That’s a Wrap 2022!
Tree Planting in Norwood
The Norwood Department of Public Works (DPW) recently planted 53 trees in 11 different locations in Norwood. Norwood has had a tree-planting program in place for a number of years.
Trees provide such a huge range of benefits for people, wildlife and the environment; they are often called the ‘lungs of the world.’ We in Norwood are fortunate that our Town government recognizes their benefits and has, for many years, had a tree program in place.
Recent plantings include: 10 Linden and Honey Locust trees on Lenox Street; 6 Krauter Vesuvius flowering plum trees at Prospect Ave.; 3 crabapple trees at the Winter and Prospect Street traffic island; 3 crabapple trees at Washington St. and Waban Ave.; 2 crabapple trees at the Lopey Rich Park at the intersection of Washington, Bond and Winter Sts.; a London planetree on Nahatan St. across from St. Catherine’s church; a Honey Locust tree at the Guild and Broadway traffic island; and 5 trees at the Norwood Cemetery including a crab tree, beech and 2 cedar of Lebanon trees.
The Conservation Commission has been working with Mark Negron, a Boston Food Forest representative and an advocate for Norwood’s orchard to become permaculture-based, to organize a volunteer group to continue with stewardship of the orchard.
The key purpose of the orchard is to provide fruit for Norwood residents. How it will be distributed has not yet been determined. Right now, the focus is on keeping the trees in the orchard alive so they can produce fruit. fighter Safety Equipment Grant Program.
Fire departments in Massachusetts were able to apply to this program for 118 different types of eligible equipment, including personal protective clothing, gear washers and dryers, thermal imaging cameras, assorted hand tools and extrication equipment, communications resources, hazardous gas meters, fitness equipment, and more.
The Norwood Fire Department (NFD) received nearly $25,000 in grant money which they used to purchase First-Alert Safety Systems (FASS). Essentially, this is a reverse motion detector that hangs off of a firefighter’s gear. If the firefighter falls or is in trouble, the system emits a piercing alarm that gets progressively louder and a light starts to flash as a signal to other firefighters in the area that there’s a problem. The FASS can locate the person who is in trouble.
In September of 2021, the NFD was also awarded a $345,000 to Firefighters Grant from the federal government. Town meeting provided the difference needed to subsidize the department’s planned equipment update program.
“With this money, we were able to purchase air-packs – the breathing apparatus firefighters need – which cost approximately $10,000 each (mask, tank and breathing apparatus),” Chief Hayes said. “And worth every penny! Town meeting gave us enough money to complete the entire project with state-of-the-art equipment. A new air compressor, breathing apparatus and three pack-trackers, which is like a LoJack for firefighters, allows us to lock onto someone’s air-pack and it will lead us right to them. It’s great technology!”
More than Glitz and Glam
Maristela Rapo recently won an award from the Boston Arts Academy (BAA), the city’s only public high school for the visual and performing arts. The BAA Foundation and Governor Charlie Baker honored Rapo, founder and president of the non-profit ‘Giving the Glam,’ with its Champion Award. Presented annually, this award recognizes individuals who embody the school’s commitment to the arts, scholarship and citizenship.
What is Giving the Glam? It’s a 501(c)3 organization that provides a once-in-a-lifetime prom experience for underserved urban and suburban high school seniors who couldn’t otherwise afford to participate in their prom. The organization covers the cost of all attire and accessories, professional hair stylists, nails, photographer, and transportation to the prom venue. The showroom is located on Morse St., in Norwood.
“But we’re much more than a prom experience,” Rapo said. “We give students hope and a feeling of confidence, which many of them have never experienced before. I want them to know that they are special...and that they truly belong.” Rapo knows of that which she speaks.
This year, Rapo is helping 200 students from seven schools: Boston Arts Academy, two METCO schools, Norwood High School, Framingham High School, Boston International Newcomers Academy (BINCA), and for the first time, about 50 students from a high school in South Bronx, NY.
Eat Out! Win Prizes! Support Norwood!
The Neponset River Regional Chamber is again partnering with the towns of Canton, Dedham, Norwood, Walpole, and Westwood to sponsor the second annual ‘Regional Restaurant Week.’ The event will take place Sunday, April 24 through Thursday, April 28.
“Everyone knows that restaurants have suffered greatly during the pandemic,” Chamber President, Tom O’Rourke said. “We are eager to encourage everyone to dine out during Restaurant Week and of course to continue doing so afterwards.”
Norwood restaurants that will be participating in the event are: Lewis’, One Bistro, Byblos, Tasos, and the Common Café. Their specialized menus, special offers, and links to their websites can be found on the Chamber’s dedicated website at www.nrrchamber.com.
Norwood residents are encouraged to patronize the Norwood restaurants, as well as others from neighboring towns, to show their support and appreciation for the struggles they faced the past two years.
A social media campaign will be executed through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Diners will be encouraged to post selfies on the restaurant’s social media platforms to mark and celebrate the return to seated dining. Daily winners will be chosen through these platforms and gift cards to local restaurants will be awarded to the winners! Be sure to tag @nrrchamber and use #regionalrestaurantweek, in all the posts.
The Friends of COA
The Senior Center would not be the vibrant facility it is today without the efforts of a group of volunteers called The Friends of the Council on Aging (COA), a 501 (c) 3 organization. Led by William (Bill) McCoy for 21 years, the Friends donated close to $600,000 during his tenure as president, including two senior buses, funds to help build a much-needed addition, a bocce court and many other items needed for the Center. Three of the original board members retired from the Friends’ Board in December, 2021, but not from their commitment to the Center.
In 2001, Bill McCoy was approached by Jean Bafrey and asked to form a ‘Friends’ group to support the senior center.
He successfully recruited Jim Schmidt who served as vice president for 18 years; Schmidt’s wife Barbara, accepted the position of corresponding secretary; Anne Benson served as treasurer for 21 years; Evelyn Kuphel, served as recording secretary; and Millie Farrell rounded out the group as press secretary. McCoy served as president until December, 2021.
Many thanks to the retired Friends for all they have done and continue to do for the senior community and trust the new Friends leadership will continue their legacy of selfless commitment to enrich the lives of Norwood’s senior community.
Norwood’s Inaugural Juneteenth Celebration
On June 19, 2021, President Biden proclaimed June 19 as Juneteenth National Independence Day of Observance and a legal public holiday. This year, the town of Norwood will celebrate their FIRST Juneteenth with Norwood Police Officer Geoffrey Baguma as the event’s primary organizer. The celebrations will take place on Saturday, June 18, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., on the Town Common.
“The is going to be such an amazing and special event,” Officer Baguma said. “The vibe of the event is wrapped around the theme ‘educate and celebrate.’ It’s all about bringing people together to understand the reasons behind the celebration.”
The event is scheduled to host a variety of activities to display the Norwood’s diverse talents, including art displays, dramatic performances, singing, dancing, and poetry. African American businesses will be spotlighted as well as educational material and historical data provided to those who attend. Talks are also in the works with Ancestry.com in hopes they will be available to give people the option of researching their roots.
In addition to the exciting events planned, the day will provide an opening to connect with people they would otherwise not encounter in their daily life; neighbors meeting neighbor
Grants Awarded for Firefighter Safety
The Norwood Fire Department was one of 306 Massachusetts fire departments awarded a grant from the Commonwealth’s FY22 Fire The public will also help in nominating the first Juneteenth community royalty recipients as well as voting on the Juneteenth art contest!
To make an even greater positive impact on the entire community, support and donations are greatly welcome. For more information, email [email protected] (for Venmo and Cashapp accounts). For check donations, make them out to The Town of Norwood (Norwood Juneteenth Event), or donate to the GoFundMe account at https://gofund.me/93a453cd.
Cue the Parade!
The Norwood 4th of July committee miraculously planned a parade in six weeks last year. In 2020, due to Covid-19, the parade was unfortunately cancelled. This year, the 4th is back on, and it returns bigger and better than ever!
The celebration will begin on Monday, July 4, with the traditional kick-off of the Children’s Bicycle, Tricycle, Doll Carriage, and Historical Character Parade at 1 p.m., in downtown Norwood.
The vibe on the Town Common shifts gears towards athletics at 5 p.m., as runners line up for the Norwood Firecracker 5k Road Race.
The Grand Marshal is the Norwood 150th Anniversary Steering Committee and this year’s theme is ‘Honor our Past and Welcome our Future’.
The lineup is filled with national and international marching bands, entertaining acts, floats, community groups and local politicians. There are 16 performing groups scheduled with the Colonial Boys leading the way, and veteran parade spectators will be thrilled to see the return of the Colonial Pipers and the Cycling Murrays! The parade headliner will be the Saints Brigade Drum and Bugle Corp. from New York with 75 – 80 marchers and band members. The Norwood 4th of July Committee has been hard at work to again bring on the best entertainment for all of Norwood to enjoy!
Gratitude and thanks should be given to Norwood’s 4th of July committee. Without them, this grand event, which adds so much pleasure to the local community and draws thousands of enthusiastic spectators to Norwood, would not be possible: Assistant Town Manager Michael Rosen, Maria Henry, Mary Cantarow, Martha Colamaria, Jim Henry, and Lou Harris. And of course, a heartfelt thank you to Bernie Cooper who had given up so much of his time and heart for so many years with his efforts to bring pleasure to Norwood residents and surrounding communities for so many years.
The Boston Pops: The Hot Ticket in Town
The Boston Pops Orchestra helped Norwood celebrate its 150th Anniversary with a somewhat ‘private’ performance for Norwood residents. It was a site like no other in Town. A few days before the June 26 concert, Summer on Central was transformed into a giant stage (some trees even needed to be trimmed to accommodate), and the buzz grew. On that tropical afternoon, the entire Norwood Common was filled with excited concertgoers on chairs and blankets anxiously awaiting this once in a lifetime event. The concert was also simulcast on a big screen at Norwood High School for those without tickets or wanted relief from the heat.
The event went off without a hitch. Keith Lockhart and his Boston Pops put on a tremendous two-hour show for the locals with some classical, a little swing, and ended with their traditional Americana medley and the infamous 1812 Overture. What even made this day more special, was renowned and highly admired Norwood High School’s former Director of Fine Arts conducted a musical number and Norwood’s own Kyle Leonard was honored to play two songs with the prominent orchestra.
According to Norwood Police Chief William Brooks, it is estimated that 4,000-5000 residents were able to take in this special performance.
The idea was formed seven months prior to the event from a generous donor, DCD Automotive Holdings, in Norwood, ($143,000), with the intention of bringing the Pops to Norwood. A committee was formed, more donations solicitated, and many, many meetings were held. Assistant General Manager Michael Rosen created a ‘dream team,’ consisting of a cross section of the Concerts Committee, the 150th Anniversary Committee, and a vital cog in the process, private citizen Jonathan Cardoni. Cardoni, now retired, shared his extensive experience in event planning with Liberty Mutual.
Chief Brooks has been in a uniform for over 45 years and been involved in many group events, but none like the Boston Pops visit.
“I have not experienced anything quite like this in all my years in policing,” Chief Brooks said. “By the same token, when I was with the Wellesley Police Department I participated in the policing of 13 Boston Marathons. In that case, the venue was much larger but spread out among the eight municipalities along the route. What made the Pops concert different was there was no playbook, as this had never been done before.”
Let’s Celebrate Norwood!
It’s the most wonderful day of the year for Norwood residents. It is the day residents come together to learn, play, eat, and applaud all this unique town has to offer. It’s NORWOOD DAY, and it’s a block party like no other!
This annual celebration brings businesses, organizations, and residents together to share information, goods, and services, but just as importantly, celebrate and commend this wonderful town. The event will be held Saturday, Sept. 10, 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m., with vehicle traffic closed to accommodate the thousands of residents and visitors.
It’s a great scene to take in as downtown Norwood and the Town Common are transformed into a community festival. The streets are filled with people enjoying live entertainment, games, kiddie rides, crafters, food bites from local restaurants, sidewalk sales, and tables and booths of businesses and non-profit groups, and town department displays. A new addition this year will be a food tasting/beer tasting area! Vendors will include One Bistro, Castle Island, OCC, Lewis’s, and Mustangs.
The 19th Annual Norwood Day actually launches Friday, September 9, with a fireworks display and ‘pre’ festival at the Coakley Middle School. At 6:30 p.m., the school field will be bustling with games the entire family will enjoy, including roaming railroads, inflatables, a DJ, and youth football/cheer will be selling food.
Immediately after the parade, the spectacular street carnival begins with booths of local retail merchants, community organizations, crafters, food vendors, and much, much more. A stage at the Washington/Walpole Sts. intersection outside Conrad’s will stand as a periphery anchor with local bands and dance groups performing throughout the day, while the far end of Washington St. and the town gazebo lawn will serve as the second anchor with amusement rides and more vendors lined throughout the Town Common.
The Norwood Craft Affair Returns for its 28th Year!
The infamous ‘A Craft Affair of Norwood,’ brings together crafters and craft enthusiasts for one of the largest fall shopping experiences in the area! This year, the 28th A Craft Affair, will be held on Saturday, Oct. 15, 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m., at Norwood High School.
The ‘Affair’ has grown to include approximately 80 crafters who travel to Norwood from all over New England to showcase their creative wares. The list is so impressive, and includes: sewn, crocheted, and knitted pieces, there will be chocolate and honey, items for pets, jewelry, holiday decor, wreaths, stained glass, jams and jellies, mirrors, paintings, 3-tiered plates, bags, scarves, soap, wooden toys, painted glass, quilts, ornaments, hats and mittens, cards, plastic canvas, hand towels, hair bows, hen houses, ceramics, puzzle lights, decoupage plates and doll clothes, and much more!
The huge assortments of raffles are always a popular corner with chances to win many handmade items, gift certificates, and Mustang memorabilia!
This event, however, means a lot more than just a fun and successful shopping day. In addition to becoming one of the premier craft venues in the state, it is a very successful fundraiser for Norwood High School and local Norwood organizations.
While a large amount of the proceeds go towards the Post Prom Party, any Norwood group or team that has students helping at the craft fair is eligible to apply for funds for their club from the day’s profits. Past organizations have included, Norwood sports teams, the drama club, cheerleaders, SAAD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) and the fine arts department after school programs.
Kick-Off the Holidays at Tree Lighting!
It’s a perfect long weekend. It launches Thursday with a lavish Thanksgiving meal, followed a Friday of bargain hunting, holiday decorating, or relaxing with leftovers. Maybe take part in Small Business Saturday and patronize some local stores and lunch at a local favorite small restaurant. What could possibly top that? How about closing out the weekend with a community kick-off of the holiday season on Sunday, Nov. 27 with the Norwood Tree Lighting Celebration!
Norwood hosts a festive afternoon free from the bustle of the crowds that has become a favored holiday tradition. The fun-filled (and FREE) family event will be held on Sunday, Nov. 27, 1:30-4 p.m., on the Town Common and the Norwood Civic Center. The celebration includes a reindeer dash, horse-drawn hayrides, festive entertainment, holiday readings, face painting, ornament decorating, barnyard animals, a parade, and music. The afternoon concludes when Santa and Mrs. Clause make their dramatic entrance and light up the Norwood Town Common!
The Reindeer Dash returns as children race around the Town Common and receive a set of antlers for participating. Face painting and holiday crafts will be offered on the common and barnyard animals will wait eagerly for visitors at the Civic Center. Horse-drawn hayrides will be also be available on the Town Common as local choirs ring in the season. The afternoon concludes with holiday readings, and a parade where Santa and Mrs. Clause arrive and light up the Norwood Town Common for the holiday lighting.
Fallen Soldiers Remembered
The holidays are a time to rejoice, but also a time for remembrance. Norwood residents do not forget and demonstrate their sincere appreciation in December to those who sacrificed in the fifth year of Wreaths Across America. This national movement pays tribute to fallen veterans and honor those who are often forgotten. The mission is to REMEMBER fallen U.S. Veterans, HONOR those who serve, and TEACH your children the value of freedom. This is done by placing wreaths on local service men and women’s graves at Highland and Old Parish Cemeteries. This expression is in coordination with wreath-laying ceremonies with Arlington National Cemetery and more than 1,600 locations across 50 states in the United States.
The event will take place on Saturday, Dec, 17, 12 noon, Highland Cemetery. Volunteers and visitors are encouraged to arrive between 11:30 and 11:45 a.m., as the minute of silence across Norwood America and islands begins at 12 noon. Currently scheduled to speak at this moving ceremony:
Ted Mulvehill, Director of Norwood Veteran Services
CEO (Stacy Coyne) and Founder/President (veteran Dave Campisano) of 22Mohawks, a non-profit that brings awareness to veteran suicide, creates events to bring veterans, their families, and communities together, and have a new partnership with Professional Canine Services to connect disabled veterans with companions rescued from kill shelters.
George Curtis, (son of MGYST George Curtis, Highland Cemetery’s most highly decorated veteran), Norwood Historical Society-Veteran history in Norwood
Others planned but not confirmed at press time
Wreaths Across America is a venue to not only pay tribute to this country’s military but an opportunity to pause and reflect on the meaning of holidays, and honoring those who have sacrificed so U.S. citizens can celebrate with family and friends.