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An ice bucket challenge, backpack deliveries, and an upcoming blood drive

Kathryne McKenna participates in the Ice Bucket Challenge with the help of state Representative Paul Tucker and State Senator Joan Lovely.Leonard Florence Center for Living

Kathryne McKenna, a Salem native diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in 2015, issued a challenge to two of her childhood friends — state Senator Joan Lovely and state Representative Paul Tucker — to participate in the Ice Bucket Challenge. On Aug. 24, the three took the challenge outside the Leonard Florence Center for Living in Chelsea, where McKenna lives. The center is equipped with technology that helps those with ALS live as independently as possible, including doors that can sense head or eye movements. All donations from the Ice Bucket Challenge in Chelsea will be split between the Leonard Florence Center for Living and Compassionate Care ALS. The Ice Bucket Challenge was inspired by Pete Frates of Beverly and has raised more than $220 million for ALS research since 2014.

Northern Essex Community College is holding an information session in Lawrence for its medical interpreter certificate program. Medical interpreters assist communication between medical professionals and patients or their families who speak different languages. Northern Essex’s program will be run in partnership with TransFluenciEDU, a company that offers training services. Those interested must be fluent in English and one other language. The session will be held Sept. 9 from 10 to 11 a.m. at Northern Essex’s Riverwalk campus.


Blueberry Hill Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center, a 132-bed facility in Beverly, launched a program last month that will better provide care to patients with cardiac and pulmonary diseases. The specialized rehabilitation program — led by Dr. Hans Jeppesen, who has worked in private practice primary care and at North Shore Medical Center in Salem — will include a cardiologist, a pulmonologist, a respiratory therapist, and a registered dietitian, as well as rehab staff and nurses. Blueberry Hill provides rehabilitation services for patients with pulmonary, orthopedic, cardiac, and stroke recovery needs.

SPUR Community, a volunteer group in Marblehead, will provide 633 area children with school supplies for the upcoming school year. Over 300 individuals and 14 businesses contributed to the total fund of nearly $40,000 used to buy new backpacks and school supplies. Volunteers packed the bags with supplies, healthy snacks, and a personalized note for each student. All extra supplies will be donated throughout the community to those in need.


The print edition of “History as it Happens: Citizen Bloggers in Lowell, Mass.”Handout

Richard Howe, Jr., founder of Lowell politics and history blog, has released a compilation of postings highlighting the citizen journalism he’s done over the years. “History as it Happens: Citizen Bloggers in Lowell, Mass.,” includings posts that span from 2007 to 2016 and cover local, national, and historical events, from a 2009 fire on Highland Street to the Boston Bruins 2011 Stanley Cup victory to a reflection on 1970s Lowell High School. The book is $20 and can be bought at

Stoneham Theatre has changed its name to the Greater Boston Stage Company to reflect its reach throughout the region north of Boston. The switch is meant to clear any confusion over the building’s origins as a movie theater. The company will not change is production schedule or management.

North Andover wine store The Wine ConneXtion will host a grand reopening from 1 to 5 p.m. on Sept. 9 to celebrate its renovation. The building now includes a tasting station with over 24 wines on tap. Barbecue will be be provided by Boston chef Andy Husbands, whose new cookbook will be on sale. The event is free; attendees must be over 21.


The Brentwood Rehabilitation & Healthcare Center in Danvers will hold a blood drive with the American Red Cross on from 2 to 7 p.m. Sept. 6. Those who donate will get a coupon for a free haircut at Sports Clips Haircuts. The drive will be held in the Brentwood’s dining room at 56 Liberty St. Those interested can schedule an appointment by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS, or online at

Laura Elyse King can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @lauraelyseking.