GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

October 6, 2012

Pumpkin Day for police officer's son

By All Hands
Gloucester Daily Times

---- — Today marks the latest event in what has grown in little more than year into a Gloucester fundraising tradition, with the 9 a.m. kick-off of Patrican Pumpkin Day at Marshalls Farm.

Officer Aran John Patrican was a beloved part of the Gloucester community, and when he died last December, taken at the age of 45 by a viral infection, his father, Edmond Patrican, told the Times that with his son, a part of him had passed, too.

His son was an 18-year-veteran of the Gloucester Police Department, something his father Edmond was immensely proud of. There was much to be proud of in Aran Patrican’s life. But the thing that Aran Patrican himself was perhaps most proud of was his young son.

Just 1-year-old when his father died, Thomas Patrican quickly became the focus of ongoing fundraising efforts organized by friends and family. The aim? A $50,000 financial nest egg, which, with skillful management, will hopefully grow to one day cover the costs of his 4-year college education.

Today’s event at Marshalls should give that nest a nice boost. Family-owned and -operated for generations, Marshalls — with its selection of home-grown and local produce and culinary items, its greenhouses, petting zoo, and — it being fall — its famous Halloween House — will open its doors and its heart for a great cause: The Thomas Patrican Scholarship Fund.

“Aran Patrican,” says Robert Marshall, who’s pledged 20 percent of the day’s proceeds to the fund, “was a great friend of mine.” There are many who’d be first to second that emotion, and they’ll all be on hand to celebrate Patrican Pumpkin Day at Marshalls Farm.

The event runs from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Marshalls is located at 144 Concord St.

Helping children

Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr, R-Gloucester, has appointed Pathways for Children President and CEO Sue Todd to serve as his designee on a new advisory board that will help guide the state’s Executive Office of Health and Human Services in providing services to troubled youths and their families.

Todd will serve as a member of the Families and Children Requiring Assistance Advisory Board. The board was created through legislation reforming the 38-year-old Children in Need of Services (CHINS) program that was signed into law by Gov. Deval Patrick on Aug. 7 as Chapter 240 of the Acts of 2012. Now known as Families and Children Engaged in Services (FACES), the state program is focused primarily on providing intervention services to runaways, habitually truant students and other troubled youths and their families before they become involved with the criminal justice system.

“Sue Todd has been a tireless advocate for children in the Cape Ann region and across the Commonwealth throughout her career,” said Tarr. “Her passion and wealth of experience will serve the new advisory board well as it seeks to ensure that the state fulfills its obligation to steer troubled youth on to a path to success.”

A former chairwoman of the Children’s League of Massachusetts, the group that worked tirelessly to file and advocate for this important legislation, Todd began her career in human services as a social worker in 1980 and has served in her current le position since 1986.

“I am honored by this request and happy to accept Senator Tarr’s appointment,” said Todd. “I look forward to the opportunity to be able to take a more active role in promoting the welfare of children and their families in Massachusetts.”

Dogtown show closing

Cape Ann Museum’s special exhibition of an American master “Marsden Hartley: Soliloquy in Dogtown” will close Sunday, Oct. 14. This exhibition of paintings and drawings of Dogtown Common by American modernist Marsden Hartley (1877-1943) includes oil paintings and ink drawings from the museum’s holdings as well as from museum collections across the country. Admission is $10 adults, $8 Cape Ann residents, students and seniors. Children under 12 and members are free. The museum is at 27 Pleasant St. in Gloucester. For more information, call 978- 283-0455, or visit www.capeannmuseum.org.

Flatrocks exhibit

Flatrocks Gallery’s grand re-opening show, “Modern Masters of Cape Ann,” presents the work of five accomplished painters in a lively visual debate. Longtime colleagues Ralph Coburn, Bob Anderson, Joy Halsted, Roger Martin and Oliver Balf have challenged, consoled, and inspired one another for decades. This show provides insight into the long-term friendships that helped each artist, in his or her unique way, redefine the art of Cape Ann. The gallery represents Slim Larsen, Brad Story, Martin Ray, John Kuykendall who are furniture makers and sculptors; Anni Melanson and Tina Buchs, both potters; Karen Drazen, Clapping Waves Studio, KKatLarge, Barbara Erkkila and Melle Finelli, who are jewelers. The gallery is open Tuesday —Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Columbus Day. The show runs through Oct. 14, at 77 Langsford St. ,Gloucester. For information, call 978-879-4683.

Honored veteran

The flag at the Veterans Center will fly this week in honor of World War II veteran John Strople DeCoste. Born Sept. 28, 1920, he entered the U.S. Army on July 11, 1944.

Sgt. DeCoste, a rifleman, served with Company G 157th Infantry Regiment in the Rhineland and Europe. He was awarded the European African Middle Eastern Theater Campaign Ribbon, and the WW II Victory Medal.

He was discharged Feb. 5, 1946, and died Oct. 9, 1998. The flag was requested to fly in his honor by his daughter and son-in-law, Carole and Salvatore Gilardi of Gloucester.

Anyone wishing to fly a flag in honor of a deceased veteran can call the Office of Veterans Services at 978-281-9740.