Halloween Bash Charity Event

by Robyn Hatch


John Conley, Caron Renick, Carol Alicia and Dan Leone (“The Main Event Planners”)

The Granite State South Board of Realtors and Affiliates Committee presented a Halloween Bash and Costume Party charity event at Atkinson Country Club, with proceeds to benefit the Dream Factory.  There was a silent auction, a live auction, prizes, and dancing with Main Event Entertainment.  There was also a cash bar and appetizers.  Action services were donated by Martin Associates.

The Dream Factory is a volunteer-based, not-for-profit organization devoted to granting the dreams of critically and chronically ill children aged 3 through 18.  Founded in 1980 in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, it has become the second largest wish-granting organization in the United States with over 30 chapters.  The local chapters are run entirely by over 5,000 dedicated volunteers who have helped fulfill the dreams of more than 25,000 children since 1980.

 The Dream Factory differs from other wish-granting organization in three distinct ways:

  1. The Dream Factory is the only children's wish-granting organization that grants dreams to children with chronic illness as well as life-threatening illness.  They believe that children with a chronic illness should also be given a reprieve from their constant struggle with medical problems.  They strive to provide happiness, inspiration and hope for children and their families so they may have a little extra strength to face the difficult and emotional times ahead.
  2. The Dream Factory is an all-volunteer organization on the chapter level with a small staff at the national headquarters in Louisville, Kentucky.  This allows for very low overhead and keeps The Dream Factory to dedicate more than 80 percent of all funds raised to the direct expense of granting dreams.
  3. The dedicated volunteers raise money in their own communities and use those funds to grant the dreams of local children.  Because of this grassroots approach to fundraising, 94 percent of all funds raised remains in the community of origin to grant dreams to local children.

Having a dream come true for a seriously ill child provides hope and inspiration for the difficult and uncertain days and years that may lie ahead.

A special thanks to this organization for their unselfish caring and giving!  May there by many more organizations like The Dream Factory!


Andrea Rose and Sheila Coginire

Ladies Night for Cancer Awareness

by Gloria Sullivan


Michelle Bushey (Bouche Design) and Amy Merrick (event organizer)

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month.  The National Breast Cancer Foundation website states that women in the United States get breast cancer more than any other type of cancer, except for skin cancer.  It is second only to lung cancer as a cause of cancer death in women.  Each year it is estimated that nearly 200,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer and more than 40,000 will die.  Approximately 1,700 men will also be diagnosed with breast cancer and 450 will die each year.

 Amy Merrick of Plaistow organized a way to raise awareness for breast cancer and help the Fisk School PTA raise funds simultaneously.  The evening of October 21 at Black Water Grille in Salem provided a perfect opportunity to combine a fundraiser with a night of shopping and socializing that would benefit many.  The Black Water Grill was transformed from a casually-contemporary restaurant into a unique setting for women to spend a night out with friends.  Local artisans and vendors were invited to set up tables and sell their merchandise.  Shoppers purchased raffle tickets at each booth to win prizes that were donated by the vendors and the funds were donated to the causes of the evening.

“It’s our third annual ladies’ night, and it gets bigger every year,” Merrick stated.  “I think cancer touches everybody.  It’s an event  everybody likes to rally for,” she added.

Restaurant owner Christian Breen closed his restaurant for dinner to host this popular event.  While he spent most of the evening in the kitchen concocting endless complimentary appetizers, he was really happy to host a house full of ladies.  He enjoys helping the vendors, many of whom are stay-at-home moms who have become entrepreneurs, get exposure.

Cancer survivors Maureen Freeman and Lisa DiConstanza, both of Windham, sat at a long table enjoying food and drinks, surrounded by many friends.

“This is our second year.  We have a lot of fun,” Freeman said.  “We really have great friends and support,” she added.

Breast cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the breast.  It is considered a heterogeneous disease — differing by individual, age group, and even the kinds of cells within the tumors themselves.  Obviously no woman wants to receive this diagnosis, but hearing the words “breast cancer” doesn’t always mean an end.  It can be the beginning of learning how to fight, getting the facts, and finding hope.


Cancer survivors Lisa DiConstanza (second from left) and Maureen Freeman (second from right) sit among their friends.

Salemhaven Holds Luncheon

by Robyn Hatch


In between work, Emma and Grace Jodrey sitting with their grandfather

Salemhaven was pleased to hold a special Chinese luncheon for their residents and staff.  A local chinese restaurant supplied all the goodies, and the American Legion Post 63 and their Women's Auxillary served the

food on plates.  Smiles and amazement was shown everywhere, especially when Stephanie Micklon's two grand-daughters served fortune cookies to everyone, even if they already had one.  There are many veterans at

Salemhaven, and the American Legion and Ladies Auxillary thought this was a kind way to shown thanks.  Thank you Salemhaven, Veterans and American Legion Post/Ladies Auxillary for never forgetting our elderly and veterans!


Paul Monty and his friend, John Rose


Getting the food in the plates to serve the residents

Ryanne Darwich Rides to School in Fire Truck

by Robyn Hatch

What a surprise for Ryanne Darwich when she found out she had won the school pick-up and ride to class by the Salem New Hampshire Fire Department.  Little did she know that when she went to the Open House at the fire station a few weeks prior, she would come out a winner!  On an early school morning, the fire department picked up her and her sister Zana to deliver to Soule School, while her friends from Miss McNeils class stood outside to watch her arrival.  She was almost lost inside the truck being so tiny, but she was able to arrive giving a noble wave to the crowd.  After mom took photos, a special thanks was acknowledged to firemen, Lt. Tom Tetreault and Nat Breton.  Thanks for making a dream come true for a little girl that only sees the fire truck as being a huge vehicle at the station!


Ryanne Darwich, full of excitement

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