Pawtucket Foundation Cherry Blossom Award

Cherry Blossom Award

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I am pleased to announce the completion of this year’s, uniquely beautiful Pawtucket Foundation awards which will be presented on Tuesday, April 27, 2010, by the Pawtucket Foundation as they hold their 7th Annual Awards Celebration Dinner at the Pawtucket Armory Center for the Arts. It is the Pawtucket Foundation’s intention to celebrate four special people in the community that have really worked hard to make good things happen here in Pawtucket, RI. This year the Pawtucket Foundation also celebrates its first annual Cherry Blossom Festival in conjunction with its annual awards dinner. With this in mind Thomas Mann, the

Foundation’s Director, felt that the awards should reflect this celebration.

My inspiration for the creation of this award derived from a Chen Chi print that my parents had a copy of in their home, where I grew up. This print was a series of four pieces reflecting the four seasons.

This year the Foundation will be presenting awards to four individuals in the community. This inspired me to shape the awards so that they would fit together as a whole piece and yet they stand alone as individuals. The awards will only have one night to be displayed altogether before they take root around the city of Pawtucket.

How the Awards were Created

Whenever possible I like to use recycled and reclaimed materials. I thought that using coca-cola cans to create the cherry blossoms would make them beautiful from both the front and the back. I like the idea of not disguising what they are. The metal that I chose to use to create the tree trunk and branches, is steel with patina used to give the appearance of an actual tree surface.

Also, in choosing my materials for this project, I wanted to add something that was associated with or an actual piece of Pawtucket and its rich history, so I created the frames using reclaimed lumber from a renovated mill here in Pawtucket.

It is with great pleasure, honor and pride both in my heart and in my appreciation for my surrounding community that I have created these awards which will be presented to four very deserving and amazing individuals.

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Awards in Bloom

Article by The Pawtucket Times
Photos by Butch Adams

On April 8 at Ahlers Designs, located at Hope Artiste Village in Pawtucket, artist Gail Ahlers, Left and Pawtucket Foundation Program Associate Aaron Hertzberg display the 2010 Pawtucket Foundation Awards: The Heritage Award for Boys & Girls Club of Pawtucket CEO Jim Hoyt; the Special Distinction Award for local catalyst Phyllis Nathanson; the Person of the Year Award for local developer, business man and Dragon Boat Festival supporter Luis Yip; and the Heritage Award for YMCA of Pawtucket General Director Esselton McNulty.

These four creative and unique awards were made by Ahlers out of reclaimed lumber from local mills for the frame, treated steel for the tree trunk and recycled soda cans for the cherry blossoms.

The awards will be presented on Tuesday night April 27, during the Pawtucket Foundation's seventh annual Awards Celebration beginning at 5:30 p.p. in the Pawtucket Armory Center for the Arts on Exchange Street.

Tickets for the celebration can be purchased online at

adminAwards in Bloom

Presented to John Mellencamp

I am proud to have been selected by the city of Pawtucket to create a commemorative gift for three artists that have impacted so many with their music. The base was created using reclaimed lumber from a converted mill in Pawtucket, RI; representing the foundation of sweat and toil upon which this country was built. It also represents the common man, whom these artists have both sung about and fought for through their commitment to social awareness.

The handcrafted pewter stand is engraved with the words Thank You For The Music, an understated reference to over 40 years of music which helped to shape and define generations.

It also represents the ingenuity and craftsmanship of those who designed and created the infrastructure of this great country. The stand holds a looking glass which symbolizes the eye of the artist, through which everyday life becomes profound. A personalized message to each artist can be viewed through the looking glass.

On top of the stand is an official Pawtucket Red Sox baseball, in honor of the use of McCoy Stadium as the venue for this concert. Most of this tour has been held in Minor League Ball Parks, a testament to the connection between these musicians and the average American.

adminPresented to John Mellencamp

Great Food, Handcrafted Gifts, Free Family Fun

This is the second year of the farmer’s market at the Hope Artiste Village. I must say that I have enjoyed working my booth at the Hope Artiste Village Artist Co-op. Besides being able to get wonderful eggs, meat and fresh yummy veggies I have truly enjoyed the people.

There is music and fresh food. The mood amongst the community is bright and friendly. I have seen more of my friends while working at the market selling my gift collection to the public than if I tried to catch up with them individually. Also I am meeting new people. People that never knew I existed, ( if you can imagine that? ).

I welcome all foodies to come and try what has become the Saturday afternoon ritual. Bring a friend and a smile. Come hungry and explore. See what all the fuss is about and help support our local farmers as they work so hard to grow great food for us. Support your neighbors. Do yourself a favor and get out of your winter cave. Stop by and say “Hi”.

More information on Farm Fresh. Snow or shine, the Wintertime Farmers Market is open.

Local food in every season. The chickens are still laying eggs. The salad greens are so leafy and crisp. The onions and garlic are packing spice. The apples and squashes are getting sweeter by the day. Join us for the start of another 365 days of local food. Chefs and eaters, one and all, come enjoy all that grows in Rhode Island year-round!

ALL WINTER (AND SPRING) LONG: Lettuces, arugula, bok choi, kale, collards, cabbage, chard, apples, cider, potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions, leeks, garlic, radishes, fresh herbs, beets, carrots, parsnips, turnips, winter squash, oysters, beef, pork, Narragansett Creamery cheese, eggs, honey, maple syrup

adminGreat Food, Handcrafted Gifts, Free Family Fun

Swarovski Crystals

Swarovski Crystals are popular among many. Each and every facet of the crystallized Swarovski elements are cut and polished to complete and total brilliance. Swarovski Crystals are the highest quality diamonds among rhinestones which is why they inspire the world’s finest designers. With this in mind designer Gail Ahlers of Ahlers Designs has created her gem collection, adding the brilliance of genuine Swarovski Crystals to her product line.

Among the many elements you will find in stock at Ahlers Designs, that include Swarovski Crystals and their brilliant array of colors, are emblems that include her heart designs, a flower and a garden design, a leaf design, a spiritual design and yes even a turtle design. These emblems combined with the many unique accessories found at Ahlers gifts can be used to create brilliant gift pieces for those special people in your life. You can view Gail Ahlers in stock Swarovski Crystal gift collection by visiting her online store at If you love Swarovski Crystals then you won’t be disappointed.

At Ahlers Designs the Swarovski Crystal gem collection extends beyond gift giving and into home décor. Among Gail Ahlers most recent home decor creations are stunning switch plates embellished with Swarovski Crystal elements that will add elegance, brilliance and color to any room in your house. Perhaps you might also be interested in matching towel hooks found in our Swarovski Crystal gem collection for your kitchen or bathroom.

If you have a unique, one of a kind Swarovski Crystal design idea then designer Gail Ahlers will work with you adding detail and beauty while creating the design of your dreams.

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Holiday gifts to delight the “impossible-to-buy-for” on your list

So, the holidays have officially arrived. Leftover turkey, crowded malls, and a whole lot of gift guide articles on the web.

And, yes, as we peruse the offerings in stores and online, we all have that person… that ONE person… who is virtually impossible to buy for. A parent, co-worker or friend, perhaps? You know them; they have everything and you end up wincing as you buy them a vegetable of the month membership. (I know; I’ve done it!)

Well, here are a few beautiful (and practical) ideas for the most difficult on your gift lists… each personal, yet entirely practical and beautifully designed and crafted.

For her, a compact mirror. Regardless of her interests, every woman needs a mirror for her purse. Why not a hand-made one with a motif that reflects her personality. Does she love the arts? gardening? fashion? medicine? sports? the beach? Her dog? Her cat? We have designs for every personality!


For him… We have fabulous gifts (again with a multitude of personalized designs). Perhaps a statement-making business card holder? A desk set? A check-book cover? Whatever his interests (finance? poker? pets?) there is a gorgeous, handmade design that’s perfect for him.


Time is a-ticking (26 days ’til Christmas!) and, really, thoughtful though it may be… no one truly wants the vegetable of the month…

adminHoliday gifts to delight the “impossible-to-buy-for” on your list

Listening tour’ helps officials take the pulse of Pawtucket’s business community

Article By DONNA KENNY KIRWAN, Photo by Butch Adams, from the Pawtucket Times

Saturday, 16 May 2009

PAWTUCKET — There’s a lot to be said for getting out of the office and talking to those in the trenches. That’s just what some of the state’s business leaders did on Friday morning in Pawtucket.

In what was billed as a “listening tour,” Secretary of State A. Ralph Mollis, Mark Hayward of the U.S. Small Business Administration and John Cronin of the Rhode Island Small Business Development Center at Johnson & Wales University visited six local ventures. The group started at Embolden Design, a Web-design, development and consulting firm located at 545 Pawtucket Ave., and then headed to Medical Knitted Structures at 358 Lowden St., a manufacturer of tubular bandages and prostheses.

Later that morning, the business leaders toured four small companies located in Hope Artiste Village at 999 to 1005 Main Street. Their stops included RhodeOne Technology Solutions, which does e-mail marketing; Charlie’s Playhouse, a maker of children’s educational products; Ahlers Design, a jewelry and custom giftware designer; and the Rosinha Restaurant, which offers Cape Verdean and Portuguese cuisine.

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When a ‘Win-Back’ Offer Is an Insult

Article describes how Gail Ahlers entered a CTAM-sponsored contest for women business owners, from Cox Business Services and won. Click here to read the article.

adminWhen a ‘Win-Back’ Offer Is an Insult