Star Athlete Among Salem High’s Popular Teen Knitters Club
by Judy Wakefield
Dan and his friends.
They call him “Thunder Dan” Kinney on the volleyball court as his 6-foot-4 frame booms like thunder when he makes all those hits and blocks for the Blue Devils.
He’s caught some college recruitment eyes as this future electrical engineer already has scholarship interest from three colleges so far. He plays on the best high school volleyball team in the state and he’s also a star on Salem High School’s basketball team.
Polite and popular, he’s spending a lot of time on college visits and perfecting his volleyball and basketball skills. Like most 17-year-olds, he plays video games to chill out and relax.
And, he knits. That’s right. He knits as a way to relax.
“You can only play video games for so long,” said Kinney, who began knitting when a friend started Salem High’s after-school knitting club two years ago.
Just like a good pair of knitting needles, he’s pointed about his knitting passion, saying, “There’s a sense of accomplishment when you finish something. I like that.”
Pals typically say “that’s sick” — which is today’s way of saying that’s cool in teen speak — when he tells them about his knitting hobby. He is allowed to knit in some classes.
He knits when he watches the Celtics on television and has even introduced his younger brother, Jason, to knitting.
“There’s just something more intelligent about knitting than video games. I play video games, but I knit, too. This is just very relaxing for me,” he said while knitting his mother’s Christmas gift (a scarf) at last week’s knitting club meeting.
The club meets every Thursday after school in room 219 and club president Meghan Donohue, 17, admits she is pretty shocked at its popularity. On this day, there are 20 teens knitting, including Kinney and four other boys. They are busy knitting holiday gifts for family and friends or dolls for a special club knitting project.
“It’s very comforting (to knit) for me and I think a lot of other kids feel the same way. And, it’s quirky and kids like that,” said Donohue, who has been knitting for years.
Kate Colacchio, 17, had her knitting pattern on her laptop as she stitched a pair of black knit shorts that will have an elastic waist. She is a serious ballet student and enjoys chilling out with the Knitting Club every Thursday afternoon.
“I don’t have a lot of free time so I really look forward to coming here every week. It’s two hours to chill out,” she said. “And, I agree with Meghan. It’s comforting and quirky.”
Senior Hannah Mazzaglia, 17, works at a yarn store in Windham so she has seen the rise in knitting among teens.
“The interest is growing,” said Mazzaglia, who has been knitting since she was eight years old. “It’s a fun way to pass the time.”
“Thunder Dan” nodded in agreement. He was busy with that dark red knit scarf that he wants to finish before Christmas.
“I already told my mom I was making this so I have to finish it,” he said.
Class practicing knitting.
Barron School Turkey Trot
by Robyn Hatch
Salem’s Barron School Turkey Trot Road Race and Walk took place on November 17. The sixth annual event was for the benefit of the Brian Richardson Literacy Fund. Richardson was a Barron School third grade teacher just starting out in his career who was killed in a car accident. His family helped organize the fund in his memory.
The two top winners who walked away with turkeys were Joe Donovan (male open winner) and Stephanie Cabral (female open winner).
Race participants Bill Blouin, Paula Blouin and Tyler Loeschner.
Food Baskets for Community Groups
by Robyn Hatch
Seventy-five food baskets were filled on November 19 at St. Joseph School for delivery for the next day.
The baskets were gathered by the Student Council under the direction of Gina Nassar for the Holy Angels Food Pantry, St. Joseph Food Pantry, Salem Community Action, St. Ann’s Food Pantry, St. Mathew’s Food Pantry and the Salem Division of Youth and Families.
The food was donated by parents, friends and McKinnon’s Supermarket, whose Larry True contributed all fresh produce. McKinnon’s also agreed to supply items still needed once the baskets have been packed.
Larry True of McKinnon’s Supermarket and Jacquelyn Nassar of the Student Council
St. Joseph School Student Council
Food for baskets
And the Winners are …
by Robyn Hatch
The sixth annual Beautiful Baby Contest and Terrific Toddler Photo Contests were held on Sunday evening, November 18, at the “Evening of Giving” at Rockingham Mall in Salem. The winners:
- Logan Smith
- Ryan Burbo
- Isabella Falco
- Rachel Carr
- Elizabeth Jackson
- Michael Olds
The first-place winners in each category will receive savings bonds and will ride in a limousine provided by Linnehan’s Limousine Service in the Salem Christmas Parade on Sunday, November 25. The second-place winners will receive savings bonds, and third-prize winners gift certificates.
Logan Smith and his family.