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Items can be sent to What’s Happening by e-mailing dmcardle@lowellsun.com. Jpeg photo attachments are also welcome; items can be sent to What’s Happening by regular mail to: What’s Happening, The Valley Dispatch, c/o David McArdle, P.O. Box 1477, Lowell, Mass., 01853.

ACTIVITIES

BLESSING OF THE ANIMALS: Oct. 19, 12:30 p.m., Christ Church United, 10 Arlington St., Dracut; free and open to the public; lunch available, 11:30 a.m., for a donation; bring clean, gently used blankets and towels for local animal shelters; pets must be on leashes or in carriers; animals will receive an individual blessing by the pastors of the church, Rev. Keith Weekly (interim) and Rev. Sylvia Robinson; service will be held in the downstairs hall; all are welcome — humans and pets; for more information, call Rev. Robinson at 978-453-2077.

BROMYOGA CLASSES: Ongoing yoga classes; for class times/information, visit http://www.bromyoga.com/ or call Jon at 978-852-2765.

CENTRAL CATHOLIC OPEN HOUSE: Oct. 19, 1-4 p.m., Central Catholic High School, 300 Hampshire St., Lawrence; includes tour of campus, demonstrations and exhibits, chance to meet current students, faculty, administration and coaches; can also register for entrance exam; for more information or directions, visit www.centralcatholic.net or call 978-682-0260.

FLU CLINIC: Oct. 18, Greenmont Elementary School, 37 Greenmont Ave., Dracut; 8-10 a.m., 65 and older; 10 a.m.-noon, ages 50 and older and high risk; noon-2 p.m., ages 18 and older; for Dracut residents only; bring Medicare Part B card and/or Medicare HMO cards — Secure Horizons, Fallon Senior Care, Blue Board 65, First Seniority; more information, call the Board of Health at 978-453-9320 or visit www.dracut-ma.us.

HAM-AND-BEAN SUPPER : Oct. 25, 4-6:30 p.m., Centralville Social Club, 364 West Sixth St., Lowell; hosted by the Franco-American War Veterans, Post 4; donation — $5 for adults, $3 for children; tickets available at the door.

HARVEST ON THE HILL FESTIVAL: Oct. 18, 1-7 p.m., St. Francis Parish grounds, 115 Wheeler Road, Dracut; plenty of family activities, food tents, live entertainment by the Tom Sperounis Band, hayrides, pumpkin carving, a Bungee run, plus children’s crafts and games; for more information, visit www.saintfrancis.net and click on Harvest.

HAUNTED MERRIMACK VALLEY YMCA’S CAMP OTTER: Oct. 17, 18, 7-9 p.m.; Oct. 24, 25, 7-9 p.m.; 66 Hooker Farm Road, Salem, N.H.; a one-way guided tour of the grounds and the cabins of the creepies; don’t forget to wear your costume; cost for kids is $4, adults $6; for more information, contact Camp Otter Associate Director John Goudreau at 978-975-1330.

HOWL-O-WEEN PARTY: Oct. 18, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., First Congregational Church, Main Street, Pelham; dog demonstrations by trainers Mary Finlayson and Jeff Payne; costume parade with dogs and people; miniature horses; food from 11 a.m.-2 p.m.; entertainment all day; games, pictures and plenty of crafts; fun prizes for best costumes; for more information, visit www.arne.org.

IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE: A LIVE RADIO PLAY: Friday-Saturday, Nov. 7-8, Nov. 14-15, Nov. 21-22, 6:30 p.m.; Sunday, Nov, 9, 16, 23, 1:30 p.m., Village Inn restaurant, 544 Broadway, Dracut; performed by ACTORS inc, the play is the classic holiday story of the Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life with an entertaining twist; the he story is acted out as an old-time 1940s radio show where the actors play multiple roles as they change into the characters they represent; this delightful play adds just the right touch to the holiday season; tickets for the dinner-theatre setting is $40; it includes dinner and show; reservation required by calling 978-984-3151.

LOWELL CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOL OPEN HOUSE: Oct. 26, 2-4 p.m., Lowell Catholic High School, 530 Stevens St., Lowell; meet faculty and staff, meet current students, tour the campus, register for the high-school placement test; more than 40 varsity sports and clubs; serving more than 20 communities in Greater Lowell and southern New Hampshire; for more information, call 978-452-1794, ext. 22.

MERRIMACK VALLEY YMCA HALLOWEEN PARTIES:

* Oct, 25, 3-6 p.m., Methuen YMCA, 129 Haverhill St., Methuen; carnival games, crafts, a moon bounce, snacks, prizes and much more; $5 for 10 tickets (each activity is one ticket); don’t forget to wear your costume; for more information, contact Heidi Gebhardt at 978-683-5266.

* Oct. 25, 6-8 p.m., Lawrence YMCA, 40 Lawrence St., Lawrence; carnival games, crafts, a moon bounce, snacks, prizes and much more; $5 for 10 tickets (each activity is one ticket); don’t forget to wear your costume; for more information, contact Julissa Alfonzo at 978-686-6191.

ROLLING RIDGE RETREAT & CONFERENCE CENTER EVENT: Oct. 20, 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m., 660 Great Pond Road, North Andover; “Day-Apart” series;; retreat leader Ethel Fraga will discuss “Mindfulness and Christian Contemplative Practice”; for people of all faiths or no faith who desire to live contemplatively, to support each other in applying simple yet profound Mindfulness practices from Christian and Buddhist traditions to help transform the ordinariness of our lives into deliberate, grounded, and devoted living; $45 fee includes a gourmet lunch; full coffee and tea service throughout the day; call 978-682-8815, or e-mail thestaff@rollingridge.org to reserve your place; for further information, go to www.rollingridge.org.

SPAGHETTI SUPPER: Oct. 18, 5 p.m., Holy Trinity Polish Church, 338 High St., Lowell; hosted by the Sodality of Holy Trinity Polish Church; tickets $8 for adults, $4 for children 10 and under; advance tickets only; for tickets, contact Mary Dudek at 978-454-2414 or Catherine Emrick at 978-996-4555.

GROUPS

AMYOTROPHIC LATERIAL SCLEROSIS (ALS) SUPPORT: Last Wednesday of the month, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Holy Family Hospital, 70 East St., Methuen, first-floor board room; free; open to patients, caregivers and friends; registration is required; for more information and to register, call the ALS Association at 781-326-8884 or 888-287-3257.

ANGELA PISICK CANCER SUPPORT: First, third Wednesdays of the month, 6-7 p.m., Holy Family Cancer Management Center, main lobby, 70 East St., Methuen; free; before attending your first meeting, call 978-687-0156, ext. 2021.

ARTS INSTITUTE GROUP OF MERRIMACK VALLEY: Meetings held on the third Thursday of the month in April, May, June, September, October and November; held at the Nevins Home Adult Day Health Center, Methuen; meetings focus on art demonstration and art-related subjects; for more information, contact Silvana Siudut, president/founder, at silart@comcast.net.

BEREAVEMENT SUPPORT: Thursday evenings, Holy Family Hospital, cafeteria conference room, 70 East St., Methuen; support for spouses under the age of 65 that are dealing with the loss of a loved one; for more information, contact Louis LaBella at 978-552-4522.

CAREGIVERS OF THE MENTALLY ILL: Sponsored by the National Association of the Mentally Ill (NAMI); for caregivers, friends, and family of people suffering from severe mental illnesses; for more information and to register, contact Karen at 978-725-2537 or by e-mail at emma1@comcast.net.

CROHN’S & COLITIS FOUNDATION OF AMERICA: Third Wednesday of the month, 7-9 p.m., Holy Family Hospital, first-floor board room, 70 East St., Methuen; free; contact the New England Chapter of CCFA at 800-314-3459, ext. 13, or visit www.ccfa.org before attending your first meeting.

DRACUT AMERICAN LEGION POST 315: Meets the third Saturday of the month, 1 p.m., 574 Broadway Road; new members welcome.

DRACUT KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS COUNCIL 4225: Meets the first Tuesday of the month; 7 p.m., Dracut Historical Society Building, Lakeview Avenue; new members welcome: for more information, 978-458-2667 or e-mail gertz@msn.com.

DRACUT COUNCIL ON AGING: Open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.-4 p.m., 951 Mammoth Road; group offers transportation to medical appointments, social services, outreach for the homebound; registered nurse on premesis Thursdays, 1:30–3:45 p.m.; for more information, call 978-957-2611.

DRACUT GARDEN CLUB: Meets second Wednesday of the month, 7:30 p.m., April through December; Dracut Historical Society, Lakeview Avenue; for more information, call 978-957-1289.

DRACUT LIONS CLUB: Meets second and fourth Wednesday of the month; 6:30 p.m., Dracut House of Pizza,1067 Lakeview Ave.; new members are always welcome; for more information, contact the Dracut Lions Club, P.O. Box 310, Dracut MA 01826.

DRACUT VFW POST 9307: Meets the third Saturday of the month,11:30 a.m., Dracut American Legion Post 315, Broadway Road; new members welcome.

DRACUT EXCHANGE CLUB: Meets first and third Tuesday of the month, 7 p.m., Dracut House of Pizza, 1067 Lakeview Ave.; active in the prevention of child abuse and promotion of patriotism and student of the month in local schools; guests welcome; for more information, call 978-934-6990.

DREAM FACTORY OF THE MERRIMACK VALLEY: Provides grant wishes to area children ages 3 to 18 with chronic or permanently life-altering conditions who haven’t previously been granted a wish from any other foundation; for more information, call Anne Winn at 978-685-9561 or Lisa Afonso at 978-688-6624.

GREATER LOWELL LEAGUE OF CATHOLIC WOMEN: Any Catholic woman 18 and older is eligible to join; for more information, call chairwoman Bonni Dinneen at 978-937-7933.

METHUEN LADIES AUXILIARY: Arnold Greenwood VFW Post 8349, 26 River St., Methuen; meets second Thursday of the month, 7 p.m.; bean suppers first Saturday of the month (adults $6, children $2); meat raffles every Saturday, 2 p.m.; 45s tournament every Sunday, 5 p.m., partners luck of the draw, $5 per person; new members welcome; for more information, call Nancy at 978-687-9465.

METHUEN GARDEN CLUB: Meets first Wednesday of the month, 7 p.m., Nevins Memorial Library, lower garden room, 305 Broadway; new members and guests welcome; for more information, call Linda at 978-687-9892 or visit www.methuengardenclub.org.

PELHAM COUNCIL ON AGING: Meets the first Thursday of the month (except July and August), 1 p.m., Pelham Senior Center, 8 Nashua Road, Pelham; meetings open to the public and begin with an open forum.

PERINATAL LOSS SUPPORT: First Wednesday of the month, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Holy Family Hospital chapel, Cremin Suite, 70 East St., Methuen; free; offered to parents who have lost a baby during pregnancy or shortly after birth; welcome any and all parents; group aims to provide comfort and mutual support; additional information available; before attending your first meeting, call 978-687-0156, ext. 2240.

RED HAT SOCIETY: Meets second Tuesday of each month, 1:30 p.m., Pelham Senior Center, 8 Nashua Road.

PELHAM VFW: John H. Hargreaves Memorial Post 10722, 6 Main St., Pelham; meets first Thursday of the month, 7 p.m.

SENIOR CITIZENS CLUB OF DRACUT: Meets second and fourth Wednesday of the month 1-3 p.m., 951 Mammoth Road; a bingo game follows the meeting, plus various other social functions; anyone 60 or older is invited to join; for further information, call Ed Bishop at 978-453-0969.

SHEILA BRODIE-ZETLAN: Mondays, 7-8:30 p.m., Holy Family Hospital chapel, Cremin Suite, 70 East St., Methuen; free; welcomes women dealing with breast cancer; schedule is subject to change; before attending your first meeting,call Joanne Voigt at 978-687-0156, ext. 4179.

SPINDLE CITY SINGERS OF LOWELL: Accepting new members; no auditions required; for more information, call Heidi at 978-957-0802.

WALKER-ROGERS POST LADIES AUXILIARY: 190 Plain St., Lowell; meets 7 p.m., second Tuesday of the month; new members welcome; for more information, call 978-934-0120.

PROGRAMS

BLOOD DONOR: Saints Medical Center; helps support the transfusion needs of its patients. To donate blood, call 978-934-8584.

MATURE WORKERS: Job opportunities available for those 55 and over; a variety of jobs at area nonprofits and/or town government offices. For a listing of available jobs contact Eileen at Elder Services of the Merrimack Valley, Inc., 800-892-0890, ext. 463.

VOLUNTEERS

AMERICAN RED CROSS BLOOD SERVICES: Seeking volunteers to assist from three to six hours at area blood drives in the registration or canteen. Transportation necessary; call Georgia at 978-794-5625, ext. 14.

DRACUT FRIENDS OF THE LIBRARY: Need volunteers to help with fundraising, planning events, promoting speakers, general help with the annual book and bake sale; if you would like to participate in this community-centered activity, please e-mail dmastroianni@mvlc.org or call Sandra at 978-957-9140.

ELDER SERVICES OF THE MERRIMACK VALLEY: Seeking Volunteers for a number of activities related to helping elders; volunteer drivers are needed to drive elders to medical appointments and to work as companions for elders living alone who may need help with day-to-day tasks; mileage reimbursement is available; orientation, training and ongoing support provided; more than 20,000 elders throughout the 23 cities and towns of the Merrimack Valley annually receive assistance from the programs offered by Elder Services; for further information, call 1-800-892-0890 and ask for Eileen at extension 463 or Jerry at extension 445 and mention Interfaith Caregivers.

HOSPICE COMPANIONS: Allegiance Hospice is seeking compassionate individuals to be companions for our patients diagnosed with terminal illness. As part of an interdisciplinary team, you will have the opportunity to have a rewarding and life-enhancing experience. Ongoing training is provided, with a weekly commitment of one to two hours; individuals who can serve in Greater Lowell, the Merrimack Valley and North Shore are needed; if interested, contact Amy Cirigliano at 877-255-4623, ext. 2352 or at acirigliano@allegiancehospice.com.

VNA CARE HOSPICE: Vistiting Nurses Association Care Hospice, an affiliate of VNA Care Network, is seeking volunteers to provide practical and emotional support to terminally ill patients and their families in the Merrimack Valley; training provided; for information, call 888-663-3688, ext. 3471, or 978-777-6100, ext. 3471.

YMCA ESL/GED PROGRAM: Volunteers are needed for the Lawrence branch’s program offered ‘Y’ residents; volunteers would assist in teaching multiple levels of ESL/GED classes, which are held mornings, afternoons, evenings and weekends; if you are able to help or would like to would like to refer someone to volunteer, call 978-686-6191; the Lawrence Branch of the Merrimack Valley YMCA is located at 40 Lawrence St.