It’s that time of year again, when we turn our attention toward the holidays — buying gifts for loved ones, anticipating the family gathering around the table for filling dinners and good cheer.
It’s also the time of year when a local organization works to make sure children from needy families get at least some joy out of Christmas.
The Ozzie’s Kids organization, run for nearly 30 years by longtime Haverhill police officer Osmond Hardy, works to raise money to buy gifts for those children. Each holiday season, the organization provides gifts for hundreds of children who might otherwise get nothing for Christmas.
To boost the effort, Ozzie’s Kids will have a pasta dinner on Nov. 23 from 4 to 6 p.m. at Good Shepherd United Methodist Church, 471 Main St.
Tickets can be purchased at the door. General admission is $8. Tickets are $4 for senior citizens and children.
IF YOU GO
What: Pasta dinner to benefit the Ozzie’s Kids organization
When: Nov. 23 from 4 to 6 p.m.
Where: Good Shepherd United Methodist Church, 471 Main St.
Cost: $8 general admission, $4 for senior citizens and children
Here are activities and events going on around Haverhill:
Library activities for children: The public library is offering a variety of activities for children in November.
Make a Dream Catcher children’s activity for Native American Heritage month is Nov. 23 at 10:30 a.m. Learn how to weave a dream catcher and what it means. This program is for ages 7 to 12. Registration is required.
Plymouth Thanksgiving will be Nov. 26 at 6:30 p.m. Learn something about the history of Thanksgiving. Design paper dolls and create your own version of the first Thanksgiving. This program is for ages 5 and older. Registration is required. Visit online at www.haverhillpl.org.
Trip planned: An overnight trip to the White Mountain Hotel in North Conway, N.H. is planned for Nov. 21 and 22.
The trip includes dining, holiday entertainment, special cocktail pricing and shopping at the Christmas Dove and Calef’s Country Store in Barrington, N.H. Cost is $230 per person, double occupancy. More information is available from Kathy Bresnahan or Rita LaBella at 978-274-2390.
Diaper collection: Throughout November, the children’s room at the public library will be collecting diaper donations for the Haverhill-based nonprofit Anchor of Hope Diaper Drive.
Stop by to drop off new diapers in any size or brand. Register online at www.haverhillpl.org. More information is available by calling 978-373-1586, ext. 641, or by emailing email@example.com.
Support group for caregivers announced: A support group for caregivers of loved ones with memory loss meets the third Wednesday of the month from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in Merrimack Valley Hospital’s first-floor atrium.
This group is facilitated by Patricia Lavoie, LICSW. Light refreshments are served. The hospital is at 140 Lincoln Ave. More information is available from Patricia Lavoie at 978-420-1162 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chamber event on tap: The Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce will host a Celebrity Speaker Series event titled “Transformative Investment” on Nov. 21 featuring Marty Jones, president and CEO of MassDevelopment.
The event is from 7:30 to 9 a.m. in the Hartleb Technology Center on the Haverhill campus of Northern Essex Community College, 100 Elliott St. As president and CEO of MassDevelopment, Jones focuses on redevelopment opportunities throughout Massachusetts and especially in Gateway cities. Her presentation will emphasize how Haverhill and similar communities can leverage their strengths – strong urban cores, innovative zoning districts, higher education institutions, and reasonably-priced and sustainable housing – to spur transformative investment.
MassDevelopment works with businesses, nonprofits, and local, state, and federal officials and agencies to strengthen the state’s economy. These collaborations help create jobs, increase the number of housing units, eliminate blight, and address factors limiting economic growth including transportation, energy, and infrastructure deficiencies. This Speaker Series event is held in partnership with TD Bank, NECC and Law Offices of Thomas Sullivan. Tickets are $25 for members and $35 for non-members and includes networking, breakfast and presentation. To make a reservation, visit www.HaverhillChamber.com or call 978-373-5663.
NECC remembers JFK: Northern Essex Community College will host “A Weekend of Remembrance: The Story of JFK” beginning Nov. 22 in the Hartleb Technology Center, 100 Elliott St., Haverhill.
Free and open to the public, this event is being held to commemorate the life and legacy of President John F. Kennedy, who was assassinated 50 years ago on Nov. 22, 1963. The weekend-long event will begin with an opening ceremony at 10 a.m. Confirmed speakers include Mayor James Fiorentini, state representatives Diana DiZoglio and Leonard Mirra, and Governor’s Councilor Eileen Duff.
Organized by faculty member Richard Padova from the NECC Global Studies Department, this event will feature historical exhibits that include an invitation packet to a dinner that was to be held the evening of the assassination and a memento that was given to mourners at JFK’s funeral Mass. There will also be campaign-related items on display from Kennedy’s house, senate and presidential runs, including some rarities.
On Nov. 23 at 11:30 a.m., a panel discussion featuring NECC history professors Andrew Morse and Ligia Domenech will present “The JFK Assassination: What Really Happened,” moderated by NECC student Christopher Cox.
Throughout the weekend, visitors will also have an opportunity to write their memories of JFK in a memory book, view a video of his life, and enter a free drawing for a basket of presidential books. Hours are Nov. 22 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Nov. 23 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Nov. 24 from noon to 4 p.m.
For more information, contact Padova at 978-556-3297 or email@example.com.
Coffeehouse performances on tap: Singer/songwriter Hayley Sabella will perform at the Cat in the Cradle Coffeehouse in Byfield on Nov. 23.
Sabella’s independence and earnest truth-seeking are evident in the intrinsic lyrics and playful vocals of her songs, highlighted by catchy guitar stylings. The Lenny Solomon Band will perform old-time music that generates a timeless quality. There are still modern dilemmas and diversions, wars to protest and thought-provoking lyrics to be heard.
The Cat in the Cradle Coffeehouse is hosted by the Byfield Community Arts Center at 7 Central Street, Byfield. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. and admission is $5 at the door. The Cat Cafe sells beer, wine, soft drinks and snacks throughout the evening. The Cat in the Cradle is sponsored in part by the Newburyport Bank. More information is available by calling 978-463-3335 or online at www.byfieldcac.org.
Christmas Fair on tap: First Church of Christ in Bradford will hold its annual Steeple Light Christmas Fair on Nov. 23 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The event will feature a varied group of excellent crafters offering their wares to the community. The church will have its own Country Store featuring food, gift and decorative items along with a penny candy counter, homemade fudge, holiday wreaths, hats, mittens and more.
A Cookie Walk will feature homemade cookies and a baked goods table will offer homemade apple and pumpkin pies. Frozen apple pies will be available for purchase to take home and prepare for Thanksgiving. New this year, visitors can receive free raffle tickets by bringing non-perishable food items, paper products, household cleaners and/or hygiene items for a food pantry collection.
In honor of Veterans Day, the collection will benefit Veterans Northeast Outreach Center in Haverhill. For each item donated, visitors will receive one free raffle ticket. Also new this year is a visit to Santa’s Workshop. From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., children can sit with Santa and receive a gift. Parents are encouraged to bring cameras. There will also be an interactive model train display. Children can also write letters to Santa.
The church will be selling hot chili and corn chowder, hot-dogs, ham salad and egg salad sandwiches. Used books will be available for purchase. The church is at 10 Church St., and is opposite Bradford Common. More information is available by calling 978-374-1114.
Festival of Trees gala on tap: An opening night gala for the 12th annual “Christmas at the Buttonwoods: A Festival of Trees” is Nov. 29 from 6 to 9 p.m.
Admission is $20 per person and includes buffet food by local restaurants. The evening will include a 50/50 raffle, door prizes and a performance by the Haverhill High School chorus. The Buttonwoods Museum/Haverhill Historical Society is at 240 Water St.
The festival runs from Nov. 30 to Dec. 15 and will showcase holiday trees, wreaths and centerpieces and activities for all ages. Admission is $7 for adults, $5 for senior citizens and $3 for students (children ages 5 and under are admitted free). All donated trees, wreaths and other decorative items will be raffled off on the last day of the event to benefit the museum.
This year’s Festival of Trees will feature art demonstrations and an art class, holiday gift wrapping, children’s scavenger hunt, senior day, family day, a stroll with hot apple cider, Victorian tea, a visit by Santa along with Minnie and Mickey, and other activities. More information is available by calling 978-374-4626 or emailing FOT@haverhillhistory.org. Visit www.haverhillhistory.org for a schedule of events.
Cookie Jar Bazaar planned: Good Shepherd United Methodist Church, 471 Main St., will hold a Cookie Jar Bazaar on Nov. 30 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
This annual fair features the popular Cookie Walk, home baked goods, crafts and gift ideas. Lunch will be available beginning at 11 a.m.
Horgan Memorial Swim Meet planned: Haverhill High School will host the third annual Michael J. Horgan Memorial Swim meet on Nov. 30 at 2 p.m.
Registration begins at 1 p.m. Swimmers of all ages are invited to attend this relay-based meet. Proceeds will go towards a scholarship awarded in Horgan’s name. Entries will be accepted on Saturday at the meet.
All registered swimmers will receive long-sleeve commemorative t-shirts and bathing caps for a $25 registration fee, or $10 for 12 and under. Registration at the door is $30. Spectator admission is a suggested donation of $10. New this year is the option of creating your own relay team. Participants and spectators can register online at www.mikehorganswimmeet.org.
For more information, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Checks can be made payable to the Michael J. Horgan Memorial Fund, to the attention of Samantha Cerasuolo-Hackett, 13 Allen St., Bradford, MA 01835.
Christmas concert planned: The First Church of Christ in Bradford will present a Christmas concert featuring The New England Tenors on Dec. 1 at 2 p.m.
Admission is a free-will donation.
Please bring a nonperishable food item to support the Sacred Hearts Food Pantry. This concert is sponsored by Flowers by Steve. Visit online at www.fccbradford.org. Northpoint Bible College donated the use of its parking lot for this concert. Visit online at www.fccbradford.org.
Mary Richardson to host senior citizen lunch: Memory Loss and Dementia, a senior lunch presentation with Mary Richardson, Community Liaison for Steward Health Care and former co-host of the WCVB Channel 5 show “Chronicle,’’ will be held Dec. 3 at Merrimack Valley Hospital, 140 Lincoln Ave.
Richardson will interview Neuropsychologist Dr. Buck H. Woo and Patricia Lavoie, LICSW from Merrimack Valley Hospital’s Adult Behavioral Medicine Center, and take questions from the audience.
The luncheon is from 1 to 2 p.m. in Merrimack Valley Hospital’s first-floor auditorium. The cost of $5 includes a full dinner and the presentation. The menu includes meat lasagna, whole green beans, garlic bread, Caesar salad with choice of dressings, dessert, coffee and tea. Registration is required. For more information or to register, call 978-521-8140.
High school presents ‘A Christmas Carol’: Haverhill High School’s chorus and drama club will present their sixth annual production of “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens.
Performances are Dec. 12 and 13 at 7 p.m. and Dec. 14 at 2 and 7 p.m. The show will feature a cast of nearly 70 students.
General admission is $8 or $5 for students and senior citizens. There is no reserved seating. Tickets will be available beginning Dec. 2 during all lunch periods and at the school’s main office. Tickets can also be purchased at the door based upon availability. The show will also be performed for all seventh-graders on Dec. 10 and 12 because “A Christmas Carol” is a part of their curriculum.
The music highlighting Dickens’ classic tale of redemption includes nine original songs written for this production, as well as several classic English carols.
Winter concert announced: The Hampstead Meetinghouse Park Summer Concert Series will host its second annual free winter concert on Dec. 4 at 7 p.m. at Hampstead Middle School.
The Don Campbell Band – a summertime favorite – will present a blend of holiday and country crossover music. The five-piece band is based in New England and performs more than 200 concerts a year between Maine and Nashville.
The concert is sponsored by the Hampstead Cable TV Advisory Committee. Suggested cost of admission is a donation of a food item for the St. Anne food pantry or an item for the Military Support Club at Hampstead Middle School, to be sent to the troops. Suggestions include, puzzle books, M&Ms, hard candy and phone cards. For more information, call 603-329-6047.
Trip to Indian Head Resort planned: Bethany Community Services will host a trip to Indian Head Resort in Lincoln, N.H. for a Christmas celebration on Dec. 4.
A bus will depart from 500 Primrose St. at 9:30 a.m. The trip includes an open bar for one hour, a full buffet with carving station, dancing, floor show and holiday gift-picture with Santa. Cost is $75 per person. For reservations, contact Darlene Sutton at 978-374-2165 or email@example.com.
Annual school Pancake Breakfast planned: Golden Hill School will hold its popular holiday Pancake Breakfast Fundraiser on Dec. 7 from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. at the school, 140 Boardman St.
Cost is $3 per person or $12 for a family of up to five.
This event is open to all members of the community, even those who do not live in the Golden Hill area or have children in the district. Along with pancakes and other food items, the event will feature a reindeer games area, performances by the Drama Club and Chorus and a PTO Holiday Store. Pictures with Santa are $3. Tickets will be sold for grab bags, used children’s books, games, crafts, raffles and a 50/50 raffle. Students must be accompanied by adults.
Pancake Breakfast with Santa on tap: Sarah’s Place Adult Day Health will host the Greater Haverhill Breakfast Exchange Club’s Pancake Breakfast with Santa and will present its first Holiday Fair on Dec. 7.
The Pancake Breakfast is from 7:30 to 10 a.m. at Sarah’s Place, 180 Water St. Tickets are $5 per person or $20 per family. Proceeds from the breakfast will be used to help elders defray the high costs of heating homes this winter.
The Holiday Fair is from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and will feature craft tables, white elephant tables, raffle tables and baked good tables. All proceeds from the Holiday Fair will benefit the arts and crafts, entertainment and activities offered at the program. More information is available form Amy Anwyl at 978-374-2175. These events are cash only because Sarah’s Place is a nonprofit organization.
Interfaith Choir to perform locally: The Hampstead Congregational Church will host two free holiday performances by The Interfaith Choir on Dec. 7 at 7 p.m. at Hampstead Congregational Church, 61 Main St., Hampstead, N.H., and on Dec. 8 at 4 p.m. at the Good Shepherd United Methodist Church, 471 Main St., Haverhill.
Celebrating its 48th year, the choir is comprised of members representing more than 20 local churches who are brought together by their common love of music and a desire to spread the Christmas message through instrument and voice. Special guests are The Windham Flute Ensemble and the children’s voices of The King’s Choir. Director is Cindy Ladew and accompanist is Larry Thompson. A free-will offering will be taken and refreshments and fellowship will follow. More information is available by calling 603-329-6047.
Barbershop chorus presents holiday concert: The 12-time Northeast District Champion Granite Statesmen Barbershop Chorus will present a holiday concert on Dec. 13 at 7 p.m. at Sacred Hearts Church.
Admission is free. The 45-member chorus will sing holiday favorites, including “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” and “The Secret of Christmas” in four-part harmony. The church is at 165 S. Main St.