Cranston Chatter

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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.

Holiday Craft and Vendor Fair

The St. Mary’s Feast Society Ladies Auxiliary will host its Holiday Craft and Vendor Fair on Saturday, Nov. 2, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 3, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The fair will be held at the St. Mary’s Civita Center, 15 Phenix Ave., Cranston. It will feature handmade items and crafts, a straw raffle, food and more. Interested vendors may email mmanzi.cranstonri@gmail.com for more information.

Pasta Fest

Defenders of Animals will hold a Pasta Fest on Friday, Oct. 18, from 6-8 p.m. at Edgewood Congregational Church, located at 1788 Broad St. in Cranston. Tickets cost $10 per person and there will be raffles. For tickets or more information, call Defenders of Animals at 461-1922.

Harvest Festival at Bain

Hugh B. Bain Middle School will host its annual Fall Festival on Saturday, Oct. 19, from noon to 3 p.m. at Tate Field at the Bain track, located at 135 Gansett Ave. The event will feature vendors, crafts, children’s activities, raffles, food and more. For additional information, contact jlowell@cpsed.net.

Mt. Pleasant High School 60th reunion

The class of 1959 from Mt. Pleasant High School will hold its 60th reunion on Saturday, Oct. 19, from 1-5 p.m. at Cucina Rustica, located at 555 Atwood Ave. in Cranston. For more information, email MarjeCatanzaro@gmail.com.

‘One Year Home’ author at library

The Cranston Public Library will host Marie Force, author of “One Year Home,” on Saturday, Oct. 19, from 2-4 p.m. at the Central Library, located at 140 Sockanosset Cross Road.

Take part in an informal chat with this New York Times best-selling author whose books have been published in more than a dozen languages. Force will share some of the highs and lows of her author journey, discuss her books, and take questions about anything participants wish to talk about when it comes to writing, publishing and reading.

The event is free and open to the public. Copies of the book will be for sale courtesy of Barrington Books. For more information, visit cranstonlibrary.org.

St. Xavier class of 1969 reunion

St. Xavier Academy’s class of 1969 will celebrate its 50th reunion on Sunday, Oct. 20. Classes who graduated in years ending in 9 and 4 will be honored as well. A Mass will be held at 11 a.m. at St. Timothy Church in Warwick followed by lunch at Quidnessett Country Club in North Kingstown. All graduates are invited to attend. For additional information, call Margaret Mathias at 232-9006.

Chopstick Auction

The annual Chopstick Auction at Kelley Gazzerro VFW Post 2812, located at 1418 Plainfield Pike in Cranston, will be held on Sunday, Oct. 20, from 12-4 p.m. For a cost of $20, attendees will be able to participate in more than 100 raffles. Proceeds will benefit nonprofit community organizations.

Passport Day at library

The Cranston Public Library will hold its annual Passport Day on Monday, Oct. 21. U.S. citizens planning international travel may apply for their passports at the Central Library, located at 140 Sockanosset Cross Road, between 4-8 p.m. Passport agents will be at the library during those hours to process applications for individuals and families and answer any questions about the passport application process. They will also be able to take passport photos for a fee of $10.

Applicants need to bring proof of U.S. citizenship, a valid photo ID (for adults), and personal checks or money orders. Detailed information on the documents required can be found at cranstonlibrary.org or at the Central Library. The Department of State also offers complete information about the passport application process at travel.state.gov.

Trunk or Treat

Woodridge Congregational Church at 546 Budlong Road will host its annual Trunk or Treat event on Friday, Oct. 25, from 6:30-8 p.m. The rain date is Oct. 26 during the same timeframe. This is a fun, free family event, and several cars will be on site with decorated trunks. Candy will be handed out.

Cranston Hall of Fame

The 39th induction ceremony for the Cranston Hall of Fame will be held Friday, Oct. 25 at the Alpine Country Club, located at 251 Pippin Orchard Road, Cranston.

This year's inductees are Michael Chalek, David Schiappa, Meri Kennedy, Steven Maurano and the late Leonard D’Errico.

Tickets cost $40 and must be purchased in advance. For tickets or more information, contact Deborah Greifer at dgreifer@aol.com.

Soil testing at farmers market

Fall is the best time to plant grass seed for next year. The soil is still warm from months of summer sun. This combination of warm soil, moderate day temperatures and cool evenings encourages fast germination and establishment of newly sown grass seed. To make sure your newly planted lawn gets the most nutrients from your soil, a soil pH test should be performed as well.

On Friday, Oct. 25, bring soil samples to the Goddard State Park Farmers Market, located at 345 Ives Road in Warwick. University of Rhode Island Master Gardeners will be at the market from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and can provide pH results and soil texture analysis as well as provide recommendations for the gradual improvement of your soil’s pH and health.

For instructions on taking a soil sample or information on other testing locations, visit uri.edu/mastergardener/soil-testing-service.

Pilgrim High School class of 1984 reunion

Pilgrim High School’s class of 1984 will host its 35th reunion on Saturday, Oct. 26, at 7 p.m. The reunion will be held at the Nelson Event Center at Lang’s Bowlarama, located at 225 Niantic Ave. in Cranston. For more information, contact the Reunion Committee at PHS84Reunion@yahoo.com.

Touch a Truck in Garden City

On Sunday, Oct. 27, from 9 a.m. to noon, the Cranston Rotary Club will host a Touch a Truck event at the Gazebo in Garden City Center. Children will have the opportunity to see and explore police, fire, military and construction vehicles and more. Children are encouraged to come dressed in their Halloween costumes. There will also be face painting and crafts. The suggested donation to support the work of the Rotary Club is $10 per family.

‘Alzheimer’s Disease: Finding Hope Through Research’

The Cranston Enrichment Center will host “Alzheimer’s Disease: Finding Hope Through Research” on Wednesday, Oct. 30, at 7 p.m.

Join representatives from the four Rhode Island Alzheimer’s research sites – the Alzheimer’s Disease & Memory Disorders Center at Rhode Island Hospital, the Memory & Aging Program Butler Hospital, the George & Ann Ryan Institute for Neuroscience University of Rhode Island and the R.I. Mood & Memory Research Institute – to learn more about their leading-edge research efforts to treat and end the disease. Refreshments will be served.

Space is limited. To register, call 780-6000.

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.

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.

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., from Oct. 5 to 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.

New theater program

The Cranston Parks and Recreation Department, in partnership with Living Arts Theater, will be offering an eight-week acting class for students in grades two through 10 at all experience levels. Through these process-based classes, students will learn acting techniques and build scene study and improv skills, as well as building ensemble-based collaboration skills.

The classes will be taught by the Living Art Summer Theater teaching artists and will culminate with an acting showcase for friends and families in Pastore Youth Center’s acting classroom.

The fall session will run on Saturdays at the Pastore Youth Center from Oct. 19 through Dec. 14. There will be no class on Nov. 30. Sessions run from 9 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. for grades two through five and from 10:30 a.m. to noon for grades six through 10.

The cost of the class is $110. There is a strict limit of 10 participants for each class. Once a class is filled, we will accept people on a wait list.

To register, please return the form on Parks and Recreation Department’s page on the city’s website, cranstonri.com, along with a check made payable to “City of Cranston” to the Parks and Recreation Department.

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?

Americans purchase nearly 600 million pounds of candy a year for Halloween. An incredible 90 million pounds of chocolate candy is sold during Halloween week, taking a strong lead compared to other holidays.

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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