Chamber Holds Annual Award Dinner
Award Honorees: Back, from left: Richard Defelice and Tom Dahl of Valentino’s Restaurant, Steve Flaherty and Tom Cavanaugh of Sam’s Club. Front: Michael O’Keefe, Max Mahoney, Sue Gendron and Lee Ann Middlemiss (accepting for their father Philip Rodgers) and Gary Rodgers (accepting for his father Alvin Rodgers).
At this year’s Greater Hudson Chamber of Commerce 39th annual award dinner with guest speakers Governor John Lynch, Senator Robert Clegg and Lowell Spinners CEO Drew Weber, the Chamber honored its communities’ outstanding citizens and businesses of the year. The festivities at The Castleton Banquet and Conference Center in Windham included Lori Charette-McLaughlin singing the Star Spangled Banner and presentation of colors by the Alvirne High School ROTC color guard.
Chamber President Timothy Malley of TJ Malley Electric opened the event reiterating, “The role of the Chamber of Commerce in any community is to facilitate the needs of the business community through sharing of information, advice and providing resources as well as contributing to future plans. In a town that is growing and changing, it is important to keep in mind that the business community plays a vital role in achieving the appropriate balance in that growth.
“A real community works together, businesses and town government, to achieve a framework to allow the balanced growth that will open the doors for Hudson to become the best possible place to live and work. We need to be flexible, responsive, sharing a vision where Hudson is a vibrant, prosperous town embracing change and meeting the challenges ahead together.”
Valentino’s Restaurant was chosen as small business of the year. Owners Tom Dahl and Richard Defelice were recognized for many contributions to the community. As a young business, it has exhibited successful business practices and distinguished itself as a business that promotes leadership and involvement in the community.
Sam’s Club of Hudson was selected large business of the year. Sam’s Club was honored for its continuous support of local charitable and civic organizations. Sam’s Club demonstrates excellent business practices and distinguishes itself as a business that advances the best interest of the community through leadership and community contributions.
The chamber honored Alvin H. and G. Philip Rodgers as Citizens of the Year. Family, community service and hard work are guiding principles of this year’s honorees. Alvin and Philip Rodgers, lifelong natives of Hudson, have been an important part of the town’s past and have secured their place in Hudson history with their extremely generous gift of a new library to the town in memory of their parents.
Max Mahoney and Michael O’Keefe were chosen as junior citizens of the year. Max is a senior at Alvirne High School and is a positive role model that demonstrates a high level of initiative in and out of the classroom. Michael is a positive force in Alvirne, is goal-oriented and finds positive ways to work with others in the community. Both were recognized for their involvement and contributions within the community. Each was awarded a $1,000 scholarship.
The executive sponsor was BAE Systems; corporate sponsors were Citizens Bank, Public Service Company of New Hampshire and St. Mary’s Bank; the reception sponsor was The UPS Store of Hudson; The dessert sponsor was UPS; the floral sponsor was Anne’s Country Florals and invitation sponsor was Quality Press.
Alvirne JROTC Cadets Go to Washington
submitted by Megan DuPont-Brooks
Alvirne cadets ready to head to the nation’s capital.
Vacation: every high schoolers favorite word next to summer and graduation. February vacation means snowboarding and sleeping for some students while to others it means relaxing on the beach in Mexico. This past vacation, it was completely different for 23 Alvirne Junior ROTC cadets; February 24 through 28 consisted of a trip to Washington, learning and bonding.
The cadets and four chaperones loaded up a coach bus at 7:30 in the morning. “Are we there yet?!” exclaimed one sarcastic cadet. Considering that the bus hadn’t even been started, Senior Master Sergeant Michael Dubeau responded by saying, “Uh… NO!” Nine hours, four rest stops, and five pairs of sunglasses later, the group arrived at the Clarion Inn and Fun Dome. “I can smell the pool!” shouted Shaela Sarno, a junior and third-year cadet. Within 10 minutes of being in town, the cadets had already jumped into the pool and hot tub and occupied the game room.The United States Air Force was generous enough to provide the students with a poolside pizza party. The next morning, knowing that they had a full day ahead, the group filled their stomachs with homemade waffles, toast, fruit and cereal. Juice and coffee were among the most popular Monday morning beverages. The upcoming day would be full of walking and emotion. The first stop on the daily itinerary was the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center. Jaws dropped at the sight of the SR-71 Blackbird because it was absolutely enormous. Some of the other highlights for the cadets were the Enola Gay, the Gemini, and the Enterprise. After having lunch at the Udvar-Hazy, the next stop was the Arlington National Cemetery. The group explored the grounds of the house that belonged to Robert E. Lee and saw the changing of the guards and being told “a secret.” Throughout the rest of the day, the crew saw many of the monuments and the White House. At the end the evening, dinner was held at the Pentagon City Mall. After having finished eating early, it was a “rat race” to find a black umbrella for less than $40. With 10 minutes before the bus left, cadets had found a store selling umbrellas for a great deal of “buy one get one free.” Fortunately for the store, the cadetss won’t have to do an inventory count for black umbrellas since they don’t have any left.
Tuesday was a sight of blue uniforms and gray, rainy skies. Congressman Paul Hodes’ office started off the day. The cadets explored the Capitol building and saw where Congress meets in session. After having their picture taken with Hodes, the cadets were off to lunch at Union Station. The variety of food excited many, especially the infamous “dinosaur doughnut.” “DELICIOUS!!!” exclaimed Spencer Prescott, a junior and third-year cadet, about the huge snack. The Pentagon was the next destination. The public affairs office provided the group with a tour led by a former member of the elite guard at Arlington. Everyone was moved when brought into the chapel dedicated to those who lost their lives in the September 11 attack. “The Junior ROTC Cadets from Alvirne High School, NH-20031, would like to send their greatest condolences and sympathy to the families of those who lost their lives. You are in our thoughts and prayers,” was the message the cadets left in the visitors log. After having a moving afternoon at the Pentagon, it was off to Andrews Air Force Base. “Are you kiddin’ me?!” yelled Brianna Beland, a junior and third-year cadet, at the sight of the fighter planes on the flight line. The group was stunned to see the VIP version of a 737. A couple of cadets even took a picture of the toilet saying that the Honorable Condoleezza Rice had been there. The excitement on the flight line brought upon some rumbling stomachs, so the Air Force provided the crew with dinner in the chow hall. To end a long day, the group returned to the hotel to change into civilian clothes and head off to a bowling tournament. As many said, it was a great way to unwind after such an eventful day.
On the final full day in Washington D.C,, the cadets went to the Goddard Space Flight Center, where the Hubble Telescope was built. Three weeks before the trip, the “D.C. Committee,” led by junior Megan DuPont-Brooks and accompanied by juniors Krista Hurley and Steven Searles, tried to get the group in for a student tour, but were unable to get on the schedule. Fortunately, the group originally scheduled was not able to attend, and the JROTC cadets were able to view everything from “Science on a Sphere” to the newest satellites being built. All were surprised that they were able to see all of the materials used to build the satellites because it was believed they were “top secret.” After having lunch at a local mini-mall, the National Air and Space Museum was the next stop of the day. All week, cadets such as Chris Hammel, a junior at Londonderry High School and a first- and second-year cadet, were saying, “I can’t wait to go to the Air and Space Museum. I just want to fly the simulator!” Following an afternoon learning about the history of aviation, it was dinner time. Again, the Air Force paid for the meal, but this time it was Italian food at “Buca de Beppo.” Many enjoyed the salad, spaghetti, and chicken parmesan ending with strawberry cheesecake dessert. On the way back to the hotel, everyone was sorry that it was the last night in D.C. To end the week with some more fun, the cadets decided to have a final pool party.
“Andrews Air Force Base was amazing! It was definitely my most favorite part, and I would love to do it again,” said Sam Luszcz, a sophomore and second-year cadet, reviewing the trip.
Many students have noticed that a lot of what was talked about in Washington connects to the lessons being taught in the JROTC classroom; thus, concluding that the trip was very educational. Overall, the student planning committee was pleased with the success in teaching the cadets about the country’s history and the history of aviation. Finally, the “D.C. Planning Committee” would like to send out a special thanks to Colonel Kevin Grady and his wife, Robbie, along with Sergeant Dubeau and his wife, Mary-Ellen, for allowing the cadets the opportunity to research history firsthand.
Megan DuPont- Brooks and Congressman Hodes
Group at Iwo Jima
Breakfast with the Easter Bunny
by Lynne Ober
Carter tried for a hole in one while Katie monitored the game.
Eating breakfast with the Easter Bunny is an annual event in Litchfield thanks to the Litchfield Women’s Club. Every year it takes a lot of organization, but the effort is worth it when smiles and giggles fill the air. This year was snowy outside, but sunny inside.
Plain and blueberry pancakes were served. The sausage was hot and juicy and the kids were happy to eat the pancakes, but anxious to see the Easter Bunny.
On the stage the bunny held court and one by one or sometimes two by two the kids joined him for photos and conversation.
Girl Scout Troop 103 again organized and ran the games. Everyone was a winner. There were games for the very young and for older kids. The older ones loved trying their hand at putting a hole in one.
The craft table was very busy with kids making Easter books filled with drawings and Easter eggs.
Along the wall there was a table laden with beautiful raffle prizes. All proceeds raised go back to the community. This particular event funds the Litchfield Women’s Club scholarship fund.