GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

December 7, 2012

Talk of the Times: GHS Rotary group targets breast cancer

By All Hands
Gloucester Daily Times

---- — Members of Gloucester High School’s Interact Club, sponsored by the Gloucester Rotary Club, banded together to raise awareness for the fight against breast cancer.

With the participation of students throughout the school, the Interact Club was able to shine a light on just how important this fight is, to people of all ages, said club advisor Rory Gentile.

Student and club member Tess Benson shared her sentiment when she learned her aunt was confronting the disease.

“Breast cancer — or cancer of any kind — seems surreal to a 15-year-old,” she said. “To me, cancer was always a statistic, a story in the newspaper of someone I didn’t know, somebody who I had never met, and somebody for whom I felt sorry for but would never let affect the rest of my day. When my father told me my aunt had been diagnosed with breast cancer, I didn’t cry — I couldn’t, because it wasn’t real, it couldn’t be.”

Stories like these can be found everywhere, and are indicative of how far-reaching this disease is, Gentile said.

“The purpose of the awareness campaign is to raise money for research,” he said. “If you already donate to the cause then please keep doing so. If you would like to but don’t know where to turn, the Interact Club at GHS would like to welcome you to support our Relay for Life team.”

Anyone wishing to support the project should contact Rory Gentile, the club’s advisor, at RGentile@Gloucester.K12.ma.us.

Young dancer in Boston ‘Nutcracker’

Rhian Williams, a 9-year-old fourth-grader at Gloucester’s West Parish Elementary School, is performing for the second year in a row in Boston Ballet’s debut production of Mikko Nissinen’s “The Nutcracker.”

Also for the second year, Rhian is a member of the lead “A” cast, one of three complete casts for the production at the Boston Opera House. She will appear in 15 of the 43 performances, which run through Dec. 30. Rhian is the daughter of Paul and Michelle Williams. Cast in the new role of page, she is in her fourth year as a student at the Boston Ballet School.

Nissinen commissioned Robert Perdziola to design the production’s new sets and nearly 350 new costumes.

The previous production, which the company featured for 17 years, was set in 1835 during the Biedermeier period. Nissinen and Perdziola brought the new production back 20 years, to what many know as the Jane Austen era. “What we’ve done is create a Wizard of Oz effect for Clara,” said Perdziola in a press release.

It’s Middle Street Walk Day

The community can celebrate the season in the city’s historic district during the annual Middle Street Walk, featuring an array of free activities from touring the street’s many attractions to even getting a flu shot.

The event starts at 10 a.m. The gingerbread houses, a big attraction, are at City Hall, which is festival headquarters. The full schedule is on Facebook and programs are available at City Hall, where organizers are encouraging residents to begin.

A few events include the singing trolley rides from noon to 2 p.m. from Warren Street. The Cape Ann Big Band also performs at City Hall at 11 a.m. From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., the Cape Ann YMCA has an open house, and from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., there is hot chocolate and photos with Santa — and to help children in need receive Christmas presents, parents can donate a present to the effort and have their child’s photo with Santa taken for free.

There is an open house at 2 p.m. at Temple Ahavat Achim, and a children’s choir at St. John’s Episcopal Church at 1 p.m.

At 2:30 p.m., there is a concert at the Unitarian Universalist Church featuring O’Maley Middle School string players and band, and a concert by the high school Glee Club. There are open houses at Sargent House, which is decorated for the holiday. The Cape Ann Museum’s Elias Davis House also is decorated and open for tours, plus special ornaments can be made in the museum children’s room.

From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Cape Ann Art Haven hosts buoy painting for the Lobster Trap Tree, with the lighting of the tree planned for 4:45 p.m. to cap the day’s festivities.

Honored veteran

The flag at the Veterans Center will fly this week in honor of World War II veteran Manning Stephen Lacey. Born April 14, 1915, he entered the U.S. Army on April 14, 1942, and was commissioned on July 4, 1943.

The chemical officer (infantry) served with 393rd Infantry 99th Divison in Normandy, Northern France, Ardennes and Central Europe.

Capt. Lacey was awarded the Purple Heart Medal, the European African Middle Eastern Service Medal, and the World War II Victory Medal.

He was discharged June 28, 1946, and died Dec. 14, 1967.

The flag was requested to fly in his honor by his daughter, Susan Lacey 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.