---- — LAWRENCE — Benjamin Franklin’s old adage, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” still speaks volumes to today’s public health experts as well as community activists in Lawrence.
At a recent conference sponsored by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Groundwork Lawrence was presented the inaugural Peter R. Lee Healthy Communities Award before an audience of their peers from across Massachusetts.
Named in honor of Peter Lee, a leader in the movement for healthier communities who died in 2013, this award goes to organizations that make important and significant contributions to building health communities in Massachusetts.
“It’s just fabulous that Groundwork Lawrence’s volunteers, staff, Green Teams and board members are being recognized for the important work they do to improve the quality of life in Lawrence,” said Heather McMann, executive director of Groundwork Lawrence and board member of the Massachusetts Public Health Association.
“We build greenways and clean up parks, and host a farmers market because it’s good for individuals, families, neighborhoods, and our city. And it also makes a difference in the larger economy of our state and country because these preventative efforts improve our physical and mental health, and reduce health care costs,” she said.
McMann accepted the award from Massachusetts Department of Public Health Commissioner Cheryl Bartlett and Interim Director of Public Policy Geoff Wilkinson in front of nearly 500 peers from across the state.
Haverhill Festival of Trees gala opens Nov. 29
HAVERHILL — An opening night gala for the 12th annual “Christmas at the Buttonwoods: A Festival of Trees” will be Nov. 29 from 6 to 9 p.m.
Admission to the gala event is $20 per person and includes buffet-style food from local restaurants. The evening will include a 50/50 raffle, door prizes and a performance by Haverhill High School’s chorus.
The Buttonwoods Museum/Haverhill Historical Society is at 240 Water St. The festival runs from Nov. 30 to Dec. 15 and will showcase holiday trees, wreaths and centerpieces and activities for all ages.
Admission is $7 for adults, $5 for senior citizens and $3 for students (children ages 5 and under are admitted free). All donated trees, wreaths and other decorative items will be raffled off on the last day of the event to benefit the museum.
More information is available by calling 978-374-4626 or email FOT@haverhillhistory.org. Visit www.haverhillhistory.org for a schedule of events.
Coady’s drivers collecting for Toys for Tots
LAWRENCE — Coady’s Towing workers driving floats in the Methuen and Andover Santa parades are collecting donations for the Toys for Tots holiday gift drive.
Coady’s trucks will be pulling floats in the Nov. 23 Santa Parade in Methuen and the Dec. 1 parade in Andover, said Coady’s driver William Page.
Unwrapped toys for the holiday giving program will be collected during both parades, he said.
For more information or to make a toy donation if you’re not going to either parade, contact Page at 978-479-8833.
Coady’s is headquartered at 139 Marston St., Lawrence.
Help families with pets
NORTH ANDOVER – Bulger Veterinary Hospital in North Andover is working with the Merrimack Valley Food Bank to collect pet food for families struggling to put food on the table this holiday season. Bulger has run this food drive every year since 2010, and while it collects pet food year round, it also acknowledges that the holiday season can be especially difficult for some families.
In 2012 thanks to the generosity of staff and clients, Bulger was able to donate 405 pounds to Neighbors in Need through CoPal. This year Bulger will be donating to the Merrimack Valley Food Bank. They are one of four food banks in Massachusetts that serves food pantries, shelters and meal programs that in turn, serve individuals and families. Enabling food banks to provide families with pet food can make the difference between keeping their pet through difficult times, and giving them up to a shelter.
Those who would like to help these families in need can donate unopened, non-expired bags or cans of food for pets. The Merrimack Valley Food Bank will accept food for dogs, cats and small mammals such as rabbits, guinea pigs and ferrets.
Donations can be dropped off at Bulger Veterinary Hospital, 247 Chickering Road in North Andover 24 hours per day — either at the front door between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m., or at the Emergency entrance on the side from 8 p.m. onwards, seven days per week. Your donation can make a difference in someone’s life.
Christmas concert slated for Dec. 1
HAVERHILL — The First Church of Christ in Bradford will present a Christmas concert on Dec. 1 at 2 p.m. featuring The New England Tenors.
Admission is a free-will donation. Please bring a nonperishible food item to support the Sacred Hearts Food Pantry. This concert is sponsored by Flowers by Steve. Visit online at www.fccbraford.org.