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New Sign Marks Belknap Mill Entrance

LACONIA — The Belknap Mill has a new, hand-crafted sign to the mark its entrance, courtesy of a group of local volunteers and Mill supporters.

Under the coordination of Tom Tardif, the team worked from an initial sketch to a finished sign embellished with wrought-iron and fixed between two granite posts. "It was a labor of love by all involved," Tardif said of the project.

Tardif's company, Lock 'N Load Systems LLC, provided most of the materials, with Gilbert Block offering the granite posts at cost and providing a boom truck to facilitate their installation. Mo Gouin provided the Louisiana cypress for the sign and did the carving.

"I started with the sketch," Gouin said, "and had to multiply the size by three. I then cut the lettering into plywood, and transferred that onto the cypress that I had brought up from the south." The sign includes the Mill logo, a representation of the historic textile mill that dates back to 1823. The sign is framed in wood and surrounded by the iron work of J.P. Hobby.

J.P. Hobby, who is a firefighter-paramedic with the Laconia Fire Department, has been doing blacksmithing since he was a child and, with his father, Russ Hobby, he took the concept for the iron work and created a design that would showcase the wooden sign. Incorporating the "BM" for Belknap Mill in a circle above the scrollwork, he forged a metal frame to surround the sign and hold it in place.

On one of the coldest days of the year, Gilbert Block brought in the boom truck to help place the granite into the holes Tardif had dug for the structure. The installation proceeded without a hitch.

"It was a pleasure working with all these guys," Tardif said of the project.

"I want to say thank you from all of the trustees for coordinating and building the new sign for the Belknap Mill," said Executive Director Denise Sharlow as she expressed her appreciation to Tardif for his continued support of the Mill.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 04 February 2014 11:29

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Day Away volunteers give caregivers needed respite

BRISTOL – "One can tell how valuable a program is by how well it is received" said Sandra Coleman. Coleman is RN Director of the Day Away Program sponsored by Holy Trinity Parish and supported by Newfound Area Churches. The program is held each Thursday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Holy Trinity Parish, Our Lady of Grace Chapel, Simard Hall, 2 West Shore Road in Bristol.
Now in its 5th active week following over a year in the planning stages, the Day Away Program is a respite care program for adults with beginning stages of Alzheimer's Disease or dementia. The "Day Away" is exactly what it says...a period of respite for the caregivers of eligible individuals by providing a social daycare program.
According to Program Coordinator Fran Olson, the program began with two clients and quickly grew to five. "We can safely handle up to eight participants and expect to see that number shortly" said Olson
The program is staffed by specially trained volunteers who work in two shifts each Thursday. One shift from 9 a.m. to noon and the second from noon to 3 p.m.

"As the program grows, we are very much in need of new volunteers to provide 1-1 supervision for participants. A special training program taught by Day Away staff is required of all volunteers" said Olson.
A typical day at Day Away, according to Olson begins with coffee and socialization, followed by a time to complete an adult worthy craft.
"We will also spend time with low impact exercises, ballroom dancing and games" said Olson. "At noon lunch is provided by Meals on Wheels and in the afternoon participants may play bingo, sing along to oldies music, play putt putt or toss bean bags. The day ends as all gather for light refreshments," she concluded.
Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer at the Day Away Program is requested to call Fran Olson at 744-6828 or by e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Last Updated on Tuesday, 04 February 2014 11:26

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Constitution Class on Break Until March 1

ALTON — The Constitution 101 Class which meets at the Gilman Library in Alton on Saturdays at 10 a.m. has taken a winter break. The class
will begin again on March 1 at the same time and place. The course will continue through March for the next five week installments.

This is a free class and all are welcome to learn about and discuss the nation's founding documents. For more information, contact Rep. Jane Cormier at 781-5695.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 04 February 2014 11:22

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Winni Players Presenting Of Mice and Men

MEREDITH —  Every February, the Winni Players, the community theatre branch of The Winnipesaukee Playhouse, challenges its members to stage a piece of classic American literature. Though in a new building, this year is no exception as they will be staging John Steinbeck's renowned novel Of Mice and Men from February 7-9 and 14-16.
"The best laid schemes of mice and men often go awry," wrote the poet Robert Burns, which inspired the title of John Steinbeck's beloved classic novel Of Mice and Men, a compassionate and universal statement of survival. Steinbeck's tale, written as a novel in 1937 and adapted by Steinbeck for the stage that very same year, is the story of the unlikely friendship of George and Lennie as they travel through California during the Great Depression and find work on a ranch. Intelligent but uneducated, George, and strong yet simple-minded, Lennie, want nothing more than to settle down on their own farm and "live off the fat of the land." But their dreams are thwarted when Lennie's size and strength make him a danger.
The production will be directed by Katie Dunn. Usually found on the Playhouse stage, Dunn is making her Winni Players directing debut. The cast features Michael Baker as Lennie, Bryan Halperin as George and Tamara McGonagle as the promiscuous wife of the ranch owner's son. The actors inhabiting the ranch include Ray Dudley, Dana Gardner, Matt Finch, Matt McGonagle, Will Robertson, Jim Rogato and Damien Carter.
Dunn says, "This is a story not only about survival, but also about hope and friendship. There's a reason these two unlikely pals travel around together—no one wants to go it alone. And it is the gritty, raw truth found in all of these characters that has made it withstand the test of time and has made it a touching piece of literature for people of all ages."
This will be the first production at the Playhouse's new theatre to be performed in "thrust" configuration, meaning that seating will be situated on three sides of the stage, bringing the action very close to all audience members.
Of Mice and Men is sponsored by Bonnette, Page and Stone and will be performed at The Winnipesaukee Playhouse at 50 Reservoir Road in Meredith. Performances are Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Early reservations are strongly encouraged. Tickets are $18 for seating in the orchestra, $10 for seating in the balcony. Tickets can be ordered by calling (603) 279-0333 or by using a credit card at www.winnipesaukeeplayhouse.org.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 04 February 2014 11:11

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