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Northborough woman ‘shines the light’ for girls in Kenyan villages

June 4th, 2015

Lizzie Maina (fourth from left) and the volunteers from St. Rose of Lima Parish

Northborough – Shine the Light Kenya is a nonprofit that was founded in 2011 by Lizzie Maina to help educate children in rural schools and ensure that they have the necessary tools to succeed.

Having relocated from Africa to the United States in 1995, Maina immersed herself into the community and her passion for helping others. Her grandfather started a school in Kenya and she has committed herself to continuing to help those in the surrounding communities. She currently works as a senior caregiver in Worcester and enjoys spending time with the elderly.

Moms turn grief into recovery through local support group

May 12th, 2015

Cheryl Juaire (left) and Kathy Leonard with photos of their sons.
Photo/Valerie Franchi

Marlborough – A pair of mothers who lost their sons to drug overdose are using their tragedy to help others.

Kathy Leonard lost her 27-year-old son Jonathan Testa in December and Cheryl Juaire lost her son Corey Merrill, 23, in 2011 – both to heroin overdose.

Holden girl awaits kidney and liver transplant

May 2nd, 2015

Teodora Bastung cr

Holden – 11-year old Teodora  Bastug is currently on the list to receive a new kidney and a new liver after being diagnosed with “hyperoxaluria,” four years ago. Hyperoxaluria is a rare condition in which there is too much oxalate produced in the body. Oxalate is a natural chemical in your body, and it’s also [...]

Junior Girl Scouts raise money for Haitian orphans

April 28th, 2015

Members of the Shrewsbury Junior Girl Scouts are all smiles as they present a check and cookies to Cherylann Gengel for orphans in Haiti. 
Photo/Joyce DeWallace

Shrewsbury – Members of Girl Scout Troop 11023 recently donated $200 and 132 boxes of Girl Scout cookies to an orphanage in Haiti. The girls had decided to use part of the money they raised in their recent cookie sale to help others. On hand to receive the check and cases of cookies was Cherylann Gengel of Holden, a founder of the Be Like Brit Foundation.

Blood drive to be held in honor of Gibbons School student

April 23rd, 2015

Corinne Sciarappa

Westborough – In March, Sarah W. Gibbons Middle School eighth-grader Corinne Sciarappa, 14, was diagnosed with alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma. A form of cancer which makes up about 3 percent of all childhood cancers, rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) is a soft tissue cancer made up of cells that normally develop into skeletal muscles.

Ocean State Job Lot donates truckloads of food to Worcester County Food Bank

April 9th, 2015

Worcester County Food Bank Executive Director Jean G. McMurray and Ocean State Job Lot Westborough Store Manager Bill Thayer (right) with the truck driver who delivered the donations
Photo/Valerie Franchi

By Valerie Franchi, Contributing Writer Region – Not one but two 53-foot trucks full of food donations arrived at the Worcester County Food Bank (WCFB) on Route 9 in Shrewsbury April 9, as part of Ocean State Job Lot’s “Three Square Meals” charitable campaign. The WCFB was one of 15 food banks throughout New England, [...]

Employment Options celebrates 15 years with partner

April 1st, 2015

(l to r) Employment Options COO Darrell Young, LCI Paper Owner and CEO Larry Chase, and Kristine Shifrin, Employment Options workforce manager


Marlborough – Marlborough-based companies Employment Options and LCI Paper recently recognized the 15th anniversary of working together.

Employment Options is a nonprofit agency serving those in the Metrowest region who are looking to improve and manage their mental health. Part of the program is finding employment in local companies.

Get in Shape for Women donates to Abby’s House

March 18th, 2015

W BB Get in shape for women cr

Northborough – Jody Chaffee, the owner of Get in Shape for Women in Northborough, recently sponsored a clothing drive for Abby’s House Thrift Shop in Worcester. As a result, the business recently donated over 17 large bags of women’s clothing, coats and shoes to the shop.  Approximately 40 members brought in their clothing that no [...]

Shrewsbury High student spreads ‘enchantment’ to local girls

March 18th, 2015

Madeline Dolan 

Shrewsbury – Madeline Dolan is currently a junior at Shrewsbury High School. Thanks to a project she started several years ago, One Enchanted Evening, she can also put the title “fairy godmother” on her resume as well. And thanks to her, hundreds of local girls, who couldn’t afford a new prom dress, have been given a beautiful new or slightly used formal dress, at absolutely no cost.

Evening of Giving raises $32,500 for Marlborough shelter

February 26th, 2015

(l to r) Matthew Simoneau, Evening of Giving committee member; Susan Gentili, director of continuum of care and services, SMOC; Bob Kays, Evening of Giving committee chair; and Ivette Mesmar, Evening of Giving food committee chair  

Marlborough – Friends of Roland’s House, a group that supports the Marlborough-Hudson emergency homeless shelter, recently announced that $32,500 was raised at the 25th Evening of Giving held Dec. 4 at the Best Western Royal Plaza Hotel.

Roland’s House, located on Mechanics Street, is a temporary shelter serving up to 18 men and women. Its operations are supervised by the South Middlesex Opportunity Council’s (SMOC) continuum of housing and services through the Common Ground Resource Center.

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