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Point Shore House Tour benefits restoration of Amesbury church

ALONG THE RIVER: In July 2010, the congregation of the Union Congregational Church in Amesbury realized that the church did not have the money needed to maintain its buildings, which were in disrepair.

The church council decided to sell the 1835 church — located at the confluence of the Merrimack River and the Powow River — to one of several interested developers. The buildings would be demolished to make way for condominiums.

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Then, a group of concerned neighbors stepped in, forming a nonprofit, the UCC Restoration and Preservation Alliance, dedicated to raising the money needed to restore the historic buildings.

In exchange for totally repairing and restoring the church, the congregation will grant a preservation restriction, which will ensure that the buildings will never be demolished.

To raise money, the alliance will hold its third annual Point Shore House Tour from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, featuring 13 homes along the Merrimack River.

Tickets are $25 and can be ordered online through today, and at the church and Lowell’s Boat Shop, both on Main Street, the day of the tour. Visit pointshorehousetour.com.

STEPPING UP: Three years ago, Matt Kidd of Melrose was a student volunteer for Reaching Out MBA, Inc., a national organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) graduate business students.

He went on to become treasurer of the all-volunteer organization.

Now, Kidd has been named to the new position of executive director, becoming the group’s first official staff member. He will remain based in Melrose.

With a master’s degree in business administration from New York University’s Stern School of Business, Kidd comes to the role with a background in product development for technology start-ups.

He also has served as a theatrical producer and communications consultant for commercial and nonprofit arts organizations.

“The Reaching Out MBA organization is much like a start-up company,” said Kidd. “The students who organize our events are like product developers for the LGBT MBA community. They plan, tweak, test, and launch programs each year and see immediately what works and what doesn’t. It’s now time to expand upon what the organization has built over the past 16 years and focus on connecting LGBT MBA students in different ways throughout the year.”

Reaching Out MBA, Inc. is a nonprofit that has a singular purpose to empower LGBT graduate business students to become professionals who will lead the way to equality in business education, in the workplace, and throughout society.

“We have reached an inflection point as an all-volunteer organization and hiring Matt is the first major step in our strategy for growth,” said Kevin Smith, president of the board of directors.

The annual Reaching Out LGBT MBA Conference, which is today through Sunday in New Orleans, provides an opportunity for LGBT students to network with Fortune 500 companies, business leaders, and recruiters from around the world.

Visit reachingoutmba.org

WHO’S WHAT WHERE: Middlesex sheriff’s Officer Robert Wright of Medford recently received a Medal of Valor at the Massachusetts Correctional Employee of the Year award ceremony. He was recognized for his heroic efforts in responding to a double shooting in June 2012. Wright, a trained emergency medical technician, was at a Cambridge park when he heard gunshots and — unarmed and off-duty — responded to the incident and performed CPR on one of the victims. He is also the recipient of a humanitarian award from the Middlesex sheriff’s office and a citizen service award from the city of Cambridge. . . . Ron B. Fillmore of Marblehead was among five people honored recently at the State House for dedication and outstanding performance as a personal care assistant. When he was manager of a store, Fillmore cared for others during his days off. After he was laid off from his job, he took on more clients, which led to a new career as a personal care assistant. Fillmore was nominated for the award by Pat DeVito of Melrose, who hired Fillmore to help care for her father. . . . Vicky Sherwood of Merrimac has been selected from a nationwide pool of candidates to receive a scholarship from the National Organization for Human Services. Sherwood graduated from Northern Essex Community College in May and is a full-time student in the social work program at Salem State University. The scholarship is awarded to only one student each year. In addition to school, Sherwood works part time at the Amesbury Senior Center and part time at the Emmaus Family Shelter in Haverhill. She has a daughter in college and a son in high school.

Items can be sent to wdkilleen@gmail.com.
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