By THOMAS P. CALDWELL, LACONIA DAILY SUN
BELMONT — Artist Donna Manning is donating prints of her original works to help the Save Our Gale School Committee meet its goal of raising $100,000 by next August.
The Shaker Regional School Board has accepted the committee’s offer to move the Gale School to another lot in order to preserve the building from demolition, but it is an expensive undertaking. With the New Hampshire Preservation Society having named the Gale School to its 2017 Seven To Save list, the effort has gained additional credibility in terms of applying for grants and in-kind donations, but the committee still has a lot of work ahead to complete its mission of preparing a new foundation, moving the building, and landscaping the lot on which the school has sat for the past 123 years.
Manning said the Gale School is important to her for its architecture as well as its role in the town’s history, as well as her own history. She said several generations of her family were born and raised in Belmont, and attended the Gale School, built in 1894.
“Lots of the old pictures they have of the school in the late 1800s had people in my family in them,” she said.
Manning was among those who attended the Gale School, and she was named the first Miss Belmont in 1967, winning the award for an essay she did. That tradition has lapsed and she now lives on a private road in Pittsfield, but she said she has fond memories of the Gale School and feels today’s children need a connection to history.
Manning previously did a painting of the Gale School as a raffle prize to raise money for the Save Our Gale School Committee, and the committee also sold prints of that painting.
The prints now being offered are “Loon Flight Out of Water” and Laconia’s Gale Memorial Library, both of which are autographed by Manning and printed on high-quality archival paper. She has donated 50 of each print, offered as 20- by 26-inch prints with a white border, or 14- by 23-inch prints, either of which are suitable for framing.
The prints went on sale Wednesday and will be available through the holiday season at Greenlaw’s Music, 633 Main St., Laconia, and U-Frame at 50 Canal St., Laconia.
The Save Our Gale School Committee, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is raising funds independently to avoid burdening the taxpayers of Belmont and Canterbury with the cost of relocating the building. Those wishing to assist in the effort may mail checks to: Save Our Gale School Fund, ℅ Franklin Savings Bank, PO Box 339, Franklin NH 03235.
Anyone wishing to donate in-kind services, volunteer, or serve on the Save Our Gale School Committee may contact Chairman Diane Marden at 603-290-4143 or go online to www.belmontnh.net/GaleSchoolSAVE.html or, on Facebook, Save Our Gale School or Belmont NH Heritage.
Gale Memorial Library
Loon Flight Out of Water