Cranston Chatter

Posted 11/25/20

By MERI R. KENNEDY Holiday strolls at Garden City Center At Garden City Center, Santa visits will not take place this year due to COVID-19. Holiday strolls continue, however, with carolers in Victorian-era clothing, hot chocolate and a brass holiday band

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Cranston Chatter


Holiday strolls at Garden City Center

At Garden City Center, Santa visits will not take place this year due to COVID-19. Holiday strolls continue, however, with carolers in Victorian-era clothing, hot chocolate and a brass holiday band playing traditional and modern holiday songs.

Santa and some of his elves will walk around during the strolls, handing out the occasional “surprise” for children and adults, too. The strolls will be from 5 to 7 p.m. on Nov. 28, Dec. 5 and Dec. 12.

Additionally, a seasonal display at the gazebo, featuring trees and wreaths, has been set up for families to take holiday photographs.

Decorate the Pawtuxet Village tree

Bring a homemade ornament to hang on the Pawtuxet Village Christmas tree on Saturday, Nov. 28, before the set-up of the luminarias. The luminarias will be lit on Saturday, Dec. 6, although the Friends of Pawtuxet Village is discouraging any gatherings larger than 15 people at a time.

While you’re there, support local vendors and do your holiday shopping at the Pawtuxet Holiday Marketplace, which will run from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The market will run on Nov. 28, Dec. 5 and Dec. 12.

If you can’t make it Saturday, stop by any time during the holiday season and help adorn the tree.

Fall cleanup at Sprague Mansion

Join City Councilman John Donegan on Saturday, Nov. 28, at 11 a.m. at the Governor Sprague Mansion, 1351 Cranston St., for a socially distanced fall cleanup. The folks over at the Governor Sprague Mansion, and Cranston Historical Society could use help cleaning up the grounds this fall. The society cannot afford landscapers this year as its revenues have dropped due to COVID-19.

If you can, please come help out for as long as you are able. Please wear a mask at all times, and bring gloves, your own rake, and, if you have some to spare, some leaf bags.

If you are able to help, please text or call Donegan at (401) 644-2403 so organizers have an idea of how many people are coming.

Gingerbread house decorating

The Artists’ Exchange will pack up everything needed to decorate a gingerbread masterpiece from the comfort of your own home. Select a day and time to come pick up your house kit and take a peek at the organization’s gingerbread installation and workshop.

This year’s gingerbread house decorating kits are available for pick up. You can register and purchase kits for $8 before Nov. 30 and $10 after Dec. 1. They can be picked up Dec. 3 through Dec. 5 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Space per time slot is limited and registration is required. For more information, call 490-9475.

Visit for more information and to register. Once your house is complete, submit photos for the chance to win free camps and classes at Artists’ Exchange.

During this uncertain time, the Artists’ Exchange, located at 50 Rolfe Square, understands the social aspects a student receives from the classroom are extremely important and is doing everything it can to provide a safe environment for its artists. Please visit for information and safety measures taken due to COVID-19.

Neighbors helping neighbors

Hand and foot warmers are needed to help members of Rhode Island’s homeless community. They can be purchased at Ocean State Job lot or online.

Please drop them off at the home of Barbara and Kevin Dwares, located at 46 Balsam Court in the Garden City neighborhood. Please put the items in the plastic container located near their breezeway. The bin will be outside every day all week.

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

Spirit of giving to those with dementia

On Tuesday, Dec. 1, at 6:30 p.m., Katheryne “Kate” Fassbender will be hosting a Zoom webinar with the support of Commonwealth House, Keystone Real Estate Group and O’Hara Senior Care about the spirit of giving for those with dementia.

Prior to the webinar, caregivers will be able to pick up a bag of trigger items at Commonwealth House Assisted Living and O’Hara Senior Care.

Fassbender will be teaching participants how to use these trigger items to help cope, strengthen relationships and find ways for families caring for dementia to enjoy the holiday season.

It’s so difficult to manage the holidays during the pandemic, but it can be particularly challenging for families that are caring for a loved one with dementia. Fassbender explained that something as simple as a pine cone may trigger the memory of decorating the Christmas tree or a recipe card may trigger a memory of when someone prepared a holiday meal.

Commonwealth House is located at 655 Commonwealth Ave. in Warwick. O’Hara Senior Care is located at 494 Warren Ave. in East Providence.

To receive more information on attending, please email

CCAP’s Adopt-a-Family Program

CCAP is accepting donations for its Adopt-a-Family Program. For $300, donors can support an entire family, although other amounts are accepted and appreciated. Donations are sought before Dec. 10.

Please make checks payable to Comprehensive Community Action and send to 311 Doric Ave., Cranston, RI 02910, Attention: Holiday Giving Campaign.

For more information about CCAP’s Holiday Giving Campaign, contact Sherry Diaz, vice president of social services, at 562-8336 or, or Lee Beliveau, vice president of development, at 562-8356 of

Red Sox history program

Join in on Saturday, Dec. 12, at 2 p.m. and take an online journey through Boston Red Sox history with Martin Gitlin, author of “The Ultimate Boston Red Sox Time Machine Book.”

The event is free and open to the public. Registration is required, and participants must be 18 or older to register.

For more information and a registration link, visit

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. To learn more, visit

Zoom-ba coming soon

The MS Dream Center will offer a virtual Chair Zoom-ba Program sponsored by Maguire Disability Law with the class being instructed by Michelle Calise.

Starting Nov. 16, classes will be offered nationally on Mondays at 1 p.m. and Saturdays at 11 a.m. for people with MS and their loved ones. There is no fee to participate and classes can accommodate up to 100 people on a first-come, first-served basis.

Please contact Anne at to register for the classes and to complete a signed liability waiver, which is required of all participants.

The MS Dream Center provides a dedicated resource and support facility in which people living with Multiple Sclerosis, and their care partners, may engage in a wide variety of interactive social and educational activities, workshops and therapies. The MS Dream Center goal is to bring awareness to the disease and reach out to those living with it, empowering them and offering important respite opportunities for care partners.

Hair on Square seeks donations for House of Hope

Hair on the Square, located at 4 Rolfe Square, is holding a clothing drive for the House of Hope. Any donations of men’s, women’s and children’s clothing items are being accepted. Items can be dropped off at the salon. The most needed items include new socks, gently used gloves and hats, new men’s boxers, new or gently used hoodies and sweatshirts, new or gently used winter boots and new or gently used coats.

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.

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.

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.

Cranston Public Library seeking input

The Cranston Public Library is currently working on their new five-year strategic plan. This plan, required by the state, will help them to make decisions involving library services, programs, and building projects for the next five years. They need your feedback to inform them about the needs of our community.

They are asking you to complete their survey at

The anonymous survey will take under 10 minutes to complete and will provide them with valuable information as we engage in their planning process.

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?

The Wampanoag Indians were the people who taught the Pilgrims how to cultivate the land and the Pilgrim leader, Governor William Bradford, had organized the first Thanksgiving feast in the year 1621 and invited the Wampanoag to the feast.

The first Thanksgiving feast was held in the presence of around 90 Wampanoag Indians and the Wampanoag chief, Massasoit, was also invited there. It was a three-day celebration.

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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