LAWRENCE — The Lazarus House Soup Kitchen in Lawrence bubbled with excitement Feb. 9 as four state winners in the Miss USA pageant volunteered to serve lunch.

The young women – Miss Massachusetts, Miss Teen Massachusetts, Miss Maine and Miss Teen Maine USA – even entertained guests with an impromptu dance during a lull.

“We are dedicated to working in our communities,” said Miss Massachusetts USA Sabrina Victor.

Victor, who says prayer gives her a sense of serenity, connected immediately with the faith-based mission of Lazarus House.

“I am from Brockton and I know about inner cities," she said. "They are doing great work here.”

Annika Sharma, miss teen Massachusetts USA and a student at Boston College, greeted visitors with a warm smile on what was a very cold day. 

As each guest came through the food line, the women seemed to make a personal connection. They brought their hearts and a desire to serve, the Lazarus House staff observed.

Watching Miss Maine USA Julia Van Steenberghe work behind the counter, one could see her experience as a waitress.

Steenberghe, a Presidential Scholar at the University of Maine, saw that both a plate of food was ready and that each guest had what he or she needed.

Lazarus House is a long way from somewhat remote Deer Isle, where Miss Maine Teen USA Grace Morey grew up. Still, she saw similarities.

“I am from a small town in Maine,” Morey said. “A tight-knit community is important to me. I really feel that here. I love the work that Lazarus House does and love to talk and meet with these people.”

The four state winners will go on to compete in the national pageant later this year. Regardless of the outcome, they promised to try to return again to Lazarus House.

“We’ve made a connection here that we want to continue,” said Victor.


Kimball Library hosts craft nights


ATKINSON —  Each Wednesday, the Needle Crafters club holds an informal gathering at 10:30 a.m. at the Kimball Library for those who are currently working on knitting, crocheting, rug braiding, quilting or other needlework projects, or who wish to start one.

This weekly meet-and-greet group enjoys conversation and laughs all while stitching away.


Come alone or bring a friend. All experience levels and ages are welcome. You do not need to be an Atkinson resident— all are invited. Please bring your own supplies. 


On Fridays at 10:30 a.m., come unwind, de-stress and create while dabbling in painting, coloring or creative crafting using oil, acrylic, watercolor, pen and pencil. Work on canvas, wood and sketchpads and coloring books. Please bring your own materials.



The Kimball Library is located at 5 Academy Ave.

Speed networking event is Thursday

HAVERHILL — The Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce will host a speed networking event Thursday, Feb. 13, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Elks Club, 24 Summer St. 

Speed networking, like speed dating, increases the number of new contacts a person can meet face to face in a short time.

Each person can describe his or her business and exchange business cards with the others. Submit your business card to win a complimentary Chamber email blast, a professional head shot by the Foto Factory and a business starter kit from Alpha E Consulting.

This event is open to all businesses, both Chamber members and nonmembers. To register or for more information, contact Melissa Seavey at 978-373-5663 or email

Light refreshments and a cash bar will be available.

Church bean supper is Saturday


GROVELAND — St. James Episcopal Church at 119 Washington St. in Groveland will hold a bean supper Saturday, Feb. 15, from 4 to 6 p.m. 


The menu will include homemade baked beans (both pea and kidney), hot dogs, potato salad, additional salads, macaroni and cheese, coleslaw and additional food options for adults and kids, as well as a variety of homemade desserts.

Cost is $10 for adults. It's free for children under age 10. Visit online at

Ribbon cutting is Friday

METHUEN — The Merrimack Valley Chamber of Commerce will host a ribbon cutting for a new Ninja Course at Launch Trampoline Park at 96A Milk St. in Methuen on Friday, Feb. 14, at 3 p.m.

The new, state-of-the-art Ninja Course challenges participants to conquer obstacles such as a traverse box, high flying trapeze, cargo net, balance beam, the silks, slat board or the tilty ladder.

The course also offers lanes that cater to all skill levels.

Scholarship applications available


HAVERHILL — Merrimack Valley Credit Union and Bridgewater Credit Union, a division of Merrimack Valley Credit Union, will award 15 students in the Merrimack Valley and South Shore regions with $1,000 college scholarships.

Two of the scholarships will be awarded to credit union members, while the other 13 scholarships will be open to any high school senior attending a school within the field of membership.

Applications must be postmarked by March 1 and are available for download at


Students must also submit a transcript of their grades and one letter of recommendation from a teacher, guidance counselor, coach, scout leader or religious leader.

Students will also write a 500-word essay, finishing the sentence, “If I ran the credit union, I would …”


Send completed applications and required materials to Marketing Department, Merrimack Valley Credit Union, 500 Merrimack St., Lawrence, MA 01843, no later than March 1.


For more information visit online at



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