Friday, April 29, 2011

After the Marathon, Local Athletes Keep Running for Charities

By Christian Brink
Gordon College News Service

Even though they’ve crossed this year’s finish line at the Boston Marathon, runners like Sheree Dunwell know that her work isn’t over. In fact, she’ll accept almost any challenge to continue raising money for a particular charity, including donning a banana suit in the downtown Boston Financial District.

Dunwell, 25, of Saugus, Massachusetts, is part of The Marathon Coalition, which consists of seven different teams of runners. The teams represent various nonprofits from across the region, and commit to raising money for them as they train for the marathon. Dunwell, who has been fundraising for Mass Mentoring Partnership these past four months, is continuing her efforts until the end of April.

“When I was accepted to be a member of the Mass Mentoring team,” said Dunwell, “the Boston Marathon quickly became a way for me to make a difference in others’ lives and not just my own.”

Two days before the marathon on April 16, Mike Wasserman, 27, of Boston, gathered five of the seven teams in the church basement in Newton, Massachusetts, for a dinner to celebrate their fundraising efforts and to share last minute words of inspiration before the race. They were also honored with “Spirit Awards” as Mark Blackman and Jenna Hudlow, representatives from Razoo, an online fundraising platform based out of Washington, D.C., recognized Dunwell and others for their creative fundraising efforts.

Wasserman founded the Coalition in 2008 and has worked closely with Razoo ever since. In its three years of operation, Razoo has already helped raise over $45 million for nonprofit organizations and other charitable causes nationwide through creative fundraising efforts.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Teens ‘Battle’ Regularly at Hamilton-Wenham Library in Innovative Club

By Christian Brink
Gordon College News Service

(This story appeared Thursday, April 21, 2011, in The Salem News.)

Wenham, MA—For Trevor Attridge, 18, of Essex, MA, Saturday mornings are no time for breakfast in bed. Instead, they’re for epic battles. But this isn’t a videogame or blockbuster movie – it’s the Hamilton-Wenham Public Library, home to a group of teenagers who gather weekly to play epic multi-dimensional battle games.

For the past three years, Attridge, the founder of the club known as Battle-Gaming of Massachusetts (BOM) and a senior at Manchester-Essex High, has met with friends on Saturdays at the Hamilton-Wenham library from 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. to play battle games. Attridge’s hobby began after seeing a game set modeled on
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. Then he gathered a few friends in his attic to play the game, but soon moved to the Hamilton-Wenham library for a larger venue.

“I think it’s good for kids to play games (like these) and get together in real-time instead of online,” said Kim Claire, the Young Adult Librarian, who has helped maintain and promote the club since coming to the library. “It creates a community for them.”

At their most basic level, battle games are based on a traditional board game format with a point system where each player takes turns rolling dice to determine their next move. However, there is no formal board like with checkers. Instead, these games are played on either purchased or homemade terrain that’s then spread across large tables. To best get a sense of battle gaming, said Attridge, it’s like chess combined with Risk, but to the “umpteenth degree.”

Friday, April 15, 2011

New Academic Wing Provides Greater Learning Opportunities for Beverly School for the Deaf

Mark Carlson, executive director
of CCC/BSD, and a student
help dedicate the new building.

By Alyssa M. Baxter
Gordon College News Service
April 15, 2011
(This story appeared April 19, 2011, in The Boston Globe, Beverly.)

The five million dollar, 28,000 square foot academic wing “is not just bricks and steel,” said Len Femino, president of the Board of Trustees of The Children’s Center for Communication/Beverly School for the Deaf (CCD/BSD), in a speech Thursday morning. “It is the future for these students.”

Fermino was part of the dedication ceremony April 14 at the Beverly school where dozens of students, faculty and staff gathered along with parents, alumni, board and community members at the entrance of the new building to celebrate the new facility with speeches and tours. A nine-year-old student helped Femino cut the multi-colored ribbon. The ceremony was followed by a celebration luncheon.
The building was funded in part as a result of a coordinated campaign that started last year, according to Shelley Cardegna, development associate at CCC/BSD since 2009. “The Connecting Kids Campaign (has been) a major gifts campaign to raise funds for the new building as well as updates to the existing structures on campus such as the Wales Wing and the exterior of the Burnham Gymnasium,” she said.

$424,147 has been raised to date and will be put towards furniture and fittings for the new wing, technology and classroom furniture as well as assist in paying off the loan, said Cardegna. “Since we do not receive any state or federal funding to build new academic space, we have to rely on donors to help us pay off our private loan. Money is raised from foundations (grants), corporations, and individual donors,” she said.

Penthouse Suites Help Grow Small Businesses at Cummings Center Renovation

By Jesse Poole
Gordon College News Service
(This story appeared April 27, 2011, in the business section of The Salem News.)

Beverly—Splitting up has its perks for some. 100 Cummings Center in the popular corporate campus in Beverly, MA, has proven this by transforming part of its top floor, formerly a cafeteria of several thousand square feet into a league of 24 to 25 lease-able, sub-divided offices, which have been dubbed ‘penthouse suites.’

These newly renovated bedroom-sized offices were once one large site for Microsoft Corporation. When Microsoft moved out to a bigger location, Cummings Center property managers shifted their focus from catering to a multi-million dollar corporation to providing local entrepreneurs space.

As of now, five firms have moved into the suits and more are scheduled to move in soon. Some that have relocated there include Daly Insurance, Family Psychiatric Care, Gold Coast Mortgage, The Service Coach, and Scrivener Publishing.

Martin Scrivener, owner of Scrivener Publishing, a technical and scientific publishing company, has moved his office from his home in Salem to a suite.

“The level of work I had indicated that it would be a good idea to set up a business address,” said Scrivener. “Also, here I have a lot less distractions than I did at home and I can get more work done in a timely manor.”

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

North Shore Farms Go Back to School With The ABC’s of Farm Education

Friendly cows at Appleton Farms in Ipswich, MA. (photo by Christian Brink)
By Christian Brink
Gordon College News Service
(This story appeared April 6, 2011, in the business section of The Salem News.)

For Appleton Farms in Ipswich, MA, class is back in session. On April 7 – 8, Erica Curry and Susie Marchand of the Shelburne Farms, Vermont, education staff will be coming down to Appleton Farms to co-host The ABC’s of Farm Education, a two-day workshop for North Shore farmers that will cover the different aspects of developing and marketing farm education programs.

This workshop originally started on Shelburne Farms, a non-profit environmental education center, in conjunction with the Farm-Based Education Association (FBEA). Due to its local success, the program is now taken around the world and taught in locations as far as England, Ontario, Canada, and now Ipswich, MA. Appleton Farms, the oldest working farm in the country, is a scheduled stop due to its membership with the FBEA.

“It’s a professional development workshop,” said Holly Hannaway, Engagement Manager for Appleton Farms and Crane Estate, “focused on people who are actively farming or farm-based educators to give them the tools to create or improve education programs and public engagement opportunities on their farm.”

While Curry and Marchand will be facilitating the workshop, it will also be taught in partnership with the Appleton Farms education staff, including Hannaway and Becky Fahey. Hannaway, who has already participated in this workshop twice at Shelburne farms, is in her fifth program season at Appleton.

“It’s for any type of farm education,” said Curry, “but a lot of farms connect specifically with schools,” which includes everything from field trips to programs for at-risk youth.

In response to high child obesity rates in the United States, said Curry, farm education is also a way to promote healthier kids. “When you offer farm education programs you’re offering an opportunity for the public and, in particular, the kids to learn more about where their food comes.” said Curry. “This then empowers them to make healthy choices.”

Monday, April 4, 2011

Painted Horseshoes Lucky for Hundreds of Children

By Jesse Poole
Gordon College News Service
(This story appeared April 5 in The Salem News, as well as The Boston Globe, Beverly.)

For students at Landmark School, a non-profit education center in Beverly, art is not always something they can take home and pin on the walls. Instead, many children here have been painting horseshoes for a greater cause, one called ‘Horseshoes for Rescues.’

The painted horseshoes are then sold at Salon Bogart in Manchester-by-the-Sea, and all of the profits go to Windrush Farm in Boxford, MA, a therapeutic equitation nonprofit that specializes in teaching physically, emotionally, and learning disabled children and adults to ride and work with horses.

“It’s very important to share the message of Windrush with children,” said Jennifer Tartaglia, director of development at Windrush Farm. “We work with more than a 1,000 people each year, and we couldn’t do it without the help of others.”

It was two years ago that Lauren Rowland, owner of Salon Bogart and founder of Horseshoes for Rescues, discovered this better use for old horseshoes.

“At first I just brought them into the salon and had the girls [employees] help me paint them,” said Rowland. Rowland owns three horses herself.

Now Rowland collects horseshoes from neighboring farms and distributes them to Landmark Elementary and Middle School.

“Landmark school has a strong reputation for giving back to the community in the form of community service,” said Susan Tomases, director of marketing and communication at Landmark School. “And this is one of the ways we give back.”