North Shore United Way plants seeds of good health

GROWING HEALTHY HABITS: Women in Action, a grass-roots initiative launched by North Shore United Way three years ago, aims to improve the health and wellness of local children and their families.

To that end, the committee hosts “Seeding a Cause” next Thursday in the greenhouse at the Glen Urquhart School in Beverly.

The event begins with seed planting with The Food Project, followed by a casual luncheon provided by Chive Sustainable Event Design & Catering in Beverly.


Phoebe Poole, manager of Apple Street Farm in Essex, presents “Bringing Home the Farm,” a talk about the basics of feeding family and friends from your own backyard.

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Women in Action steering committee members are Susan Hanson Philbrick and Lisa McNamara, cochairwomen; with Nancy Bildner, Betsy Brown, Margo Casey, Rosemary Costello, Tracy Davis, Sarah Earnest, Caroline Fitzpatrick, Corinne Lippie, Babette Loring, Tori Macmillan, Eilish Neff, Ann Noble-Kiley, Martha Rawlins, Scottie Robinson, and Deb de Sherbinin.

All money raised through Women in Action goes to local programs focused on nutrition and physical activity for local children.

“Seeding a Cause,” runs from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Tickets are $50 per person. Call 978-922-3966 or visit

HELPING HAND FOR HOSPICE: A new volunteer service organization, Friends of Merrimack Valley Hospice, is forming to support the hospice’s patients and their families.


The group aims to raise awareness and money to meet needs for subsidized care, bereavement programs, and other services of Merrimack Valley Hospice and the Hospice House in Haverhill.

Steve Janavicus and Susan Desmet are leading the group, and membership is open to all.

“Community support is so important to the success of Merrimack Valley Hospice,” said Andrea LeBlanc, vice president. “It is extremely meaningful when those who have experienced hospice want to give back in some way. This group will be such a wonderful help to efforts for awareness of Merrimack Valley Hospice House and resources it provides.”

The group’s inaugural event, “Spring has Sprung,” a brunch at DiBurro’s in Haverhill, is April 6. Janavicus, of Flowers by Steve, will demonstrate how to create spring arrangements. All arrangements are being raffled at the end of the event.

The brunch is 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Tickets are $40 and must be purchased in advance. Call 978-552-4927or e-mail



CHUCKLE FOR A CAUSE: “Accidentally On Purpose,” an improvisational comedy troupe from Marblehead Little Theatre, presents a fund-raiser for the Rotary Club’s Polio Plus Program at Finz Restaurant in Salem on Tuesday.

The comedians perform in the style of the television show “Whose Line is it Anyway.”

The evening starts with a joke contest featuring prizes and specialty drinks. Then the troupe performs.

The event runs 7 to 10 p.m. Tickets are $20, with 25 percent of profits benefiting Rotary Club’s Polio Plus, which is part of the fight to eradicate polio through immunization around the world.

WHO’S WHAT WHERE: Stephanie Sladen has been named assistant executive director of Children’s Friend and Family Services, based in Salem. She has more than 15 years’ experience in leadership and direct clinical practice with children, adolescents, and their families. Sladen also serves as a field instructor for several schools of social work, including Salem State University. . . . Mary Beth Ryan, athletic director at Rockport High School, has been recognized by the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association as a certified master athletic administrator. She was required to demonstrate exemplary knowledge, contribu-tions, and ongoing professional development in the field of interscholastic athletic administration . . . Dana A. Esmel of Haverhill has joined WHAV in Haverhill as news director. His career in broadcasting began as a hobby in the 1980s when he was a member of the Northern Essex Community College campus radio station. He entered local commercial broadcasting in 1996.

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