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North Shore Stepping Out To Cure Scleroderma Walk in Topsfield raises money for research

By Wendy Killeen
Globe Correspondent / September 6, 2012
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WALKING FOR A CURE: The eighth annual North Shore Stepping Out To Cure Scleroderma Walk is Sunday in Topsfield.

The walk follows a 5K route from the Proctor School, down Main Street toward the Topsfield Fair Grounds, turning onto country roads along and near the Ipswich River, then back to the Proctor School for refreshments, entertainment, silent auctions, and raffles.

In addition to this “highlander” course, there will be a level course, “the flatlander,” of equal distance set up behind the school.

The event is sponsored by the Scleroderma Foundation New England chapter, a nonprofit that helps people with scleroderma and their families cope with the disease through support programs, physician referrals, and educational information. A major part of the foundation’s mission is also to raise funds for scleroderma research.

Scleroderma is a chronic, often progressive, disease in which the body’s immune system attacks its own tissues. The disease, which literally means “hard skin,” can cause thickening and tightening of skin, as well as serious damage to internal organs, including the lungs, heart, kidneys, esophagus, and gastrointestinal tract. Scleroderma occurs three to four times more often in women than in men, and the disease also affects children and the elderly. The cause of scleroderma is not known, and there is no cure.

Registration for the walk can be done online or the day of the event beginning at 10 a.m. at the Proctor School. The walk begins at noon. There is no registration fee and no minimum pledge requirement. Pledges, however, will be accepted and T-shirts distributed.

Last year’s event drew about 400 walkers and raised more than $28,000 for research to help find the cause of and a cure for scleroderma.

Call 978-887-0658 or toll free at 888-525-0658 or visit scleroderma.org. 

MASTERING BRIDGE: Rick and Terry Kay Bargar of Andover both recently attained life master ranking in competitive bridge.

The American Contract Bridge League awards master points for winning games at the club level and events at sectional, regional, and national tournaments.

They entered the Sturbridge Regional competition just shy of the points needed and placed fifth in Swiss Teams on June 21, giving Terry enough points to reach her goal. Two days later they won their Bracketed Compact Knockout event and Rick reached life master, too.

“There are 14 million bridge players in the US, 140,000 who compete at the highest level.,’’ said Terry. “Becoming a life master is similar to a black belt in karate.”

And as there are higher levels of karate than black belt, there are additional achievements in bridge. “We have seven more levels beyond life master in the bridge world,” said Terry. “But this first step is the most exciting.”

Together the couple has entered tournaments in 17 states.

Rick Terry’s next goal is to win master points in all 50 states. He’ll be playing in Alabama and Mississippi in October.

Terry developed the BoomerBridge program for BoomerVenture Campus at the Andover Senior Center. For the past five years, she has welcomed baby boomers, age 50 and older, as well as senior citizens to learn and play what she calls the “most fascinating game in the world.”

A beginners’ class runs at 10 a.m. Mondays, Sept. 10 through Nov. 5. It includes instruction and playing. Cost is $129. 

BoomerVenture Campus is expanding and there is an open house at the Andover Senior Center at 6 p.m. Sept. 13 with class demonstrations, food, chair massage, a movie, and a chance to register. The programs are open to residents of the Merrimack Valley,

Call 978-623-8321 or visit boomerventure.com. 

WHO’S WHAT WHERE: Alyce Davis of Salem has joined the board of trustees at Salem State University. She earned her bachelor’s degree in secondary education and teaching from Salem State, a master’s degree from Suffolk University, and her doctorate from Nova Southeastern University in Florida. Davis, who serves as a consultant to the Massachusetts Association of School Committees, is also an adjunct professor in Salem State’s School of Graduate Studies and Endicott College’s Van Loan School of Graduate and Professional Studies. She was a classroom teacher for 20 years before moving into administrative roles as a principal and assistant superintendent in Salem . . . Kristin Noon is the new executive director at the Wenham Museum. A lifelong Wenham resident, she is a graduate of the College of the Holy Cross, and a practicing attorney who earned her law degree from Suffolk University in 2005. Noon has served on the museum’s board of trustees for several years. The public is invited to a reception for her at the museum, 5 to 7 p.m., on Oct. 17. 

Items can be sent to wdkilleen@gmail.com

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