The University of Massachusetts Lowell was one-upped in true Oprah style after she spoke at a Nov. 15 event. Oprah answered questions from chancellor Jacquie Moloney at “A Conversation with Oprah Winfrey,” which raised $1.5 million for student scholarships. Winfrey pledged on stage to match it. The first six Oprah Winfrey Scholarship winners were announced, chosen for commitment to academic achievement and financial need. The chancellor’s Speaker Series hosts big names at the university, and proceeds from the events benefit student scholarships.
Families can take a nighttime stroll and learn about nocturnal animals and the moonlit sky in Newburyport on Friday, Nov. 30. Mass Audubon’s Joppa Flats Education Center will host the half-moon stroll from the education center to Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm. The night will end with hot cocoa around the fire pit. The education center is located at 1 Plum Island Turnpike. The program costs $8 for member adults and children, $10 for nonmembers. Preregistration is required. Follow the “Get Outdoors” link at massaudubon.org.
North Shore Bank recently donated $2,500 to help feed children in Peabody. The No Child Goes Hungry weekend backpack program benefits students in grades 1 through 8 whose families qualify for free school lunches, sending them home with backpacks containing enough food and snacks to last the weekend. The initiative was founded by Dennis and Michele Feld, owners of Evans Flowers & Greenhouses in Peabody.
A Billerica resident was honored for her work promoting Bulgarian art and culture in the area. Violeta “Villi” Jeliazkova left her career in engineering to start the Bulgarian-American Cultural Center Madara. She was presented the Ivan Vazov Medal by the State Agency for Bulgarians Abroad on Nov. 11 in Burlington. Bulgarian consul general Maya Hristova of New York presented the medal on the 20th anniversary of the cultural center. Jeliazkova has been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer, and proceeds from the event will help her with medical costs, according to a news release.
Beverly Main Streets is asking the community to reimagine its downtown. It will conduct a community survey through Nov. 30, in which participants could win a gift card to a downtown business. The campaign looks forward to the downtown of 2030, following what the organization calls a successful campaign for 2020’s downtown. The group has been conducting community listening events around the city during November. Visit the Beverly Main Streets Facebook page.
Residents and staff at an Ipswich elderly housing facility hand-painted ceramic dog and cat bowls to raise funds for STAY Pet Services, an in-home pet care service that is supported by SeniorCare Inc. A fund-raiser will be held on Thursday, Nov. 29, from 4:30 to 6 p.m. at The Residence at Riverbend, 149 County Road. STAY offers services such as dog walking, transportation to the vet or groomer, and boarding in the North Shore area.Morgan Hughes can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.