Unsung Heroes – Our Fallen Patriots
This week marks year number three of our Children of Fallen Patriots fundraising Gala, and I can’t help but reflect on those whom we honor at this event – the brave men and women how have lost their lives in active military service. It is their sacrifice that makes this effort necessary and certainly worthy. By definition, it makes perfect sense to me that we honor those who have given their lives in defense of our country by ensuring the children they leave behind have the opportunity for a great education. Every year we talk about success stories and how this program has made a difference in so many lives. We can’t forget, however, the individuals who left home with a future uncertain and did not return – but have left us with a future cut short. The legacies of these heroes truly are the children of these fallen patriots. But legacies are borne of these often-unsung heroes. Sure, we read their names and carve them in granite. But the passage of time is a constant force that leads us forward, and it’s understandable to hold a desire to leave the pain of loss behind us. The reality is it can’t be left behind, and we carry it with us every day. That’s why it’s imperative that we stand up and embrace the meaning behind their sacrifice and apply it to those who will come after us. That’s the essence of Children of Fallen Patriots, and why Karen and I are proud to be a part of it.
Children of Fallen Patriots – Announcing the Petrone Awards – 2019
This week, as we celebrate our community's unsung heroes, it's important to note all of the work that activists in our community have done for Children of Fallen Patriots. Last night, we put on our annual Children of Fallen Patriots Gala at LaBelle Winery in Amherst, NH, where we raised thousands of dollars for the kids. The unsung heroes for this event are our generous sponsors and donors that made it all possible and worked to truly change the lives of these kids and help make a positive impact on the trajectory of their careers and livelihoods.
More specifically, our key activists were awarded for their constant effort in making Children of Fallen Patriots possible. Without them, helping these kids and their families would not be possible. They put themselves out there every day to make a difference and they certainly earned the recognition last night. Recognized as this year’s recipients of the Ambassador Joseph and Augusta Petrone Awards: Phil and Juile Taub: John Smith and Mary Jane Beauregard; and David Tille: If you're reading this (and I hope you are), please know that we are so thankful for your work and dedication to such an incredible cause.
But also, let's not forget about *you*, the reader! As our team travels New Hampshire and participates in different fairs, festivals, and community engagement events, it is people like you who approach our booth, give donations, sign-up to volunteer, and most importantly, make us aware of kids in need! The fundraising for this cause is great, but without kids to help, it means nothing! Thank you for working with us and making us aware of these kids in our community so we can be of assistance.
Newport – Unsung Heroes Taking The Initiative – A Dog Park!
What screams unsung hero more than a community volunteer dedicating hours to improving his town and man’s best friend? My dear friend, Tobin Menard, has single handedly taken a dream of so many pet owners in Newport and made it a reality. Together with his wife, Annette, Tobin has created a nonprofit organization ‘David’s Dawgs’ with the aim of building a free dog park in the Sunshine Town. The ‘Paws Awhile Dog Park’ will serve as a center for pet owners to gather and of course for their pets to play. More importantly, Tobin wants David’s Dawgs to serve as a resource center for those who may have to choose between food on their table and a vet visit for their pet. With the hopes of creating a veterinarian voucher program as well as low cost or free spade/neutering services, Tobin and Annette are truly reshaping pet ownership in Newport. They are building a community between pet owners, one in which people can depend on each other, learn from each other, and enjoy getting to know each other.
It’s people like the Menard’s who give small towns hope and are truly saving Main Street America. The amazing thing, the Menard’s are not alone! Residents across Newport are jumping at the chance to start new projects, get involved, and share their dreams for the Sunshine Town. At our last Sunshine Initiative meeting, one of the high school students in attendance shared his story of growing up in Newport and participating in the Future Farmers of America (FFA) program at the High School. He said, “It is this community that gave me a foundation…” and went on to urge everyone to never forget what this small town has given them. It is because of these unsung heroes, people like Tobin, Annette, and the members of the FFA to name a few, that the positive spirit and the ‘can-do’ attitude are alive and well in Newport and small towns across the country.
Future Leaders – Announcing Effort – ‘Tomorrow’s Leaders Now’
Serving in public office is without a doubt a great honor but it also is a great sacrifice. Business owners, educators, students, and all those who serve, balance the time to be able represent their neighbors.
As I have mentioned before I served my hometown of Newport as a member of the New Hampshire legislature, running for office at the age 19. It was an amazing opportunity. Fast forward to now and my son Gates represents Sunapee and Croydon in the State House. I can honestly say there was no better thrill than watching from the gallery of Representatives Hall in Concord as Gates was sworn into public office by the Governor. A true proud dad moment. Recently. it struck me: we need more young people in office. Those who strive to protect the New Hampshire advantage and have an entrepreneurial mind and spirit. Chatting with Reps including Gates, the idea was born and now the rubber is meeting the road through an organization called ‘Tomorrow’s Leaders Now.’
TLN will help elect like-minded millennials in 2020. I couldn’t be prouder of Reps Gates Lucas and Joe Alexander for leading this cause. These young men are already making a huge impact in Concord and now bigger and better things are on the horizon.
Profile of the Week: Ambassador Joseph and Augusta Petrone
The profile of the week could never fully capture the full breadth of Ambassador Joseph Petrone’s legacy and that of his wonderful wife Augusta. Joseph was a military veteran who served in World War II during the Battle of the Bulge. His military travels would take him to Iran, France, and South Korea.
His service to our state and country did not end there. He was an ambassador in many capacities to the UN and our European allies. Despite these high achievements, he never lost his sense of humility and honor.
Those values also shine bright in his wife Augusta who is a beacon of positivity to this day. While Joseph may have received much of the limelight it is well known that they operated as a unit and she was very much an equal partner in their success. Augusta, always upbeat and full of positive energy, still lives at Knollwood, their family farm in beautiful Dublin, NH.
It is because of their wonderful and selfless work as well as the impact they have had that we now give out the Ambassador Joseph and Augusta Petrone Award at our Annual Children of Fallen Patriots Gala. I am so thankful for all that Joseph and Augusta have done over the years for our country, our state and in support of freedom! Truly remarkable people who have enriched the lives of so very many.
Quotes of the Week: Unsung Heroes
A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.
Heroes represent the best of ourselves, respecting that we are human beings. A hero can be anyone from Gandhi to your classroom teacher, anyone who can show courage when faced with a problem. A hero is someone who is willing to help others in his or her best capacity.
A hero is somebody who is selfless, who is generous in spirit, who just tries to give back as much as possible and help people. A hero to me is someone who saves people and who really deeply cares.
All of us start from zero. We take the right decision and become a hero.
I'm saying to be a hero is means you step across the line and are willing to make a sacrifice, so heroes always are making a sacrifice. Heroes always take a risk. Heroes always deviant. Heroes always doing something that most people don't and we want to change - I want to democratise heroism to say any of us can be a hero.