'One hand washes the other'
Credited to Seneca, Roman dramatist, philosopher and politician, 5 BC to 65 AD
Haverhill's journey to becoming an arts and cultural center will continue this summer with a series of street performances called Make Some Noise.
The brainchild of the Haverhill Cultural Council, it is designed to draw visitors to the city center to visit restaurants and shops.
The council has applied for and received a grant to get the project off the ground, but needs a three-to-one funding match from local businesses.
The cost of the project is $4,800. The council has received $1,200, but needs $3,600 in donations. Haverhill Cultural Council Chairman David Zoffoli told Gazette reporter Tim McCarthy that giving to the project is a win-win for everyone involved.
And he's right.
A donation in Make Some Noise is really and investment in one's own business.
The success of last year's inaugural River Ruckus proved that visitors will come downtown when there's something entertaining to see.
Businesses owe it to themselves to spur the success of Make Some Noise because the project will provide them with a ready-made customer base.
One business-savvy local resident, the owner of the successful and popular Harbor Sweets candy company, has already decided that Make Some Noise is worth supporting. And her business isn't anywhere near downtown Haverhill.
Phyllis LeBlanc of Bradford has stepped up as a major sponsor, and will provide goodies from her Salem, Mass., store at fundraising events later this winter.
"I think that downtown Haverhill is an amazing place with a lot of potential that hasn't been realized yet," LeBlanc told reporter McCarthy.
Zoffoli thinks so, too. He has called 2011 "a defining year for the arts and culture of Haverhill."
We urge local entrepreneurs to help his prediction become reality. Not only will they be adding to the vibrancy of the city, but it will be good for business.
Calling all would-be mentors
After years of talking about setting up a mentoring program for the city's youth, community leaders have had some success with the Haverhill Youth Mentoring Network.
The program, spearheaded by Team Haverhill, has so far matched 17 children to adults willing to meet with them weekly to talk about whatever issues are important to the youngsters.
The first group to participate are fourth-graders at Tilton School. Organizers hope someday to expand the network to other schools.
All they need now are adults willing to take part.
The commitment is for an hour a week, and meetings can occur before, during or after school.
So far, 13 of the 17 mentors to participate in the program are women. Perhaps that is because they have less demanding work schedules, or are at school already to volunteer. Whatever the reason, they are to be commended for their participation, as are the four men who have also chosen to take part.
We hope more volunteers of both genders will decide that they, too, can spare an hour a week to help a child navigate today's challenging world.
Like Tilton Principal Mary Beth Maranto says, "You don't need to be a star quarterback to be a role model."
To inquire about the requirements for mentors, visit teamhaverhill.org/hymn/index.html.