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    Henri Smith and his band perform to benefit New Orleans

    enri Smith and his band, featuring Grammy-winning saxophonist Charles Neville, perform a Mardi Gras weekend concert at the Larcom Theatre in Beverly on Feb. 8.
    Henri Smith and his band, featuring Grammy-winning saxophonist Charles Neville, perform a Mardi Gras weekend concert at the Larcom Theatre in Beverly on Feb. 8.

    HAND FOR NEW ORLEANS:Henri Smith  and his band, featuring Grammy-winning saxophonist Charles Neville,  perform a Mardi Gras weekend concert at the Larcom Theatre in Beverly on Feb. 8. 

    The concert benefits Y Teens Rebuild New Orleans. 

    Smith, a native of New Orleans, relocated to Massachusetts in 2005 after losing his home in Hurricane Katrina. 


    With an eight-piece band of Boston area musicians, he continues to perform in the jazz, blues, and Cajun musical traditions of his old hometown.

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    Neville is a member of the Neville Brothers band. His experience on saxophone has included rhythm and blues, funk, jazz, be-bop, and popular music.

    During the April school vacation week, the YMCA of the North Shore will take area teens and adult chaperones to New Orleans for its fourth Y Teens Rebuild New Orleans community service and learning trip.

    The teens have been working hard to raise funds needed to make the trip possible.

    They have committed themselves to work diligently in New Orleans to help put families back into their homes.


    As in the past three years, the Y will be collaborating with the St. Bernard Project. 

    While on the trip, the local youths also will plant trees to help restore the bayou, and have an opportunity to learn more about the history and culture of New Orleans.

    There are still openings for teens who want to make the trip.

    To make a donation to sponsor a particular teen, several teens, or the trip in general, contact Cape Ann YMCA official Rick Doucette  at 978-283-0470 or

    Doors open for the Feb. 8 event at 7 p.m. and the show begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets in advance are $20, or $15 for senior citizens and ages 17 and younger;  and $25 for all ages at the door.


    Call 978-525-9093 or visit  

    SAVING KISSES: A poodle-terrier puppy with a serious heart condition is getting a second chance at life thanks to the MSPCA-Nevins Farm in Methuen and Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston.

    The dog, named Kisses, was surrendered, along with her three littermates and mother, to the Thomas J. O’Conner Animal Control and Adoption Center in Springfield four months ago.

    Shelter veterinarians discovered she has patent ductus arteriosus, a condition in which a blood vessel in the heart does not close properly. If left untreated, it leads to congestive heart failure.

    Realizing it could not provide the advanced surgery Kisses needs, the Springfield shelter contacted Mike Keiley,  director of the Noble Family Animal Care and Adoption Center at MSPCA-Nevins Farm.

    “Upon hearing about Kisses’ friendly and playful personality, and the increasingly urgent need to repair her heart, I knew we had to do whatever we could to help her,” Keiley said.

    He reached out to the cardiology department at Angell.

    Dr. Rebecca Quinn  examined Kisses and said she is an excellent candidate for surgery, but at 4 months she is still too small for the procedure. Quinn said the operation could be conducted in about two months.

    Kisses will require up to a week to recover from surgery, and would then be made available for adoption.

    Because the surgery will cost thousands of dollars, the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is seeking donations to cover the cost of her care.

    Money raised above the cost of Kisses’ treatment will go directly toward the care of other homeless animals at the ­MSPCA’s three shelters.

    “Our mission is to save the lives of as many animals as we can and place them into permanent homes,” Keiley said. “It’s difficult and expensive work but worth all of our efforts when these pets are adopted into loving homes. I’m hopeful that our friends and supporters will help us raise the money we need to offset her care, so we can continue this vital work.”

    For more information or to make a donation, visit

    WHO’S WHAT WHERE: Andover resident Elizabeth Covino is the new community relations director for the YMCA of Greater Nashua, which operates facilities in Nashua and Merrimack, N.H., as well as a summer day camp. Covino has more than 15 years of experience with the nonprofit organization, most recently at the Merrimack Valley YMCA in Lawrence. . . Kaitlyn Ethier  has been promoted to account executive at Rhino Public Relations in Hamilton. She has a degree in communications and public relations from the University of Rhode Island.

    Items can be sent to wdkilleen@