Cranston Chatter

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It's Tax Time at CCAP

CCAP's VITA Preparation Assistance Program is a free Tax Assistance service for low-income workers.

CCAP serves as a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) site from Jan. 25 through April 17. They provide free tax preparation for individuals and families earning less than $54,000.

Last year, CCAP's VITA program filed over 1000 federal tax returns, helping Rhode Island families receive $2 million in refunds without any cost. Our volunteers are trained and certified by the IRS and will help you file your federal and state income taxes. IRS e-file is the most accurate, safest and fastest way to file your tax return. You can get your refund in as little as 10 days.

CCAP's tax preparation services are offered at the Cranston location: 311 Doric Avenue, Cranston, R.I. (lower level). Call them today for an appointment at 467-7013. They will provide you with a list of paperwork to bring.

Free Yoga for breast cancer survivors

The Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Foundation and Yoga at Studio Exhale offers yoga for breast cancer survivors every Sunday from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

Yoga at Studio Exhale, 1263 Oaklawn Ave., Cranston is the place to be to explore slow flow, gentle movement to create space in the body and eliminate stress. This class is designed to restore the nervous system and help release deeply held tensions from the body and mind.

Visit GloriaGemma.org for more details.

Annual Irish & Italian dinner

On March 11, Woodridge Congregational United Church of Christ, located at 546 Budlong Road, will celebrate the spirit of St. Patrick and St. Joseph’s Day with an “All You Can Eat” buffet. This family event features Irish and Italian food and the menu includes corned beef, cabbage, pasta, sausage, meatballs and more. Menu also includes coffee & specialty desserts.

The cost is $12 for adults and $5 for children (ages 3 to 12). You may also select from one of the two seatings: 4:30 to 6 p.m. and 6:30 to 8 p.m.

Reservations required and you may email the church at woodridgechurch@verizon.net or call 942-0662.

Requests for proposals from Lt. Jim Pagano Foundation

The Lt. Jim Pagano Foundation will be awarding a total of $22,500 to organizations that support academic enrichment and to Cranston students entering college. The Foundation is currently accepting applications from worthy programs, including after-school activities or summer camps, and will continue the tradition of awarding scholarships to five high school seniors planning to attend college in the Fall.

Over the past few years they have worked in partnership with the Cranston Public Schools in an after-school STEM robotics program for 6th grade students, and it was widely received.

Grant guidelines and the official application can be found at the Lt. Jim Pagano website at www.jimpaganofoundation.com/ourwork, and the deadline for proposals is March 20. Final awards will be granted on April 20.

Again, this year, the Foundation will be awarding college scholarships to graduating seniors at CHSW, CHSE and the NEL/CPS schools. There will be five recipients each who will receive an amount of $1,500. High school seniors can access the scholarship guidelines and application through their guidance counselors.

The Lt. Jim Pagano Foundation makes charitable grants to individuals, groups and/or organizations that improve the quality of life for children, and foster character building and a strong foundation for their future. By funding these programs, the Foundation hopes to develop future heroes and leaders who will in turn do the same in their communities.

St. Pat/St. Joe Celebration in Cranston

Kelley-Gazzerro VFW Hall, located at 1418 Plainfield St., Cranston will hold a St. Patrick/St. Joseph Celebration on March 18 at 7 p.m.

In addition to being served the following Italian favorites: Salad, Pasta, Veal & Peas, Sausage & Peppers Coffee and Zeppole you will also enjoy Boiled Dinner.

Entertainment by Vini Ames during the event and tickets are $25 per person.

Reservations must be made by March 15. Tickets will not be sold at the door. For reservations, call 401-942-9500. Tickets can also be purchased at the Kelley-Gazzerro VFW Hall.

Stretch Strong to the Core

Tamburini Golf Performance will present “Stretch Strong to the Core” on Sundays at 10 a.m. at Tamburini Golf Performance Center, 100 Federal Way in Johnston.  Flexibility, mobility, strength, endurance and balance will all be taught during “Stretch Strong to the Core” will improve your total body flexibility, address mobility, strengthen your core and balance to enhance your overall functional fitness and golf performance.

Consistent stretching will allow you to have a more efficient swing, maximize on spinal rotation, produce more power, reach a greater distance with each drive and most importantly minimize the risk of injury. All levels are welcome, dress in comfortable clothing, bring a mat and water bottle with you. Space is limited, please reserve your spot with Lisa, 413-2526 or at Tamburini.golf@gmail.com and for more info on training packages visit lisatamburini.com. A health history and waiver form must be completed.

Winners at the Western Cranston Garden Club

At their February meeting, The Western Cranston Garden Club announced the winners of the Annual Christmas Door Decorating Display. Congratulations to Pat Yearwood, 1st Place; Cheryl Celeste, 2nd Place, Clara Ruzzo, 3rd Place and Paula Munko, Honorable Mention. The doors were judged by Vera Bowen and Ann Huntoon; Master Judges of the Rhode Island Federation of Garden Clubs.

Academic Decathlon seeks volunteers

Rhode Island Academic Decathlon is actively recruiting volunteers for their Sunday, March 12, state competition. Volunteers evaluate the speech and interview skills of high school students or assist with exams and event management. The competition is hosted by CCRI in Warwick, and most volunteers serve from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Training is provided on the day of the event.

Twenty-five teams from high schools in Cranston, Cumberland, East Greenwich, Johnston, Providence, North Kingstown, North Providence, South Kingstown, Warwick and Westerly are competing. For more information on the RI Academic Decathlon, visit www.acdec.net or email Mary at mary.johnson@acdec.net.

At the Senior Center

Chronic Disease Self-Management Workshop: “Living Well Rhode Island” is a six-week series beginning Feb. 24 and ending March 31 and held on Fridays from 9 to 11:30 a.m. This free six-week program is for people living with chronic conditions including, but not limited to arthritis, cancer, chronic pain, diabetes, heart disease, COPD to name just a few. Topics include dealing with pain; fatigue and frustration; improving strength; flexibility and endurance; medications and nutrition; making informed decisions; and setting goals to improve health and lifestyle.  Upon successfully completing this program each participant will receive a workbook, a relaxation CD and a gift certificate. Space is limited. Register now by calling 780-6000.

Cyber – Seniors – Connecting Generations are held on Tuesdays from 9 to 11:30 a.m. and Wednesdays from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. This is a URI Engaging Generations Program. Do you have questions about how to use or best utilize your smart phone? Laptop? Tablet? Computers?  Email? Storing photos? Facebook? Etc. URI students are available to meet with you on a one-to-one basis to go over your concerns and answer your technology questions. You may drop by or call for an appointment at 780-6000.

The Diabetes Support Group, Diabetes & Depression, a URI Pharmacy Outreach Program, will be held on March 1 at 10 a.m. The Facilitator will be CVS Mario Casinelli. For those with diabetes, there are many causes of depression: being diagnosed, learning how to take care of the disease, changing the diet, all the associated costs that come with the equipment as well as the medications. They will look at depression through your eyes and discuss how it can be treated.

City Real Estate Tax Freeze will be held on March 2 at 10 a.m. with presenter Tricia Cipriano, Cranston Tax Assessor’s Office. Are you eligible to have your City Real Estate Taxes frozen?  Are you eligible for any of the City Tax exemptions?  If you do not know the answer to these questions be sure to join us on March 2.

Basic Computer Classes will be six sessions to be held on Tuesdays & Thursdays, beginning March 7 through March 23. Fee is $25 and you can register by calling 780-6216.

Constituent Coffee cancelled this month

State Rep. Robert Lancia and his wife, Maryann, had to cancel their end-of-the-month “Constituent Coffees.” Robert and Maryann are instead headed to the 12th Annual California Gold Star Parents Honor and Remembrance weekend in San Francisco. The gatherings are held from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. at Panera Bread in Cranston on the last Saturday each month, and are meant as a forum to discuss local issues over coffee. The March meeting is still being held. For more information, call 944-3315.

Did You Know?

New Orleans held its first Mardi Gras parade in 1837, and 20 years later event organizers added floats. But its origins go all the way back to ancient Rome, where pagans threw festivals to honor deities called Lupercalia and Saturnalia. When the Christians arrived in Rome, they participated and then changed the celebrations to be more of an indulgent feast; a chance to party before starting their disciplined Lenten period, according to The History Channel. It was termed carnevale, which translates to "a goodbye to meat," as participants ate well before fasting. (Source: Mardi Gras Fun Facts)

To submit your news from the community, e-mail Meri R. Kennedy at CranstonChatter@aol.com. Photos in .jpg format are accepted and news can range from community events, promotions, academic news and non-profit events. E-mail 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 www.cranstononline.com.

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