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INFORMER

Deck the base? Buy a tree for the troops at Mahoney’s

Send some cheer to those serving in the military over the holiday season by purchasing a tree through Trees for Troops at Mahoney’s Garden Centersthrough mid-December. Trees are $30, and can be purchased at any of Mahoney’s seven locations, including in Winchester, Chelmsford, and Tewksbury. Last year, Mahoney’s customers donated a total of 2,100 trees. Trees for Troops, a nationwide nonprofit, will gather the trees from participating tree farms across the country and deliver them to military bases worldwide.

Model homes at the Rolling Green at Topsfield, a new town house development for those over 55, were shown off last month at a grand opening. The senior community, built by South Hamilton-based C.P. Berry Homes, will feature 30 customizable town houses with outdoor social spaces on the Topsfield/Ipswich line. Residents can choose from three floor plans, all of which have features such as a first-floor master bedroom, outdoor deck or four-season room, and an attached garage. The model homes are open for tours Tuesday through Sunday at 470 Boston St. Call 978-807-2954 or e-mail rollinggreen@cpberryhomes.com.

Those graduating with a psychology or child, family, and community studies associate’s degree from Northern Essex Community College can now easily continue their education at Merrimack College in North Andover. Through a new partnership between the schools, Merrimack will accept Northern Essex credits toward their corresponding bachelor’s degree programs. Classes are held on evenings and weekends two to three times a week, with hybrid on-campus and online offerings. The program is designed to be completed in two years.

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Rita P. Colucci, former chief of staff, general counsel, and secretary to the board at Framingham State University, has been named general counsel at Salem State University. Colucci will start in Salem on Dec. 11, filling the chair left by John Keenan when he became Salem State’s president last summer. Colucci, a Melrose resident, holds a bachelor’s degree from Southern Connecticut State University and a JD degree from New England School of Law. Prior to joining the Framingham staff in 2007, Colucci held leadership roles at the state’s Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation; Department of Workforce Development; and Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority.

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The Boston Metro Hi-Railers, a model train club in Wilmington, will hold an open house on Saturday, Dec. 9. Hundreds of model trains from different eras of railroading will be on display, and kids have the opportunity to design track layouts and throw the operating switches. The open house will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the organization’s club house, 5 Waltham St.

The First Parish Church United in Westford will host a candlelight vigil on Westford Common on Wednesday, Dec. 6, to call for an end to gun violence. The vigil will remember the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, which left 20 students and six staff members dead on Dec. 14, 2012, in Connecticut. Local speakers and a performance from the Westford Academy Chorus will be featured at the event, which will held from 6 to 8 p.m. Similar vigils will take place across the country.

Laura Elyse King can be reached at laura.king@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @lauraelyseking.