Next Score View the next score

    Globe North | People

    YWCA Greater Newburyport honors Community Champions

    Mike Dean
    Six faculty members at Northern Essex Community College were honored by the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development. Front row, from left: Jim Sullivan, Betsy Pardo, and Bill Zannini. At rear, Judith Pollock-Ciampi, Gail Feigenbaum, and John Murray.

    CHAMPIONS AMONG US: Two women were honored in Newburyport yesterday as YWCA Community Champions for their work with breast cancer survivors.

    Raelene Kukene of Salisbury and Nancy McGonegal of Beverly were recognized at the YWCA Greater Newburyport’s third annual Engaging Communities Luncheon.

    Kukene is a nurse at Riversong Plastic Surgery and facilitator of the breast cancer support group at Anna Jaques Hospital, both in Newburyport.


    Kukene’s husband’s first wife died of cancer at age 35, leaving two children, ages 1 and 3. After hearing her story, Kukene knew she had to get involved in the fight against breast cancer.

    Get Today's Headlines in your inbox:
    The day's top stories delivered every morning
    Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

    Already a nurse in Dr. Michele Sasmor’s Riversong office, she stepped up to take over the breast cancer support group at Anna Jaques Hospital when it needed a new facilitator.

    Kukene has worked with hundreds of breast cancer survivors as facilitator of monthly meetings for the last 15 years.

    McGonegal, a breast cancer survivor, is owner of We Care Breast Forms & Accessories in Beverly. Having undergone a bilateral mastectomy, she understands her clients and helps them choose the best post-mastectomy products for their needs. She is a certified fitter with 20 years’ experience.

    McGonegal also donates her time to host seminars for YWCA Encore: After Breast Cancer, a free program that offers women who have had breast cancer gentle land and aquatic exercise and peer support.


    For information, call 978-465-9922 or visit

    FINDING A MATCH: The Merrimack River Feline Rescue Society in Salisbury and the Lowell Humane Society have a big goal for the weekend: giving more than 100 cats new homes.

    The Mega Match-A-Thon Adoption Weekend 2012 takes place at both locations Friday through Sunday.

    “Our adoption center already has many cats that have been rescued from our communities, and we are anticipating one of our busiest summers yet due to the uncertain economic conditions. Many of the kitties in our adoption center have been with us for more than six months already,’’ said Stacy LeBaron, president of the feline rescue society.

    The ASPCA has provided the organizations a grant to host the event, which includes special low adoption rates and discounts.


    The event runs at the feline rescue society, Route 110, noon to 7 p.m. Friday; 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday; and noon to 3 p.m. Sunday. Call 978-462-0760 or visit

    The Humane Society hosts Midnight Meowness, beginning at 11:30 p.m. Thursday night with all cats 1 year and older available for free. Other hours are noon to 4 p.m. Friday through Sunday.

    Call 978-452-7781 or visit

    WHO’S WHAT WHERE: Professor William W. Young and Endicott College in Beverly have received a sabbatical grant for researchers from the Louisville Institute for Young’s project, “Listening, Religion, and Democracy.’’ The yearlong project will study religious communities in the Boston area, exploring the multiple forms of listening involved in their religious practice, and how they help cultivate civic and political engagement. It is part of a broader study by Young of religious listening and its role in communal and interfaith networks. . . .

    Six faculty members at Northern Essex Community College recently received Awards of Excellence from the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development, which recognizes outstanding teachers in the country’s community colleges. They are Judith Pollock-Ciampi of Chelmsford, coordinator of the paralegal studies program; Gail Feigenbaum of Andover, coordinator of the early childhood education program; John Murray of Kittery, Maine, department chairman of cardiopulmonary services and program director of sleep technology and exercise science technology; Betsy Pardo of Boxford, coordinator of the English Language Center; Jim Sullivan of Stratham, N.H., chairman of the department of academic preparation and a mathematics professor; and Bill Zannini of Salem, N.H., associate professor in the business programs department.

    Wendy Killeen can be reached at