Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Provident Bank Offers Support, Visitor Center News, Concert in Salem, and Holiday Greetings


Presenting Sponsor for Heritage Hero Program Secured

On the evening of May 20, 2010 at the Tupelo Music Hall in Salisbury, Essex Heritage will stop to honor three individuals who have had a special impact on this region. The Heritage Hero Award that will be celebrated for the third time that evening will honor former Mayors Byron Mathews, Nick Costello and a pioneer who fostered tourism in this region Maria Miles. The event will prove to be a special evening both for the honorees and for those who choose to attend. The program was certainly given a major boost in the last couple of days when the Provident Bank of Amesbury made the decision to become the presenting sponsor for the event.

This is certainly not the first time, nor do I expect that it will be the last time that this premier Community Bank has stepped up to take a leadership role in one of the communities that it serves. Time and time again, Provident Bank of Amesbury has taken a leadership role in events that benefits the area that the bank serves. It doesn’t matter if it is the sponsorship of a visit to the region of a replica sailing ship, a Chamber of Commerce event, a hospital event or a community homecoming event the Provident Bank and its leadership team have always been there when they are needed to help underwrite an event that will be a benefit to the residents of one of the communities it serves. We want to offer our public thanks for the leadership role that they have embarked on once again. Thank you, Provident Bank, and President Charlie Cullen for your commitment. It is appreciated.

North of Boston Visitor Center in Salisbury

A couple of time during the last several weeks we have commented on the real need to find a solution to the recent closing of the Maria Miles Visitor Center in Salisbury. The visitor center that served this region and visitors to the area from the north is critical to the tourist activity in the region. The recent reduction in State funding to the regional tourist councils has been devastating and has caused management of the North of Boston Convention and Visitor Bureau to take the action to temporarily shut down this welcoming area for all travelers who use Route 95 south as they enter this region. We believe that we viewed some positive news on this front in the last several days, when a newsletter from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation indicated that the State that is the landlord to the operators of the Visitor Center has recognized the importance of the activity to the region. They are now exploring the potential of developing a public-private partnership to help craft a solution for this problem. There are exploratory discussions that will take place with Federal Highway officials to at the very least explore possible solutions in the New Year. Let’s hope that those negotiations can be fruitful and the area Visitor Center in Salisbury can be re-opened before the 2010 visitor season resumes in the late spring of 2010. The entire region will certainly be better served if visitors to the region can be welcomed, directed and provided information about the wonderful destinations that we work with each day as partners of Essex Heritage.

One Last Holiday Concert to Report

Each year on the last Tuesday before Christmas, the Salem Rotary Club has been entertained with a Holiday Concert provided by the talented young men and women from Salem High School. Yesterday was no different as the Salem High School jazz band and the Concert choir came to the Hawthorne Hotel and entertained. Each group offered three holiday selections and as always the performances were superior. There is much talent represented in the two dozen youngsters who came to entertain. The Salem Rotary club has always been a major supporter of public education in this community. Scholarships to college are provided each year to about three to four dozen young Salem residents. In addition to the youngsters from Salem High School, usually there are grants made to students from Salem who attend St John’s Prep, Bishop Fenwick High School the North Shore Vocational school and St, Mary’s in Lynn. If the young men and women who were represented at the concert yesterday are any example, we have a lot to look forward to with our leaders of tomorrow. They certainly left the members of the Salem Rotary club in a positive holiday spirit yesterday as we left the historic Hawthorne Hotel.

Holiday Greetings from Essex Heritage

Since this is the last posting I will offer to the Essex Happenings BLOG before the end of the year holiday season arrives, I want to offer a heartfelt Holiday Greeting to all who might read this message. I offer those greetings on behalf of all of the hard working and conscientious Essex Heritage staff and the volunteer Trustees and Commissioners who offer so much of their valuable time to help preserve and promote the wonderful resources of this region. We hope that the holiday season is peaceful and joyous for all, and that you all enjoy a quiet and restful time with friends and family as 2009 winds to a conclusion. The offices of Essex Heritage will close on Christmas Eve day at noon and will not reopen until the morning of January 4, 2010, so unless something of great importance comes to my attention, this is the last posting that will be offered on this BLOG in 2009. We hope to see you all again in 2010 and at that time as we begin the second decade of this century we can only hope that the world will find peace. Our wish is that in 2010, that the world and the United Sates economy will continue to improve and that many of the ills of the world, like homelessness, hunger and those without jobs will find that their conditions improve, and that the peoples of the world can find a way to live together without war and fear. Happy Holidays and Happy New Year.

As always we value your comments, questions and observations about the work of Essex Heritage. Please offer you comments in the section at the end of this posting or contact me with your thoughts at Thanks. Tom Leonard

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