Relay For Life Raises More than $62,000

Mr. Gray, Joy Tatem, Shayna McKay, Taylor Pelletier, Heather Lavoie, Alicia Savage, Stephanie Simms (in front, flexing), Jess Weaver, Stephanie Gilbert, Jen Gleason, Michelle Filadoro, Shannon Bercier and Amanda Gonzales

The hottest Saturday this year did not deter the more  than 400 people who came out to raise funds for cancer research but also to show their love and support for survivors and victims who are their family and friends.  The 2008 American Cancer Relay For Life event for the Greater Nashua area began at 2 p.m. Saturday on the Alvirne track behind the high school.

Relay For Life is a fun-filled overnight experience designed to bring together those who have been touched by cancer.  A total of teams 33, made up of 298 walkers, 80 survivors to kick off walk, raised more than $62,000 and drank more than 38 cases of water.

Corporate sponsors include RE/MAX, St. Joseph Hospital and Sweeney Title Services.  A survivor lunch was provided by Giorgios.

The relay committee offered special thanks to the companies/people who supplied gift certificates or items to support for the silent auction, which raised an additional $410.  Alvirne allowed use of the field and the Hudson Fire Department provided a much-needed breakfast of pancakes, bacon, juice and coffee Sunday.

During the theme laps participants were encouraged to dress the part and the best was selected and given a special prize.

Kathy Smith, the community executive for the American Cancer Society, offered a special thanks to the Scouts of Troop 21 which, in her words,  what an amazing job the Boy Scouts did.  Boy Scout Troop 21 Hudson!  They set up tents, unloaded cars, kept the ice and water filled, served the survivor dinner, set up luminaria and pretty much any thing else I asked of them.  This years motto across the country was celebrate survivors, remember those lost to cancer, and to fight back against this disease.

The 2008 Relay for Life Planning Committee volunteer chairs Crystal Morel, entertainment; Beth Bisbing, publicity; Carol Griffin, team recruitment; Barbara Kimball, registration; Loretta Corcoran, event and online; Melissa Ganley, cancer education; Jennifer Thebodeau, entertainment; Debbie Wunsch, luminaria; Janet Hanson, survivorship.  Missing from the picture are volunteer planning committee members Lori Stoudt and Laura Flanagan, corporate sponsorship; Athena Lemire, luminaria

Berthe and Donald Gowdy of Hudson complete the opening lap of Saturday’s event.  Berthe is a seven-year cancer survivor. 

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Alvirne Elias Brody Spring Concert

submitted by Fred Giuffrida

Stage Band – “The Sermon”

Live music is alive and well in Hudson!  On May 29, the Alvirne High School Music Department presented the annual Elias Brody Memorial Spring Concert.  Mr. Elias Brody, a lifelong musician, was the father of Dr. Bernard Brody of Hudson.  For many years Dr. Brody, his wife Elaine, and their family have sponsored this annual spring concert in his memory.  Members of the Brody family that attended the concert were presented with a plaque commemorating Elias Brody.

The concert opened with the Treble Choir performing a number of selections, including a lively number entitled “Chili Con Carne”, a vocal recipe of sorts and a subtle promotion for last Saturday’s “Bronco Belly Bustin’ Chili Fiesta”.  The treble choir closed with the song “Love Heals” from the musical Rent, featuring seniors Allie Edwards, Trena Metzger, Cindy Richards, and Jackie Saindon.

Alvirne Singers performed a medley from the musical West Side Story, followed by a beautifully performed rendition of “Lacrymosa” from Mozart’s Requiem.  This difficult piece brought the Alvirne Singers a superior rating in a recent competition.  The singers closed with seniors Stephanie Antonuccio, Chris Melanson, and Megan Bergin, featured on the Journey song “Don’t Stop Believin’.”

The Alvirne Concert Band took the stage to finish out the first half of the concert, performing Slovenian Folk Songs and Bach’s “Contrapunctus IX”.  The Concert Band seniors selected to reprise “Russian Sailors’ Dance”, which they had performed in their freshman year, as their final performance with the Concert Band.

After intermission, the beautiful voices of the Alvirne B Naturals filled the Alvirne Gymnasium.  The vocalists performed two traditional songs “Live-a-Humble”, and “Fare Thee Well”, followed by the song “UnWritten”, which featured seniors Jackie Saindon, Megan Bergin, and Caitlin Hedrick.

Closing out the evening, the world-renowned Alvirne Stage Band rocked the house, wailing with Count Basie’s “Blues in Hoss Flat”, and a fine performance of Duke Ellington’s “In a Mellow Tone”.  Band Director Gerry Bastien closed out the night by allowing a young member of the audience to choose from five possible numbers, the Stage Band not knowing in advance what they’d play.  The piece chosen was the venerable Glenn Miller tune and crowd favorite, “In the Mood”, which the band swung like it was 1939.

The spring concert, as always, was made even more moving by the fact that this represented the last opportunity for Alvirne senior musicians to perform with their various ensembles.  It was an opportunity for the seniors to express their appreciation to their teachers Mr. Bastien and choral director Ms. Elizabeth Beaton with words, flowers, and other tokens of their gratitude.  Tears were shed, both on stage, and in truth, in the audience, as another class of fine Alvirne musicians moved forth into the world. 

B Naturals

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Litchfield Mowing Contract Awarded

by Lynne Ober

Litchfield Board of Selectmen solicited bids for mowing and pavement upkeep of town hall, the cemetery, fire station, former town hall/meeting house and the library and awarded the contract to The Shrub Guy.

Six bids were received.  Three were for the same amount,  $275 per cut for all locations.  Of the three bids, only two were discussed.

One of the bids was from an organic gardening company described as  “Yard Spice Organics LLC New England’s Natural Organic Land Care Company Yard Spice Organics LLC was formed in 2001 when its founder concluded a college research project, that determined the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides were affecting our health and contaminating our environment.”  Selectman Al Raccio spoke in favor of the organic concept and noted that he liked having no poisons applied on town land.  He also said he liked the concept of mulching to keep down weeds and use of organic fertilizers.

The Shrub Guy, also one of the three low bidders, has more than 40 years’ experience in landscaping and said additional educational courses are taken every year to stay current.  According to its Website, the company is part of Taxus Capitata Landscaping and Shrub Planting Co.  If the town decides to have it plant new shrubs or trees, it will receive a three-year guarantee on the shrub or tree.

Both bidders also offered optional services, such as spring and fall cleanup, and included prices for these in their bids.

Selectman Andrew Santom moved to award the contract to The Shrub Guy.  With little additional discussion about the three low bids, selectmen unanimously approved the contract.

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HFD Building Committee Members Appointed

by Gina M. Votour

The town’s advertisement seeking two citizen representatives for the Central Fire Station Building Committee yielded three applicants. 

Retired Lowell Fire Chief Andrew J. LaCourse of Leaor Circle was among the applicants interviewed at the June 10 Board of Selectmen meeting. 

“I have a lot of experience in the fire service, limited experience in construction,” stated LaCourse.  Although he has never participated in the full building of a new fire station, he explained that he wrote grants for studies on the issue.  When asked by Selectman Shawn Jasper if he was aware of maintenance issues and space requirements, LaCourse replied “absolutely.”

Another applicant was Lionel R. Boucher, a retired general contractor, land developer, and road builder with over 40 years of experience who also formerly held several political and government positions.  Among his many accomplishments, Boucher cited that he built the East Derry Fire Station and designed one of that area’s first hose-drying towers.

“I do believe it is time we build a central station,” stated Boucher.  He went on to say that his main concerns are location and structure.  He declared that a station needs to be absolutely functional while being built to the recommendations of the fire department. 

Todd Graham, a construction manager at Sousa Realty and Development of Hudson applied “to offer construction knowledge and input, both to site and building.”  Graham was unable to attend the meeting due to a prior commitment but had previously expressed his desire to meet the board for an interview in the near future. 

Selectman Ken Massey expressed concern that waiting to do further interviews could consume valuable time however, since the building committee would need to report their findings by September 15.

“I think we’ve got three qualified people who bring different areas of expertise here,” added Selectman Shawn Jasper.  “I see no reason not to expand the committee by one and to appoint all three of these gentlemen to the committee,” he concluded.

A subsequent motion to appoint LaCourse, Boucher, and Graham as the three citizen representatives for the committee passed with a vote of 4 - 1.  Selectman Vice Chairman Richard Maddox remained against the building construction for several reasons and was therefore the lone dissenter. 

The building committee also consists of Fire Chief Shawn Murray and Deputy Fire Chief Robert Buxton.  Stephen Nute serves as the Budget Committee Representative, with Ted Luszey as the alternate.  Selectman Jasper was previously appointed as the committee’s board representative. 

As reported earlier, the findings of this committee will give a general idea of what it would take to build a new fire station.  The committee is expected to provide a square footage estimate and a proposed land parcel.  A Request for Proposal (RFP) will also contain a schematic design for the building itself.

At this point, there is no definite commitment to go forward with the building construction.  However, after the September 15 deadline, the next step could possibly involve creating a warrant article to hire an architectural firm.  If hired, the firm would then fully develop all areas of the RFP.  Another warrant article would then be needed to actually proceed with the building construction. 

Warrant articles will not appear this year however, according to Selectman Jasper, since the town is looking more toward a three-year plan for the project. 

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