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Archive for December 2012

Toys for Tots Gift Drive spreads spirit of season

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View IMG_4801.JPG in slide show
 
Dozens attended the 15th annual Toys for Tots Gift Drive that took place this past Sunday evening at American Legion Post 18. A wide variety of games, puzzles, stuffed animals, gift cards, monetary donations and other items were brought, to be distributed to youngsters in need throughout town. Guests enjoyed drinks and desserts at the function hall, which was adorned with bright potted poinsettias in several spots and images of gift-wrapped boxes along the walls. Longtime Dedham resident and former selectman Bob Chaffee characterized the relaxed but focused atmosphere of the event in saying, “It’s almost like a family here. They do a wonderful job.” Dedham native and Youth Commission staff member Greg Cabral expressed similar thoughts. “This is a great turnout. It’s something special.”
 
Shown here are organizers Michael Humphrey and Sarah MacDonald, standing among the donated items.
 
Photo by Scott Heald
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Written by shiretown99

December 10, 2012 at 2:33 am

Posted in Uncategorized

‘Dancing with the Dedham Stars’ a resounding success

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The fifth annual Dancing with the Dedham Stars performance took place on Saturday, December 8 at Moseley’s-on-the-Charles, raising the most money in the history of the event for the Dedham Public Schools and splendidly entertaining the audience of over 700 guests. The sold-out show combined such disparate genres as themes from an iconic American film and a closing number from a Korean pop sensation, and exhibited the progress amateurs can make in a multifaceted endeavor like dancing via sustained guidance and encouragment by experts.
 
Numerous elements that have come to define this evening were at work again this year. Dimitria Sullivan, President of the Dedham Educational Partnership which organized the gala, gave opening remarks. Bob Coughlin served as master of ceremony, blending humor which he generally kept at a “PG-13” rating with light-hearted questions and comments for all of the dancers and judges. He explained the dual aspects of voting, in which both the judges’ scores and audience selections at $1 per vote would determine champions in each category.
 
His remarks at the outset expressed the tone of the show. “This truly is a wonderful thing that we’re all doing. You have people that you love and know (dancing),” he said. “You have the opportunity to vote for them, which many of you will. But more importantly, all the money that’s raised here this evening goes to the students of the Dedham Public Schools, and I think that’s amazing.”
 
A group of 14 mothers attired in red and black danced the opening number, “Let’s get loud!” Next up was a group from Dedham High School performing a well-received routine to a medley from the 1970’s film, “Grease.” A third introductory act called “Stars and stripes forever” featured the men in military-style uniforms and the women in dresses from the World War II era.
 
Coughlin introduced the trio of expert judges, who were local dance instructors Beth Florentino and Donna Baressi as well as Earl Batol, owner of the new Fred Astaire Dance Studio in Dedham Square. That business supplied not only space for the six “Stars” to train with their professional partners but also the partners themselves, who donated their time to this celebration.
 
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At that point the six couples, one by one, danced their respective routines for the audience and judges. The first pair, Dedham Middle School teacher Andrew Patterson and Nina DiPerrio who is a native of Newton, Mass., moved to a medley including Will Smith’s ‘Gettin’ jiggy wit it,’ sponsored by several organizations including John E. Patterson Insurance Agency of Westwood. Both dancers wore primarily black. Afterwards Batol commented, “It was a great interpretation of the music.”
 
Dedham Youth Baseball President Dan Maher and Rachel Palmieri, a certified instructor of Zumba, took the stage next. With him attired in black along with a royal blue necktie and her dressed in a matching blue dress, they provided some dramatic flair to Carly Rae Jepsen’s ‘Call me maybe’ in a number Maher dedicated to his wife, Nicole. Florentino spoke a sentiment expressed by all the judges in saying, “It was very enjoyable to watch.”
 
The third duo were Riverdale PTO member Laura Barbuto Kelleher teamed with Joey Graham, a former performer at Walt Disney World. They performed to Rihanna’s ‘Where have you been’, with the song dedicated to Kelleher’s husband, children and entire extended family. The dancers’ costumes were especially notable for her high boots and his black vest. After their routine Baressi gave some feedback. “You did a good job,” she said. “The steps were a little more intricate.”
 
Next under the bright lights were Anthony Fredrick Salon & Day Spa owner Anthony Jeannetti and Nina DiPerrio, whose accomplishments include Fred Astaire World Championship Finalist. His outfit was highlighted by suspenders and a top hat, and hers consisted of a slinky dark dress. The upbeat song ‘(We speak no) Americano’ by Pitbull was dedicated to a member of Jeannetti’s salon staff who recently had a stroke. Batol said in review, “Tony, I thought you did a great job. You had great rhythm.” 
 
The fifth partnership featured Dedham Education Foundation member Korrin Slavin, paired with former Welsh dancing champion Martin Rycroft. She wore a colorful dress with a fluffy skirt, and he dressed in black. Their tune, ‘Shake a tailfeather’ by Ray Charles, was dedicated to her husband, three sons, and other relatives and friends. When it was concluded, judge Florentino said, “The lifts and the footwork and the partnering, I thought were all very well done.”
 
The sixth and final couple were Marcella Musto of Vincenzo’s Italian Specialty Store and Deli, paired with Kalin Mitov, who has a background in international competitive ballroom dancing. Their performance, to ‘Sway’ by Mucho Mambo, was sponsored by Discover Properties, Dedham Savings and Supreme Development. She was attired in black, while he dressed in white. After the song had ended, Baressi praised the performance by noting, “You didn’t miss a beat. Excellent job.” 
 
During the intermission which allowed sufficient time for voting, one of the participants in the large group numbers described the experience. Anita Poncia, the mother of DHS student Vinny Poncia who took part in the Grease medley, performed in the opening act, and the audience loved the number. She  summed up the ten weeks of training culminating in one night as follows: “It was awesome! It was so much fun.”
 
Afterwards, several more presentations entertained the guests. Dedham Youth Commission Director Robert Blaney, who served as Disc Jockey for the show, announced that Dedham had been selected as one of the best communities in America for youth to grow up in. A winner of the 50-50 raffle worth $745 was declared.
 
Then a gathering of former DWTDS entrants rekindled the flame of past shows to a medley focused around the theme of working for a living. They were followed by professionals Amanda Clark in a long gown and Christopher-Paul Muise in black formalwear dancing a demonstration that was well-received. Next the entire Fred Astaire Dance Studio staff in attendance performed to Madonna’s ‘Vogue.’ The finale featured an energetic rendition of Korean star Psy’s “Gangdam Style,” led by Batol who came down from the judge’s table on the stage to take a position front and center.
 
Coughlin then brought the program to a close by announcing the victors, after stating that the money raised this year far surpassed last year’s total. In the popular contest, five of the teams garnered several thousand votes each but were clearly eclipsed by Musto-Mitov, which earned $11,584 in balloting. Then the judge’s decision was given, and they also chose Musto-Mitov, at which point Musto accepted trophies from Coughlin and raised her arm in the air in joy as the other five couples cheered.
 
At that time the floor was opened to all, and many took advantage of the opportunity to whirl the night away. 

Written by shiretown99

December 9, 2012 at 8:11 am

Posted in Uncategorized

DHS Girls Basketball earns triumph in season opener

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View IMG_4763.JPG in slide show
 
With a nucleus of returners back from last year’s squad that reached the state tournament, the Marauders are aiming for a stellar season this winter. In their opener in front of numerous fans, a solid all-around performance marked by stifling defense and scrappy rebounding  gained the home team a 37-17 triumph over Dover-Sherborn at O’Donnell Gymnasium last Friday night.
 
The hosts never trailed, racing out to a 15-2 lead through one quarter of play to set the tone. Junior Libby Masalsky led all scorers with 15 points and also made a team-high four steals, and senior captain Emily Hill and sophomore Jennifer Wadman added 7 points apiece. Dedham out-rebounded the Raiders 23-22, with junior Brianna Dozier leading that category for her team with six caroms and Libby Masalsky adding four including two offensive.
 
The Marauders relied on a full-court press to give their opponents trouble bringing the ball up, and when the Raiders solved the press Dedham made the passing lanes as restricted as they could. After Libby Masalsky scored the game’s first basket on a put-back, Hill made a steal and converted on the resulting drive to make it 4-0. A bucket by senior captain Renee Gassler off the glass made it 6-2, then senior captain Ellen Masalsky came up with two steals in a brief span to help spark the defense.
 
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In the second quarter the hosts continued to dominate, increasing their advantage to 24-6 by intermission. Dozier forced a jump ball in the Dedham zone with the arrow in the Marauders’ favor, and soon thereafter she scored in the lane off an inbound pass from Gassler to make it 23-4. Sophomores Meghan McFarland, Alison Sullivan and Brittany Castro chipped in valuable minutes off the bench.
 
The second half would be much like the first, although the Raider defense slowed the Marauder offense somewhat. Early on Hill was shaken up on a drive but left the court under her own power, and was able to return to action in the fourth quarter. Wadman connected on a jumper from Castro to make it 27-7, then Libby Masalsky scored off the window on a pass from her sister to bring the margin to 22 at 29-7. A steal and drive by McFarland made it a 33-9 contest, which would be the score at the end of that 8-minute period.  
 
The visitors scored the first four points of the last quarter but could not get closer than 20. A steal by Dozier resulted in Libby Masalsky scoring off the glass to bring it to 35-13, then Wadman hit from about 15 feet from Libby Masalsky to keep the offense going. Senior Juliette Alger provided good hustle off the bench, and Sullivan helped out on the boards.

Written by shiretown99

December 8, 2012 at 5:30 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Hundreds throng Square for annual Holiday Stroll

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This past Friday night, hundreds flocked to Dedham Square for the eighth annual Holiday Stroll. Merchants offered special discounts, musicians and a magician performed along the portion of High Street that was blocked off to vehicles, and Santa Claus lit the town’s Christmas Tree in the newly reconfigured Keystone Lot. The night was seasonably cold but attendees could stop in at a number of locations to warm up, such as Discover Music and Art which collected dozens of jackets for people in need, the Community Theatre for the Tree Jubilee raffle hosted by Dedham Junior Woman’s Club, or Deli After Dark for food, drinks and camaraderie.
 

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As a large gathering of onlookers observed, Chairman and Founder of Dedham Square Circle and master of ceremony Peter Reynolds welcomed Santa to town. “Merry Christmas to you, so good to see you!” he said. “We’re so glad, Santa, that you were able to come and spend a few minutes with us, and help us light our tree.”

Another speaker was Joel Murray, Vice President of the event’s lead sponsor, Norfolk & Dedham Group. He said, “Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and thanks. This is a great event this evening. Thanks to Dedham Square, we’re happy to be a sponsor.”

In addition, Marie-Louise Kehoe of the Rotary Club of Dedham gave brief remarks, wishing everyone a great holiday season. “It’s absolutely wonderful standing here. One of my dreams has come true, and that is to have a natural tree here in Dedham Square that will grow and flourish, just as our community has. It was about twenty years ago when three or four of us got together and thought it would be wonderful to do a formal tree lighting in the Square to bring people together as a community to celebrate. Here we are, twenty years later!”

After the tree was illuminated, Santa led a rendition of “Jingle Bells,” then members of the Dedham High School and Dedham Middle School bands played “Frosty the Snowman.” 

 

Pictured above: The Victorian Carollers, a quartet based in Braintree, perform from a spot along High Street.

Photo by Scott Heald

Written by shiretown99

December 1, 2012 at 10:08 am

Posted in Uncategorized