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No need to shake the sand from your sandals yet

by Christine Galeone

As summer winds down and kids go back to school, many people are settling back into their normal routines. But with Labor Day over, there’s no need to shake the sand from our shoes just yet. There’s still time to enjoy the warm breezes, the colorful flower gardens and an outdoor concert or two.

Likewise, local businesses and organizations have been easing back into the swing of things.  And they’ve been doing so in a myriad of ways.

One North Grafton business that began the transition into fall with an inspiring event is the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University. Near the end of July, it held the prestigious 30th National Veterinary Scholars Symposium at Worcester State College.  Entitled “Engaging Veterinarians to Advance Animal and Human Health,” the symposium highlighted insightful summer research projects completed by veterinary students from across the country. It also provided students with information on careers in biomedical research, and it explored how research done by veterinary scientists supports evidence-based medicine.    

For another North Grafton business, transitioning into a new season also means moving to a new location. Anzio’s Brick Oven Pizza, which has been located on Westboro Road since it was established in 2012, has outgrown its current space. Specializing in Neo-Neapolitan brick oven pizza, the Italian restaurant will soon be moving to the Northborough Crossing shopping center. 

On Friday September 20, Engine Company No. 2 of Grafton, Inc. – a nonprofit run by firefighters from Grafton Fire Department Station Two in North Grafton – will usher out summer with its GFD Station Two 15th Annual Invitational Golf Tournament at Highfields Golf & Country Club. The event will raise money to help the GFD with training and equipment needs. Proceeds will also go towards a scholarship for a Grafton High School student. The registration fee of $135 per player includes greens fee, cart, dinner and prizes. An auction and raffles will be held after the dinner. For more information, you can visit the nonprofit’s website, www.graftonengine2.org.

Another group of our public servants that’s joining the community in a fun summer send-off is the Grafton Police Department. On August 6, for the 14th year, it joined with many police departments across the country to hold a National Night Out block party to further strengthen the bond it has with residents and to raise awareness about crime and drug abuse prevention. There were many family-friendly activities, kids’ activities, safety tips and literature, refreshments, music and displays. The evening also included a police K-9 demonstration featuring GPD’s “Officer Zita.” The free event was sponsored by Dunkin Donuts, Pepperoni Express, Homefield Credit Union, UniBank, Swirls & Scoops, Grafton Job Corps, E.L. Harvey & Sons, Table Talk Pies, Pepsi, All Phase Glass and the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office.

Pepperoni Express, one of the event’s sponsors, has been holding a fun, community-focused event of its own. Every 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month from July through September, starting at 4 p.m. and ending at dusk, the restaurant has delighted car enthusiasts with its Wednesday Cruising at Pepperoni Express. Located at 92 Worcester Street in North Grafton, the classic car show collects food and monetary donations for the Grafton Food Bank.    

For adults, teens and children who want to keep their summer energy going throughout the fall, there are several Grafton businesses that can help. Fall dance classes for all ages (including people with special needs) are now registering at Beatz Dance Studio. Dance classes for all ages are also available at Dance It Up. Irish dance classes for children and teens can be found at Murphy Academy of Irish Dance. And adult Yoga, Barre, Zumba, Pilates, Piloxing and PiYo classes are available at Dance Soul Motion. Additionally, Premier Sport Taekwondo is registering all ages for its fall classes.

Two businesses that are located on the Grafton Common will be bidding farewell to summer together. Quite Fetching, the barkery and pet boutique, which sells its specialty hand-made dog cookies and cakes as well as toys, apparel and mainstream dessert mixes for dogs, and Grafton Country Store, the gift shop and café that has an array of accessories, such as jewelry, handbags, shawls and scarves, as well as seasonal décor, skincare items and gifts, will be having a joint Labor Day weekend sidewalk sale on Saturday August 31 and Sunday September 1. To show their customer appreciation, hundreds of items will be discounted at up to 50 percent off.

The sales, activities and more should make returning to routines enjoyable. And when you get the chance to savor the end of summer, it’s easier to look forward to the unique blessings of fall.

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