Pelham-Windham News

Pelham Skate Park Grand Opening

by Karen Plumley

Rob Harden, 19, of Pelham has a passion for skateboarding.  And now, there exists a spectacular new skate park right in town that Rob can be proud he had a hand in creating.  On Saturday, June 11 the long anticipated grand opening of the Pelham Skate Park located at Dennis Lyons Memorial Park took place amidst avid applause and a nicely presented ceremony.  Two years ago Rob and his friends, Chad Payson, 19, and David Welch, 19, used to skateboard at the Pelham Elementary School.  That is, until they received countless complaints about the noise level.  But, where else in town could a skateboarder go?  The police department would also receive many phone calls about skateboarders skating at the schools and on the streets.  “Instead of fighting against the police, we worked with them and they gladly became involved in this project”, said Victor Danovich, town selectman and chairman of the Pelham Skate Park committee.  It all started with Rob Harden and his friends, who presented their dilemma to the school board.  Mr. Danovich quickly and competently took the reigns and became the spokesman for the project, helping to form the committee that also included members of the police and the town’s youth.  They planned meetings, and went about gathering the many donations and funds needed for the construction of the park.  Police Chief Evan Haglund and Officer Anne Perriello also became very devoted to the project.  “Officer Anne [who is the vice-chair of the committee] has been a huge asset to the Skate Park project.  She’s terrific”, enthused Danovich. 

Pelham Skate Park

Committee planning meetings were held weekly at the police station, and a group of approximately 35 students were in attendance at almost every one.  A few of them even fulfilled some of their community service hours by aiding in the construction of the park, which was done by Mike Loiselle of BASR in Windham.  “Mike also designed the Windham Skate Park, but this one is even more creative and technical.  He has a devotion to this community as well, being originally from Pelham”, said Darren McCarthy, Parks and Recreations Director.  Mr. McCarthy was also quite involved with the planning.  “Victor simply had so much on his plate, that I picked up some of the slack and helped out”.  But the project could not have even been started if it wasn’t for the devotion of the students.  “The kids put the brains behind the project, and now they have a place to go that is safe, and parents will know where they are”, said Officer Perriello.

State Representative Lynne Ober presented accommodations to the four standout students who committed much of their time and energy:  Rob, David, Chad, and also Michelle Burke, 16.  “America was built on dreams.  These four individuals had a dream and helped to make this happen”, said Ober.  She also pointed out in her speech that the park was “built with no tax dollars”, citing a large grant of $47,000 from the Hillsborough County Commission led by Commissioner Rhona Charbonneau from Hudson, as well as $33,000 raised by the Harley Davidson Raffle.

“Skateboarding is not a crime”, said Danovich.  And as a result of the successful partnership among Pelham youth, local government, and the police department there is now a state of the art skateboard park that is safe, local, beautifully designed, and a whole lot of fun too!

Guitar Concert

by Lynne Ober

The twenty-two Pelham High School students enrolled in Beginning Guitar entertained community members with a musical concert.

Opening with the National Anthem played by Emily Castro, Emylee Gibbons, and Victoria Vercellini who also played Minuet in G.

Kaitlin Ormsby
Kaitlin Ormsby plays solo "Ode to Joy"

The audience got a taste of the wide breadth of music that can be played on a guitar – everything from blues to soul to gospel to classical.  Guitars make any type of music beautifully.  It’s a joy to listen to a well played piece and the audience was in for a treat.

Kaitlin Ormsby played Ode to Joy before teaming up with Brendon Pacheco to play a beautiful rendition of Au Claire de la Lune.

Brendon later played in a quartet with Tyler Masson, Josh Marion, and Nick Freie.  “One of my favorite songs is Santeria,” said Brendon.  “So we decided to play it in the concert.”  Brendon is self-taught on the guitar and after playing for three years decided to enroll in the class and get some formal instruction.  “It was a great class.  I really enjoyed it.”

Nick Gordon played God Called in Sick Today, a lighthearted tune that pleased the audience and Warren Lafferty played both Doo Wop and Battle of Jericho, a lively gospel song that had the audience tapping its toes.

Brendon Pacheco and Tyler Masson
Brendon Pacheco and Tyler Masson play "Santeria"

The duo of Eric Bedard and Greg Frechette played Surf Rock and Simple Gifts, a work song originally sung by Shakers.

Joe DeVita played a solo, Bang Bang, before a trio with Nick Freie and Jessica Jones to play the Super Mario Theme Song.  You could almost see the little guy bouncing around the audience while the trio played.

  Tim Baker played two solos – Snake Charmer, a song with a haunting melody, and Twelve Bar, a beginning blues song that features the guitar.

Aubrey Byron and Joe Smith played the romantic song Foolish Games.

The House of the Rising Sun, a toe-tapping favorite of almost everyone, was played by Kevin Arsenault, Jon Glaude, and Corey Young.

All too soon the concert ended and the audience had to go home with warm memories of beautiful music.

Attendees Enjoy Bike Rodeo in Pelham, Despite Oppressive Weather

by Karen Plumley

The weather was sweltering and the air as thick as SPF 50 sun block on Saturday, June 11 at Pelham Elementary School.  Nevertheless, adults and children of all ages were in attendance for the Annual Pelham Police Bike Rodeo, which was sponsored by the Pelham Police Relief Association.  Chunky’s Cinema of Pelham and Outback Steakhouse of Methuen provided the food for the occasion, and Lowell Coca Cola donated the bicycle for the bike raffle.  Three-hundred bike helmets were fitted and given away within the first hour and water and soda by the gallons was being served on demand for the crowd that Captain Joseph Roark estimates to have reached an astounding 500.  In addition to the helmets, other prizes such as reflectors, office supplies, and t-shirts were awarded to the sweaty patrons as they moved in sloth-like fashion from one attraction to another.  Children enjoyed riding around on their bikes, tackling the obstacle course, bounding in the bouncy house and giant slide, and eating hot dogs and ice cream.  Karate shows hosted by Karate International of Windham, police canine unit demonstrations, and go-cart racing were some of the other events that were enjoyed.

Bike Riders

Boston Med Flight was present promptly at ten o’clock to the delight of children, who stood in line to get a glimpse of the inner workings of the helicopter.  When it lifted off close to noontime, people briefly stopped what they were doing to take notice.  A beautifully displayed array of antique cars lined the parking lot, all owned by Mr. Charles Beaulieu of Pelham.  Later, Mr. Al Letendre of Pelham took first prize in the go-cart race.  Even the hottest of people had to smile at the clown who was performing at the crowded venue.  He merrily rode his unicycle in the 90-degree heat, balancing balls and swinging ribbons while he donned the make-up, wig, and full costume of a consummate professional.  Then suddenly came an announcement:  the canine unit was to perform a demonstration, and Frisbees would be given out to the first 100 children to reach the display tent.  Somehow, people mustered up the energy to get over there for the free prizes.

One attendee seemed to be very content with the weather.  Appropriately hanging around the animal rescue booths, Digger the tortoise sauntered along slowly but amiably while children enjoyed and petted him.  Fauna Rescue, Inc. of Nashua, owned by Linda and Kerry Wisner brought the tortoise to the event.  “A friend of ours let us borrow him”, said Kerry.  His wife, Linda, started their business when they realized that exotic birds were being abandoned once owners realized how much work was entailed in their care.  “I knew we had a problem to solve when we accrued 75 birds at our house”, said Linda.

Rodeo Clown

Many patrons sought temporary shelter inside the elementary school, where they could obtain some much-needed shade, as well as their personal identification kits complete with fingerprints.  Still others put up with the sun to stand in line for free helmets and a fitting.  Officer James Johnson diligently attended to each child until the last helmet was gone.  Anyone who decided to register a bike may have had the pleasure of meeting Jake Borrelli, a Pelham high school volunteer who aided in the effort to collect the registrations, all of which would be entered into the bike raffle.  The winning ticket was chosen on Monday, June 13, and a hearty congratulations goes out to Megan Mahoney, 4, of Pelham!

In addition to Pelham, police representatives from Windham, Salem, Methuen, University of New Hampshire, and Dover were in attendance, as well as the New Hampshire Highway Patrol and Police Standards and Training.  Many convincing demonstrations were performed to encourage drivers of cars and bikes to follow the rules of the road.  Overall, the event effectively promoted bicycle safety in a fun and entertaining way, and one cannot deny that it was a piping hot success.  

Young Pelham Resident Designs Logo

When Pelham resident Cheryl McLean mentioned to her neighbor, Andrea Zalewski, that she needed a logo for the new children's fitness center that she planned to open, Andrea immediately turned to her daughter Jennifer, who started drawing at the age of two!  Andrea reminisced, "I remember Jennifer's kindergarten teacher commenting that very few five year olds draw people with a head and body that are in proportion.  She told me that was a sign of artistic ability." 

Jen's great-grandfather, Alphonse Noel, was a famous commercial artist in France who unfortunately passed away in his early 40s.  Jen's parents, Andrea and Alan, see similarities in her style of drawing to that of her great-grandfather. "It's amazing how her drawing skills have developed over the years," commented Andrea, "and with very few formal lessons!  Jennifer prefers to 'do her own thing' when it comes to artwork."  Jennifer especially enjoys doing pencil sketches with a lot of detail and shading, so her original design was much more detailed than the final version.  "The detail she had was amazing...remarkable!" said Cheryl.  "We had to ask her to scale it down and make the children more like shadows for the actual logo, to keep it simple for the sign, t-shirts, etc."  Although Andrea told her daughter that her artwork would be displayed on the sign at the entrance to the fitness center parking lot on Route 38, it didn't really "sink in" until Jennifer saw the actual sign.  With a big smile on her face, she just said, "Wow!  That's cool!"  Jennifer's logo will also be on the t-shirts that the children will be wearing in the fitness classes.

Building Blocks for Fitness
Jennifer Zalewski (center), a seventh grader at Pelham Memorial School, designed the business logo for Building Blocks Fitness Center, a fitness center for children ages 2 - 9, that is located on Route 38 in Dracut, MA, not far from the Pelham, NH line.  Pictured with her are Cheryl McLean (left), President, and Andrea Zalewski (right), Jen's mom and also the Athletic Director for Building Blocks Fitness.

Windham Woman’s Club

The new officers of the GFWC Windham Woman’s Club, from left, Jean Hart and Ann Louise LeColst, co-presidents; Maureen Souma, vice president; Maureen Landry, recording secretary; and Jean Greenlee, treasurer.  Rosemarie Finizio, corresponding secretary was absent.  Maureen Homsey, a past president of the club, was installing officer at the annual meeting, which took place Wednesday, May 4, at the Windham Town Hall.

Family Fun Day Planned at St. Patrick’s Parish in Pelham

St. Patrick Parish, located on Main Street in Pelham, will hold a Family Fun Day on Saturday, June 18, 2005.  Some of the events planned for the day are 5K Road Race, Duck Race, Cow Plop, Kids Games, BBQ.  Race Registration is from 8:00 - 9:45 a.m.  Kid’s games begin at 10:00 a.m.  Pony rides will be offered from 12:00 – 2:00 p.m.  The Duck Race begins at 11:00 a.m. and the BBQ begins at 11:30 a.m.

For further details, visit

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