Block party postponed but Rotary Club helps gas crisis victims
By Judy Wakefield [email protected]
Sep 20, 2018

At the
Andover Cares Block Party, lifting spirits is a 'mane' event

Staff report
Sep 13, 2018, Andover Townsman


At the Andover Cares Block Party, lifting spirits is a 'mane' event]
Peaches and Lulu (and their respective moms Toni Haddad and Susan Comeau, both of Andover) will be on hand for the Andover Cares Block Party (featuring a "Pooch Parade")  ( NEW DATE: OCTOBER 13, 2018) this Saturday, Sept. 15 from 11 to 3 p.m., in The Park at the corner of Chestnut and Bartlet streets. 
Three miniature therapy horses, Peaches and her "siblings" Banshee and Tonka, will be featured at this Saturday's "Andover Cares Block Party."
The horses are part of the organization "Lifting Spirits," founded by Toni Hadad, who said people are born with a yearning to connect to horses.
"I've been mucking stalls since I was 5, which takes a lot of discipline," she said. 
It was Toni's father's post-military career that gave her the inspiration to connect horses with healing.
"My dad's job took him around to nursing homes and he would often bring us (her and her five siblings) with him," she said. "He always insisted that we 'give back,' so often we'd come with gift baskets. But even giving just our time made the people light up in a way I'll never forget." 
While it's known that riding horses releases the "feel good hormone" oxytocin, Haddad's studies support that just being around and touching these pint-size wonders creates a therapeutic response, especially for people with afflictions such as autism, Alzheimer's, veterans with PTSD, and those suffering from addiction.
"Time after time I've seen care-givers marvel over the horse's ability to elicit a reaction of pure joy out of people who were otherwise unresponsive," she said.
The mission of Lifting Spirits to promote overall well-being extends to the community at large. In addition to underscoring "Anti-Bullying" messages, there is something called the "Valor Program" where police officers accompany the mini horses into schools and settings where they want to communicate the fact that they are human and approachable, and indeed there if you need help.
To meet Peaches, Banshee and Tonka, go to the Andover Cares Block Party, sponsored by The Rotary Club of Andover and Andover's Community Services, which is taking place Saturday, Sept. 15 from 11 to 3 p.m. at The Park located at the corner of Chestnut and Bartlet Streets.

Andover Cares festival now has pooch parade, pie eating contest
By Judy Wakefield [email protected]

Sep 13, 2018

[Andover Cares festival now has pooch parade, pie eating contest]
File photo. Educational booths were set up at the annual Andover Cares festival in Andover last year.
Amanda Sabga
Who let the dogs in?
 Andover Rotary Club members did, that's who!
The group is hosting its fourth annual Andover Cares festival this ( NEW DATE: OCTOBER 13, 2018) Saturday, Sept. 15 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in The Park and organizers say the festival, devoted to opioid abuse awareness, includes a "pooch parade" for the first time. Organizers hope the parade will bring more families, and their leashed canines, to the festival.
Andover Cares was founded as the opioid crisis was hitting communities, including Andover, hard.  
Vendors set up booths and help with addiction counseling resources. Previously held in October, the festival was moved to September in hopes of better weather.
In addition, the festival has broadened a bit, taking on a block party theme this year, with the pooch parade, a best trick contest and a dunk tank as a way to get more people to attend. Plus, health and wellness is now a key part of the festival's mission. There will also be music and food.
"Andover Cares has evolved each year to reflect what we believe is the best way to accomplish the mission of 'A Fight Against Addiction and A Celebration of Wellness,'" said Rotary Club member and Selectman Paul Salafia in an email. "To increase attendance and awareness, this year the committee voted to have a more family friendly event with fun family games, food, music and a dunk tank. The more people who attend will mean the more people that will be exposed to the message of wellness and fighting addiction. Of course, we will still have addiction counselling resources to assist the community in dealing with these challenges."
Salafia said the pooch parade was just one of the ideas intended to increase attendance.
"After all, who doesn’t love their dog?" he asked. The dunk tank will be featuring some well-known names our community including Salafia and selectman Alex Vispoli, school superintendent Dr. Sheldon Berman and Andover High School baseball coach Dan Grams.

Teams can register for the contests to win prizes. Also throughout the day there will be pony rides, inflatable bounce houses, jousting, face painting and more.

What: Andover Cares block party
When: Saturday, Sept. 15, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., includes pooch parade and best trick contest noon; dancers, singers and more on main stage .
Where: The Park, Chestnut and Bartlet streets, Andover

Who: Co-sponsored by the Rotary Club of Andover and the Town of Andover's Department of Community Services
 Admission: Free

Andover Cares draws hundreds
This year's focus was on wellness as number heroin overdoses drops

By Mike Labella Staff writer 

Oct 12, 2017

Board of Selectmen Chairman Paul Salafia captured the attention of a crowd that had gathered in front of a stage at Saturday’s third annual Andover Cares Community Festival when he announced that drug overdose deaths in the town had plummeted, as have Narcan responses. He attributed it in part to the festival, which was launched two years ago by Andover Cares, a program of the Andover Rotary Club that has raised nearly $100,000 to heighten the awareness of addiction, prevention, and support services.

This year’s festival, which partnered with Andover Community Services, expanded its scope to include wellness.  Salafia said that in 2015, Andover lost nearly 12 people to drug overdoses. Dozens were saved by Narcan, an anti-opiate medication typically administered by first responders. “Two years later, deaths are way down, as are Narcan saves,” he said. “This tells me an event like this can actually save lives. “I could not have dreamed we would be this successful, but we need to keep educating people so that we keep those numbers down,” Salafia added.

Saturday’s festival, which saw nearly triple the number of participating informational vendors, drew hundreds of adults and children from throughout the area.  Visitors wandered from table to table to pick up information from vendors such as Elder Services of the Merrimack Valley, Lahey Crisis Behavioral Services, Lazarus House Ministries, Lawrence General Hospital, Lowell House, Methuen Police Cares Initiative, Andover Parent to Parent, Bedford Veterans Administration and Northeast Veterans Outreach Center.  Vendors offered visitors information about health, addiction and wellness services, while handing out promotional gifts such as pens, lip balm and candy.  Andover’s Memorial Library table was popular with children who were invited to spin a wheel and win prizes such as pencils, stickers, and buttons.  “We’re also here to raise awareness of our library, and how we can all help make our community a healthier place,” said Teen Services Librarian Renata Sancken.

To attract families with young children, the event included a bouncy house maze and an inflated jousting platform where children battled with wide, inflated jousting sticks. There was face painting, a drum circle, and several food vendors. Everyone who stopped at the event’s welcoming table received a free ticket to a raffle for gift certificates to local merchants.  Visiting at least 15 exhibitors earned visitors three additional chances to win prizes.  “We did a post-event review last year and we applied that feedback to this year’s festival,” said Al Ruthazer, chairperson of Andover Cares and a member of Rotary. “We went from a dozen vendors last year to 32 vendors this year.”

Paul Arena of Andover brought his 9-year-old daughter Adriana to the event. He saw it as an opportunity to obtain information about the signs of addiction and addiction services, not only for his own education but for members of the National Association of Government Employees that he represents.  “You don’t usually see this much information in one spot,” Arena said. “This isn’t something you would typically bring kids to, but it’s good to have this information so you don’t have to play catch up later on.”

Ho-Anh Tran of Methuen brought her daughter Emily, 10, and Emily’s friend, Addie, 10, to the festival. The girls stopped at a table hosted by Mary O’Neil of Serenity at Summit, a detox and residential center in Haverhill, and gleefully filled up paper bags with candy.  Although they came to the festival with the intention of hearing Beatlejuice, a Beatles cover band, Tran and the girls visited many vendor tables.
“I work with high school students in a credit recovery program, and the information that’s available here will be helpful to me,” Tran said.

Ben and Jade Ma of Andover brought their daughters Cadence, 7, and Cloris, 4, for the second year in a row.  “We try to go to all of the community events that we can,” Ben Ma said.

Denise Wall, the event’s public relations and marketing committee chair, said one goal of the event was to attract families with children as young as elementary school age, and above.  “The need to be aware of substance abuse starts early,” Wall said.

In following with the theme of the event, musicians who performed included messages of coming together as a community, and messages about combating drug abuse.
Alan Michel, a Rotary member who coordinated the bands, lighting and stage, said that every band performing at the festival had been touched by loss to addiction, including Generation H, which featured Regi Hendrix, a second cousin to guitar legend Jimi Hendrix, and percussionist Gerardo “Jerry” Velez, who performed with Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock.  Debra Sarjeant, who goes by the stage name “Sista Dee,” said she created a song list that spoke directly to loss and addiction. One of her song’s, titled “One Perfect Love,” included the lyrics, “No more drug addicted mothers ... it’s time to unite.”  “Natural High is another song I wrote with a message,” she said while reciting the lyrics prior to her performance. “I don’t need no weed, I don’t need no line, just love make me feel fine ... Natural High.”

The Andover Cares Fund was established to provide money, in the form of grants, to individuals or organizations. Grants may be used for any purpose which will help address the opiate addiction epidemic, including education, prevention, and treatment. Grant requests are considered on a rolling basis. For more information, email [email protected]

Visit online at

The event was held in the park opposite the Cormier Youth Center.
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Andover Cares
Andover Days 2017

Applause! Applause!

Marking their 24th production since the late 1980s, the South Church Players will perform the Wizard of Oz for their annual spring musical March 17-19. Focusing on the theme of “no place like home,” proceeds from this year’s production will benefit Andover Cares
If You Go
When: Friday, March 17, 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, March 18, 5:30 p.m; Sunday, March 19, 2 p.m.
Where: South Church, 41 Central St., Andover
How: Tickets $12 in advance, $15 at the door, $48 for a family of four or more. Box Office will be open 10-12 am March 16 & 17 at South Church. Call 978-475-0321 for more information. 

“So many homes in our community and surrounding communities have been devastated by the opioid epidemic. We are thrilled to support Andover Cares this year with our annual musical,” said Linda Zimmerman, who along with Deb White, will again be directing the show this year.
“We are very grateful to South Church for their support and we encourage everyone to come see this wonderful production. It will be a great show supporting an important cause,” said Al Ruthazer of the Rotary Club
Ms. White said the annual musical builds community within the church and serves as a gift to the larger community.
“We not only support community charities, we welcome others from the community to join our show,” she said. “Our cast regularly includes residents of Andover and North Andover as well as members of other faith communities.”
This year’s cast includes Caroline Pace of North Andover as Dorothy, Bruce Waters of Andover as the Scarecrow, Faolan Curtin as the Tin Man, Justin Bacchi of Andover as the Cowardly Lion, Emma Harris of Andover as Glinda and Frannie Eisenman of North Andover as the Wicked Witch.
Ms. Zimmerman noted that again this year new people will hold the lead roles and 6 families will participate together.
“Every year, we watch new stars, especially among the youth, blossom on the stage,” she s
aid. “This year is no different. Our young people in the play are amazing.”
Ms. White noted that the musical welcomes all who want to join.
“No matter how many people try out and no matter what their musical or acting experience, everyone is given a part,” Ms. Zimmerman said. “We welcome everyone into this theater community.  And many participate year after year”.  That includes Donna Schroeder and Ted Harris who have both participated since 1994.  “It’s spring, it’s the play, it’s what I do,” said Mr. Harris. 
- See more at:

Chamber kicks off holidays
with caring benefit
(Andover Cares Fund)

​Andover Townsman Article
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Raising Awareness, Money
(Andover Townsman)

Andover Cares concert focuses in on heroin problem in town
By Caitlin Walsh [email protected]
September 22, 2016

​​​Click Here to see article


  1. Volunteer Crew
    Volunteer Crew
    Volunteers from the Rotary Club, Andover, Andover Youth Services & AHS gather to kick off the Festival.
  2. Face Painting
    Face Painting
    Kids activities included Face painting, tattoos, balloon animals, frisbee toss, football & bubbles.
  3. Gary Hoey & Son
    Gary Hoey & Son
  4. The Improbable Players
    The Improbable Players
  5. Addiction, Heroin, support
    Resource Exhibitors
  6. Temple Emanuel Donation to Andover Cares Fund
    Temple Emanuel Donation to Andover Cares Fund
  7. Musical Performances
    Musical Performances
  8. Rust Never Sleeps Band
    Rust Never Sleeps Band
  9. Welcome Booth
    Welcome Booth
  10. Heroin, addiction, overdose, teen support
    Sobhan Namvar, Community Support Coordinator

Andover Cares Festival 2016
September 17, 2016

     ANDOVER, MA – The Rotary Club of Andover’s Andover Cares Festival returns for a second year Saturday, September 17, 2016, 3:00pm to 9:00pm, at the Doherty Fields and Cormier Youth Center, Whittier Court, Andover.  Entertainment includes local musical talent Rust Never Sleeps (Neil Young cover band), Carissa Johnson, young musicians from the Real School of Music, and a variety of other acts.  The Festival will also feature talks and discussion forums by experts in the opiate addiction field. Plus there will be lots of entertainment for the kids and plenty of food and beverages to make the festival a day for the entire family. One way Andover Cares raises funds is through donations of $20 toward an Andover Cares button. Kids under the age of 18 can contribute $10 for a button. By purchasing a button and wearing it throughout the year, supporters will spread the word about Andover Cares. Buttons can be purchased in advance at

     The Andover Cares Music Festival raises awareness about the opioid addiction crisis facing our communities, while raising funds to support the Andover Cares Fund. The Andover Cares Fund supports opioid addiction education efforts and services.

     Andover Cares Music Festival sponsorship opportunities are available. Contact Andover Rotarian Amy Salant at [email protected] for more information on becoming a community leader in the fight against substance abuse addiction.

      Andover Rotary launched the Andover Cares movement in 2015 as a response to the record-breaking number of heroin-related deaths and incidents that hit the Andover community in 2014 and 2015. Andover Cares was inspired by several members of the Rotary Club of Andover who have been touched by the heroin epidemic. Andover Cares leaders understand that the issue is complex and that there is no single answer that will solve the problem. The Rotary Club of Andover is committed to those who work on the front lines – our educators, law enforcement, and health professionals – which is why the club created the Andover Cares Fund. The Fund awards money to organizations that can make a difference in the fight against substance abuse and addiction.

      Andover Cares grant applications are accepted on a rolling basis for any amount $500 to $10,000. Applications can be downloaded on the Rotary Club of Andover website, , or the soon to be released . In the first year, Andover Rotary and Andover Cares raised $60,000. The goal this year is to raise $75,000 to support opiate and addiction education and resources. Donations can be made on the EventBrite website, or by sending a check payable to Andover Cares Fund to The Rotary Club of Andover, PO Box 1152, Andover, MA 01810.

     For further information, email [email protected] . To learn more about how the Town of Andover is responding to the opiate crisis go to .

The Rotary Club of Andover is a service organization "where doing good is serious fun."  Area business and community leaders from the Merrimack Valley come together to contribute to our local and international communities through a variety of rewarding civic projects. The Rotary Club of Andover meets Fridays at 7:30am at the Lanam Club, 260 N. Main Street in Andover, MA. For additional meeting days and times visit

Rotary Club of Andover contact:  Elaine Clements, 978-475-22236,[email protected]
Andover Cares Music Festival contact: Demetrius Spanaeas, 617-999-6269
Andover Cares contact:  Al Ruthazer, 978-886-7713

The Rotary Club of Andover, P.O Box 1152, Andover, Massachusetts 01810

Andover Days

Andover Cares joins heroin fight

Fundraising festival planned for October
By Terry Date [email protected]
Aug 25, 2015

ANDOVER — The Rotary Club of Andover is the latest group to take on the opiate epidemic in town by scheduling a fundraiser festival Oct. 17 the Cormier Youth Center, Andover, MA.

All proceeds from the five-hour event, from 3 to 8 p.m., will go to the Andover Cares Fund, which, in turn, will support Andover's three-tiered solution to opiate addiction: education, treatment and enforcement.

Rotary President Don Gottfried said the organization's members have been talking for the last month about hosting a large fundraiser given how the opiate problem has come to the forefront for people.

Seven people in Andover have died from opiate overdoses since Jan. 1. Selectmen voted earlier this month to advertise for two positions to combat heroin addiction.

The ultimate goal is to promote life and to help stop the heroin-related deaths and overdoses.

"Everybody, including us, has to step up," Gottfried said.

The fundraiser will feature music and family activities. The headliner, yet to be announced, will be a local well-known New England act, he said.

Backing up the band will be one or two other New England bands. In addition, the line-up will include local young musicians, perhaps those from the Real School of Music in town or the Andover High School jazz band. 

The Rotary is moving full speed ahead to make the fundraiser happen and is seeking the public's help. Six committees have been established: fundraising/legal/project leadership, entertainment and activities, logistics and event management, food and alcohol, marketing, and education. Contact Gottfried at 617-699-3585 to join one of the committees or to donate to the Andover Cares Fund. 

Merrimack Valley Prevention and Substance Abuse Project - mvpasap

The Merrimack Valley Prevention and Substance Abuse Project (MVPASAP) will be holding its quarterly community group meeting on August 11, 2016 at Memorial Hall Library in Andover, MA. The meeting will begin promptly at 7:00 PM.

Our agenda includes updates on our recent outreach efforts, upcoming events including our annual conference (volunteer opportunities!!) in September as well two guests speakers. A representative from the Governor's Safe and Healthy Massachusetts Communities Campaign will address the upcoming ballot question to legalize marijuana and Andover Police Department's Community Support Coordinator Sobhan Namvar, LICSW (also a MVPASAP member) will talk about his role in the community and the services he is providing.

We hope that you can join us and as always ... please let others know about the event /organization as all are welcome to come help make a difference!

A New Way to Show Support for Andover Cares

March 25, 2016

The Rotary Club of Andover's Andover Cares event and movement that started in the fall of 2015 inspired local resident and jewelery designer Aileen Peters to create an Andover Cares bracelet. Proceeds from bracelet sales support the Andover Cares Fund, which supports educational efforts to address the opioid epidemic facing our community. Each bracelet sells for $25 and $10 of every sale goes to the Andover Cares Fund. Bracelets can be purchased at Helen Thomas Simply Smashing! at 90 Main Street. Bracelets come in both polished and matte finish. Each has a small muslin bag and a card, which includes information about Andover Cares, the meaning of the bracelet design, and a list of community resources for substance abuse support.
Bracelets feature the Morse Code symbols for S.O.K. for Save Our Kids. “A bit of artistic license was used in creating these bracelets,” wrote Aileen on the card that accompanies each bracelet, “Traditional Morse Code is in two planes: dashes up ad dots down. In this representation of S.O.K., the letters are started on the same plane. The 'K' now shows a long dot, lingering below. This interpretation symbolizes our communities' need to support those on the outskirts, isolated, left behind, or needing help. It symbolizes our goal as a village to care for every member, to have the courage to tell someone is a friend is in need (be your 'brother's keeper') or to ask for help yourself. It also symbolized how easy it is to be on the right path, and suddenly drop off, to make a misstep.”
Aileen Peters was honored at the 2013 Andover Rotary Citizen Who Cares event for her volunteer work in the Andover-Lawrence community. Her Andover Cares bracelet is another way give back to the community. Her work can be found on her Facebook page, Aileen Peters Handcrafted Jewelry.
Andover Cares and the Andover Cares Fund were established in fall 2015, inspired by several members of the Rotary Club of Andover who lives have been touched by the heroin epidemic plaguing our community, our state, and our nation. "We have club members whose families have been personally impacted," said Rotary Club President Don Gottfried, "As we polled the community, it was remarkable how many stories we heard of loved ones who had been overcome by addiction."
The Andover Cares Fund was established to provide money, in the form of grants, to individuals or organizations. Grants may be used for any purpose which will help address the opiate addiction epidemic, including education, prevention, and treatment. Grant requests are considered on a rolling basis. For information and grant application visit and the Andover Cares page.

State Police warn about unusually deadly brand of heroin

By Nicole Fleming Globe Correspondent  January 02, 2016
The Massachusetts State Police have issued a warning about an especially lethal batch of heroin being sold under the name “Hollywood,” that is believed to have caused eight fatal overdoses in the last week in Chicopee and Holyoke.
“For reasons still to be determined, the heroin being sold under that stamp has proven exceptionally deadly in recent days,” David Procopio, a state police spokesman, said in a statement released early Saturday evening.
Three of the eight victims died on New Year’s Day, he said.
State Police detectives assigned to the Hampden County District Attorney’s office, and local police in Chicopee and Holyoke, are investigating the source of the drug, according to the statement.
State Police are compiling data on the overdoses to help other law enforcement agencies. “We urge anyone using heroin or any illicit drug to seek medical help/counseling,” Procopio said in the statement.
The Massachusetts Substance Abuse Information and Education Helpline, staffed 7 days a week, provides free confidential support for alcohol and other drug abuse problems. The toll-free number is 1-800-327-5050. For those using the TTY device for hearing assistance, call 1-888-448-8321. For more information, visit .

Karma Restaurant event to support Andover Cares
Thanks so much to Karma Restaurant for their generous
$9,100 donation to the "Andover Cares" Fund!
Iverson Guo, Karma Restaurant, came to the Andover Board of Selectmen to present the Rotary Club of Andover with this generous donation to support the fight against opiate addiction in our town. Karma Restaurant, in Shawsheen Plaza, hosted a sold out fundraiser featuring New England Patriot’s players Rob Ninkovich, Nate Ebner, Ryan Allen and Doinique Easley.  The fundraiser featured a silent auction, food, and fan photos with the players.
This is a shining example of the town along with a service club, a local business and hundreds of our citizens coming together for a very worthy cause. The Andover Cares fund will be used to support ongoing education and prevention efforts by community groups in the fight against Opiate addiction.

Lawrence Eagle Tribune article, December 1, 2015

Patriots Help Combat Herion Crisis
By Gabriella Cruz [email protected]
On the field, the New England Patriots spend the majority of their time pushing back against the opposing team. Off the field, some players are pushing back against the growing heroin epidemic that has plagued communities across the state.
Velvet ropes surrounded the red carpet outside Karma Restaurant in Andover Monday evening as community members gathered to support a local cause and meet members of the Patriots team.
Four Patriots players joined nearly 100 community members for a fundraising event at Karma Restaurant on North Main Street in Andover Monday night.  All of the proceeds from "An Evening with the New England Patriots" will benefit the Rotary Club of Andover's Andover Cares initiative, which works to combat the heroin crisis.
Defensive linemen Dominique Easley and Rob Ninkovich, safety Nate Ebner and punter Ryan Allen were excited not only for the sushi they'd heard so much about, but also for the impact the event would have on the community.
"We were kind of surprised at how much energy there is and how electric the whole event has been so far," Ebner said. "It's pretty awesome to come and support this event. I'm excited to do anything I can to help and to have some good sushi while we're at it."
Ninkovich seconded Ebner's enthusiasm about helping the community, as well as the opportunity to try Karma's food.
"I'm just happy to be here for the community and show my face and just do what I can," Ninkovich said. "I think this is an awesome event, and I'm excited to eat here. I've heard they've got some awesome stuff."
Iverson Guo, owner of Karma, was especially grateful to the community and the Patriots for coming together to support the initiative's efforts to fight the heroin epidemic that has hit not just Andover, but the entire state.
"Helping solve the ongoing heroin crisis that is sweeping this community is extremely important," Guo said. "I am especially thankful to all of our town leaders for bringing Karma into this great Andover community and allowing us to give back to the community, which is something we hope to continue to do through events like this."
Although the initial excitement for the event was garnered by the football players' appearances, the event's purpose is what resonated most with town leaders and the players themselves.
"I really appreciate the community effort to address this problem in Andover," Town Manager Andrew Flanagan said. "There are so many components to how we as a town can combat this issue and fundraising is definitely an important step toward our goals."
Guo and the Patriots have a relationship that Guo said goes back further than just Monday's event. Before he founded Karma, Guo was a sushi chef at a restaurant in Franklin where Patriots players often ate. When he decided to follow his dream of owning his own restaurant, Guo said the team helped him get started in more ways than one.
"Very few realize that there is an amazing connection that Karma has with the Patriots team," Guo said. "It was the Patriots that helped me choose the name 'Karma,' and over the years, I worked many events for various Patriots players. This event, however, is closest to my heart."
Tickets to the event sold for $100 each and included a full dinner buffet, drinks, a gift bag and meet-and-greets with the players. Signed Patriots memorabilia was up for silent auction throughout the event and included helmets, footballs, jerseys and photographs.
The Andover Cares Fund will award grants to programs that support Andover’s three-tiered solution to opiate addiction — education, treatment and enforcement. Guo said that proceeds from Monday's event will also go toward a scholarship fund for Andover students.
While the players were focused on supporting the Andover community off the field, Ninkovich said he and the team will be working toward another winning season back on the field.
"We're coming back from a tough loss," Ninkovich said. "So we've just got to watch the tape, learn our lesson, move on, and continue to push on through the season and look forward."


Memorial Hall Library
Opioid Addiction Panel Discussion Online

The September 29th opioid addiction panel discussion is now 
Find additional resources and the 
slides  from the panel discussion at

For Immediate Release: September 28, 2015    
The Heroin Crisis: Andover Cares Festival to Raise Funds

ANDOVER, MA – The Rotary Club of Andover is taking a leadership role to address the opioid crisis plaguing our community by raising awareness and funds. The first of many fundraising efforts will be the Andover Cares Festival in the Park, Saturday, October 17, 2015, 3:00p.m. to 8:00p.m. The Andover Cares Festival in the Park is open to the public and features live music, family activities and an addiction resource area. Reserved seating can be purchased for $100 online at
Bringing the festival message of Not One More to the forefront will be a handful of speakers who provide support and inspiration to those affected by this opioid crisis, sharing the stage with headliners The Jon Butcher Axis, Hayley Jane and the Primates and local musician Casey McQuillen. Grammy-nominated Jon Butcher began influencing the Boston music scene back in the 80's with MTV videos and hit songs “Life Takes A Life,” “Holy War,” and “Wishes.”  Butcher's is a music career that spans four decades and continues today with his production company, Electric Factory Music, that scores music for television series for the likes of HBO, Showtime and ABC. Hayley Jane and the Primates' diverse sound combines clever lyrics and skilled musicianship for live performances that has created a serious buzz in the Northeast and beyond.  A special guest appearance from our locally grown American Idol contestant, Casey McQuillen, brings her beautiful voice and her important "You Matter" message.
Andover Cares was inspired by several Andover Rotarian members who have been touched by the heroin epidemic. “We have club members whose families have been personally impacted. As we polled the community, it was remarkable how many stories we heard of loved ones who had been overcome by addiction,” said Rotary Club President Don Gottfried. “Parents of school-aged children express fear and anxiety over how to protect their own children. I was both shocked and scared when a worker told my wife about all the drug paraphernalia they’ve been finding in the park, right next to a middle school. As Rotary members, we decided to be part of the solution rather than on the sidelines of a very challenging problem. We are eager to tackle this head on.”
Festival sponsorship opportunities are available. To date, nearly $20,000 has been raised from Andover businesses and individuals at a variety of sponsor levels and benefits. Sponsorship packets are available at Century Bank, 15 Elm Street in Andover. All profits go the Andover Cares Fund, which will support intervention and education initiatives within Andover's three-tiered approach to the  addiction crisis: education, intervention and enforcement.
Another fundraising effort The Rotary Club of Andover has launched is the sale of “The Heroin Crisis: Andover Cares” buttons for $20.  To encourage youth participation and awareness, students may purchase buttons for $10 each. Andover Cares buttons went on sale during Andover Day on Saturday, September 12, where the Interact Club of Andover High School helped the cause by raising over $1,600.Both festival tickets and buttons can be purchased from Rotary Club members and online through For further information, visit the Rotary Club website at . Email  [email protected]  with questions or to get involved in this town-wide event.

The Rotary Club of Andover is a service organization "where doing good is serious fun."  Area business and community leaders from the Merrimack Valley come together to contribute to our local and international communities through a variety of rewarding civic projects. Meetings are held Fridays at 7:30a.m. at the Lanam Club, 260 N. Main Street in Andover, MA.
The Rotary Club of Andover, P.O Box 1152, Andover, Massachusetts 01810


ANDOVER —  Chief Patrick Keefe reports that the Andover Police Department is taking steps to combat opioid addiction in the community by hiring two full-time people to provide assistance, resources and help to residents in need.

The additional staff, which will work directly with Chief Keefe, are part of the police department’s overall mission to alter they way addiction is handled in town.

“We know that residents are struggling with the disease of addiction and we are committed to removing the demand in Andover by getting residents the assistance they need to recover,” Chief Keefe said. “Our goal is to save lives and educate the community about resources and available opportunities for treatment.”

Andover Police will partner with the Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative (P.A.A.R.I.) to help addicts by offering information and advice at no cost and by assisting those seeking treatment and recovery services, through its growing network of providers.

The Police Department is also working with Andover Youth Services and the Town’s Department of Public Health, which will hold a public overdose training in conjunction with the Greater Lawrence Family Health Center. Community members are encouraged to attend the free event at the Andover Police Station on Aug. 26 from 6-8 p.m. (Click here for the event’s flyer.)

The program coordinator will develop, collaborate and implement programs for substance abuse prevention, addiction awareness and wellness and prevention for residents, businesses and families. The coordinator will:

  • Provide counseling services to individuals and families impacted by addiction, substance abuse and related mental health issues and make appropriate referrals to available programs and resources.
  • Facilitate meetings, programs and functions within the community and work with officials to maintain current policies and procedures to ensure the community is receiving current information.
  • Coordinate with town officials, the school department, businesses, families and individuals to implement programs.

Andover’s clinician will assist the program coordinator with promoting community awareness surrounding addiction, substance abuse and mental health issues, and will work to deliver educational and outreach information. Main areas of focus will include:

  • Helping residents access appropriate medical intervention services, including the inpatient/outpatient process, interventions, rehabilitation and recovery issues and the integration of addicts back into the community.
  • Offering counseling services to individuals and families impacted by addiction, substance abuse and related mental health issues.
  • Providing information, outreach and support to families and individuals so they may access referrals and programs and develop an understanding of the support needed to successfully address addiction issues.

Andover’s initiative is modeled after The Arlington Outreach Initiative, created by Arlington Police Chief Frederick Ryan to increase outreach and resources to addicts in the community.

About P.A.A.R.I.
The Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative (P.A.A.R.I.) was started to support local police departments as they work with opioid addicts. Rather than arrest our way out of the problem of drug addiction, P.A.A.R.I. committed police departments:

  • Encourage opioid drug users to seek recovery
  • Help distribute life saving opioid blocking drugs to prevent and treat overdoses
  • Connect addicts with treatment programs and facilities
  • Provide resources to other police departments and communities that want to do more to fight the opioid addiction epidemic

P.A.A.R.I. was created by Gloucester Police Chief Leonard Campanello and John Rosenthal to bridge the gap between the police department and opioid addicts seeking recovery. It launched shortly after Chief Campanello begin the Gloucester Police Department’s revolutionary ANGEL Initiative, which allows drug addicts to come directly to the police station, dispose of any remaining drugs or paraphernalia and be placed directly into a treatment facility without fear of arrest.

John Vetere interviewed Andover Rotary Club President Don Gottfried on a special edition of his videocast, Open for Business, regarding the leadership Don is bringing to creating awareness about the heroin addiction crisis. Everyone knows someone whose life has been impacted by this fast growing and heart wrenching epidemic. Learn more about the crisis, the upcoming event, and how you can support local leaders like Don Gottfried and his team of volunteers.