HELPING HANDS: As Andover seniors head toward their final months of school, many will compete for scholarship money. Fortunately there are many community organizations that help Andover students with the near overwhelming costs of advanced education.
On the Education page this week we note the five $2,000 scholarships offered by the Andona Society. Andona raises its cash through community events like the downtown carnival ClownTown that people enjoy anyway. In a real sense, they provide a double benefit for Andover youth. And they are not alone in doing so.
PERSONABLE TOUCH: Mary Leone, 87, has been working at what is now the Bank of America building at 23 Main St. for 65 years. She has been there to greet customers to Fleet Bank, Bank Boston, BayBank, Andover National and other banks dating back to her first job in the building in 1944. Her coworker, branch Assistant Manager Nancy Rubenstein who has worked with Leone for more than two decades, told reporter Dustin Luca that Leone keeps in touch with former coworkers and that people come into the bank looking for her.
Leone sounds like the type of woman who can help make a huge impersonal institution feel a bit more like the neighborhood establishments of old. That feeling keeps community alive and helps continue to drive people to the downtown.
Speaking of which, here’s a final cheer, this one for the 22 businesses taking part in this weekend’s Boutique Blowout, an organized effort to show what the downtown has to offer, while offering residents some deals. Such teamwork also will keep the downtown strong and attractive to customers, who in many cases are fellow townspeople.