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    Melrose woman honored for 30 years with the Red Cross

    Jarrett Barrios presented Laurice Zwicker with a pin for her 30 years of employment with the American Red Cross.
    Jarrett Barrios presented Laurice Zwicker with a pin for her 30 years of employment with the American Red Cross.

    A MODEL EMPLOYEE: Laurice Zwicker  of Melrose was recently honored for 30 years of employment at the American Red Cross.

    She started volunteering as a receptionist for the Red Cross in 1978. About five years later, she was offered a full-time job at the Melrose office, where she has worked since.

    Zwicker has worked in blood services and also helped support the military. She is currently working for the Ames Relief Fund, an endowed fund that works closely with private and public agencies to support the Red Cross mission in Melrose.


    “Thirty years is no easy feat,” said Jarrett Barrios,  CEO of the American Red Cross of Eastern Massachusetts.

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    “Laurice is a perfect example of someone who has dedicated herself to help fulfill our mission,” he said.

    At a recent ceremony, Zwicker was presented with a special Red Cross pin, flowers, and a certificate of appreciation. Mayor Robert Dolan of Melrose gave her a citation from the city and thanked her for her many years of service.

    The American Red Cross is a nonprofit that shelters, feeds, and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies more than 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid, and supports military members and their families.

    A DIFFERENT SUPER BOWL: The annual Souper Bowl of Caring fund-raiser at the Academy of Notre Dame  in Tyngsborough nearly doubled its food-drive collection goal for the Merrimack Valley Food Bank.  


    The drive, sponsored by the Junior Beta Club, collected 1,968 perishable items and more than $350 in one week, surpassing all previous drives.

    Led by guidance counselor Sherry Houle,  the Junior Beta Club is a service-oriented honor society for seventh- and eighth-grade students.

    “The group’s motto is to ‘Let us lead by serving others,’” said Houle. “These young men and women truly embraced that for this event with the way they got the whole school involved to give back to the community. It’s a credit to them and embodies the school’s mission.”

    The Souper Bowl of Caring is a national initiative where youth across the country work to fight hunger and poverty in their own communities around the time of the Super Bowl football game.

    In the weeks leading up to or on Super Bowl Sunday, young people take up a collection, asking for $1 or one item of food for people in need. They give 100 percent of the donations directly to a local hunger-relief charity of their choice.


    This is the academy’s fifth year participating in the event.

    The Merrimack Valley Food Bank  serves more than 500 families in Lowell, Billerica, and Tewksbury.

    For more information about the Academy of Notre Dame, visit For more on the food bank, visit

    WHO’S WHAT WHERE: Dr. Tamara Vesel, a nationally recognized specialist in pediatric palliative care, has joined Hospice of the North Shore & Greater Boston. Vesel previously was on the staff at Children’s Hospital Boston and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, where she was the director of the interdisciplinary pediatric palliative care fellowship program and a member of the pediatric advanced-care team. She will help the hospice further develop its pediatric programs. . . . Charlette M. Weeden has been promoted to senior vice president, chief financial officer, and treasurer at Haverhill Bank . She succeeds Patrick R. Dwyer, who retired after nearly 17 years with the bank. Weeden, of Haverhill, previously was vice president of finance. . . . Peter Steele  of Winchester has joined Project Bread, the state’s leading antihunger organization, as an administrative associate to the Child Nutrition Outreach Program. He will help increase participation in two federal child nutrition programs: the National School Breakfast Program and the Summer Food Service Program. The nutrition outreach program works to ensure that kids have the healthy food they need to grow and learn effectively. With a focus on low-income communities, the team works with school nutrition directors, superintendents, principals, and other school personnel across the state to promote the benefits of childhood nutrition programs.

    Items can be sent to