Groveland Police Collecting New, Unwrapped Toys Through Dec. 15

The Groveland Police Department is holding a toy drive, collecting new, unopened and unwrapped toys to benefit children in Groveland and Haverhill. Police Chief Jeffrey T. Gillen said his department is partnering this year with Saint Patrick’s Church and donations will be accepted through Friday, Dec. 15, at the police station, 181 Main St., Groveland. “I want to ask community members to consider contributing to our toy drive as we strive to make Christmas a little brighter for local children in need,” said Gillen. “This is the season of generosity and care, and we hope our community will come together to make our toy drive a success.”

Methuen Police Department Collecting New Toys for Children in Need Through Dec. 15

The Methuen Police Department is again partnering with Debbie’s Treasure Chest for its annual toy drive. For the 10th year, police are collecting new toys for children in need in Methuen and throughout the Merrimack Valley.  More than 20,000 toys have been collected and distributed since police began participating. A drop box has been placed in the station lobby at 90 Hampshire St. for the public to drop off new toys. Toys will be collected until Friday, Dec.

Leapfrog Group Names Anna Jaques Hospital a Top General Hospital

Anna Jaques Hospital was named a Top General Hospital Tuesday by The Leapfrog Group in recognition of its achievements in patient safety and quality. Anna Jaques was one of only two hospitals in Massachusetts and one of only 35 across the United States to receive the Top General Hospital award. Beth Israel Deaconess – Milton, another Beth Israel Lahey Health hospital, was also named a Top General Hospital. “Top General Hospital is one of the most competitive awards a hospital can receive, and to be one of only two hospitals in Massachusetts to earn this distinction is a tremendous accomplishment,” said Anna Jaques Hospital President Glenn Focht. He added, “This honor, as well as receiving an ‘A’ Grade for patient safety from Leapfrog, is a recognition of Anna Jaques’ commitment to delivering outstanding care to the patients and communities we serve.”

The Top Hospital designation is bestowed by The Leapfrog Group, a national watchdog organization of employers and other purchasers that set standards for health care safety and quality.

Lithuanian Cultural Association Plans Memorial Today for Football Player Dick Butkus

The Lithuanian Cultural Association invites the public to a memorial this afternoon for Dick Butkus, described as football’s fiercest linebacker. Visitors are asked to sign a memorial book for Butkus, who played for the Chicago Bears from 1965 to 1973 and who died Oct. 5. The book will be presented to the Dick Butkus Foundation. “The Butkus Takes Heart” is an initiative of the Butkus Foundation to encourage early cardiovascular screening and scans among American adults.

Festival of Trees at the Buttonwoods Today Features Gift Buying, Ladies and Educators Discounts

The 2023 Festival of Trees at the Buttonwoods continues today with, among other activities, its Ladies and Educator Night. Festival of Trees at the Buttonwoods is open today from noon-8 p.m. Ladies and educators receive a discounted admission of $5 from 3- 8 p.m. Local vendors and crafters also offer gift buying opportunities and Santa Claus returns for a visit. On Thursday, from noon-8 p.m., there will be a Children’s Scavenger Hunt, while Friday, from 10 a.m.-8 p.m., is Senior Day with $1 off the ticket price. There will be a Senior Tea Party from noon-2 p.m., featuring a performance by the Comedy Masque Review from noon-1 p.m. Old-time radio shows provide the sound backdrop to “Nostalgia Christmas at the Buttonwoods” with coffee, tea and pastries all day and a Candlelight Tour of the John Ward House from 6-7:30 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 9, brings Family Day, from 10 a.m.-8 p.m., with colonial cooking demonstrations from noon-5 p.m., and a holiday concert performed by Currier Square from 6-7:30 p.m.

Sunday is the finale, running from 11 a.m.-5 p.m., with Holiday Artisan Fair with more music by Currier Square and light refreshments.

State Awards $15,000 to Haverhill’s Riverfront Cultural District

Haverhill’s Riverfront Cultural District was one of 54 areas awarded state grants last week to “encourage the development and success of the cultural districts and foster local cultural preservation.”

The Riverfront Cultural District, which covers Washington and Wingate Streets in downtown Haverhill, is administered by Creative Haverhill. It received $15,000 during a ceremony by the Massachusetts Cultural Council at Gloucester Stage Company. The grants are intended to encourage the development and success of the cultural districts and foster local cultural preservation. “Using creativity as a foundation, our cultural districts have proven themselves as drivers of economic activity within communities,” said Massachusetts Cultural Council Executive Director Michael J. Bobbitt. “With this investment, we’re not only supporting the creative and cultural sector, but the communities that host cultural districts as they continue to leverage their unique character to attract visitors and support economic growth.”

Cultural Districts may use the money for marketing and promotion; capacity building, artist or vendor fees, creative community placemaking or public art, collaborative cultural policy or strategic planning and data collection and/or reporting.

Merrimack Valley Credit Union Completes Food Drive, Now Collecting Toys

Merrimack Valley Credit Union recently conducted its annual food drive, supporting charitable organizations from southern New Hampshire to the south coast of Massachusetts. Participating branches collected nonperishable food items from members and staff. The Plaistow, N.H., branch donated food to the Providence Baptist Church food pantry in Epping, N.H.; North Andover branch, North Parish Church People’s Pantry; Tewksbury branch, Tewksbury Community Pantry; Hanover branch, Hanover Food Pantry; and Bridgewater branch, Bridgewater Food Pantry. North Andover Branch Manager Lina Quijano said “Food pantries like the People’s Pantry play such an important role in providing families in our community with food during the holidays and we are so happy to be able to support their hard work.”

The Bridgewater, Hanover and North Andover branches paired the food drive with a Shred-It Day on Saturday, Nov. 18, where, in addition to food donations, credit union and community members brought documents to be shredded as a guard against identity thieves.

Plaistow, N.H., Conservation Commission Continues Prime Wetlands Public Hearing Thursday

The Plaistow, N.H., Conservation Commission continues its public hearing on prime wetlands Thursday. Commissioners are proposing to designate some wetlands greater than two acres in size as prime wetlands. The definition of a prime wetland and the criteria used to make such a designation will also be discussed at the public hearing. It is a chance for residents to attend, ask questions and learn about prime wetlands and what they mean to Plaistow. The hearing began Nov.