:Student writing contest: The District Parent Council has launched its 22nd annual Write Away!! Contest and volunteers are needed to help with various tasks. Over the past 22 years with the help of sponsors, the parent council has awarded more than $30,000 in prizes, produced 1,200 framed certificates and published 1,200 books. To volunteer or for more information contact Council President Tricia Manjounes at 978-914-4707 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Those interested in becoming a sponsor are asked to contact Council Communications Director Herb Bergh at email@example.com. Entry forms are available for download at www.haverhill-ps.org by scrolling down to “More Articles” and clicking on the link to “22nd Annual Write Away.” Entry deadline is Feb. 25.
:Chair massages at the Citizens Center: The Council on Aging announced that chair massages will be available at the Citizens Center, 10 Welcome St., on the first Tuesday of every month, from 9 a.m. to noon. Licensed massage therapist Susan Ploueffe offers senior pricing of $5 per session. This service is provided on a walk-in basis.
:Scholarship offered: Community Action Inc. is offering a $1,000 Goldman Scholarship to an area resident who is enrolled in a full-time college or other post secondary program. College students from Haverhill, Amesbury, Newburyport, Salisbury, Groveland, Georgetown, Boxford, Rowley, Newbury, West Newbury and Merrimac are eligible. The scholarship is named for the late Gerald Goldman, former executive director of Community Action Inc. Applications are available at Community Action Inc., 145 Essex St. Completed applications are due by March 1. The selection of the scholarship winner will be decided by Goldman’s children and announced in April. Applications are also available online at www.communityactioninc.org. More information is available from Marge Hooper at 978-373-1971.
:Valentine party on tap: The Council on Aging will hold a Valentine’s Day luncheon and dance Feb. 14 at 12:30 p.m. at the Citizens Center, 10 Welcome St. Music is by A Goodtime DJ George Whitehouse. Lunch is by The Chicken Connection. Tickets are $6 per person. More information is available from Kathy Bresnahan or Rita LaBella at 978-374-2390.
:Bradford Valentine Race Feb. 16: The 22nd Bradford Valentine Race will be held Feb. 16. The event was originally scheduled for Feb. 9, but was postponed due to last weekend’s snowstorm. All other details remain the same and only the date was changed. Entry fees will not be refunded. Online registration will remain open until noon on Feb. 15.line registration will remain open until noon on Feb. 15.
:Riverside-Bradford Baseball League registration: The Riverside-Bradford Baseball League will hold walk-in registrations for the 2013 season Feb. 16 from 9 a.m. to noon at the Haverhill YMCA, 81 Winter St. Children ages 5 to 14 as of April 30 are eligible to participate. For more information visit online at www.rbbaseball.org.
:Spaghetti dinner Saturday: The Hilldale Cemetery Association will hold a spaghetti dinner on Feb. 16 to support building a new Veterans burial ground at the Hilldale cemetery. The dinner, open to the public, is from 6 to 8 p.m. and will be held at the Advent Christian Church of Haverhill, 160 Carleton St. Cost is $7 per person. It is free for children ages 4 and under. The buffet-style meal will include spaghetti and tomato sauce, meatballs, salad, soda, cookies and a surprise treat. The association has received in-kind donations of fill to begin the project. The final phase will cost about $3,000, including layout of the graves and seeding of the lawn. The association hopes to have the new Veterans lot completed by Memorial Day. More information is available from Thomas Spitalere at 978-376-2807.
:Haverhill Girls Softball: The Haverhill Girls Softball League will hold open registrations Feb. 16 from 9 a.m. to noon at the Elks Lodge on Summer Street. This registration is for girls age 5 to 16. More information is available online at www.haverhillgirlssoftball.org.
:Folk music artists to perform: Folk music artists Barbara Kessler and Chelsea Berry will perform Feb. 16 at 8 p.m. at the New Moon Coffeehouse, located in the Universalist Unitarian Church, 16 Ashland St. Admission is $20 and $10 for age 18 and under. Tickets will be available at the door starting around 6:30 p.m. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Tickets may be reserved prior to the show by visiting www.newmooncoffeehouse.org or by calling 978-459-5134.
:Red Cross offers babysitting training: The American Red Cross of Eastern Massachusetts is offering babysitting training. The course will be held Feb. 18 and will cover leadership training, how to set pricing, understanding and caring for kids, safety skills, first aid and more. The Red Cross will also provide resources such as resume and business card templates, a “How to Ace an Interview” guide, a self-assessment tool and a safety inspection list. The class runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will be held at the American Red Cross chapter office, 177 Ward Hill Ave. To register call 1-800-RED-CROSS or visit www.redcross.org/babysitting. The cost of $85 includes all training materials.
:Men’s basketball league forming: The Haverhill YMCA is offering a men’s 30 and over basketball league starting Feb. 19. All games will be played on Tuesday nights at the YMCA, 81 Winter St. Registration is open for teams and individuals. Registration fees are $400 for a team and $65 for an individual. More information is available from Clint Clay at 978-374-0506, ext. 1618, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
:Annual auction announced: Bid on an African Safari, sporting events, restaurant gift certificates and more when Opportunity Works holds its 29th annual Lend-a-Hand Auction. The event is Feb. 23 from noon to 9 p.m. and will be televised live on local Comcast public access channels in the Greater Haverhill and Greater Newburyport communities, as well as streamed on the web through www.portmedia.org. A special preview and pre-bidding of all auction items will be open to the public Feb. 21 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Nock Middle School in Newburyport. This year, for the first time, you can pre-bid on some of the auction items at www.biddingforgood.com/opportunityworks, prior to Preview Night and the televised auction. Online bidding is from Feb. 4 to Feb. 18. High bids from the online auction will be transferred to Preview Night and those high bids will be transferred to the live televised auction. You must watch the live auction to make sure you are the highest bidder on your favorite items. Starting Jan. 30, some of the items will be available to view on Bidding for Good before the bidding opens. For more information or to sign up for a Frequent Bidder Number for the live auction, contact Deborah Andrews at 978-462-6144, ext. 234 or email@example.com. Opportunity Works supports 210 individuals from 19 communities in the Merrimack Valley through employment support, community-based day services, day habilitation and clinical and therapeutic services.
:Library to host free concert: The public library will present a free concert of “Kafka Fragments” by Gyorgy Kurtag Feb. 23 at 2 p.m. in the Johnson Auditorium, 99 Main St. Performers are soprano Aliana de la Guardia and violinist Gabriela Diaz. A brief discussion about this work by composer and scholar Christian Gentry precedes the concert and a reception will follow. Reservations are recommended as seating is limited. Reservations can be made online at www.DirtyPaloma.com or by calling the library 978-373-1586, ext. 621. Kurtag’s “Kafka Fragments” is one of his most virtuosic works not only due to its length, but also its technical difficulty. Completed in 1987, this work of contemporary chamber music for soprano and violin duo is composed of brief fragments from the diaries, notebooks and letters of short-story writer and novelist Franz Kafka. The concert clocks in at less than an hour, but leaves a lasting impression.
:Pianist featured in Essex Chamber fundraiser: Pianist David Alan Pihl will perform the works of Mozart, Brahms and McKinley during a fundraiser for the Essex Chamber Music Players Feb. 24 beginning at 2 p.m. in Northern Essex Community College’s Hartleb Technology Center, 100 Elliott St. In case of inclement weather the concert will be held March 24. Free to NECC students with an ID. Tickets can be purchased in advance at MVarts.Info. Proceeds benefit the Essex Chamber Music Players. Under the Artistic Direction of Michael G. Finegold, ECMP is in residence at NECC. For more information visit www.ecmp.org or contact Finegold at 978-470-1584 or ECMP314@comcast.net.
:Talk on the history of American Music: The Langley-Adams Library in Groveland will host a talk by Kevin Comtois of Northern Essex Community College on how American music has evolved over the past few centuries The program, titled “From Slave Songs to Hip Hop: The Evolution of American Music,” is Feb. 25 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. An emphasis will be placed on the social and political context of the music and messages the songs were trying to convey. The event, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by the NECC Speakers Bureau. For more information or to register call 978-372-1732 or register online at www.langleyadamslib.org.
:Talk by local author K.D. Mason: Local author K.D. Mason will discuss his new book “Killer Run,’’ the latest in his Jack Beale mystery series, Feb. 27 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Nichols Village in Groveland. Readers will be familiar with the setting of Killer Run as he mentions Maudslay State Park and Ipswich, then travels to Leavitt, N.H. Mason will selling and sign copies of his book at the event. This event is free and open to the public and is presented by the Langley-Adams Library and Nichols Village. For more information or to register call 978-372-1732 or register online at www.langleyadamslib.org.
:Hampton Inn hosts chamber networking event: During its soft opening period, Hampton Inn will host a Business After Hours networking event Feb. 26 from 5 to 7 p.m. The Inn is at 106 Bank Road. The event will feature complimentary drink and food, as well as networking, raffles and tours of the Inn. Cost is $10 for chamber members and $15 for non-members. To register or for more information contact Jen Cantwell at 978-373-5663 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
:Workshops on Alzheimer’s care: The Alzheimer’s Association will present a series of workshops on Essential Skills for Family Caregivers. The first workshop is Feb. 26 from 10 a.m. to noon at the Georgetown Council on Aging, 1 Library St. Two additional workshops are March 5 and 12 at the same time and place. Family and caregiver programs for people with Alzheimer’s disease are free to attend and are open to public. This series provides education and practical tools to those caring for someone with dementia. Improved day-to-day living and overall quality of life for the person with dementia and the caregiver is the goal of this series, which covers communication techniques, strategies to manage difficult behaviors and safety in the home. The Alzheimer Association, with headquarters in Watertown, provides services and programs for those with Alzheimer’s, family and professional caregivers in the form of support groups, a 24/7 Helpline, care consultation, advocacy efforts, research funding and education programs. For more information visit www.alz.org/MANH or call 1-800-272-3900.
:NECC offers free Direct Care Worker Training: A free, 50-hour program to train personal and home care aides will be offered at Northern Essex Community College through its Workforce Development and Community Education program at the Riverwalk in Lawrence. Classes will be held Monday through Friday, Feb.25 through March 8, from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Students must attend all training days in order to successfully complete the program. This program is designed to teach students the skills that will support them in their role as a personal care attendant or homemaker. For more information or to register, contact Dianne Lahaye at 978-659-1222 or email@example.com, or Diane Zold-Gross at 978-659-1221 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
:Seventh annual Kick Cancer celebration: This year’s “11 Free Kick Cancer Celebration” to benefit The Jimmy Fund and Dana Farber Cancer Institute will be held Feb. 28 from 6 p.m. to midnight at Archie’s Little River Ale House in Lafayette Square. For the past six years, along with family and friends, Tara Ryan and her son Senan of Haverhill have hosted a fundraiser to celebrate being cancer free. This year’s event is their seventh annual celebration. The support and generosity of the community contributed to six successful past events that raised a total of more than $140,000 for The Jimmy Fund and Dana Farber. Michele Skafas and Shaina Bendzewicz, who are helping to plan this year’s celebration, will be running in the Boston Marathon under this Kick Cancer charity, with donations going to The Jimmy Fund and Dana Farber. Tickets are $20 each at the door and include food, music, raffle prizes such as gift baskets and gift certificates. Grand prizes to be announced. More information is available by emailing email@example.com.
:Youth Baseball Clinic offered: Haverhill High School will host a Hillie Youth Baseball Clinic March 2 from 9 a.m. to noon at Trinity Stadium. In case of inclement weather, the clinic will be held at Haverhill High, 137 Monument St. The clinic is for children ages 5 to 13 and will be led by Haverhill High coaches and student athletes. Cost is $25, or $20 if you sign up by Feb. 20. Checks, payable to HHS Baseball Boosters, can be sent to Haverhill Baseball, 137 Monument St., Haverhill, MA 01832. For more information contact Athletic Director Tom O’Brien at 978-374-5732 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
:Haverhill Senior Baseball registration: Haverhill Senior Baseball will hold signups for anyone in the Haverhill area March 2, 9 and 16, from 10 a.m. to noon at the Haverhill YMCA, 81 Winter St. The league has divisions for players age 13 and players ages 14 to 15. All home games will be played on a regulation 90-foot diamond on the JV Field behind Trinity Stadium. Applications are available online at haverhillseniorbaseball.com or by calling Larry O’Brien at 978-373-6982 or Dan Francescone at 978-807-5068.
:Pedal to end Cancer: A three-hour indoor cycling fundraiser to benefit the American Cancer Society is March 3 from 9 a.m. to noon at Choice Fitness, 2 Water St. Participants can register for $25 in advance and participate for one, two or three hours as an individual or as part of the team. Fundraising is easy online using setup tools and connections on Facebook. More information is available by contacting Amy Beard at 508-298-8397 or email@example.com, by calling 1-800-227-2345 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit online at www.pedaltoendcancer.org.
:Chronic pain workshop offered: The Council on Aging will host a six-week Chronic Pain Workshop on Tuesdays from 1 to 3:30 p.m. beginning March 5. Anyone who has been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, Diabetic Neuropathy, Crohn’s Disease, or other illnesses or conditions that include ongoing pain will benefit from this workshop. Start to live again as you learn to control your pain, deal with frustration, eat well, and start an exercise program. To register or for more information contact Rita or Nancy at 978-552-4674. This workshop is sponsored by Elder Services of the Merrimack Valley, HomeCare Inc. and Hebrew Senior Life.
:Comedy night fundraiser for Hillie sports: The fifth annual Haverhill High School Comedy Night will be March 8 at DiBurro’s function hall. Four professional comedians will perform. The event will feature a long list of raffle items, as well as silent and live auction items. All proceeds benefit the Haverhill High School Athletic Program. Tickets are $25 per person and can be purchased at the high school, 137 Monument St. For more information or sponsorship opportunities, contact Athletic Director Tom O’Brien at 978-374-5732.
:St. Joseph School holds auction/comedy night: St. Joseph School of All Saints Parish will hold its annual auction and comedy night March 16 at DiBurro’s function hall. Registration begins at 5:30 p.m. The event will feature a comedy show, food and cocktails, raffles and exclusive auction items. Tickets are $35 per person. More information is available online at www.sjshav.com.
:Fundraiser features top Boston comics: Comedy for a Cause, Community Action Inc.’s annual fundraising event, is March 15 at the Haverhill Country Club, 58 Brickett Lane. This comedy triple-header features Boston favorites Graig Murphy, Carolyn Plummer and Jim Lauletta, along with a live auction and raffles. Tickets are $30 in advance or $35 at the door.
:Free Market event planned: The Vine, in partnership with Good Shepherd United Methodist Church of Haverhill, will hold its annual Free Market March 16 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Good Shepherd UMC, 471 Main St. Just like a flea market, customers are given tickets to pay for purchases, but everything is free. This event embraces the notion that there is enough of everything, we just need to get goods in the right place, at the right time and to the right people. The public is invited. A free bread and soup lunch will be served at Good Shepherd UMC, 471 Main St. The two organizations are looking for donations of household goods and clothing to make available for free to the Haverhill community. No televisions, computers or large pieces of furniture are allowed. Donated items can be dropped off at the church March 14 from 5 to 7 p.m., March 15 from 5 to 8 p.m. and March 16 from 8 to 10 a.m. More information is available from Keith Boucher at 603-203-4917 or email@example.com.
:Annual Run to the Beach: The Andover Striders, in association with the Winner’s Circle Running Club, will present their annual Run to the Beach 30K, otherwise known as the “Goin Down the Road Feelin Bad” run on March 17 (St. Patrick’s Day) at 10 a.m. For more information, contact Dave LaBrode at 978-376-8289 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
:Church to hold craft fair: Riverside Memorial Church, 278 Groveland St., will hold its fourth annual Spring Fling Craft Fair March 21 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Event organizers are seeking crafters to participate in this event. The fee is $30 for a 3-by-6-foot table with chairs. All proceeds support Riverside Memorial missions fund. For more information, contact Renee Cannon at 617-455-2792 or email email@example.com. Applications can be submitted online at http://thebusychickadees.com. Space is limited and the church ran out of tables last year, so interested people are encouraged to call early.
:Cabaret dinner theater on tap: Spotlight Playhouse will present “Broadway on Essex,” a Cabaret Dinner Theater, March 23 at 6:15 p.m. at the Galleria at Maria’s Restaurant, 83-85 Essex St. The show features a cast from theater houses across the state singing Broadway favorites both old and new, including pieces from “Oklahoma,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Chicago,” “Wicked,” “Cabaret” and others. Tickets, $35 each, include dinner, coffee, tea and a homemade dessert buffet during intermission. Tickets are available by calling 978-380-8508, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or online at eventbrite.com and searching for “Broadway on Essex.” More information is available at www.spotlightplayhouse.org.
Grant writing workshops offered: A series of three grant writing workshops will be held at Northern Essex Community College’s Riverwalk campus at 360 Merrimack St., Building 9, Entry K, in Lawrence in March and April. The first class, Introduction to Grants Research, is March 27 from 2 to 4 p.m. The second class, Introduction to Grant Writing for Beginners, is April 10 from 2 to 4 p.m. The third and final class, Introduction to Grant Writing II for Beginners, is April 24 from 2 to 4 p.m. The cost of each workshop is $30. NECC’s Grant Resource Center and its workshops are supported in part by funding from The United Way of Massachusetts Bay & Merrimack Valley and Associated Grant Makers, and in collaboration with Jericho Road Lawrence. More information is available from Dawna Perez at 978-738-7605 or email@example.com.
Chamber WOW Conference: The Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce will hold its 17th annual Winning Opportunities for Women (WOW) Conference April 5. This day-long event will be held at the Blue Ocean Music Hall in Salisbury. Registration is being taken now. Cost of the conference is $69 by March 1. After that date the cost is $89 for chamber members and $99 for non-members. The event includes breakfast, lunch, speakers, interactive sessions, gifts and more. Sponsorship packages are available and vendor inquiries are welcome. To register or for more information contact Jen Cantwell at 978-373-5663 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit online at www.haverhillchamber.com.
Council on Aging plans BSO rehearsal trip: The Council on Aging will host a trip to Symphony Hall on May 2 for the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s morning rehearsal performance. A bus will depart at 9 a.m and return about 2 p.m. The rehearsal program will be conducted by Bernard Haitink and includes works by Brahms and Shubert. Cost is $35 and seating is limited. More information is available from Kathy Bresnahan or Rita LaBella at 978-374-2390.