November 26, 2017

Inbox [Nov. 26-Dec. 2]: News and notes from Pernet Family Health, DA Early’s office, Worcester Public Library, WCAC, Worcester Public Schools, Bravehearts

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Pernet Family Health Services provided some 300 Thanksgiving meals to local families this year.

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Pernet donates more than 300 holiday meals

For more than 60 years, Pernet Family Health Services has helped families in need celebrate Thanksgiving through its Holiday Giving Program.

Through donations from the community and local organizations, Pernet puts together baskets so low-income families are able to enjoy a Thanksgiving meal they may not otherwise have been able to afford. Last week, through the Holiday Giving Program and generous donations from the community, Pernet delivered turkeys to more than 300 local families.

“This annual Holiday Giving Program helps us all to think about helping others, and make time to celebrate not only what we have, but who we are as a human family,” Pernet Director of Family and Community Development Emily Linhares said.

Pernet Executive Director Sheilah Dooley said, “Not only do families get healthy food, but it is heartwarming to see the whole community mobilize by donating and volunteering for families they don’t even know.”

Early introduces anti-drug program to schools

A new anti-drug program was presented this month for the first time in Worcester County at Leicester Middle School.

Joe Early

Courtesy of the office of Worcester County District Attorney Joseph D. Early, Jr.

Worcester County District Attorney Joseph D. Early, Jr. presents the first This Is (Not) About Drugs program to a class of sixth graders at Leicester Middle School.

The program, including the short film “This is (Not) about Drugs,” was designed by Overdose Lifeline and is presented by the office of Worcester County District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr.

in its prevention and intervention efforts. The town of Leicester and Leicester Police Department partnered with the DA’s office to win a grant from the state Attorney General’s Office to pay for it.

The program informs students about the dangers of opioid abuse, misused pain medications and street drugs such as heroin.

The DA’s office outreach team made a series of presentations of the program to all the sixth-grade students at Leicester Middle School. The seventh- and eighth-graders will be the next audience.

“This is a program that works,” Early said. “We’re not in the schools to scare anyone, but to educate them about opioid abuse. We want the students to make good choices and empower them to think a little bit more about the dangers of opioids. We love partnering with Leicester on this.”

Leicester Police Chief James Hurley said he was impressed by the quality of the film and the presentation by Ellen Miller of the District Attorney’s outreach staff. Besides asking the students questions about drugs, Miller led a discussion about the impact these drugs have on people’s lives.

“We need to reach out to our children as early as possible and educate them about the dangers of opioids,” Hurley said. “We can’t afford not to undertake this effort; we owe them the opportunity to avoid the opioid epidemic which they had no part in creating.”

Read the entire story on the website of Worcester County District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr.

Library branches to host Santa visits

The Friends of the Worcester Public Library are sponsoring visits from Santa to branches of the Worcester Public Library for children 12 and younger.

Parents are asked to bring their own camera. The visits are:

  • Main branch, 3 Salem Square, 12:30-2 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 30
  • Burncoat branch, 526 Burncoat St., 3:30-4:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 30
  • Goddard branch, 14 Richard St., 3-4 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 5
  • Roosevelt branch, 1006 Grafton St., 3-4 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 6
  • Tatnuck Magnet branch, 1083 Pleasant St., 3-4 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 7

WCAC to host ‘Christmas Carol’ event at Hanover Dec. 20

The Worcester Community Action Council will hold an event prior to a performance of the 10th anniversary production of “A Christmas Carol” at The Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts.

The Dec. 20 event includes a special pre-performance reception at 5:30 p.m., a meet-and-greet with cast members, hors d’oeuvres and cash bar, the debut of WCAC’s community impact video, and admission to the 7 p.m. performance.

Tickets are $60 and are available online or by calling the box office at 877-571-7469. Use promo code WCAC before Dec. 12 to access the best seats.

The event is sponsored by the Allen and Galena families.

A portion of all tickets purchased for this evening’s performance, as well as proceeds of the reception, will benefit WCAC’s services and programs.

Schools strategic planning forum Dec. 20

The Worcester Education Collaborative and Worcester Regional Research Bureau will host a community forum on a strategic plan for the future of the Worcester Public Schools.

The forum, “Setting the Course: Creating a Strategic Plan for K-12 Education in Our City,” will be held at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 20 at Doherty Memorial High School, 299 Highland St.

For questions and information, e-mail

Bravehearts announce first five signees

The Worcester Bravehearts announced the signing of five Central Massachusetts players who will join the team for the 2018 season.

Danny Barlok and Matt Stansky

Courtesy of Worcester Bravehearts

Former St. John’s High stars Danny Barlok of Shrewsbury, left, and Matt Stansky of Douglas will reunite in 2018 as members of the Worcester Bravehearts.

Two St. John’s alumni will return to the Bravehearts. Shrewsbury resident Kendall Pomeroy looks to build on his 2017 season, while Holy Cross junior Danny Barlok returns to the team after spending last summer with the Keene Swampbats of the New England Collegiate Baseball League.

Two members of the 2017 St. John’s baseball team that won the Super 8 Championship are going to be battery mates with the Bravehearts during the summer. Matt Stansky of Douglas and Jack Gardner of Shrewsbury will reunite after spending four seasons together at St. John’s, and additional time as teammates with the Shrewsbury Quaranta Post 397 American Legion baseball team that captured the Northeast Regional Championship at Hanover Insurance Park this past August.

Stansky is a freshman pitcher at Bryant University in Rhode Island. Gardner is a catcher at Cypress College in California.

The Bravehearts have also re-signed infielder Mariano Ricciardi of Worcester Academy and West Boylston. The Florida Atlantic University product debuted with the Bravehearts in 2017, hitting .248 in 33 games with 7 RBIs and 4 stolen bases while joining his brother, Dante, on the team.

The Bravehearts will begin revealing the rest of the roster in December.

Read the entire story on the Worcester Bravehearts website

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