News from our members

Massachusetts-Based Filmmaker Announces Cast for Upcoming Film, The Extraordinary World of Cecily Blinkstop

Massachusetts-based independent filmmaker Jennifer Potts announces the cast for her short film, The Extraordinary World of Cecily Blinkstop, scheduled to film in Central Massachusetts in July 2017. Jennifer is not only filming in New England, but she has hired a cast that is entirely from the New England region.

Playing the lead role of Cecily Blinkstop is eight-year-old Colbi Gannett of Waterboro, Maine. Colbi has been acting since she was four years old and is best known for her role in HBO’s Olive Kitteridge, alongside Academy Award-winning actress Frances McDormand. Her brother, six-year old Emmett Gannett, also from Waterboro, Maine, will play the role of Cecily’s younger brother, Barney. Six-year-old Molly McCarthy of South Easton, Mass., will make her film debut in the role of Amanda Jane, Cecily’s magical friend, and Patricia Fitzgerald,  a 13-year-old actress from South Yarmouth, Mass., will play the role of Cecily’s older sister, Kim.

The adult roles include Ava Gaudet of Providence, R.I., will play the role of Helen Blinkstop, Cecily’s mother. Ava played the role of Maureen in both the National Tour and Broadway companies of RENT and had a memorable recurring role on the ABC series Ugly Betty as the scheming neighbor, Gina Gambarro. Other TV credits include NCIS, Private Practice, Franklin & Bash, The Exes, Mike & Molly, and Love Bites. Will Bouvier of Shirley, Mass., will play the role of Kevin Blinkstop, Cecily’s father. Will is best known for his role in Black Rock (Katie Aselton/Mark Duplass) and can be seen in Kathryn Bigelow’s upcoming film, Untitled Detroit Project, which is currently in post-production. Will also had lead roles in Potts’ previous two short films, Home and Charlie & Poppy .

Jennifer Potts wrote the feature film The Extraordinary World of Cecily Blinkstop in 2014 and won the Grand Prize in the New England Spotlight category for the 2016 Rhode Island International Film Festival. Set in 1974 rural New England, this enchanting story moves through the days of Cecily, a seven-year-old girl who, after the death of her baby sister, lives in a world with no music, no color, no laughter, no love—that is, until a magical imaginary friend shows up and joins Cecily on the quest to save her family from the grief that is destroying them. Based on the first 15 pages of the feature film script, this short film will be produced as a proof of concept for the feature film. In addition to enlisting at least 80 percent of her cast and crew from the New England region, Potts is also committed to building a crew with at least 50 percent women.

Find The Extraordinary World of Cecily Blinkstop at www.cecilyblinkstop.com, Facebook page: Cecilyblinkstop, and Twitter handle @cecilyblinkstop.

About Jennifer Potts: Potts is a Massachusetts-based screenwriter and film director. She is living proof that life does not need to slow down when you get to the middle. After graduating from Drew University in 1992 with a BA in Theatre Arts, she co-founded and ran Cornerstone Performing Arts Center in Fitchburg, Mass., where she oversaw a small non-equity theatre company and directed multiple productions every year. In 2012, at age 41, Potts returned to school to study film/video production at Fitchburg State University, where she wrote and directed two short films and was awarded 2014 Film Student of the Year. In July 2016, Potts received an MFA in Writing for the Stage and Screen from New Hampshire Institute of Art. Potts’ most recent short film Charlie & Poppy was selected to screen at fifteen film festivals around the world and won two “best of” awards. Potts resides in Fitchburg, Mass., with her husband of 27 years and has five grown children.  www.jenniferpotts.com

4/1: THE TRAVELING BOUTIQUE SPRING SHOPPING EVENT

 

Saturday, April 1st

11:00 am  to  3:00 pm

 

Sunrise Senior Living

6 Beth Avenue

Leominster, MA  01453

 

Featuring Alfred Dunner, Karen Hart, tops, slacks, scarves & jewelry!

Find something for yourself and a perfect gift for someone special!

 

Contact Lorrie Brodeur

978-537-7600

Leominster Credit Union Conducts Book Drive

Leominster Credit Union is joining with credit unions throughout Massachusetts to collect new and gently used books during the month of April in association with the Cooperative Credit Union Association Annual Book Drive.  The books will be donated to local organizations providing an educational resource for many children.  The books may be dropped off at any Leominster Credit Union Office by April 28, 2017.  For more information contact Kathy Hurley at 978-466-7242 or khurley@leominstercu.com.

Leominster Credit Union donates to My Choice Programs

Leominster Credit Union donated $1,500 to My Choice Programs towards enhanced safety updates for their vehicles.  The vehicles provide the necessary transportation to allow residents to be active in their communities and to attend necessary appointments.  My Choice Programs provides individuals with intellectual disabilities with a variety of residential and shared living services, and the development of daily skills necessary to live independently. With LCU’s donation, My Choice Programs has raised a total $4,500 of the $6,300 necessary to make all repairs

“We are pleased to be able to assist an organization such as My Choice Programs,” commented John O’Brien, LCU President & CEO.  “These vehicles provide much needed transportation for the residents.  We’re glad we could assist with this request.”

My Choice Programs recently relocated to 1158 Main Street, Worcester. This new location provides enough space to start a hydroponic garden, which is anticipated to be up and running this fall. This “urban farm” will provide individuals with the skills to grow their own food, locally sourced and readily available.  To learn more about My Choice Programs click here.

Founded in 1954, Leominster Credit Union (LCU) is a member-owned, not-for-profit financial cooperative with a full range of deposit, lending and other financial services. Headquartered in Leominster, Massachusetts, LCU is proud to claim nearly 50,000 members and more than $600 million in assets. LCU has seven branch locations in Leominster, Worcester, Clinton, Holden, Sterling and North Leominster with ATM services at all branch locations. LCU also provides 24 hour banking via Mobile and Online services. Visit leominstercu.com or call 800-649-4646.

James Vander Hooven Takes Over as Third President of Mount Wachusett Community College

James Vander Hooven, Ed. D, has officially stepped into his role as the third president of Mount Wachusett Community College since the school was founded in 1963.

“MWCC has a long history serving as an integral part of the communities of North Central Massachusetts and responds to the region’s ever-evolving needs in order to best serve our students. We plan to build upon that history and create an equally bright and important future for this college at its Devens, Fitchburg, Gardner and Leominster locations,” said President Vander Hooven. “We have an opportunity not only to educate, but to be a conduit for the personal transformation and growth of our students and the ongoing growth of our communities.”

President Vander Hooven has been on campus since February, which allowed for a transition period with Dr. Daniel M. Asquino who announced his retirement last year and served as president at MWCC for over 30 years. President Vander Hooven used this transition time to meet with students, faculty, staff and community members and said he looks forward to continuing the process.

“I have met faculty who strive every day to impart knowledge and support students as well as staff who work tirelessly towards everyone’s success in so many ways. During this time, I have also been able to meet some of our students who persevere in ways both large and small to better themselves through education and personal growth,” said Vander Hooven.

President Vander Hooven has been committed to access and opportunity to higher education since first stepping into a nontraditional classroom, as an instructor, where he was the youngest person in the group. At that point, he began focusing his energy and time on increasing opportunities for students of all ages and backgrounds.

As the president of Tohono O’odham Community College in Tucson, Arizona, President Vander Hooven successfully raised more than $9 million for the construction of the college’s new main campus. He has also served as Vice President of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management at Lakes Region Community College in Laconia, New Hampshire, and Regional Dean of Academic and Student Affairs at National American University in Denver, Colorado.

President Vander Hooven attained his Bachelor of Arts degree in English from The Ohio State University. He received his Master of Arts degree in American Studies from the University of Wyoming. In 2009, he was awarded his Doctorate in Higher Education Leadership from the University of Maine, where he focused on student access. His dissertation was titled, “Lessons From Success: The Experience of Women Who Successfully Completed an Associate Degree While Parenting Children.”

He lives in Keene, New Hampshire.

Wachusett Mountain Sends Off Conversion Cup

Nearly a year after winning the 2016 National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) Conversion Cup for offering the best program in the country to convert new skiers and snowboarders into lifelong enthusiasts, Wachusett Mountain Ski Area conducted a ceremonial send-off of the cup back to NSAA to prepare for 2017 winner.

The Conversion Cup Award, a large silver trophy based on a Stanley Cup prototype, is a traveling award. Wachusett claimed ownership of the cup for one year, until the next winner is announced at next year’s NSAA National Convention May 5-8, 2017, in Scottsdale, AZ. The winner is chosen based upon proven results, creative ideas, consistent execution, and long-term commitment to the conversion effort. Several key metrics are used in the judging process, including beginner lesson volumes; quantifiable success of beginner lesson packages; season-to-date sales and repeat sales data collection; and marketing ingenuity and use of new media.

“NSAA asked us to ‘ship’ back the cup, so we took them literally,” said Wachusett Vice President Carolyn Stimpson, as the Wachusett crew loaded the cup onto a row boat on its snowmaking pond for a ceremonial bon voyage celebration. “Seriously, though, we were very proud to win the cup this past year, we see it as our job to create future skiers and riders for the industry. Even though we have relinquish the cup this year, we feel we still have one of the best programs in the country to introduce new skiers and snowboarders to the sport and keep them coming back. It was a great tribute to our team.”

Open Position with Department of Conservation and Recreation

Position Title: Seasonal Forestry Assistant – Greening the Gateway Cities (Leominster)
Location: 37 Carter St., Leominster, MA

Start Date: 3/20/17
End Date: 11/17/17

About the Department of Conservation and Recreation:

The Department of Conservation and Recreation manages one of the largest and most diverse state parks systems in the nation and protects and enhances natural resources and outdoor recreational opportunities throughout Massachusetts. DCR is a dynamic agency, and is one of the largest park systems in the nation. The DCR system includes over 450,000 acres of parks, forests, water supply protection lands, beaches, lakes, ponds, playgrounds, swimming pools, skating rinks, golf courses, trails and parkways.

The Department of Conservation and Recreation seeks qualified applicants for the position of Seasonal Forestry Assistant.

The Seasonal Forestry Assistant will work outdoors in all types of weather.

SPECIFIC DUTIES:
• Assists in the preparation of plans for replanting trees on public and private property in the Gateway Cities. Meets with homeowners to determine proper tree type(s) and location(s).
• Interacts with private land owners to answer questions about replanting operations.
• Assists in the supervision of daily planting operations by state forest crews to ensure trees are planted according to DCR Bureau of Forestry standards.
• Assists Foresters with data collection and management to record locations of planted trees and periodically check their condition.
• Performs related duties such as maintaining records and attending staff meetings.
• Assists in the tree planting operations for the Greening the Gateway Cities Program to increase tree canopy cover for the purpose of reducing heating and cooling energy costs to residences and businesses and to educate private landowners and the public about proper tree selection, care and maintenance.
• Interacts with the public and provides technical advice to landowners about proper tree selection and maintenance.
• Assists Foresters in the supervision of daily tree planting crews to ensure trees are planted according to DCR Bureau of Forestry standards.
• Assists Foresters with maintaining various logs relating to tree planting location and management.
• Performs related duties such as assigned.

Qualifications

This requisition will remain open until filled; however, first consideration will be given to those applicants that apply within the first 14 days.

Minimum Entrance Requirements:

Applicants must have at least (A) one year of full-time, or equivalent part-time experience in forestry or natural resource management, or (B) any equivalent combination of the required experience and the substitutions below.

Substitutions:
I. An Associate’s or higher degree with a major in forestry or forestry management may be substituted for the required experience.*

*Education toward such a degree will be prorated on the basis of the proportion of the requirements actually completed.

Special Requirements: Possession of a current and valid Massachusetts Class D Motor Vehicle Operator’s License or equivalent license from the state in which you reside.

An Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. Females, minorities, veterans, and persons with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply

Official Title: Forestry Assistant
Primary Location: United States-Massachusetts-Leominster-21 Oak Street
Job: Agriculture
Agency: Department of Conservation & Recreation
Schedule: Full-time
Shift: Day
Posting Date: Mar 1, 2017
Number of Openings: 1
Salary: 1,563.08 Biweekly
If you have Diversity, Affirmative Action or Equal Employment Opportunity questions or need a Reasonable Accommodation, please contact Diversity Officer / ADA Coordinator: Agatha Summons – 617-626-1282
Bargaining Unit: 09-MOSES – Engineers/Scientists

MWCC Center for Civic Learning and Community Engagement Dedicated in Senator Stephen M. Brewer’s Name

On Tuesday, March 7, The Center for Civic Learning and Community Engagement at Mount Wachusett Community College was named in honor of Senator Stephen M. Brewer.

The dedication celebration highlighted the impact the Senator had during his decades of civil service in his numerous roles that culminated with his position as the influential Chair of the Commonwealth’s Senate Committee on Ways and Means. The ceremony also detailed the ongoing work of the Center that supports the civic engagement of over 2,800 students at the college with more than 400 community organizations. As a result of the Center, every year MWCC students provide an average of 135,000 hours of service to the community for an economic impact of $3.63 million.

The commitment to civic service and engagement from both Senator Brewer and The Center for Civic Learning and Community Engagement make the naming of the center in the senator’s honor an ideal match, said MWCC President Dr. Daniel M. Asquino.

“One can’t become a truly conscious member of society in a democracy unless one has an appreciation for the essence of democracy. That is engagement, compassion, caring, involvement and sacrifice for the common good. These are the qualities epitomized by Senator Stephan Brewer and that is why we are here today,” said Asquino.

In attendance were a number of governmental representatives, some of whom took the stage to speak about Senator Brewer’s wide-ranging influence, commitment to the entire Commonwealth and personal interactions that defined his time in the legislature. The various officials highlighted the Senator’s commitment to truly serve – whether that meant putting large budgetary changes into real terms describing how people would be impacted by cuts or being there when tragedy struck.

State Senator Jennifer Flanagan said Senator Brewer epitomizes public service, while Fitchburg Mayor Steven DiNatale spoke to the Senator fundamentally being a good person and State Representative Jonathan Zlotnik said that the Brewer name is perfect for the Center.

“We have all learned so, so much from Senator Brewer throughout the years,” said Senator Anne Gobi who filled his seat after his retirement. “He took to heart those words of Hubert Humphrey that we take care of those in the dawn of life, in the twilight of life and in the shadows of life. And for the students who are going to benefit from being at this center, if you can keep those things in mind you will pay the right homage to this gentleman right here.”

In addition to those that knew the Senator during his career, three speakers from the college talked about the ongoing influence of the Center and the Senator. Jasson Alvarado-Gomez, Student Trustee at Mount Wachusett Community College, told the story of how a comment the Senator made to him one day, saying that he would be a senator himself someday, in the halls of the school opened his eyes to the vast possibilities the future held.

“I want to tell you something. Someday, when I become a senator, I am going to go back to college and I am going to tell some kid sitting by himself you are going to be a future senator,” said Alvarado-Gomez.

The other two speakers addressed the influence the Center, which helps students not only reach out into the community but connect with other students and the community at the school.

“During my first semester, the Center became my anchor, it became a second home. It is the reason I feel connected to Moun Wachusett Community College and why I am so proud to be a student here,” said Jana Murphy a current student and AmeriCorps VISTA member. “But it wasn’t until I hit my first rough patch that I realized how important it is to feel that kind of connection to your school. It was this connection that kept me from dropping everything when I had a hard time in my classes, or when life in general became overwhelming.”

“The Center is a vital part of this school. It helps those in need. It gives people hope. It shows the student population that we do care about their success. They are not alone,” said John Day who graduated in 2015 and now works part-time at the school while pursuing his Bachelor’s degree at Fitchburg State University.

When Senator Brewer took the stage he talked about the commitment to learning that he sees in the students at Mount Wachusett Community College and how you cannot help but be inspired by the “miracle of learning” while at the school. The Senator said that he hoped the lessons of his life could have an impact on the lives of others.

“We know that none of us can do everything, but each of us can do something,” he said. “Thank you for this honor and responsibility.”

The dedication included a ribbon cutting with red tape standing in for ribbon to represent all the red tape that the Senator cut through during his years in the legislature. The Senator will have an office in the Center and continue his work inspiring and assisting students looking to make an impact on the world.

Willie’s Warriors Presents “Journey to a Cure” Event to Honor Local Cancer Survivors and Remember Those Lost

A special Journey for a Cure Event will be held to support the American Cancer Society Relay For Life®. The event will be held in Clinton MA and will provide everyone the opportunity do their part and take personal action in the fight against cancer.

Entertainment will be provided by The Great Escape, A Journey Tribute Band. Learn more about the band at http://www.thegreatescapemusic.com  Tickets are $15.00 and they include food/snacks. We will also have raffles, t-shirts, and luminaries for sale throughout the night.

Last year Leominster Credit Union Warriors and Willie’s Warrior’s were one of top Fundraisers and raised over $6,000.00 for the event and their total combined donation was just over $10,000.00. The event will be held at Breakaway Billiards in Clinton MA on Saturday, May 13th at 8pm.

Anyone desiring to “fight back” may do so by participating in our event or by visiting our website at www.willieswarriors.org  Many local business have reached out supporting this cause. Events like this cannot happen with out their help. Please visit our website for a list of our sponsors. Attending the event or making a donation helps the American Cancer Society achieve its mission of saving lives by helping people stay well, by helping people get well, by finding cures, and by fighting back against the disease.

The event will be hosted by Willie’s Warriors. An organization created by Lydia Vazquez who currently resides in Lancaster MA. She created the group to remember her father, Wilfredo Vazquez-Pol who lost his 10 year battle against cancer on April 8, 2010. This event marks the 7th year anniversary of his death. Several other “Warriors”, all local members of the community, are remembered through this group.

See our website and facebook page to learn more about our Willie’s Warriors.  Information about purchasing tickets is available by calling 508-414-7421, at Breakaway Billiards in Clinton, Leominster Credit Union Main Office in Leominster or Ciccone Family Fitness in Clinton MA. Tickets can also be purchased from any Willie’s Warrior Team Member.

May 23rd: Perkins 14th Annual Golf Tournament

Perkins 14th Annual Golf Tournament
Tuesday, May 23, 2017
Sterling National Country Club, 33 Albright Rd., Sterling, MA 01564
Cost per golfer: $175 – several sponsorship levels also available.
Learn more and register to play at perkinsprograms.org/perkins-golf-tournament

The Perkins Annual Golf Tournament enjoys the proud standing of being one of the best tournaments in the area and one that our golfers and sponsors look forward to returning to every year. Played at the beautiful Sterling National Country Club in Sterling, MA, a fun, scramble style 18 holes of golf is followed by a five-star beer + wine reception and dinner at our Janeway dining room on the Perkins campus in Lancaster. Our no pressure raffle and live auction allows tournament guests an opportunity to lend added support to the people we serve at Perkins. The day starts at 9:00 a.m. with a continental breakfast and the chance to loosen up on the practice green and driving range, followed by a shotgun start at 11:00. Cognizant of our guests gift of time, we consistently meet our goal of having guests out the door and heading home no later than 6:30.

Thank you for considering picking up the clubs this May 23 to assist the students, residents, and adult clients at Perkins, whose lives are enriched because of the generous support of friends. Register at perkinsprograms.org/perkins-golf-tournament today to reserve your spot in what is sure to be another wonderful day on the links! A range of sponsorship levels is available, with top tiers including golfing foursomes — allowing you to advertise your business and be a part of the fun! Support from sponsors positively impacts the vital programs we offer at Perkins and allows us to provide the highest quality educational, therapeutic, and vocational services for the people we serve. For more information on how to sponsor, please contact kflathers@perkinschool.org.