Cranston Chatter

Posted 10/14/20

By MERI R. KENNEDY Drive-thru Trunk or Treat The Cranston Parks and Recreation Department is planning a Halloween Drive-thru Trunk or Treat event on Saturday, Oct. 31, from 2 to 4 p.m. The event will be held at the Cranston Stadium parking lot. If you

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Cranston Chatter


Drive-thru Trunk or Treat

The Cranston Parks and Recreation Department is planning a Halloween Drive-thru Trunk or Treat event on Saturday, Oct. 31, from 2 to 4 p.m. The event will be held at the Cranston Stadium parking lot.

If you are interested in setting up your trunk and passing out candy, please email Regina Lynch at

COVID-19 rules will apply to volunteers and participants driving through. Volunteers handing out candy would be required to wear a mask at all times, use gloves when distributing candy and complete a health screening form provided by the Parks and Recreation Department prior to event. Organizers also need a few volunteers to help guide traffic flow, which will be in one direction.

Volunteers will be directed to set their vehicles up in every third parking spot. Flow of traffic through the Stadium parking lot will be one way. All persons (adults and children) in the vehicles coming through to receive candy will be offered a mask if they do not have one, and will stay in their vehicle throughout.

A car length will be maintained between each vehicle. As the cars proceed from trunk to trunk, the children will hold their candy receptacle out the car window. Those giving out candy will use their gloved hand to put candy into the child’s receptacle. “Trunks” will be set up on both sides of the path, so traffic will be slow.

For each car coming through the drive-thru, one name and phone number per vehicle will be collected. These forms and contact information will be kept for contact tracing only.

Free flu clinics

The Cranston Health Equity Zone and CCAP Family Health Services will be offering free flu clinics in the community. Getting a flu shot is an easy way to help protect you and your family.

Flu shots will be offered at the following times and locations:

Tuesday, Oct. 20, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Cranston YMCA, located at 1225 Park Ave.

Saturday, Oct. 24, from 10 a.m. to noon at CCAP Family Health Services, located at 1090 Cranston St.

Tuesday, Oct. 27, from 4 to 6 p.m. at Cranston Stadium, located at 20 Jordan Ave.

Saturday, Nov. 7, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Cranston High School East, located at 899 Park Ave.

RI Dream Center needs your help

The RI Dream Center helps meet the needs of people dealing with poverty throughout Rhode Island, including through food assistance, clothing, education and other services.

Since the pandemic began, homelessness numbers have dramatically risen in our state. The need is so great and we need to continue to help as many people as possible.

The Dream Center will be purchasing 400 high-quality, waterproof backpacks and accepting donations to fill them. These filled backpacks will be passed out on the State House lawn on the morning of Saturday, Nov. 21. The winter daily essentials that will fill the backpacks include toothbrushes, hand sanitizer, hand and feet warmers, winter hats, gloves and scarfs, facemasks, new socks, liquid soap, shampoo, razors, deodorant, powder, lotion, combs and brushes, feminine hygiene products, and wipes.

Any monetary donations can be made at To donate any of the listed items above, please drop them off by Nov. 7 at Praise Tabernacle Church, located at 330 Park Ave. in Cranston.

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.

Leaf-peeping tour at Roger Williams Park

Members and guests of Cindy Wood Garden Club will take a mile-long tour to view the spectacular trees of Roger Williams Park on Tuesday, Oct. 20.

The leisurely walking tour will be led by a park guide and is open to the public. Park at the Dalrymple Boathouse across from the Natural History Museum. The free tour begins at 10:30 a.m. and masks are required. Then join us for a picnic lunch (bring your own) at the tables near the Temple to Music.

For more information, call Vicky Pierce at 304-6751 or email her at

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

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.

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.

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?

According to oral tradition, George Renninger, a candy maker at the Wunderlee Candy Company in Philadelphia, invented the revolutionary tricolor candy known as candy corn in the 1880s. The Goelitz Confectionery Company brought the candy to the masses at the turn of the 20th century. The company, now called Jelly Belly Candy Co., has the longest history in the industry of making candy corn – although the method has changed, it still uses the original recipe. In honor of its Goelitz roots, Jelly Belly developed a candy corn-flavor jelly bean.

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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