food drive


Don’t forget the National Association of Letters Carriers Stamp Out Hunger drive this Saturday, May 11th. Leave your food donation at your mailbox, and your carrier will collect it and see that it gets to Loaves and Fishes. This is our biggest drive of the year, so help us make it count!!


The 29th annual Good Friday Walk will take place on March 29 and our goal is to raise $29,000. Walkers who participate in this nondenominational event support two important charities: Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry, the largest food pantry in North Central Massachusetts and Sharing Inc., an organization helping impoverished youth in the rural South.

The Good Friday Walk leaves Harvard Congregational Church and follows a scenic 5-mile loop. Walkers can register any time that morning from 7 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Last year, 296 people walked more than 4,000 miles to raise almost $23,000. Most of the monies raised will go directly to Loaves & Fishes to help continue our 30-year mission of lifting and feeding our neighbors. The communities directly benefiting from these funds are Ayer, Harvard, Groton, Devens, Shirley and Littleton.

How to get started:

If you are walking, pick up a sponsor sheet today at your local church or library, or visitwww.loavesfishespantry.orgto download a sponsor sheet. Then gather as many contributions as you can (each walker is asked to raise a minimum of $25 to participate). On the day of the walk, bring your sponsor sheet to the registration desk at the Harvard Congregational Church to receive your walker number and a map.

Please note that no one under the age of 18 can walk without a parent or guardian signature. Walkers under the age of 12 must have adult supervision.

For the safety of all walkers, no bicycles, roller blades, scooters or skateboards will be allowed.

For questions or information, contact Jeanie Colony 978-456-1239,jecolony@charter.netor Becca Day-Newsham 978-456-8717,
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We are just so excited about New England Studios breaking ground right next door to us on Devens! It’s thrilling just to imagine the prospects of this wonderful new opportunity for our area. With the recent new groundbreaking of the studio and the start of construction, everyone in the area is just brimming with excitement and eagerness to see this project take shape.

Jason Kauppi, a member of the Nashoba Valley Chamber of Commerce, recently commented in the Lowell Sun about the groundbreaking ceremonies:

I have no problem with The Sun asking why only one state legislator attended the groundbreaking of a movie and TV studio at Devens (“Studio ceremony was no blockbuster,” June 30). However, in the effort to be witty, the headline leaves the wrong impression of the event.

This was among the best groundbreakings I’ve ever attended. As a Nashoba Valley Chamber of Commerce board member, public-relations consultant, former gubernatorial spokesman and one-time Sun reporter, I’ve been to my share. This event was standingroom only, drawing a much larger crowd than an earlier groundbreaking at a regional 9-1-1 dispatch center, also attended by only one state legislator. The building of New England Studios is a project worth celebrating because it represents significant private investment in Devens.

The studio will get a modest property tax break if it meets job-creation targets, unlike the now-defunct Evergreen Solar plant that cost taxpayers millions. This fact alone made the studio groundbreaking a blockbuster event.


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DEVENS — The unlikely story of an old military base’s transition to a hub of Hollywood-style productions took a leap forward Tuesday, with Massachusetts officials breaking ground on a $30 million soundstage complex in Devens.

The new studios, which will include four 18,000-square-foot soundstages, are expected to be open for business in a year.

Chris Byers, director of operations for New England Studios at Devens LLC, said the top-of-the-line facility, coupled with the state’s film tax credit, will lure television and film productions, as well as hundreds of jobs, to Massachusetts.

“I don’t think anybody will believe how successful this thing is going to be,” Byers said. “I think it will surprise a lot of people.”

The series of events that led Byers to open Massachusetts’ first major sound stages could have been cooked up in Tinseltown. And it started in Lowell.

Byers, 48, grew up in the Mill City, the son of Frank Byers, who co-owned Caddell & Byers Insurance Co., of Lowell.

After starring as a hockey player at Cushing Academy, a prep school in Ashburnham, Byers moved to Europe where he briefly played hockey professionally. Byers’ hockey career also took him to Illinois, Indiana and New York, where he played for several minor-league teams.
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