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Thank You, Dad!

Updated: Jun 21, 2021

Father’s Day – Where Did It Come From?

‘Karen and Jay share stories of Father’s Day.’

Father’s Day. That wonderful Sunday in June when we have an opportunity to say ‘thank you’ to all those very special people in our lives. Our fathers. I’ve always loved this day, both as a son and later as a dad. But only recently did I discover how this great day came to be.

Back in the year 1909, a woman by the name of Sonora Smart Dodd from Spokane, Washington was attending a Sunday church service during which her pastor was giving a sermon about the importance of family on what was the first official Mother’s Day in the United States. Following the service, Sonora had a thought. If mothers deserved a day which honored them, why not fathers?

At the age of 16, Sonora’s mother Ellen had passed away, leaving her father William, a Civil War veteran, to raise Sonora and her five younger brothers, in addition to her mother’s three children from a previous marriage. “He was both a father and a mother to me and my siblings,” Sonora once said about her father. So, Sonora decided to write to her local clergy and propose June 5th, her father’s birthday, as Father’s Day in Spokane. The clergy liked the idea but couldn’t organize a celebration in time so settled that the third Sunday in June would suffice.

The celebration turned out to be such a hit that another William, William Jennings Bryan, a well-known politician at the time, wrote Sonora a congratulatory letter, bringing national attention to her tribute, and led her local congressman to lobby for the creation of a national holiday. President Woodrow Wilson even came to Spokane just to celebrate with William and other fathers like himself. Yet it wasn’t until 1972, 6 years before Sonora’s death, when President Richard Nixon signed a Congressional Resolution officially proclaiming the third Sunday of June as Father’s Day.

While many of us may have thought that it was companies like Hallmark who engineered a holiday like Father’s Day, it was in fact the work of a loving daughter wanting to pay tribute to her Dad that brought about the celebration of Dad’s everywhere. As a Dad myself, Father’s Day is always a pretty special occasion, a moment to enjoy, cherish, and express gratitude for family and the love we share. Even more so, Father’s Day demonstrates the importance of how loving parents can help nurture and support our children grow into successful adults. So, to all my fellow Dad’s out there working hard to give their kids what they need, enjoy this weekend, it’s your day and you’ve earned it!

Governor’s Island – NH’s Island Club

Governor’s Island in Gilford, New Hampshire is a 500-acre island on Lake Winnipesauke that has become a cherished get-away for Granite Stater’s as well as numerous celebrities from far and wide. With sandy beaches and exclusive access, this resort island has a history that predates New Hampshire’s founding as a state.

While Governor’s Island is most closely associated with Governor John Wentworth, it is actually named after his uncle, Benning Wentworth, who was also a provincial Governor of New Hampshire. By all accounts, John Wentworth was much more a peacemaker than his other Crown backed Governors and was always looking for a peaceful resolution to the Independence question. But when push came to shove, John chose the Crown, and when New Hampshire became independent, the state confiscated his lands as he had fled to Canada. Out of respect for Governor Wentworth, however, family portraits and other valuables were preserved.

The island was then auctioned off and traded again several times until in 1880, it was sold to Stilson Hutchins who was the founder and editor of the Washington Post. Hutchins commissioned Alfred Mullett to build him a ‘summer home’ on the island, which actually turned out to be a mansion made of granite. You are probably more familiar with some of Mullett’s other works than you may think, as he also designed the Smithsonian Institute and the building for the US Treasury!

After a developer bought the land and proceeded to go bankrupt, the residents of the island bought out the remainder of the island and formed the current association that owns the island, the Governor’s Island Club.

Today this club boasts some of the highest real-estate prices in the state with average sale values hovering around $2.5 million. Many famous people live and vacation here to beat the heat and get away in this quiet part of the lake that still has 100+ acres of preserved land.

If you get a chance to visit this great island retreat, it’s definitely worth the trip.

10 Fun Things In New Hampshire This Summer

Karen and I have been doing some planning for our weekends this summer and have come up with some ideas we wanted to share. Here is our ‘List of 10 Fun Things to Try This Summer.’

It’s a great time of the year to be outside and do some exciting things. With the warm weather comes outdoor concerts, car shows, 5k’s, and so much more. There are endless opportunities for adventure here in the Granite State!

1.) Farmers Markets.

There is nothing better than coming together on a town common for a farmers market. In Newport and other communities across New Hampshire, farmers markets provide a weekly opportunity for an outing – but also a place to get fresh and nutritious items. Fresh vegetables, jams, flowers, and baked good are just a few of the many great things available at your local farmer’s market. I came across an article in NH Magazine and it listed the schedules of nearly 40 farmers markets in the Granite State. Please take a look at the following link - and here’s to supporting your local farmer’s market in 2021. (

2.) The Beer Trail

A couple weeks ago I talked about ice cream and the dairy trail, now let's talk about the ‘Brewery Trail.’ 70 plus NH Breweries are included in this great collection. Enjoy this fun experience and support small businesses. Get your online map and start collecting points at visiting

3.) Outdoor and Indoor Concerts

Big band, country, the classics, they are all back in 2021! From the Prescott Arts Festival in Portsmouth to The Tupelo Music Hall in Derry, the tunes will me jamming, you’ll be dancing, and no matter your taste in music, the chance to enjoy music and arts is here and ready for you to experience. I invite to take a look at the list of venues put together by Stay Work Play, a non-profit organization promoting New Hampshire,

4.) 5k’s and Charity Walks

Love, love, love NH and how charitable we are. If there is cause to support, Granite State citizens are there to help. One way to help a cause and get fit in the process is by participating in local 5k races. . As you may know I’m an avid runne,r and I always enjoy it when my kids come home and we get a chance to run in a 5k together. I use the running in the USA website to help me locate a 5k to take part in and I look forward to running in a few with you this year!

5.) Old Home Day Festivities

Parades, Food on the Green, Fireworks! The Old Home festivities across New Hampshire bring communities together and showcase what makes each community unique. When I ran for Governor, my weekends were packed with Old Home Day stops, festivals and parades.. Londonderry to Pittsburg, Hinsdale to Hudson, Old Home Days are everywhere, and June is the start of the Old Home Day Season. Fun fact, NH started old Home Days in 1899, and in that year, 44 local communities participated.

6.) Car Shows

‘Cruising Downtown’ and ‘Coffee and Cars’ are just a couple of the many car shows organized by groups and associations across the Granite State. I love walking thru the rows of classics and remembering the good ole days. I found this link of upcoming car shows and can’t wait to see if I locate a GTO.

7.) Boat Tours

We got lakes, we got coastline, and we got companies for you to see them. A day on the water is an amazing opportunity for anyone. And, who doesn't love boats. Take a look at this fun article I found listing different excursions available -

8.) Hiking and Biking

Did you know there are over 4,000 miles of hiking trails and close 100 bike trails in New Hampshire? No matter what part of the state you live in or the experience you have hiking or biking, the trail systems in NH create options and opportunity. Pack a bag, make a plan, and get outside and check out some of the most spectacular splendors of New Hampshire. Learn more here:

9.) Historic Sites

NH is home to so much history and you can see it first-hand. Head out to Hillsboro and check out the homestead of Franklin Pierce, 14th President of the United States. Or when you’re poking around the Lakes Region, stop off at New Hampshire’s oldest monument, Endicott Rock located in Laconia. So many historical sites to see and so much history to learn about.

10.) ‘Pick it Yourself’ - Literally!

Didn’t get a chance to swing by your local farmer’s market? Then head to one of the many ‘pick your own’ farms across New Hampshire. Strawberries, vegetables, apples, the choices are endless and remember to get there early to beat the heat! Also, a little tip, bring a little shovel, a pair of gloves, and remember your sunscreen. Check out this cool site I found -

Now, of course there is so many other things happening this summer, and I know I will forget a few. But if you know of a cool summer activity people should know about, please post on my Facebook page!

Positive Profile of the Week: Nick Vailas

This week it is a pleasure to highlight a friend and a true leader in the Granite State as our Positive Profile of the Week. A champion on so many fronts - Nick Vailas of Bedford.

In the era of evolving healthcare demands, Nick has been a leader for decades and a passionate advocate for better access and options. Growing up in Manchester, Nick started his first health and wellness company in 1985. Then, seeing the need for access to a wide variety of surgical care, Nick founded Bedford Ambulatory Surgical Center which was the first multi-specialty ambulatory surgical center in New Hampshire and was among the first created in the country. His vision and entrepreneurship have expanded BASC into other parts of New Hampshire and have created additional options for care.

Nick’s expertise in medical matters and healthcare led him to serve as New Hampshire’s Commissioner of Health and Human Services in the early 2000's.

Today, Nick is leading the charge in healthcare costs. He is innovating and leading a venture that will help bring market forces into the healthcare system. By creating reliable cost comparisons, transparency and the ability for patients as ‘customers’ to make informed buying decisions, Nick’s approach has the potential to transform our healthcare system. Providing greater choice for customers – and in so doing, dramatically reduce healthcare costs.

Nick has always been a leader and a healthcare advocate. His passion for helping those in need is why he created the ‘CHaD East-West All-Star Football Game’ which has become a top fundraising event for New Hampshire’s only Children’s Hospital. It’s a great event that allows high school football players to test their skills of teamwork, collaboration, and giving it ‘you're all’ both on and off the field. Nick was a member of the NH State Championship football team when attending Central High School, so this inspirational event is such a fitting way for Nick to leverage his experience and leadership in giving back to the greater community.

We are honored to celebrate Nick as a creative and tireless innovator in healthcare. And, most important, we are blessed to have Nick as a friend and true leader in the Granite State.

Quotes: Father’s Day

“My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me.” – Jim Valvano

“The older I get, the smarter my father seems to get.” —Tim Russert

“My father didn’t do anything unusual. He only did what dads are supposed to do—be there.” —Max Lucado

“What a father says to his children is not heard by the world, but it will be heard by posterity.” —Jean Paul

“You can tell what was the best year of your father’s life, because they seem to freeze that clothing style and ride it out.” —Jerry Seinfeld

“[Fatherhood is] the greatest thing that could ever happen. You can’t explain it until it happens; it’s like telling somebody what water feels like before they’ve ever swam in it.” —Michael Bublé


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