Saturday, December 31, 2011

Essex Happenings 12.31.11

Essex Happenings 12.31.11 HAPPY NEW YEARS EVE DAY

Hopefully, I am ending 2011 with a posting with meaningful information. I missed a posting earlier this week due to an uncontrollable computer issue. Much of the material that would have appeared is still valid and will appear in the first posting of 2012 next Tuesday.

On Behalf of all of the staff, the Trustees and Commissioners of the Essex National Heritage Commission and our senior partner, the National Park Service we want to offer all of you a most Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year for 2012. We hope that you will continue to support our mission in 2012 and we promise to listen to any suggestions or ideas you might have. We can be reached anytime at

I am pleased to off the following information about a holiday event and the celebration of recent achievements at the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Salem.

Contact: Christopher Coleman The Boys and Girls Club of Greater Salem

Salem Youth Celebrate the Holidays at the Boys & Girls Club
Boys & Girls Club of Greater Salem Hosts Its Annual Holiday Dinner and Performance.

Salem, MA, December 21, 2011 — For many children, the holiday season starts at the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Salem’s annual Holiday Dinner and Performance. This year more than 250 Club members, staff and volunteers were joined by St. John’s Prep students and parents to celebrate the season with a dinner, dance performances and gifts given out by Santa. The annual event took place this year on Wednesday, December 21st late in the afternoon at the Boys and Girls Club.

The children’s gifts are made possible through toy drives sponsored by St. John’s Prep’s Student Council and Salem’s own Wicked Running Club. For some children, toys received during the holiday dinner compliment gifts they receive during the holiday season. For others, these toys are the only gifts they’ll receive this year.

“When speaking to the Sophomore Class, [Assistant Principal for Student Life Wendy Olson] told students to think that the gift that each person donated might be the only present for a child this holiday season,” said Student Council President Stash Usovicz. “It is apparent from the turnout that this message echoed not only through the Sophomore class but through the entire school. It was amazing to see people of all economic backgrounds contribute whatever they could to the Toy Drive. This was our most successful year ever, making sure that no child went without a gift.”

The continued support and generosity of these young volunteers has created an amazing bond between the Prep and the Boys & Girls Club.

“This toy drive was initiated several years ago by Tom Leonard, a champion of St. John's Prep and the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Salem. It is a reflection of Tom's vision of the world where people experience the joy in helping others. The happiness for the holidays felt by our boys and girls is due, in part, because this tradition of helping others continues to flourish at the Prep," said Joanne Scott, the Boys & Girls Club’s Executive Director.

The Wicked Running Club sponsored its second holiday toy drive, advertising their collection online, in local businesses and partnering with the New England Running Company of Beverly, using the store as a drop-off center for donations.

In addition to the toy distribution, Boys & Girls Club members and attendees enjoyed a delicious holiday meal and dessert generously provided by Ken Rothwell Catering and Coffee Time Bake Shop. The financial support for the meal was provided by Moriarty & Associates, P.C. of Wakefield and Chubb Services Corporation of Warren, New Jersey. Throughout the evening children will also enjoy dance performances by their fellow Club members and will await their turn to meet Santa and receive a gift.

Boys & Girls Club programs and services promote and enhance the development of boys and girls by instilling a sense of competence, usefulness, belonging and influence. Boys & Girls Clubs are a safe place for kids to learn and grow - all while having fun. This event truly epitomizes the Club’s motto that “Great Futures Start Here.”

For more information about the content in this press release, or to schedule an interview with Joanne Scott, please call Christopher Coleman at 978-744-0915 or e-mail him at

Town of Middleton Seeking Community Volunteers

The Board of Selectmen of Middleton has issued a call to local residents advising that there are several non paid volunteer opportunities available to residents from that Town. The available positions are on the scholarship committee, registrars of voters, recreation commission, watershed advisory board, cultural council and a regional representative to a sewerage district. Interested residents should send a resume and a letter of interest
to the Board of Selectmen 348. Main Street, Middleton, MA 01949. Communities need volunteers to make government effective. Consider sending a resume !!!

Local Communities Planning for Inauguration Programs

Several local communities that have either elected new or incumbent Mayors are currently going through the process of planning for an inauguration event in the first few day of January 2012. Salem, Beverly. Newburyport and Gloucester will all hold renewal ceremonies and the City of Peabody will be greeting a new mayor for the first time in several years. We believe that the region is well represented and we look forward to any changes offered at the start of a new administration.

North Andover and Andover to Share Inspector

One of the interesting initiatives that have always attracted my attention is the potential for either sharing or consolidation of services by adjacent communities. In the just recent past, the Towns of Hamilton and Wenham looked at sharing the preparation of some financial services. That idea was dismissed, but now we hear that the communities of Andover and North Andover are looking at least temporarily sharing inspection services. There are certainly the possibilities of more efficient or even less costly delivery of services by adjacent and compatible communities and in these difficult financial times all such possibilities should be considered.

Historic Wenham Tea House to seek new Operator

One of the most historic and cultural locations in this region is currently looking for a new operator. Since 1912 the Exchange at the Wenham Tea House, a jewel in the center of historic Wenham, has operated with pride and success by the ladies of the Wenham Improvement Society for the betterment of the town. A portion of the profits continues to assist the Wenham Village Improvement Society with scholarships and civic improvements.
The Exchange maintains its character and charm at it has evolved over the last 100 plus years.

At this time, the current operator is not planning to renew the lease to operate the historic landmark in the middle of this region and the manager of the facility will be seeking a new operator. Times have changed in recent years and the time that families have to experience food and service at the famous facility has changed as well. A new operator may have to take a different approach to the way the Tea House is operated, but we certainly hope that a new arrangement can be structured that will keep the iconic location operating as it has for these past 100 years. With the classic New England feel of the Wenham Tea House, the Exchange at the Wenham Tea House has become a long time local favorite, and we hope that tradition continues into the future.

Spaulding Network in Region

As 2011 comes to a close so does part of my ongoing relationship with the Spaulding hospital as my therapy sessions are now complete. These formal sessions are now to be replaced by a conscientious effort to manage my own progress. Even as this presentation is being prepared, I have just returned from a walking session at a local mall. I am also now participating in a swimming program at Lydon’s Aquatic Center in Danvers and that is also assisting my continuing progress.

As my time at the Spaulding Rehabilitation Network comes to an end, I want to once again compliment them on the work that helped me accomplish and to once again note the depth of that program and how important it has become to this region. On one of last days there I picked up a brochures that so clearly pointed out the importance of the Spaulding network to this region. The chart identified eight locations in the area north of Boston in what we think of as Essex County. My wife and I are still serving on a patient’s Advisory Council and in that way we will remain connected with the hospital network.

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