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Volunteer NH recognizes John Walker with Good Citizen Award


MANCHESTER — Citizens Bank and Volunteer NH have named John Walker a "Good Citizen" for his outstanding commitment to the Laconia community. The Good Citizen Award honors people who demonstrate an exceptional commitment to volunteerism and, through their efforts, strengthen the communities where they live and work. As part of the award, a $250 donation is being made in Walker's honor to Got Lunch! Laconia.

"John is a true asset to the Laconia community," said Holly Hiltz-Harrington, Citizens Bank Laconia branch manager. "He embodies the spirit of volunteerism with his humble approach and ability to inspire action both inside his community and beyond. We are proud to work with Volunteer NH to showcase people like John and the tremendous work they do in our New Hampshire communities."

Walker, a retired airline pilot, was instrumental in the launch of Got Lunch! Laconia. In the spring of 2011, while participating in a community group, Walker learned that over half of the Laconia's students- nearly 67%, over 1,400 children - received free or reduced-price lunch during the school year. He questioned what these children did during the summer months, and sought a solution to ensure they received a nutritious meal. Partnering with Paula Gile, an associate minister at a local church, Walker launched Got Lunch! Laconia in April 2011 as a collaboration of community partners coming together to feed Laconia children during the summer months.

The impact of Got Lunch! has been significant from the start. In 2011, 314 children received a weekly delivery; by 2013, 570 children received lunch. Now, in the first three years, over 61,000 summer lunches have been distributed. It has cost about $10 per child per week for the program.

Today, the Got Lunch! Laconia program has inspired and trained 11 additional programs serving 18 towns.

"John has tremendous skill in making every volunteer feel like their contribution is significant," said Eliza Leadbeater, a community member. "His unassuming manner, and gift for developing partnerships, has been central to Got Lunch! Laconia's continued success."

Walker also donates his time to many other local causes, including Central NH VNA & Hospice, Laconia Area Community Land Trust, Laconia Kiwanis, Mentoring Together, and remains active in his church.

"John's compassion and initiative are unparalleled and inspiring," said Gretchen Berger-Wabuti, executive director at Volunteer NH. "We are pleased to be able to honor his service and contribute to the ongoing success of Got Lunch! Laconia."

Volunteer NH, a nonprofit organization that promotes volunteerism and service in New Hampshire, sponsors and supports national service initiatives such as AmeriCorps. It also provides training, a volunteer matching service and volunteer-recognition programs.

The Good Citizen Award is part of Citizens Helping Citizens Strengthen Communities, the bank's program designed to contribute to the economic vitality of the communities it serves. The awards will be presented on a monthly basis through November 2014, when all of this year's Good Citizens will be honored at the Spirit of New Hampshire Awards ceremony.

Good Citizen Award nominations can be made online at www.volunteernh.org. Nominations are evaluated based on the long-term impact of the nominee's service and how they have inspired others to get involved or contributed to a culture of volunteerism. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. Questions may be directed to Charles Caldwell, administrative outreach officer, Volunteer NH, at 603.271.7200 or by sending an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Last Updated on Thursday, 01 May 2014 09:26

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Art Association Artists of the Month announced

LACONIA — The Lakes Region Art Association announces the artists selected for this month's popular Artists of the Month Program. As the association draws from the entire Lakes Region, this program is aimed at exposing the association and its members' work across the entire area.

Each month, a jury selects from submissions by member artists to be featured at various businesses in the Lakes Region. These original pieces might be oil or acrylic paintings, watercolors, pastels, photos or collages.

The following member artists will each have art work on display until May 19 at these Lakes Region business locations: Pat Anderson, Northway Bank, Laconia; BJ Eckardt, VynnArt Gallery & Art Supplies, Meredith; Jay Fitzpatrick, Northway Bank, Tilton; Rebecca Frame, Bank of New Hampshire, Gilford; Marie Kelly, Belknap Mill, Laconia, Elaine Morrison, Franklin Savings Bank, Gilford; Kazuko Okubo, Franklin Savings Bank, Main Office, Franklin; Wendy Wilson, Northway Bank, Meredith.

Last Updated on Thursday, 01 May 2014 09:19

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Meredith Community Yard Sale on May 17

MEREDITH — The Meredith Area Chamber of Commerce will sponsor the Annual Community Yard Sale on Saturday, May 17 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Chamber President Marcus Weeks stated that this event was organized several years ago to create a community-spirited event which provides a service to both residents and businesses and at the same time provides visitors to the community with the opportunity to shop for treasures at yhe various sales. Participation in the yard sale is open to businesses,

organizations, and individuals and those who register with the Chamber will receive an official yard sale sign and will be listed on a map which will be distributed the day of the event.

Registration forms are available at the Meredith Area Chamber of Commerce located at 272 Daniel Webster Highway, Meredith. For more information contact the Chamber at 279-6121. The deadline for registration is May 9


Last Updated on Thursday, 01 May 2014 09:11

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Boys & Girls Club Will Host Business After Hours


LACONIA — The Boys and Girls Club of the Lakes Region will be hosting a Business After Hours Event along with their co-host, AutoServ, on May 7 to celebrate their new home, the former St. James Episcopal Church, located across from Opechee Park, from 5-7 p.m.

AutoServ, a family owned and operated full service dealership, was instrumental in helping the club purchase its new home and will provide food and refreshments for this celebratory open house."This will be a wonderful opportunity for the community to see how truly spectacular this new facility is - a safe home away from home for our community's children to learn and grow" says Paul J. Gaudet, Jr., an AutoServ principal and a Boys & Girls Club Board Director. "We're just so delighted to be a part of this and to see the hard work and dedication of so many has begun to pay off with this fantastic and newly renovated location. This center provides new hope and opportunities for kids to reach their full potential", says Gaudet.

AutoServ was named NH'S Quality Dealer of the Year in 2012 by Time Magazine in recognition of its high ethical standards, industry leadership and philanthropy. This designation is the most prestigious in the retail automotive industry and its most coveted award. Illustrative of that commitment to community is AutoServ's work to support the Boys & Girls Club of the Lakes Region.

The Boys & Girls Club of the Lakes Region was founded in 1999 after being known as The Teen Center located in the Community Center on Union Avenue. It was formed after the death of one of our local youth, Robbie Mills, who was killed during an attempt to steal his bicycle. Laconia had no youth center at the time and the Teen Center was created. It then moved to Sacred Heart Church across the street because the enrollment was growing at such a rapid rate, becoming an official Boy and Girls Club.It's last home was the Federal Building in  downtown before its dream was realized and the club purchased its present home.

Cheryl Avery, Club Executive Director says she  "welcomes all to come see our new home where a positive and safe environment is provided daily for the children and teens of The Lakes Region". The entire 17,000 sq. ft. property is being utilized by our Club and we continue to provide space for the Parkview Preschool day care facility as well.''

There will be raffle prizes, giveaways, refreshments and a spread of hors d'oeuvres. For additional information, contact the Chamber at 524-5531. To register for this event visit the Chamber website www.lakesregionchamber.org .

Last Updated on Thursday, 01 May 2014 09:08

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