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Home Improvement Projects to Tackle While Stuck Indoors

By | Inside Rhody | No Comments

As everyone is stuck inside to protect themselves and others during the COVID-19 pandemic, this could be an ideal time to tackle some of those home improvement and maintenance projects. You don’t need to spend a fortune on these projects either! Here are a few simple projects to get you motivated…

  1. Caulk your bathtub or shower: Over time, the seal around your tub or shower can wear and crack, allowing moisture to pool inside, which creates a perfect environment for mold. Caulk any areas you see this happening.
  2. Patch any holes: Take time to patch up any holes in the walls from previous wall decor. A small container of joint compound will go a long way!
  3. Give rooms a fresh coat of paint: Painting is one of those projects that can make a big impact on the look and feel of your home. A neutral color, like an off-white or tan can brighten up your entire house and make everything look cleaner and neater.
  4. Update your cabinet hardware: Give your kitchen or bathroom a simple facelift with new hardware. Once you select your new hardware, you will just need a screwdriver!
  5. Change out lighting on both the exterior and interior of your home: Swap out tired, old light fixtures and keep your home looking bright and beautiful!
  6. Keep your lawn and landscape looking beautiful: Give your lawn a fresh cut and add some color to your landscape! Get rid of all the dead stuff.
  7. Pressure wash your house and walkways: Get rid of all the dirt & grime, it will make all the difference!
  8. Shampoo your rugs: Now is the time to move your furniture out of the way and give your rugs a good cleaning. If you don’t have a carpet cleaner, rent one from a home improvement store.
  9. Clean out your garage: You will thank yourself next time you go to get that tool from the back corner and you don’t have to trip over a pile of junk first!
  10. Replace your furnace filter: Extend the life of your system and keep your costs down by replacing its filter! This also helps with better air quality.

For the unavoidable days of being stuck inside, working on these projects and updates is the perfect way to elevate your mood. There are only so many walks you can take and batches of cookies you can bake until you start going stir crazy! Whether you select one or two of these projects or tackle the entire list, you will be very impressed with your own handiwork!

Local Real Estate Broker Raises over $170,000 towards Breast Cancer

By | Inside Rhody | No Comments

Breast cancer has claimed the lives of millions of innocent people. It is estimated that 1 in 8 people will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some point in their lives. The good news is that death rates have declined drastically over the years, due to the fundraising efforts made by incredible charities, and the generosity of millions of supporters.

Sherri Mercurio, Broker/Owner of The Mercurio Group Real Estate, had a mission to simply make a difference. She wanted to create a Gala event to not only honor the amazing Survivors and Thrivers, but to fundraise in order to help make a difference even after the night was over. Bra’s for a Cause was the result.

We had the pleasure of speaking with Sherri to learn more about this annual fundraising event:

Q: How did Bra’s For A Cause start?

A: At the time I was the local President of the Women’s Council of Realtors, and thought it was a great opportunity to host a fundraiser to give back to our local community. My colleague Kerri Gemma, who is also a Realtor, teamed up with me and we took off running with this event. From the very start, I had a goal to raise at least $10,000 per year. We started off a little shaky but still raised $8,000 our first year. From there, it just got better. Going from $17,000 to $26,000 to $34,000 and in just 7 years, I can proudly say that the 2019 Bra’s for a Cause event raised $170,000 in just one night!

Q: What is the Bra’s for a Cause event about?

A: For the past 7 years, I have partnered up with local Real Estate professionals, Attorneys and Mortgage Professionals and business owners that strut their stuff down a runway at Twin River Casino to model a Bra that the audience bids on. The best part? The models that we choose are each escorted down the runway by 2 breast cancer survivors to cheer them on and get the crowd energized. Every year has a different theme, which determines how the bras are designed. There are tons of silent auction items to bid on that night as well as an abundance of appetizers and a full dinner It is a night full of great company, many laughs and forever memories.

Q: What efforts go into hosting this event every year?

A: I spend the entire year planning this event, which takes place in November. When we first started it was a challenge. I made all of the centerpieces and transported them to the venue. I found the talent, rehearsed with them, and put the entire show together. I begged business partners to make me stage props that we continue to use yearly. There are so many silent auction baskets that needed to be put together, taken to the venue and organized. You name it we did it. It is truly a full time job hosting an event this large. And with that being said, I’m so happy to say that Gloria Gemma has taken this event under their wings and offered all of their assistance. There is no doubt in my mind that this event will raise over $250,000 in the next few years. My original 10 year plan was to raise $100,000 and with the help of the amazing team at Gloria Gemma, we surpassed that and I am more then confident we can reach $250,000.

Q: Why do you do it?

A: I do it because I can. I do it because I’m healthy and my close friends need these programs that Gloria Gemma organizes. Without funding these local programs can not last. When you get involved with an organization such as this, you will quickly see that you are not just part of an organization, you are a part of a family. Seeing women and men my age go through the terrible fight of breast cancer, or any kind of cancer, is gut-wrenching. And so I strive every year to do better. It is so incredible to see this event in person. We have cancer survivors on the stage with their friends that are currently stage 4 thrivers. We have many women that were a part of the show in the past that are watching from above cheering us on. The bond these women have is the most amazing thing one could experience. If this event can get these women and men out of the house for a fun night out to forget about the world for a day, then sign me up for another year! It means the world to them and gives them hope. When I see the smile on their faces strutting the runway, I know I did my job.

Q: What does all the money you have raised go towards?

A: The #1 reason why I do so much for The Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Foundation is because I know that for every dollar donated, 90 cents of that goes directly back into the local programs. These programs include Gloria’s Angels Meal program which provides a healthy meal delivery service to those who can not leave their home. They offer comfort care bags to newly diagnosed patients, oncology massage for patients after treatment, support groups, arts and crafts, education, and so much more.

Q: Who has been apart of making this event possible?

A: This event would not exist without the many sponsors, emcees, attendees, volunteers and the hundreds who have helped out tremendously throughout the years. My partner in crime Kerri Gemma is a angel. This gal is the master of donations, sponsorship’s, handling all of the silent auction items, live bidding the night of the event and way too much for one paragraph. Lucy, Ethel and Bryan from GG rock my world. Life without them would be boring. The models are a pure joy to watch strut down the runway every year! I could not thank the entire Gloria Gemma family enough for taking our event under their wing. It takes a village. I’m so excited for things to come! 2020 planning is underway.

If you are interested in supporting this amazing cause, or interested in being a sponsor, contact Sherri Mercurio today at 401-699-6666 to see how you can be apart of this event! Together we can fight the fight and find a cure!

Little Rhody Is Awesome!

By | Inside Rhody

by Dr. Ronald G. Shapiro

Are you a parent, an educator, an artist, an art enthusiast, an event organizer or simply attending a very special event? If so, you will want to meet Kendra Watenpaugh Houston, an artist and educator from Texas who recently relocated to Rhode Island to open Studio Videnda. Kendra offers awesome art workshops and art commissions for social organizations, families, children of any age (from 18 months to 18 years of age), bridal and baby showers, gender revealing parties, birthdays and fundraisers.

Not an artist? Don’t worry about it. The workshops are FUN (for people with all levels of artistic ability), making them perfect for your social educational events. They also help people to develop communication and team building skills, manage stress, improve memory and develop creative skills. Thus, they are perfect for your school, youth group and business events, too!!!

If you are attending a very special event such as a wedding, an anniversary party or celebrating a very special birthday, Kendra would be delighted to custom paint a dress just for you.

Kendra offers the following suggestions:
• For kids
• For young adults
• For parents
• For empty nesters

Contact Kendra (via email or telephone 401.484.1713) for advice, to arrange a program or to order very special custom printed clothing and accessories. Be sure to check out her websites ( and, too.

A Construction Zone Guardian Angel

By | Inside Rhody

by Amit Basnet

Rhonda Simpson has been in the construction industry for 30 years as a driver, owner/operator, and laborer. Over the past five years, she has also gained extensive experience in highway safety setups. Rhonda has been trained as a highway work zone safety traffic control technician (certificate #180006459), has her OSHA 30 operator’s license, maintains a current medical card at all times, and has obtained many other safety certificates and CPR training.

With all her experience and credentials, Rhonda decided to open her own company. She knocked on the RISBDC’s door for assistance and met Amit Basnet, Central RI Regional Director. Amit helped Rhonda to polish her business plan and worked with her to develop pro-forma financials for her start-up. He also advised her on various loan options, connected her with a local Certified Development Company (CDC), and helped with overall loan package development. Rhonda’s loan recently closed; she has all the necessary permits and is in operation.

Hi-Way Guardian provides a safety zone on roadway construction sites protecting those working on the site with a Freightliner Attenuator. The truck is a tier 4 2013 and is qualified for federal and state municipal highway work. It is available for rent with or without a driver.

The fully licensed and insured Freightliner Attenuator’s distinctive features include:

20-foot ballasted flatbed
Rubberized non-skid deck coating
38-inch stake-sides
30 1-inch man pods on both sides with flip-up covers, safety bars, and hooks •
Dual camera backup system with infrared for night vision

Hi-Way Guardian is 100% woman-owned and Rhonda plans to get a Minority Business Enterprise Certification later this year.

This enterprising client is looking forward to catering to her established business relationships with local construction companies as well as new customers. She wishes all a happy, productive, and — most importantly — safe construction season!

Learn more about Hi-Way Guardian by contacting Rhonda Simpson at 401-464-2868 or

If you’re ready to start writing your business success story, attend one of our upcoming workshops or set up a free one-on-one counseling session today. Register at today.

Comprehensive Dental Care For Children

By | Inside Rhody

Pediatric Dental Care of RI is dedicated to providing the highest quality and comprehensive dental care to children from birth to 18 years old throughout Southern New England.

Meet Dr. Jason Hencler! Born and raised in Rhode Island, he earned his DMD degree from Tufts University School of Dental Medicine. After which, he completed a 2 year residency at St. Joseph Hospital in Providence, RI where he earned an Advance Education in Pediatric Dentistry certificate. After starting Pediatric Dental Care in 2014, Dr. Hencler resides in Warwick with his wife Kathie, sons William and Benjamin, and daughter Emma.

He was recognized and honored by receiving the Rhode Island Monthly Top Dentist Award in 2018.

Dr. Hencler is a Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry which is a pediatric dentist whose credentials have been verified, has successfully completed voluntary examinations, and demonstrates specialized knowledge and skill. A Diplomate is dedicated to providing exceptional patient care through a voluntary commitment to lifelong learning, which Dr. Hencler and his staff have been dedicated to providing since opening in 2014.

Along with his caring staff, Dr. Hencler creates a fun and friendly environment that will help your child feel at ease during their visit. Prevention is their top priority,

so its important to educate patients about oral hygiene, nutrition, and other factors that play a crucial role in cavity prevention and establishing life long healthy habits.

Childhood caries are the #1 chronic illness in the US, and PDCRI is constantly looking for ways to reduce this rate through education and early prevention. Dental caries (also known as tooth decay) is 4x more common than asthma in children and 100% preventable. The PDCRI goal is to lower these rates through education and prevention. They frequently make local visits to preschools, daycares, and elementary schools to perform activities, read books, and show children the dentist can be fun.

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends every child establish a dental home by age 1. A dental home should provide age specific comprehensive oral health care and include all aspects of oral care delivery in an easily accessible, coordinated, and family oriented manner. Children who have a dental home are more likely to receive appropriate preventative and routine oral health care.

Make Pediatric Dental Care of Rhode Island your child’s dental home. The office hours are Monday, Wednesday, Thursday 8-5 pm, Friday 8-1 pm, and the last Saturday of the month during the school year 8-1 pm. Contact them at (401) 825-6062. Preschools and Daycares that are interested in a free dental lesson may contact their office for request!

Providence’s Only Member-Owned Grocery Store

By | Inside Rhody

After several years of grassroots development and planning, the board of the Urban Greens Co-op Market is thrilled to announce the opening of Providence’s only member-owned co-op grocery store. Urban Greens is open to all shoppers, whether they are members or not.

The grand opening celebration will feature free food samples from local vendors, live music, goodie bags, and dozens of special sales throughout the store. Urban Greens’ mission is to be open to all and support the health and well-being of
our customers by offering nutritious, affordable food that is sustainably sourced, culturally inclusive, and supportive of local food production. All are welcome to stop in and experience their locally-owned, beautiful new grocery store.

“We never would have gotten here without the support of a lot of people who believed in this project,” said board member Philip Trevvett. “The opening of Urban Greens increases our access to healthy and local foods, and we want to acknowledge that there is still a lot of work to expand that access. We are committed to continuing to grow access to healthy and local foods over time, both through programming within the store, and through community outreach, education and relationship- building outside of our brick and mortar building.”

Urban Greens is a full-service grocery store stocked with fresh organic produce, delicious prepared foods available to go,

and a significant selection of bulk items — such as granola, spices, and flour — that can be purchased at low prices with minimal packaging. In addition, the co-op strives to meet the needs of the diverse communities in Providence, so shoppers will find a mix of cooking oils, produce, and grains common to West African, South East Asian, and Latino diets, among others. Shoppers will also enjoy Urban Greens Basics, a budget line of 100 staple items throughout the store.

A 356-square-foot community room will feature free and paid events, such as community cooking classes, workshops and more. Urban Greens currently has more than 1,300 members. Membership costs between $10 and $160 per year, making it truly accessible to all. Qualified low-income members qualify for a 5% discount on all items.

The $2.2 million project is expected to generate 28 part-time and full-time jobs. The project received an investment from the Rhode Island Foundation, a Rebuild Rhode Island Tax Credit, a loan from RI Commerce, and a loan from The Cooperative Fund of New England. The project also received grants from the Rhode Island Foundation, LASA in conjunction with the RI Department of Environmental Management, and the Henry P. Kendall Foundation. All told, more than a third of the financing came from families and individuals, an indication of the community’s support for this new grocery store.

Enjoying The Flavor Of Summer

By | Inside Rhody

by Jessica Krawiec 

Located in the heart of Providence, High Tides Island Grille and Tiki Bar offers something more than just food and drinks — it offers an escape. With over 30 different rums to try, traditional and signature craft cocktails along with an island inspired food menu, you will always feel like you’re on island time.

For those of you who are rum enthusiasts, High Tides has endless combinations of rum flights to sample — and is continuing to add to their collection! This is a great way to sample rums from around the world! Here’s a few that we fell in love with: Mt. Gay Rum Punch (on tap – Barbados), Clement 10 year (Martinique), Thomas Tew (Rhode Island) and more!

The founders’ goal sounds simple, but was a tricky one to pull off. They wanted to open a unique restaurant serving delicious island inspired food and drinks, as well as to create a place where guests of all ages — and dogs — could come together and experience unique flavors and art and culture of island living without having to leave Providence.

What came to life was a truly unique and memorable dining experience — authentic food, a family-style dining experience in a bright, comfortable setting. In addition to the dining room, the new patio is open and ready for lounging in style!


If you’re looking for the island experience without traveling to the beach, this is the spot! When a few co-workers and I dined at High Tides, we lounged outside on the patio surrounded by the buildings of Providence and fresh smells lingering from the kitchen. As a dog lover, I was pleasantly surprised to see people weren’t the only ones lounging on the patio — dogs were too!

I ordered the Citrus Grilled Shrimp and Scallop Skewers, served with a fresh mango salsa, organic brown rice and chefs choice of vegetable. The food came out quickly and the flavor combinations were delicious. In addition to ordering food, we shared a Mt. Gay Rum Punch bowl with the table: Mt. Gay Eclipse Rum, Malibu, fresh lime, pineapple and orange juices. Refreshing & fruity, this was the perfect drink to share with friends and pair with this entree.

This unique space is great for birthday celebrations, rehearsal dinners and office outings. Reserve space for a romantic dinner for two or book the entire restaurant for a party up to 150. Through the convenience of OpenTable, customers can reserve and manage their reservations, free and instantly — anytime, anywhere.

For more information, visit Located at 373 Richmond Street in Providence. You can also book a reservation online, or call 401-441-6070.