Road race benefits child development center

Courtesy photo/Eva Nicholas PhotographyChloe Pecci, of Plaistow, New Hampshire, crosses the finish line during the Professional Center for Child Development's 26th Trot for Tots.

ANDOVER — The Professional Center for Child Development recently held its 26th annual Trot for Special Tots 5k road race.

The day was filled with compassion, laughter and kindness, as young and old of all abilities participated. The overall top male and female race finishers were Brian Phinney of Andover, with a time of 19:07, and Elizabeth Von Der Heydt of Carlisle, with a time of 21:22.

The event incorporated the 5K Road Race which included a pushed chair division, as well as a 1-mile walk and fun run. Brad Zati of DJ Zati Productions was the master of ceremonies. Photography was provided by Eva Nicholas Photography and Vy Phan Photography. The national anthem was sung by Sophia Barbato of North Andover. Local runner and two-time winner of the World Marathon Challenge, Becca Pizzi of Belmont, presided over the medal ceremony.

“We feel so fortunate for the continuous support from our community and are very happy that so many friends were able to come to the event. It was very successful. We can’t wait for the 2019 Trot," said Julie Palmaccio of Tewksbury, PCCD board member and fundraising committee chairwoman.

Sponsors of the event included platinum sponsor Vogel Vending; gold sponsors Andover Pediatrics and Enterprise Bank; silver sponsors, Bikram Yoga Merrimack Valley, The Dog Nanny, Fred C. Church, Team Positivity and Vest Technical Solutions; and bronze sponsors Marcia Anderson, Andover Animal Hospital, Dental Health Concepts, Essex Physical Therapy & Chiropractic, Forever Green Lawn & Landscape, F.P. Reilly & Sons, The Hunt Family, Hanscom Federal Credit Union, JLH-SLP Services, Luna Rossa Restaurant, PlanBase, Speech Matters, Talent Retriever, The Mother Connection and The Savings Bank.

Church hosts pancake breakfast

METHUEN — St. Monica's Knights of Columbus 14725 is hosting a pancake breakfast Sunday, Dec. 2.

The breakfast will follow the 7:30 and 9:30 a.m. masses in the School Hall.

The cost is $5 per person and $15 for families. Cash, checks and credit cards will be accepted. For information on joining the Council go to:

Hanukkah celebrations planned

Hanukkah begins Sunday, and Jewish groups throughout the Merrimack Valley are planning activities to celebrate their Festival of Lights.

Public menorah lighting events will be held on the following days:

- 3 to 4 p.m. Monday, Dec. 3 at Andover Town Hall, 36 Bartlet St.

- 5:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 3 in Washington Square in downtown Haverhill.

- 6 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 4, Boxford's annual Hanukkah celebration at the Police Department, 285 Ipswich Road.

- 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 5 on the Middleton Green in Middleton.

- 6 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 5 at the gazebo in front of Amesbury Public Library.

- 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 6 at Anshe Sholom Chabad, 427 Main St., Haverhill.

Doughnuts, latkes and hot drinks will be served at these events.

A knock-out dreidel tournament will follow the Anshe Sholom Chabad event on Dec. 6. Beginning at 7 p.m, try your hand at the dreidel for a $100 prize, and also enjoy appetizers, beverages and music. The cost is $20 per player. Reserve your spot through

Holy Family Hospital earns certification

Holy Family Hospital has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for advanced certification for total hip and total knee replacement.

The certification is for Joint Commission-accredited hospitals, critical access hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers seeking to elevate the quality, consistency and safety of their services and patient care, according to a press release.

Established in 2016 and awarded for a two-year period, the advanced certification was developed in response to the growing number of patients undergoing a total hip or total knee replacement surgery, as well as the increased focus on clinical evidence-based patient care as it relates to pain management, quality of life issues, functional limitation in mobility and the return to normal daily activities. Holy Family Hospital underwent a rigorous on-site review to receive the certification.

“Holy Family Hospital is pleased to receive its second advanced certification from The Joint Commission," said Craig Jesiolowski, president of Holy Family Hospital, noting the hospital was the first in Massachusetts to earn the certification.