Katie McQuaid's Scene in Manchester: We all enjoy a breath of Fresh Air
Last summer I met a boy from the Bronx who was staying in Manchester for two weeks as part of the Fresh Air Fund. The non-profit program provides children from low-income communities in New York City with a free summer experience in the country. To us, Manchester may be the big city. But to Teddy, who spends most summer days inside an apartment while his mom works, we may as well be the White Mountains National Forest.
If there is one thing host family Mark and Kay Mulcahy want people to know, it is that they didn't give Teddy nearly as much as Teddy gave them and their four children.
"He had such an effect on us, he's coming back for a month," Mark Mulcahy said.
Last year, Teddy was one of only 10 children to come to Manchester on the annual Fresh Air Fund bus from New York. This year, the Mulcahys are hoping to rally enough host families to allow several busloads of children to make their way to the Queen City for a trip lasting July 1-15.
Mark Mulcahy said he recently sent information about his family's life-changing experience with the Fresh Air Fund to his team of 200 real estate agents at Keller Williams Metropolitan. Now 35 families have expressed interest in learning more. But they are still hoping for others.
Two local Fresh Air Fund volunteers, Linda Pomeroy of Bedford and Deb Heath-Rogers of Peterborough, will hold an informational session for anyone who wants to learn about the program at the Keller Williams Metropolitan office at 168 South River Road in Bedford Tuesday at 3:30 p.m.
Pomeroy and her husband, Kirk, began hosting Christopher from the Bronx in 2006 when he was 7 years old. Heath-Rogers and her husband, Paul, have been hosting Kloe from Harlem since 2003 when she was 8. Heath-Rogers said she believes her children are far more accepting and tolerant of people of different ethnicities and backgrounds because of their annual visit from Kloe.
If you cannot attend the informational session, and want to learn more, email Mark Mulcahy at email@example.com or visit www.freshair.org.
Helping kids from here
Lindsay Shearer, whom I met in her former life as a director of public relations at Cigna, is now retired and volunteers her time at the Massabesic Audubon Center's 4-H Teaching Garden. She helps teach about gardening, healthy eating, nutrition and the environment to youth from the Nashua Salvation Army summer program and the Massabesic Audubon Camp Wildside.
More garden docents are needed, Shearer said. A five-week training program starts Wednesday from 9 a.m. until noon.
There are also garden crew member positions. These volunteers help tend the gardens, including preparing the garden beds, some planting, staking and weeding.
In the fall, there is a tremendous need for people to help harvest. Last year's group donated more than 3,000 pounds of food to the New Hampshire Food Bank. There could have been more, Shearer said, but they didn't have enough hands to successfully pick it all.
Experience in working with young people and gardening is helpful, but not necessary.
If you are interested, contact garden manager Carol Martin-Ward at firstname.lastname@example.org or 315-0334.
Chocolate for grown-ups
I don't know how I have been missing it all these months, but I just recently noticed the Dancing Lion Chocolate storefront at 917 Elm St. I was shocked to find out Master Chocolatier Richard Tango-Lowy has been making and selling his chocolate works of art there since last year.
I was mesmerized by the online photographs of Tango-Lowy's painted chocolate Easter eggs, so I popped into his shop to see them just before Easter. The eggs and their price were far too extravagant to purchase for my children, but I did buy a bar of cayenne-spiced chocolate to share with my husband. We gobbled it up before Easter even arrived.
Tango-Lowy has been working with chocolate for 15 years, studying at ecole chocolat in Vancouver and at Ecole du Grand Chocolat Valrhona in France. I look forward to visiting again to try his truffles and some drinking chocolate.
Tango-Lowy shares what he knows through classes at Dancing Lion Chocolate and at other businesses in the area. This Thursday's Crafting a True Truffle already has a waiting list. But you can visit www.dancinglionchocolate.com to learn about future classes.
And I didn't forget my children's Easter chocolate. Granite State Candy across the street, which has the feel of Willy Wonka's chocolate factory, had just the chocolate bunnies they and my wallet could appreciate.
Free ice cream
Tuesday is Free Ice Cream Cone Day at Ben & Jerry's. Enjoy.
It's hard to describe Tomas Kubinek. He's sort of a clown, but not really. All I can say is he is hilarious and will be performing at the Dana Center at Saint Anselm College on Friday. When I saw him perform there years ago, there was a lot of audience interaction. I'm not sure how he did it, but I remember him flying around the stage at the end. It's definitely a family-friendly event. Tickets are $32.50 with discounts for students and seniors. For more information on this and many other fun things to do this week, visit www.NH365.org.
If you have an interesting item for Scene in Manchester, write to Scene@UnionLeader.com