Tuesday, October 27, 2009



CROP Walk event sets record

Churches, students civic groups hike to help end hunger
Lucian a. mccarty photo Barbie Hazzard, Alicia Rossman and Tracy Gebhardt get their T-shirts during Sunday’s Exeter Area Interfaith CROP Hunger Walk.

With a banner held high, Martha Clark set out Sunday down Pine Street in Exeter, on a sunny afternoon leading a procession of 225 charity walkers on the first leg of the 27th annual Exeter Area Interfaith CROP Hunger Walk.

"We're trying to make this more of a parade this year," said Clark, whose placard identified the leaders of the group as the Pilgrim United Church of Christ of Brentwood.

With 13 churches and other organizations walking for the Communities Responding to Overcome Poverty event, the buzzword for the day was "interfaith."

"There are so many things the churches can do together," said Allan Lurvey, minister for pastoral counseling at Stratham Community Church.

Four years ago the church in Stratham, which had held its own CROP Walk every year, merged with the other local organizations under the leadership of Andrea Renz.

"Andrea is definitely our driving force here," said Lurvey.

"The walk was having trouble about five years ago, and we didn't know if was going to make it," explained Renz.

In years past, the walk had been based out of Phillips Exeter Academy, but with it being such a big event to plan, the school couldn't keep up on it. That's where the churches came in.

"All of the churches and nonprofits came together, and worked to make this happen," said Renz. "It is really great, the brotherhood and camaraderie that happen here. It's the way it is supposed to be."

The event raises money through walkers being sponsored by local businesses or residents. In addition, this year, according to Renz, there were more online donations than ever before.

Last year the event brought in about $17,000. This year, preliminary numbers indicate that the event may have raised more than $20,000 as money continues to trickle in through donations and as walkers turn in their envelopes.

"That would be the highest CROP Walk we've ever had," said Renz. "Everyone was just so generous."

The walk took fund-raisers through either a one-mile loop around the block or a four-mile loop starting at Christ Church on Pine Street and zigzagging to the end of Swasey Park, down Water Street and back down Court Street.

"The people here are just wonderful. There is so much awareness of the needs of the community," said Melody Fellows, whose husband, Robert, recently took over as pastor at the Greenland Community Congregational Church. "It's wonderful to see the consciousness, and it's nice to do something interdenominational."

Not everyone at the event was from a church. Students from Phillips Exeter Academy, Exeter High School and the University of New Hampshire were all on-hand volunteering time to register walkers and take the walk themselves.

Eighteen-year-old David Harman was helping to sign people up for the walk. An Exeter native, Harman said he was looking to fill some community service hours for school and, after some research, found the CROP Walk.

"I thought it was a great cause, and it's right here in Exeter," he said.

Harman said he was helping with the walk because some of the proceeds go to local food pantries.

Twenty-five percent of the total proceeds from the day will go to local food pantries, while the rest of the money will go to Church World Services, an international organization dedicated to fighting world poverty and hunger, and providing international relief funds.

With music, a big tent, ice cream and the constant snap of photographs, the event seemed more like a festival than a charity walk, but when Rich Coleman, a member of the CROP Walk Committee took the microphone, he focused walkers on their cause.

"We have a worthy cause here," he said, citing the fact that 10 million people die of hunger every year around the world. "That is an unfair situation, but we are here to do something to help."

And after an opening prayer by Father Marc Montminy of St. Michael Parish, walkers took to the line and set out to fight hunger with fund-raising and footsteps.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


Tomorrow is the start of my Yoga Retreat! Hannelore, my Yoga Teacher has invited Rama Jyoti Vernon to New Hampshire for a retreat. Rama is the founder of Unity of Yoga, International Yoga College, and the Co-Founder of Yoga Journal Magazine. She has been a devoted leader of peace missions in the USSR, Middle East, China and Central America. Her unique approach developed over years through study with great yoga masters and self-reflection. I will keep you posted! Wish me luck.......I am so excited to meet her!

As it gets colder.....

Thank your lucky stars if you have a house with heat or a living space with heat. This year it got cold really fast and for some it may not be a big deal but for those with out shelter it is something that is hard to deal with. Hunger and homelessness isn't something that just happens on Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, and all other holidays that we collect food baskets for. Hunger and Homelessness happens every day to children, teenagers, adults, seniors, mothers, fathers, aunts and uncles all around America and the World. Two years ago I participated in a 24 hour retreat with my church on the UNH campus called City Reach. We went to Boston and had a tour of Boston from someone who was Homeless. My tour guide was Larry. He was homeless for 7 years and was on his way to recovery. He showed us the door step he called home and slept on at night during his time of homelessness. It was a door step to a store that had an indent...he said it helped keep the wind out. (It really didn't) After our hour long tour Larry had tears in his eyes and pointed to a building in the distance with the light one and said- "That's where I live now. I have been off the streets for 6 months."
After he gave us the tour that night we all went inside and all of the students slept inside the church...yes, inside the church on pews and the church floor. There was only a door and a wall that separated us from the homeless. On our way into the church there were 20+ people gathered together with blankets on the steps of the church. When I went to sleep I could hear them coughing and moaning from the cold. It was a tough night.
The next day we walked around boston with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in back packs and handed them out to anyone who looked hungry. We also invited people into the Cathedral to have a warm meal and pick up some warm clothes for the winter. City Reach was a good experience and I still have the cross that symbolizes Common Cathedral. There is a church service held outside every Sunday by the fountain for the homeless. It is an experience I will never forget.

Tonight in the Exeter area the temperature is 39 degrees. It's cold out...and many Americans are sleeping outside tonight. I am thankful for many things.


For those of you who read my blog...you must know about the Garden at the Timberland Company. There is a team of employees who planted the garden, maintain the garden, and harvest. The produce is sold by donation at Timberland and the money goes to the NH Food Bank. Tonight my family ate brussel sprouts and eggplant from the garden! I am not a big fan of brussel sprouts but they were pretty good! It was good to know that my dinner supported the Food Bank.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Be present
Don't compare yourself to others

Chants from yoga:
I'm positive, energetic, enthusiastic
Awake and ready

Go Apple Picking and support your local farmers! My parents went last weekend to Applecrest and the apples are delishhhh!
What you can do with apples: make homemade apple sauce (my moms is the best), make apple pie, apple crisp, put apples on top of ice cream, or dip them in some caramel!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Operation Frontline in Rockingham County!

I am excited to say that I will be attending an Operation Frontline Curriculum and Classroom Management Training session next week. I volunteered through the NH Food Bank to help out with OFL classes in the Rockingham County. Becca Story, a good friend at the Food Bank and RD said she would be glad to have me on board again with OFL Classes. A few years ago I helped at a class in Somersworth and last year I was a teacher in Derry at the Upper Room. This year I will be the volunteer chef. I will be teaching the cooking portion of the class. The OFL program is a 6 week nutrition and cooking class for those who are living on a low income budget. This class helps kids, adults, and families make healthy choices on a low income budget. I am excited to teach at the New Outlook Teen Center in Exeter I will be working with Teens in the town I attended High School. Check back in November to see how classes are going!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Pulaski Fishing Trip

I went on a fishing trip with my dad and some of his friends this weekend. My dad has been going to Pulaski NY to fish for Salmon for 20 years now. He always brings home pictures and stories I remember the pictures from when I was a kid. This year I didn't have school and I was invited! I thought I would be the only girl because he goes with his two friends and one brings his son and the other brings his nephew. Lucky for me....Matt (the nephew) brought his girlfriend! We had an interesting 7 hour road trip with Brian and Matt. Brian is a Broker for my dad so they are work buddies and Matt goes to Rodger Williams. So as we were driving through New York we saw a horse and buggy.....no joke on the highway! We saw a cranberry bog and farmers harvesting the cranberries. We saw an amish family selling baked goods on the side of the road. We saw a lot of things! One thing I did realize as we were driving is to try not to complain about my life because no matter what, someone else will always have it worse. Driving through NY really made me think. Some people are living in caving houses, houses with out windows, houses that are falling apart, houses that need a lot of work etc. It was very sad.
Moving on.....the entire drive down was nice and when we got there it started to RAIN! So we bought rain jackets, and went fishing anyway. That night my dad and I both caught a Salmon! My dad had to show me how to catch one because these salmon are big and put up a nice fight. I learned a lot of lingo while fishing on the lake. When you catch a fish you yell "FISH ON" and immediately everyone is alert. "Coming up/Coming down" basically means get out of my way Mr.! It's what you say when your fish is swiming on your line away from you. You need to follow the fish and keep it in control. If you move to quick you will lose it and if you let the fish swim near any rocks....you will most likely lose it too. It takes a lot of practice to get it all right. The salmon I caught was huuuuge I could barely pick it up. The picture is Hilarious and I am waiting for my dad to send it so I can post it up! It was a ton of fun and I'm glad my dad took me!

Alumni Homecoming 2009!!!

Now that I am an alumni of course I have to go to the UNH Football Homecoming game!!!! I am so excited to see my friends again. Some of my friends are still living near by and I get to see them but others have moved away. I am excited to get together with them and see how everyone is doing in LIFE AFTER COLLEGE!!! I know that so far I am doing well.....I am also excited to see all of my younger college friends. At school I was an RA so I know a lot of students who are a year younger than me and just from being on campus and involved in many activities I know this weekend will be a lot of fun!

Miss NH Local Competitions!

Congratulations to all the young women who have the chance to compete for Miss NH 2010! I have been fishing, taking yoga classes, working amongst other things and haven't been able to compete in all the locals this year. I have had a lot of fun in the locals I have competed in this summer! Congratulations:
Miss Bedford: Sarah Mousseau
Miss Deerfield Fair: Elysha Greenberg
Miss Greater Derry: Krystal Muccioli
Miss Hooksett: Rebecca Rendina
Miss Kingston: Janine Mitchell
Miss Lakes Region: Erica Millett
Miss Londonderry: Alyssa McLaughlin (my first room mate at Miss NH a while back!!!)
Miss Manadonock Region: Asheley Chaput
Miss Seacoast: Adria Farr
Miss Strafford County: Lissa Silk
Miss Stratham Fair: Regan Hartley
Miss University: Margo Reola
Miss Weirs Beach: Megan Lyman
Miss Winnipesaukee: Jenn Clements