Thanks for success of cancer walk event

Thanks for success of cancer walk event

To the editor:

On Sunday, May 20, more than 3,500 members of our community joined together to make a difference for area cancer patients by participating in Lowell General Hospital’s eighth annual TeamWalk for CancerCare.

As chairman of TeamWalk, I have seen first hand the generosity and dedication shown by our community in regard to this event. Local businesses, including CNC Newspapers, donate tens of thousands of dollars to the cause in addition to in-kind contributions that allow us to promote TeamWalk and create a memorable, family event. Hundreds of volunteers give of their time, expertise, and energy to organize and execute every detail of this amazing day. Most importantly, thousands of area residents – including cancer survivors — make the 3 or 6.2 mile walk along the river in Lowell, regardless of what adverse conditions Mother Nature may put in their path. And these walkers, sponsors, and volunteers do this with an astounding sense of caring and generosity that renews my faith in the integrity of man and the triumph of the human spirit.

Even with contributions still being tallied, participants have raised more than $477,000 dollars – a new record - to help ease the difficult journey of area cancer patients.

I would like to offer my sincerest thanks to all our sponsors, volunteers and walkers for being a part of TeamWalk for CancerCare and working together to support cancer patients throughout our region. I would also like to thank the staff and administration of Lowell General Hospital for the dedication and vision that has empowered our community to bring hope, courage, and support to those that need it most.

I look forward to next year and the opportunity to do it all over again. I hope to see you there.

Bruce Robinson


TeamWalk for CancerCare


Teacher buy back was fair move

To the editor:
 After attending the spring town meeting this May, I felt it was necessary to express my feelings on sick leave buy back in the teachers' contract. 

It was instituted in the past when good raises could not be given because of hard times. Teachers accepted no raises or very small raises and upon their retirement were assured sick leave buy back instead.

It was all written in a contract and contracts are not to be broken. I would think it would be illegal and unethical to take away something that an employee is entitled to by contract. Some people have been accruing these days for years and years. How could we now say to them that it wasn't really a binding agreement and that they aren't getting what was promised to them?

Sick leave buy back is not fluff that can be brushed aside, but something that people earned and were promised in good faith.

The new Superintendent of Schools, Anthony Serio, did hear Town Meeting’s message that they did not approve of sick leave buy back. He negotiated it out of the contract for future teachers who sign on with Billerica.

Under the new contract, any newly-hired teachers will come into the schools knowing they will not get sick leave buy back and that's fair. However, taking something away that was promised contractually to teachers who have given so much to the system for years is not fair.

I am glad that Town Meeting voted for what was right and just.

    Nancy Schuster

Moseley Street

     Editor’s note: Nancy Schuster is a Town Meeting member in Precinct 3 and a retired Billerica schools teacher.