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Aidan Lamothe, 5, of Manchester, asked for food donations instead of presents at his birthday party. He will throw out the first pitch at Saturday's Fisher Cats game due to his efforts. (Courtesy)

Birthday boy

5-year-old leads way on feeding the hungry

MANCHESTER — All Aidan Lamothe wanted for his fifth birthday was to do his part to ensure no one goes hungry. He succeeded in giving strangers a decent meal, and earning a trip to a pitcher's mound in the process.

On Saturday, Lamothe, of Manchester, will have the chance to do what many boys his age only dream about: throw out the first pitch at Delta Dental Stadium at a New Hampshire Fisher Cats baseball game. Lamothe will be honored as a Bellwether Community Champion this weekend for his support of the Capital Region Food Program. The award is presented to individuals who have made a positive impact on the lives of others and their community.

"I always wanted to play on a baseball team," said Lamothe. "I hope they win."

"He is very excited for Saturday," said his mother, Jill Teeters. "He and his dad have been out in the yard practicing. He's played soccer, but hasn't really tried baseball. I think he's ready though — his dad said he was throwing hard."

Teeters said that each year on his birthday Aidan tries to give back to others in some way.

"When he turned two, we asked that friends give some gently-used or new toys that we donated to local social services agencies," said Teeters. "That lasted for his second, third and fourth birthdays."

When he turned 5, Aidan asked his friends to donate tuna fish and peanut butter at his party to help the Capital Region Food Program (CRFP). He collected four boxes of food, and presented his donations in person to the agencies they support. Jill is a volunteer with the CRFP, and encouraged him to do something to help others as part of his birthday celebration.

"He came with me to one of our distribution days, and saw first-hand that there are people who can't afford to buy healthy food," said Teeters. "I think it really made an impression on him. He's only 5 1/2, but he gets it."

As part of the Year-Round Distribution Project, the CRFP purchases and donates non-perishable items such as canned fruit and vegetables, peanut butter, breakfast cereal, pasta, and soups eleven times annually to over 30 local agencies, at no cost. Every dollar donated to the organization buys food.

The CRFP services 18 communities in New Hampshire: Allenstown, Boscawen, Bow, Canterbury, Chichester, Concord, Contoocook, Dunbarton, Epsom, Hopkinton, Loudon, Pembroke, Penacook, Pittsfield, Salisbury, Suncook, Warner, and Webster.


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