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Playing to the home crowd

PLAYING TO THE HOME CROWD: Milton native Kendra Cunningham was not a class clown when she attended Fontbonne Academy. “I was pretty competitive and never wanted to screw around in class and get a bad grade,” she said.

But she’s pretty funny now. Cunningham is a comic, writer, and bartender in New York City, and on Feb. 1 and 2 will bring her “blonde logic back home” to headline at Dick’s Beantown Comedy Vault. This is her first trip north since she was named a finalist at the 2012 Boston Comedy Festival.  

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“I love coming home to Boston,” she said. “Bostonians have a real appreciation for comedy and love to laugh. Anyone who knows comedy knows Boston has a particular sense of humor that stands out no matter where you are. It’s no wonder so many well-known comics are from Massachusetts.”

While she was a serious student in Milton, she does confess to cutting loose outside of school. “I did like to party outside of school hours. I got into trouble more than once for having parties if my mother went away for the weekend. I think most of my sense of humor came from my family and friends.”

She worked in hedge funds when she first moved to New York in 2000, got her master’s degree in forensic psychology at night, and ended up bartending and performing, writing and producing comedy.

She has written, acted in, and produced three short comedic films, including “LonelyGirl48,” which won Best Comedic Short at the Boston Comedy Festival and the Palm Beach International Film Festival. Her blog, “Blonde Logic,” has been featured in the New York Times.

Cunningham has also appeared in sketches on “Saturday Night Live” (she was in a hot-sauce skit with Bernie Mac) and was on the premiere of “The Jimmy Fallon Show” as a preppy blonde mom. She has also appeared on the “Tyra Banks Show.”  

On growing up in Milton, Cunningham said, “The best part was we were so close to Boston’s under-21 clubs and could walk to Dorchester if we had a hard-core crush on an Adams Corner kid.”

For tickets and information on her Boston show, visit www.dickdoherty.com, or call 800-401-2221.  

EAGLE SCOUT FROM STOUGHTON: Nolan Fraine of Stoughton, a member of Boy Scout Troop 516, has earned his Eagle Scout badge. Fraine is now a freshman at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, where he’s studying civil engineering, and his service project for becoming an Eagle Scout was building a raised garden bed for West Elementary School in Stoughton. It was done in coordination with then-principal Brendan Dearborn and teachers Toni-Jo Guardabascio and Susan Racicot,  who wanted to introduce students to the value of growing vegetables. Last spring, students at the school grew corn, beans, and squash at the new garden bed.

SANTA’S HELPERS: Home Instead Senior Care in Norwood partnered with The Ellis Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, also in Norwood, for “Be a Santa to a Senior” over the holidays. The nursing home provided the names of 75 residents who couldn’t afford to celebrate the holidays, or had no family to celebrate with, to Laurie Blake,  a community service representative for Home Instead, who sought out donations and support from a variety of local retailers.

She then organized a gift-wrapping party with residents of New Pond Village in Walpole, and took them to The Ellis for a Christmas party. She recruited 14 volunteer “elves” from her daughter’s school, King Philip High School in Wrentham to help with doling out gifts at the party, with the event “heartwarming to everyone involved,” Blake said.

BUSINESS BRIEFS: Sarah McGill of Middleborough was named controller at Weymouth-based Hill & Partners, and is in charge of coordinating and reporting on the company’s financial activities, as well as various human-resource duties. She has 16 years of experience in the accounting industry, and previously was controller at the Braintree law firm of Smith & Brink. . . . Austin Poirier of Dedham, a Financial Planning Association of Massachusetts member and senior investment adviser with Ballentine Partners in Waltham, recently volunteered to help members of the Air Force Reserve with financial planning. . . . Christopher Sherman of Duxbury, a member of the board of HomeStart, a nonprofit working on easing homelessness in Greater Boston, was part of the group’s 16th annual winter celebration in Boston at the State House. The event recognized achievements in maintaining stable housing for HomeStart clients. . . . Martha Gentile of Weymouth was promoted to document management consultant at Rockland-based Bay Copy.

Paul E. Kandarian can be reached at Kandarian@globe.com.
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