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Independent Thoughts: Jagdale turns to AI to produce children’s book

by | May 28, 2024 | Featured

Zoom Along: A to Z With Cars!

Hopkinton resident Amit Jagdale, known to readers of the Independent website for his fantastic photos from around town, is venturing into the world of book publishing.

Together with his daughter, Siya, a Hopkinton High School junior, Jagdale published a book for children who are learning to read. It’s called “Zoom Along: A to Z with Cars!”

What makes this project especially interesting is that it was created via artificial intelligence (AI).

“I was looking at things people are doing with AI, and I thought I would see how hard or easy it is to do,” he explained. “It was a very easy process.”

Jagdale, who works as a program manager at MathWorks in Natick, said he used “a bunch of different AI tools” to generate the images, providing instructions on what sort of pictures he desired, then adjusting the photos to make them look the way he wanted.

“The book is more car themed, so I had to be more specific as to what I wanted,” he said, adding that vehicles are a passion of his, as he owns “a couple of cars and some motorcycles.”

Jagdale said he isn’t sure if the book will sell (it can be found at Amazon.com), but if it turns a profit, he plans to donate to a local charity or organization.

“It’s kind of a fun thing to do. I don’t know if it’s going to make any money,” he said. “But it’s interesting to see how technology has evolved.”

Women’s Club honors teens

Cris Bright is the new president of the Hopkinton Women’s Club, which held its annual Spring Awards Luncheon on April 24 at the Hopkinton Country Club. Bright, who will serve a two-year term, took the gavel at the event.

A few high school students were recognized for their contributions.

Sophomore Abby Burke received the MassSTAR Award. She was slated to participate in a three-day dynamic leadership conference sponsored by the General Federation of Women’s Clubs. At the conference, students from across Massachusetts gather for leadership training, civic education and personal development, with the aim of promoting their understanding of what it means to be an active and engaged citizen.

Morgan Prophet received the Junior Endeavor Award. Recipients of this award are selected by the HHS Guidance Counseling Office. It celebrates a junior who has demonstrated resiliency, perseverance, determination and earnest and industrious effort.

The Mary MacDonough Community Service Award was presented to Eva Bennet. Her commitment to improving her community has been shown through her work with the Hopkinton Youth Commission, Hopkinton Organizing for Prevention Youth Advisory Team, MetroWest Anti-Bullying Coalition, Current Events Club, Diversity Club and We Wear Red Day to promote women and girls. She also volunteers with the MetroWest Medical Center. Bennet will attend Northeastern University in the fall and plans to study behavioral neuroscience with the ultimate goal of becoming a psychiatrist.

Comedy for a Cause fundraiser

Outgoing RE/MAX Executive Charitable Foundation president Sandy Lucchesi (center) poses with fellow board members and comedian Jim McCue (back row, third from left) at the recent Comedy for a Cause fundraiser at Hopkinton Country Club.

Comedy for a Cause delivers

The RE/MAX Executive Charitable Foundation hosted its annual Comedy for a Cause fundraiser at Hopkinton Country Club on April 27.

“It was a huge success for our foundation,” reported Sandy Lucchesi, who this month stepped down as the foundation’s president after five years. “All 150 seats sold out, and the comedians, Jim McCue and Kelly MacFarland, nailed it. Not only did the audience have a great time, but we raised $27,000! This will make a significant impact on the Charitable Foundation’s ability to help families facing catastrophic situations and continue our mission of Neighbors Helping Neighbors.”

Lucchesi noted that the foundation has donated more than $400,000 since its inception in 2009, helping more than 200 families and individuals For more information on the organization, email charity@remaxexec.com.

HPTO celebrates anniversary

The Hopkinton Parent Teacher Organization celebrated three decades of supporting the town’s schools with a party at the Hopkinton Center for the Arts last month. The theme was the 1990s, the decade when the HPTO was formed.

“It was a wonderful way to honor 30 years of dedication and hard work from Hopkinton parent volunteers, 30 years of community support and 30 years of giving to our schools totaling over $2 million,” shared HPTO president Sarah Navin.

The event raised more than $7,000, which will support enrichment programs, clubs/activities for students and appreciation for school staff.

Garden Club brings back Flower Show

The Hopkinton Garden Club, celebrating its 100th anniversary, is hosting a Horticulture Specialty Flower Show on Friday, June 7, from 1-4 p.m., and Saturday, June 8, from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held at the Hopkinton Senior Center.

“It has been over 25 years since the HGC hosted a flower show, so bringing it back for the 100th anniversary felt fitting,” explained publicity team leader Erin Graziano.

Ruth Gorman, HGC treasurer and also a National Garden Club Master Flower Show judge, has led the effort, planning the show for a year.

Participating exhibitors will include HGC members, Hopkinton Girl Scouts and individuals from the Hopkinton Senior Center and the Hopkinton schools. In addition to horticulture exhibits, there will be exhibits about conservation groups in Hopkinton and native plants.

For more information, visit hopkintongardenclub.org.

Food drive nets big haul

The local Bishop Rice Council of the Knights of Columbus expressed gratitude for the members of the Hopkinton community who were able to participate in the recent Food For Families food drive.

“Thanks to your kindness and generosity we collected over $1,000 pounds of food and supplies — over a half-ton — and $2,225 in cash, checks and online donations to support the Hopkinton Food Pantry at Project Just Because,” shared event co-chairs Paul St. Jean and Jim Kenealy.

The drive ran from March 2-17.

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