November 03. 2013 8:55PM

Scene in Manchester: Dressing for success (and to help save lives)

Having a large group of people dress in the same theme or color seems to be the trend in celebrating causes. Several weeks ago I was lucky to sit in a sea of women wearing pink at the very fun and successful Enchanting Beauty Women's Expo, which raised money for Families in Transition.

Last week, my Webster School first-grader joined his schoolmates in dressing in a different theme each morning to bring attention to the dangers of substance abuse as part of the national Red Ribbon Week. My favorite was "dress for success" day because I got my kid to wear a blazer to school (which I am pretty sure he shoved in the bottom of his backpack as soon as he walked in the door.)

I have put a reminder in my phone that tomorrow, I must dig a red garment from my clean laundry basket to help bring awareness to heart disease and stroke in women at the American Heart Association's Go Red for Women Luncheon. I would hate to be that one person out of 350 expected attendees who mistakenly wears green, especially since I will have the opportunity to commemorate the event with a photo taken in front of the "Point, Pic & Post" social media check-in banner (sponsored by the New Hampshire Union Leader, of course).

This annual event is a wonderful networking opportunity, and also an important cause. Heart disease is the number-one killer of women and stroke is the fourth leading cause of death in Americans.

But those statistics don't hit home like the personal stories of local lives changed by heart disease. Event Chairman Mike L'Ecuyer, of Bellwether Community Credit Union is involved because he lost a sister to heart disease. Emcee Heather Bishop will share how she greatly reduced her own chances of heart disease and stroke. Her participation in the BetterU, 12-week heart healthy makeover helped transform the WZID afternoon DJ into a lean, mean running machine and shadow of her former self.

In addition to a heart-healthy meal and a tiny piece of dark chocolate cake for dessert (Communications Director Audra Burns says every woman deserves a little chocolate treat) the Go Red for Women luncheon includes a silent auction, vendor tables, and educational breakout sessions about stroke, congestive heart failure and hands-only CPR training.

It all begins at 10 a.m., with lunch at noon, at the Radisson, and it's not too late to grab the last available tickets by calling the American Heart Association office at 669-5833.

Meet McConkey

I am giving away a pair of tickets to see a documentary about skier Shane McConkey, to be screened at Portsmouth's Music Hall on Friday, the 15th. "McConkey" is described by producers as, "a heartfelt examination of the legacy he left to the progression of his sports, and the path he paved to conquer his dreams."

McConkey, known for dangerous free-skiing and ski-BASE jumping, died during a stunt in 2009, leaving behind a wife and young daughter. Much of his life and ski adventures were filmed, and from clips I have seen of McConkey's stunts, I am surprised he lived to see his 39th birthday.

Filmmakers said they did not set out to explain why McConkey took the risks he did, but rather share some understanding of McConkey's passion for living life to the fullest, on his own terms.

You can win the tickets by sending me an email with your contact information sometime before Thursday, Nov. 7, at midnight. I will draw a winner at random.

To purchase tickets for the screening, visit

Ski and board safely

Even though most of us do not take Shane McConkey-level risks on the slopes, skiers and boarders of all ages are at risk for injury, even at Mighty Mac. Former professional snowboarder Kevin Pearce will be in Manchester on Wednesday, sharing just how dangerous his sport can be.

In 2009, while training for the Olympics, Pearce suffered a traumatic brain injury while performing a new trick. In one interview I saw, Pearce said his helmet didn't save his brain from injury, but it did save his life.

On Wednesday, the Vermont native and Hanover High School graduate will be the keynote speaker at The Moore Center's Annual Celebration at 5 p.m. at Brady Sullivan Plaza.

Pearce's story of recovery and "love your brain" message is perfect for supporters of The Moore Center, which has served people with intellectual, developmental and personal challenges for more than 50 years.

Tickets for Wednesday's event are $50 and can be purchased at or by calling 206-2722.

NH365.ORG Event of the Week

The SEE Science Center is always fun for kids with their grown-ups, but Tuesday the nonprofit is teaming up with The Shaskeen Pub on Elm Street for the first in a series of monthly grown-ups-only science cafés.

The first Science on Tap event is called "What's on the menu? Understanding the labels behind 'sustainable seafood'." Presenters include marine scientists and commercial fisheries specialists who will help the audience understand what "sustainable" and "local" labels mean and more about fishing method innovations.

Doors will open at 5:30 p.m., and the pub will donate a percentage of food and beverage sales to the SEE Science Center. Science on Tap is free, but you can let organizers know you plan to attend through a link at


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