The Weeks State Park Association was presented with a NH State Commendation for hard work and dedication to preserving the park and their devotion to offering educational programs to the public. (Photo by Tara Giles) (click for larger version)
September 12, 2018LANCASTER — The New Hampshire Governor and Executive Council meeting took place on Sept. 5 at Weeks State Park in Lancaster. While the parking wasn't conducive to a meeting of that size, the space and views were worth it. Prior to the meeting the group enjoyed a breakfast at the Mountain View Grand Resort in Whitefield.
After each chair in the hall was full, Gov. Chris Sununu thanked everyone for attending. Before the council began their official meeting, Sununu honored well deserving locals with a New Hampshire State Commendation.
The first to receive an award was local Myra Emerson.
Of Emerson, Sununu said, "Myra stays busy, very very busy."
The commendation explained that the longtime Lancaster resident has always been very active in her community. She was a bus driver for many years and a local girl scout leader. Emerson is an active member of the St. Johns Methodist church in Lancaster and has helped run the Lancaster Food Bank since 1995. Emerson has also been instrumental in providing meals for senior citizens. In addition she works with a group that provides quilts to veterans and those who are victims of natural disasters. Emerson exemplifies what it means to go above and beyond to serve others.
The next person to receive an award was Scott Black of Whitefield.
Sununu joked that "Scott brings a fan club wherever he goes" due to the loud cheering when Black's name was called. Black was voted the 2018 New Hampshire bartender of the year. He is the lead bartender at the Woodstock Station in Lincoln.
Sununu said, "Scott is beloved by all of his customers and is known for his hard work as he worked to put himself and his wife through college. He's also known for lending those in need a helping hand, for example, helping skiers back to their hotels or pushing stuck cars out of snowbanks."
Sununu said, "I'm sure that's happened more than once" in regards to the stuck cars. Black is a true North Country patriot. Black also coaches little league and teaches kids to ski at Cannon Mountain. The commendation went on to say that he is actively involved in the secret sock society, a non profit organization that allows under privileged children a chance to enjoy outdoor activities that he may not be otherwise able to afford. Black has also purchased several properties that he rents out to offer affordable housing for locals.
A fixture of the North Country all the way up to the Canadian border was how Sununu described the next award recipient.
"Bob Chapman does a little bit of everything," said the Governor.
The commendation explained that Chapman is known for his caring nature and dedication to helping others where as he selflessly paid for funerals of citizens he didn't even know. He donates to Toys to Tots and donates warm clothes to children in need. Chapman has helped local businesses get on their feet and become self sufficient. He's invested in the Wausau paper mill to give locals jobs. Chapman's devotion and generosity was applauded.
Eighty-six-year-old Don Dickenson was the next to shake the Governor's hand for a job well done. Sununu said that Dickenson has a long history of dedicating himself to service and was awarded the 'Young Man of the Year' in 1967. Dickenson is a dedicated member of his community serving as a charter member of the Colebrook Jaycees, a past member of the Colebrook School Board and is a member of the Colebrook Main Street Revitalization Committee. In addition, Dickenson is a charter member of the Colebrook Development Corporation and was former Commissioner for the Water and Sewer Commission in Colebrook. Dickenson works hard to extend his service throughout the North Country and was once the President of the North Country Chamber of Commerce. In 1984, he was named 'Pharmacist of the Year,' and in 2007 was named Cole brook's Citizen of the Year.
"This is quite the list," Sununu joked.
The Weeks State Park Association was also given an award for their hard work in maintaining the property. Sununu commended the fundraising efforts of the group and relayed the importance of keeping the historical site in good shape as well as offering educational programs for the public. In addition, a commendation for the USS John Weeks DD-701 Association was given. The group's mission is to honor the memory of the ship and the men who sailed on it.
Lucy Wyman of Lancaster accepted the award for the Mount Prospect Ski Club. The ski tow has been around a long, long time, according to Wyman.
"We have a very small dedicated group of volunteers and I'm very grateful for them. We have great support for the town. That little ski tow has a big place in the hearts of the people here," said Wyman.
The ski town was built in the 1930's however locals would ski on the back side of Mt. Pleasant before the tow was installed. A new group in Lancaster is working to create an option for back country skiing on the mountain. Sununu commented on the importance of preserving ski history in the state.