Tom Duggan’s Notebook (Jan. 2019)

VALLEY PATRIOT BASH! – Put April 5th in your calendar now! The Valley Patriot will be holding our 15th Anniversary BASH scholarship and award night at the Firefighter’s Relief In, 1 Market Street in Lawrence. Each year we honor police officers, firefighters, veterans, and give out college scholarships to local students trying to get to college. If you are interested in donating to our scholarship fund or would like to buy tickets you can visit EVENTBRITE or give us a call at (978) 771-4091 or email us at 

LEGAL DEFENSE FUND – It’s no secret that Methuen Mayor Jim Jajuga is suing us, and he hired a multimillion-dollar law firm to try and bankrupt us by lawsuit. We have set up a GoFundMe page on line for those who want to contribute so that we can pay our lawyers to fight yet another 1st amendment lawsuit. Your contribution can help us stay in business! Please donate at

Every month the Valley Patriot honors local veterans with our Heroes in Our Midst column. Two years ago, we compiled 134 of these stories in a book entitled “Heroes in Our Midst”. The book is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and as always, they are available at the Valley Patriot office. This month we want to announce that we are putting the final touches on Heroes in Our Midst Vol. II” and are hoping to have the book available for our 15th Anniversary BASH in April. Keep an eye on our Facebook page for the release date!

NAM KNIGHTS FUNDRAISER – Nam Knights of America Motorcycle Club, Merrimack Valley Chapter invites you to their annual “Raffle Night” fundraiser in January for their biggest evening of the year. This will be their 5th Annual Event where we host our members, friends, and the community at the Dracut American Legion Post, 574 Broadway Road in Dracut, MA. Throughout the evening we call 8-10 bingo-like games using playing cards and many other individual door prizes and raffle prizes. The evening traditionally fills the hall to capacity and is now widely recognized as one of the highlights of the year at the Post.

The Nam Knights MC is a registered 501c3 organization and this event helps raise the funds that we use throughout the year to benefit our local veteran community and support other organizational endeavors that honor, remember, and aid those that serve both our country and community.
This past year alone they have proudly helped a veteran with the installation of a wheel chair lift, hosted community “Burger Burns”, Veteran Breakfasts, and a monthly Luncheon at the Lowell VA Clinic. We have organized local Food Drives, provided work details to assist with the Memorial Day preparation in the Town of Dracut, and most recently we took the initiative to bring the Christmas Wreaths program to the Post and community as a whole. (See the you tube link below covering that ceremony and a round table with local veterans talking about serving during the Holiday Season.)


In an effort to ensure all students had happy holidays and stay warm throughout the winter, the GLTS student government held its annual coat, blanket and food drive. While members of the student government have always held a holiday drive, this year the group tailored their efforts. In response to the gas crisis in Andover and Lawrence, which left many families displaced from their homes; the drive focused on providing affected GLTS families with warm coats and blankets.

For six weeks in November and December, the student government worked with the guidance department to identify families in need, with faculty, staff and students donating new jackets and blankets, along with a number of food items. Each family in need received a box of goodies, which included everything from canned vegetables to snack bars, pasta, cookies and microwavable meals for those still without gas.

GLTS families received their coats, blankets and food items last week — in time to celebrate the holidays. GLTS was also able to donate additional jackets, blankets and food to the Lazarus House in Lawrence.

“We want to extend a sincere thank you to all the faculty, staff and students who donated to this drive,” student government adviser Catherine Rosenzweig said. “Every year we’re so thankful for the generosity of our GLTS community and this year is no exception.”

Home Health VNA recently received a deficiency-free rating in a home health care agency survey conducted by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH). DPH periodically administers unannounced surveys of home health care agencies, hospitals and skilled nursing and rehabilitation facilities to ensure compliance with State and Federal regulations and to assess the quality of care provided. On Monday, December 10th, DPH surveyors arrived at Home Health VNA and began an immediate, thorough review of clinical documentation, administrative and clinical procedures, employment files, quality data and collection procedures, contracts and emergency preparedness. In addition, they conducted interviews with clinicians and accompanied them on home visits to assess the quality of care provided to patients. At the conclusion of the three day survey, Home Health VNA was found to be in full compliance with all the conditions of participation and regulations of a quality home health care agency.

As a thank you to all of those Lions who have (or are currently) serving our country, the Lions have come up with a service project in their honor. The Lions will be sending military care packages to active men and women who are currently stationed overseas. Thier goal is to send one box for every club in the district – 42 boxes. That would allow us to thank 42 military men/women for their service and sacrifice. These boxes would provide them with some badly needed items that are not obtainable in the areas in which they are serving.
In order to meet The Lions’ Clubs 42 box goal they rely on the support and generosity of local clubs and individual members. The Lions could also use donations from the public. They are asking for two things.

1. Donations to cover the cost to ship these packages. Each box costs approximately $20 to ship. With a donation of $20 by 42 people they would be able to cover the cost to ship at least 42 care packages.

2. They are also asking local clubs/individuals to donate some badly needed items to fill these boxes.
The Lions would be extremely grateful if you would consider contributing to this district service project. The goal is to put this project in motion at the mid-winter convention. A staging area would be set up for individuals to be able to come and participate in this project.

Monetary donations can be sent to CT Brian Doherty, 162 Willow Rd #3, Nahant, MA 01908.

Checks should be made out to District 33N Lions with “Military Care Packages” in the memo line. Item donations can be brought to the District Advisory dinner, you can give items to your zone chairs to bring to the cabinet meetings, or arrangements can be made to pick up items at your club meetings.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact GST Tammy Gray –