Friends Reunited After Many Years

by Robyn Hatch

Helen’s son, Donald Cooper, and Lillian’s daughter, Gwen Brainard

Sometimes things happen in life that are not believable and not understood.  This happened recently at Salemhaven when Helen Cooper and Lillian Brainard were reunited after many years, completely unexpected.  Helen Cooper, who lives on her own in Methuen, MA, just happened to ask her daughter-in-law, who works at Salemhaven, if she had ever heard of a Lillian Brainard.  Somehow this name came up, and Helen just happened to ask the right person at the right time.  It seems Lillian Brainard has been at Salemhaven for some time.  Both women were born in 1918 and grew up together in Methuen.  They went to grade school together (West School that is now a Senior Center) and Central High School.  Their graduation date was 1938, but Helen was quick to announce that she didn’t complete for some reason.  To see them together with their family members was really an honor.  Helen was quick to say how much fun they had in school, talking about a few of the funny moments.  She sat in her chair looking very classy, smiling from ear to ear.  Now that Helen knows Lillian is at Salemhaven, I am sure this relationship will continue.  They have much to discuss, and their company together is one to cherish.  If we could all be so lucky in our later years!

Original photo of Helen and Lillian taken in 1935

Helen Cooper and Lillian Brainard, friends for life

Girl Scouts Earn Bronze Award

submitted by Jane Hannon

The members of this troop are Kaitlyn Meskell, Shyann DiGiovanni, Alison DiGiovanni, Sabrina David, Sarah Georgy, Jane Hannon, Chloe Broadhurst, Bevin Gatlin, and Miranda Green (missing from photo).

The Junior Girl Scout Troop 12124 of Salem held a craft and science fair at the Mary A. Fisk School as their project for earning the Bronze Award, which is the highest award a junior girl scout can earn.  The troop leader, Trisha DiGiovanni, dedicated many hours being a good example of helping others, and leading the girls to achieve this high award.  Many of the parents also gave of their time and talents.

To earn this award, each girl must complete four steps besides their time spent on the project.  The first three steps help the girls discover new skills and talents, as well as increasing their leadership skills.  The final step uses all the skills, talents, and leadership abilities to help carry out the Bronze Award Project, which for this troop was the science and craft fair, and working with younger children.

Along with the first four steps, each girl spent at least 15 hours of their time working on this project for younger members of the community.  They worked together and each scout performed different duties to make this craft and science fair a success for themselves, and for the children who came to this event.  Each girl was a leader by running their own table, and each scout showed the younger children how to be helpful to others as they taught the kids some interesting science facts, and made fun crafts.  (Even some of the parents had fun at the tables!)  The project showed that each girl had made a promise to help others, improve their community and world, and become the best each girl can be.

Peter Pan at High School

by Robyn Hatch

Three “stars” – Emma Geary, Paige Delahenty, Audrey McQueen

Wendy (Celeste Souza) is talking with her brother

The Musical Theater Workshop proudly presented their version of Peter Pan to a full house at Salem High School Seifert Auditorium.  Fifty actors, representing grades one through eight, worked very hard for three weeks at this theater camp, which is a summer camp they look forward to each year.  Not only did they perform but they learned other sides of acting, too, such as planning and doing all that theater involves.  The costumes came from everywhere, and everyone looked professional.  It was obvious they were having a great time.  With the professional staff of Kathleen Dacey as artistic director, Amy Moldoff with her musical professionalism, and Paula McKinnon as technical director, this event was good enough to go on Broadway!

Peter Pan is a character created by Scottish novelist and playwright J. M. Barrie (1860-1937).  A mischievous boy who can fly and magically refuses to grow up, Peter Pan spends his never-ending childhood adventuring on the small island of Neverland as the leader of his gang, the Lost Boys, interacting with mermaids, indians, fairies and pirates, and, from time to time, meeting ordinary children from the world outside.  In the wake of the death of Michael Jackson, this play was very appropriate.  Again, an excellent piece of work!

Peter Pan(Denise Renalds) and his shadow are being watched by Tinker Bell

Mom (Maddy Malenza) is telling her son about magic

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