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Bridgewell to honor Beverly man for 43 years of service

Friday, March 29, 2024

PEABODY — A Beverly man who worked for Bridgewell for 43 years will be honored by the nonprofit social and human services organization next week. Gary LaPierre will receive the Visionary Leadership Award at Bridgewell’s Imagine the Possibilities Gala and fundraiser on April 5 at the Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel. The event will also honor the Rubin family of Bernie & Phyl’s Furniture with the Excellence in Service award.

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Human services workers from across the region advocate for a livable wage

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

PEABODY – Human services providers from across the region recently attended the Northeast Regional Caring Force Rally, advocating for a livable wage and a loan repayment program.
The Caring Force, a grassroots advocacy initiative of the Provider’s Council that promotes better pay and recognition for human services workers, along with leaders from nonprofits Bridgewell, Centerboard, Incompass Human Services, JRI, Key Program, NFI Massachusetts, Northeast Arc, Plummer Youth Promise, Vinfen, and Wayside Youth & Family Support Network hosted the event late last week at the Peabody Holiday Inn. The TriTown Rock Band, a music ensemble composed of local students with and without disabilities, also performed to kick off the event.

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Human services workers, clients call for living wage at legislative event

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

PEABODY — A Lawrence woman carried a clear message from the workers who care for the state’s most vulnerable at the Northeast Regional Caring Force Rally on Friday. “One of the saddest, most common situations I’ve seen was when someone had built a strong connection with clients and would leave their work for better pay,” said Rosalee Sanchez, a direct care assistant supervisor at NFI Massachusetts. Sanchez spoke before a crowd of lawmakers, caregivers, clients and human service advocates at a legislative breakfast hosted at the Holiday Inn & Suites in Peabody ahead of a rally at the State House later Friday afternoon.

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Bridgewell elects John Drake to its Board

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Bridgewell, a nonprofit social and human services organization serving northeastern Massachusetts, has announced that John Drake has been elected to a three-year term on its Board of Directors.

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Pizza Shop Owner Awarded Peabody Nonprofit’s 2023 Champion Award

Wednesday, December 20, 2023

PEABODY, MA — A Middleton pizza shop owner was honored with the 2023 Champion Award from Peabody nonprofit Bridgewell for providing jobs and training for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Bridgewell said that Matthew Rosa was chosen as this year's recipient for supporting the its employment program and paying a fair wage to employees with intellectual and developmental disabilities to help them become valued and appreciated members of the workforce.

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Bridgewell elects Puffer, Francois to its board

Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Bridgewell, a nonprofit social and human services organization serving northeastern Massachusetts, today announced that Jane Puffer and Karl-Henry Francois have been elected to its Board of Directors.

It marks the fifth three-year term on Bridgewell’s board for Puffer and third for Francois. The board follows a three-years-on, one-year-off policy, and both are returning from a one-year hiatus.

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Building on 65 years of community and inclusion at Bridgewell

Tuesday, November 7, 2023

In 1958, when parents and community members formed an organization called the Child Guidance Center to support youth in the Lynn Public Schools, their goal was to establish a new and different program that would allow people with disabilities to achieve their fullest potential.

At the time, it was common practice to place someone with a disability in an institution that would meet only their basic needs – away from society – for their natural lifetime. These Lynn parents and advocates wanted more for people with disabilities, knowing that if provided with opportunities and support, they could live fulfilling lives in the community.

Sixty-five years and several name changes later, that group of advocates has grown into an organization with 1,600 employees and more than 100 programs serving 25 communities in northeastern Massachusetts. The mission for Bridgewell, however, essentially remains the same: to inspire hope and empower people experiencing life challenges to achieve their fullest potential.

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Bridgewell Hosts Day of Service

Thursday, October 19, 2023

Bridgewell hosted its annual day of service last Tuesday, with dozens of volunteers, including staff and individuals from autism day programs, disability services, and housing and employment programs, heading to Newhall Fields Community Farm as part of the organization's Celebration of Community Service Project.

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Healing Addiction Through Art

Friday, October 13, 2023

A new exhibit at Great Art Studio, “Shame Fear Love,” is tackling women’s experiences battling addiction. The exhibit is the work of 12 women from Bridgewell’s Johnson Street residential treatment program. “This was a chance for us to get out of the house and be in an intimate setting with women,” Melissa Hinckley, of Gloucester, who is in the Johnson Street program, said. “It was nice to be in a small group and get to open up and share our thoughts and feelings.” The project has been in development since July, when the women started working with art therapist and GAS founder Mary Flannery.

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Letter: It’s Direct Support Professional Recognition Week

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

To the editor: Direct Support Professional Recognition Week, Sept. 10-16, is the perfect time to reflect on the dedication and commitment of our human services workers — and to thank them. This week of recognition was started more than a decade ago to draw attention to the dedicated, innovative Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) who help people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and other life challenges to live their best lives.

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Letter to the Editor: Bridgewell CEO responds to staffing constraints

Monday, February 6, 2023

The Lowell Sun recently published an article about the ongoing workforce struggles in the healthcare industry and reported that Bridgewell, a Peabody-based social and human services organization, had more than 300 job openings – a figure taken from another Lowell Sun article written by the same reporter eight months ago.

Currently, the staffing situation at Bridgewell, as with many other human services organizations, is about the same as it was last year – with nearly 300 open positions in cities and towns across the Merrimack Valley and North Shore. Over the past three months, we have started to see a glimmer of hope, with a slight increase in applicants, and new hires finally starting to outpace departures. Unlike many other organizations in the healthcare industry, which has recently seen employee layoffs in the hundreds, Bridgewell is actively hiring in communities across northeastern Massachusetts to meet the needs of those we serve, from people with autism to those battling substance use disorder.

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Letter: Direct Support Professionals put heart and soul into the job

Monday, September 12, 2022

In honor of Direct Support Professional (DSP) Recognition Week, I would like to thank all those who put their hearts and souls into supporting people in our community. Our nearly 1,000 DSPs at Bridgewell inspire, encourage, and empower people with life challenges to be integrated into their communities and achieve their fullest potential.

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Sons’ Inspire Father’s Work at Bridgewell Peabody

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

PEABODY — Darren Goad, a career specialist at the nonprofit Bridgewell and the father of two autistic sons, might just be the definition of a super dad. Goad, who joined Bridgewell two years ago, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, said he wouldn’t be working as a career specialist if not for his two sons, Josh and Jake. When his sons were young, Goad worked as an area manager for an art retail company, working long hours and missing out on countless therapies for his two sons, who are nonverbal. It was that drive to support his children that led him to quit his job and get a job at the school his children attended.

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Bridgewell Honors George Sonia With Its Visionary Leadership Award

Thursday, May 5, 2022

As part of its Imagine the Possibilities Gala held on Friday, April 29 at the Fairmont Copley Plaza in Boston, Bridgewell honored Lancelot Janitorial & Paper Products owner George Sonia with the 2022 Visionary Leadership Award. Bridgewell’s Visionary Leadership Award is presented to an individual who has provided leadership, dedication, and tireless efforts in support of the Bridgewell community.

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America’s Crumbling Human Service Sector Will Cost Lives

Tuesday, April 5, 2022

As president and CEO of Bridgewell, a large human-services organization that supports more than 6,000 residents of the
commonwealth each year, I have witnessed the adverse effects of inadequate funding for human services, resulting in staffing
shortages and cuts to critically important programs that provide a safety net for thousands in need.

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Secretary Marylou Sudders Holiday Letter to Long-Term Care and Congregate Living Families

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

As we enter into this holiday season during this phase of the COVID-19 pandemic in Massachusetts and across the country, we are providing this guidance to families on celebrating Thanksgiving and winter holidays with your loved ones who reside in a congregate setting including a nursing home, rest home, assisted living residence or group home. The best way to minimize COVID-19 risk and keep your family and friends safe this holiday season is to get vaccinated and to avoid holiday gatherings if you are not well. The safest way to celebrate is at home, with the people you live with.

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Working Together in Peabody

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

PEABODY — Organizations like Bridgewell, that support and empower people with disabilities, help secure employment in different ways: through volunteer situations, direct employment, or a group-supported model.

Group-supported employment means that, depending on their skills and personal situations, individuals come to work as a group with a job coach who can help them with any issues at the job site. There is usually a ratio in the group of the maximum number of clients per job coach.

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Recovery is an Art in Lynn

Thursday, September 30, 2021

LYNN — The Great Art Studio (GAS) in Central Square has been working with five women from Bridgewell’s Johnson Street residential treatment program to incorporate art into their recovery from substance use disorders.

GAS has been working with the women since August to create a body of work called the “Bundle of Hope,” which includes written and painted reminders of why they are working to overcome addiction.

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Day of Giving Grows at Peabody Farm

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

PEABODY ― Bridgewell and Newhall Fields Community Farms are partnering together for a “Day of Giving” on Tuesday, Oct. 5.
The theme of the event is “Give back. Give time. Give a gift.” A team of approximately 40 Bridgewell staff members, volunteers, and clients, along with about a dozen farm volunteers, will be on hand to help to not only spread their organizations’ missions, but to dig and get their hands dirty, helping to harvest some of the many varieties of organic produce grown on the farm.

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Lynn center serving homeless could close without more funding

Monday, November 16, 2020

BOSTON GLOBE - A downtown Lynn facility that provides short-term housing and medical care for homeless people with health needs is in danger of closing next summer because it is running out of funds.

Since opening in early 2018, the Recuperative Care Center, located on the second floor of 73 Buffum St., has served more than 150 homeless adults — 42 of whom were able to successfully transition to permanent housing.

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Medical facility for Lynn’s homeless could close due to lack of funding

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

LYNN - For the past three years, Bridgewell's Recuperative Care Center has provided temporary housing and medical care for the city's homeless after they are discharged from the hospital.

However, while city and state officials recognize the services provided by the recuperative care center, located downtown on Buffum Street, are much-needed in the community, "nobody at this point is willing to pay for it," said Bridgewell CEO Chris Tuttle.

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COVID-19’s hidden toll – For those in recovery, these are perilous times

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

COMMONWEALTH MAGAZINE - As of this writing, the death toll from COVID-19 is high and continuing to rise. Hundreds of thousands more have fallen ill before recovering. And curbing the spread of the disease has necessitated incalculable economic damage, shuttering main streets across the country and casting millions into unemployment. As catastrophic as the damage has been, those in the recovery community know that it has imposed a cost not reflected in the official statistics.

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New Grant Award Expands Services for Massachusetts Alzheimer’s and Dementia Caretakers

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

MERRIMACK VALLEY - Elder Services of the Merrimack Valley and North Shore (ESMV-NS) was one of only a dozen organizations in the country and the only one in the Commonwealth to receive a new Alzheimer’s Disease Programs Initiative grant from the federal Administration for Community Living. The award is for a total of $854,147 over a three-year project period.

ESMV-NS will start a training program at Bridgewell Inc. and Fidelity House Human Services & Career Resources Corp., for staff who work adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities.

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July 16, 2020 – Email to Parents & Guardians

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Email from Bridgewell's Vice President, Day Habilitation & Community Engagement Stacey Leibowitz to Parents and Guardians updating on the opening of our Day Habilitation Program later this month.

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For those with disabilities, a way to keep connected.

Friday, July 10, 2020

Bridgewell shifted to virtual programming amid COVID-19 to provide a resource for families who depend on structure and routine. Judith Doherty, program director of Bridgewell's Family Support Center talks about the impact of virtual programming and how we're providing a resource for families.

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Human services CEO says workers deserve hazard pay

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Bridgewell CEO Chris Tuttle said his front-line workers have been demoralized after the state agreed last week to give hazard pay to human services workers that are employed by the state. Meanwhile, workers doing the same jobs for private agencies like Bridgewell during the coronavirus pandemic are not getting extra pay despite facing the same risks, he said.

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WBUR, Boston’s NPR News Station

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Being holed up at home with kids, partner, or other family members can be tough. But some people now have the added challenge of staying home with children who have intense developmental disabilities — children who are
normally in day programs or live in group homes.

Kara normally lives at a residence operated by Bridgewell, which runs programs for people with disabilities in the Merrimack Valley-North Shore area.

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Bridgewell hoopsters win big at Special Olympics Winter Games

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

PEABODY — A North Shore nonprofit took home the gold last Sunday with its first basketball team in nearly 10 years at the Special Olympics Massachusetts Winter Games.

“It was amazing,” said Nicole Doucette-Page, a Special Olympics basketball coach at Bridgewell, a Peabody-based nonprofit that provides social and human services to people with disabilities. “We went undefeated. They did really well.”

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Celebrating the spirit of Christmas

Thursday, December 5, 2019

BEVERLY — Roughly 24 times a year, they come together on Sunday to talk, share a meal, sing, listen to a short message and enjoy an activity — this past Sunday night it was a brief re-enactment of the Christmas story.

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Bridgewell’s Recuperative Care Center helps the homeless in Lynn

Friday, November 8, 2019

LYNN — Kim M., 44, is beside herself with happiness.

After suffering through eight years of an abusive relationship, and then escaping her ex-boyfriend only to endure long stints of homelessness and health problems, Kim, will finally move into her new home on Nov. 18.

“I feel like it’s unbelievable,” Kim said. “I can’t believe it’s actually going to happen until I walk through that door and (lie) on the bed. I’m so incredibly grateful to Beverly. I’m glad I can call her my friend.”

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Workforce Shortage in Human Services Field

Thursday, June 20, 2019

The United States is in an economic expansion and what economists consider "full employment". That means many people have options and one industry facing workforce shortage is community-based human services agencies. President and CEO of Bridgewell, Chris Tuttle, joins Sue to talk about the issue and provide a prospective remedy for the issue.

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On Autism Pride Day, a way to change lives year-round

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

When Autism Awareness Month comes to an end, so too does much of the focus on autism from the general public. As a society, we’ve made positive strides, but it’s important to remember that the conversations about acceptance, inclusion and support for people with ASD need to happen year-round.

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Important Jobs with Little Pay

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Bridgewell CEO Chris Tuttle says it's simple to see why there's a workforce shortage among direct support professionals in the human services field: low pay for a demanding job.

Then there's the potential to get paid more to do the same thing somewhere else, Tuttle said.

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A place to play and overcome challenges

Monday, June 17, 2019

Blue Wave will soon start a vocational training program with Melmark, and is working on creating a similar program with Bridgewell.

Bridgewell Career Specialist Marc Jamieson said they are discussing a vocational opportunity in which Rosewood III day program participants would maintain vending machines. Through that, they would be able to improve their skills for grocery shopping, learn about stocking the machine, and collecting, counting and depositing money in a bank, he said.

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Editorial: Pride and Autism Spectrum Disorder

Monday, June 17, 2019

Tuesday June 18 is Autistic Pride Day and every April, thanks to National Autism Awareness Month, there’s a renewed sense of support for people living with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and those who’ve worked tirelessly to foster environments of inclusion and self-determination for all.

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Job Developers Collaborate to Develop a Unique and Thriving Partnership with a Local Restaurant

Thursday, May 30, 2019

“It’s been great working with Noah from American Training, Inc. during this transition phase. He’s been extremely responsive and instrumental towards the successful hand off of this opportunity. We appreciate Prides Deli owner Mike Magner for welcoming this change and giving other individuals with disabilities the chance to work as well!” stated Marc Jamieson from Bridgewell.

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Thank You from Bridgewell

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Bridgewell celebrated its first Day of Giving this week, and I wanted to take this moment to thank and recognize the community and businesses in the greater North Shore-area for their more than 60 years of continued support. With that support, Bridgewell have been able to give back to the community by providing an unmatched range of social and human services that empower people with disabilities and other life challenges to live safe, self-directed and productive lives.

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Imagine the Possibilities Gala

Thursday, April 18, 2019

WCVB’s Katie Thompson, Rose Watson (Kelly J. Martin’s mother) and Chris Tuttle, president and CEO of Bridgewell, at Bridgewell’s 11th Annual Imagine the Possibilities Gala on March 15. Thanks to generous donors, Bridgewell raised more than $336,500 in funding for programming
and necessities for people in the agency’s care.

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Business Brief

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Christopher Tuttle has been appointed president and chief executive officer of Bridgewell, a Peabody-based nonprofit that works with people with disabilities. Tuttle has been serving as interim president and chief executive officer of Bridgewell over the last few months. His appointment is effective immediately.

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Salem Hospital offers recovery coaches to overdose patients

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

North Shore Medical Center and Bridgewell recently began offering recovery coaches at the center’s Salem Hospital for patients who are being treated for drug overdoses. The launch of the service in Salem marks an extension of a program the hospital and Bridgewell, a nonprofit human service agency, have been offering to patients at NSMC’s Union Hospital since 2017.

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Deli takes pride in giving workers a chance

Thursday, February 7, 2019

About a dozen people gathered outside Prides Deli & Pizzeria around 11 a.m. on Wednesday, and it wasn't the early lunch crowd. Employees and clients of the nonprofit organization Bridgewell surprised Prides Deli co-owner Victoria Baker with its fifth annual Champion Award.

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Subsidized Housing Latest Government Shutdown Casualty

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

As the partial federal government shutdown approaches one month, its impacting more and more people including landlords who could lose their housing subsidies because there's no one at the Department of Housing and Urban Development to renew their contracts.

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State considers certifying peer recovery coaches

Friday, January 11, 2019

Recovery coaches are being deployed to emergency rooms, drug treatment centers and even courts to help opioid addicts get clean, but a lack of standards for the emerging profession means many private insurers are unwilling to pay for their services. Gov. Charlie Baker and other state leaders want to integrate peer recovery coaches more into the state's health care system by creating a process to license them.

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Boston Globe – North Informer

Friday, January 4, 2019

A program that helps overdose patients link to long-term recovery programs recently expanded to North Shore Medical Center. Bridgewell will make 10 recovery coaches available at Union Hospital in Lynn and Salem Hospital who understand addiction firsthand. Coaches respond immediately to the hospital to develop relationships with the patients and begin discussion options for treatment. The growth of the program follows the success of a similar 24/7 emergency response program in 2017 at Union Hospital.

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Recovery coaches on the job at Salem Hospital

Thursday, December 27, 2018

SALEM — Salem Hospital has joined the growing ranks of hospitals using recovery coaches to help overdose patients. The hospital now has nine recovery coaches available to respond immediately when someone comes into the emergency room with a drug overdose, with another soon to be hired.

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Lynn: Bridgewell Renames Their Boston Street Center, The Kelly J. Martin Center

Friday, December 21, 2018

The legacy of Kelly J. Martin will live on after Bridgewell renamed its Boston Street Center in her honor. In August, Martin, Bridgewell’s former CEO, died peacefully, surrounded by her loved ones, according to her obituary. The non-profit organization, which she dedicated her life to for 35 years, held a dedication ceremony and unveiled “The Kelly J. Martin Center” sign in Lynn on Thursday.

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Kids Of Parents With Substance Use Disorder Could Need Years Of Therapy

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

They are the youngest victims of the nation’s drug crisis: children of parents with substance abuse disorders. They become more susceptible to long-term behavioral and mental health issues. Twelve-year-old Annie from Gloucester is just one example of what the impact can be. But she is also an example of how treatment can help some children heal. Originally published: 12/5/18.

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Letter to the Editor: Forever Thankful for Drug Court

Friday, November 23, 2018

My mother was able to provide temporary shelter at Project Cope and emotional support. I spent Thanksgiving 2001 with the ladies at Project Cope and I listened to what they were thankful for. Most of these ladies were thankful for their families, even if those same families gave up on them.

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North Shore’s Terlecky Earns Bridgewell Honor

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

North Shore Navigators general manager Bill Terlecky was honored as the recipient of Bridgewell’s fourth annual Employment Supports Program Champion Award prior to Wednesday morning’s Futures Collegiate Baseball League game at Fraser Field.

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Warm Wishes

Monday, January 8, 2018

Bridgewell recently held its 10th annual Mitten Drive to help spread warmth this winter to
those less fortunate in Lowell and Lynn.

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