When Seeds Start to Blossom – Faith and Persistence
Jay, along with educator Stanley Mims, former New York City Superintendent, discussing the value of persistence and how it is paying off for the Newport Sunshine Initiative.
We all have been working so very hard on the Newport Sunshine Initiative – revitalizing the wonderful town of Newport, New Hampshire for more than two years. And, like in so many endeavors, success takes time. That’s why I am so terrifically excited to report that all that hard work is really beginning to pay off. Jobs coming to town, new houses being built, restoration of the beautiful Opera House and more. Persistence is paying off!
Often when we see success, we see only the outcomes, rather than the process, that eventually led to the success. We see successful people as having inherently assumed that position through pure genius or skill or even luck. Yet in most cases, that success was not the result of some innate skill or even random luck, but the result of persistence. Failing many times over, learning from those failures, and tirelessly persisting until a desired outcome is reached. In short, success is about planting a seed, believing in yourself and your ideas, being patient, and never giving up.
In this pursuit, so very often we are our own worst enemy. We listen too much to others or get needlessly discouraged. Taking an unexpected set back as a reason to give up. In the world of today, we frequently expect overnight results before we’ve put in the work. It’s like the example of the man who says to the wood stove – ‘Give me heat, and then I’ll give you wood.’ When exactly the opposite is true. You need to put in the work and the results and success follow. Hard work, persistence and never giving up – yes, that’s the key!
Newport is on the Move – 10 Great Reasons to be Excited!
As mentioned above and in previous editions of the Sunshine Report, my hometown of Newport, New Hampshire, is on the move! Here are ‘10 Great Reasons’ to be excited about the great progress in Newport:
1. Rebuilding Infrastructure: Newport's public wastewater systems, drinking water systems, and sidewalks are seeing renovations this year. This will help prepare the town for future industrial growth – while also beautifying the (already gorgeous) downtown, main street area.
2. Businesses Moving to Newport: In the past twelve months, Newport has welcomed manufacturing, restaurants, landscaping, and retail businesses to its community. Newport's economic strength is thanks to a deep-rooted culture of hard work. This has led to several generations of manufacturing, financial services, construction, and healthcare workers calling Newport home.
3. World Record Holders: Last year, the Newport community set a Guinness World Record – planting sunflowers all over town and being awarded the record for most people making sunflower bouquets – with more than 500 people celebrating this accomplishment together on the Newport Town Common.
4. Best Blueberry Picking Destination in NH: Bartlett's Blueberry Farm and Bascom Road Blueberry Farm in Newport were recently listed as top blueberry picking destinations by a WMUR Viewer's Choice poll.
5. Leader in PPE Production: In moments of crisis, Newport steps up. Widmer & Davis Artisan Distilleries was the first distillery in New Hampshire to produce hand sanitizer during the COVID-19 pandemic. They produced several thousand gallons of hand sanitizer for first responders, medical facilities, and surrounding communities. Another Newport based manufacturer, Cole-TAC, stepped up by producing face masks and gowns for medical facilities throughout New Hampshire. Well done!
6. Things To Do: Newport is a regional hub for arts, culture, and entertainment. What once had been the largest stage north of Boston, the Newport Opera House has become a primary focus in downtown revitalization efforts with nearly three-quarters million investment, including new floors and state of the art stage equipment. Newport is also home to a robust Library Arts Center, historic library, and the longest continuous winter carnival in the country at 104 years straight. Every winter, the Carnival takes place at venues throughout community with the focal point being in the heart of downtown at Newport's picturesque 2.2 acre Town Common.
7. Training Future Leaders: Newport has a long history of training the next generation, including tremendously innovative programs through the Sugar River Regional Technical Center at Newport High School. The Newport community took it a step further and became the first school district in the region to implement a work-based learning high school graduation requirement. Beginning in 2021, every Newport High School graduate will have received career and technical education training in a career field of their choice or be on an academic pathway to college. Recent Newport High School graduates have gone on to attend Harvard, Yale, and MIT.
8. World Class Healthcare and Education: Newport has access to world class healthcare at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center – only 30 minutes from downtown and has easy access to Dartmouth College, New Hampshire's only Ivy League college in nearby Hanover. In fact, Newport High School students can enroll in pre-college courses at Dartmouth College free of charge.
9. America’s Best Firearms: Newport has been helping make shooting enjoyable for over 50 years. In production since 1964, the Ruger 10/22 is one of the most successful rimfire rifle designs in history and it's made right here in Newport.
10. Powered by Sunshine: Newport recently completed a municipal solar array project through a public-private partnership. This will provide power to several municipal and school buildings throughout town. Newport truly is the ‘Sunshine Town,’ and more solar power is on the way.
Never Forget the Vet
During these unprecedented times, we have seen communities coming together like never before. We rallied together to help those in need. We gave the honor, love, and respect for our frontline worker and first responders. And we came to the aid of children to ensure they had technology available in order to embrace remote learning. It has and continues to be inspiring to see us come together when we are ‘socially distanced’ and apart in these new times.
But it’s also critically important we remember our veterans. Even during COVID-19, veterans are stepping up, protecting their own, and doing their part to ensure our communities succeed. I couldn’t be prouder of our veterans, as well as the friends who have joined me in supporting causes to honor our veterans.
My good friends, Phil and Julie Taub, who traditionally organize their annual “Swim with a Mission” had to take their great event ‘virtual’ this year. Participants can do anything from daily push-ups to swims in their own pool to support this amazing organization which makes a difference for so many military support causes.
Liberty House, a transition home for homeless veterans located in Manchester, NH, is hard at work with a new capital campaign in order to retrofit a new building in order to provide even more amazing services to our veterans.
And the amazing people at Veteran’s Count. Like so many charities across the country, events have been postponed or cancelled due to COVID-19. Millions of dollars have been lost for charities like Veterans Count and now more than ever we need to raise the necessary resources to provide a positive support system for those who need it most. In the coming weeks, supporters of Veteran’s Count will be hosting events. From golf tournaments to backyard safe distanced BBQs, you have a chance to help and make a difference in a veteran’s life.
Like I said before, I am so proud of all of us. We have faced our fears, defied the odds, and were right there to help those in need. Let us continue on a path of compassion and never for a moment take the peddle off the gas when it comes to driving a commitment and desire to help our veterans.
Positive Profile of the Week: Ruth Griffin
Councillor Ruth Griffin has a long history of service to our state and even more important, she is full of zest and energy. A larger than life personality - a true New Hampshire leader. I am proud to call her a friend – and delighted to say ‘Happy Birthday’ – as just last week, Ruth celebrated her 95th Birthday!!! I have known Ruth since 1974, when we both ran for elective office – and she has been a true friend all those years. Proud to say that we now both live in the great community of Portsmouth. Ruth has served our state in several elected offices, State Representative, State Senator and culminating in Executive Councilor. For those of you who do not know, the Executive Council plays a major role in New Hampshire’s government and acts as a check on the Governor. I can’t think of a better place for her to be than a check on politicians.
Ruth first ran for State Representative and at one point was overseeing committees while also raising five children. Things were different when she first took office, when female legislators were often pigeonholed into committees that dealt with children and health, but that isn’t Ruth. She wanted to be on Fish and Game or Public Works, and of course, she got there! New Hampshire has been well served by Ruth and she continues to be a beacon for the true New Hampshire spirit. A spirit that is fiery, direct, and does not have time for nonsense! While also being a compassionate friend to all those who are in need. God bless, Ruth Griffin.
Quotes of the Week: Persistence
“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.”
President Calvin Coolidge
“Patience, persistence and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success.”
“Paralyze resistance with persistence.”
“Success is almost totally dependent upon drive and persistence. The extra energy required to make another effort or try another approach is the secret of winning.”
“To make our way, we must have firm resolve, persistence, tenacity. We must gear ourselves to work hard all the way. We can never let up.”