Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Cumberland Lincoln 03-26-2020

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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Hope is Rhode Island's motto, and it's hope in the midst of crisis that Cumberland resident Mike Griffin and his family were pointing to when they strung 400 colored lights from "one little tree" in front of their home last week. That simple act, inspired by a request from Griffin's youngest son Liam, was enough to make national headlines, and though Griffin is sure others across the country might have had the idea to put up lights earlier in response to the coronavirus pan- demic, he's happy to see his family's lights be the inspiration for spread- ing a message of hope locally and around the globe. After NBC 10, NBC News, CNN, The Boston Globe and others picked up on the story last week, others jumped in with their own lights, including Tom Winfield in Smithfield, who lit up the Greenville Christmas tree with its traditional colored lights. In Griffin's hometown, the light phenomenon was spreading this week, with famed Curran Road Christmas light enthusiast Mark Ruel, who took a break from his big display this past Christmas, getting in on the movement. Mike and Holly Griffin, Cumberland residents for 17 years, have three sons, Ryan, 14, Sean, 12, and Liam, 10. Liam is the big- Lights a sign of hope during pandemic By ETHAN SHOREY Valley Breeze Managing Editor MIKE GRIFFIN, right, and his family kicked the campaign to put up lights of hope into high gear last week. From left are his wife HOLLY and sons SEAN, RYAN and LIAM. See LIGHTS, Page 10 CUMBERLAND – Driving the sad reality of the COVID-19 crisis home, some of the town's most recognizable businesses have closed their doors over the past week. Conway Tours and Cumberland House of Pizza were two of the big- gest names to call it a day. Others continue doing business in a diffi- cult climate. "Unfortunately, after 94 years in business, we have had to make the difficult decision to cease all operations and close our doors due to unprecedented health and economic issues related to the new coronavirus," posted Conway Tours in a message to customers. "We appreciate your patronage over the last decades." The message stated that the com- pany is in discussions with attor- neys on how to proceed in a man- ner that will be in the best interest of customers, adding that they will keep customers up to date on next steps. Customers were left wondering this week whether they'll receive their money back for trips booked. A representative from the Conway family did not return a call for com- ment. Owners at Cumberland House of Pizza said the decision to tempo- rarily close C.H.O.P.s on Monday was an incredibly difficult one, but Crisis hitting Cumberland businesses By ETHAN SHOREY Valley Breeze Managing Editor See BUSINESSES, Page 6 LINCOLN – In an effort to lift people's spirits during a time of fear and anxiety, a pair of neighbors in Saylesville took to the sidewalks to create a colorful display of positivity and hope. Ten-year-olds Lucy Gilbert and Lilly Burgess, students at Lonsdale Elementary School, wrote uplifting messages in sidewalk chalk over the weekend. As their neighbors stepped out for a walk, they began to stop and snap pictures of the artwork. "I wasn't really sure what to draw, so I started thinking of nice things to say. A lot of people go for walks in our neighborhood, so I thought maybe it would boost them up for a little bit and make their day better," Gilbert said. "I feel happy because people are stopping to read them and they're smiling and taking pictures," she said. "Cars slow down to look, and one person even added their own mes- sage. A person in a car stopped to say thank you." The messages include "every little thing is gonna be alright," "we will Chalking up positivity in Saylesville By NICOLE DOTZENROD Valley Breeze Staff Writer See POSITIVITY, Page 32 ©2020 THE VALLEY BREEZE Serving Cumberland and Lincoln Breeze THE VALLEY FREE MARCH 26-APRIL 1, 2020 Wills & Trusts Estate Planning & Settlement The Law Office of George M. Prescott Esquire Rhode Island does not have a procedure for the certification or recognition of specialization by lawyers. 300 Front Street, Lincoln, Rhode Island 02865 Telephone – 401.726.5577 No fee for initial consultation. 1985 Mendon Rd. 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This home has central air, lawn irrigation, town water & sewer. $499,900 OUR 2020 HEALTH & WELLNESS DIRECTORY INSIDE 2020 Edition – Published by A Northern Rhode Island Guide of Physicians & Health & Wellness Professionals Health & Wellness A Helpful Guide for Better Health

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