Monday, February 28, 2011

Withey Remembered At Benefit Concert

By Lisa E. Crowley
BROCKTON—If Brockton's Frank Withey were with his friends Saturday night at the Shaw’s Center, those friends believe he would have been impressed at the level of talent, delighted with the turnout and rocking to the jams of a group of high school students who closed the show with a 10-plus piece jazz blowout.
“He would have loved it,” said Bill Sciore, who was one of about 300 people who attended the Frank Withey Scholarship Concert held Saturday night at the Shaw’s Center.
The center was turned into a 6-hour musical extravaganza featuring dual stages and a nearly constant lineup of bands filling the Shaw’s Center with foot-stomping blues, note-chasing jazz and soulful acoustic numbers.
Sciore, 55, who went to Brockton High School with Withey—a renowned musician and teacher—said when Withey was alive he brought people together and now nearly 5 years after his death, Withey is still packing the house.
“He seemed to be the catalyst for all of us to come together,” Sciore said. “He’s doing it even more now then when he was alive,” he said.
Withey, an associate professor at Berklee College of Music, died in 2006 of an overdose.
Initially, in 2006 friends thought they would attend a show at Scullers in Cambridge when Withey was expected to feature a new band he had put together. Instead, friends were dismayed to learn Withey had unexpectedly died and the concert turned into a memoriam night at Scullers.
The Withey Scholarship concerts were born and have been held at the Canoe Club in West Bridgewater and having grown to 16 bands--have since moved to the Shaw’s Center.
Linda Lovett, who manned the raffle table with her husband Tom, said she went to high school with Withey—someone who was one of those people who got along with everyone and everyone loved.
“He was a great guy—and a great musician,” she said.
Stanley Caperneros, one of the newly formed nonprofit foundation’s advisory board members, said he and other organizers thanked everyone who helped out, from the musicians who donated their time and talents to the event, to the lighting and sound people, to the hundreds who attended.
Capernaros said he particularly wanted to thank the high school students who began the show and ended the show.
“We wanted to highlight the kids,” Capernaros said. “Frank loved being around the kids,” he said.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Water Sampler Training Saturday

BROCKTON--The Taunton River Watershed Alliance is looking for volunteers to help take water quality samples and will hold a training session Saturday, Feb. 26 at 10 a.m. at the River Center located at the Gertrude M. Boyden Refuge in Taunton.
"Volunteer monitoring can be a great family activity, a good excuse to get out on the water, or simply a good way to learn about, and protect your favorite waterbody," said Executive Director Carolynn LaMarre in an email.
Qualifications are simple: No science background is needed; the ability to walk along river banks or side walks; enjoyment of the outdoors; and a concern for the community and its environment.
LaMarre said the alliance's volunteers come from diverse educational backgrounds and experiences, with some holding advanced degrees in science, and others who are still in high school.
No previous education or training is required except transportation to get to the sampling site and a desire to help out and get a little wet.
TRWA provides all the training, equipment and the lab work.
Hardy volunteers go out once a month to take samples at 2 or 3 locations each. The association then has the samples analyzed at a laboratory.
Most of the rivers and streams that must be monitored are quite shallow, and monitored from shoreside.
Monitoring takes place first thing in the morning once a month on the second Tuesday of the month.
Samples will be collected between 6 and 9 a.m. and must immediately be brought to a nearby location for analysis that can not be done in the field.
LaMarre said this spring's sampling is an important one because of the numerous snow storms, plowing, road treatment and runoff that may have impacted local streams.
Volunteers taking water samples will show if storm water drainage such as fuel, pesticides, sewage, road salt, and garbage have fouled the area's waters or have damaged fish habitat.
Those interested in volunteering should contact the alliance by calling 508-828-1101 or by emailing LaMarre at
Those who want to volunteer but can't make this date, should call and the association will try to have another training scheduled in March.
(Photos courtesy TRWA)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Concert Remembers Brockton Musician

BROCKTON--Friends and Family of Frank Withey will host the annual scholarship fund concert in the Brockton musician's honor Saturday, Feb. 26 at the Shaw's Center beginning at 7 p.m.
Withey, a well-known musician in the area and a composition professor at Berklee College of Music, died in 2006 at age 51.
Saturday's concert will feature many of his former students and friends.
Tickets are $25 and are a tax deductible donation. Tickets can be purchased online at or can be purchased at the door.
All proceeds benefit The Frank Withey Memorial Scholarship Foundation. For more information about the musical lineup and Withey visit the Foundation's website at

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

RSVP For Library Doll-Making Workshop

BROCKTON--Brockton Public Library will host a special African doll-making workshop Saturday, Feb. 26 beginning at 2 p.m. in the children's room of the main branch on Main Street.
Children between the ages of 3 and 100 are invited to join a doll-making workshop presented by Debbie Britt, Felicia Walker and Tammy Madison from Doll E Daze, a project dedicated to advancing African-American history through doll making and other activities.
Participants will hear the " Legend of Cecilia" and create their own African wrap doll.
This event is free but participants are asked to signup in advance in person or by calling 508-580-7890 ext.301.
(Doll photo courtesy The Hatch Collection of Black Cloth Dolls)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Coat Drives Bring Warmth To Needy

BROCKTON--Crescent Credit Union along with Anton’s Cleaners and Dermody’s Cleaners to collect and clean 626 winter coats collected in braches and stores in Brockton and Norwell--all of which were delivered to non-profit community organizations.
"The success of the coat drive is a testament to the compassion of our community, said Crescent Credit Union President Robert Gustafson in a prepared statement.
“We were able to surpass last year’s collection total due to the tremendous generosity of our friends, neighbors, members and employees," he said.
The 626 coats collected this year exceeds the 559 coats collected in 2009, the inaugural year of Crescent Credit Union’s annual winter coat drive.
In Brockton and Norwell, Crescent branches collected coat donations in partnership with Anton's Cleaners, who cleaned the coats at no charge and distributed them via BU Medical Center's Outreach Van, Catholic Charities, Community Giving Tree, Cradles to Crayons, Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless, MASSCAP, The Salvation Army, and many more.
In Taunton, Crescent branches collected coat donations in partnership with Dermody's Cleaners, who cleaned the coats free of charge and delivered them to the St. Vincent de Paul Society Center for distribution to the needy.
The coat drive began in mid-October and wrapped up Saturday, January 8. An announcement of the success of the coat drive was released earlier this month.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Wrestling Show Takes Center Stage At Shaw's Center

BROCKTON--Top Rope Promotions and Lynch's Towing will present a Wrestling Supershow Saturday, February 19 at the Shaw's Center in Brockton.
Bell time is at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20 and are general admission.
The fight card features superstars Hacksaw Jim Duggan, former "Mr. USA" Tony Atlas, Doink the Clown, Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake, and TNA's Robbie E.
The night's special attraction is Ring of Honor star and former heavyweight champion "The Prodigy" Mike Bennett vs. Frankie Arion.
The night's tag team attraction features former TNA X-Division champion Robbie E. and current TRP Heavyweight Champion Tommaso Ciampa vs. Matt Taven and Vinny Marseglia.
For advance tickets via the internet visit, or by phone at 508-802-3526 or 508-525-1866.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Identity Theft Program At Christo's

BROCKTON--The Brockton Lions Club invites all interested parties to attend its upcoming presentation, "Identity Theft and Scams," Monday Feb. 7 at Christo's Restaurant beginning at 6:30 p.m.
The program is free.
The presentation will be given by the Plymouth County Sheriff's Department Community Outreach Division and will help attendees protect themselves from identity theft and the latest internet, mail and phone scams.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

RSVP By Feb. 11 For BSU Hall Of Black Achievement Celebration

Brockton--Bridgewater State University will hold its 23rd annual Hall of Black Achievement Heritage Celebration on Saturday, Feb. 26, from 5 to 9:30 p.m. in the East Campus Commons.
The event will include a reception hour, dinner, the induction of this year's Hall of Black Achievement honorees, and the presentations of the Mary Hudson Onley Achievement Award and the Sarah Lewis Social Justice Award. Student Achiever Awards will be presented to ten BSU students, as well as students from other state institutions.
This year's Hall of Black Achievement inductees are George Lewis Ruffin and Josephine St. Pierre Ruffin. (Pictured above)
The recipient of the Mary Hudson Onley Award is Harvard Professor Charles Ogletree. (Pictured at right)
Tickets are $30 for adults, and $15 for students.
Payment must be received to secure seating. Please RSVP by Feb. 11. Credit cards will not be accepted. Black tie optional.
East Campus Commons is located at 125 Burrill Ave.
In the event of inclement weather, please call 508-531-1777 for weather-related information. Please contact Donna Wood at 508-531-1429 or for tickets or more information.
Bio info for Josephine and George Ruffin:
Josephine St. Pierre Ruffin was born in Boston in 1842 and devoted her life to the rights of African-American women. She assisted in the formation of the American Woman Suffrage Association in 1869. While committed to the rights of all women, Mrs. Ruffin worked zealously to address the double jeopardy of racism and sexism experienced by women of color.
She organized the National Federation of Afro-American Women, convening the first national conference in Boston, and assisted with the establishment of the NAACP in 1910. Mrs. Ruffin, a member of The New England Women’s Press Association, became the first African-American woman to publish a newspaper, The Woman’s Era, which focused on the rights and achievements of black women. The League of Women for Community Service, a Boston group she helped co-found in 1918, is still active today assisting families in need in larger black communities.
George Lewis Ruffin: First African American to Graduate Harvard Law School; First African American to serve as a judge in Boston.
George Lewis Ruffin was born in Richmond, Virginia in 1836. He moved with his family to Boston in 1853 to protest Virginia’s ban on African Americans learning to read. After finishing school, Mr. Ruffin worked in a barbershop while he studied law. He graduated from Harvard Law School with the distinction of being the first black graduate of a law school in the United States. He was one of the first African Americans to be admitted to the Massachusetts bar, and he became the first African-American judge in Massachusetts. Mr. Ruffin was elected to the House of Representatives and served on the Common Council.
In addition to his successful legal career, Mr. Ruffin and his wife, Josephine St. Pierre Ruffin, were active in the fight against slavery and the struggle for justice. In celebration of his work and life, the Justice George Lewis Ruffin Society was founded in 1984, and supports minority professionals in the Massachusetts criminal justice system.
Charles J. Ogletree is Jesse Climenko Professor at Harvard Law School, the founder of the school's Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice, and remains a supporter and mentor to President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama since both the President and First Lady attended Ogletree's classes at Harvard.
(Photos above of George Ruffion and Ogletree courtesy of Harvard Law School, Harvard Law School Art Collection. Photo of Josephine Ruffin courtesy of Trustees of Brockton Public Library)