Trips to Africa and Puerto Rico, Red Sox, Patriots and Bruins tickets, art work and, yes, a chance to sit in for a day as guest editor of the Gloucester Daily Times will all be on the block next Thursday, thanks to the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce.

The Chamber is hosting its 24th annual auction that night in the Essex Room at Woodman's on Main Street in Essex, with event set to get under way at 5:30 p.m.

In all, the Chamber has already received donations of items valued at more than $145,000, said Chamber Executive Director Bob Hastings.

The program includes a silent auction starting at 5:30, then the live auction at 7, featuring Rick Doucette of the Cape Ann YMCA and Gloucester Rotary Club as auctioneer.

In terms of value, donated items range up to a projected $10,000 residential roofing package donated by Precision Roofing and its owner, "Uncle Tony" Corrao, and a $4,950 African "photo safari."

Then, there are the items whose value is listed as "priceless." Those include lunches with Mayor Carolyn Kirk, state Sen. Minority Leader Bruce Tarr or state Rep. Ann-Margaret Ferrante — and, of course, the "editor for a day" opportunity at the Times.

Tickets for the auction are priced at $20, including a meal of "heavy hors d'oeuvres." Tickets are available through the Chamber at 978-283-1601. The full list of items up for grabs can be found online at

Man's 10-minute play

A city resident's work is one of 10 original 10-minute plays that the Salem Theatre Company is bringing to the stage this weekend.

"The Rabbit Lesson" by Christopher Kent be presented with the other nine plays Saturday, July 16, at 5 p.m. and Sunday, July 17, at 3 p.m. at the STC Theater, 90 Lafayette St. in downtown Salem. Tickets are $15.

Following Saturday's performance at 7:30 p.m., nationally recognized playwrights Richard Dresser, Ronan Noone and Kate Snodgrass will gather on the stage to discuss and review the 10 plays. The public is invited to this free event.

Kent has taught theater and English for the past six years in California and his native Massachusetts. Along with playwriting, he is also a seasoned actor, director, working both in New England and on the West Coast.

Biker for memory

Daniel Morris will be riding in the Alzheimer's Association's Memory Ride for Alzheimer's Research taking place in Devens next Saturday, July 23.

This will be Morris's third year participating in the Memory Ride and he will be tackling the 100-mile route in honor of his father who has been living with Alzheimer's disease for eight years.

"I ride for my father and my heroic mother, who has taken care of my father as his memory and ability to take care of himself have slipped over these last few years," Morris said. "They still find love and humor in every day and I'm very proud of them. I ride for the millions of people who, like my family, have been touched by this terrible disease."

By riding, Morris will be raising awareness and money to support the Alzheimer's Association's research efforts into causes, treatments and cures for Alzheimer's, a disease that affects 5.4 million Americans. Starting and finishing in Devens, the ride loops through the commonwealth's heartland into New Hampshire.

The Alzheimer's Association, with headquarters in Watertown, provides support groups, a 24/7 Helpline, care consultation, advocacy efforts, research funding and education programs for those with Alzheimer's, family and professional caregivers. For more information about Memory Ride or Alzheimer programs and information visit

A TV boating milestone

A weekly Cape Ann TV show has passed a milestone.

"Smart Boating" producer Paul Jermain of Manchester announced the taping and the release of the 100th program of the local public cable access TV show series, which regularly runs on Channel 12 on Tuesday evenings at 8, Friday afternoons at 2, and Sunday afternoons at 2:30 p.m.

Jermain, who leads an entrepreneurial training program for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in conjunction with Northern Essex Community College and is a member of the Cape Ann TV board of directors, said the show first aired in August 2006.

"The idea came from a lunchtime conversation with a marine surveyor friend who stated that he thought I could produce a better show than a well-known syndicated boating show that was airing at the time," said Jermain. "I was unfamiliar with how to produce a TV show, but felt that my instructional background developed through my entrepreneurial training program work would enable me to produce a quality program."

With that, he says, "I stopped into the local public access cable TV studio the next day and asked for training."

Three weeks later, the first show — "How To Protect Your Boat In Event of A Hurricane" — was produced and ready to hit the air.

Shows are primarily shot in the field with expert guests who provide solid advice on top of carefully researched, thorough, show discussion guides. And the entire process, from topic selection to editing, which typically takes about fifteen hours, is done strictly on a volunteer basis.

"We are proud to have supported Paul in the achievement of this significant milestone," said Donna Gacek, Cape Ann TV's executive director. "Our mission is to serve as an important community resource that gives everyone a voice.

"The Smart Boating program is a fine example of programming made by the community, for the community," she added. "We welcome volunteers at all levels and endeavor to work closely with them to reach their personal goals."

Honored veteran

The flag at the Veterans' Center will fly this week in honor of Revolutionary War veteran Joseph Denen. Born in 1750, he entered the service on Jan. 10, 1775.

He served with Capt. Gideon Parker's Company and Col. Moses Little's 17th Regiment.

The flag was requested to fly in his honor by the Office of Veterans' Services.

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

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