Girl Scout Troop Earns Bronze Awards

In the driver’s cabin are Madison Henneberry and Margaret Matte with leader Lisa Matte standing; in back cabin are Jessical Fillio and Kerri McCarron with Sara Henneberry sitting on runner.

When asked what they would like to do for their Bronze Award, Troop 12379 of Salem was quick to answer.  Help children in need.  How to help was the next question.  The girls quickly devised a plan.  They realized that giving a child something to hold onto, something they could call their own, when faced with a scary situation would be a most comforting gift.  There was no better way to reach these children than by the girls’ gifts riding in the back of an emergency response vehicle!  The Town of Salem was happy to be receiving and distributing the handcrafted blankets, pillows, and bears.

The girls called on the good people of Malden Mills to help with the cost of the 100-plus yards of material that they would use for their project.  They raised over $200 through fall product and cookie sales.  Several of the girls and their families donated additional supplies, their time, and their talents to this project.

Troop 12379 then called on a long-standing friend of the town, Salem Kenpo Academy.  Knowing that they had recently moved to a larger facility, the girls imposed, asking them to open their doors to them.  For three months, they welcomed the girls in as they crafted handmade items across their expansive dojo, moving out of their space to give the girls room to work, even allowing them to store the entire arsenal until it was ready to be donated to the town.

The seven girls of Troop 12379 worked for months, each putting in over 15 hours of individual time crafting these gifts.  This has earned them their Bronze Award.  The Bronze Award is the highest award attainable at the Junior Level of Girl Scouting.  Doug Devine met with the Troop at the Main Street Fire House as the girls carried in their gifts.  There to present the 39 blankets, pillows, and bears were Jessical Fillio, Madison Henneberry, Margaret Matte, Kerri McCarron.  Absent, but still earning their Bronze Award, were Michelle Rheaume, Emilie Rose, and Samantha Sousa.

Margaret Matte helps move the stuffed animals and blankets into the fire station.

Mall Evacuated After Sudden Gas Leak

by Andrea Ganley-Dannewitz

A gas leak, apparently caused by a hit-and-run driver, forced the evacuation of the Mall at Rockingham Park on the morning of Wednesday, May 6.  Salem Fire Department was called at approximately 11:30 a.m.  Firefighters discovered that a one-inch gas line located near the food court was broken and leaking propane.  Mall officials began emergency evacuation; approximately 10 minutes later they were able to stop the evacuation process as the gas had been turned off.

Worst-case scenario would have been if the gas had been ignited because it could have caused a large explosion; fortunately, that did not happen.

Salem Police Department was contacted.  It is believed that a driver struck the side of the building, causing the gas line breakage, and he then drove off.  There are no suspects or witnesses.

Wish Came True for Young Girl

by Robyn Hatch

Faith Hazelton, after her speech that touched many hearts

The 9th annual Dinner and Evening of Entertainment sponsored by the Salem High School Key Club was held recently at the Salem High School Davis Gymnasium.  Almost 200 people showed up for an evening of enjoyment.

A home-cooked meal was elegantly served under little white lights decorating the gym.  Many raffles were sold, with prizes of high quality and worth.  The entertainment was non-stop, from beginning to end — Jenn Dunn and her family sang; Melissa Paris and Hilary Gorgol performed Irish Stepdancing; Zara Ali sang; Anisha Kalyani and Jerusha Thedsanamoorthy performed a regional dance; Project Percussion performed; Junior ROTC performed; Mike Vinci and Davis Sprague played acoustic guitars; Spanos performed a piano duet; and there were more dance performances, more piano solos, a flute solo, and some salsa dancing by Ernis Polanco; Anthony Grace ended the night with Rap.

The highlight of the evening, though, was a sweet young girl, Faith Hazelton, who stood in front of the crowd and spoke from her heart.  Even though she is very young in age, her speech touched many.  Faith has undergone open heart surgery and will probably have many more surgeries as she gets older, but her heart was full of happiness when she talked about the Make A Wish Foundation enabling her family to go to Disney World, especially her little brother whom she is very proud of, and this feeling showed.  With a deep breath and a tiny voice that powered over the room, she gave her best shot to the crowd.  There was no pity or sadness, only happiness about what has happened to her.  With a tiny little grin, Faith ended her conversation, with those in attendance deeply touched.  Her mother filled in the details, then explained about the future required surgeries that Faith will endure.  Faith and her family ended with lots of thanks to all.

Since 1980, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, through its wish-granting work, has enriched the lives of children with life-threatening medical conditions.  The foundation reflects the life-changing impact the Make-A-Wish experience has on children, referred sources, donors, sponsors and entire communities.

The Make-A-Wish Foundation was founded in 1980 after a little boy named Chris Greicius realized his heartfelt wish to become a police officer.  Since its humble beginnings, the organization has blossomed into a worldwide phenomenon, reaching more than 110,000 children worldwide.  Although it has become one of the world’s most well-known charities, the Make-A-Wish Foundation has maintained the grassroots fulfillment of its mission.  A network of more than 25,000 volunteers enables the Make-A-Wish Foundation to serve these children.  Volunteers serve as wish granters, fundraisers, special events’ assistants, and in numerous other capacities.

As the Foundation continues to mature, its mission will remain steadfast.  God Bless Make-A-Wish!

The Key Club officers for this event

An Evening with The Stars

by Andrea Ganley-Dannewitz

The Play Among The Stars Theatre Group had an outstanding performance on May 1 at the Salem High School Seifert Auditorium, featuring a black-tie formal tux and gown attire show, to a full-house audience.  Sara Brown, founder of Play Among The Stars, said it was their best show yet.  The participants, all special needs adults, truly enjoyed their night of stardom and were thrilled with such a packed audience and a flawless performance.

“They were so excited!  Not many of them get the opportunity to dress formally, for prom and such.  They really want to do it again,” said Sara Brown.  “It was awesome,” she added.

The evening also consisted of some special recognition.  The Janet Smith Shining Star award, given out annually to members of Play Among The Stars, is a special treat for those who excelled this year.  The recipients of the award this year are T.J. Chapman and Jason Brown.  Both were absolutely thrilled to receive such an honor.  Also recognized was a very special volunteer, Chris McDonald, who received the Outstanding Volunteer Award.

Sara Brown founded Play Among The Stars in 1999.  Since its inception, they have grown to over 55 members, and they run the organization entirely on fundraising and donations from the public.

For those who would like more information, and/or have a loved one who would like to become involved as an actor, or to volunteer, visit or contact Sara Brown at 207-510-1789.

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