Dennis Levesque (Humanitarian Award recipient) and Brenda Gora (wife of transplant recipient Russ Gora)
Hudson VFW Post 5791 held its annual Loyalty Day Dinner and Awards ceremony on May 1.
The program began with the posting of colors by members of the post color guard, the invocation by Ladies Auxiliary Chaplain Linda Avard, and the Pledge of Allegiance led by Post Commander Mike Dustin.
The Hudson Fire Department Award was presented to Ed Shiebler, who was cited for his many years of service to the department, first as a firefighter and later as a very active volunteer.
Officer Patrick Broderick received the Hudson Police Department Award and was recognized for his excellent police work in a case that began with a motor vehicle stop and culminated with the arrest of individuals responsible for a number of counterfeit bills that had been passed in New Hampshire.
Jennifer Riel received the Town of Hudson Employee Award for her outstanding work in the Water Department, especially her ability to work with delinquent accounts and arrange payment plans.
Athletic Director Karen Bonney received the Alvirne High School Award. Her resume included many examples of her dedication to her students and her enthusiasm for her chosen field.
Dolores Barry from Hills Garrison School was named recipient of the Hudson Elementary School Award. Unfortunately, a family emergency prevented her from being present to accept the award. Also unable to attend was Linda Linscott, the Hudson Middle School awardee. Both will be presented their awards at a later date.
Bob Rosentel received the VFW Service Award and was cited for his work as Hospital Chairman.
And on the House Committee, the Ladies Auxiliary Service Award was presented to Marilyn Miller, who has been doing “double duty” representing President Brenda Gora at many functions over the past few months.
A special Humanitarian Award was also made during the ceremony. We often hear or read about “acts of heroism.” A firefighter enters a burning building to rescue a person overcome by smoke and fumes - a police officer steps between a drunken knife-wielding assailant and his intended victim - a medic rushes onto a battlefield to tend to a wounded soldier. All are acts of heroism involving the saving of a human life at considerable risk to one’s own safety and comfort. There is another less dramatic act of heroism involving the same elements - the saving of a human life at the risk of one’s safety and comfort, and that is the decision to become a live organ donor to a person in desperate need. We here at Post 5791 have recently witnessed this act of heroism. Our Post Quartermaster Russ Gora’s health has been declining for some time due to a diseased liver. Although he was on the waiting list for a transplant from a deceased person, none had become available and time was running out. At that point, our Men’s Auxiliary President Dennis Levesque stepped forward and began the testing process. It was determined that he would be a good match and Dennis agreed to go through the risky and painful process of donating 60 percent of his liver to Russ. In the next year, if all goes well, what remains of his liver will regenerate to 100 percent function and the portion transplanted in Russ will do the same. Tonight we recognize this act of heroism on Dennis’s part with a special humanitarian award and, along with the Gora family, thank him for all that he has done.
The program concluded with remarks by Board of Selectmen Chairman Roger Coutu and the singing of God Bless America led by Linda Avard.
Commander Mike Dustin and Office Patrick Broderick
Commander Mike Dustin and Jennifer Riel (Hudson Water Department)
Commander Mike Dustin and Karen Bonney (Alvirne High School Athletic Director)
Commander Mike Dustin and Ed Shiebler (Hudson Fire Department)
Roger Coutu, Community Citizen of the Year; Beth Cardorette, Teacher of the Year; Helen Cheyne, Firefighter of the Year; and Jana McMillan, Police Officer of the year.
The Grange is a family fraternal organization, dedicated to the betterment of rural America through community service, education, legislation and fellowship.
On April 28 members of Hudson Grange No.11 observed Community Recognition Night to honor outstanding citizens who have made a difference in someone's life or in the community.
Following the salute to the flag led by Claire Gagnon, the Reverend David Howe delivered an inspirational invocation. Master Jerry Leclerc then welcomed and thanked all those present who joined us in honoring our community citizens who have gone above and beyond the call of duty.
Pat Bailey, Flora of Hudson Grange, served as master of ceremony and gave a brief history of the Grange and our community involvement.
The Police Award went to Jana McMcMillan, the Animal Control Office (ACO) at the Hudson Police Department. Lady Assistant Steward, Sarah Leclerc presented her with this award and explained the reason for her nomination. On October 27, 2008 ACO McMillan distinguished herself by responding to a Hudson residence to check on the homeowner. She located the elderly lady but knew something was not right by the way the victim's dog was acting. It appeared the lady had suffered a stroke and ACO McMillan immediately began first aid and cared for her until the Fire Department arrived. Her compassion shows how she conducts her job.
The Firefighter Award went to Helen Cheyne. Treasurer Rick Bailey presented her this award after reading the recommendations that earned her this honor. Helen's primary responsibility as Administrative Aide is working with the Fire Prevention Division and is always looking to find new ways to make the Fire Department more successful and efficient. Helen's willingness to put her best effort forward was seen during the Ice Storm this last December. She assisted in staffing the Town sponsored shelter. She also helps with the Police Blood Drives, at Old Home Days and several other civic areas the department is involved in.
The Teacher Award went to Beth Cadorette. Steward Rachel Bailey presented this award to a deserving teacher at the Nottingham West Elementary School. Beth is teaching at the first grade level and includes a nurturing environment for the cognitive, emotional and social well being of her students. She finds ways to make the curriculum fun and interesting. She is the kind of teacher that creates a love of learning for the young minds. Beth is pursuing a degree in Educational Administration to attain and remain at the top of her career.
The Community Citizen Award went to Roger Coutu. Overseer Bob Haefner presented him this certificate and a gift. We chose Roger for two efforts he accomplished during his first year in office as one of our selectmen. First, for completing the purchase of the former Benson's Animal Park property. This project had been ongoing for years and Roger tackled it as a task to be resolved. Second, he was instrumental in getting the Seniors and the Recreation Department to work together to do the right thing for the Hudson Senior population and its young folks. Roger has had many jobs and done lots of volunteer work and is now settling in as owner of the Roger's State Line Store on Dracut Road.
Other dignitaries in attendance were the Reverend David Howe, chaplain for the Fire and Police departments, Fire Chief Shawn Murray, Deputy Fire Chief Robert Buxton, Police Chief Jason Lavoie and Jane Heath the NH State Grange Home Ec Co-Chairmen.
The door prize went to Dean Sulin. Socializing followed with light refreshments.
Hudson Grange is proud to honor all these deserving citizens that help to make our community a better one. Join us in congratulating them the next time you see them.
We invite anyone interested in joining Hudson Grange to contact our Master Jerry Leclerc at 882-8602 or Overseer Bob Haefner at 889-1553.
Several appointments were made to Hudson boards and committees during the April 14 and April 28 Board of Selectmen meetings.
Through a unanimous vote taken during the April 14 meeting, Stuart Schneiderman was selected to fill the single vacant alternate slot on the Nashua Regional Planning Commission (NRPC). An accountant who has resided in Hudson for over four years, Schneiderman is also a member of the Planning Board and part of the Hudson Democratic Town Committee.
“I’d like to see Hudson, my neighbors, all of us, get our fair share of development,” stated Schneiderman, citing preferences such as the return of the rail to south Nashua.
On April 28, Ron Routhier was appointed to the single vacant alternate seat on the Conservation Commission with a term to expire on 12/31/09. A Hudson resident since 1992, Routhier explained to the board that he became interested in the Conservation Commission after speaking with a commission member during a previous town event.
Three applicants surfaced for the two vacant member seats on the Recycling Committee — Lisa Elliot, David Reidt, and Peter Beaupre.
Elliot is a 15-year Hudson resident whose children are involved in baseball and other town activities. Describing herself as “an avid recycler,” Elliot mentioned better ways to communicate recycling messages, such as through banners at ball fields, newspaper advertising, and more Website visibility.
Reidt is the evening manager at Hannaford in Hudson, who revealed his desire to “give back something of my time to the town.”
Beaupre, who could not attend the selectmen meetings due to a scheduling conflict, was interviewed on a previous occasion by Selectmen Ben Nadeau and Shawn Jasper.
Based upon a special suggestion stemming from Selectman Nadeau, all three applicants were appointed to the Recycling Committee. “This is the first time that we’ve had this many candidates for the Recycling Committee. All three of these applicants are very excited about recycling,” Nadeau explained.
Elliot and Beaupre will therefore fill the available member seats with terms to expire on 12/31/09 and 12/31/10 respectively, while Reidt will take on a newly created committee alternate position with a term to expire on 12/31/09.
An alternate seat with a term to expire on 12/31/11 remains vacant within the Zoning Board of Adjustment, and the Cable Utility Committee has two vacant member seats with terms to expire on 12/31/09 and 12/31/10.
Those interested in applying for these and any future vacancies may do so at any time. Application forms can be found online at http://www.ci.hudson.nh.us and are also available at the selectmen’s office in Town Hall.
Eagle Scout Matt Preston of Troop 20 at his Court of Honor
Sometimes a major undertaking can be derailed by the smallest things. In the case of Matt Preston’s Eagle Project, it was mosquitoes.
During the month of October, their buzz vied with that of saws and punctuated with “Slap! Got one!” in Assistant Scoutmaster Joe Undercofler’s workshop, but nothing stopped Matt or more than a dozen Scouts who showed up to assist him in completing his project. Working every weekend and several weeknights, the team constructed three storage benches for the Behavior Health Unit at Southern New Hampshire Medical Center. The Unit wished to begin a gardening program for patients, and Matt’s boxes are an integral part of this program. The boxes are constructed of weather-resistant Hardi-Board, and their design allows gardening tools to be stored within, while the closed lid is a comfortable seat. While the idea was simple, the process of constructing them wasn’t.
“The road to Eagle is not a short trip,” says Assistant Scoutmaster Joe Undercofler. “This was essentially a management project and Matt was the contractor. The benches were a consequence.”
According to Matt, paperwork was the hardest part. “I had to keep re-doing it. Council wanted it detailed, and I’m not a detail guy.” But Matt persevered. He completed paperwork and got his approval for the project, and then it was time to start. His dad, John, said, “They expected him to be a contractor and know how to do it. He didn’t.” But there was help. Assistant Scoutmasters Paul Hamilton and Joe Undercofler had carpentry experience and tools, and were able to guide Matt into the leadership role he needed to assume to complete the project. And when work began, younger Scouts from Troop 20 showed up, as they always do, to help. According to Matt, “Some kids showed up every weekend. That’s some dedication.”
Of course, there were roadblocks. They had to re-design some things on the fly, change the hardware, adjust the design of the bench lids. Matt said he felt like quitting sometimes but did not because, “ … my parents would have killed me, and because it’s something I wanted to achieve since starting Scouts, and having come that close I wasn’t about to give up.”
“One of the most amazing things about the Eagle Project was that Matt learned it is a process,” says Deb Preston. Paul Hamilton adds, “It’s about leadership and a transition to adulthood. That’s the biggest thing an Eagle can take away from his project.”
Everyone agreed that the best day was the one when the benches were delivered to Southern New Hampshire Medical Center. Deb Preston said, “Hospital workers came out to say thank you, and they made a sign with pictures of the Project saying ‘Thank you, Matt’.” Snacks were offered by hospital staff, which the boys happily devoured. Southern New Hampshire Medical Center Behavior Health Director Donna Lee Elliot McCabe personally thanked Matt for his hard work.
At his Eagle Court of Honor on Sunday, April 26, Matt honored Assistant Scoutmasters Paul Hamilton and Joe Undercofler in his speech, and offered a bouquet to each of their wives “for giving up all those weekends with your family.” Hamilton said, “It’s rewarding to work with the guys, and there’s a reason we all do this. It’s about mentoring.”
As an Eagle Scout, Matt plans to continue working with Troop 20 as an Assistant Scoutmaster and teach a couple of merit badges. Ultimately, he hopes to be an advisor for someone else’s Eagle Project.
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