August 13, 2017

Worcester Weekly: Battle of Badges, Party for ALS + more, Aug. 13-19

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The most fun you’ll have with a calendar of events all week. And you just might learn something, too.

Sunday, Aug. 13 — Civil War Movie Series: “Glory,” 4-6 p.m., Mechanics Hall, 321 Main St.  Nothing like a light-hearted, fun summer flick to help you forget August is half over already. Or you could go the other way, and immerse yourself in the harrowing, humbling experiences and selfless heroics of one of America’s most historically significant Army regiments. (Then again, watching Matthew Broderick and Cary Elwes try to act like soldiers is kind of funny.)

The 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry was the first unit of black soldiers assembled during the Civil War. Its valiant actions in charging a Confederate stronghold in South Carolina — where Broderick’s Col. Robert Gould Shaw and many of his men died — encouraged Union leaders to redouble their efforts to recruit black soldiers. The 1989 film, part of which was filmed at Old Sturbridge Village, won three Academy Awards.

Tickets are $7, $5 for members. (Doors open at 3 p.m. for an optional tour of the historic hall; registration is required when purchasing ticket.)

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Wednesday, Aug. 16 — Young Professionals Night Out, 5-8 p.m., The Edge at Union Station, 8 Grafton St.  Clearly, young professionals don’t get out enough — too busy Snapchatting about how professional they are, I gather. So the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce took some time out from its busy schedule setting the City Hall agenda and partnered up with Action! Worcester to help show the city’s aspiring whippersnappers how enlightening actual face-to-face conversation can be.

It’s called networking, kiddoes — and nobody does networking better than the Gadflies of Downtown Worcester. (Great band name? Title of a future networking event?!) Free and open to the public — so long as you’re young and professional, at least at heart — registration is recommended.

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Wikimedia Commons / Terageorge

Worcester Public Library

Wednesday, Aug. 16 — Urban Planning with the People, 6-7:30 p.m., Saxe Room, Worcester Public Library, 3 Salem Square  A common refrain in Worcester’s many diverse and disparate neighborhoods is that their voices aren’t always heard. And while municipal leaders have certainly taken a few small steps to address the perceived inequity, there’s clearly more work to be done.

In the latest installment in the library’s Community Conversation Series, Tom Conroy, a Worcester State urban studies professor, will discuss ways that city officials and residents can improve this situation at a critical juncture in Worcester’s history.

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Road trip!

Thursday, Aug. 17 — Children’s Gardening Hour, 3:30-4:30 p.m., Tower Hill Botanic Garden, 11 French Drive, Boylston  August is cruising right along, which means it’s crunch time for parents. New shoes and old shopping lists, first-day outfits and last-ditch summer fun. Oh, and just try to keep the kids sane with baseball camp in the rear-view and homework on the horizon. Speaking of homework, Tower Hill wants you to bring out your petulant princes and princesses to help with some of theirs. Appropriate for kids age 6 and above, this hands-on activity shows participants how to care for plants, including weeding, watering and harvesting.

Admission is $12 per child-adult pair, $5 for members. Also Thursdays, Aug. 24, Sept. 7 and 21. Preregistration is required.

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Friday, Aug. 18 — Battle of the Badges Blood Drive, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., convention center, DCU Center, 50 Foster St.  And now it’s time for the do-gooder portion of our program. Nearly 7 million people donate blood each year in the United States, which sounds impressive until you check out the next bullet point on the American Red Cross’ handy-dandy fact sheet: that’s less than 10 percent of the eligible donor population.

So the Worcester Police and Fire departments, in conjunction with Worcester Railers HC, are staging a friendly competition to entice donors. Vote for WFD or WPD after you give blood and the “winner” gets to donate $1,500 to a charity of its choice. Donors also get vouchers for a ticket to the Big E, and an Oct. 27-29 “Disney on Ice” show at the DCU Center, not to mention free parking at the Major Taylor garage.

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Sam Doran / State House News Service

Pete Frates took part in an Ice Bucket Challenge on the front steps of the State House in 2015 with Gov. Charlie Baker and other state officials.

Saturday, Aug. 19 — Find a Cure, Raise a Pint, Party for ALS, noon-10 p.m., Wormtown Brewery Taproom, 72 Shrewsbury St.  Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, has come a long way in the three years since Boston College baseball player Pete Frates doused America in the Ice Bucket Challenge phenomenon. In May, the FDA approved the first new treatment specifically for ALS in 22 years. Four new genes were discovered to help guide treatment. And practically nobody calls it Lou Gehrig’s disease anymore.

But, despite the hundreds of millions of dollars raised, there’s still a long way to go. (Just ask Frates himself.) So swing by Wormtown Brewery and help it drop a little more cash in the bucket to one day rid ourselves of this terrible affliction. Raffles and games. DJ. And three Wormtown employees take the Ice Bucket Challenge.

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