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Scene in Manchester: I went to a Garden Party ...

New Hampshire Union Leader

June 30. 2013 9:34PM

Last Thursday I attended my first-ever Garden Party to benefit the Moore Center. I am pretty sure most of Manchester was there for the 13th annual soiree, which made me realize I have missed some really great parties over the last 12 years.

I was invited by my friend Ruth Ansell and her colleague Alyssa Graham from Ansell & Anderson, PA. The trust and estate attorney's office was one of many sponsors of this tremendous networking event.

Among those in attendance were Lisa Landry and Pam Wilbur of Savvy Workshop, and the boys of Elm Grove PropertiesDave Schleyer, Newton Kershaw and Mark Roy.

I also got to catch up with several old friends from Dartmouth-Hitchcock, including Jodi Stewart and Mary Ann Aldrich, and I finally got to match a face to the name Linette Handschumaker, a board member of the YWCA. Arthur Sullivan, who sits on the Moore Center's board, hosted the early evening event on the front lawn of Brady Sullivan Tower, and I couldn't walk two feet through the large tent without bumping into someone I know or have wanted to meet.

We were all there to support the Moore Center, a very important non-profit in our city that provides an array of important services for our neighbors with intellectual and developmental disabilities and acquired brain disorder

So many people appreciate the work of the Moore Center that it brings people from all political affiliations together. Mayor Ted Gatsas, a Republican, was the honorary chair for the event that honored the good works of former Democratic Governor John Lynch and Dr. Susan Lynch.

I have never had the honor of meeting Dr. Lynch, but I have always been impressed with the way her husband can put political differences aside to find common ground in a political situation or just support a good cause. During his four terms, I lost track of the number of times he came out to support a Union Leader event just days after this newspaper published an unflattering editorial about him. And he continues to support Union Leader events today.

The governor is as genuine as they come, and the amazing turnout of people there to honor him and Dr. Lynch indicates that I am not the first one to recognize this. I am sure next year's Moore Center Garden Party will have equally deserving honorees, and it's a party I will not miss.

Rethinking registries

Registering for gifts at a big box store is one of those things that engaged couples and parents-to-be have just come to accept. That's why I keep seeing the same George Foreman grill and Graco exersaucer at every yard sale I go to.

But I have recently come across a couple of registry opportunities that offer more individuality and other benefits to local communities. is an online registry made up of local retailers. Allison Grappone came up with the idea after her own wedding in 2009 and she launched the website after winning the 2011 NH Startup Challenge. Now, New Hampshire retailers and service providers, some of whom may have no way to sell products online themselves, can offer gifts in a registry format alongside other local businesses.

Most of the businesses represented on are in the Concord area, but Grappone will be signing on Manchester businesses and non-profits at a workshop on Thursday, July 11, from noon to 1 p.m. at the abi Innovation Hub on Elm Street. is another out-of-the-box site I just learned of. It is for parents-to-be. It doesn't have any local ties that I can find, but it's an excellent concept for anyone expecting a baby. lets new parents create an online registry that requests a mix of new and used items. For example, parents can just ask for a generic bouncy seat and see whether one of their gift givers has a used one to give or loan them. If they prefer a new item, maybe for something that has stricter safety guidelines like a car seat, they can name a specific brand and ask that it be new.

I just love this idea, and wish it had been around for my first child.

The Prouty comes to Manchester

In 1982, four nurses pedaled their way across the White Mountains of New Hampshire to raise money and awareness for cancer research in honor of one of their patients, Audrey Prouty.

Today, The Prouty has turned into a two-day event of fundraising through biking, walking, rowing and golf. And one Prouty cycling event, called The Ultimate ride, starts right here in Manchester on July 12. The group will leave from Saint Anselm College in waves beginning at 5:45 a.m. Two days, and 200 miles later (yes, they stop to sleep and eat), they will finish with other Prouty event participants at a cookout in Hanover.

I don't know many people who can ride 200 miles, but if you are one of them, it's not too late to sign up. Registration ends on July 5 and it looks like a very organized affair. Registration for shorter distances and other Prouty events is also still open. Visit for more information.

NH365.ORG Events of the Week

Independence Day is this week, and the New Hampshire Fisher Cats are celebrating it right with three nights of fireworks after their games on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. All the games against the Binghamton Mets start at 7 p.m.

The City of Manchester's fireworks will fire off from the Notre Dame Bridge at 9 p.m. on Wednesday. The fireworks can be viewed from Arms Park and other nearby places, and Commercial Street will be restricted to pedestrians-only beginning at 8 p.m.

You can find a link to fireworks displays planned around the state in the lower right-hand corner of the homepage.


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