Friday, June 4, 2010

North Shore Community College, Lynn Museum, The Friendship and a Visit to the State of Maine


North Shore Community College

I am proud to serve on the Foundation Board of the North Shore Community College and on the first mooning back after a long holiday weekend we were back to work at a meeting of that group. A great deal of our work revolves around raising funds for scholarships for the many young, and in some cases not so young students at those institutions. I have been connected with the College for almost a decade and during that time we have seem the awareness of the mission of the college grow with each passing year. The mission focuses on the education of many in this region who otherwise would not be able to attend college. The broad North Shore has embraced the work of the college in the last decade and more and more businesses are providing support to help the students achieve their dreams. At the most recent scholarship breakfast held late last month in Danvers a record $146,000 in individual awards in $750.00 increments was provided for the upcoming year. There were dozens on named scholarships provided to needy and worthy applicants that morning and that support for many is the difference between attending college or going without this much needed education.

The college whose attendance in these difficult economic times has reached record numbers and the two main campuses in Lynn and Danvers are filled every day with students seeking to better their lot in life. The college is funded in part by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, but substantial additional funding is needed from both the residents and the businesses of this region. At the present time the college have undertaken a capital campaign to provide the required furnishing for a new building currently being erected on the Danvers campus. The President of North shore Community College, Dr. Wayne Burton is willing to sit down with any business in the region that would like to learn more about the importance of the college to this area. I am certain that after a session with Wayne, you will understand the value of North Shore Community College, and may then be willing to provide financial support to held them fulfill their mission.

This monthly meeting concluded with an announcement that in September 2010 the college will be hosting a reception on the National Park Service replica sailing ship, Friendship berthed at the Salem Maritime Historic Site to thank past and present donors for support. The college played an important role at its Lynn campus when the Friendship sailed to Lynn and vested for a couple of days a couple of years ago, and this is a nice way for the Park Service to thank the College for its past support. As the plans for that event become better focused we will provide additional information about that event in this space

Lynn Museum Announces Changes

While we are talking about Lynn and the work of the Community College in that community, we heard more good news from Lynn in the last week or so. The Lynn Museum is currently in the process of seeking funding from the community that it serves to help modernize the facility and make it more appealing to the youngsters in Lynn who need to know of the important history of that city. Under the direction of Board President Joseph E, Scanlon loll, former Lynn City Councilor and recently hired Executive Director Kate Luchini the museum is seeking gifts that will total $283.000. If that amount is raised, and the museum only needs to raise an additional $20,000 by September 2010 then the Lynn Museum will be eligible to receive a matching $283,000 grant from the Massachusetts Cultural council. Those combined funds would make the process of bringing the museum current and making it much more attractive to the region a reality. Essex Heritage offers the Lynn Museum our support in this effort, as one of our partner organizations in our broader mission to bring history alive in this region their success is most important to us as well.

Friendship Sails

Over Labor Day weekend 2010, the NPS replica sailing ship Friendship that we spoke of earlier in this posting, is planning an inaugural sail with non volunteers on board from Salem to Gloucester on day one, and then a second sail out into Gloucester Harbor on day two to view the schooner races in that historic port. We are currently working with the Bill Kielbasa incoming President of the Salem Rotary Club to make arrangements for members of the Salem club along with other local area clubs to secure the ship for that inaugural sail. There is a fee attached to this voyage, as the ship is costly to move, and those costs must be underwritten, and then any money raised will go towards the advancement of the many programs offered to the region by Essex Heritage. I any of you local Rotarians have an interest in this event I urge you to contact President Elect, Bill Kielbasa. If here is an interest in that experience we can put you together with the Salem Rotary Club

In order to make this inaugural sail possible, over the last several weeks, Friendship has been undergoing sea trials under the watchful eyes of the US Coast Guard, and from all reports those efforts have been going well. All of us that have been connected with the Friendship over these last years are looking forward with great anticipation to the day when Friendship can raise her sails and set forth from Salem to carry the region’s maritime history message far and wide.

Maine Coast

Over the last couple of days, my wife and I spent a couple of very pleasant days in the mid-coast section of the State of Maine. We celebrated an anniversary with a trip to the Samoset Resort in Rockland, Maine. We enjoyed a round of golf on that wonderful seaside golf course, and then worked our way back to Essex County yesterday dodging rain and thunder storms all the way back down the coast. We made stops at LL Bean in Freeport, Portland and Kittery along the way, and continued to see some signs of an improving economy, as the shopping locations we stopped at were active for an early June mid week.

As always we value your comments, questions and observations about the work of Essex Heritage. Please contact me with your thoughts or any questions you may have at We are always striving to make Essex Heritage work as effectively as possible and your input and suggestions are always welcome. We can always provide more information and better communication, and one of the goals of these postings on Essex happenings is to provide that opportunity. Thanks You. Tom Leonard

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