LAWRENCE — As the cold weather approaches, gently used or new coats for people in need are now being collected at fire stations across the city.

The Lawrence Fire Department is partnering with the Greater Lawrence Community Action Council on the coat collection project.

The coats can be dropped off at: GLCAC offices at 305 Essex St., Fire Department headquarters at 65 Lowell St. and the 71 So. Broadway station, Engine 7 at 290 Park St., Engine 6 at 480 Howard St. and Engine 9 at 161 Bailey St.

Learn about the Convention of States movement

HAVERHILL — An informational meeting on the Convention of States movement in America will be held Oct. 24 at 7 p.m. at the Greek Orthodox Church, 154 Winter St.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the public is invited to hear from Mark Meckler, founder and national president of the Convention of States, and to share in the conversation.

The Convention of States (COS) is a grass-roots movement that is neither Democrat or Republican.

"In fact, COS rejects any and all partisan support, rhetoric or contribution," said event organizer, Ted Xenakis, a local attorney. "COS is simply a growing group of Americans who are dissatisfied with the gridlock, bickering and downright dysfunction of our leaders in Washington on both sides of the aisle.

"Our aim is to bring about some much needed changes to put an end to the circus that Washington has become," he said. "Congress has become a ruling class with seemingly little regard or concern for the needs of the country or We The People."

He said the goals of of COS include installing term limits for members of Congress and adding a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution.

"As we all know, career politicians have only one agenda these days ... how to degrade the opposition and maintain power," Xenakis said. "Our national debt is approaching $23 trillion and is growing at an alarming rate regardless of which party controls the White House or Congress."

There will be no solicitation for donations at this event.

Race in memory of teacher planned

SALEM, N.H. — The 18th annual Barron School 5k Turkey Trot in memory of Brian Richardson is Nov. 23 from 9:30 a.m. to noon.

The family-friendly 5K road race and walk offers something for everyone. Early-bird registration is underway through Nov. 15, and costs $20. Race day registration is $30.

Richardson was a Barron school teacher who died in a 1999 car accident. Running was a passion of Richardson, along with a strong belief in the importance of literacy and the arts, and this race was created in his memory. Proceeds from this race are used to support enrichment activities for Barron students and to provide college scholarships for Barron alumni who are graduating from Salem High School.

On the day of the race, there will be a raffle of prizes, and post-race munchies to purchase after the run. The race will be timed again this year by North Star Timing for accurate and fast results.

Ozzie’s Kids signups planned

HAVERHILL — The Ozzie’s Kids 2019 Christmas program is holding signup days for qualifying families with children ages newborn to 12 years old.

Sign-ups are in person only at City Hall, downstairs by the former Registry of Motor Vehicles office, on Oct. 26 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

You must bring a photo ID (for parents/guardians signing up), current bill with Haverhill address and your child’s report card, a letter from school or your child’s doctor, and a birth certificate or something showing the child’s name and Haverhill residency.

This program is open to Haverhill residents only. Please sign up for help at one location only or you will be removed from the program’s list (other locations include churches, schools and global Santa). Volunteers will be checking with local charities to verify. If you share custody and both parents sign up, please note that at this at signup, you will be both given three to four gifts instead of the normal five to seven gifts.

Yiddish songs about justice performed

ANDOVER — Yosl Kurland, singer, composer and founding member of the Wholesale Klezmer Band, will perform songs by the Yiddish “sweatshop poets” as well as his own compositions in a presentation at Congregation Beth Israel, Dundee Park, Building 6, Suite 301, on Oct. 25.

A brief service will begin at 7:30 p.m. Kurland’s presentation, titled “A Jewish Perspective on Social Justice through Yiddish, Hebrew and English Songs,” is from 8 to 9:30 p.m. The community is invited to attend the service and program. Admission is free.

Kurland drew inspiration in the 1960s from Pete Seeger, who in 1991 invited Kurland and his band to perform, in Yiddish, at an event celebrating the 100th anniversary of Carnegie Hall. Kurland, whose songs focus on themes of justice and peace, will perform works calling for justice for workers and refugees. His presentation is sponsored by Congregation Beth Israel and the Jewish Arts Collaborative.

Free piano master classes offered

HAVERHILL — The music program at Northern Essex Community College will present a free piano master class/workshop on the art of piano playing, led by NECC music professor Christina Dietrich on Nov. 17 at 6 p.m. in the Hartleb Technology Center on the Haverhill campus, 100 Elliott Street.

The classes, which are open to pianists of all levels, are designed to provide students with a chance to perform and learn in a cooperative group setting. The session will explore piano performance and preparation techniques and cover a range of solo piano works, as well as instrumental and vocal works with piano accompaniment.

For more information, contact Dr. David Garcia, music department chair, at 978-556-3321 or Dietrich at cdietrich@necc.mass.edu.

Upper Room hosts benefit auction 

DERRY — The Upper Room will host its 18th annual benefit auction Nov. 1 at 5:30 p.m. at the Tupelo Music Hall, 10A St.

This year’s event has a cruise theme and the night includes dozens of silent and live auction items, plus dinner. Tickets are on sale at the Tupelo box office or visit tupelomusichall.com.

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