Cranston Chatter

Posted 4/17/19

By MERI R. KENNEDY `Be The Light' for MAE Organization MAE Organization For The Homeless, whose mission is to support and empower homeless and at-risk individuals through holistic healing programs for body, mind and spirit, will be hosting its fourth

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Cranston Chatter


'Be The Light’ for MAE Organization

MAE Organization For The Homeless, whose mission is to support and empower homeless and at-risk individuals through holistic healing programs for body, mind and spirit, will be hosting its fourth annual “Be The Light Gala” this month to benefit its programs and the opening of its Wellness Center.

The event will be held April 27 from 6-10 p.m. at the Park Theater, 848 Park Ave, Cranston. It will feature food from around the world, dancing and an auction with an array of items, including a trip to Portugal.

Tickets cost $80 and can be purchased on Eventbrite, by visiting or by calling founder and CEO Martinha Javid at 206-1451.

Free Community Easter Egg Hunt

Esperanza-Hope, a nonprofit group dedicated to inspiring a positive vision of the future among children in Rhode Island and the Dominican Republic, is partnering with Lights & Sirens International for a Free Community Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday, April 20, at Fay Memorial Field, 1 Dallas Ave., Cranston.

The event runs from 12-1:30 p.m. and will include a visit from the Easter Bunny, who will be available for photos. There will also be games, music, prizes, face painting, popcorn, cotton candy and free kids meal vouchers from Texas Roadhouse.

“Esperanza-Hope is thrilled to partner with Lights & Sirens International nonprofit organization for this free community event,” said Wilda Gutierrez, president of Esperanza-Hope.

Scholarships available for camp program

The Cranston Parks and Recreation Department, in cooperation with the Cranston City Council and OneCranston, is offering scholarships to registered participants in its Playground Program. The scholarships are funded through a $6,500 legislative grant sponsored by House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello and the Cranston’s delegation in the General Assembly.

The scholarship application period is open through May 3. Scholarship recipients will be notified sometime during the week of May 6-10. Applicants should complete and submit a registration form to the Parks and Recreation Department. Scholarships will not exceed $650 per child.

A link to the scholarship application can be found on the last page of the Playground Program registration form as well as on the Parks and Recreation website.

Applications will be judged by members of OneCranston’s Youth Opportunity Zone, which is comprised of residents, school district staff and nonprofits. The names of the applicants will be removed so that judging is unbiased and will be scored through a point system strictly on the content of the application.

Happening at the YMCA

The Cranston YMCA, located at 1225 Park Ave., will host a Families Play Free week from April 15-20. Families are welcome to give the YMCA a try and experience the perks of membership, as well as some specialty programs. Programs will include soccer, basketball nd open family swim. Children must be accompanied by a parent at all times, and kids care will be available. Activities will conclude April 20 with an Easter Egg Hunt and Splash program utilizing the pool. For more information, visit

Easter Bunny at Confreda Farms

Confreda Greenhouses & Farms, located at 2150 Scituate Ave., Cranston, will host its annual Easter Bunny visit on April 20 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. For more information, visit

Shred RI Day

On April 27 from 9 a..m.-noon, the Cranston Public Library’s Central Library, 140 Sockanosset Cross Road, will host its annual Shred Day event. Bring up to four boxes of paper and watch it disappear. Then, if you have more than four boxes, you may get in line again. The event is sponsored by Mariner Private Wealth Management in Garden City. For more information, visit

Cleanup at Meschanticut Park

Ward 5 City Councilman Chris Paplauskas will host the fourth annual Earth Day Cleanup at Meshanticut Park on Saturday, April 20. Participants will meet in the Cranston High School West parking lot at 10 a.m. Trash bags and gloves will be provided.

36th Almost May Breakfast at Woodridge

On Saturday, April 27, Woodridge Congregational United Church of Christ will host its 36th annual Almost May Breakfast in the church Fellowship Hall, which is handicap accessible and located at 20 Jackson Road off Budlong Road.

The all-you-can-eat menu will include eggs, frittatas, johnnycakes, waffles, ham, sausage, home fries, baked beans, strudel, muffins, assorted pastries, juice, milk, coffee and tea. Admission costs $9 for adults and $5 for children ages 3 to 10. Breakfast will be served from 8 to 11 a.m.

Tickets can be purchased at the door or in advance by calling Dan Blackford at 942-0662. Blackford can be reached Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Friday from 9 a.m. to noon. Tickets and more information are also available by emailing

Police support The Autism Project

Over the next four weeks, members of the Cranston Police Department will be wearing special patches commemorating Autism Awareness Month and raising funds to support The Autism Project. Patches are available for purchase at a cost of $10 each. The effort is being supported by the Office of Community Outreach with the assistance of Detective John Rocchio, an officer who has been a long-time advocate for The Autism Project. To purchase a patch, contact Capt. Vincent McAteer at 477-5127.

St. David’s Coffeehouse and Concert

On Saturday, April 27, from 7-9 p.m., St. David’s on-the-Hill Church, 200 Meshanticut Valley Parkway, Cranston, will host its first-ever Coffeehouse and Concert featuring The Gnomes.

The family-friendly event is open to all ages and will feature some of Rhode Island’s best-known musicians. The Gnomes fuse a dynamic folk-rock edge with original tunes and a wide-ranging repertoire that spans the globe.

Tickets cost $10 for those ages 12 and up and $5 for children under 12. Tickets will be available at St. David’s on-the-Hill and are non-refundable but are transferable. Tickets purchased online cost $12 for those ages 12 and up and $7 for children under 12. These prices reflect the online processing fee of $2 per ticket. Group rates are available for groups of five or more for $35. The online price for group rate purchases is $40.

For more information, email or visit

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day at the Cranston Police Department’s headquarters at 5 Garfield Ave. will be held on Saturday, April 27, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. National Take Back Day is a safe, convenient and responsible way to dispose of unused or expired prescription drugs. For more information, visit the federal Drug Enforcement Administration’s Tack Back Day website,

Senior walking club

The Cranston Enrichment Center is organizing a walking club with the Arthritis Foundation’s “Walk With Ease” program. Orientation for new participants will be held Tuesday, April 23, at 10 a.m. at the Cranston Enrichment Center, 1070 Cranston St. Participants will walk the track at Cranston High School West starting at 9 a.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. The program will run April 29 to June 7. To register, call 780-6000.

Donegan to host monthly community meeting

Join Ward 2 Councilman John P. Donegan on Thursday, April 25, at 6 p.m. for his monthly community meeting. Discussion will include what is coming before the City Council, what issues Donegan is working on, the city’s budget and any other issues constituents would like to discuss. The meeting will take place at Stadium School, 100 Crescent Ave, Cranston.

Cranston resident receives DAISY Award

Women & Infants Hospital recently presented Cranston resident Angela Pontikes, RN, a registered nurse in the Emergency Department, with the DAISY Award. The award is part of the DAISY Foundation’s program to recognize the above and beyond efforts performed by nurses every day.

In nominating Pontikes, Women & Infants assistant nurse manager Molly Hanlon, RN, wrote, “Every person who comes into contact with Angela during their visit leaves knowing that there is one more person in this world who genuinely cares about their well-being. While providing exceptional care to every patient, she manages to listen to the patient and their family in order to make sure all of their needs are met before they leave ... Once a patient has had Angela as their nurse, they will always remember her name.”

Pontikes has been a nurse at Women & Infants since March 1987.

The nonprofit DAISY Foundation is based in Glen Ellen, California, and was established by family members in memory of J. Patrick Barnes, who died at the age of 33 in late 1999 from complications of Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP), a little known but not uncommon auto-immune disease.

Pagano Foundation scholarships available

The Lt. Jim Pagano Foundation will be continuing its years-long tradition of awarding scholarships, providing $1,500 each to six seniors graduating from Cranston West, Cranston East and the NEL/CPS high schools.

The scholarships will be awarded to students planning to attend a bachelor’s program in the fall and who best represent the values of academic achievement, extracurricular activities and community service as well-rounded individuals with a drive to succeed. Scholarships will be presented to the honorees at each of the schools’ honor awards nights.

For more information or to apply for the scholarship, visit

Summer jobs at Parks & Rec

Summer job applications will be available to download from the Cranston Department of Parks & Recreation’s page on the city’s website,, through May 3. Applicants must be 16 years old by the time of employment and reside in Cranston. Applications from 15-year-olds will be accepted provided the applicant will turn 16 by June 24, when all programs and facilities open. Applications will be accepted for lifeguards, pool attendants, pool maintenance workers and playground counselors. Lifeguard candidates must provide certification or proof of class/re-certification if not yet certified.

Did you know?

Americans consume over 16 million jellybeans on Easter, enough to circle the globe more than three times. After Halloween, Easter is the top-selling candy holiday. More than 90 million chocolate Easter bunnies are manufactured each year. (Source: Easter Fun Facts)

To submit your news from the community, email Meri R. Kennedy at Photos in jpg format are accepted and news can range from 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


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