Page 1

Your Hometown Newspaper! ECRWSS PRSRT STD U.S. POSTAGE




Vol. 2, No. 31



Friday, August 4, 2017

Playground dedication honors memory of Ella Jade O’Donnell By Christopher Roberson


Shown at the newly-dedicated Ella Jade O’Donnell South Memorial-Passos Avante Playground are, from left to right, Everett Mayor Carlo DeMaria, Officer DennisO’Donnell with his daughter, Sydney, and wife, Erin, Mayor Ted Bettencourt, and Everett Council President Anthony DiPierro. (Courtesy photo)

Phunk Phenomenon promotes positives of Hip-Hop dance

cores of family and friends, known as “Ella’s Army,” recently attended the dedication ceremony of a playground that was built in memory of Ella O’Donnell, a 10-year-old student at South Memorial Elementary School who passed away late last year from a brain tumor. After losing Ella, students and faculty responded by constructing the Ella Jade O’Donnell South Memorial-Passos Avante Playground, complete with elephants and ladybugs, two of Ella’s favorite things.

Divided into age-appropriate sections, the playground is designed for children in preschool through fifth grade. Joanne Pantapas, a member of South Memorial’s Playground Committee, said that in addition to all-new equipment, the playground features a memorial patio and a bronze statue of a ballerina. Pantapas credited Mayor Edward Bettencourt with garnering $70,000 from the Community Preservation Act to help fund the $150,000 project. “The mayor supported us


Peabody loses veteran firefighter in bike/car collision

Talented crew head to International competition By Christopher Roberson


or the past 15 years, Reia Briggs-Connor and her husband Rick have been teaching students as young as three years old the art of hip hop dance. In addition to dancing hiphop since she was three years old herself, Briggs-Connor also spent three years as a cheerlead-

er for the New England Patriots. In 2002, she and Rick opened their first Phunk Phenomenon studio at 1760 Revere Beach Parkway in Everett. The opening of their Peabody studio, located at 201 Andover St., followed in 2012. Some of the classes offered include Baby Hip Hop and Breaking, Advanced Breaking and

Tricking, Ballet and Contemporary Dance as well as Salsa. Briggs-Connor said that on Aug. 5, she and six groups of dancers between the ages of six and 30 will be travelling to Phoenix for 11 days for this year’s International Hip-Hop Competition.

PHUNK PHENOMENON | SEE PAGE 8 Firefighter Daniel Pimenta was hit by a Jeep while he was out riding his bike in Beverly on July 30. Pimenta, who suffered from MS, later died of his injuries at Beverly Hospital. (Courtesy Photo)

By Christopher Roberson


RISING STARS: The seven-member Hip-Hop crew representing Phunk Phenomenon of Peabody is all smiles at Tuesday’s practice before leaving for the Hip-Hop International in Pheonix, Arizona on Thursday. Shown in no particular order, are; John Rice, Jalen Smith, Hayden Williams, Danta Graziano, Dah’kye Gardner, Jackson Annese, and Dylan Repucci. The kids will compete against dancers from 38 countries in what is dubbed, the Olympics of Hip-Hop. (Advocate photo)

red stripe runs through the badge of the Peabody Fire Department on its Facebook page, and purple buntings hang from the firehouse, meaning that one of the city’s bravest was lost. Daniel Pimenta, a Peabody firefighter of 27 years, was out for a bike ride last Sunday afternoon when he was struck head-on by a Jeep on Hale Street in Beverly. Pimenta, 53, who was off-duty at the time, was rushed seven miles to Beverly Hospital where he was later pronounced dead, according to the Beverly Fire Department. Beverly Police reported that

the driver of the Jeep was Paul Fiore, 69, of Beverly. “It is with heavy hearts and deepest sadness that we announce the passing of active duty Firefighter Dan Pimenta who was struck while riding his bike in Beverly,” said representatives from Peabody Firefighters Local 925 in a written statement. “Dan was an avid rider and champion supporter for the National MS Society. He rode every chance he got and he fought hard to raise awareness and support for this cause. We ask that you keep his loving wife and two children in your thoughts and prayers during


THE PEABODY ADVOCATE - Friday, August 4, 2017  
THE PEABODY ADVOCATE - Friday, August 4, 2017