Santa’s coming to Cranston

Posted 11/17/21

By MERI R. KENNEDY Santa's coming to Cranston Santa Claus and his elves have been very busy preparing for this holiday season, and the North Pole has released the following dates on which Santa will be visiting Cranston. Santa will be making his grand

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Santa’s coming to Cranston


Santa Claus and his elves have been very busy preparing for this holiday season, and the North Pole has released the following dates on which Santa will be visiting Cranston.

Santa will be making his grand entrance to Garden City Center on Saturday, Nov. 27, at 10 a.m. He’ll also be on hand for the city of Cranston’s annual Christmas Tree Lighting on Monday, Dec. 6, at 5 p.m.

Stay tuned to Cranston Chatter for more information on all the holiday happenings in Cranston.

Holiday Bazaar at Phillips Memorial Baptist Church

Phillips Memorial Baptist Church, located at 565 Pontiac Ave. in Cranston, will host a Holiday Bazaar on Saturday, Nov. 20, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The event will feature basement bargains and treasurers, baked goods, crafts, jewelry, needle works, oldtiques and much more. A Coffee Nook will be open from 9 to 10:30 a.m., and Lunch To Go, consisting of a smoked pulled pork sandwich with side and dessert, will be served from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Masks are required. The church is handicap accessible. For more information, visit www.phillipschurch.org.

Hanukkah at City Hall

Join Mayor Ken Hopkins for the lighting of the Menorah at City Hall on Tuesday, Nov. 30, at 6 p.m. Join in the celebration of Hanukah, which will include latkes, dance and song. For more information, visit www.cranstonri.gov.

St. Mary’s Feast Society turkey distribution

On Sunday, Nov. 21, a drive-thru turkey distribution event will be held at the St. Mary’s Feast Society, located at 15 Phenix Ave. The society will be giving away over 200 turkeys and 100 hams to those in need. The nonprofit organization collaborated with many generous businesses and individuals who donated for this annual event.

Volunteers for the event will be directing cars into the parking lot and putting a turkey or ham into each car via a contact-less drive-thru method. Event organizers include Mike Lombardi of Mike Lombardi Law Offices and Mike Lombardi Gives Back; Matthew Volpi, president of the St. Mary’s Feast Society; Ryan Nardolillo, vice president of the St. Mary’s Feast Society; and Ed Brady and Justin Erickson of the Thirsty Beaver.

Brownstone Book Fund books local school libraries

Several school libraries in Cranston were recently awarded a gift from the Brownstone Book Fund. Bain, Western Hills, Park View, Cranston East and Cranston West received a donation of 100 brand new, recently published books. The Brownstone Book Fund, a private foundation in New York City, is interested in fostering a love of books and encouraging families to read together.

Diane Brownstone, director of Brownstone Book Fund, notes: “I am interested in providing books for students, hopefully to excite and foster an early interest in and a love for books and reading. The library of my youth gave me an addiction to books that has enriched my life and my wish, with this collection, is to give this experience and pleasure to many other young people.”

Food drive for Operation Stand Down

Citywide Councilwoman Jessica Marino, in coordination with Operation Stand Down, is collecting nonperishable food items for veterans during the month of November.

Needed items include cereal, juice, canned meat, dry or canned soup, oatmeal, rice, applesauce, raisins, jelly and jam, canned or instant potatoes, macaroni and cheese, instant noodles, tomato sauce, pasta sauce, peanut butter, gravy, stuffing, bread mixes, biscuit mixes, cranberry sauce, pickles, olives, box dinners, and any other nonperishable items. Snack items are particularly needed.

Donations can be dropped off Monday through Friday, between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., at Operation Stand Down RI, located at 1010 Hartford Ave. in Johnston. Drop-off boxes are also available at Cranston Public Library locations, the Cranston Senior Enrichment Center, and the Cranston Police and Fire departments.

For additional information, email Marino at marinoforcranston@gmail.com.

Cranston Police helping families

The Cranston Police Department is collecting nonperishable food items for veterans during the month of November. Food donations from the public are welcomed and encouraged.

According to the Police Department, it is collecting nonperishable food items in coordination with Operation Stand Down, a nonprofit that manages a community supported food pantry for veterans in Johnston.

Residents can drop off their food donations at the collection box located in the lobby of police headquarters at 5 Garfield Ave. in Cranston. For more information, visit www.cranstonpoliceri.com.

For the Kids at Thirsty Beaver

The For the Kids toy drive, which supports the U.S. Marine Corps Toys for Tots campaign and the Rhode Island Dream Center, is returning at the Thirsty Beaver in Cranston this year.

There are three ways to donate – an in-person collection event scheduled for Nov. 30, an Amazon wish list, and a monetary donation component.

The in-person event will be held from 5:30 to 10:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 30, at the Thirsty Beaver, located at 288 Atwood Ave. Miss Rhode Island USA Jonét Nichelle, Miss Teen RI Sophia Ledoux, and Santa and Mrs. Claus will be on hand.

To learn more, email info@forthekidstoydrive@gmail.com or visit their holiday site at www.forthekidstoydrive.com.

Deliver holiday meals to seniors

The Cranston Senior Enrichment Center is seeking your help once again to deliver holiday meals to homebound seniors in the Cranston community. Thanksgiving meal delivery is scheduled for Nov. 24 and Christmas meal delivery is scheduled for Dec. 23.

If you are interested in helping, please contact Jason Andoscia at 780-6255 or email jandoscia@cranstonri.org. Please include your full name, address and telephone number as well as the number of meals you are able to deliver.

Rotary Thanksgiving baskets

The Cranston Rotary Club is asking for help to provide Thanksgiving baskets for those in need in our community. With a sponsorship of $35 you can help sponsor a basket with all the “fixings.” You may Venmo $35 to Cranston Rotary or make a check payable to Cranston Rotary, P.O. Box 3723, Cranston, RI 02910. For more information, visit www.rotaryclubofcranston.org.

New Hope has a new show

The New Hope Art Gallery is pleased to announce its Fall Show is now open. You can visit the gallery in person Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., except holidays, at the Cranston Senior Enrichment Center, located at 1070 Cranston St. in Cranston. If you are unable to attend in person, you can view the artwork virtually at youtu.be/AIF7A-Sonio.

7th annual Fez-tival of Trees

On Thanksgiving weekend, the Rhode Island Shriners will host their seventh annual Fez-tival of Trees. The event will take place on Saturday, Nov. 27, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Sunday, Nov. 28, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Rhodes on the Pawtuxet, located at 60 Rhodes Place in Cranston.

There is a suggested $2 donation for adults at the door, and children 12 and under are admitted at no cost. There will be tree and wreath displays, free children’s activities, table raffles, a 50/50 cash raffle, penny socials, a holiday marketplace featuring crafters and artisans, refreshments at Mrs. Claus’s Café, musical entertainment and more. Tree and wreath raffle drawings begin at 3 p.m. each day.

The event is the largest fundraiser for the Shrines each year. To learn more, visit www.rhodesonthepawtuxet.com.

New Transvan schedule

There is a new Transvan schedule for medical appointments. Please schedule your appointments Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays between the hours of 8 and 10:30 a.m. or noon and 2 p.m. For $25 per month, Transvan will take you shopping, medical appointments, pharmacy visits and to the Cranston Senior Enrichment Center for lunch or bingo. Call 780-6218 for the holiday shopping schedule.

Finding help and hope through NAMI-RI

The mission of the Rhode Island chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI-RI) 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, NAMI-RI is offering free and virtual programs for schools, families and community members.

For more information on NAMI- RI and its programs and services, or to become a volunteer, visit namirhodeisland.org, call (401) 331-3060 or email info@namirhodeisland.org.

Pet food drive

Defenders of Animals will be hosting a pet food drive throughout the month of November. Please bring all donations to the Warwick Animal Hospital, located at 1950 Elmwood Ave. in Warwick. Drop off is Monday-Friday and ask for Tonya.

CCAP holiday giving campaigns

Help CCAP reach its goal to support 1,500 families this holiday season!

Holiday meal food drives are being held now. An unprecedented number of our neighbors are turning to CCAP during these challenging times. To ensure that struggling families have a Thanksgiving dinner this holiday season, please consider purchasing a grocery store gift card the next time you are shopping. A $50 gift card will provide a wonderful Thanksgiving meal for a family of four.

You can also help CCAP fill its food pantry shelves by donating nonperishable food, paper goods and cleaning products.

Another way to help is through the CCAP Adopt-a-Family Program. A $300 donation to the program will adopt an entire family for the holidays, and 100 percent of donations go right to the families in need. Donations in other amounts are also appreciated.

Please make checks payable to Comprehensive Community Action and send to 311 Doric Ave., Cranston, RI 02910, Attn: Holiday Giving Campaign, before Dec. 10.

For more information about CCAP’s holiday giving campaigns, contact Sherry Diaz, vice president of social services, at (401) 562-8336 or sdiaz@comcap.org, or Lee Beliveau, vice president of development, at (401) 562-8356 or lbeliveau@comcap.org.

All food and donations can be delivered during business hours of 9 a.m. through 3 p.m. at 311 Doric Ave. on the lower level.

Central Library to host EG artists

The East Greenwich Art Club will hold an exhibit of members’ artwork at the Cranston Public Library’s Central Library, 140 Sockanosset Cross Road, through Nov. 26. The exhibit is free and open to the public for viewing during library hours. There will be a reception on Sunday, Nov.7, where visitors can meet the artists. Light refreshments will be served. For more information, contact the club at info@eastgreenwichartclub.org or visit www.eastgreenwichartclub.org.

Ocean State Artisans Holiday Craft Show

Ocean State Artisans will host its 30th annual Holiday Craft Show from Friday, Nov. 26, to Sunday, Nov. 28, at its new location at 1276 Bald Hill Road in Warwick. The event runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. Admission costs $3, with $1 off with a canned food donation. To learn more, visit www.oceanstateartisans.com.

Saturday Morning Basketball

The Cranston Department of Parks & Recreation has announced that registration for the Saturday Morning Basketball program is now open.

Saturday Morning Basketball is an instructional program to teach the fundamentals for grades kindergarten to middle school. The program runs at Western Hills and Park View middle schools for grades three to eight and the Pastore Youth Center for grades kindergarten through two.

The registration fee is $25 per child. The program runs Saturday mornings from Nov. 27 to March 19. To register, visit forms.gle/eBCQ7MeZDn2SaLif6.

Little Free Pantry to offer Christmas help

The Little Free Pantry is now accepting applications to apply for Christmas help. The goal is to provide one to three items per child, with the value of your gifts ranging from $5 to $40. The organization does its best to help as many as it can, but does not guarantee help. Those who self-identify that they need assistance, living in Coventry, Cranston, Scituate, Warwick and West Warwick, are welcome to apply.

Please include your name and a picture/copy of a recent utility bill in your name (your photo ID will be required at pick up). Please block out account numbers – the organization only needs to verify the address and name.

For each child up to age 17, include the child’s first name, age, gender and a wishlist or a list of likes (of mixed value, maximum $40 per item).

For additional information, visit the “Little Free Pantry, Warwick, RI” Facebook page.

Cranston Public Library Teen Space

The teen space at the Cranston Public Library’s Central Library on Sockanosset Cross Road has been newly renovated and is open for teen patrons entering grades 6-12.

Stop by to meet the teen librarian, hang out with friends, browse the collection, or participate in one of their many programs. The teen study room can be reserved by teens for gaming, studying, group projects, and more!

If you have any questions please contact Alyssa, teen librarian, at teens@cranstonlibrary.org.

RSVP transportation volunteers

The Cranston Senior Enrichment Center’s RSVP program needs volunteers to help in many ways in the community. One is to transport homebound seniors to medical appointments or run errands for them.

The program is also seeking RSVP school readiness volunteers to assist Glen Hills Elementary School’s staff and students with an array of school activities and events.

Also needed are RSVP recycling volunteers who educate the community with assistance and guidance from Rhode Island Resource Recovery professionals on a variety of topics such as waste reduction and reuse, recycling and composting. Learn more about Resource Recovery – who they are, what they do, how they work, and much more, including a tour of the facility.

If you are interested in becoming a Cranston RSVP volunteer, 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 your travel cost. RSVP also provides insurance protection in the event that your or someone else is injured while performing your volunteer duties.

What if you do not drive or do not have a vehicle? No worries. RSVP will provide you with transportation to your volunteer station.

Did you know?

Writer and editor Sarah Josepha Hale convinced President Abraham Lincoln to officially declare Thanksgiving a national holiday, after three decades of persistent lobbying. The author also founded the American Ladies Magazine, which promoted women’s issues long before suffrage. She wrote countless articles and letters advocating for Thanksgiving to help unify the Northern and Southern states amid gathering divisions. Hale kept at it, even after the Civil War broke out, and Lincoln actually wrote the proclamation just a week after her last letter in 1863, earning her the name the Mother of Thanksgiving. (Source: Thanksgiving Fun Facts 2021)

To submit your news from the community, email Meri R. Kennedy at CranstonChatter@aol.com. This includes virtual events which should be submitted two to three weeks ahead of the event. 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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