2013 Christmas Tree Lighting And Children’s Store
(Sponsored by the Greater Pittsfield Chamber of Commerce)
The Greater Pittsfield Chamber of Commerce kicked off the Holiday
Season by sponsoring the annual Children’s Store and Christmas Tree
The Pittsfield Players sponsored the “Bodacious Babes” Holiday
Concert on Friday, Dec. 6. and the festivities continued on
Saturday, Dec. 7.
Saturday started with the PES PTO sponsored Breakfast with Santa.
Many families enjoyed the delicious breakfast and visited with
Santa. The Victory Workers 4-H Club sponsored a Cookie Walk and the
First Congregational Church hosted a craft fair during the day too.
The much anticipated Children’s Store was held at the PES Gym from 9
– noon. The Store is for “kids only” to purchase new or “nearly”
new items – mostly priced at .50 each. The Store is open to ALL
Kids ages 16 and younger. Thanks to the tremendous help of over 65
volunteers (acting as elves, gift wrappers, donation collection
sites or crowd control) many kids were able to shop for their
families. Special thanks to Laurie Vien for her help that day!
We are constantly collecting items for The Store all year long. We
desperately need GIFT BAGS and items for men. (Some items for men
are work and winter gloves, coffee cups, small tools, flashlights,
current calendars and baseball caps) Please keep us in mind when you
are doing your “after Christmas” shopping and cleaning out! (Call
Andi Riel at 435-6346 to make arrangements for pickup) Thank you to
all that made donations- items and monetary.
Holiday Storytime with Mrs. Grainger was held in the afternoon at
the Library. Kids (and adults) enjoyed the stories. The
festivities moved to Dustin Park later in the afternoon. MANY
Thanks to everyone who helped to make the event a huge success.
Samantha and Stacy Locke provided the horse and wagon rides, the
Fire Department delivered Santa via fire truck and he posed for free
photos with all the kids. Bob Legg took the photos and then they
were posted to the town website and could be downloaded. Thanks to
Ashley Pence for providing the face painting. PYW sponsored the
annual Gingerbread House Display and Raffle and hot soups, chili and
chowder could be picked up inside too. (Thanks to all the cooks who
donated food!) Free hot cocoa, cookies, popcorn and candy canes
were provided (thanks to members of the Park St. Baptist Church,
Women of Rotary, CHF, 4-H Club, So. Pittsfield Community Club,
Police Association, Parks & Rec, Chamber of Commerce, PYW, and Lions
Many thanks to the Pittsfield Youth Workshop and the Park St.
Baptist Church for allowing people to come inside and warm up. PYW
housed the pictures with Santa, the Gingerbread House display, face
painting, hot food items and decorated wreath contest. The Park St.
Baptist Church housed the cookies, cocoa (which they made!), and
popcorn. Thanks to all the helpers in the kitchen and to those who
helped pass out the treats too.
A decorated wreath contest was held and the winner by popular vote
was Deborah Gaspar. She won an Apple Goodie Gift Basket donated by
Louie Houle of Meadow Ledge Farm. New this year was a Christmas
Tree Raffle and the winner was Emma Farewell. She was able to
select the tree of her choice from the Masons/Corinthian Lodge Tree
lot. Congratulations to both of the winners.
The local Girl Scout troops led everyone in singing many Christmas
Carols – great job girls!! The Joyce family provided the Holiday
At 6pm, we counted down and the Tree was lit. (Many Thanks to the
“official” tree lighting and decorating committee). Phil Carpenter,
Joe Darrah and Ben Jones supplied the bucket truck and patience to
string the lights on the Tree. Fuzz Freese, Louie Houle, Mark Riel
and Bill Provencal (I hope I didn’t forget anyone) lighted the
Gazebo and put the wreaths on the light poles. The Tree and Park
looked very festive – THANK YOU!
This annual event takes many, many volunteers from local groups,
churches, town departments, family and friends. There are A LOT of
things that happen behind the scenes – (especially for The Store).
I’d like to thank Mike, Tucker and Casey Wolfe, GEF Freese, Ed Vien
and my husband, Mark Riel for helping with a lot of that behind the
scenes stuff! Thank you to ALL who helped to make it a great day.
To learn more about the Greater Pittsfield Chamber of
Commerce, please visit our website at
www.pittsfieldchamber.org or to volunteer
to help next year or make arrangements for any donations – call Andi
Riel at 435-6346 or email
Happy New Year to all!!
Meet Our Members - Rob Freese
Next up in our meet Our Members series is Firefighter Rob Freese.
Q: You have been a member of the fire department for almost 31
years. What changes have you seen over the years?
A: I joined the Pittsfield Fire Department the month following my
18th birthday. Prior to that I was an Explorer beginning at age 15.
During those early years the Explorer Program was vibrant and the
Department had a roster of around 40 members. It was as much a
revered social club in the community as it was about the
emergencies. The rescue squad was new to the department then.
Certifications were rare and I gained my certificate as a certified
fire fighter in 1991 as well as becoming a Nationally Registered
EMT—those were big deals in those days. My Engineer experience came
from guys who were mechanically inclined and I learned a lot from
them running a pump by sound and vibrations in the drafting line. I
still have a tendency to rely on those skills and use the new
fangled electronics as a means to verify my other senses and
observations. I have to say I was quite blessed to have seasoned
guys take an interest to share their knowledge. I both marvel and
yearn when I walk into the station today. The trucks and equipment
are much more capable than when I began. Imagine, we used manual
tools and were regularly faster than the guys showing up with “Jaws”
at extricating patients, but car construction has changed and I am
certainly glad we have too… not sure I could cut through an “A” post
with a hack saw or pull a windshield like we used to. I am very
proud of our little department because of our members, each is
amazing and has answered a higher calling to this honorable task. I
travel the world in this industry and, believe me, you have every
reason to hold your head high. Pittsfield Fire Department is
relevant because we change and adapt. No, we don’t have the kind of
parties we used to or hang out together in virtually every waking
(sometimes sleeping, too) moment, but we have had to evolve and our
time is sopped up by all that we need to train, practice, and
learn—“Desire to serve” is at our core, but it is no longer good
enough; people actually expect us to know what we’re doing.
Fortunately, we are not dinosaurs - the Department has changed and
it is prepared to meet the challenges of the present and the future.
No, actually we are better than that, we are ready to
enthusiastically embrace whatever comes our way to the best of our
abilities and those are pretty darn strong!!
Q: Please tell us about your role as Pittsfield’s Emergency
Management Director and the mission of the group.
A: This year I was asked to become the Emergency
Management Director for Pittsfield. It seemed like a terrific
opportunity. This is a position that I find exciting and one that
plays to the strength of experience I have accumulated through life.
Every community in NH is required by law to have a person appointed
to fulfill this role. Here in Pittsfield it has been traditionally
filled by the Fire Chief, Chief of Police, or Chairman of the Board
of Selectmen. Each of these three positions have giant
responsibility aside from Emergency Management and so there was
little time left to dedicate to planning for some eventuality that
may or may not ever happen. Thus far, I have used knowledge I
gained as a fire fighter, Lieutenant of the Rescue Squad, Deputy
Fire Chief, Police Officer, State Police Instructor, appointee by
the Governor to The Office of Emergency Management, and certainly my
near 25 year exposure to the whole emergency responder community
through my work at Globe. In the few short months since I was
appointed we have added a new tab on the Town Web Page (www.Pittsfield-nh.com) populated with lots of important information, secured new
communications equipment, received over $15,000 in grants,
established an Emergency Notification System for the town,
identified an action plan, and are well underway with a number of
other projects. The mission of Emergency Management is to muster
all the community’s resources to prevent or mitigate loss of life
and property as well as act as liaison to State and Federal
authorities for resources and information. If you have friends and
family that might be interested in volunteering but can’t quite make
the commitment to all the Fire Department requirements, I could
really use some help, particularly if they have skills in this area.
Q: What do you like best about the fire service? What is your
The people are the best! You take time from your busy schedule
assuming calculated risk to save friends, neighbors, and even
complete strangers. The adrenalin rush, the personal challenge to
adapt and overcome, the competitiveness within yourself, the
environment to be a leader and give/get encouragement—the push to be
stronger and better than you ever imagined on your own… all because
here you surround yourself with the people who are motivated to the
idea of continuous improvement in service to others. It is very
I am a believer in everything happening for a reason. A few years
ago I went through a bout with and survived cancer. During those
days I learned a lot about myself and at my core who I am. That
experience taught me to appreciate life and to love the people
around me. I have a passion to help other people change, grow, and
be successful, and in exchange I’ve learned that I change and grow,
too. The Pittsfield Fire Department has been a safe and supportive
place to be myself.
[The Pittsfield Fire Department and PFFA are extremely appreciative
of the support offered by Rob, his family, and the employees at
Globe Manufacturing Company. The effects of their kindness and
generosity are far reaching into the community - by supporting the
members of the fire department, we are better able to assist the
community. Thank you, Rob.]
Holiday Greetings from your friendly UPS driver, Ken Murphy.
I would like to take this opportunity to say goodbye to all the good
people of Pittsfield. After 4 years of having the privilege of being
the UPS driver servicing the Pittsfield area, I will be taking
another job within the company, - driving tractor trailers beginning
right after Christmas.
I have truly enjoyed my time spent here and have met so many
fantastic people, many of whom I consider friends! I will miss you
all as I feel like a welcomed member of the community!
Merry Christmas to All and Best Wishes for the New Year!
Letter To The Editor
Re: Nancy Heath’s letter, SVS Dec. 11, 2013
Most of the “rugged individualistic freedom-loving independent” (New
Hampshirites) I know are not afraid of the Free State Project taking
over New Hampshire politically.
They also support our representatives, Dan and Carol McGuire from
I think a lot like Willie Matras. I grew up not far from where he
grew up. We always had our freedom growing up on Catamount Mt.
That’s why I came back to Pittsfield. I the ten years that I left, I
learned it is quite easy to lose your freedom and become a slave.
And to become a slave, you cannot grow, and if you are not growing,
you are dying. That’s why we live by our State motto, “Live free or
die.” We really have no other choice.
Nobody has all the answers, but the McGuires err on the side of
individual responsibility and less government involvement and for
that, Will Matras, Carol and Dan McGuire, and the Free State Project
have my respect.
Dan Schroth Piermarocchi
The December 10, 6 p.m. meeting of the Dorcas Guild was the annual
Christmas Pot Luck and Gift Exchange. After a welcome by President
Nancy Fogg, Peggy Jacobs offered devotions taken from a Habitat for
Humanity devotional entitled “Picture the Kingdom of God.” Mary Jo
Powelson also read, “A Christmas Gift Suggestion” by Oren Arnold.
All joined in “The Lord’s Prayer.”
The group of 17 attendees began with a delicious meal – varied and
fabulous selections from salad, bread, casseroles, veggies and meats
to desserts and candy. Hostesses Peggy Jacobs, Mary Jo Powelson and
Polly Dodge assisted serving. Reny Boyd provided a cute pine cone
ornament for each attendee.
Beginning the short business meeting, the president asked for the
minutes of the previous meeting, which were read by Nella Hobson in
lieu of secretary Joan Riel, who was absent due to sickness. The
report was accepted without change. The treasurer’s report was read
by Reny. Some outstanding Silent Auction monies still need to be
deposited. The report was gladly accepted with a thank-you to all
those who participated or were involved in any aspect of the two
The food basket brought by Freda Jones went to Carolyn Davis and
will go to Nancy Fogg in January. The apron went from Joan to Reny
and will go to Nella next. The mystery package brought by Leslie
Vogt was won by Polly Dodge.
The slate of officers for 2014 was reviewed: Nancy Fogg, president;
Kathy Bergeron and Mary Jo Powelson, co-vice-presidents; Nella
Hobson, recording secretary and Joan Riel, corresponding secretary;
and Reny Boyd, treasurer.
The Wednesday work meetings will begin again on the first Wednesday
of February – February 5, 2014.
Bev Moore is finalizing the 2014 Dorcas Guild yearbooks with updated
addresses, programs and activities.
Christmas gifts for Rev. Stasiak, Linda Bissonnette and Nancy White
were suggested and voted unanimously.
While the group enjoyed dessert, the gift exchange was conducted
using the numbers selected for the mystery package. Many clever
gifts were exchanged.
The next meeting will be held January 14, 2014 at 7 p.m. It will be
a book exchange and “Birthday Party for All.” Bring a wrapped used
book. Hostesses are Peggy Jacobs and Gail Ann Newton. We will
discuss our service project and will select our missions.
Thank you, Mrs. Heath, for responding. I enjoy being able to voice
our concerns and ideas in a free country where nobody gets killed
I guess I’m just a little perplexed that so many people are turned
off at the idea of liberty. Have we just had it too good for too
long? We don’t seem to realize what we have until it’s gone. If so,
what a hard lesson to be learned. I’m pretty sure that’s why so many
immigrants have been pouring into the U.S. for so long. Freedom is
attractive, at least for those who haven’t had it. N. Korea doesn’t
have this “problem.” China’s economy is rising fast. Winds of
freedom are beginning to blow. I think their government is starting
to get it. This also happens on the state level. NH was chosen by
the Free State Project because limited government was always in
place here, but now is in danger of being lost. People are also
moving to Texas, Florida, and other states in droves where there are
no income taxes and more opportunities.
People get a little nervous at the idea of limited government. As if
it means no laws and the Wild West all over again, when in reality
if just means fewer laws and swift justice to those who do break
What the FSP wants to do is bring back the concepts of our
beginnings with the maximum role of government being the protection
of life, liberty, and property. Sound familiar? This is American
stuff here, nothing to be afraid of. And to add one more point, the
FSP isn’t just an extreme scary Republican thing, the first Free
Stater to be elected to the State House was a Democrat. Joel
Winters, D-Manchester, 2006.
Anybody with me?
Winter Safety Tips From The Pittsfield Fire Department:
• Keep all exits clear of snow
• Keep all heating vents and dryer vents clear of snow and ice to
prevent carbon monoxide poisoning
• Keep fire hydrants free from obstruction of snow during the winter
season. As you shovel or clear snow off your driveway and sidewalk,
please take time to clear the snow from around fire hydrants (3’
radius). During a fire, seconds count! The extra minute removing
snow from around fire hydrants may save your neighbor’s home or
• Keep your house number readily visible.
Your help is greatly appreciated.