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Fixing a fire station, a new football decal, and what brought joy in 2020

Captains (from left) TJ Guy, Nick Bertolino, Nico Holmes, and Jack McCoy with the Mansfield High football team's new helmets.
Captains (from left) TJ Guy, Nick Bertolino, Nico Holmes, and Jack McCoy with the Mansfield High football team's new helmets.Mansfield Public Schools


The Stoneham Fire Department is teaming up with students from Northeast Metropolitan Regional Vocational School in Wakefield to renovate and update the 105-year-old fire station. About 30 students, working in small groups to observe COVID-19 safety protocols, will relocate the station’s kitchen to the second floor, create a gear storage room, and replace the wheelchair ramp at the front of the building. “It’s a win-win for everyone,” Fire Chief Matthew Grafton said. “The students learn from their experience, the fire department has a healthier work environment, and taxpayers are able to save some significant amount of money by not having to pay the cost of labor.”


The Greater Lowell Community Foundation released a new round of grants to seven local nonprofits totaling $72,000. The grants were funded by the foundation’s COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund and were specifically given to groups seeking to deliver meals to those in need during the pandemic. “Mobile food pantries and delivery programs remove location as a barrier to access for food,” President and CEO Jay Linnehan said. The foundation “recognizes the unprecedented need to address the food security implications and fund creative solutions to get food to residents.”


Family, comfort food, and pets were among the many answers Lexington residents gave to a recent survey asking “What Brought You Joy in 2020?” Members of the Cary Memorial Library’s Teen Library Leadership Council collected responses from hundreds of Lexingtonians including students, business people, seniors, and town officials. The group of seventh through 12th graders made a word cloud of the responses, and displayed the results on a banner outside the library.

On March 3 at 12 p.m., the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University in Waltham will host the second installation of its online discussion series, “Off the Wall.” The series focuses on works in the permanent collection that will be displayed in an upcoming exhibition honoring the museum’s 60th anniversary. Museum Director and Chief Curator Gannit Ankori, Associate Curator Caitlin Julia Rubin, and Brandeis Professor Aida Yuen Wong will facilitate a discussion of several art pieces in the live-captioned event. The event is free to attend but requires advance registration at brandeis.edu/rose/programs/.



When Mansfield High School’s football team begins its fall season next month, players will be sporting a new decal that says ”Equality” on the backs of their helmets. The new decals were funded by the Mansfield Gridiron Club, and will be worn for the first time March 12 at the team’s home game against Franklin. “As an organization, we are focused on supporting members of our community who do not have equal access and opportunity,” Athletic Director Mike Redding said. “These decals are one way for us to show that support and promote equality as one of the core values of our school community.” Due to the pandemic, the football season will be played from Feb. 22 through April 25 this year.

The Middleborough Fire Department is delivering food to residents facing food insecurity due to quarantine or isolation. Through a program established by the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, the department will deliver shelf-stable foods such as canned fruits and vegetables, rice, and beans in contactless drop-offs to residents’ homes. “This is a great and much-needed program that will assist many of our residents,” Fire Chief Lance Benjamino said. “No one should go hungry because they are required to be in isolation or quarantine, and we’ll do whatever we can to help those in need.”


Diana Bravo can be reached at diana.bravo@globe.com.