Saturday, December 23, 2006

A New Face for a New Year!

2007 will be an extra busy year as Squamscott Community Commons staff and volunteers switch into high gear to launch the campaign to build Exeter's first community center and YMCA. And to make that happen, we have added a fourth member to our staff: Loretta Allison!

Loretta joins the team as the Community Fundraising and Development Manager full time beginning February 1. A graduate of Penn State, with a B.S. in Psychology, Loretta was most recently employed as Assistant Director of Annual Giving at Phillips Exeter Academy working on a $305 million multi-year comprehensive campaign. Prior to her work at Exeter, she was a Campaign Manager with United Way of Merrimack Valley in Haverhill, MA. Loretta brings fundraising, volunteer management, events and marketing experience that will help to make this community center a reality. Loretta resides in Portsmouth with her husband Tim and their chocolate Lab Gerry.

Loretta joins Carol Aten, Robin Drunsic, and Minnie Sabin just in time to help them move into new office space at the "Annex" at 56 Linden Street in Exeter (the building we will be demolishing!) for the new year in Room A106.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Affordable Cars for Exeter Area Citizens

November 26, 2006

David Dubinsky (603) 667-6504

Bonnie CLAC (Car Loans and Counseling) and Wentworth Trust Make the Ownership of Cars More Available and Affordable for People of Low to Moderate Income in Exeter

Exeter, New Hampshire: Bonnie CLAC (Car Loans and Counseling) and Wentworth Trust announced that they have teamed up to make the ownership of cars more affordable for people of low-to-moderate income in Exeter, New Hampshire and the surrounding community. St. Michaels Parish and the Exeter Adult Education have agreed to contribute space for this invaluable service.

A New Hampshire-based nonprofit organization, Bonnie CLAC helps individuals to purchase fuel efficient, new cars and guarantees loans to gain a very low interest rate for our clients. Bonnie CLAC teaches a financial literacy course which helps individuals understand their credit and learn to manage their expenses.

"I thought that I would never get back on my feet. The bills kept piling up and suddenly I found myself without a car. Contacting Bonnie CLAC was the best thing that I have ever done! Not only did they help me to get my brand new car, they counseled me on my finances and taught me how to clean up my credit report. I am forever indebted to them!" -- Aimee, New Honda Civic DX, 2005.

“Bonnie CLAC’s program enhances and promotes community development by targeting several obstacles that financially challenged people have historically faced: transportation obstacles, credit issues, and poor financial management skills,” said Robert Chambers, president and founder, Bonnie CLAC. “As part of the car-purchasing process, Bonnie CLAC teaches our clients to become more financially stable, while also helping them understand and improve their credit scores. Many former Bonnie CLAC clients have gone on to obtain better paying jobs as a result of graduating from our program; others have moved on to make their first home purchase — a dream many once thought impossible.”

The George A. Wentworth Trust was established to address the needs of “worthy and needy women” in Exeter, Brookfield and Wakefield. “This is a perfect partnership since seventy-three percent of Bonnie CLAC’s clients are women,” said David Dubinsky, Director of Marketing. “The $20,000 grant will allow Bonnie CLAC to provide this invaluable service to our community,” said Linda Jones, Trustee, Wentworth Trust.

Bonnie CLAC has received support from the Community Development Finance Authority, New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, The Women’s Fund of New Hampshire, Ocean National Bank, Northeast Credit Union and the Great Bay Foundation as well as many automobile donors and individual contributors.

About Bonnie CLAC
Bonnie CLAC (Car Loans and Counseling) is a nonprofit organization created to make the ownership of cars more available and more affordable for people of low to moderate income. Founded in 2001, Bonnie CLAC is a 501(c)(3) non profit organization. Bonnie CLAC currently has offices in Lebanon, Keene, Manchester and Portsmouth, New Hampshire. It is serving clients in New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine. For more information, please contact Bonnie CLAC at 866-455-CLAC or

About Wentworth Trust
The George A. Wentworth Trust was established by the will of George A. Wentworth to address the needs of “worthy and needy women” in Exeter, Brookfield and Wakefield. The trust provides support to low and moderate income women.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Looking for all Former Students, Staff from Exeter Area Junior High School!

The Exeter A.R.E.A. Jr. High School was a happening place from 1967-1998.

As you may be aware, the old Jr. High Building is being sold to Squamscott Community Commons (SCC), a local non-profit group dedicated to bringing a vibrant community center, including a “Y”, to Linden St. Last March, a substantial majority of voters from the six SAU #16 towns approved the idea of selling the old EAJHS building to make way for the center.

After careful investigation, the SCC group has determined that a new building will, in the long run, be less expensive and far more satisfactory than trying to re-hab the old jr. high building. Demolition is expected to begin this summer.

Anticipating the demise of the building, several former EAJHS teachers have begun writing a book about the school – a factual history, but enlivened with lots of “color” from former students, teachers, parents, and community members. We have already met with a local publisher who is very interested in not only publishing the book but also providing lots of assistance along the way. It would be great to have the book ready for the big “reunion” planned for this summer, but a Holiday Season 2007 release might be more realistic.

Many of the leaders of SCC are long-time area residents who are most aware that EAJHS was not only an outstanding school, but also recognized throughout the state. Consequently, they want to do everything possible to perpetuate its memory. In addition to the summer reunion, they have also helped us set up a web-based survey for former students, teachers, et. al., to share experiences and memories of EAJHHS. You can try it here:
Click here to take survey

We hope that you are not only interested in remembering those times but also willing to play at least a small role by contributing to the book. Some ways you can help:

• Record your memories of some happenings on Linden St–in your class & beyond
• Get the word out and glean goodies from former student and colleagues
• Remind us about happenings in your dept., clubs, sports, special events, etc.
• Research some of the records at the SAU Office
• Dig through old copies of the Exeter News-Letter at the Exeter Historical Society
• Other ideas?

We have already been talking with many former students and their parents. Every one of them has been excited by the project and wants to contribute in some way. Our regular meetings (in old Rm. 232 at EAJHS) have included Tom Meehan, Florence Condran, Charlotte Taylor, Dana Wyman, Bob Graves, Lin Roy, Jane Chisholm, Anne McLaughlin, Eileen Cunniffe and Ken Berry.
We look forward to hearing from you!