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Independent Thoughts: Major changes ahead at Hopkinton Drug, Dynasty; Toys for Tots accepting donations

by | Dec 7, 2022 | Featured, Featured: Features

There are big moves looming for two local businesses: a change in ownership at Hopkinton Drug and the closing of Dynasty restaurant.

Hopkinton Drug has been run by the Katz family since its opening in 1954. Dennis Katz took over from his father in 1980, two years after graduating from the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy.

Katz recently announced that he is retiring from the pharmacy business but will continue working in formulary research with a new company that he is starting, Hopkinton Research Group.

Hopkinton Drug’s new owner is a Texas-based company called PD Labs, which took ownership Dec. 6.

“It has been a long and rewarding journey that could not have been possible without all of our amazing staff, patients and doctors from around the country,” Katz wrote in a letter to the community. “We want to personally thank everyone that we have worked with throughout the years. You have touched our lives and our hearts, and for that we will be forever grateful.”

Katz also runs Hopkinton Card & Gift, which shares a storefront with Hopkinton Drug.

Meanwhile, Dynasty has been a mainstay in Hopkinton for almost three decades. Rosie Liang, who has run the Asian restaurant since taking over from her aunt 14 years ago, indicated she plans to retire after the establishment closes for good next month.

Part of the main dining area already has been separated and rented to another business.

Toys for Tots

Organizer Mike Whalen, dressed as the Grinch, stands next to the Toys for Tots donation box at the Police Station with Officer Matt LaTour and daughter Sarah Whalen. PHOTO/JOHN CARDILLO

Toys for Tots donations welcomed

As he does every year, Mike Whalen is organizing a local collection as part of the Toys for Tots program.

“As all of us are very aware, life can sometimes be very stressful, and those families struggling to survive have the added burden of providing toys and other presents to their children as part of certain celebrations,” Whalen shared.

Toys for Tots, organized by the U.S. Marines Reserves and the Marine Corps League, has been around for more than 70 years. Toy collection boxes are set out every November all over the country. Hopkinton’s box is at the Hopkinton Police Department and will be open until Christmas Eve.

Donations of new, unwrapped toys for all ages are welcomed. The items will be sorted and, in coordination with other local charities, distributed to families in need.

“Gift-giving can be an expression of love, affection or part of an effort to promote good will and compassion,” Whalen stated. “It has been a human tradition since ancient times, especially during the holiday season.”

Emergency Fund makes appeal

The Hopkinton Emergency Fund recently put out an appeal for donations this holiday season to help serve Hopkinton residents who are in need of emergency financial assistance.

The nonprofit HEF partners with local organizations including Hopkinton Youth & Family Services, Project Just Because, the Hopkinton Senior Center and Saint Vincent de Paul to help identify and support local families in need.

“The need for financial assistance for families in our town when they have experienced unexpected events in their lives has become so real to me as one of the people receiving requests from our partners,” HEF grant co-coordinator Judith Weinthaler said. “These are families that were doing OK, holding down jobs and paying their rent until there was a real emergency — a lost job by one of the parents, a car breakdown, a serious illness, etc. I am proud to be part of a support service to help these individuals and families weather the crisis at least in the short term and feel some hope that they can move forward toward more stability. They have expressed their appreciation for the money and also knowing that people in Hopkinton care for those in need.”

For more information, visit hopkintonemergencyfund.org.

Active Bystander Training session upcoming

The Hopkinton Freedom Team, with help from Hopkinton Youth & Family Services and support from Middlesex Savings Bank, is providing another session of Active Bystander Training for ages 13 and older.

The free training session will be held Sunday, Jan. 15, from 3:30-5:30 p.m. via Zoom. It’s scheduled one day before the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday to encourage individuals to observe Hopkinton’s MLK Giving Back Initiative.

Facilitators at True Story Training will present an introductory skill building and instructional workshop on how to be an empowered active bystander. It will include approaches to responding safely and effectively to situations of bigotry or injustice, and learning the basics of how to speak up in different situations, how to engage allies and how to participate in effective dialogue to help build a culture of change in the community. Attendees will participate in action-oriented practices and role plays to work through challenging scenarios based on real life, so that they can be better prepared with skills to step in.

Those who have attended a previous session are encouraged to join and share their experiences. For more information and to register, check the Freedom Team website (hopkintonfreedomteam.org).