TOGETHER WE CAN SET THE TABLE FOR LOCAL FAMILIES

My friend Nicole Duckworth is part of the Open Door’s Turkey Team, a group of individuals collectively raising funds for the Open Door’s Thanksgiving drive. Nicole has raised $250.00 towards her $500.00 goal. Please help Nicole help local families. Thirty dollars buys a family a turkey dinner, complete with all the fixings. You can donate by clicking here. Thank you!

Nicole writes:

“Join me making a real difference.

Even a small donation will go a long way to helping me meet my fundraising goal for The Open Door — and we’ll be making the holidays so much brighter for our neighbors in need. Every $30 provides a basket, so whether you give $10 or $100, we’ll be helping local families set their holiday tables.

Thank you!”

There are more people than ever this year who need our community’s help with Thanksgiving. Working with all the Turkey Team members, the Open Door’s  goal is to raise $10,000.00.  Read more about how you can help here:

Help The Open Door Provide Holiday Meal Baskets

Start a fundraiser to provide families who struggle to make ends meet with all the fixings to prepare their own festive holiday meals

We’re asking a few of our key partners to rally their friends, family, and networks to help us provide Holiday Meal Baskets to families who struggle to make ends meet.

We invite you to help us collectively raise $10,000 for Holiday Meal Baskets this season. Set your own fundraising goal to help us get there. When you join The Open Door’s Turkey Team, you can help these families uphold their own family traditions by preparing their own home-cooked holiday dinners — and you’ll help your friends feel good about doing good!

Starting a meal-basket fundraiser is easy to do — and it’s fun. We’ll give you all the tools you’ll need. With your help, we’ll be able to make the holidays so much brighter for our neighbors in need.

Photo courtesy wikicommons media

THE OPEN DOOR CELEBRATING 40 YEARS WITH A BEAUTIFUL AUTUMN BREAKFAST

The Open Door’s annual Autumn Breakfast, hosted by Cruiseport Gloucester, was especially beautiful and meaningful this year as it is the organization’s 40th year serving the Cape Ann community. The maxim of the Open Door is ‘feeding people and changing lives,’ and the heart rending testimonial given by guest speaker Colleen Moceri spoke to just that as she shared her story of how her life has been deeply affected by the assistance she has received from executive director Julie LaFontaine and her kind hearted staff.

Sheree Zizak received a huge round of applause and standing ovation for her tremendous generosity and was presented the Unsung Hero Award. The Helen Muise Community Service Awards were given to Jeffrey and Nancy McKeen, Janice Nolte, and Chris Pitman. The Charlotte Pope Award was presented to Ben Steele, and the Outstanding Partner Award was given to Addison Gilbert Hospital.

If you would like to make a donation to this most worthy of organizations visit the FOODPANTRY.org

The Open Door’s annual Thanksgiving Food Drive is Saturday, November 17th, from 9am to 3pm. Items most needed are peanut butter, canned tuna and chicken, healthy snack items, 100 percent juice and juice boxes, breakfast cereal, hearty soups, and caned fruits and veggies. Your food donations will be collected at Stop and Shop Gloucester,  Market Basket in Gloucester and Rowley, and Shaw’s on Eastern Avenue and in Ipswich.

Martin Luther King Volunteering at Market Basket, Saturday January 13, 2018

We will be meeting at Market Basket starting at 9:00 a.m. and collecting until 3:00 p.m.  The 3:30 p.m. shift will meet at The Open Door, 28 Emerson Avenue, Gloucester to unload the truck.  We will be handing out flyers to Market Basket patrons asking if they could spare a donation. I have assigned a shift captain to each time slot.  They will be assigning tasks to volunteers, providing volunteers with flyers and buttons that identify us as democrats, I will also ask that they take a picture of their group and email it to me for Facebook and possible submission to our local newspapers.  If you don’t want to be in the picture that’s fine.

Please dress for the weather, it looks to be 47 degrees (but falling fast) and raining.  Please try to be on time for your shift as you are replacing someone else.  Most importantly remember to have fun!  We are fortunate to live in a great community of very generous people making this project a pleasure.  Attached is the schedule  please look for your name under a specified time slot and you will see the name of your shift captain.  For those of you not on the schedule, you expressed an interest and I welcome you to join where you can.  One last thing, at the end of this signature you will find my phone number, please take that number down and put it in your phone in case there is an issue.

 

Catch a Ton of Tuna
9:00am-11:00am

Shift Captain: Bernadette Merenda
Dave Marro
Donna Ardizzoni
Nicole Altieri
Jackson Altieri
Suzanne Newman
Florence Williams
Jane Marchurs
Rosie Sagall

11:00am-1:00pm
Shift Captain: Liz Murray

John Van Ness
Dylan Benson
Peg Leeco
Meredith Fine
Roz Smith
Joan Sweeney
Christy Park
Pat Doran

1:00pm-3:00pm
Shift Captain: Susan Only

Sean Recroft
John Recroft
Tom Denman
Mark Williamson
Ivan Williamson
Michael Wheeler
Candice Wheeler

Bernadette Merenda
GDCC Public Service Director
978-852-7165

Volunteers Urgently Needed for This Weekend’s Day of Service to Benefit Open Door

Volunteers urgently needed for this weekend’s
Day of Service to benefit Open Door

Our Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service is fast approaching and we are calling on you to help us catch a ton of tuna for The Open Door Food Pantry.

On Saturday, Jan. 13, we will be at Market Basket at Gloucester Crossing from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. handing out flyers to patrons and collecting food. Then, we will deliver our “catch” to The Open Door.

We need six people on each shift at Market Basket. The shifts that still need to be filled out are from 9 to 11 a.m. and 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. If you are able to help at those times, please email Bernadette Merenda at  vitablue@comcast.net  or call 978-852-7165 to sign up for a shift.

Stephanie Benenson HARBOR VOICES light show #GloucesterMA | immigration, conversation & acts of generosity manifest as public art

Stephanie Benenson, artist studio, discussing 2017 Harbor Lights 20171122_091510

Stephanie Benenson, artist studio, discussing Harbor Lights, GIF 1122091429
from a studio visit with Stephanie Benenson Nov 2017

You can join in Stephanie Benenson’s fascinating big vision, Harbor Voices, a public art and cultural piece that’s made from light, sound and community participation. Part of the project is a  large-scale and temporary LIVE light & sound installation which will happen on ten minute loops from 4-8pm on Friday December 8th, and Saturday December 9th, one of many featured events for the 2017 Middle Street Walk. Harbor Voices will be held inside the Kyrouz Auditorium in City Hall , 9 Dale Avenue, Gloucester, MA.

Come experience a sweeping ocean of sound, stories and light, drawn by the voices and acts of generosity of neighbors and friends.

Benenson, a Rockport native and North Shore based fine artist, received a prestigious and competitive RISD grant to create Harbor Voices. Benenson collected over 100 stories in eight languages of recent and ancestral immigration to Cape Ann. For the past year she led (and continues to lead) practical and creative storytelling sessions and workshops at area schools like Veteran’s Memorial and Gloucester High School,  as well as community organizations and centers such as Sandy Bay Historical Society. Students talked with Benenson about “their ancestors* and families bringing cultural heritage to Cape Ann.” She said that kids mentioned “family members that started businesses here (like Jalapenos, Sclafanis, and other cultural destinations on Cape Ann)…and how meangingful that was to them…and people that they had deep respect and admiration for…” They discussed “family recipes, music, food and how immigration historically has made American art and culture come alive.”  Mayor Romeo Theken was the first story collected. Other Cape Ann storytellers outside of the schools and non profit partners include: Jean Testaverde (Portuguese fishing ancestry), Ingrid Swan (Swedith quarrying ancestry), Heather Lovett (descendent of Roger Babson), Sal Zerilli (Awesome Gloucester and Rockport), Jan Bell, Buddy Woods, Susannah Natti (Finnish and descendent of Folly Cove designer), Rich Francis (GHS teacher), and Celestino Basille (GHS teacher).

Depending upon age and preference, stories were written, recorded, or drawn. All were mixed into materials and audio that will choreograph connections directly into the light installation, and an enlarging community. At first, Benenson thought the light might guide any audio. Instead voices continue to guide the light.

Every story and act of generosity is linked to the installation and transformed into light.

Blurring the lines between public art and social sculpture, LIVE happening and virtual action, Harbor Voices emblematically presents stories, shared connections and actions. Participants of all ages are encouraged to interact with the project www.harborvoices.com and its installation– to bathe so to speak in a community of vibrancy and waves of interconnectedness and support.  Benenson adds that from 4-6PM during the two days of this installation iteration, “children will be offered a small flashlight to engage with this artwork, allowing them a tangible moment to consider their part in this interconnected network of community and local history by creating their own beam of light.” Also, before the installation opens to the public, one hundred Gloucester High School students –including some who have already added into the piece– will come to City Hall to experience Harbor Voices.

Benenson’s promotion for Harbor Voices launched in September. Leveraging attention for this remarkably ambitious project is an essential component as more involvement means more impact. Straight away it fostered community and brought opportunities. For example, Benenson spoke about the project and shared audio of the stories with Rose Baker seniors, Gloucester Rotary and the Cape Ann Museum’s Red Cottage Society. Someone from Beverly has already underwrittten  support for a class at Veteran’s Memorial Elementary School. She spoke about the project with Joey as part of GMG podcast #253

As a third generation Cape Ann artist, Benenson is especially excited to “create art and conversations around our cultural heritage and our contributions to the vibrant mix of people that live on Cape Ann.”

See more pictures and read more about the artist

Continue reading “Stephanie Benenson HARBOR VOICES light show #GloucesterMA | immigration, conversation & acts of generosity manifest as public art”

LOCAL RADIO SHOW ANNOUNCES CONCERT TO BENEFIT THE OPEN DOOR ~ Sunday August 27th @ Mile Marker One

Unfinished Music Show’s Season 1 Guests to Perform

GLOUCESTER, JUNE 14, 2017 — Greg Verga, Host of Unfinished Music on MSO Radio
(MSONewSports.com) announced today a live concert to celebrate the first Anniversary of the
web based music program. All profits from ticket sales will benefit The Open Door
The show will take place 4-9 pm on Sunday, August 27 under the Milemarker One tent at 75
Essex Avenue in Gloucester. Tickets are only $10 each and can be purchased in advance
through Brown Paper Tickets at http://unfinishedmusic.bpt.me. Tickets will also be available at
the door the day of the show.
“We had 19 shows in our first year and we learned a lot about the local music scene and had a
great time doing it. This live concert was an idea we came up with to not only promote the show
but also give an opportunity for these talented artists to share their original music. More
importantly, it will benefit The Open Door and we all know how much they do for those in our
community,” said Verga.
The list of performers is a who’s who on the Cape Ann music scene. Confirmed so far:
John Jerome
Band Pier Ave
PrateekPoddar
Satch Kerans Band
Paul “Sasquatch” Cohan
Alto & Small
Black Sheep Stampede
Brian King
Dan King
Inge Berge
Stolen Lions
Julie LaFontaine, Executive Director at The Open Door added, “The Open Door’s mission is to
alleviate the impact of hunger in the community. This event will bring people together to support
a cause important to this community and help connect people to good food.”
About Unfinished Music
Unfinished Music is a web radio based interview program. Singer/songwriters and full bands
stop by to chat about their latest projects, play recorded music and perform live in-studio. The
show streams live at www.MSONewSports.com and is then available for on-demand listening.
Upcoming shows as well as links to past shows can be found at
Milemarker One (tent)
75
Essex Avenue in Gloucester, MA

More scenes from Open Door Empty Bowl at Cruiseport

There was a constant line out the Cruiseport doors throughout this joyous and growing annual Open Door Empty Bowl Dinner.

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Silent auction: For this trio of bowls, can you guess which is which by Senator Tarr, Representative Ferrante and Mayor Romeo -Theken?

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Continue reading “More scenes from Open Door Empty Bowl at Cruiseport”

Scenes from seArts 2017 Annual meeting at Gloucester Stage featured Bosoma dance company which may relocate to Cape Ann

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BoSoma Dance may move to Cape Ann 

Gloucester Stage new season opens May 19 2017. Heidi Dallin also revealed a Gloucester Stage world exclusive premiere announcement!

EX LOVERS, a festival of 10 minute plays is coming on April 28th!
Founding director Israel Horovitz asked 8 dramatists to contribute an original 10 minute play

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Heidi Dallin (Gloucester Stage)  Tony Sapienza (Cape Ann Plein Air committee)
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Ken Reihl Cape Ann Chamber and Karen Ristuben Rocky Neck (Cape Ann Plein Air committee)

 

Caroline Enos Don’t Tread On Us article about the WRITERS RESIST event coordinated by JoeAnn Hart at Rocky Neck Cultural Center 

Artist opportunities:

seArts Art Loan @ Bass Rocks 2017
seArts Wearable Arts updates http://wearableart.org/
Cape Ann Plein Air II is scheduled Oct 8-16, 2017- artist  applications  are due by April 30, 2017
Marty Morgan Empty Bowl Open Door seeking volunteer artists to help guide painters

 

Nichole’s Picks 12/31 +1/1

First of year, Happy New Year.  May 2107 be all that you want it to be.

Pick #1: Rockport New Year’s Eve

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SEE FULL ENTERTAINMENT SCHEDULE AND BUY BUTTONS HERE

The mission of Rockport New Year’s Eve (RNYE) is to broaden and deepen the public’s appreciation for the performing, literary, and visual arts through innovative, diverse and high-quality programs that offer the community a shared cultural experience that is accessible and affordable.   RNYE presents year-round programs that both support this mission and raise funds.  RNYE is also supported by business sponsorships and individual donations.

RNYE’s most important event of the year, and the one for which the organization is named, is the celebration of the arts on New Year’s Eve. The evening is designed to be an impressive, “small seacoast town” version of First Night celebrations held throughout the country.  New Year’s Eve in Rockport is a treasured tradition enjoyed by Cape Ann residents and visitors

Attendees purchase buttons online or at stores throughout Rockport and Gloucester in advance of New Year’s Eve, or at the event headquarters on New Year’s Eve.  A button allows the bearer to attend any events that are scheduled throughout the evening.  The following description gives a good perspective of the depth, breadth and cultural diversity of the entertainment.

The celebration begins at 6PM on New Year’s Eve.  New Year’s Eve entertainment is scheduled on the hour, every hour, from 6PM to midnight, with 15 minute breaks in between each 45 minute session to allow attendees to walk from venue to venue and venue managers to reset for the next act.  The entertainment options scheduled throughout the evening are culturally diverse and suitable for all ages.  Musical acts may include folk, Celtic, blues, reggae, calypso, rhythm and blues, rock and roll, funk, soul, bagpipes, gospel, songs of the sea, 50’s and 60’s doo wop, country, western swing, African pop, New Orleans jazz, big band, and a cappella..  Other entertainment may include clowns, jugglers, puppeteers, story tellers, face painters, dancers, psychic readers, and telescope viewing with the astronomy club.  Children of all ages participate in the drum jam and parade through the downtown streets, with a large dancing dragon and costumes.  At midnight, attendees gather in Dock Square to watch the ball drop from the highest ladder of the town fire truck and sing “Auld Lang Syne”.

Pick #2:  Noon Year’s Eve at Legoland

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NOON YEAR’S EVE

Who says you have to wait until midnight to celebrate 2017?

Help us ring in the 2017 a few hours early with our first ever “Noon Year’s Eve” celebration! There will be special activities, prizes and giveaways, and a celebratory balloon drop, all included in the price of admission!

Read more about Legoland HERE

Pick #3: Rocky Neck Polar Plunge

Test your tolerance for icy cold water, have some belly laughs with friends, and (most importantly) help raise donations for the Open Door!

READ MORE ABOUT THE OPEN DOOR HERE

Once again, it’s that time to come and celebrate the New Year with our invigorating celebration. Please join us!! We ask everyone to bring non-perishables to help out those in need. The Open Door will have a van set up at the entrance of the beach !! We also collect cash or checks made out to The Open Door. If you haven’t joined us before, please do so and bring friends!!!!! We start this yearly tradition with a poem from George Sibley and then take our plunge !!

Sunday, January 1st at 9:00 a.m.

Rocky Neck. Stevens Way, Gloucester,MA

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As always, for a comprehensive list of family activities, please visit our friends at North Shore Kid

OUTSTANDING OPEN DOOR AUTUMN BREAKFAST AT CRUISEPORT

open-door-autumn-breakfast-22-copyright-kim-smithSarah Grow and Julie LaFontaine

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State Senator Bruce Tarr, Amy-Beth Healey, and Mayor Romeo Theken

open-door-autumn-breakfast-25-copyright-kim-smithAmy-Beth, Michelle, Lara, Bea, and Meg

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Thursday morning the Open Door Autumn Breakfast event kicked off the annual Thanksgiving Food Drive season. Cruiseport was packed with supporters, accolades and speeches given, and the free breakfast, delicious. David Sudbay, the Open Door’s President of the Board of Directors, gave the welcome speech. Julie LaFontaine, the organization’s Executive Director, spoke with the community about connecting, engaging, and advocating.

The Helen Muise Community Service Awards were presented to Donte Cone, Nancy Days, Lauren Johnson, Giselle Rein, and Susan Otis. The Unsung Heroes Award was given to Applied Materials Food Drive Team. Backyard Growers and Cape Ann Savings Bank were recognized as Outstanding Community Partners.

Amy-Beth Healey, the guest speaker, gave a poignant and heartrending speech, giving high praise and thanks for the steady assistance provided by the Open Door during her family’s time of need. One in six people in Gloucester requires food assistance. Amy-Beth’s life story spoke to the fact that so many amongst us are living pay check to pay check. Her story could easily become your story.

If you’d like to help feed the hungry on Cape Ann, you can:

Items most needed for the Thanksgiving Food Drive: Canned tuna, canned veggies and fruit, breakfast cereals, pasta, grains, 100 percent juice and juice boxes, peanut butter, and spaghetti sauce. Collecting food donations are Stop and Shop in Gloucester, Market Basket in Gloucester and Rowley, and Shaw’s in Ipswich and Eastern Avenue, Gloucester.

In case you missed the post earlier today, Julie and Mayor Sefatia announce the winner of the Market Basket shopping spree.

Finding Nemo fun at HarborWalk Summer Cinema

What a treat! I wish everyone could have heard the hundreds of happy cries of  “Mine. Mine. Mine.” with each unforgettable Finding Nemo seagull scene. This was real life surround sound right at Gloucester’s harbor, seagulls aloft and searching in the enveloping night.

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6pm–hundreds more will stream in before the movie starts!
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Aurelia Nelson 104.9 Gloucester HarborWalk Summer Cinema 2016

 

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Gloucester HarborWalk Summer Cinema 2016 Awesome vendors
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OPEN DOOR at Gloucester HarborWalk 2016 Summer Cinema, with pre movie family activities and canned food drive. Finding Nemo sponsor

Thanks Rob, Cape Ann Community Cinema & Stage, for the community movie nights and for taking these photos. I didn’t bring my camera and was too busy eating even if I had!  What did we carry in and carry home?  On the way to the movies, we walked over to purchase delicious take-out subs from Leonardos for a picnic, and bug spray (not needed it turned out) and sundries from Walgreens. From the vendors at the outdoor movies we picked out candy, Kettlecorn and slush. We didn’t have the fried dough but there’s always next week!

Finding Nemo was the second movie of five FREE outdoor movies hosted by the City of Gloucester HarborWalk through the Cape Ann Community Cinema. Aurelia from North Shore 104.9 and Open Door hosted the festive pre-screening gathering.

The three premier sponsors for the HarborWalk Summer Cinema are North Shore 104.9, Cape Ann Savings Bank, and North Shore Community College. Finding Nemo was presented by Open Door. Next week’s Minions will be shown thanks to Toodeloos!

Continue reading “Finding Nemo fun at HarborWalk Summer Cinema”

6th grade Gloucester Day at O’Maley and community service

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I had a great time at O’Maley this week, presenting to 6th graders for “Gloucester Day”. For the past couple of years, I’ve spoken with classes about the HarborWalk because they study it at some point during the academic year. 6th graders are great and all (they were fantastic), but these O’Maley teachers make it seem effortless. Me? I bought cookies from Cafe Sicilia and Virgilios to hand out!  This year I ran into Tom Balf for Maritime Gloucester on the way in,  heard the teachers delight in seeing their former student, David Brooks for the Hive, back as a mentor, coach and leader. I caught some of Rick Doucette’s presentation because I heard the exclamations over YMCA summer camp and the 24 sleepless hours in a rocking chair fundraiser. Allison Cousins was heading into a class with Little Charlie Goes To Gloucester, a children’s picture book about poet Charles Olson by filmmaker Henri Ferrini and illustrated by Stefan Mallette. (It was also mentioned as it’s one of the links on the Olson marker for the HarborWalk and you can see it with other Cape Ann Reads published books.) This year, Gloucester day fell on National Teacher Appreciation Day. Every day could be National Teacher Appreciation Day.  Here’s the report from 6th grade social studies teacher, Jessica Haskell and her O’Maley colleagues:

On Tuesday, May 3rd, 6th grade students at O’Maley Innovation Middle School participated in “Gloucester Day” as part of an introduction to their end-of-the-year service projects.  Citizens who are active members of the Gloucester community volunteered their time and expertise to come in and teach students about organizations that work to make our community a better place.  Students were also introduced to ways in which they can personally get involved in these efforts through exploring and discovering their hometown, volunteering, participating in summer camps, and coming up with their own ideas.  Community mentors who attended were Catherine Ryan (HarborWalk), Rick Doucette (YMCA, Awesome Gloucester), Meghan Stratton (Backyard Growers), David Brooks (The HIVE), Tom Balf (Maritime Gloucester), Beth Klinefelter (The Open Door), and Allison Cousins (O’Maley Guidance).

Thanks for sending these photos and looking forward to hearing about the students’ projects!

Get better soon, Mr. Davis.

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Start your own colorful cupboard!

I love going to the Empty Bowl Dinner sponsored by the Open Door Food Pantry.  My cupboard is colorfully decorated with my bowls from each year and I look forward to picking out the perfect bowl again at this year’s event on May 12th!   Last year I was fortunate enough to photograph the event and captured this photo of the potters hands as she was demonstrating the bowl making process.   This Saturday the Open Door is hosting a bowl painting party from 10-12 at 28 Emerson Avenue, Gloucester.   You can contact them to reserve a spot (see info below)….and make sure you paint a pretty one for me!

BLM_2140-Edit-Edit-Edit-2Come decorate a bowl for the annual Empty Bowl Dinner. Painting is free. Reservations are required. RSVP volunteer@foodpantry.org

We are asking people to lend their talent to paint a bowl that will be glazed and fired and then made available at our main event, the Empty Bowl Dinner.

You can read more about the main event here: http://www.foodpantry.org/01_About_Us/empty_bowl.htmlBLM_2268-Edit-Edit