The familiar red kettles and bell-ringers of the Salvation Army will return soon to Gloucester and Cape Ann’s towns to ring in the season of giving.

One again Gloucester House Restaurant owner Lenny Linquata, with help from his staff, is seeking and organizing the local volunteers. 

While ringing a bell for the Salvation Army is a holiday tradition for many, volunteers are still needed. Shifts are two hours, usually between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., and organizers say the scheduling is flexible. 

Volunteering at the kettle is a charitable opportunity for families and individuals of all ages, and teens can use their time to complete community service hours for school.

Market Basket in Gloucester and Crosby’s in Manchester are just a few of the businesses allowing the Salvation Army to set up the red kettles for its Holiday Fund Drive. Plans are for Cape Ann’s drive to start next Saturday, Nov. 16, and continue through Christmas. 

The kettle drive raises money for the Salvation Army Unit in the Cape Ann area, which helps neighbors who need fuel, medical or rent assistance this winter.

Anyone wishing to join the endeavor may call the Gloucester House at 978-283-1812 and leave their name and telephone number, and Lenny or Annette will return the call. 

Unsung no more

A Gloucester attorney was celebrated as an “unsung hero” on Thursday night when Rotary District 7930, which is comprised of 47 clubs with 1,700 members from Cape Ann to Boston, held its District Foundation Dinner in Andover.

Mark Nestor, a decorated Vietnam veteran and local lawyer, was among 16 unsung heroes who the Rotary said embodied “service above self,” and were recognized as Paul Harris fellows.

“His spirited involvement in a host of community activities has benefited the youth, elderly, shut-ins and veterans across Cape Ann and beyond,” Rotary said of Nestor, a helicopter pilot in Vietnam who retired after 26 years of service in U.S. Army and Reserves.

He was instrumental in bringing The Wall That Heals Vietnam Veterans Memorial to Gloucester in 2015. And as commander of the Capt. Lester Wass American Legion Post No. 3, he has been involved in serving and delivering over 1,100 meals annually to veterans, elderly and shut-ins for Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter; providing financial support for Coast Guard Station Gloucester staff during the recent government shutdown; sponsoring Welcome Home Gloucester Veterans events with the Gloucester Elks; supporting the local youth Fish Box Derby; and advocating for more affordable housing for local veterans. 

Rotarians also presented veteran Micaila Britto with a Great Dane service dog named Rabbit. The district’s local clubs raised $20,000 to give her the dog from the Ipswich-based Service Dog Project Inc. 

In addition, a $5,000 grant was awarded to the Wonderfund, a nonprofit serving Massachusetts children. 

Lauren Baker, the first lady of Massachusetts and vice chair of Wonderfund’s board, was the night’s guest speaker.

Honored for her work

While Melissa Joy Teixeira Prince was recognized by city voters and re-elected Tuesday to the Gloucester School Committee, on Thursday she was recognized by her peers. 

Teixeira Prince was among 11 school committee members from across the state given a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Massachusetts Association of School Committees. She was nominated for the honor by MASC Division One Chairwoman Beverley Griffin Dunne of Peabody.

“I am honored to receive recognition from the MASC organization for my advocacy and passion for our kids on educational matters and service to the Gloucester community,” Teixeira Prince said in an email. “If you believe in ‘kids first,’ the work needed to provide equity for all children is easy.”

“Lifetime Achievement is a designation established to honor individuals who, through their service to their community and their local school committee, have exhibited the best characteristics of public service,” according to the MASC. Nominees must have served two consecutive terms on their local committee.

Teixeira Prince will be starting her seventh term on Gloucester School Committee in January. She also served a nine-year run on the Essex North Shore School Committee and a three-year run as its chairwoman, ending in 2018.

Talking Ward 4

Ward 4 City Councilor Val Gilman is organizing a roundtable discussion for Ward 4-2 residents at the Lanesville Community Center, 8 Vulcan St., on Wednesday, Nov. 13, at 6:30 p.m.

On the agenda are raising fines for parking tickets in certain areas of Lanesville near the quarries and beach zone, suggestions that were discussed in a September ward meeting with Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken and police Chief Ed Conley; a good neighbors program to assist seniors and disabled individuals who are vulnerable during prolonged emergencies; and zoning opportunities for affordable housing possibilities.

Gilman said any matters ward residents wish to discuss, including topics that were brought up at the recent councilor at-large debate at the community center, will be considered.

Residents with suggestions for topics may contact Gilman at vgilman@gloucester-ma.gov

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