GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

April 27, 2013

Talk of the Times: Open Door seeks Facebook votes for grant

Talk of the Times

By All Hands
Gloucester Daily Times

---- — Julie LaFontaine and her colleagues at The Open Door food pantry and community service agency are reaching out to local Facebook.com users to try to help The Open Door win a $20,000 prize being offered by Wal-Mart.

The grant the agency us seeking is through Wal-Mart’s “Fighting Hunger Together” initiative, a national campaign that awards grant money to innovative and effect programs that help alleviate child hunger. And The Open Door fits that bill, in the midst of a growing need in Gloucester and across Cape Ann.

The Open Door is competing against more than 300 other hunger relief organizations across the nation, but the more votes The Open Door gets through the Facebook voting campaign — at www.facebook.com/walmart — the better their chance is to win the $20,000 prize or other, smaller grants.

If The Open Door is a winner, the funds will then be used to support PowerSnack, an after-school supper program offered at Veterans Memorial Elementary, said LaFontaine, Open Door’s executive director. PowerSnack offers kids a chance to fuel up before they head home for the day, with the supper program including a kid-friendly entree coupled with fresh fruits and vegetables selected by the child from a student-sized salad bar.

“The Open Door PowerSnack supper program helps connect kids to good food,” LaFontaine said. “To win a $20,000 grant for this program would make a difference for our community.”

The public will be able to vote through their Facebook account through 11:59 p.m. on April 30, at www.facebook.com/walmart. Voters should enter zip code 01930 to bring up The Open Door voting page, then simply click on the orange “vote” button.

For more information, please contact www.foodpantry.org.

GEF hosts major ed forum

The Gloucester Public Scools and the nonprofit Gloucester Education Foundation, a driving force behind several city school programs, including the wind turbine project at O’Maley Innovation Middle School and outreach programs through Maritime Gloucester and MIT, will be hosting a major educational forum set for Wednesday from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Cruiseport Gloucester.

Alan November, whose books and lectures on technology and education have a worldwide audience, will keynote the forum titled “Access and Empowerment: Technology as a Game-Changer in the 21st Century Classroom.”

The program will focus on how technology is shaping the modern classroom and is changing the way students are learning and participating in their own education, said GEF Executive Director Christina M. Raimo. The event will feature a presentation by November, who speaks internationally on how technology is redefining teaching and student learning, but will also include a demonstration by Gloucester public school students on ways in which they are utilizing current technology to enhance their learning.

After November’s presentation, the attendees will also be invited to participate in discussions on this issue and the impact on the future of education in the Gloucester public schools.

A resident of Marblehead, November began his career as an oceanography teacher and dorm counselor at an island reform school for boys in Boston Harbor. Later, he was named one of the nation’s 15 most influential thinkers of the decade by Technology and Learning Magazine.

The May 1 education forum is open to the public, free of charge. For more information about the program, contact GEF at (978) 282-5550 or emailus@thinkthebest.org .

Crafter’s D.C. showcase

John Cameron, a Gloucester cabinetmaker, is one of 121 of America’s finest artists and craftsmen chosen to exhibit at the 31th annual Smithsonian Craft Show at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C.

His work will be seen by the thousands of visitors to the annual show, which steers all of its proceeds to the Smithsonian.

Each of the exhibitors reflects the story of contemporary American craft in one of 12 categories: basketry, ceramics, decorative fiber, furniture, glass, jewelry, leather, metal, mixed media, paper, wearable art and wood.

The 121 exhibitors were selected from over 1,200 applicants. This year’s show includes artists from 30 states as well as 44 first-time exhibitors, who are juried in because they exemplify innovation, creativity and technical merit.

Honored veteran

The flag at the Veterans’ Center flew last week in honor of Vietnam War veteran Robert Jackman Swinson Jr. Born July 24, 1952, he entered the U.S. Air Force on Oct. 22, 1971.

The sergeant served in Okinawa, Japan.

He was discharged Oct. 21, 1975, and died April 21, 2011.

The flag was requested to fly in his honor by his mother and brother, Marie and Gregory Swinson of Gloucester.

The flag at the Veterans’ Center will fly this week in honor of World War II veteran Lauri Harold Tulla. Born Jan. 31, 1918, he entered the U.S. Army on April 15, 1943.

A rifleman, the private first class served with Headquarters Company 345th Infantry in Germany, as well as Rhineland, Ardennes, Central Europe.

Tulla was awarded the European African Middle Eastern Theatre Campaign Ribbon, the Good Conduct Medal, the World War II Victory Medal, and the Combat Infantryman Badge.

He was discharged Nov. 12, 1945, and died Feb. 16, 1976.

The flag was requested to fly in his honor by is daughters, Donna and Nancy Tulla 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.