New Effort Invites Area Veterans to Free Christmas Party with Full Meal Dec. 23

Veterans this year are able to enjoy a free Christmas party with a full meal and desserts thanks to efforts of veterans’ organizations, families and others. The Christmas Party aims to bring veterans and their guests together to meet other fellow veterans, make new friends, provide ongoing resources and acknowledge veterans’ service to the country. It takes place Thursday, Dec. 23, from noon-2 p.m., at AmVets Post 147 and Veterans of Foreign Wars Lorraine Post 29, 576 Primrose St., Haverhill. The planning committee extends an invitation to all veterans from Haverhill and surrounding communities.

Secretary Kennealy Helps Groveland Celebrate Grants for Traffic Lights and Master Plan

State Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy was in Groveland yesterday to formally present the town with a $435,000 MassWorks Infrastructure Program grant and $75,000 Urban Agenda grant to develop a new master plan. He was joined by Groveland Town Administrator Rebecca Oldham, Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr and Rep. Lenny Mirra. As WHAV reported first in October, Groveland will use the MassWorks money to install new traffic signals at the intersection of Salem Street, School Street and Groveland Village driveway. WHAV also reported the master plan grant Nov. 19.

Elder Services Now Known as AgeSpan, Reflecting Agency’s Evolution Since 1974

Elder Services of the Merrimack Valley and North Shore, a private nonprofit agency with offices in Lawrence and Danvers, is now known as AgeSpan. AgeSpan started as an organization in 1974, focused on serving the needs of older adults. Over the years, its programs and services have expanded, and the agency now serves a wide variety of individuals, including seniors, younger people, those with disabilities, veterans and family members. AgeSpan’s service area has grown to include more than 28 diverse communities, as well as helping people statewide and across New England. “As AgeSpan, our name reflects the agency we are, the people and communities we serve, and the compassionate work we do every day,” said CEO Joan Hatem-Roy.

Atkinson Garden Club Greens and Gift Sale Takes Place Friday and Saturday

Atkinson Garden Club is having its Greens and Gift Sale this Friday and Saturday, themed as “Red and White and Green All Over!”

The sale takes place Friday and Saturday, Dec. 3 and 4, from 10 a.m.-3 p.m., at the Atkinson Community Center, 4 Main St., Atkinson, N.H.

Items available include wreathes, plain and decorated, ranging in size from 12–36 inches will be available; various sizes and colors of hand-tied bows; festively adorned table top holly trees; kissing balls; centerpieces with candles; and holiday mugs with greens. There will also be freshly harvested bundles of various greens, swags and memorial/patio baskets and assorted holiday gifts. An Opportunity Basket will also be raffled at the sale.

Northern Essex Community College Taking Applications for January Community Health Outreach Course

Since the start of the global pandemic, demand for community health workers—frontline health workers who provide assistance in accessing health care, government and social service resources—has been growing. This fall, Northern Essex Community College’s community health worker training program was the first for-credit program in the state to receive approval from the Massachusetts Board of Certification of Community Health Workers as a training center. Berkshire Community College received approval for its noncredit training program. “We’ve been developing our program for six years and this validates our efforts,” said Jacqueline Dick, who drafted the 164-page application and is coordinator of the college’s Public Health Program. “When our students are looking for jobs, employers will appreciate that they’ve completed an approved program.”

One graduate of Northern Essex’s Community Health Worker Certificate Program and Associate Degree in Public Health is Silvia Polanco of Methuen.

Northern Essex Community College Provides Online Winter Intersession Courses

Dozens of online classes are offered by Northern Essex Community College starting in January. Registration is open for the college’s Winter Intersession, beginning Monday, Jan. 3, and running for two or four weeks. Courses include Intro to Business, U.S. History I and Statistics, providing an opportunity for students to get caught up or get ahead in their degrees. Besides Northern Essex students, classes are open to area students who are home on break from other colleges and universities and can easily transfer the credits they earn during an intersession course.

Podcast: Windrush Farm Seeks Volunteer Horse Handlers and Side Walkers

The holiday season provides many opportunities to help others and, at the Windrush Farm, that includes helping people and horses. The Windrush Farm Therapeutic Riding Center’s Executive Director Janet Nittmann, a recent guest on WHAV’s morning program, said the North Andover-Boxford line center has a need for more “horse handlers.”

“These are people who lead the horse when it’s necessary, and many times it is necessary to help the rider until they become more independent. Our goal is to teach them to become more independent riders,” she said. Nittman says there is also a need for side walkers. Many of the farm’s clients appreciate the side walkers, because they help them with their balance while riding.

Groveland Voters to Consider Spending, Including Late-Billed Haverhill Sewer Bill, Next Monday

Groveland voters are asked to approve spending on various items during a special town meeting next Monday, Dec. 6. An unusual item calls for paying Haverhill $41,168 for last fiscal year’s use of the city’s wastewater treatment system. Officials explain voters must give permission to pay bills from a prior year and Haverhill failed to bill the Groveland Water and Sewer Department during the year that ended last June 30. The town has an agreement with Haverhill to process sewage and pay a portion of capital expenses.