YOUNG HEROINE: Bailee Militello, a 6-year-old girl who raised more than $1,000 selling lemonade to help a Gloucester family whose house was destroyed by fire, was recently honored at the State House.
Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr of Gloucester presented Bailee with a citation recognizing her efforts during an informal Senate session.
She was also congratulated by Representative Ann-Margaret Ferrante of Gloucester, members of the Legislature, and staffers.
Bailee lives across town from the Cardone family, who lost their home in the two-alarm electrical fire the afternoon of July 9. After seeing the rubble with her mother, Bailee decided she wanted to do something to help and came up with the idea of selling lemonade.
“Coming from a tough childhood of my own, Jimmy and I have worked hard to instill the value of helping others — especially people in the community — in our children,” said Brieana Militello, who attended the State House ceremony with her husband, Jimmy Militello, and 3-year-old son, Jimmy Jr.
“What Bailee had done in a matter of a short time was nothing but amazing,” Tarr said. “Her hard work should serve as an example to everyone that regardless of your age or ability, you can make a difference to the lives of others when it matters most. It was an honor to have had her and her family at the State House today, and I am certain we have yet to see the last of her kindness.”
JAMMIN’ IN SALEM: Michael Feingold, a professional guitarist and producer from Swampscott who is on break from tour, visited Salem’s Plummer Home for Boys to perform, jam, and answer questions about the music business.
The Plummer Home, a residence for at-risk young men, has had a music program since 2007. It started with the donation of a used piano and has grown into a thriving, fully outfitted program offering instruction in reading, writing, playing, and recording music.
The program is led by Aaron Z. Katz, who is a member of the band The Dejas. Participants have performed publicly and released three holiday CDs that include classics as well as pieces written, composed, and recorded by the Plummer House musicians.
“We hope the day inspires passion, vision, goal-setting, and hope for our kids, as well as teaches them the character traits and survival skills needed to gain the confidence one must have to achieve lasting professional and personal growth,” Katz said.
“Perhaps more important than the music, and performing themselves, is that through music youth can learn coping mechanisms, communication skills, discipline, and the feeling of accomplishment that comes with working at something they enjoy,” said Katz.
Feingold was born and raised in Swampscott and started playing guitar at age 12. He attended Berklee College of Music in Boston and was mentored by Spanky Alford in Alabama. He has played at festivals, arenas, and theaters across the world with some of today’s popular musicians, including Queen Latifah, The Roots, Kanye West, Corinne Bailey Rae, and Erykah Badu. He was also guitarist and coarranger with Jay Z at Carnegie Hall.
The Plummer Home for Boys provides at-risk adolescents support and services in a safe and nurturing environment to build the skills and relationships necessary for successful adulthood. Programs range from group homes to independent living and neighborhood services, some of which are coordinated with the Salem Police Department and the Essex County Juvenile Court.
Call 978-744-1099 or visit www.plummerhome.org.
WHO’S WHAT WHERE: Michelle Deane of Haverhill, Joan Scionti of North Salem, N.H., and Robert West of Manchester, N.H., recently received employee recognition awards from Northern Essex Community College. Deane, a 1999 graduate of Northern Essex, has worked at the college for five years. She is an assistant professor and coordinator of the dance program. In addition to her associate degree in liberal arts, dance option, from Northern Essex, she holds a bachelor of fine arts from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Scionti came to Northern Essex nearly four years ago as a systems analyst. She is currently an enterprise resource planning project leader. She has a degree in management information systems from the University of Massachusetts Lowell. For three years West has worked as a lab technician and safety officer at the college. He earned a degree in health science from Merrimack College in 2006.