Cranston Chatter

Posted 10/7/20

By MERI R. KENNEDY Library's Halloween costume contest Calling all ComicCon attendees, trick-or-treaters, quarantine crafters, and Halloween hopefuls! It's time to get dressed up and enter the Cranston Public Library Costume Contest. From now until Oct.

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Cranston Chatter


Library’s Halloween costume contest

Calling all ComicCon attendees, trick-or-treaters, quarantine crafters, and Halloween hopefuls! It’s time to get dressed up and enter the Cranston Public Library Costume Contest.

From now until Oct. 31, the library will be taking photo submissions for the contest in multiple brackets, including babies, kids, teens, and group/family. Prizes will be awarded to the winner in each category.

Looking for inspiration? Follow along on the library’s YouTube channel as Oaklawn Branch librarian Tayla walks you through creating a simple but engaging costume without breaking the bank. This four-part video series will be released on Tuesdays throughout October.

For full rules and to enter the contest, visit For any questions, contact Alyssa, teen librarian, at

Children’s Wishes Rainbow Run

Please join in for the sixth annual Children’s Wishes Rainbow Run on Saturday, Oct. 24, at Goddard Memorial State Park in Warwick. This year, as part of their Family Fitness Series – which includes the Amazing Wish Race the very next day – organizers are doing a 5K run/walk and will have a kids’ track, too. Check-in starts in front of the carousel building by the beach at 8 a.m. and the run will begin at 9:15 a.m. The kids’ track will start at 9:25 a.m.

This is a free event and there is a suggested donation that can be made on Facebook or on the day of the run. To donate, visit

The Rainbow Run has a Halloween theme this year. Try out your Halloween costume early and decorate your mask for a chance to win a prize for best mask and best costume. Masks must be worn, so you might as well get creative and have some fun. Prizes will be awarded before the 9:15 a.m. start.

Note that there are COVID plans in place for each of the outdoor events. For a copy of the plans or more information, contact the Children’s Wishes office at 921-1300.

NAMI-RI provides support for mental health challenges

The Rhode Island local chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness is now offering presentations for schools, in addition to our family support groups and family education programs. All programs are free and virtual. To register or for more information, call NAMI-RI at 401-331-3060 or email

CCAP taking it outside

CCAP has been awarded a $5,000 grant through the state’s “Take It Outside” initiative to support the outdoor distribution service at its Food Bank.

CCAP’s Food Bank serves over 800 families each month, and an unprecedented number of Cranston neighbors are turning to the organization for support during the pandemic.

CCAP needs help filling the Food Bank’s shelves. Please consider donating nonperishable food, paper goods and cleaning products any weekday (except holidays) from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Food Bank, located at 311 Doric Ave. in Cranston.

The most needed nonperishable food items include peanut butter, whole wheat pasta, tuna, brown rice, canned and dried beans, boxed macaroni and cheese, canned soups and stews, granola bars, canned fruits and vegetables, tomato sauce, breakfast cereals and extra virgin olive oil. Clients are also in need of paper goods and cleaning products.

For more information, call 401-467-7013.

Holiday Meal Program

The Cranston Senior Enrichment Center is already starting to prepare for the Holiday Meal Program for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Volunteers will prepare and deliver Thanksgiving and Christmas meals to any Cranston senior who will be alone for the holidays. If you would like to volunteer to deliver meals, would like a meal or know of someone who would, please contact the center’s receptionist at 780-6000.

The Thanksgiving meal registration deadline is Friday, Nov. 13, and Christmas meal deadline is Friday, Dec. 11. For additional information, visit

Library launches ‘School Tools’

Did you know you can check out a globe, a microscope, a roll-up keyboard, a play cash register, and a programmable robot from the Cranston Public Library? The library is building a new collection of “School Tools” to increase the hands-on learning opportunities for Cranston youth.

Each toolkit contains a fun object for learning and play, plus any necessary accessories or instructions, and comes in a clear plastic carrying case with a handle. There are School Tools for arts, life skills, literacy, science, math, and social studies. Parents can browse the collection online and check out the toolkits from the Children’s Room of the Central Library. They go out for three weeks, just like most books.

For more information, contact the library at 943-9080 or visit

Troop 22 looking for Scouts

Boy Scout Troop 22 Cranston is looking for new Scouts. Following all the BSA and state of Rhode Island safety protocols, the troop is meeting, hiking and camping. It has a full schedule of activities planned for the 2020-21 program year. Troop 22 is affiliated with girls’ Troop 13-G, which is also looking for new members. Both units meet at the Edgewood Congregational Church, 1788 Broad St., at 7 p.m. on most Thursdays.

The program is for youth ages 11 to 18. For younger children, Troop 22 also has a relationship with Cub Scout Pack 2 Cranston. Anyone interested is invited to call Paul Kelley at 401-595-6726 for more information.

NAMI RI provides help for mental health challenges

The mission of the Rhode Island chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI Rhode Island) is to offer education, resources and support to all whose lives are touched by mental illness; to advocate at every level to ensure the rights and dignity of those with mental illness; and to promote research in the science and treatment of mental illness.

Currently, the organization is offering free and virtual programs for schools, families and consumers. For more information on NAMI RI and its programs and services, visit, call 331-3060 or email

Save the date: NAMIWalks Rhode Island, now a virtual event, is taking place on Oct. 10. For more information, follow NAMI RI on social media, email or give a call.

Confreda’s Corn MAiZE, hayrides, pumpkin patch

Due to state mandates on capacity and operations, 2020 at Confreda Farms will be quite different from previous years. But the fall fun will continue.

There will be two options for admission to activities this year. For $10, visitors can purchase a ticket to access the hayride and Corn MAiZE, which has a “Thank You Essential Workers” design this year. Each ticket will be sold as a two-hour time block. This will provide visitors with plenty of time to navigate the five-acre maze and take as many photos as they would like. Confreda’s classic pick-your-own pumpkin patch is still located next to the Corn MAiZE. Pumpkins are an additional fee and are sold by the pound or the each.

The second option is Confreda’s new pumpkin patch. This year, due to capacity limitations, the farm can only offer hayrides for the Corn MAiZE. For those visitors who still want to be able to pick their own pumpkin, Confreda has created a new pumpkin patch that is conveniently located within walking distance. There will be no admission fee to enter the new pumpkin patch and pumpkins are sold by the pound or by the each.

Due to capacity limitations and safety standards, in 2020 Confreda Farms will not be offering any of the Fun Park Amusement Rides, games or the annual Animal Barnyard.

Due to capacity restraints for the hayride, Corn MAiZE and pumpkin patch, Confreda Farms will be limiting the number of tickets sold to ensure everyone has enough space to have a fun and safe experience.

The best time for a visit is earlier or later in the season. The vast majority of people want to the first and second week of October, but unfortunately, these time slots will sell very quickly.

Tickets this year can be purchased online and at the door. There will be a very limited amount of tickets available at the door, so visitors are asked to please purchase tickets in advance. Online tickets will be available later in the season.

The MAiZE is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., beginning this weekend until Oct. 31. Pick-your-own pumpkin hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

To learn more, follow Confreda Greenhouses & Farms on Facebook or visit

PawsWatch Cats Alive! online auction

PawsWatch will hold its 20th annual CatsAlive! Auction to benefit efforts to spay/neuter and provide vaccinations for community feral cats in Rhode Island. Due to the pandemic, the in-person CatsAlive! Gala scheduled for 2020 has been canceled. The organization is ready to move forward with its new CatsAlive! online auction, which runs from Oct. 16 through Nov. 14.

An online auction is an ideal way to practice social distancing, have a little fun and support a great cause while the community is going through this difficult time. All donated items that would have been featured in the silent auction will be included in the online auction. PawsWatch will provide updates on where and when items can be picked up locally, as the information becomes available.

As always, funds raised from the auction will help PawsWatch with the cost of the “Trap, Neuter, Return, Monitor” program, which is the humane, effective approach to stabilize feral cat populations. Feral cats are humanely trapped, spayed or neutered, vaccinated, and ear tipped (the universal symbol of a neutered and vaccinated cat), and then returned to their outdoor home. Socialized cats and kittens are adopted into homes. All animals adopted are spayed or neutered. Funds raised also assist with keeping the Community Cat Center guests healthy, warm and safe until their adoption into a loving, forever home.

Please email Martine Ireland at if you are interested in becoming a sponsor.

For more than 20 years, PawsWatch has been actively helping communities address the free-roaming cat population. To learn more, visit or follow the “PawsWatch” or “PawsWatch at the Community Cat Center” Facebook pages.

CCAP’s Learn to Earn teacher assistant training program

CCAP has announced that its free Learn To Earn teacher assistant training program will be held Nov. 30 through Dec. 10. The class will run for two weeks, with sessions held Monday through Thursday, noon to 3 p.m. The program is open to people between the ages of 18 and 24 with a high school diploma or GED and clean BCI. For more information, call 562-8325.

Medicare open enrollment

Medicare health and drug plans make changes each year to things like cost, coverage, and providers and pharmacies in their networks. Oct. 15 to Dec. 7 is when all Medicare members can change Medicare health plans and prescription drug coverage to better meet their needs for the following year.

Information for 2021 plans will be available beginning in October. To schedule an appointment, contact the Cranston Senior Enrichment Center’s Social Services Division – Jennifer at 780-6254, Amy at 780-6200, or Matt at 780-6255.

Mindful Mondays

Mindful Monday is a weekly drop-in meditation group open to all teens 13 to 18 years old. Brief meditations are facilitated by CCAP’s Community Response Program team members.

The program will be held on Mondays, on Zoom, from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. beginning on Oct. 5.

For more information, contact Jennifer Pelkey at or 318-2555.

Transportation volunteers for seniors

Transportation volunteers are needed for the Cranston RSVP program. RSVP is seeking volunteers to deliver brown bag lunches to seniors, run errands for seniors and transport Cranston homebound seniors to medical appointments.

Anyone interested in becoming an RSVP volunteer can contact Karen at 780-6159 for an interview. You must be 55 years of age or older to volunteer and a BCI is required. A mileage reimbursement is given to cover travel costs.

New location for three city departments

The city’s Building & Inspections, Engineering, and Community Development departments are now located at 35 Sockanosset Cross Road, Unit 6. They are no longer based at the Hamilton Building on Cranston Street. If you need their services, please visit the new location during regular city business hours. For more information, visit

Study seeking seniors

The Alzheimer’s Disease & Memory Disorders Center at Rhode Island Hospital is involved in The Ahead Study, which is testing an investigational treatment aimed at delaying memory decline in people before the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease are apparent.

The study is for men and women aged 55-80 who are not experiencing any memory or thinking problems but who may be at an increased risk of memory loss associated with Alzheimer’s disease. This is the first Alzheimer’s disease prevention trial to enroll people as young as 55 years old. If you or someone you know is interested in learning more, please call 606-4664.

Free dental assistant training

CCAP is excited to announce a new, free dental assistant training program. This 13-week program will be run using a hybrid model, with classroom work using Zoom on Mondays and Wednesdays and hands on clinical sessions Fridays and Saturday mornings at CCAP’s Coventry dental office.

Participants must live in Rhode Island, be 18-24 years old, and have a clean BCI and a high school diploma or GED. Call the Cranston Youth Center at 562-8325 today.

CCAP Emergency Housing Assistance

The Comprehensive Community Action Program’s Emergency Housing Assistance program assists individuals/families living in Cranston, Coventry, Scituate and Foster with back rent, security deposits, mortgage assistance, late fees associated with back rent or mortgage, moving costs and utilities. Funding is limited. For more information, call CCAP at 467-7013 or visit

Neighbors helping neighbors

Barbara and Kevin Dwares of Cranston are once again collecting individually wrapped desserts such as brownies, cookies, banana breads, cookie bars, etc., to be delivered to Help The Homeless RI on Saturday afternoons. The donations are needed by noon on Fridays. Please drop them off at 46 Balsam Court in Garden City. Please put them in the plastic container located near the breezeway. The bin will be outside every Wednesday through Friday.

CCAP launches new online benefits application platform

As part of its continuous effort to provide the best possible service, the Comprehensive Community Action Program, or CCAP, has announced the launch of its new online application platform, which can be found at

With a goal of expanding access to CCAP social services programs, the application portal will improve clients’ access to up-to-date housing and utility assistance program information, allow clients to upload documents and electronically sign applications and make it easy to access benefits.

CCAP is one of Rhode Island’s largest organizations dedicated solely to fighting the war on poverty. For a full list of CCAP programs and services, visit

For questions about the new portal, email or call 467-7013.

Pawtuxet Village Farmers Market

The Pawtuxet Village Farmers Market is open every Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon until late October. It is held at 60 Rhodes Place in Cranston.

The market’s organizers have made some changes to keep vendors and patrons safe. All foot traffic is now one-way from start to finish. Stands are more than 8 feet apart to create social distancing space and cones clearly mark where to stand. Masks must be worn by all visitors and vendors, and hand-washing stations can be found throughout the market. Visitors are additionally encouraged to keep their pets at home.

Parking for the market is in the upper parking lot, and no eating is permitted while shopping at the market.

For more information, visit www.

Trash and yard waste

Trash pick-up is continuing a normal schedule, while yard waste pick-up will be on residents’ usual trash day until mid-December. For more information, visit

Did you know?

Halloween all started as a pre-Christian Celtic festival called Samhain (which means “summer’s end”) held around the first of November. It celebrated the final day of the harvest and the crossing of spirits over into the other world. People in Ireland, the United Kingdom and Northern France would ward off ghosts by lighting sacrificial bonfires, and – you guessed it – wearing costumes.

To submit your news from the community, email Meri R. Kennedy at 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.

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