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Grafton business leaders, grants, milestones

by Christine Galeone

What makes a good leader? With so many people trying to lead the way by attempting to squash their opponents’ opinions, it’s easy to forget. But our country’s sixth president knew the answer.  John Quincy Adams once said “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”

By that definition, there are several good leaders in Grafton. Recently, some of its businesses, nonprofits and municipal organizations have been busy enriching the lives of others in various ways. People can also look forward to an exciting new arrival and the return of more local seasonal favorites.

One business that continues to lead while helping others is Tufts University. Its Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine is located in North Grafton. Tufts Neighborhood Service Fund grants are awarded to nonprofits in Grafton, Boston, Medford and Somerville that have volunteers who are or have been associated with Tufts in the past year. Recently, the 2019 grants were given to 36 Massachusetts-based organizations, including three from Grafton. The Grafton nonprofits that were awarded grants are Apple Tree Arts, which received $500 for its Head Start Music Outreach program, Saint James Church Outreach, which received $2,000 for its emergency relief fund for residents in need and Saint Mary’s Church Market Sunday, which received $650 for new utility carts for food bank items.

And speaking of grants, Community Harvest Project, located at 37 Wheeler Road in North Grafton, was recently awarded a $25K Healthy Food Fund grant from Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation. It will not only enable the nonprofit farm that supports hunger relief in Massachusetts to expand its volunteer farming program and its educational programming, it will also help it to increase the amount of fresh produce it grows for and distributes to food insecure partners.

Another North Grafton nonprofit that gives back to its community will be celebrating its 11th anniversary in early June. Over the years, Treasures – an upscale thrift shop that’s located at 82 Worcester Street – has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to Whitinsville Christian School. The non-profit shop’s efforts have enabled many students to be able to attend the school, since the money donated reduces tuition increases.  

A North Grafton business that recently gave back to someone who has given so much to our country is Homefield Credit Union, which is located at 86 Worcester Street. The credit union partnered with Habitat for Humanity MetroWest/Greater Worcester to build a playhouse for the children of a disabled Operation Enduring Freedom veteran. As part of Habitat for Humanity’s Operation Playhouse program, the credit union funded and built a patriotic playhouse that incorporates a Boston Red Sox and New England Patriots theme. The Grafton Police Department graciously provided the volunteers with a place to build the playhouse.

Over on the Common, a Grafton organization that builds community, supports local farmers and encourages people to eat nutritious food will be returning soon. The Grafton Farmers Market will return to the Grafton Common Wednesday, June 19. It will be open every Wednesday from 2 p.m. until 6 p.m. through October 9.

Another seasonal favorite that’s returning soon is the Art Bradish Snack Bar. The busy North Grafton roadside stand – located at 39 Shrewsbury Street – has been offering customers large portions of onion strings, fries, hamburgers, hot dogs and more for decades. On Saturday, May 25, it will once again open its order window for the season.

Finally, both dog lovers and those who are aware of what a positive difference canines can make in their communities will be thrilled to hear about the Grafton Police Department’s newest officer. Grafton Police K9 officer Zita, a 6-year-old German shepherd who just received her recertification from the North American Police Work Dog Association, was introduced at the Town of Grafton Select Board meeting on May 14. She then began her duties along with her handler, Officer Joe Coggans.

And these are just some of the Grafton-based organizations that are helping people throughout Massachusetts. Now, if only the battling politicians would follow their lead…

Contact Christine with your business news items at [email protected]