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News

Mary O’Donnell 5K Race to Cure ALS on August 13

The 3rd Annual Mary O’Donnell 5K Race to Cure ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) will be held on Sunday, August 13 at Pine Banks Park in Melrose. Proceeds from the race will benefit The Angel Fund for ALS Research and its research at the Cecil B. Day Laboratory for Neuromuscular Research at UMass Medical Center. The race will be held in memory of Mary O’Donnell of Melrose, a devoted wife and mother who lost her courageous four-year battle to ALS on November 1, 2014, at the age of 51.

Registration for the August 13 event begins at 8:00 a.m., and race time is at 9:00 a.m. The registration fee is $30. Advance registration can be made online at https://theangelfund.org/events/3rd-annual-mary-odonnell-5k-race-to-cure-als/ or at Marathon Sports, 401 Main St., Melrose. Registrations must be received by August 12th online or you may preregister at Marathon Sports in Melrose on Saturday the 12th from 11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m., or register at the race on August 13.

T-shirts will be provided and awards will be presented to the top three male and female finishers. The top three finishers in the following groups will also receive awards: age 14 and under, 15-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, 70-plus, and wheelchair division. Donations to the race can also be made online via FirstGiving.com at https://www.firstgiving.com/angelfund/3rd-annual-mary-odonnell-5k-race-to-cure-als or by sending a check made payable to The Angel Fund/Mary O’Donnell 5K Race to The Angel Fund for ALS Research, 649 Main St., Wakefield, MA 01880.

 

Reid’s Ride raises nearly a quarter million in last Sunday’s event

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Reid’s Ride was off to a great start last Sunday, as large crowds attended to bike along the North Shore and raise money to defeat Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) Cancers. Over 420 enthusiastic bikers from all over sped around the parking lot at the Lynnfield High School, warming up for the 28-mile ride through the North Shore to Gloucester.

Lorraine Sacco, excited and passionate as ever, wore a big smile ahead of the race when speaking to supporters and riders. Lorraine and her husband, Gene, Reid’s parents, organize the ride. “This is a great day for us as always,” Sacco said. “This is what I call a celebration.”

Reid Sacco was a bright Lynnfield student, athlete and musician who was diagnosed with soft-tissue cancer in 2003 and died two years later. Taking up his wish to end AYA Cancer, Reid’s parents created Reid’s Ride. The bike ride just wrapped up its 13th year.

Reid’s Ride chooses a theme every year. This year’s theme was “Making Waves for AYAs.” Reid’s Ride was proud to report that the waves were in fact a “tsunami”: the organization said that 420 cyclists participated in the ride, and collectively raised $220,000, both records. All proceeds of the ride support clinical research trials and improved specialized care for AYAs with cancer.

“We Can’t Stop” was the top fundraising team at more than $16,000 raised. Honorable mentions include Lynnfield Rotary at $14,800+, “Danvers Diehards” at $14,000+, “Oyster River” at $11,000+ and “Honeybadgers” at $8,000+. Among the individual riders who made significant contributions were Liz Joyce of Danvers, who raised $12,000+, Patrice Fogg of Madbury, N.H., who raised $10,000+, and Meredith Nash of Andover, who raised $8,500+.

Many of the riders were either survivors themselves or had a close family member or friend who had died from cancer or received a diagnosis. One rider we spoke with, Carol O’Neill, was riding for her nephew who had cancer and was Reid Sacco’s roommate at the hospital. Another rider, Jeff Corbett, was a family dentist for the Saccos for 25 years and treated Reid.

Going towards the ride’s 14th year, Lorraine Sacco is optimistic about its future. “I am convinced that the Alliance and Reid’s Ride will continue to ‘make waves for AYAs’ and to improve the lives of AYAs with cancer,” she said.

The big smiles on the faces of the cyclists at the riders’ outset leaves little doubt. “This is the best ride in Lynnfield,” said a beaming rider Reid Lavoie, before pedaling away towards Gloucester.

By Melanie Higgins


 

Library project put on waitlist for grant

Will receive funds as they become available

The town’s new potential library has been put on a waitlist, along with projects for 24 other eligible towns and cities, and will receive grant funding when it becomes available, according to Holly Mercer, Director of the Lynnfield Library.

The move is in accordance with the plan associated with the new library, which asked that it not receive funds right away in order to coordinate its timeline better with the town’s larger financial plans.

“Lynnfield residents support the library and are using it more than ever,” said a press release from the library. “Our grant status is consistent with our request to receive funding in a few years, in order to be in line with the capital timeline and financial plan of the Town. We are excited about the future of the library.”

Town Administrator Jim Boudreau echoed Mercer’s statement to the press on Wednesday. “It [the decision] gives us a chance to plan going forward.”

The total cost of the project is around $21 million. The Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC), which hands out the decisions, approved the recommended grant amount for Lynnfield at $8,193,792. Going forward, the town has to approve its own funding by a vote, which will occur at an as yet undetermined date. “Meeting all the requirements of the MA Board of Library Commissioners Public Library Construction grant program and being recommended for funding is a monumental step in the building project,” reads a statement from Holly Mercer to the Advocate. “As Lynnfield’s plans evolve over the coming months the Library will provide updates.”

The decision by MLBC was highly anticipated. The proposal for a new library for Lynnfield has been in the works for over a year, with the library submitting its 200-plus-page proposal and holding community forums on the potential project this past spring.

The proposed library would be 25,874 square feet in space. It would go on a section of Reedy Meadow Golf Course, overlooking the course. The library trustees are currently working with Newbury-based firm Design Technique on the design, which features mostly glass. The architects are well known for the Shalin Liu Performance Center in Rockport.

By Melanie Higgins

   

Shake up at Recreation Commission

Sjoberg to assume chairman position

A few changes are occurring at the Recreation Commission. School Committeeman and Recreation Commission Member Rich Sjoberg was appointed as chairman to the commission earlier this week. Matt Monkiewicz, who served as chairman a number of years, will be returning as a regular commission member.

The board of selectmen also appointed Patrick Mazzola to serve as committee member in place of retired member Rod Boone.

Monkiewicz is reportedly taking more time to work on spearheading the Recreation Center proposal. Monkiewicz did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

“I would like to personally thank Matt Monkiewicz’s guiding spirit in propelling the Rec Commission to our successes of today!” Sjoberg said on Monday. He also thanked Monkiewicz for his “vision” and “passion and dedication,” especially in the Commission’s goal towards creating a Recreation Center.

Monkiewicz most recently saw the increase in wages to Recreation Director Julie Mallett this past spring. The increase came in the context of keeping Lynnfield’s Recreation program strong. Many, including Monkiewicz, selectmen and dozens of outspoken Lynnfielders, have commended Mallett’s work at the Recreation Department, which has become a model for neighboring communities. Over the past four or so years, Mallett’s position has grown from five hours per week to 35 hours per week, and the number of programs and events for adults and kids alike has expanded significantly.

Most recently, the Recreation Department has merged with Lynnfield Community Connections, a group for children with disabilities, which Mallett and others have praised as making Lynnfield Recreation more inclusive. Lynnfield Rec offers a wide variety of programs, events and trips, from Red Sox games to camping, open gym and bowling trips, and the ever popular Recreation Station every summer. The program is currently in full swing. It also offers new programs for adults and “empty nesters,” such as the recent Tall Ships trip and Cinco de Mayo celebration in May. The department just recently launched its new website at www.lynnfieldrec.com, which makes signup for events and programs easier.

“[Sjoberg] has big shoes to fill following the outstanding job Matt Monkiewicz did as Chairman,” said Board of Selectmen Chairman Chris Barrett. “Lynnfield Recreation is well positioned to continue to provide only the very best recreational opportunities for all age groups!” He also thanked Mallett, as well as past commission member Rod Boone, who also retired this year.

Sjoberg enthusiastically supported Patrick Mazzola’s appointment to the Commission. “Pat’s proven dedication to the children of Lynnfield through his roles – Director of Flag Football, a member of the Youth Soccer Board & Lacrosse – confirm his selfless support and positive level of volunteerism. Pat’s impeccable reputation, coaching skills and mentoring of children at all levels will be an asset to the Recreation Board,” Sjoberg said.

Patrick Mazzola could not be immediately reached for comment, but Mallett said that the team is “looking forward” to the new changes with him now on board.

Sjoberg, in a phone call with the Advocate, praised both Mazzola and Monkiewicz and said he is looking forward to changes on the horizon.

By Melanie Higgins

 

An open letter to the ratepayers of the Lynnfield Center Water District

The Board of Water Commissioners of the Lynnfield Center Water District would like to thank its staff members for another excellent fiscal year of hard work, as acknowledged by the letter [sent] to Ken Burnham, Superintendent of the LCWD from the Department of Environmental Protection. The contribution of these individuals to the safety and quality of drinking water for the Lynnfield Center Water District ratepayers sometimes goes unnoticed. We would like to formally recognize the commitment to excellence, level of knowledge, cooperation, continuous improvement and fiscal responsibility of the LCWD staff. We extend our sincere thanks and congratulations for a job well done.

Respectfully submitted,

Constance E. Leccese

Chairman, Lynnfield Center Water District

   

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