Credit union searches for the biggest hearts in the Merrimack Valley

05noinformer - Workers at the Seabrook, NH branch of the Merrimack Valley Credit Union pose with the traveling Biggest Heart. (Handout)
Merrimack Valley Credit Union workers with the traveling Biggest Heart.

The Merrimack Valley Credit Union launched a campaign this month to recognize those who give back to their communities. Biggest Hearts allows individuals to nominate those who fall into one of eight categories: coach, teacher, veteran, caregiver, first responder, home chef, community leader, and mentor of the arts. Nominations can be made on, and the winners — who will receive prizes specific to their category and a donation of $500 to a charity of their choice — will be announced in May.

The Immigrant Learning Center, a nonprofit focused on helping immigrants thrive in the Greater Boston area, celebrated its 25th anniversary on Oct. 28. The Malden-based organization hosted over 200 people at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in Cambridge with food and live music. Malden Mayor Gary Christenson presented the center’s founder Diane Portnoy, with a key to the city. Along with regular English classes, the center conducts and distributed research done in partnership with George Mason University on the economic contribution of immigrants. It helps more than 900 immigrants and refugees a year.

Take a run through the Reading Town Forest to benefit theProtection of Animals in Wakefield Society on Nov. 11. The PAWS 4K Fun Run/Walk, as well as the free kids’ sprint Kitty Kat Dash, will raise funds for medical and care needs for homeless cats in the area. The event will kick off at 8:30 a.m. at the Wood End School entrance to the forest, 85 Sunset Rock Lane. Register at


Next fall, Endicott College in Beverly will welcome the first class of general engineering majors at the four-year college. The campus is equipped with teaching labs, computer labs, physics and robotics labs, and an incubator space for tech-field startups. Students will also get hands-on experience through the school’s internship requirements. Track options will include computer engineering, energy and the environment, mechanical engineering, and robotics.

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Tickets are available for MassINC’s fifth annual Gateway Cities Innovation Institute Summit and Awards on Nov. 15, focused on helping cities that have been designated as economic challenged become regional economic hubs. The event will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at The Wood Mill at Riverwalk in Lawrence. This year’s theme is “Building Vibrant Places,” and the keynote speaker, Mark Davy, founder of Futurecity, will talk about his experience in branding. The summit is hosted by the Massachusetts Institute for a New Commonwealth, a public policy think tank located in Boston. Tickets can be purchased at

People living with cancer and their loved ones can find out about therapeutic resources from acupuncture to hypnosis to yoga in suburbs north of Boston in the North of Boston Cancer Resource brochure and online resource guide, which is scheduled to launch in January. These treatments, supplemented with conventional care treatments, improve the quality of life of patients by attending to the psychological impacts of being ill, according to North of Boston Cancer Resource. The organization, based in Newburyport, is made up of health care experts. They put together the guide with funding from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Lahey Hospital & Medical Center, Montbleau & Associates, Inc., and the Swasey Foundation.

Get in the holiday spirit on Saturday, Nov. 11, by visiting the annual Holiday Crafters Fair and Vendors Expo at All Saints Episcopal Church in Danvers. The event, which runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., will feature 30 crafters and vendors, a silent auction room, a bake sale, and a Christmas boutique. Lunch items will be available to purchase, and visitors can enter raffles for a homemade quilt and a holiday gift basket. The church is located at 46 Cherry St.

The Protection of Animals in Wakefield Society rescues homeless cats in the area.

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