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News

Torigian Senior Center celebrates 25 years on Central Street

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The Peter A. Torigian Senior Center celebrated 25 years in its location at 75R Central St. on November 30 and hosted a party for 460-480 seniors, guests and city officials. “We just thought it would be a great way to celebrate all the joy the Center has brought,” Center Director Carolynn Wynn said.

The Senior Center had previously occupied the basement of Seeglitz School, but then-Mayor Peter Torigian said that the city needed its own building. It took just 18 months until the new center opened.

State Representative Thomas Walsh said, “It’s really incredible when you look back at the 25 years when Peter [Torigian] was talking about this. His vision from 25 to 30 years ago of what the senior population would be and the needs they would have really has come true.”

Mayor Edward Bettencourt said, “Peabody seniors are a vital part of the fabric of our community as a whole. Residents aged 60 and older make up the fastest growing segment of our city’s population, and we are a stronger community as a result.”

The event kicked off with coffee and Danish and music by several members of the in-house band. Visitors were invited to check in on classes in progress, and they could also shop from the center’s gift shop or purchase handmade items displayed throughout the halls.

By 10:30, the line for pre-lunch hors d’oeuvres – fruit, cheese and shrimp – was out the door. The Senior Center boasts its own kitchen and is known for serving really good food. Maureen Pilot, the singer in the band, commented, “I play a lot of senior centers, and the lunches that they have here are by far the best food of all of the senior centers around.” A free lunch featuring chicken cordon bleu followed.

Most people – especially regular visitors to the Senior Center – think of it as a very special place. With so many activities, there is always something to do. Board Member of the Friends of the Peabody Council on Aging Joseph Mendonca was handing out information to the seniors about ways they can stay safe. He said his “thing” is giving information. “When I retired, the mayor told me you can’t sit around doing nothing, so he put me to work here volunteering.”

Some people, like Walter Osgood, 84, come for the activities. He grew up in Peabody but moved to New Hampshire a year ago with his bride of seven years, Jean, 81. The two were on the dance floor most of the day. “The dancing keeps us young,” Walter said.

Freda Kravetz has been coming to the Center for more than two years, since retiring from Metro Credit Union in Peabody. She enjoys the fitness facilities. “I come here Monday, Wednesday and Friday to do the Richard Simmons [workout], and then I go into the fitness room and do that,” she said. “I ride the bike and then I have lunch.”

A group of six men was sitting around a table near the back of the room, seeming to enjoy the camaraderie. One of them, Tony Schettino, said, “I’ve been coming here four or five years. I help the people with computer problems. I also did the programs for today’s event and the video that’s out in the lobby.”

Schettino’s friend Dave Delorey said they share an interest in computers. “Tony’s been teaching me the computer since 1992, and I still don’t know anything!” he joked. “It’s wonderful – I love being here – and we’re thankful to the City of Peabody for having [the Senior Center].”

Another gentleman at the table, Lenny Burgess, began pointing out framed photographs that adorned the walls. He commented, “For all the different affairs they have here, I go around taking photos. I like nature photography, abstract, whatever. I shoot from the moon to bugs and everything in between! I’ve been here three years, and I love the place.”

State Representative Walsh spoke for many when he said, “A lot of the services that this facility delivers is really because of the vision Peter [Torigian] and Father Andrew and many others had. This is really the jewel of the city.”

By Pam Niequist Wehbi


 

South Church Day School celebrates 50th Anniversary

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November marked the 50th Anniversary of South Church Day School (SCDS). A celebration took place in October, and parents and students enjoyed sundaes provided by Treadwell’s. Peabody Mayor Ted Bettencourt presented a meritorious plaque to SCDS Director Julie-Ann Walsh. He commended SCDS on the meaningful impact it has had on the community for generations.

The celebration was attended by present and past staff members and students, along with Peabody Councillor-at-Large Tom Gould and Pastor Grant Hoofnagle, along with members of the SCDS Committee.

 

Supporting local young entrepreneurs

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Community Credit Union contributes to life-changing education in young entrepreneurs

The Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) is an innovative program that transforms local middle and high school students into real entrepreneurial successes. We are excited to have Community Credit Union as a Premier Sponsor of the Peabody Area Chamber of Commerce’s YEA! program at North Shore Community College.

YEA! is a groundbreaking program that takes students between the ages of 11 and 18 through the process of starting and launching a real business or social movement over the course of an academic year. By the end of the class, students own and operate fully-formed and functioning businesses, which may be carried on after their graduation from the program. YEA! aims to teach students at an early age how to make a job, not just take a job. It is the only pre-college program developed by an entrepreneur, at a university, with support from a major entrepreneurial foundation, the Kauffman Foundation, and the United States Chamber of Commerce.

YEA! Premier Partners demonstrate deep commitment to business creation and the entrepreneurial spirit. Community Credit Union has played a vital role in bringing this dynamic program to students on the North Shore.

“The active involvement and generous support from partners such as Community Credit Union directly help transform local students into real business owners,” said Deanne Healey, President & CEO of the Peabody Area Chamber of Commerce. “As a business organization, the Chamber recognizes programs such as YEA! strengthen our business and educational communities, and secure the next generation of leaders in our region.”

This year’s class is made up of students from Peabody, Lynnfield, Andover and Carlisle. They are already finalizing their Big Ideas for a business or social movement having completed a SWOT analysis and beginning outline of their business plans.  Throughout the 30-week afterschool program, students are exposed to expertise from local professionals in all areas of business operation. In March they will present their business plans to a panel of investors, similar to the TV show Shark Tank. This is where YEA! differs from similar programs in that students ask for and receive real money to make their idea a reality.

Students are eligible to earn college credit and scholarships through the program as well. The Peabody Area Chamber of Commerce is the sole organization in Massachusetts hosting a Young Entrepreneurs Academy. For more information, visit www.peabodychamber.com.

   

Kelly’s Roast Beef & Seafood is all Decked Out for Santa’s Arrival

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The drive-thru at Kelly’s Roast Beef in Saugus is always beautifully decorated for the season, but this is the #1 season of the year, especially if you’re a kid or a kid at heart. The colored holiday lights, smiling reindeer and Santa, all ready to welcome you to the best in dining around.  Kid’s plates to surf and turf, and the best chowder anywhere, all under one roof. Santa always advises a Kelly’s gift card is the perfect stocking stuffer for that special someone, and holiday parties are no problem, with Kelly’s Catering. And Old Saint Nick will be visiting Kelly’s in Saugus on Monday, December 19 for Kid’s Night from 5:00 pm-8:00 pm. Happy Holidays and a prosperous New Year from your friends at Kelly’s Roast Beef, Rte. 1 south in Saugus.


 

Commencement of the annual Peabody Police Holiday Toy Drive

As the holiday season approaches, Police Chief Thomas M. Griffin is pleased to announce the commencement of the annual Peabody Police Toy Drive. Donations – new unwrapped toys – can be deposited in a collection box located in the lobby of the police station. The collection box will be available until December 18. Members of the Police Department wish to thank all in advance who choose to participate.

Since 1992 members of the Police Department have partnered with local Peabody agencies while working to assist less fortunate families during the holiday season. The event has been a great success and favorably impacted families who experience difficulties during this time of year.

   

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