Farm-fresh veggies on the menu for Got Lunch! Laconia this summer

LACONIA — Got Lunch! Laconia, now in its fifth year of feeding school aged children during the summer months, is adding fresh vegetables to the food that it will be providing this summer.
Paula Gile, associate pastor of the Laconia Congregational Church and one of the founders of the program, says that Got Lunch! is partnering with the Lakes Region Agricultural Collaborative to provide vegetables such as lettuce, cucumber, radishes, summer squash, zucchini and carrots for distribution to families in the city.
''We're very excited about being able to provide locally-gown fresh produce,'' says Gile, adding that all of the farms provide Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) memberships for Got Lunch! and will be supplying produce which will vary from week to week during the growing season.
She said that the farms which will be providing the vegetables are Beans & Greens Farm in Gilford, Red Manse Farm in Loudon, Still Seeking Farm in Gilmanton and Winnipesaukee Woods Farm located in Alton and Gilford.
She says the idea for the collaboration came from Aaron Lichtenbeg of Winnipesaukee Woods, who approached Got Lunch with the idea and once he became aware of how many children would need to be fed, contacted the other farms about partnering with the summer food program.
''Aaron is going to pick up all of the produce from the farms on Friday and bring it to Beans & Greens, where it can be stored over the weekend in their cooler. On Monday he'll be bringing it to the Congregational Church where Got Lunch! volunteers will be bagging the food for drivers to distribute,'' said Gile.
Proceeds from the recent ''Eat Out for Got Lunch!'' promotion are being used to help support the vegetable portion of the program.
Got Lunch was formed in 2011 to help provide meals for needy students during the summer months when there are no student meal programs in city schools, where 60 percent of students are eligible for free and reduced price lunches.
It fed 344 children in its first year, 493 the next year, 570 in 2013 and 632 children from 296 families last year.
Gile says that already there have been more than 400 applications filed for this year's program, which will have its first distribution of food on June 22.

A week's worth of healthy lunch groceries are delivered to homes mid to late morning every Monday during the school vacation. The program also provides dairy vouchers redeemable at Vista for a choice of milk, eggs, cheese or yogurt.

For registration information call 524-0668. Those who would like to volunteer can email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by phone at 520-4383.

Meredith lauded for biggest Memorial Day crowd in 25 years

MEREDITH — What longtime resident Bob Ambrose called  the biggest crowd in 25 years" paid tribute to the men and women of the armed forces who lost their lives in the service of their country during ceremonies here yesterday marked by formal solemnities suiting the occasion as well as unforeseen twists reflecting its authenticity.

Led by a color guard, the parade, featuring a a caravan of vintage automobiles, trucks and a tractor — one convertible graced by Samantha Poirer of Dover, the reigning Miss New Hampshire — rolled up Main Street to the beat of the Inter-Lakes High School marching band to reach the Meredith Public Library right at 10 a.m.

Following the Star Spangled Banner and Pledge of Allegiance New Hampshire Senator Jeanie Forrester, herself a resident of Meredith reminded her listeners that "we are here to honor our heroes", those with "courage, pride, determination, selflessness and dedication to duty, to causes bigger than themselves." She told the crowd that their presence was a tribute to "the ordinary people who achieved extraordinary things."

Former commander of the Griggs-Wyatt American Legion Post 33, Bob Kennelly confessed "I plagiarized this speech," then read an eloquent paean to all those who sacrificed their lives to safeguard the liberty all Americans enjoy. Then, aware the wreaths to be laid at the library and floated on the lake had been left behind at the Legion Hall, he asked "did we get the wreaths yet?" After the wreath was placed at the foot of the flagpole on the library lawn and the strains of taps drifted across Main Street Kennelly remarked "you didn't go shopping,. you didn't go buy a car" and thanked everyone for showing their support of America's veterans, both the quick and the dead.

Ceremonies continued at Hesky Park, where at "The Rock" a vigil in remembrance of American prisoners of war and missing in action has been held every Thursday evening for the past 27 years. Kennelly again paid honor to nation's fallen heroes whose "souls go marching on.""  As he drew to a close, the claxon at the Fire Station began to sound. Unruffled, he declared "I couldn't put a better ending on it."

Offering a prayer, Alicia Gorrell, Auxiliary Chaplin of Post 33, eyed the flags waving above "The Rock": "The flag does not fly with the wind that blew it," she said, "but with the last breaths of the men and women who fought for it."

Bob Jones, vice-president of the Northeast POW/MIA Network, also spoke to the flags, stressing the "Honor and Remember Flag", a red and white banner featuring a gold star with a flame at its center, which honors everyone who has died in the service of the country from the Revolutionary War to the present day. The Honor and Remember Foundation awards the standard, with e name of the fallen veteran embroidered on it, to the family. At Hesky Park it flies alongside the Stars and Stripes, state flag and POW/Mia Flag. Jones said that the flag has been presented to 31 families in New Hampshire.

The ceremony closed as Keri Jackman, who served six years in the United States States Navy and another six in the naval reserve, laid the second wreath on the waters of Meredith Bay and the honor guard fired a salute. CAPTIONS:

CAPTION: Aboard a Marine Patrol vessel Keri Jackman, a six-year veteran of the United States Navy, laid a wreath on the waters of Meredith Bay to close the Memorial Day ceremonies at Hesky Park yesterday. (Laconia Daily Sun photo/Michael Kitch).

CAPTION: New Hampshire Senator Jeanie Forrester of Meredith and Bob Kennelly, former commander of Griggs-Wyatt American Legion Post 33, addressed a large crowd gathered at the Meredith Public Library as the town celebrated Memorial Day yesterday. (Laconia Daily Sun photo/Michael Kitch)

Dozen BHS seniors aim for diploma with 'distinction'

BELMONT — Thursday afternoon in the Belmont High School Library, teachers and parents watched as 12 seniors defended the validity of their individual community service projects as they worked their way to earning a "diploma with distinction".

Each student presented to a jury that consisted of School Board member Heidi Chaney, N.H. Department of Employment Security Commissioner Carol Aubut, Superintendent Maria Dreyer, and Lakes Region Community College President Scott Kalicki.

After each presentation the students were asked questions by the jury about the research methods, results and what each learned from their projects.

A 25-hour project and presentation is but one portion of the requirements for graduating from Belmont High School with a diploma with distinction. The students must also complete 35 credits, have a grade point average (GPA) of greater than 92 on a scale of 100 and use their project for some kind of community benefit.

Colton Cadarette of Canterbury developed and created a Website for N.H. musician Mike Morris, a Berklee College of Music Graduate Mike Morris — an acoustic guitarist.

Cadarette plans on attending Elon University in North Carolina to major in business and marketing.

Paige Norkiewicz is a Continuing Catholic Development (CCD) instructor for St. Joseph Church in Belmont. She created a rosary project whereby her first graders made rosaries that were given to parishioners.

Norkiewicz project was titled, CCD – God and Me and during the time she worked with the first graders, they completed 19 sets of rosaries or prayer beads and all of them were given away.

She will be attending UMass Amherst and studying civil engineering.

Karl Wieck's project was building a fence to keep the critters out of the vegetable gardens at the Canterbury Elementary School. He also built two additional raised beds for the students who have been growing some of their own vegetables for a few years.

His project required fund raising, budgeting and purchasing and construction. Nearly an Eagle Scout, he used some of his fellow scouts for labor during the construction.

Wieck will be attending the University of New Hampshire to study engineering.

Shannon Conway created a Website for the High School that will assist students in the 40-plus steps they must take to apply for college and scholarships. She said it includes links to scholarship programs, links to digital copies needed for all the documents and links to help students pick the right school for them.

Conway will be attending Southern New Hampshire University to study elementary education and psychology.

Nikolai Fernandez used the High School's Power Hour (an hour a day set aside for extra help from teachers or study time) to offer tutorial services for mathematics and biology in the library. His sessions met once a week and he had 10 regular students whose grades improved appreciably because of his help.

Fernandez will be attending the University of New England in Biddeford, Maine, where he will major in biochemistry.

Danny Iacopucci, an Eagle Scout, built a picnic site along the Laconia WOW Trail, complete with a garden. He said he understood how much effort had gone into the trail system and wanted to contribute.

He is in the process of making a plaque for the donors and volunteers and made some books about the project using the computer program Shutterfly.

Iacopucci will be attending Brigham Young University in Utah and has not yet decided on a major.

Chayleigh Cadarette and Alexandra Lugar worked together on building a footbridge in a remote section of the Jeff Marden Town Forest.

Cadarette gave her presentation about the planning, measuring, and approval processes required by the town's Conservation Commission while Lugar gave her presentation about the actual construction.

Lugar set up a demonstration about how to use a cordless drill and a cordless impact drill and the difference between the two of them.

Cadarette will be attending the University of New Hampshire and has yet to determine her major. Lugar will be attending the Plymouth State University were she will double major in psychology and criminal justice.

Zoe Zellar went to Belmont Elementary School once a week and tutored first and third graders in mathematics. As part of her weekly curriculum, she created games to help the children with their memories and with their addition skills in first grade and their multiplication skills in third grade.

Zellar will be attending the University of New Hampshire and has not yet decided on a major.

Andrew Spaulding participated all year in the Unified basketball program. He said he loved playing basketball as a kid but took up lacrosse as his sport in high school.

Spaulding said when the program ended he really missed it. He said he loved making friends with all of the people who participated and helped them and himself earn a measure of pride and belonging.

Spaulding will be attending Clarkson University in New York State to study mechanical engineering.

Alexa Silakka organized a childrens' book drive after she realized that there were very few books at the Belmont Early Learning Center.

She said her goal was to get donations of 50 books but she actually collected 475. She sorted through them and the Early Learning Center took 203, 162 went to a program for refugees and the homeless, 55 went to Weeping Willow Day Care in Tilton and 55 went to the Pines Community Center in Northfield.

Silakka will attend Walsh University in Ohio and study nursing.

Caitlyn Keville tutored at the Belmont Elementary School. She noted that some of the students were shy at first and bringing them out of their shells was part of her challenge. She noted the third graders went "off-track" a lot.

Although the students were being tutored because the need the help, she said she felt like they knew what they were doing but may have had some challenges with attention and learning skills.

Keville will be attending the University of Tampa where she will study nursing.

Guidance Councilor Brenda Seiferth shepherded the 12 students through their projects.

Large crowd gathers at Veterans Square for Laconia's observance of Memorial Day

LACONIA — Memorial Day is more than a just a three-day weekend of ''beaches, picnics and auto races'' Wilkins-Smith Post #1 American Legion commander Ray Peavey told an audience gathered Monday at Veterans Square for a Memorial Day ceremony.
After noting that over a million Americans have sacrificed their lives for their country since the American Revolution, Peavey said ''Our fallen heroes are not just statistics. They were real people from real families who lived in real communities. We must honor their families for lives that were lost too early. We need to be there for those families, to give them a shoulder to cry on and let them know that their loved ones' sacrifices will not be forgotten.''
Peavey said that the observance in honor of those who died in war was known as Decoration Day until World War II ended and traces its roots to the Civil War and its aftermath, noting that one of the fist observances was held in Charleston, South Carolina on May 1. 1865 and saw free slaves and union soldiers marching together and placing flowers on the graves of union soldiers who had died in a prisoner of war camp.
He said that an empty seat at the dinner table serves as a daily reminder to those who have lost a loved one win of the sacrifice the family has made as said that the American Legion has always shown its unwavering support ''to preserve the memories and incidents of our associates in the Great Wars.''
Valerie Johnstone of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #1670 Women's Auxiliary said that the day has always held a special significance for her.
''My dad fought in World War II and I had two uncles who fought in Korea. One was held as POW and the other lost his life there. That opened my eyes to the meaning of this day.'' said Johnstone.
She said that he sacrifice her uncle made can never be repaid and that celebrating Memorial Day is ''a promise we must keep, a promise to our fallen.''
Mayor Ed Engler thanked both veterans organizations for keeping the tradition of a Memorial Day parade and ceremonies alive and noted that a memorial near the flagpole at the library contains the names of 600 from Laconia who served in ''The War to End All Wars".
He said that during World War I some 4 million Americans, 2.5 million of whom were drafted, took part in the conflict with 53,400 killed in combat and 43,000 claimed by disease.
Among the war dead were 17 from Laconia, including brothers Guy H. Blackstone and Herbert W. Blackstone, both of whom were still in heir teens.
The new traffic circle at Weirs Beach was dedicated to their memory a year ago.
VFW Post Commander Bill North, who served as master of ceremonies at the observance, told of the history of the "Buddy Poppy" and its significance as a symbol of the blood shed by Ameican troops.
He thanked all of those who turned out for the parade and ceremony for their support of veterans and keeping alive the memory of their sacrifices.

Captions for pix slugged 15memorialday
American Legion Post #1 Commander Ray Peavey and VFW Post 1670 Commander Bill North lead marchers in Laconia's Memorial Day parade. (Roger Amsden photo for the Laconia Daily Sun)

Two year-old Noah Durgin of Laconia waves an American flag during Laconia's Memorial Day parade.
(Roger Amsden photo for the Laconia Daily Sun)

American Legion Post #1 Commander Ray Peavey speaks at Memorial Day ceremonies at Veterans Square in Laconia. (Roger Amsden photo for the Laconia Daily Sun)

Honor guard members fire a rifle volley during Memorial Day ceremonies at Veterans Square in Laconia. (Roger Amsden photo for the Laconia Daily Sun)