Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Woonsocket North Smithfield 11-15-2018

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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10 THE VALLEY NOVEMBER 15-21, 2018 | VALLEY BREEZE | NORTH SMITHFIELD BLACKSTONE WOONSOCKET EDITION a man wearing the vest of the Patriot Riders of America, a motorcycle group and nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting veterans. The three struck up a conversation, and the stranger asked the Therriens if everything was alright. "Never knew this man from a hole in the wall," said Linda. "He just came up to us, my husband was wearing his disabled veterans hat, and Steve came up to me and said, 'How are you guys doing? Is everything OK?' And I pro- ceeded to tell him what's going on." The man was Stephen Vowels, a member of the group's Rhode Island Chapter One, based out of the St. Joseph Veterans Association Hall in Woonsocket. Founded in 2015, the chapter has grown to more than 60 members, including military and non- military as well as motorcycle riding and non-riding members. The chap- ter meets the first Thursday of every month and organizes charity events to support veterans, active military ser- vice members and their families. Vowels brought Jeff and Linda's story back to the organization, and it wasn't long before members adopted Jeff as one of their own. The Coast Guard veteran began attend- ing meetings, and Vowels asked the group's board to consider donating the proceeds from their third annual charity motorcycle ride to the couple for repairs to their home. The board voted, and this year's event, which kicked off from the Village Haven in September, raised $4,000 for a new roof. Last Saturday, members of the Patriot Riders arrived at the Therriens' home to assist with the installation. Many of the riders, said Vowels, brought friends who worked in trades and headed up the roof work, while Lowe's of North Smithfield provided the materials at a discounted cost. The group, he said, completed about 80 percent of the work over the weekend and plans to head back soon to finish the job. "It was literally raining inside their house," he said. "Patriot Riders raised the money, but the work itself, we really reached out to friends of ours who aren't official members of the group but they're in the trades. They were gracious enough to donate their time and their expertise as well." Vowels said the group hopes to do more projects for veterans in the future and keeps in touch with the needs of the community through the Veterans Affairs Office in Providence and Operation Stand Down. The vest, he said, is a badge of honor for mem- bers, some of whom never had the chance to serve their country in the military. "It's really a source of pride for all of us, especially people like me who didn't serve, just a way to give back," he said. For Jeff and Linda, the group has been much more than a source of pride, offering a helping hand and a community at a time when not much else seemed to be working in their favor. The couple are on their way to becoming official members of the Patriot Riders and are grateful for the support network that came out of a chance encounter in their local store. "The group is an amazing group that has jumped into action to help him out. This was just an ordinary day that we had gone to Cumberland Farms," said Linda. BREEZE PHOTO BY BILL MURPHY PAUL MILLETTE, of Woonsocket, Vice President of the Patriot Riders motorcycle group, passes a piece of plywood up to KEN JOHNSON, left, of Taunton, Mass, as they work to replace the roof on the home of Jeff and Linda Therrien. HELPING HAND From Page One Weeklong book sale at the Harris Library WOONSOCKET – The Woonsocket Harris Public Library, 303 Clinton St., will host a weeklong Holiday Book Sale from Monday, Nov. 26, through Saturday, Dec. 1. Book sale hours are Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Prices are nominal for gently used and even some brand new books, DVDs, audiobooks, music CDs and a plethora of holiday cookbooks, crafts, and decorating books, all perfect for gift giving. Prices start at 25 cents each for children's books. With every $5 in purchases, choose one free book (excludes $1 a bag promotion and special priced books). Enter a raffle for a gift basket filled with items and gift cards from local businesses. This book sale is sponsored by The Friends of the Woonsocket Harris Public Library. Become a Friend of the Library today by fill- ing out a membership form located at the library's circulation desk. You may also download a form online from the website at https://woon- socketlibrary.org/volunteering/ and mail it to us at the address above along with a check for your chosen level of support. Membership dues are $5 for indi- vidual senior or student, $10 for individual adult, $20 for best friend or family and $50 for benefactor or community friends. For more information on the book sale or Friends membership, call the library at 401-769-9044.

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