Lakes Region Visiting Nurses Association holds annual awards ceremony

MEREDITH — The Lakes Region Visiting Nurse Association paused from their hectic schedules to recognize and thank a group of devoted community members and volunteers Tuesday, during the organization's annual meeting & awards ceremony. Chairman of the Board, Chuck Thorndike called the annual meeting to order at 2 pm on May 19, at the Meredith Community Center. The event was attended by over 50 community members.

The LRVNA board members submitted their annual Secretary's Report, Treasurer's Report and also presented the slate of new board members. The LRVNA showed an impressive 33% growth in 2014 due to increased number of patients resulting from the addition of new towns covered by skilled nursing staff.

The presentation of the community service awards were as follows:

Donna Grow was honored for Outstanding Service to the Community.

With a three-decade history of public service and volunteerism, Donna currently coordinates municipal and community meal programs for the elderly and disabled in Ossipee, Moultonborough, and Sandwich. She spearheaded efforts to serve some 24,000 meals in 2014 alone. Starting off as a cook for Ossipee Concerned Citizens in 1985, her mission of helping others- or "paying it forward," as she calls it, continues today.

Phyllis Hamblet was honored for Outstanding Service to the LRVNA. Known as "Tuffy", she has been a hands-on worker on many LRVNA committees since 2001. She served as President from 2009 through 2013, and was a vital part of the construction of the new LRVNA building. She has been a leader and important voice for the welfare of the nursing staff and vital to the LRVNA fundraising efforts.

Jeanne Sanders was honored for Outstanding Service to the Medical Community. Jeanne is the CEO of Golden View Community, a position she has held for 35 years. She has been a driving force behind the expansion of services for elderly in the Lakes Region, including long term care, assisted living and recently a state-of-the-art short term rehabilitation center.

LRVNA Executive Director Cheryl Gonzalo said it's always a great feeling to be able to publicly recognize community members that have gone above and beyond in their support for their neighbors. "This past year couldn't have been so successful without them," she said. "The LRVNA is so grateful for its supporters."

The 2015 Board of Directors are as follows: Chairman-Chuck Thorndike, Vice Chairman-Bob Patenaude, Secretary-Ed Touhey, Treasurer-Rick Goodby, and Assistant Treasurer-Ray Moritz. Board members: Jeanie Forrester, Renee Speltz, Kevin Kelly, Lydia Torr, Linda Lee, Harry Viens, Bob Patenaude, Holly Heath, Helen Heiner and Carl Johnson.

Gonzalo reported that the LRVNA has embarked on a new marketing effort to educate the community about their services and the new territories that they now serve. The addition of new staff, new offices and parking has been a great new asset for the organization. She reported that this April was their busiest month ever, serving 1037 patients. She thanked the LRVNA staff for their tireless efforts and gave special recognition to Sheila Grad, who has been with the LRVNA for twenty years, and continues to be an important support member of the team.

The program concluded with a special presentation by Virginia, "Ginny" Blackmer, APRN, CWCN. Ginny is a wound care specialist and gave an informative look at the various methods of wound care from the time of the Egyptians to today. Many new methods are now being used for chronic wound treatment at the new wound center at Lakes Region General Hospital, one of which is a low-frequency ultrasound that assists with tissue growth.

The annual meeting and awards ceremony guests were treated to homemade refreshments before the meeting was adjourned. The Lakes Region Visiting Nurse Association is located at 186 Waukewan St. in Meredith. For more information call 603-279-6611 or visit

The Lakes Region Visiting Nurse Association was founded in 1923. Initially consisting of a single nurse with a mission in Meredith, LRVNA currently serves Meredith, Center Harbor, Moultonborough, Sandwich, Laconia and Gilford, providing a full range of nursing, social services and therapeutic services.

Wolfeboror Nursery School to receive grant from Meredith Village Savings Bank Fund

WOLFEBORO —Wolfeboro Nursery School was selected was one of twenty-one local non-profit agencies to receive a grant from the Meredith Village Savings Bank Fund (MVSB Fund) this year. The MVSB Fund is managed by the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation. The Nursery School will use the $3,726 donation to provide tuition assistance to local families, for teacher certifications and CPR trainings, and for educational field trips for students.

"We are so grateful for this generous contribution from the MVSB Fund," said Stephanie Kassels, President of the voluntary Board of Directors for Wolfeboro Nursery School. "While we strive to keep our operational costs as low as possible in order to keep tuition affordable for local families, there are some families that can use extra assistance. This grant will help us continue to provide the quality early childhood education that all children deserve to families of all economic circumstances."

For over 60 years, the Wolfeboro Nursery School has been serving children and young families in the greater Wolfeboro Area. Since it was founded in 1953, the nursery school has educated nearly 2,000 children while stressing quality early childhood education, parental involvement and community participation. This year's enrollment includes families from Tuftonboro, Wolfeboro, New Durham and Moultonborough.

The award to the Wolfeboro Nursery School is one of twenty-one grants totaling $85,075 awarded by the MVSB Fund during the most recent grant cycle. The Fund makes grants every year to non-profits that make a significant impact upon the lives of people in the local community. These grants are in addition to the bank's regular contributions and the extraordinary volunteer efforts by our employees.

MVSB established the Meredith Village Savings Bank Fund in 1997 under the leadership of John Starrett who was then president and CEO of the Bank. Since then, 269 grants totaling $1,071,067 have been awarded to a wide range of environmental, social, educational, and historic projects throughout the Greater Lakes Region and Plymouth areas. Over the years, the Fund has supported literacy programs, after-school programs, environmental monitoring and education, restoration of historic structures, organizations that provide support for individuals and families in challenging circumstances, and equipment that helps save lives. The deadline for consideration for the next grant cycle is October 15, 2015. Applications are available on the Bank's website and at all MVSB offices.

Meredith Village Savings Bank, founded in 1869, is an independent mutual savings bank with 11 offices serving individuals, families, businesses and municipalities in the Lakes Region and the Plymouth area.

Harmonica-driven blues band performing at Pitman’s Freight Room on Saturday

LACONIA — The Brandon Santini Blues Band will be performing on Saturday, May 30, at Pitman's Freight Room. Showtime is 8 p.m.

Raised in the Piedmont region of North Carolina, Santini purchased his first harmonica in 1997 at the age of 15 when he asked his mother to take him to the local music store.

Santini recently released his second album, "This Time Another Year," which was nominated for a 2014 Blues Music Award in the category of Instrumentalist-Harmonica and a Blues Blast Music Award in the category of Sean Costello Rising Star!

Tickets for the Brandon Santini Blues Band can be purchased in advance for $20  at or for $25 at the door.


VynnArt Gallery featuring works of 2 Inter-Lakes students

MEREDITH — Two Inter-Lakes High School students, Danielle Arceno and Kyle Roby, are presenting the VynnArt Gallery's "Youth Takes VynnArt" which is to open on Saturday, May 30 from 1-3 p.m. 

The opening of this art show marks the first time Arcerno and Roby's artwork is displayed in a professional setting. Roby, a junior, will exhibit his abstract work along with his jewelry. Acerno, a senior, will exhibit her character concept art. Some select pieces will be for sale. The free reception will include snacks, drinks, and an opportunity to meet and talk with the artists. The exhibit will remain at VynnArt Gallery until Sunday, June 7.

"For the first time it seems like I am actually an artist! My limits have been the walls of my school and it feels great to have the opportunity to get out into the art field and see what it is like to actually be considered and treated like an artist," said Roby.

"I get to present many sketches that others have not seen yet and experience pulling together my first gallery show," said Arceno.

VynnArt Gallery and Art Supplies is located on 30 Main Street, just above Mill Falls Marketplace. For more information about "Youth Takes Vynnart" Exhibit, please call (603) 279-0557.