Author Archive: Mayor Dolan

Come to the Winter Farmers Market on Sunday!

Winter Market vendors, from top left to bottom right: Sarah Chester with 7ate9 Bakery, Little Bare Foot Books, Red Fire Farm, The Popover Lady, Ed and Don the banjo duo, Susan Callahan from Goodies Homemade (see the article in the Boston Globe), Holly Pierce cooking up brussels sprout love, shown in the photo to the right, Maria McQuaid’s brother Michael and Maria from Wicked Good Soap  Brussels Sprout heaven from Red Fire Farm, general market floor with Oakdale Farm shown in the middle.

Winter Market vendors, from top left to bottom right: Sarah Chester with 7ate9 Bakery, Little Bare Foot Books, Red Fire Farm, The Popover Lady, Ed and Don the banjo duo, Susan Callahan from Goodies Homemade (see the article in the Boston Globe), Holly Pierce cooking up brussels sprout love, shown in the photo to the right, Maria McQuaid’s brother Michael and Maria from Wicked Good Soap Brussels Sprout heaven from Red Fire Farm, general market floor with Oakdale Farm shown in the middle.

The next Melrose & Wakefield Winter Farmers Market will be on Sunday, December 21, from 12-4 p.m. in Memorial Hall, 590 Main St. Just in time for the holidays! Not only can you stock your daily and holiday dining table, but you can get gifts too.

There will be over 30 vendors at the market providing vegetables, maple syrup, cheese, children’s books, jams, bread, popovers, cheesecake, locally made root beer and ginger beer, pasta, fish, cookies, soap, candles, meat, eggs, fair trade coffee, granola, placemats and table runners, confections, cookies, pretzels, all kinds of baked goodies… and that’s just to name a few. All fresh, all locally made. And there will be two hard cider vendors as well!

Check out the full list of vendors.

In addition to the vendors, there will be live music from Don and Ed the banjo duo, playing traditional, old time, and bluegrass double banjo picking. Holly Pierce will whip up something you can cook at home, using ingredients right from the market—something very tasty and easy to prepare. There will also be face painting from 12-2 p.m.

The three vegetable farms at the market provide sustainably grown produce from Massachusetts. Red Fire Farm is certified organic, and Oakdale Farm and Farmer Dave’s grow using organic methods. There are two meat vendors, Shady Pine Farm and Lilac Hedge Farm, who feed their animals what they were supposed to eat (grass for cows and free range for chickens) and do not give them antibiotics.

The market accepts credit cards, debit cards, and SNAP benefits and will match up to $5 for SNAP benefit cards holders.

MHS Students Win ‘Safe Streets’ Video Competition

Melrose High School students Christian Poutre and Andrew Dell Isola won the first prize in the Massachusetts Department of Transportation’s “Safe Streets, Smart Tips” video contest, beating out 40 other entries from 16 different schools. The winning video is above.

But that’s not all! Paris Peterson got an honorable mention for his safety video, which is below:

Congratulations to all our students!

MHS Student Selected for All-Eastern Concert Band

Congratulations to Melrose High School student Abraham Zimmerman, who has been selected to perform in the 2015 National Association for Music Education (NAfME) All-Eastern Honors Ensembles.

With the assistance of his music teacher, Mr. Matthew Repucci, this exceptional student will prepare remarkably challenging music that he will perform under the leadership of prominent conductors in this biennial event. Students will spend three days rehearsing with one of five conductors during the Eastern Division Conference of The National Association for Music Education to be held in Providence, Rhode Island in preparation for performances on April 11 and April 12, 2015.

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Band Fundraising Nightmare Turns into Something Very Special

Band Xmas Tree Sale

This article was sent in by Nancy Ingram of the Band-Aiders

On Friday afternoon, the band came to unload the trees, but the trees didn’t come. On Friday night, the people of Melrose came to buy the trees, but the trees didn’t come. On Saturday, the buses came to take the band to Gillette Stadium, but the trees didn’t come. And on Saturday night, the rain came, but still, the trees didn’t come.


When the MHS football team electrified their fans with a win over Tewksbury, the band knew they were in for a challenging Super Bowl weekend. But they didn’t know exactly how challenging it would be.

The annual Christmas Tree Sale had been scheduled months in advance. Hundreds of trees and wreaths had been ordered. What would happen to the sale while the band and their parents were at the Super Bowl? Right away alumni parents stepped up. The parents who thought their tree-sale days were over volunteered to fill every shift left open while the current band families would be at Gillette.

But Friday afternoon, when the trees would have arrived as they do every year like clockwork, nothing happened. The tent was up, the racks were ready. and the students assembled in the parking lot. The truck driver would almost always call to ask, “Where is the driveway?” But the truck did not arrive.

The tree grower, in Guysborough County, Nova Scotia, was baffled. He had loaded that truck the night before. An investigation revealed that the truck was inexplicably just crossing the US border. The band was sent home, but a few parents stayed to wait for the trees and inform customers as they rolled in. The schools and the Mayor’s office kindly notified the community of the delay. At 9 p.m., however, as the rains began, the band parents gave up for the night and went home.

Expecting to find the wayward truck in the MHS parking lot, the Saturday morning shift of students and parents arrived to disappointment. More phone calls to the bewildered tree grower. Two hours later, a different dispatcher called. A new truck was leaving Canada and would arrive by midnight. If she knew the whereabouts of the first truck, she wasn’t saying.

So while the new truck made its unplanned journey from Canada through Maine to Massachusetts, the band made its journey from Melrose through Boston to Foxborough with throngs of other excited football fans.

Then, at midnight, after the skies opened, and the relentless rain fell, and the sad team and fans returned home, the annual phone call came: “Where is the driveway to the high school parking lot, eh?”

And that’s when the band’s fundraising nightmare turned into a dream. By morning the skies cleared. Tired parents and students unloaded 400+ trees in an hour—with surprisingly big smiles. And the customers came back in droves. They laughed, they smiled, they expressed relief that the truck had arrived. And they bought trees. In less than eight hours the trees were gone. That is approximately one tree sold per minute.

The Christmas Tree Sale is the band’s biggest fundraiser. The money is used for scholarships, instruments, competition fees, buses, coaches and much more. It’s festive; it’s great fun. This year, more than ever, the sale was marked by kindness, concern, support and loyalty. Endless thanks go to the band students, parents, alumni, the school, the Mayor’s office, and more than ever before, the customers.

At 5 p.m. on Sunday, two customers pulled up to the sale site. They had come both Friday and Saturday only to find empty racks. Now the racks were empty again. Instead of an angry or frustrated response, the woman laughed, and the gentleman exclaimed, “Good for you! We were so worried about you.”

Dr. Seuss might have put it this way, “Welcome, Christmas, bring your cheer. Cheer to all Melrosians far and near. Christmas Day is in our grasp, so long as we have hands to clasp. Christmas Day will always be just as long as we have we. Welcome Christmas while we stand, heart to heart, and hand in hand.”

Thank you, Melrose.

MHS Drama Presents ‘Twelfth Night’

Melrose High School Drama presents William Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” on December 19 and 20 at 7:00 p.m. and December 20 at 1:00 p.m. at the Melrose Performing Arts Center, located at Melrose Veterans Memorial Middle School, 350 Lynn Fells Parkway. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for all students and seniors and will be available at the door and also online.

Directed by Adam Schuler and adapted by Emily Holmes, Shakespeare’s captivating comedy “Twelfth Night” tells the story of mismatched lovers and devious tricksters who navigate the slippery shores of Illyria in search of their own happy endings. A shipwreck separates twins Viola and Sebastian, each believing that the other is lost, but tragedy quickly turns to comedy when they wash up in a land turned upside-down by mistaken identities and romantic misunderstandings. With raucous antics, ravishing language, and richly drawn characters, Shakespeare creates a bittersweet tale of laughter and longing.

For more information on the play, email the director, Adam Schuler, at, or visit the Event Page on Facebook. For more general information on the Melrose Drama program, including upcoming productions, visit the program’s Facebook page.

Temple Beth Shalom Welcomes All to Christmas Dinner

In the spirit of caring, sharing and community, Temple Beth Shalom in Melrose is once again partnering with the Melrose Council on Aging to offer a special Christmas Day Dinner, to be served at the Green Street Baptist Church, 179 Green St., Melrose, for anyone in the area who wants to attend. People of all ages are welcome, families as well as singles. The event is free.

The doors will open at 12:30 PM on December 25, and serving will begin at 1:30 PM. To reserve a space, call the Milano Senior Center at 781-662-6886. Please indicate how many people will be attending, if any children will be coming, and whether you need a ride (special transportation accommodations available on request).

To volunteer on Christmas Day, please call Temple Beth Shalom at 781-665-4520 and leave a message. Donations to support this event can be made by sending a check to Temple Beth Shalom Christmas Dinner Fund, 21 East Foster St, Melrose 02176.

Good Luck to Our iRaiders Robotics Teams Tomorrow!

The Hoover Lego Lords

The Hoover Lego Lords

On Saturday, December 13, at Melrose Veterans Memorial Middle School, the iRaiders of Melrose will host five Melrose teams and 19 LEGO League teams from eastern Massachusetts in a qualifying competition for the US First LEGO League state championship. Students participate in four areas of competition: robotic competition against the clock, project, robot design, and core values. Melrose will field teams from the Horace Mann, Hoover, Roosevelt, St. Mary’s, and Melrose Veterans Memorial Middle School.

Come to the competition on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. It is free and open to the public. Wander around the pit area in the cafeteria and engage with the students to find out what they discovered, watch the competition in the auditorium, or listen to their project presentations given in the second half of the day.

The Horace Manniacs

The Horace Manniacs

The Horace Mann team (above) answered some questions about their robot:

What was the biggest challenge (or the hardest part) of building your robot? Was there anything that surprised you?

Having to focus on the programming. You can never focus because of all the Legos!

What is your favorite part of being on the robotics team?

Being in the competition, because it feels cool to participate. You see these big high schoolers using the robot, and you feel like them because now you are at the competition.

What makes your team, or your robot, special?

Our team—we have a lot of kids who are good at programming and other kids who are good at building Legos.

MHS Symphony and Chorus Join Forces for Holiday Concert

Here is a special holiday treat: The finale of the MHS Chorus/Symphony Orchestra concert, which took place last week. This was the first time they performed together and they did an awesome job. It was great to see the two groups collaborate to ring in the Holiday Season! Great idea from Mr. Luke Miller, who heads up the orchestra and Mrs. Kim Piper, who directs the chorus.

MHS Students Shine in VFW Voice of Democracy Competition

Jenna Santos

Jenna Santos

Melrose High School students experienced great success in the recent VFW Voice of Democracy speech contest, sponsored in Melrose by the Sgt. Harold O. Young VFW Post 2394.

At the post level of competition, freshman Briana Previlon placed third; this was her first time entering the competition. Sophomore Maria Drago, who placed third at the post-level last year, was this year’s second place winner.

Jenna Santos, also a sophomore, placed first at the post-level, moving her along to the district level of competition, where she also placed first! As the district winner, Jenna moves on to the department (state) level of the competition and will represent the district at an awards banquet in January.

Congratulations to all our winners, and best of luck to Jenna in the next phase of the competition!

Apply Now for the 2015 Melrose Arts Festival

Melrose Arts is in the process of accepting applications for its Annual Spring Show, which will be held April 24-26 in Memorial Hall.

All details can be found on the application. The deadline to apply is December 15. A video about the festival can be found on the Melrose Arts website.


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