Jillian Boland Earns Gold Award
Pelham resident Jillian Boland earned Girl Scout’s highest award last Sunday. Jillian, who graduated from Pelham High School, is currently attending Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania where she is studying Political Science and hopes to pursue a career in government.
She earned the fifth Gold Award ever presented to a Pelham Girl Scout. To earn that award, she had to complete a rigorous set of requirements, including:
Eleanor Burton, a lifelong Pelham resident who is interested in history and has served as a Girl Scout volunteer for decades, suggested Jillian’s project to her. Like Eleanor, Jillian is interested in history. When a book about Pelham’s history, Reflections, was written a few years ago, it mentioned the Girl Scouts, but didn’t give any history. Eleanor thought Jillian could bridge that gap.
Girl Scouting began in Pelham in 1956. Jillian became a Girl Scout in 1990. She prepared a book with pictures and history covering the time period that she has been a Girl Scout and will present that book to the Pelham Historical Society.
Deb Waters, who is on the Girl Scout Gold Award Support Committee, came to present the award to Jillian. “The Gold Award is the highest achievement a Girl Scout can earn. It is a recognition which only a very few achieve, nationally only 2,500 young women earn his prestigious award each year. It signifies years of outstanding leadership, community service, career planning, and personal achievement,” explained Waters. “By receiving her Gold Award this afternoon Jillian will become a member of a special group of young woman who throughout the history of Girl Scouting have received the highest recognition of the organization.”
State Representative Lynne Ober presented a Declaration from the New Hampshire House of Representatives honoring Jillian for her achievement. “It’s wonderful to be here to honor one of our nation’s future leaders,” said Ober. “This is a remarkable achievement by a remarkable young lady.”
Waters presented letters of congratulations and commendations from other officials. She read a commendation from President George W. Bush.
After the ceremony, refreshments were served and attendees had a chance to read the book that Jillian had written about Girl Scouts and to congratulate her on her achievement.
Pelham Poetry Project 2005 Winners
by Karen Plumley
Tom Diegoli, New Hampshire poet and author of One With The Land was the guest speaker for the 4th Annual Pelham Poetry Project Awards Ceremony that was held on Saturday, May 21. A large crowd was in attendance at the Pelham Elementary media room for the event. “The best poetry is written about the simple things. Things that we can all understand”, stated Mr. Diegoli. The hour was filled with other thoughts on the art of poetry as well as an array of beautiful poetry readings. Many family, friends, and interested community members enjoyed listening to the talents of their own and applauded proudly. Mr. Diegoli announced the winners, and medals and gift certificates were awarded. Prizes were sponsored by the generosity and support of FLIP (Friends of the Library in Pelham).
“Poetry calls us to do something we sometimes don’t want to do: it calls us to think and feel. When I read ‘Letting Go’ I was literally shaking,” stated Mr. Diegoli of the grand-prize winning poem, as he handed out the top award to a beaming Kayla Whelan.
Appreciation for the arts always enhances a community. This event was possible thanks to FLIP as well as many local businesses who sponsored the event and also provided the funds for the publication “A Community of Poetry” which contains every poem that was submitted for the contest. A copy of the publication is available at the Pelham Library.
By Kayla Whelan, Grade 4
Poetry Contest Winners
Kindergarten – Second Grade Division
Third & Fourth Grade Division
Fifth & Sixth Grade Division
Seventh & Eighth Grade Division
Ninth through Twelfth Grade Division
Cover Art Design
Grand Prize Winner – Kayla Whelan
Fest-A-Ball Celebration a Great Success
by Lynn McNamara
The rain held off and the crowds poured in to Griffin Park on Saturday to celebrate the Windham Baseball/Softball League’s (WBSL) first annual Opening Day Fest-A-Ball Celebration. Cars lined the nearby streets as police details ensured that parking problems were kept to a minimum. Over 2500 baseball players, coaches, parents, community leaders, and spectators attended.
The day began as many of the 900 players and their coaches paraded around the park and assembled in the baseball field. Sully Erna, lead singer of Godsmack and Windham resident, sang the National Anthem. He was followed by an introduction by Charlie McMahon, President of the WBSL.
Mr. McMahon welcomed everyone to Griffin Park, calling it the finest recreational facility possibly in all of New Hampshire. He noted that this is his tenth year of working on the park project and expressed his appreciation for the efforts of the residents in making it a reality. He asked for the town’s continued support, adding "Don’t forget to vote yes for the maintenance plan." Mr. McMahon thanked the mothers and fathers who help to make the league a success, Parkland Medical Center in Derry for their generous donations and the new Chief of Police Gerald Lewis for his "moratorium on traffic tickets" for the day.
The WBSL recognized three teams for exceptional performance during the last season. The 2004 Girls Jimmy Fund Softball team was honored for raising over $10,000 during the tournament last July. The money raised exceeded past years by $2,000 and goes to support the Jimmy Fund and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. The team was also cheered for their 6 - 2 record in the tournament.
The Boys 11 Year Old Little League All Stars Team was honored for winning their division last year, as was the Girls Majors Softball All Stars Team. Coaches from these three teams threw out the ceremonial first pitches to their players. Official ceremonies concluded with a young Mr. Birmingham singing out "Play Ball!”
Four large inflatable games at the front of the park, a moonwalk, and an obstacle course among them, were greeted with much enthusiasm and large crowds of children. Devotees of the skateboard park were treated to an exhibition from NOTB. The concession stand made its grand opening for the event, with pizza, snacks, and drinks available for long lines of customers throughout the day.
In addition, a softball tournament was held between teams made up of town officials and employees, members of the Police and Fire Departments, and the WBSL. In the championship game, the members of the WBSL squared off against town officials and won, taking home the first annual trophy.
By all accounts, the event was a wonderful success!