LACONIA — On Oct. 29, the Taylor Community Hiking Club was recognized at an awards ceremony celebrating the accomplishments of 12 residents varying in age from 68-85.
Bob Ilgenfritz, 84, a veteran hiker, challenged the community to earn the Belknap Range Hiker Patch by hiking all 12 mountains in the Belknap range. This includes Rowe, 1690 feet; Gunstock, 2250 feet; Belknap, 2382 feet; Piper, 2044 feet; Whiteface, 1664 feet; Mack, 1945 feet; Klem, 2001 feet; Rand, 1883 feet; Anna, 1670 feet; Quarry, 1894 feet; Straightback, 1890 feet; and Major, 1786 feet.
In February, the group began a hiking fitness conditioning program. The group hiked all 12 mountains from June to Oct. 22. Jim Arsenault, a former Taylor Community board member and Belknap Range Trail Tender, presented the patches and certificates to the residents. "What an accomplishment," said Arsenault. Don and Rebecca Watson from Belknap County Sportsmen’s Association made sure the patches were readily available for the ceremony. Rebecca hand-delivered them to the community and noted, "This isn’t something we normally do, this is a very special occasion."
Tammy Levesque, hike leader and wellness coordinator at Taylor, spoke to the hikers about how proud she was to see each one of them exceed their own personal expectations. Levesque presented a video of the experience. See the video by visiting youtu.be/aI0glKJ9t9A.
Hikers who earned the Belknap Range Hiker Patch are Bob Ilgenfritz, Carol Ford, Diane Beaman, John Earley, John Larson and Tammy Levesque. Almost Completed: Bryan Walker, Charlotte Leavitt, Charlotte McKinnon, Mel Greenberg and Vince Lunetta.