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HEAL making Ashland a healthier place

ASHLAND — The small town of Ashland has experienced major changes over the past year, as HEAL NH has worked with Ashland town officials, as well as community members, to support several projects designed to provide residents with more healthy eating choices and opportunities to get out and be physically active.

In April alone, Ashland launched two healthy eating, active living projects. An organic community garden was launched, where over 50 people showed up at the ribbon cutting ceremony. Dot's Bread & Butter joined The Common Man Restaurant ­­- two Main Street eating establishments in Ashland - to offer healthy menu items to their customers.

As part of the program, Dot's Bread & Butter and The Common Man worked with a registered dietitian at Speare Memorial Hospital in Plymouth to modify and/or add several menu items to meet healthier standards, including lower fat and sodium content. The program also requires that the HEAL approved menu items be clearly marked.

According to Joe Collins, Executive Chef at Dot's Bread & Butter, the menus have been altered because, "We believe that the sky is the limit with the positive impact this type of thinking can make. Giving opportunities for people to make healthier choices in this manner can really make a difference."

The healthy restaurant program in Ashland is part of a growing movement with restaurants in New Hampshire and across the country responding to consumer demand for healthier menu items. While there were only four participants in HEAL NH's statewide healthy restaurant initiative about a year ago, participation has tripled in the past few months, with more in the process to join. The Common Man and Dot's Bread & Butter are two of the most recent restaurants to participate illustrating how members of a community can unite to make impacting changes.

"The Common Man Family is proud to not only support but also partner with HEAL in efforts to bring health-conscious options and practices to the Ashland Community," said Jason Lyon, CEO of the Common Man Family. "Our HEAL children's menu has been very well received, and we plan to offer a new summer menu with more great healthy options for our guests."

Last Updated on Monday, 02 June 2014 09:28

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Laconia Housing Authority supportive service celebrates 25 years of operation

LACONIA — Laconia Housing Authority (LHA) supportive service department is celebrating 25 years of serving LHA residents, Family Self Sufficiency participants, and applicants.

The first supportive services employee was hired in 1989 as a resident service coordinator and later served as the first director of the department which grew to twenty employees in the first 10 years. Current staff includes resident service coordinators, nurses, Licensed Nursing Assistants (LNA), dietary staff and housekeepers. The supportive service staff strives to maintain the residents housing stability and to promote independence, dignity and a high quality of life. The goal of the resident service coordinator is to assist all residents in identifying and accessing services and resources within the organization, community or government agencies, or private resources.

The department also operates two supported living programs which provide meals, housekeeping, laundry, nursing services, personal care, transportation to medical appointments and an emergency response system for qualified individuals. In an average year the department serves 35,000 meals, provides 4,596 hours of housekeeping services, and completes 3,312 loads of laundry.

The LHA Home Health Agency nurses visit clients on a regular schedule and the LNA’s provide personal care up to five times per week if necessary. LHA contracts with NH Emergency Response System who monitors at least 30 emergency call units and staff schedule approximately 1,500 visits to medical appointments annually. These services are in addition to the daily support provided which may include some shopping, errands, assistance with phone calls, completing paperwork, etc. Individuals do not need to participate in the assisted living program to benefit from the services as many are available to all tenants.

Currently the department has a Senior Community Employment Program participant who schedules various activities during the week including movies, tea parties, trivia, bingo, and holiday parties. Community volunteers provide clinics, book clubs, bible study, music, sing-a-longs, and other events. Anyone interested in volunteering should contact the Service Coordinator by calling Nancy at 524-2112 x 28 or submit a contact request through www.laconiahousing.org.

Last Updated on Monday, 02 June 2014 09:24

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Camp VanGo registrations now being accepted

LACONIA — Camp Van Go! will be held this summer at Pleasant Street School during the weeks of July 7-11 and July 14-18, from 8 a.m.-3 p.m.

This camp is focused on the importance of creativity and fitness and is led by Pleasant Street School teachers Rebehah Gonzalez and Jasmyn Gray, who between them have 18 years of teaching experience and two advanced degrees.

Each day students will participate in fitness activities and art experiences.

Cost is $225 per week. Only the first 40 children to sign up per week will be able to attend.

For more information contact 603-393-7078 or campvango@outlook.com.


Last Updated on Monday, 02 June 2014 09:21

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Decorative Interiors partners with LRGH Auxiliary to provide hand-crafted items to comfort patients

LACONIA — LRGH Auxiliary volunteers lend their time and talent to make a difference and bring smiles children in the form of a comfort doll of stuffed animal. Similarly, patients who wear glasses and come for one-day surgery and in-patients are offered eyeglass cases to protect their glasses—and whether it is for comfort or convenience these hand-crafted items could not be possible without the generosity of donations.

Decorative Interiors has been a part of the Lakes Region community since 1975, and has been giving back from the beginning. Over the years the business has donated hundreds of wallpaper and fabric books to local schools and charity groups for various projects.

"Wallpaper books were once the popular item, and now it is fabric books," shared Marcia Cotter. "We donate because we appreciate seeing the material being recycled in such a positive way."

Roughly ten volunteers meet regularly to create the uniquely hand and machine sewn items, and what began as a few basic, 'boo boo' baby dolls has grown into a plethora of stuffed dogs, cats, elephants, owls and fish to name a few.

"When kids come into the hospital it can be a really scary place; the animals and dolls give them something to hug and focus their attention on," said LRGH Auxiliary board and craft committee member Diana Goodhue. "Patients who get an eyeglass case really seem to appreciate them. The designer material from Decorative Interiors has really boosted the popularity of the cases; it is so nice to be out in the community and see our creations still being used."

Last Updated on Monday, 02 June 2014 09:17

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