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    Danvers church holds fund-raiser to help feed the hungry


    THANKSGIVING WITH MA: For six years, Debbie Marticio, owner of Ma Duke’s Pizza, Roast Beef, and Seafood  in Danvers, has been offering free Thanksgiving meals to the less fortunate.

    She and her husband, Mike, serve food to homeless families, housebound residents, young people struggling with substance abuse at a Danvers treatment center, and those living at the Inn Transition temporary housing in Peabody.

    It is part of a coordinated effort among various agencies and restaurants to feed the needy during the holidays.


    Marticio said it costs between $10,000 and $11,000 to serve the free meals at Ma Duke’s, and much of that comes from donations.

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    But this year, the effort has become more complicated. Business has been off at the restaurant, and it has had difficulty paying the electric bill.

    Still, Marticio is committed to preparing 1,000 plates for Thanksgiving.

    To help, All Saints Episcopal Church of the North Shore — the merged Calvary Episcopal Church in Danvers and St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Peabody — is holding a spaghetti supper Thursday. It hopes to ensure that Ma Duke’s reaches its goal of serving all the needed meals on Thanksgiving Day.

    The community fund-raising dinner takes place from 5 to 7 p.m., with All Saints parishioners — several of whom have already donated $50 to $100 — providing a home-cooked Italian meal of pasta, bread, and salad in O’Neill Hall at the church, 46 Cherry St. in Danvers.  


    Admission is $10, and free-will donations are accepted. All proceeds benefit the Ma Duke’s Thanksgiving Meals for the Less Fortunate initiative.

    Call 978-774-1150 or visit

    MAKING A LIST: The Miracle Providers NorthEast  presents cabaret nights in Methuen on Friday and Saturday to support its holiday wish program for children and families directly affected by HIV and AIDS.

    The program provides bed linens, winter jackets, coloring books, and other simple gifts. Last year the Lowell-based nonprofit, which operates throughout New England, presented gifts to more than 400 families.

    “These gifts are a true blessing for these families,” said Penni Cleverley, with Vermont Cares, which also participates in the program.


    “Parents break out in tears knowing that someone out there cares that their children have a good Christmas.”

    The cabaret nights present a cast of experienced male and female performers and include audience interaction.

    Performances take place at the Methuen Knights of Columbus hall, 462 Broadway (Route 28). Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $25 and $30 in advance; $30 and $35 at the door. All proceeds benefit the holiday wish program.

    For details, visit the Miracle Providers North East website at

    PRIZED FIRSTS: According to the Ipswich Visitor Center, the town has more “first period’’ homes — built between 1625 and 1725 — than any other community in the nation.

    The center celebrates its heritage with a program titled: “Ipswich Is First . . . Period. An Homage to Harvest, Hearth and Home.” Through Thanksgiving, local first period homes are lighted from dusk to 10 p.m. People are invited to drive along the scenic route.

    Special activities Thursday include open houses from 5 to 7 p.m.  at the 1650 Whipple House, 1657 Alexander Knight Replica, and 1694 Paine House at Greenwood Farm; and at 7:30 p.m.  the Orchestra on the Hill performs at Castle Hill. 

    Also, the Hall-Haskell House Gallery presents an exhibition of photography and folk art in celebration of Ipswich, from Nov. 20 through Nov. 25. 


    WHO’S WHAT WHERE: Northern Essex Community College  student Krissy Hallett  was recently the featured performer at the Association of Community College Trustees’ annual awards gala in Boston. More than 1,700 community college trustees and presidents, and national and state leaders watched Hallett perform an aerial ballet suspended above the convention center ballroom. The Atkinson, N.H., resident plans to transfer to the University of New Hampshire in the spring to continue her studies and participate in the college’s aerial dance program. . . . Rebecca Scott  of Melrose is moving from her position as manager of the StonehamBank  branch in Billerica to the bank’s commercial and construction lending department in Stoneham. Scott, an eight-year employee of the bank, is also president of the Billerica Rotary Club. Taking her place as the Billerica branch’s manager is Joseph Smith  of Wilmington. He has been in banking for 18 years, primarily in the retail services area, and joined StonehamBank in September. Robert ­Berkovitz  of Chelmsford has been named assistant manager in the Billerica branch. He joined StonehamBank in April and has 20 years of experience in both large and small Boston-area banks.

    Items can be sent to wdkilleen@