LAWRENCE — The Merrimack Valley Chamber of Commerce honored several local businesses during its annual luncheon (formerly known as the annual dinner). The event was held in person and on Zoom on Oct. 28 at DiBurro’s in Ward Hill. This year's theme of "Helping Others" was embodied by the award winners, chamber officials said.

Holy Family Hospital President Craig Jesiolowski and Lawrence General Hospital President and CEO Deborah Wilson both received the Ralph B. Wilkinson Good Citizenship Award, which is the chamber's highest award.

"We usually give this award to a single organization, but because of the exceptional and extraordinary work both hospitals have done during the pandemic we decided to give the award to both," said Joseph Bevilacqua, president and CEO of the Merrimack Valley Chamber of Commerce.

Brian Mohika, a military veteran and founder and CEO of CathWear, received the Emerging Leader Award for his company's innovative medical products. The Merrimack Valley Food Bank received the Community Spirit Award for its ongoing efforts to provide food to those in need.

Event sponsors include Haverhill Bank, Lawrence General Hospital, Newburyport Bank, Lawrence Regional Center at Cambridge College, Holy Family Hospital — A Steward Health Hospital, LCW CPAs, Lowell Five, National Grid, Pentucket Bank and TD Bank.

Food and winter clothing drive is Saturday

HAVERHILL — The Greater Haverhill service clubs will hold a food and winter clothing drive on Saturday, Nov. 7, from noon to 2 p.m. at Common Ground Ministries, 194 Winter St.

The clubs will be accepting donations of boxed and canned goods, paper goods, cash, grocery gift cards as well as cold-weather clothing, including new and gently used coats, mittens and gloves, all of which will support Common Ground and its work to assist homeless and low-income individuals and families. All used coats will be dry cleaned by EZ-WAY Cleaners, compliments of Peter Carbone.

'Stuff a Cruiser' food and sock drive is Saturday

GROVELAND — The Groveland Police Department will hold a “Stuff a Cruiser” food and sock drive to benefit the Sacred Hearts food pantry and Veterans Northeast Outreach Center in Haverhill on Saturday, Nov. 7, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., outside the police station, 181 Main St.

Police will be accepting canned goods and non-perishable items such as canned fruit, vegetables, soups and baked beans, boxed stuffing mix, boxed potatoes and yams, peanut butter, jelly, jam, dried pasta and pasta sauce. All donated food items will go to the Sacred Hearts food pantry, which serves the Bradford and Groveland communities. 

New, unworn socks will be given to the Veterans Northeast Outreach Center, an organization that works with homeless veterans in Haverhill. 

Please sanitize items prior to donating. Please wear a face mask or covering when dropping off items and practice social distancing. 

Detective Steven Petrone first organized the drive in 2016 as a way to help residents in need during the holiday season. 

For more information, call Petrone at 978-521-1212.

Babysitter lessons and safety training

PELHAM — Pelham Parks and Recreation offers Babysitter Lessons and Safety Training (BLAST), a one-day class on Dec. 12 from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Hobbs Community Center, 8 Nashua Road.

The program is for boys and girls, ages 12 to 16. Participants will receive certification upon completion of training. The cost for the class is $65 per participant and preregistration is required. Space is limited due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Participants must wear masks during class. Please register by Dec. 9. Open to residents and non-residents. For more information visit pelhamweb.com/recreation.

Casino Royale event goes virtual 

HAVERHILL — The Boys & Girls Club of Greater Haverhill will hold a Casino Royale House Party – a virtual version of its annual Casino Royale event – Saturday, Nov. 21, from 7 to 10 p.m. on Facebook Live and HC Media Channel 22. The evening will feature music by the popular performer Dan Sky, high-end raffles and contests, at-home games, a virtual poker tournament and more.

A casino party pack for two is $100 and includes supplies for two for at-home gaming fun (deck of cards, play chips and game instructions), two $5 scratch tickets, two raffle tickets for your chance to win a variety of high-end prizes, cocktail fixings, casino-themed swag and more.

Enter a virtual Texas hold em’ poker tournament for $50. No rebuys. Cash prizes for the top five finishers.

Themed cardboard contests are $20 per entry. With each entry, there is a 1 in 52 chance of winning a prize.

For more information visit haverhillbgc.org/casino-night.html.

Charity license plates fight food insecurity

BOSTON — Proceeds from a new Massachusetts charity license plate will benefit the Greater Boston Food Bank and the Boston Medical Center. The plate, sponsored in part by citizens, features an image of a stoplight – formed from healthy fruits and vegetables – which is designed to highlight the hundreds of children and families who go hungry every day.

Charity license plates can be pre-ordered online at stophungerma.org.

Revenue from the plate will be split evenly between the two organizations. A charity plate costs an additional $40 above the standard registration fee. Of the initial $40 fee, $28 will be retained by the charities, with the remaining $12 going to the RMV. When the plate is renewed, the entire plate fee goes to the charities. 

For more information about the Greater Boston Food Bank, visit GBFB.org or call 617-427-5200. 

Methuen gets clean energy grant 

METHUEN — The city received a $12,500 grant from the state Department of Energy Resources which will be used for an energy storage program.

The Baker-Polito Administration Friday announced $250,000 in grants to support the development of clean energy projects in 20 cities and towns.

The grants, funded by the Department of Energy Resources’ Municipal Energy Technical Assistance program, are used by Massachusetts municipalities, regional school districts, and water/wastewater districts to aid in the management of projects or the performance of studies to support the development of clean energy in the Commonwealth.

"Meeting our ambitious target of net zero emissions by 2050 will require an all hands-on deck approach, and municipal partners play a pivotal role in helping us achieve our climate goals," Baker said. "These grants provide crucial technical assistance to allow cities and towns across the commonwealth to develop projects that will increase energy efficiency and clean energy use in municipal buildings and vehicles."

Open to all 351 cities and towns, META grants fund the services of expert consultants and contractors to assist with a diverse array of local energy projects. Applicants in the grant round that opened in July were eligible to apply for grants of up to $12,500.

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