NH's First Lady Valerie Sununu and the board of FOBH lead former first families, including former Governors Lynch, Sununu, and Hassan with activities and tours at the first annual Membership Picnic. The picnic was designed to showcase the renovated property for current members and to encourage new members to join the non-profit Friends of Bridges House. We had lots of exciting things at the picnic, from baggo to basketball, and great food and conversation with new and old friends. Governor Sununu even had his face painted at the event too!
The board of FOBH was honored to have James Wright reading from and discussing his newest release Enduring Vietnam: An American Generation and Its War. James Wright is an incredible historian, former college president, advocate, and also served his country as a Marine. He entertained questions from the guests, and after, he had great personal conversations with the guests and signed books. The Friends of Bridges House board sponsored over 50 veterans (many of them Vietnam Veterans) to attend the event and provided lunch for them. All proceeds collected before and during the event were given back to our NH-based Vietnam Veterans. A check for $2,500 from the donations received from the James Wright author event (donations were from the board members of FOBH and attendees) given to an NH-based Vietnam Veteran initiative coordinated through Paul & Cathie Chevalier and the VFW Auxiliary. Our check helped them reach their goal to take 10 Vietnam Veterans to D.C. to visit the wall (Vietnam Veterans Memorial.)
Paul and Cathy Chevalier with the Governor and First Lady at the Veterans Luncheon
First Lady Sununu hosts Shaker Road School 7th and 8th grade students in a tour of The Bridges Houses. She gave lessons on NH History and some living NH History, engaged in group discussions regarding NH Government, in addition to history of The Bridges House property. Students had a civics lesson and even wrote letters to their representatives! Governor Sununu made a surprise visit too!
Students from Shaker Road School with Governor Sununu and the First Lady
NH's First Lady Valerie Sununu along with the help from the staff of FOBH hosted all the wonderful, life-changing, highly skilled, and near-peer City Year NH AmeriCorps members. Hosting them for lunch at The Bridges House was a way to say thank you for their challenging, yet rewarding commitment to help students at 8 elementary schools in the city of Manchester (Bakersville, Beech Street, Gossler Park, Henry Wilson, McDonough, Parker-Varney, Hallsville and Northwest Elementary) reach his or her potential. In high-poverty communities there are external factors and obstacles students are faced with every day that can interfere with their ability to get to school ready to learn. AmeriCorps members are there for these children; their roles are designed to help students build the social-emotional and academic skills to achieve their goals.
Members of City Year meet with First Lady Valerie Sununu
NH's First Lady Valerie Sununu along with the help from the staff of FOBH hosted a beautiful afternoon of friendship and community for Mom's with children that have IDD (intellectual and developmental disabilities.) The afternoon filled with great food and conversation was a way to give these Moms a lovely relaxing afternoon. But moreover, it was a get-together to say thank you to the moms who are the champions for their sons and daughters who are beyond special to them and their families.
Members of NH Best Buddies Moms with First Lady Valerie Sununu
The staff of FOBH opened up the house to the near and dear NH Granite State Ambassadors (GSA) team (and soon to be GSA volunteers!) We hosted their large class at the house for two days of training and provided the group breakfast, lunch, and snacks. NH Granite State Ambassadors have been volunteering at The Bridges House during various events for almost two years. They are a phenomenal gift to the state and know an incredible amount of knowledge about New Hampshire. There are over 1,740 NHGSA certified industry friends and volunteers. About 340 are actively volunteering at any time in NH!
Bridges House, Granite State Ambassadors, Class of 2018
NH's First Lady Valerie Sununu (and FOBH board members) in partnership with Project Green Schools created The Bridges House Youth Sustainability Council (BHYSC.) The goal of this council is to bring together environmentally-conscious and "green-minded" middle and high school students from across the Granite State to participate in the council. Students and essential members of our NH community met for two meetings in 2018 as well as took part in our Green Expo. First Lady Sununu; Robin Organ of Project Green Schools; FOBH board members, wonderful NH students, administrators, educators, business leaders; and others gathered at The Bridges House to network and created a platform for access and resources in greening-up their schools and communities. The Youth Council will serve as an auditing body to make sure The Bridges House is setting an impeccable example for sustainable events and home management. We believe that the path toward a greener and more sustainable future is through community-driven projects. We are excited to provide support and potential funding for these student initiatives because we know they will be our future leaders and entrepreneurs. We know they can impact peers, as well as their community. The Youth Council will have opportunities to discuss their concerns about the environment with the leaders of government and business in their state.
Members of the Sustainability Council with First Lady Valerie Sununu
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