PSU presents 2015 Disinguished Operating Staff award

PLYMOUTH — Kelsey Donnelly, a Plymouth State University administrative assistant known for her kindness and problem-solving skills, has been named the recipient of the 2015 Distinguished Operating Staff (OS) award.

Donnelly has worked in PSU's Office of Educator Preparation for nearly 10 years. The Office of Educator Preparation serves undergraduate and graduate students to meet program requirements, prepare and complete teaching internships and become eligible for New Hampshire certification.

PSU President Sara Jayne Steen said Donnelly has earned a reputation as an exemplary employee. "Kelsey is well-liked and respected because she is very good at her job and treats everyone with so much concern and kindness," said Steen. "She is knowledgeable, competent and unflappable. People talk about how reliable and helpful she is."

"I am surprised and honored," Donnelly said. "This is an amazing place to work. It is so welcoming and I really love it here. PSU is my second home."

The award criteria include exemplifying the spirit and values of the institution, being dedicated to providing a learning environment that supports development of the mind, body and spirit, being actively active involved in University activities and engaged in service to the wider community. Currently, there are nearly 160 OS employees at PSU.

The OS Speaker, Kathy Peverly, noted Donnelly was chosen by a seven-member panel of faculty, staff, community members and students who were impressed with her enthusiastic dedication to her office, PSU and the greater community.

"This decision was a difficult one as all our nominees were truly deserving," said Peverly. "Kelsey, however, stood out among her peers because of the extra effort and support she gave to her department this year."

Donnelly earned a bachelor's degree in communications studies in 2014 from PSU and currently is pursuing a master's degree in human relations. A Campton native and Plymouth Regional High School graduate, she lives in Holderness with her husband, Adam, and their daughters, Kelina and Gwen.

Gilmanton students tend to Year-Round Library

GILMANTON — Eight high school students spent a morning at the Gilmanton Year-Round Library, cleaning inside and out, as their community service contribution. The students, five from Gilmanton and three from Gilford, washed all the inside/outside windows, weeded and edged all the gardens and shrubs, created a new garden, spread four yards of mulch, hauled away all the garden debris, raked snowplowed stones from the lawn back into the driveway.

Staff and patrons were delighted with their work. "It was the best crew ever!" said Library Board member BillFoster. "The Library grounds are weed free, perfectly mulched and the windows are sparkly clean. Many thanks to all of the hard-working students."


Granite United Way provides $729,000 in local support

LACONIA — Volunteers at Granite United Way know that the investment decisions stemming from the organization's annual campaign are truly a community effort. Together, with the volunteer Board of Directors and Community Impact Committees, they announced that more than $729,000 in support will be delivered to the Central Region community during 2015.

This region of Granite United Way is currently in its second year of a three-year funding cycle. Utilizing information culled from community conversations held during the past year and the Strategic Plan adopted by Granite United Way's Board of Directors, they thoughtfully reviewed every proposal. Funded programs and initiatives focused on three main areas: Education, Income and Health, with an emphasis on reducing poverty in Belknap County by 20% in 2020.

"Our local volunteers are excited to work together in new ways that are proactively addressing critical needs before they become crisis situations," said Patrick Tufts, President and CEO of Granite United Way. "We're into our second year of our Strategic Plan at Granite United Way and our volunteers are embracing the opportunity to address needs in new ways. We're building on the foundation that United Ways were created on and we've partnered with some of the strongest organizations to achieve even more."

Granite United Way's initiatives like the 2-1-1NH Resource & Referral line and the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Programs are providing assistance to record numbers. More than 40,000 calls were logged by the 2-1-1 Information and Referral Specialists last year and this spring VITA volunteers were able to bring $7.16 million in tax refunds back to individuals and families with household incomes of $53,000 or less. That accounts for only two of the hundreds of programs and initiatives the organization supports with its annual campaign across the state.

One of the partners in the important community work being done in the Central Region is Marti Ilg, Executive Director of Lakes Region Child Care Services.

"As a long-time United Way supporter and partner, I believe in advancing the common through investment in the areas of education, income and health. I agree that the best way to do this is with the strategic promise to stay local, lead change, and meet stakeholders where they are in an ever changing environment. I know that working together is the only way to solve complex social issues and advance the common good." said Marti Ilg, MS-OL, Executive Director of Lakes Region Child Care Services Inc.

Other organizations in the region are committed to reducing poverty and offer opportunities to those struggling today.

"Belknap EDC appreciates the continued support and valuable resources of Granite United Way. Partnering with the Financial Stability Partnership in the Lakes Region, our collective efforts to reduce poverty and expand economic opportunity are noble and worthwhile goals. Belknap EDC looks forward to another year of partnership with Granite United Way." said Justin J. Slattery, Executive Director of Belknap EDC.


Squam Science Center to hold bird census Fri.

HOLDERNESS — Squam Lakes Natural Science Center will hold a birding program for adults and families with children ages 12 and older on Saturday, June 6. The day will be broken up into two sections with the first running from 5:30-8 a.m. and the second from 8-9:30 a.m.

For over three decades Senior Naturalist Dave Erler has conducted a census in early June of bird species that nest on the Science Center campus. The census is done primarily by ear, listening for territorial songs of male birds, indicating probable nesting. This is a great opportunity for individuals to hone their bird song identification skills. Session involves canvassing two forested zones, including Mount Fayal. Session 2 covers fields, exhibit areas, and Kirkwood Gardens. Binoculars are available at no extra charge or bring your own.

Reservations are required in advance by calling 603-968-7194.  For details about this event, upcoming programs, and membership go to or call 603-968-7194.