has been working for the past 11 months through the TerraCorps/AmeriCorps program. TerraCorps places young conservationists at land trusts and other nonprofits in Massachusetts so they can gain valuable, first-hand experience in various aspects of land conservation.Members receive a living allowance and educational benefits in return for their service. SVT has two openings for the 2021-2022 term that starts in August. Learn more at

Westford's Olivia Dunn Receives Prestigious P.E.O. STAR Scholarship

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CHELMSFORD: Olivia Dunn, a 2021 graduate of Westford Academy, was selected to receive a $2,500 STAR Scholarship from the P.E.O. Sisterhood. She was recommended by P.E.O. Chapter AI of Chelmsford, whose members congratulate Olivia for this honor. The STAR Scholarship award will be presented to Olivia on July 13, 2021 at the Westford Farmer’s Market on the common near the bandstand at 5:30pm.

Olivia was a summer intern at the Westford Museum, a member of the Westford Academy Museum Club, student-lead on the Westford Academy Theater Arts Board and Advertising Manager of the Westford Teen Arts Council.  During two years as Captain of the Westford Academy soccer team, she organized a fundraiser that raised over $700 for uniforms and equipment and was voted MVP by her teammates.  Olivia inspired her teammates to participate in the National Brain Tumor Society’s annual Boston walk for which the team raised over $100k. Olivia is an overcomer with a positive attitude who actively looks for ways to help others. She has vision for her future.  She loves working with people and would like to be an engineering manager.  She was to intern with a family friend at Lego when COVID-19 hit.  She looks forward to pursuing this avenue once the pandemic is over.  She will be attending Worcester Polytechnic Institute in the fall.

The P.E.O. STAR Scholarship was established in 2009 to provide scholarships for exceptional high school senior women to attend an accredited post-secondary educational institution in the U.S. or Canada in the next academic year. The competitive STAR Scholarship is for women who exhibit excellence in leadership, academics, extracurricular activities, community service and potential for future success.

P.E.O. (Philanthropic Educational Organization) has been celebrating women helping women reach for the stars for more than 150 years. Since its inception in 1869, the nonprofit organization has helped more than 116,000* women pursue educational goals by providing over $383 million* in grants, scholarships, awards and loans. The Sisterhood also owns and supports Cottey College. Through membership, the P.E.O. Sisterhood has brought together more than a half a million women in the United States and Canada who are passionate about helping women advance through education, while supporting and motivating them. In addition to the educational philanthropies, the P.E.O. Sisterhood provides a framework of support and community for all members. What started with a bond of friendship among seven women in Mount Pleasant, Iowa, is now one of the oldest women’s organizations in North America with close to 6,000 chapters. To learn more about P.E.O. and its powerful educational philanthropies and to see stories of women who have benefited from these programs, visit
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MCC’s Summer Theatre Camp for Kids Returns to In-Person Format

LOWELL: Throughout the pandemic, Middlesex Community College’s Theatre department has provided students with performance opportunities – from online courses to socially distanced Zoom productions. As part of the College for Kids 2021 summer programming, Middlesex is bringing back the Summer Theatre Camp for Kids for an in-person experience.

Young performers ages 8 to 17 will have the opportunity to rehearse, stage and mount a full musical production with professional lights, sets and costumes at MCC’s Richard and Nancy Donahue Family Academic Arts Center in Lowell, under direction of Karen Oster, MCC’s Chair of Performing Arts.

This year’s production will be “James and the Giant Peach, Jr.” The program will run 9am through 4pm, Monday through Friday, starting on August 2. Final performances will take place on Friday, August 13 and Saturday, August 14.

The mission of the camp is to provide a fun and exciting environment for kids to explore theatre arts, and to encourage creative growth, teamwork and a “company” mentality. The camp believes children of all ages are capable of “magnificent” things and there are no limits to their creativity. Many of the young performers who participate in MCC’s Summer Theatre Camp remain with the program for years.

For information, visit or call 781-280-3663.

DONORS URGENTLY NEEDED: Red Cross Still Facing Severe Blood Shortage

The American Red Cross continues to experience a severe blood shortage that is negatively affecting blood product availability across the country. Donors of all blood types – especially type O and those giving platelets – are urged to make an appointment to give now and help ensure hospital shelves are stocked with blood products over the Fourth of July holiday and beyond.

Right now, the Red Cross is working around the clock to provide blood products to hospitals responding to an unusually high number of traumas and emergency room visits, as well as overdoses and resulting transplants. As a result of the blood shortage, some hospitals are being forced to slow the pace of elective surgeries until the blood supply stabilizes, delaying crucial patient care. 

In addition, while summer is traditionally a time when blood donations decline, this year is particularly challenging as many Americans receive their vaccinations and resume summer activities after more than a year of limited interactions and travel, leading to lower donor turnout. The need for blood doesn’t take a holiday break − patients still depend on lifesaving transfusions.

Donors are needed now to prevent further delays to patient care. Schedule an appointment to give blood now by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.

As a thank-you, all those who come to give July 1-6 will receive a Red Cross embroidered hat by mail,* while supplies last. And, donors who come to give July 7-31 will receive a $10 Gift Card by email, plus a chance to win gas for a year (a $5,000 value). (Terms and conditions apply; visit 
In most cases, those who have received a COVID-19 vaccine can donate. However, knowing the name of the manufacturer of the vaccine they received is important in determining donation eligibility.

Friends of the Chelmsford Senior Center Re-open The Treasure Shop

CHELMSFORD: Treasure Shop Grand Re-Opening! On Friday, July 2, 2021, 9am, The Friends of the Chelmsford Senior Center will be re-opening The Treasure Shop for business and lots of fun shopping. The doors will open for you to come and browse and purchase; while, at the same time, supporting Senior Center activities. As a non-profit, all volunteer organization, 100% of the purchase amounts go to help the Senior Center. The Friends Treasure Shop “re-start” schedule for July will be Mondays-Wednesdays-Fridays in the mornings from 9:00am to 11:00am. They are planning to expand these hours as senior activities and attendance grows.

The Friends are also looking to increase the number of Treasure Shop volunteers willing to help a few hours per week and/or substitute for others when they are unavailable. Please leave your name and phone number/email at the Senior Center office. They continue to accept donations of new and gently used, clean clothing for any season as well as small household items, jewelry, yarn, gift cards and other such gift items. Stop by, browse and find your treasures, all for a good cause!
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Chelmsford's Pink Bag Recycling Program is Changing

CHELMSFORD: Rather than bags collected on the same week as recycling, residents should visit to schedule a pick up.Simple Recycling will now be conducting scheduled pickups!
  • Residents will be required to schedule their pickups by either going online to OR by calling 1.866.835.5068. 
  • The pickups will now be a the front door instead of the curb
  • The pink bags will be eliminated from the program. Residents should provide their clean & dry recyclable material in self provided bags or boxes (feel free to use up existing bags!)

There are several factors that are used in determining pick up availability. Once the Zip Code is entered, a calendar will appear showing what days are available for scheduling.

These changes will allow for greater efficiency and convenience. Please feel free to contact Melissa Joyce, Sustainability Manager: 978.250.5203 or with questions or concerns.
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Middlesex CC to Host Rasa Strings Quartet in Outdoor Concert

LOWELL: Middlesex Community College will hold a special summer “A World of Music” performance with an outdoor concert by the Rasa Strings Quartet. The concert will take place on the Lowell campus behind the Middlesex Cowan Center at noon on June 24. The rain date for the will be at noon on June 25.
Since the Spring of 2020, MCC’s Music department has held a number of online concert recordings featuring local artists – including the Rasa Strings Quartet and Lowell Chamber Orchestra – and Middlesex faculty and student performances. This summer’s outdoor concert will be the first held in-person since before the start of the pandemic.
“After so many months without live concerts, we are delighted to be able to offer the MCC community an outdoor concert performed by the wonderful Rasa Strings Quartet,” said Carmen Rodriguez-Peralta, MCC’s Chair of Music. “They will present a varied program which features diverse musical voices, both from long ago and today.”
Since winning first prize in the Chamber Music Yellow Springs 35th Annual Competition, Rasa Strings Quartet quickly emerged as one of New England’s finest young ensembles. The quartet consists of violinists Kiyoshi Hayashi and Maura Shawn Scanlin, violist Brianna Fischler, and cellist – and MCC faculty member – Eunghee Cho.
"Feeding off the energy of a live audience is an aspect of the performance experience that we have taken for granted in the past,” Cho said. “We are incredibly excited and feel privileged to have the opportunity once again to share our passion for and joy of music-making in-person for a live audience that can enhance the power and communicative potential of our musical voice."
The performance includes a colorful and varied program of Folksongs in Counterpoint by Florence Price, Romance by Amy Beach, Taiwanese Folk Songs by Wei-Chieh Lin, Estampas Mexicanas by José Elizondo, String Quartet No. 6 in F minor and I. Allegro vivace assai by Felix Mendelssohn, and traditional Danish folk music Sekstur from Vendsyssel/Peat Dance.
The concert is free and open to the public. Due to space constraints, the audience number will be limited. Contact Rodriguez-Peralta at or call 781-280-3923 to register to attend the event. Visit to watch previously recorded “A World of Music” performances.

Read to Luna the Dog Live! at the Concord Free Public Library

CONCORD: The Concord Free Public Library invites children to Read to Luna the Dog on the Main Library lawn the second Friday of each month beginning in June between 11:30am-12:30pm. Luna is a certified therapy dog through Pets & People Foundation, Inc. Did you know that reading to dogs boosts reading skills and emotional and social skills for children? This event is for children ages 5+. Children are invited to register for their own individual 15 minute session with Luna. Register in advance by visiting the library's events calendar online at
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June is PTSD Awareness Month

June is PTSD Awareness Month. Though most often associated with veterans who experienced atrocities of war, anyone, including children and teens, can suffer with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Children typically recover quickly from stressful events, but when it comes to severe stress, especially serious injuries, the death of a close family member or friend, sexual assault, living through a disaster, or witnessing a violent act such as a school shooting, children can often suffer the long-term effects of PTSD.

The National Center for PTSD estimates that 7-8% of people will experience PTSD during their lives. Worse yet, over 65% of children who are exposed to a traumatic event will, at some point, attempt to take their own lives. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, the symptoms of PTSD are different for young children than those of older teens and adults. Children younger than 6 will often wet the bed, forget how or refuse to talk, act out the traumatic event during routine play, or become unusually clingy with a parent or other adult.

Research shows that depression rates increase after a trauma and tend to be especially high among children with PTSD. If your child or someone you love is struggling with depression or thinking about suicide, get help now. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1-800-273-TALK (8255), is a free resource, available 24 hours a day for anyone who is in suicidal crisis or emotional distress. The Crisis Text Line is a free 24/7 text line where trained crisis counselors support individuals in crisis. Text “Jason” to 741741 to speak with a compassionate, trained Crisis Counselor. Confidential support 24/7, for free.

The Jason Foundation is another available resource.  The Jason Foundation is dedicated to the awareness and prevention of youth suicide through educational programs that equip youth, parents, educators, and the community with the tools and resources to identify and assist at-risk youth. Many times, a young person will exhibit clear warnings signs prior to an attempt. By knowing the warning signs, and knowing how to help, you could save a life.  Visit The Jason Foundation’s website to learn more about youth suicide, the warning signs, and how you can help make a difference.  The Jason Foundation has never charged a school, community, or individual for the use of their programs or resources.
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CCC Chelmsford Invites You to Make a Difference Week

CHELMSFORD: If you have children who like to help others and are looking for projects to do, Make a Difference Week is a chance to meet new friends while helping others in the community. Possible projects include Bruce Freeman rail trail cleanup, Chelmsford Land Trust projects, cooking and baking for meals ministries, or harvesting fresh produce from the Chelmsford community garden for the Open Pantry.
Central Congregational Church in Chelmsford, United Church of Christ is now enrolling young people, rising third graders through eighth graders, for its third annual Make a Difference Week, July 26-30, 2021, 9am – noon. Monday through Thursday will be spent on projects while Friday will be a family fun day at Kimball Farms. The fee is $30 per child payable by check to Central Congregational Church with Make a Difference in the memo line or through the Donate button on the church Website. High Schoolers are welcome as volunteers and crew leaders. Register online at, Click on Make a Difference and Make a Difference Week. Covid 19 Protocols will be in place.
Central Congregational Church is located at One Worthen Street. For more info, call 978-256-5931.
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Emerson Hospital & IMPACT Melanoma Team Up to Protect the Public

CONCORD: Emerson Hospital and IMPACT Melanoma, a national non-profit organization dedicated to reducing the incidence of melanoma, have teamed for the third consecutive year to protect residents from skin cancer. The organizations have deployed touchless, automatic sunscreen dispensers at 16 high-traffic locations, including parks and recreation facilities, beaches, rail trails, and athletic fields throughout Concord and the greater area. The dispensers provide complementary sunscreen throughout Acton (at The Discovery Museum), Bedford, Chelmsford, Concord, Harvard, Hudson, Maynard and Westford.
Jen Melanson, Community Service Coordinator for the town of Chelmsford, reported after the 2020 season, “The program was so well received, we had positive feedback on social media and from citizens who were very excited and appreciative. We are grateful to Emerson Hospital for providing the dispensers and are excited to support the program again this year.”
“We are pleased to work with Emerson Hospital on this invaluable initiative for the third year,” said Deb Girard, IMPACT’s Executive Director. “It is imperative to educate communities at all levels – residents, government, employees, and visitors – to create a broad sense of sun-safe practices aimed at healthier lifestyle choices for our skin. With this initiative in motion, we can achieve exactly that with the fleet of free sunscreen dispensers, and educational messaging. We are excited and hope that neighboring towns take notice. Together we can make a great IMPACT and practice of safe skin.”
Emerson Hospital is sponsoring bright yellow sunscreen dispensers that are filled with SPF 30 sunscreen. The dispensers are monitored regularly and replenished as needed, ensuring that everyone in the area who needs sunscreen has easy access to it. SPF 30 or higher sunscreen is rated and recommended for use by children ages six-months and up, and adults. All sunscreen ingredients are safe and approved by the FDA.
“Skin cancer is one of the most common cancers in our service area, according to our latest Community Health Assessment,” notes Christine Gallery, Senior Vice President, Planning and Chief Strategy Officer, Emerson Hospital. “We are proud to support IMPACT Melanoma again this year, so that people throughout our towns can have fun this summer, while easily protecting themselves from skin cancer. We anticipate the community will use the sunscreen often and it will become a routine part of their summer safety regimen. We encourage the community to be in touch with a physician with any questions or concerns about their skin.”
To learn more about the importance of sunscreen and where the complimentary sunscreen dispensers are located, please visit