An Unexpected Ray Of Sunshine
It’s funny how life has a way of making sure that we don’t get so caught up with our big picture dreams and projects, that we miss the things that make it all worthwhile. It’s the lives we touch and the relationships we build. That’s why I want to start this week by sharing an experience that reminded me that the little things really are the big things.
For more than a year, we have been updating you on the Newport Sunshine Initiative, Children of Fallen Patriots, Small Town Turnaround, and other projects that I’m so proud to be a part of. But this week I received a voicemail from a wonderful man, 89-year-old Charles Kellogg of Gilford. I’ve never met Charles, but I will never delete his message. He told me he had been receiving the Sunshine Report and is inspired by it. Charles is a staunch capitalist, a former small business operator, and plays tennis and is looking forward to skiing this winter.
But the best part of this story is WHY he reached out to me. Quite simply, Charles wanted to convey his appreciation for something positive. Wow! The fact that someone like Charles is willing to go out of his way to thank me – and us - was incredibly humbling and rewarding. I called him back right away and I think he was surprised that I did. We talked for a few minutes and became fast friends. Near the end of the call, he told me I made his day by reaching out. I’m grateful for the kind words, but the reality is that Charles made a difference in my day, week, and year. He connected, and I’m so glad that he did. THAT was a positive ray of sunshine in my life – and I hope that the Sunshine Report can be a positive part of your weekly experience. If you have a thought or video that you would like to share regarding the Sunshine Report, please send to: firstname.lastname@example.org We’ll be delighted to hear from you!
Announcing the Newport Sunflower Festival!!!
Announcing the Newport Sunflower Festival!!! It’s official, the Guinness Book of World Records will be visiting Newport on Saturday, September 7th as the Community gathers to set a World Record for the Most People Making Flower Bouquets Simultaneously. It’s going to be an amazing day… food trucks, music, yard games and even face painting will help to welcome Guinness to the Sunshine Town. With registering starting at 10 am, participants will line the common building bouquets out of the sunflowers that are growing all over our beautiful town.
The best part - everyone is welcome!!! Be a part of history and join us as we show the world how #NewportStrong we are. Bring the kids, bring your creativity, and bring your flowers!!! The official world record attempt begins at 11:30 am so make sure you get your spot. You can RSVP here: https://newportsunflowerfestival.eventbrite.com
Children of Fallen Patriots…Creating Positive Change
Children of Fallen Patriots provides an inspiring, real world example of this week's theme – ‘Positive Energy Creates Positive Change.’ As military families endure the shock and pain of losing a loved one, Fallen Patriots works to step in and help in a very focused way: helping to pay for college for those who are left behind. This summer, Children of Fallen Patriots has been at all kinds of fairs, festivals, and races across the Granite State, and we're only just getting started. We participated in Manchester's ‘Taco Tour,’ Portsmouth's ‘Pack and Boots’ 5k, and Bristol's Swim with a Mission. Coming up, we'll be at the Deerfield Fair, Milford’s Pumpkin Festival, and my personal favorite, the Dan Healy Memorial 5k. Being present at these events and spreading awareness about our mission and how we can help those in need is truly spreading positive energy and yes…creating positive change.
Profile of the Week: Ray Wieczorek
The main street or downtown is the heart of any community. Manchester, New Hampshire, the state's largest city, has seen a renaissance in its downtown over the last 25 years thanks in large part to the inspiration, initiative and leadership of the Honorable Ray Wieczorek. A man I am proud to call my friend.
Ray served as Mayor of Manchester from 1989 to 1999 and over a ten-year period, led an incredible community renaissance in the Queen City. The ‘Wiz, as he is affectionately known by many, led efforts throughout the Greater Manchester area, including such initiatives as the Manchester Airport expansion program and the development of the SNHU Arena, a venue for sporting events, cultural activities, concerts and more. While these achievements were critically important steps forward for the City, Ray Wieczorek also knew that in order for the City to really come to life it would require a great downtown, a great ‘Main Street’ - for great things.
As many are aware, the ‘80’s and ‘90’s were a tough time for Manchester on Elm Street (the downtown Main Street of Manchester.) Empty storefronts with businesses pulling out of downtown and moving to either other parts of the city or out of town all together. Ray Wieczorek envisioned a vibrant downtown and that's exactly what he helped create. Through public-private partnerships, the creation of volunteer boards, and a commitment to seeing the rebirth of the downtown come to life, Manchester now has an Elm Street full of restaurants and unique stores that is surrounded by housing filled with tomorrow's leaders and tech start up entrepreneurs. The Queen City was once the world’s largest textile centers. But then, as the mills closed down, experienced a long and painful economic decline. Now, today, thanks to the hard work and determination of many – and led by Mayor Ray Wieczorek, Manchester has become a destination city. A place where positive energy has truly created positive change!
Quotes Of The Week: Creating Positive Change
“Men make history and not the other way around. In periods where there is no leadership, society stands still. Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better.” Harry S Truman
“Change your thoughts and you change your world.” Norman Vincent Peale
“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” Harriet Tubman
“Sometimes if you want to see a change for the better, you have to take things into your own hands.” Clint Eastwood
“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” Barack Obama