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Historical Society selling special holiday ornaments

The Cranston Historical Society is starting a new holiday tradition. Each year, it will be creating and selling a Christmas tree ornament celebrating a remarkable aspect of Cranston.

This year’s ornaments depict Sprague Mansion. Proceeds from the sale of the ornaments will support the society’s programs and preservation efforts.

To purchase a limited-edition ornament, visit cranstonhistoricalsociety.org or call the society at 944-9226.

Rotary Club food drive

In the spirit of giving, please consider sponsoring a Thanksgiving food basket for local Cranston families in need. The Cranston Rotary has set a goal of 100 baskets filled with a turkey, side dishes, milk and apple pie. Stop & Shop has partnered with the club for the drive.

For more information, visit rotaryclubofcranston.org. The cost to sponsor a basket is $25. To donate, checks payable to “Rotary Club of Cranston” may be mailed to P.O. Box 3723, Cranston, RI 02910.

Library Association chosen as bag program beneficiary

The Cranston Public Library Association has been selected as a beneficiary of the Stop & Shop Community Bag Program for the month of November.

The program, which launched in May 2019, is a reusable bag program that facilitates community support with the goal to make a difference in the communities where shoppers live and work.

The Cranston Public Library Association was selected as the November beneficiary of the program by store leadership at the Stop & Shop located at 200 Atwood Ave. in Cranston. The Cranston Public Library Association will receive a $1 donation every time the $2.50 reusable Community Bag is purchased at this location during November, unless otherwise directed by the customer through the Giving Tag attached to the bag.

For more information on the Stop & Shop Community Bag Program, visit stopandshop.bags4mycause.com.

Pet photos for the holidays

On Sunday, Nov. 17, Pet Supplies Plus in Garden City Center will host its annual Pet Photos event. Photos will be available with Santa, Rudolph or Frosty from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Photos will be taken by Gene Hutnak Photography.

Children and adults are also welcome in the photographs. The cost is $20 for two different photos with one character.

All proceeds will benefit A.D.O.P.T., or Animals Depend On People Too Inc., an organization that helps pets in need throughout Rhode Island.

Bowling for Animals

On Sunday, Nov. 17, Defenders of Animals will host a Bowling for Animals event at Town Hall Lanes, 1463 Atwood Ave., Johnston. The event will be held from 2-4 p.m. A donation of $20 per person will include two hours of bowling, a pizza and pitcher of soda for each lane, and bowling shoes. Call Defenders of Animals at 461-1922 for reservations. All proceeds will go directly toward medical care and spay/neuter costs for dogs and cats.

It’s Possible Basketball

The It’s Possible Basketball program is making its way to Cranston for the second consecutive year. The dates for the program are Nov. 17 through Dec. 22. This is a six-week program for children in grades five through eight. It meets weekly on Sundays from 3-4 p.m. at 155 Gansett Ave. in Cranston. Registration is available online at itspossiblebasketballri.com.

The mission of It’s Possible Basketball is to utilize the game of basketball as a tool to teach young people discipline that translates into the real world. It is an opportunity to give youth hope, confidence and motivation, but more importantly to teach them to have a heart of giving.

Opening reception at New Hope Art Gallery

New Hope Art Gallery’s Holiday/Winter Show will open on Tuesday, Nov. 19, with a reception from 4-7:30 p.m. The gallery is located at the Cranston Enrichment Center, 1070 Cranston St., Cranston.

The Holiday/Winter Show will feature more than 400 pieces of 2D and 3D art from 100 local, national, senior, special needs and student artists. The gallery is open to the public at no cost.

For more information, visit the gallery’s Facebook page.

Life of a Civil War soldier

On Tuesday, Nov. 19, at 7 p.m., the Cranston Historical Society will host an open meeting and present its Volunteer of the Year Award to Janet Ragno at the Sprague Mansion.

The guest speaker at the meeting will be Benjamin J. Frail, past commander of Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War and a member of the Ballou Camp No. 3. He is also the co-founder of American Civil War Ancestor, which is a genealogy research organization helping individuals connect to Civil War ancestors. He will speak about the everyday life of a Civil War Soldier.

Sprague Mansion is located at 1351 Cranston St. For more information, contact the Cranston Historical Society at 944-9226.

Gentian Garden Club

The Gentian Garden Club will host its first fall meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 19, at 7 p.m. The meeting will be held at the Scituate Community House, 546 West Greenville Road, North Scituate. The public is invited and encouraged to attend.

The speaker for the evening will be Julie Christina Blithewold of Christina Flower Co. She will also create a unique seasonal arrangement of locally sourced flowers to be raffled off to the club.

Thunderbolt Trivia Night

The Cranston High School East Music Department will host a Trivia Night on Friday, Nov. 22, at 6:30 p.m. at the Imperial Room, One Rhodes Plaza. Tickets cost $30 per person and include dinner, raffles and a silent auction. This is a 21-plus event, so no students are allowed. There is a limit of 200 seats. For more information, contact Krista Schmitz at krschmitz@hotmail.com or 440-4401.

Pet photos with Santa

Defenders of Animals will offer a chance for pets and their people to have pictures taken with Santa on Saturday, Nov. 23, from noon to 3 p.m. at Warwick Animal Hospital, located at 1950 Elmwood Ave., Warwick. Photos will be available at a cost of $10. Additionally, microchipping will be available for $25 and pet nail clipping will be offered for $10.

Winter survival backpacks

This November, Rhode Island Dream Center will be celebrating 11 years of distributing fully equipped “winter survival” backpacks to homeless and low-income members of the Rhode Island community. The backpacks will be distributed on Sunday, Nov. 24, at the center’s annual Thanksgiving Dinner held at Praise Tabernacle Church, 330 Park Ave., Cranston.

Many members of the state’s homeless population must carry all of their belongings with them throughout the day until they are allowed to re-enter local shelters for the evening. The Dream Center’s goal is to purchase 350-400 quality, waterproof backpacks and fill them with essential such as winter hats, scarves, gloves, socks, hand warmers, shampoo, razors, combs, lotion, powder, deodorant, rain ponchos and other hygiene hygiene products.

The Dream Center is asking for help from the community in the form of donated items or monetary donations. For more information or to participate, email ridcinfo@ridreamcenter.com or visit ridreamcenter.com.

Coat collection drive

A coat collection drive for Buy Nothing Day on Friday, Nov. 29, is underway. Last year, the drive collected more than 300 coats that were delivered to the State House for those less fortunate to pick up at no charge. Coats can be dropped off in plastic bags in the breezeway entrance of 46 Balsam Court in Cranston through Nov. 29 at 9 a.m.

Holiday Craft Fair and Luncheon

Oak Lawn Community Baptist Church, located at 229 Wilbur Ave. in Cranston, will host its Holiday Craft Fair and Luncheon on Saturday, Nov. 30, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. A fireside luncheon will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Start your holiday shopping and support local crafters, and also come for Christmas Treasures. For more information, or to reserve a table (space is limited), contact Laura at 439-1776 or scoops777@hotmail.com.

Woodridge Church to honor local artist

On Saturday, Dec. 7, Woodridge Congregational United Church of Christ, 546 Budlong Road, will be hosting a special afternoon event honoring the work of Rhode Island artist Maxwell Mays. The evening will feature a lecture by longtime personal friend Bill Comeau and an opportunity to purchase prints of Mays’s work. The lecture will begin at 2 p.m., followed by an open house. For more information, contact Comeau at RevDrBill1@gmail.net or 419-2848.

Academic notes

Congratulations to Cranston resident Mark Mulak, who has earned a master’s degree in management and leadership from Western Governors University.

Cranston High School class of 1960 reunion

Cranston High School’s class of 1960 plans to hold its 60th reunion on Sept. 12, 2020, at the Cranston Country Club. The cost will be $50 per person. For more information, contact Joan Farmanian Fratterelli at 349-3922.

CCAP holiday programs

Help your community by participating in the Comprehensive Community Action Program’s 2019 Holiday Food Drives and Adopt a Family/Giving Trees programs.

Even with a strong economy, thousands of Rhode Islanders are struggling to put food on the table. Last year, the Food Bank distributed over 230,000 pounds of food and over 80 percent was donated through community food drives.

Community food drives are extremely important to the CCAP Food Bank and help fill the shelves. Please join in lending a helping hand to those in our community by hosting a CCAP food drive this holiday season.

CCAP’s goal is to provide 1,000 holiday food baskets. Food items needed include frozen turkey, canned corn, canned green beans, canned yams, boxed mashed potatoes, boxed stuffing, canned turkey gravy, canned cranberry sauce, pie crust, canned pie filling and rolls. CCAP is also seeking donations of $40 cash or grocery gift cards, which can purchase a complete basket for a family of four.

All food and donations are due by Thursday, Nov. 14, during business hours, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., at 311 Doric Ave., Cranston. For more information, call 467-7013.

Toys and Tunes

Drop by Oak Lawn Branch Library, 230 Wilbur Ave., on Friday mornings from 10-11:30 a.m. this fall for Toys and Tunes, a play time program with music and stories. The program is open to ages 0-5 with a parent/caregiver. Registration is not required. For more information, visit cranstonlibrary.org.

Cookbook Club at the library

The Cranston Public Library’s Cookbook Club is a new book club for adults with a tasty twist. In this club, participants will read a different cookbook each month and come together to share the tasty recipes that lie inside their pages.

For more information or to sign up, contact Corrie at 943-9080, ext. 129, or calves@cranstonlibrary.org.

Pickleball this fall

The Cranston Parks and Recreation Department will be offering Pickleball at the Pastore Youth Center, located at 155 Gansett Ave., starting this fall. Games will be played Mondays and Wednesdays, noon to 2 p.m., through March 23, and Saturdays, 8 -11 a.m., through Nov. 16. If there is demand, additional time on Sunday afternoon/evening can be added once this session ends.

The fee is $3 per person per day. The program is open to Cranston residents and nonresidents. Three courts will be available to accommodate people of all skill levels.

For more information, visit the Parks and Recreation page on the city’s website, cranstonri.com.

Youth basketball program

Registration is open for the Saturday Morning Basketball Program, which runs Saturday mornings from Nov. 23 through March 14.

This is an instructional program designed to teach the fundamentals of basketball. It is not a league and no teams will be formed.

The program will be held at the following times and locations:

Pastore Youth Center: grades one and two, 9-10 a.m.; kindergarten through grade one, 10:30-11:45 a.m.

Western Hills Middle School: grades three through five, 9-10:30 a.m.; grades six through eight, 10:30 a.m. to noon.

Park View Middle School: grades three through five, 8-9:30 a.m.; grade six, 9:30-11 a.m.

The registration fee is $25 per child. Registration forms are available for download on the Parks and Recreation Department’s page on the city’s website, cranstonri.com. Forms may be returned to the department’s office at the Pastore Youth Center.

Delivery of library books

The Cranston Public Library will deliver any item that has a three-week loan period. Patrons never pay a late fee or fine because the library picks up all the materials within that three-week time frame.

Volunteers deliver books in regular or large print, as well as audiobooks, magazines, music CDs and documentary DVDs, to any homebound Cranston resident living in their own home. Due to concerns about chain of custody, the library is unable to deliver to nursing homes or assisted living facilities. To register or to become a volunteer driver, contact Karen McGrath at 781-6116 or karenmcgrath@cranstonlibrary.org.

Caregiver volunteers needed

Volunteers are being sought to provide respite services for homebound seniors. Services include providing companionship, running errands and providing transportation to medical appointments.

If you are interested in becoming an RSVP caregiver volunteer, contact Karen at 780-6159 for an interview. Volunteers must be 55 years of age or older and a BCI check is required. A mileage reimbursement is provided to cover the cost to travel.

St. David’s hall rentals

St. David’s on-the-Hill Episcopal Church, located at 200 Meshanticut Valley Parkway in Cranston, offers affordable rates to rent its upper and lower halls for events of all kinds. For more information, visit stdavidsonthehill.net/hall-rental or contact the church office Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., at 942-4368.

Family health services at CCAP

Tired of ineffective yet expensive medical care? Check out Family Health Services at the Comprehensive Community Action Program. CCAP offers affordable, 24/7, professional family health and dentistry services. The experienced staff includes physicians, nurse practitioners and other health care professionals who are caring, compassionate and highly skilled. New patients are welcome. For more information, call 384-6007.

Did you know?

George Washington and a few other leaders called for a day of Thanksgiving, but it did not become a national holiday until 1863. During the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln called for a national observance of Thanksgiving. He proclaimed Thanksgiving a national holiday on Oct. 3, 1863. (Source: Thanksgiving Fun Facts)

To submit your news from the community, email Meri R. Kennedy at CranstonChatter@aol.com. Photos in jpg format are accepted and news can include community events, promotions, academic news and nonprofit events. Email today and see your news in our column in the Cranston Herald. Please include a daytime telephone number in case we require any further information. Be sure to check out our website at cranstononline.com.

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