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LRCS Honors 9 Area Businesses at Annual Celebration

LACONIA —  Over 100 guests gathered for the Lakes Region Community Services (LRCS) Annual Celebration on April 10 at the LRCS Main Office in downtown Laconia. The attendees included board members, employees, individuals served by the agency, family members, community partners, business partners and friends and supporters who together enjoyed celebrating the agency's accomplishments and learning about 'Success at Work' initiatives with area business people talking about their experiences partnering with LRCS to offer training internships for individuals with disabilities.

Keynote speaker Christopher Mongeon, GM of SODEXO Dining Services at Plymouth State University stated, "The STRIDE Internship program at PSU is not only a success for the interns but for its impact on our staff. The positive attitudes and hard work of the STRIDE interns rubs off on our employees who themselves step up to become mentors. As a result of this program we have a stronger work force all around." This sentiment was reinforced by other area businesses on the 'Success at Work' panel representing Centerplate at Gunstock Mountain and Biederman's Deli in Plymouth.

But the strongest voice for employment opportunities for adults with disabilities came from panelist Ashley McClay, a young woman who shared her personal story through a digital presentation showing just how important employment is to a person's quality of life. The video of 'Ashley's Story' began with her just out of High School facing many challenges and few prospects. Through Ashley's determination and with support from LRCS, she completed training internships and has made remarkable strides. Ashley now has a job at Biederman's Deli 'the coolest place to work in Plymouth', her own apartment, a fiancée, a drivers license and is saving for her first car.

Christine Santaniello, Executive Director of LRCS and Gary Lemay, President of the Board of Directors thanked everyone for their support over the past year- a year that saw LRCS receive the prestigious Dunfey Award for Excellence in Nonprofit Management, grow its programs and services, and expand its community connections, donors and supporters. "We don't do any of this work alone nor should we, noted Santaniello, as our mission is to serve the community by promoting independence, dignity and opportunity. Tonight we want to especially recognize Community Partners – businesses, organizations and individuals, who were nominated by our employees for supporting our mission in an extraordinary way this year."

Community Partner Awardees:

Biederman's Deli and Pub of Plymouth and Patti Biederman led the list of Community Partners awardees for their work with employment internships and support to graduates to help them find successful employment.

Centerplate at Gunstock Resort in Gilford received recognition for the CRAVE internship program a twelve –week program that just recently graduated its first class. Accepting the award were managers Mary MacDonald and John Timbrook.

Curt's Caterers of Gilford was recognized for supporting the LRCS Family Resource Center's Annual Young Author's Tea – a family event that promotes early childhood literacy. Curt's has donated their catering service s to this event for the last three years offering a wonderful children's tea presentation. Julia Chesley accepted the award on behalf of her family's business.

The Region III Family Support Council was cited for their tremendous support and efforts to build employer awareness and job opportunities for adults with disabilities including an ad campaign and financial support to employment initiatives. Council Chair Susan Gunther thanks the Council members for all their hard work.

City of Laconia Police Department was recognized as a valuable community partner and supporter of the LRCS mission. The LPD provides support, assistance and training to those served by LRCS and to the staff and is understanding and collaborative in its approach to problem solving. Chief Adams accepted the award.

Julie Moore, Manager of Normandin Square Apartments received a community Partner Award for her efforts and patience, knowledge and caring in helping those served by LRCS to successfully live independently.

Plymouth Area Renewable Energy Initiative (PAREI) organized a community solar raising together with the NH Electric COOP to install a solar hot water heater system on a residential home in Plymouth supporting individuals with disabilities who require 24/7 care lowering energy costs for LRCS. Co-founders Sandra Jones and Peter Adams were on hand to receive the recognition.

Smoke N Barley of Tilton and Ryan Dickson, co-owner was recognized for hosting the LRCS business DAWGS2GO hot dog cart outside of his store, providing support and opportunity for several paying jobs.

Bob Manley, Co-founder of Hermit Woods Winery in Meredith joined the award presentation by Skype from his new Meredith store opening. A former LRCS employee, Bob lent his expertise to the planning of the LRCS signature fund raising event- Lakes Region Uncorked a celebration of locally produced and hand crafted products.

Longevity Awards

The LRCS Annual Celebration concluded by honoring long term employees and Shared Family Living (SFL) providers who hit milestones this year in their service to the community – 25 Years: Gladys Mooney, (SFL); 20 Years: Cynthia Adams and Scott Fox; 15 Years: Debbie Judd; Cheri Ann Kenneson; Darlene MacPherson; Karen Potter (SFL); Kathleen Sharp (SFL); and Doran Tibbets 10 Years: Linda Clevesy (SFL); Steve Copithorne; Jane Cote; Nicole Cutter (SFL); Cheryl Geiger; Nancy and Norman LaBrecque (SFL); Kerri Lowe; Richard Maltais (SFL) ; Dawn Watson; Patricia Sirles ; Irene Tyler and Sue Woods.

Last Updated on Friday, 25 April 2014 07:43

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Holderness Central wins Circle Trot School Spirit Challenge

PLYMOUTH — For the second year in a row, the Circle Program announced Holderness Central School as the winner of the 2014 Circle Trot School Spirit Challenge. This challenge was designed in 2013 to get more youth participating in healthy living by walking or running in the Circle Trot, a spring 2K/5K/10K race put on by the Circle Program in collaboration with Plymouth State University’s Center for Active Living and Healthy Communities.

Twenty-nine schools from Concord to Lincoln were in the running this year. Registered Circle Trot participants were able to vote for their own school or whatever school they affiliated themselves with. Parents, teachers, students and friends came out to participate and vote. The award was given to the highest percentage of votes per school's total student population. Holderness Central School (15%) led the way again, taking the win over runner-up, Plymouth Elementary School (5%). Other top finishers included Lin-Wood School (3.6%), Thornton Central School (3.2%) and Newfound Middle School (3%).

In a small ceremony Holderness Central was awarded $400 to go towards sports and wellness programs, generously donated by Sippican Partners Construction Management of Ashland, NH. In attendance were Holderness Central School Principal, William VanBennekum, Sippican Partner’s, Sam Barnum, Circle Trot Race Director, Brooke Wakefield, several Circle Trotter students and Kim Johnstone of Holderness Central School’s Wellness Committee.

Holderness Central School plans to use the funds for their annual Wellness Week that includes exercise, sleep, safety and nutritional facts among other things. During a full week of activities kids will have a hula hoop and jump rope contest, sample smoothies with ingredients such as kale, yogurt, and apples, yoga and meditation and a dance performance by PSU students. During recess kids will get the chance to feel the effect of their food choices by eating one single M&M and then “walking it off” over 120 yards around the school yard.

For more information about how your school can get involved with next year’s School Spirit Challenge, contact Brooke Wakefield at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call the Circle Program at (603) 536-4244.

Last Updated on Friday, 25 April 2014 07:34

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PSU's Drerup Gallery hosting 'Meaning, Metaphot and Myth' exhibit

PLYMOUTH — The Karl Drerup Art Gallery and Exhibitions Program at Plymouth State University will present Meaning, Metaphor and Myth by Hans Guggenheim, April 28–May 16 in the Drerup Gallery's "Shoebox Gallery." The opening reception will be held from 4­­–6 p.m. on Monday, April 28 and will include a presentation on klecksography by the artist.

Klexography explores the art of making images from inkblots. This intriguing form of art making involves both the artist and the viewer. The exhibition will provide an opportunity for visitors and student groups to study and respond to the images, drawing on philosophical, psychological and cultural influences. Guggenheim will share a series of klecksographs he has created and invite viewers to find characters, shapes and meaning within the artworks.

Experiencing a work of art first-hand and understanding the cultural and historical context in which it was created can increase one's appreciation of art, and this is the thinking behind a multifaceted gift to PSU from the world-renowned anthropologist, artist, and humanitarian. The gift is allowing PSU students to experience works of art from Guggenheim's private collection on campus, learn more about the artwork by attending lectures by Guggenheim, and delve into the context of the artwork in class.

Guggenheim has been a professor of anthropology at MIT and a visiting scholar at Harvard's Center for International Affairs. He studied art history in New York and traveled the world for Life magazine as an artist and reporter. A staunch advocate for arts and education, he founded Projectguggenheim in 1997, providing art programming for young people and students in remote regions around the world.

Meaning, Metaphor, and Myth is the fourth and final presentation in the series by Professor Guggenheim that included War in Art: Connections and Synchronicity, The Pale Fox Yapilou, and Sketches are Contagious/From Egypt with Love.

The Karl Drerup Art Gallery in the Draper and Maynard Building on North Main Street in Plymouth is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 10 a.m.–4 p.m.; Wednesday from 10 a.m.–8 p.m., Saturday and Sunday from 1–4 p.m. and by appointment during the academic year.

Last Updated on Friday, 25 April 2014 07:25

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'Early bird' registration available for Prescott Farm summer camp

LACONIA — The deadline for early bird registration rates for the Prescott Farm WildQuest Summer Camp is Wednesday, April 30.

WildQuest Summer Camp is offered nine weeks out of the summer, starting June 23 and is for children ages 4-15. Camp always includes nature activities, animal and plant identification, arts and crafts, quests, games, and hands-on learning. Most of the day is spent outdoors.

The camp's goal is to foster an appreciation and understanding of the natural and cultural history of Prescott Farm, and by extension, children's own special places as well. The camp strives to enhance children's ecological awareness and provide fun learning opportunities in a community-minded and non-competitive atmosphere.

There are several options in terms of age groups so that each child receives an age-appropriate experience.

This summer WildQuest will offer Pre-K Pioneers (Ages 4-5), Explorers (Ages 5-7), Questers (Ages 6-12) and Teen Trekkers (Ages 12-15). Depending on the group some attend camp half day, partial day or full day. Each camp week is also a different theme. Some of this year's camp themes include Garden to Table, Life on the Farm, Let's Go Camping, Survivor, and Nature's Builders.

Prescott Farm is a non-profit organization that offers environmental education for all ages throughout the year including WildQuest camps, public programs, field trips, and long-term partnerships with local elementary schools.

To register for WildQuest Summer Camp visit the Prescott Farm website at www.prescottfarm.org. Or call with questions at (603) 366-5695.

Last Updated on Friday, 25 April 2014 07:22

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