For more information on our reopening procedures, please Click Here.  (Updated 6.18.20)

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Governor’s Office for Emergency Relief & Recovery

NEW HAMPSHIRE HOUSING RELIEF PROGRAM Overview

The Governor has authorized the allocation and expenditure of $35 million from the CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Fund (“flex funds”) to support families or individuals in need of housing assistance as a result of COVID-19. Of the allocated $35 million, $20 million will be initially expended, with $15 million being held in reserve, for rent stabilization and housing support.

According to New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority estimates, renters are twice as likely as homeowners to have lost their jobs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This would result in many of the approximately 152,000 renter households in New Hampshire lacking the ability to pay some or all of their rent. These Granite Staters could face possible eviction after the expiration of the emergency order prohibiting evictions for non-payment of rent.

The impact of significant numbers of households unable to pay rent due to the COVID-19 pandemic goes beyond the risk to their housing security. Small landlords and other property owners that are unable to collect rent are also disadvantaged and may be unable to meet their obligations to lenders and to their communities. Almost 90% of all rental units in New
Hampshire are owned by small landlords, meaning those who own 10 or fewer apartments.

The Governor’s Office of Emergency Relief and Recovery (GOFERR) will provide the funds to the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) which will then make an initial disbursement of funds to New Hampshire’s five Community Action Program (CAP) agencies, with additional funding provided based on use and need. The CAP agencies have experience administering other emergency housing funds, and their experience working with renters and property owners throughout the communities they serve will allow the Housing Relief Program funds to quickly reach people who are struggling to pay their rent. They are also well-positioned to connect renters with other resources and services they may need.

The New Hampshire Housing Relief Program is designed to keep people from losing their housing and to secure or maintain permanent housing. The program has two components: onetime assistance grants; and a short-term rental assistance program.

The one-time assistance grants can be used to assist households with:


* Past-due rent from April 2020 forward for households that fell behind on rent due to either increased household expenses or lost household revenue as a result to COVID-19;

*Past-due housing/household related expenses that may impact an individual’s/families’ ability to remain housed; and/or

* Other housing related one-time expenses that if not paid impact the ability to maintain housing.

The grant is not to exceed $2,500, and is conditioned on COVID-19 related loss of household income or increased household expenses. This grant program is targeted to those households who will be able to maintain their housing without assistance after the one-time assistance payment.

*Past-due rent that was not paid due to a COVID-19 related inability to pay and ongoing rental assistance on a short term basis using progressive engagement. The rental assistance will decrease over time as households regain stability; or

*First month’s rent and ongoing short-term rental assistance to assist with initial costs to facilitate the transition of working households from shelters into permanent housing.

Both the one-time grants and the short-term rental assistance will be coupled with regional case management services to help connect households to appropriate services as defined by the household and the agency. Program payments will be made directly to the landlord or provider, and this program will end by December 30, 2020.

Expect social distancing in future of financing

May 28, 2020—Portsmouth, NH – By Paul Briand – seacoastonline.com

How people manage their money in the post-pandemic economy depends as much on people’s psyches as it does on the COVID-19 contagion itself, according to a local banker, insurer, accountant and money manager.

Even if the spread of the virus is contained, each of these financial industry representatives has an expectation of what the consumer might be doing differently compared to six months ago.

As it was during a stay-at-home economy, expect online interaction to continue as a primary way of conducting business like banking, said Rick Wallis, our president and CEO of Piscataqua Savings Bank.

“Customer relationship building is very important; you can’t just do it online,” Wallis said. “I think we try to blend the two together – electronically, but at the same time individually. Call, talk to, come in and see us – I don’t think that’s going to go away; I’m hoping it won’t.”

The lobby of Piscataqua Savings Bank on Pleasant Street in Portsmouth currently is closed to the public. Outside walk-up and drive-through services are available to customers. Rick envisions what he called a “tip-toe” approach to re-establishing the economy by re-opening businesses like his slowly and with safeguards such as sanitizing and plastic shields between employees and customers.

“There’s a lot of material that we’re trying to bring into place so that we can do it and do it safely,” Wallis said. “I would love to have us by end of summer being fully open again, but I think it’s really going to depend on where the virus goes from here.”

One important effort cited by Wallis to help get the community and its economy back on its feet is the bank’s participation in tax credit programs for non-profits backed by the N.H. Community Development Finance Authority. New Hampshire businesses, such as his bank, support selected projects by purchasing tax credits, resulting in the nonprofit receiving a donation and the company receiving a 75% New Hampshire state tax credit against that contribution.

“It’s a scary time,” Wallis said. “We don’t know what’s going to happen down the road, but we want to be supportive.”

Piscataqua Savings Bank is among the highest capitalized banks in the state. The only mutual bank based in Portsmouth today, Piscataqua Savings Bank is dedicated to serving local individuals and families and has been a cornerstone of the Portsmouth community since 1877.  More information is available at www.piscataqua.com.

Piscataqua Savings Bank Recognized as ‘Best For The World 2019’

Piscataqua Savings Bank Staff 2020

September 2019—Portsmouth, NH – Piscataqua Savings Bank, located at 15 Pleasant Street, received the Best For The World 2019 Honoree in the “Workers” category from the B Corporations’ annual Impact Assessment. The award recognizes that the bank places in the top 10 percent of all B Corporations worldwide in this category.

Certified B Corporations are leaders of a global movement using business as a force for good. They meet the highest standards of overall social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability and aspire to use the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. The qualifications for becoming a B Corporation are rigorous and comparable to a Fair-Trade certification but for whole business.

There were approximately 1,000 B Corporations from 44 countries that received the award this year, including well-known brands such as Patagonia, Dr. Bronner’s, and TOMS. All Best for the World 2019 honorees were grouped in Community, Environment, Customers, Workers, Governance or Changemakers impact categories.

The Workers section of the B Impact Assessment reviews a company’s relationship with its workforce. It measures how the company treats its workers through compensation, benefits, training and ownership opportunities. It also focuses on the overall work environment within the company, and evaluates management/worker communication, job flexibility, corporate culture and worker and safety practices.

There are more than 3,000 Certified B Corporations in over 150 industries worldwide in 64 countries. Only 90 corporations in the U.S. were recognized, and Piscataqua Savings Bank was one of 212 “Worker” Award Recipients worldwide.

“Piscataqua Savings Bank has been a special place to work, but this incredible honor validates what we’ve felt all along,” said Rick Wallis, President & CEO of Piscataqua Savings Bank.

Piscataqua Savings Bank is the tenth business and the second bank to become a certified B Corporation in the state of New Hampshire .

Piscataqua Savings Bank is among the highest capitalized banks in the state. The only mutual bank based in Portsmouth today, Piscataqua Savings Bank is dedicated to serving local individuals and families and has been a cornerstone of the Portsmouth community since 1877.  More information is available at www.piscataqua.com.

Connections Peer Support Center Grateful for Donation

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Seacoastonline.com / Posted Aug 20, 2019 at 2:54 PM

To the Editor:

We wish to thank Piscataqua Savings Bank’s recent contribution of $1,000.

At Connections Peer Support Center, we serve those living in the Seacoast region, with programming at our Portsmouth location at 544 Islington St., community outreach, and through our peer-run 5 to 10 p.m. Warm Line phone support service.

Mental health challenges affect everyone. Those experiencing them are our family members, friends, neighbors, colleagues, and even ourselves. For many, peer support is an essential ingredient for overcoming those challenges and for living engaged and fulfilling lives in our communities. To be sure, the recovery process has its twists and turns, but our members are there to share both the challenges and successes of each others’ personal recovery.

“Fiscally, Piscataqua Savings Bank’s investment in Connections is a sound one: the cost of providing services is $15 per day/per person (there is no charge to our members), while hospitalization for one day can exceed $1,500. Our regularly participating members report fewer hospitalizations, fewer mental health crises, and improved quality of life, thanks to their involvement in our peer support community.

Our sincerest thanks to Piscataqua Savings Bank for their long tradition of supporting the community and for their generous support of Connections Peer Support Center.
Greg Burdwood
Executive director
Connections Peer Support Center
Portsmouth

Piscataqua Savings Bank is among the highest capitalized banks in the state. The only mutual savings bank based in Portsmouth today, Piscataqua Savings Bank is dedicated to serving local individuals and families and has been a cornerstone of the Portsmouth community since 1877. More information is available at www.piscataqua.com.

Contact:
Rick Wallis, President/CEO
Piscataqua Savings Bank
603.436.5250
rwallis@piscataqua.com

Piscataqua Savings Bank Holds Grand Re-Opening Ceremony

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June 26, 2019—Portsmouth, NH – Piscataqua Savings Bank, located at 15 Pleasant Street, will hold their Grand Re-Opening on Wednesday, June 26 beginning at 10 am.

The Bank is inviting customers and the community to attend the event, which will begin with a ribbon-cutting ceremony performed by Mayor Jack Blalock. Afterward, tours of the newly renovated space, refreshments and giveaways will be offered.

The renovation was a decade in the making, after the Board of Trustees at Piscataqua Savings Bank determined that their four buildings required substantial updates to improve customer access to services and create space for current and future growth. The construction process took 20 months and a series of phases, with the final stages recently completed this month.

President and CEO of Piscataqua Savings Bank, Rick Wallis said the renovation balances 21st century architectural and technological innovation with 19th century tradition. He said he’s excited to share the results of renovations with the community.

“Though we’ve improved our ability to deliver services and meet the needs of people today and in the future, we still share the traditions we were founded on more than 140 years ago,” said Wallis.

To attend the Grand Re-Opening, no RSVPs are required but more information on Portsmouth’s bank can be found at piscataqua.com.

Piscataqua Savings Bank is among the highest capitalized banks in the state. The only mutual bank based in Portsmouth today, Piscataqua Savings Bank is dedicated to serving local individuals and families and has been a cornerstone of the Portsmouth community since 1877.  More information is available at www.piscataqua.com.

Piscataqua Savings Bank Celebrates Grand Re-Opening

By Ian Lenahan news@seacoastonline.com
Posted Jun 26, 2019 at 4:50 PM Updated Jun 26, 2019 at 4:50 P

PORTSMOUTH — Twenty-one months after beginning renovations, Piscataqua Savings Bank held its re-opening ceremony Wednesday.

A crowd of nearly 100 people, comprised of corporators, customers and staff members, came out to see the renovations to one of Portsmouth’s most famed buildings. Guests mingled before the ribbon-cutting ceremony performed by Piscataqua’s President and CEO Rick Wallis and Mayor Jack Blalock.

Noting the team effort among Piscataqua staff, design teams and construction members to ensure the process was seamless, Wallis took pride in celebrating the success of the collaboration.

“It really was a skilled process and took a lot of individual artistry,” he said.

With the process beginning in 2014, Wallis said plans were drawn out to “create the foundation for the renovation design.” In 2015, Piscataqua Savings held a town hall-style meeting with corporators, board members and staff, who gave “input to what we have today.” The following year, the bank selected DeStefano Architects and Pine Brook Construction to help construct the most important aspects of the process.

Much of the major renovations involved opening up the main lobby and reconstructing the back entrance to make both more accessible. The back entrance more formally referred to as the “conservatory,” is now connected to the main lobby. The conservatory now features a plant wall above the teller stations in reference to the garden outside – a staple of the bank for years. A glass ceiling was also constructed for more natural light to complement the greenery in the space.

In keeping with the desire to be more accessible, Wallis said an elevator is being completed. The bank, which occupies four buildings acquired over its 142-year history, has seven stops in the building that the elevator will service.

Wallis highlighted Piscataqua Savings’ achievement of becoming a certified B Corporation, which aims to base decisions on clientele and staff members’ needs and the well-being of their immediate environment. Calling it
an easy decision, seeing as how Piscataqua Savings serves as a mutual savings bank, Wallis spoke about the principles Piscataqua follows.

“We’re focusing on transparency, environmental protection and accountability,” he said. “We are reaffirming our commitment to our customers as a mutual savings bank. It’s always been our mission to support our community, customers and staff.”

Before assisting Wallis with the ribbon cutting, Mayor Blalock praised the renovations.

“It’s my bank,” he said. “I’ve been coming here since I was a kid. We have a beautiful collection of old buildings that we take care of and this all looks so great.”

Piscataqua Savings Bank is among the highest capitalized banks in the state. The only mutual bank based in Portsmouth today, Piscataqua Savings Bank is dedicated to serving local individuals and families and has been a cornerstone of the Portsmouth community since 1877.  More information is available at www.piscataqua.com.

Piscataqua Savings Bank Becomes a Certified B Corporation

Be the change featured image B Corp

By Suzanne Laurent business@seacoastonline.com
Posted Jun 16, 2019 at 6:00 PM Updated Jun 16, 2019 at 6:00 PM

PORTSMOUTH — Piscataqua Savings Bank recently announced its new status as a certified benefit corporation.

B corps are leaders of a global movement by meeting the highest standards of overall performance, transparency and accountability in their communities.

Piscataqua Savings is the second bank in the state to receive the prestigious status and joins well-known businesses such as Stonyfield Farms, Cabot Creamery, Ben & Jerry’s, King Arthur’s Flour and Patagonia.

“I had attended a conference presentation about B Corporations about a year ago, and it struck a chord with me,” said President and CEO Rick Wallis. “Last August, we began strengthening our documents for future generations and became a benefit corporation.”

To become a benefit corporation under New Hampshire law, Wallis said the bank needed to amend its articles of agreement stating it is a B corp. That amendment requires approval by the N.H. Banking Department and is a condition of B Lab Certification. Qualifications for becoming a B corporation are rigorous and comparable to a Fair Trade certification but for the whole business. Wallis had to answer 200 questions and have all the information verified by B Lab. This was finished by February and then voted on by the bank’s board of corporators.

Piscataqua Savings differs from other banks in that it is strictly retail, with no commercial services. And the corporators are bank customers.

“It goes back to right when we were established (in 1877),” Wallis said. “There were a number of citizens within the Portsmouth area that wanted to establish a mutual savings bank, so it was a very philanthropic endeavor that they took on because they got no return for it because they didn’t have any shares in it.

“When you start a bank today, you go and issue shares and you get capital and so forth. They started the bank as actually a window within the First National Bank of Portsmouth, and then broke out and established its own corporation here right in these buildings.”

The corporators are made up of customers of the bank who are active in the community and willing to advocate for and support the bank’s success. Today, there are 63 corporators and from that pool, a board of nine trustees is elected.

“We don’t have directors, we have trustees with a chairperson, Barbara Shea-Smucker,” Wallis said.

The corporators also live within the bank’s market area – about a 25-mile radius – including southern York County in Maine. The bank currently has 10,000 customers.

“There weren’t a lot of things that I had to do or change right up front,” Wallis said. “Being a mutual savings bank, we felt like we were a B Corporation since day one. Our missions and goals are very much in line with what a B Corporation is.”

Wallis said banking is a very much a homogenous industry each providing deposits and loans. He said he wanted Piscataqua Savings to stand out by becoming a B Corporation.

“What I like about it is that it kind of keeps our feet to the fire a little bit,” he said. “We can rest on our laurels that we’re a mutual savings bank and we do well for the community. But this way, it’s kind of a measurement for us. We have to be held to that higher standard of a B Corporation.”

Wallis said the bank will have to be recertified every three years, adding, “I’m already working on the next recertification.”

The bank is undergoing expansion and renovation with elements to become environmentally efficient. Work includes insulating the bank’s Exchange Block buildings that were built in the 1800s, using LED lights and energy-efficient HVAC units. Wallis said he is also looking into renewable energy credits.

“Coming back to why it was important to become a B Corporation is that we want to have customers that align with those same values,” he said. “You hear a lot about social investing and I think that more and more people are being more cognizant of where their money is going and who they’re doing business with. So, we want to make sure that we stay viable, and this is one way that we can try to connect with customers that have equal or like-minded values.”

Wallis also said it’s important to have employees who believe in what they are doing.

“It’s tough in this job market to get and retain people,” he said.

Piscataqua Savings has 46 employees and more than half have been with the bank for more than 10 years.

“We do well by doing well in the community,” Wallis said.

Piscataqua Savings Bank is among the highest capitalized banks in the state. The only mutual bank based in Portsmouth today, Piscataqua Savings Bank is dedicated to serving local individuals and families and has been a cornerstone of the Portsmouth community since 1877.  More information is available at www.piscataqua.com.

Paul Pierce To Speak At 3rd Annual Seacoast All-Star Sports Awards

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By Staff reports / sports@seacoastonline.com
Posted Mar 24, 2019 at 9:00 AM

PORTSMOUTH — Boston Celtics legend Paul Pierce, a 10-time All-Star and MVP of the 2008 NBA Finals, will be the featured guest speaker at the third annual Seacoast All-Star Sports Awards, which is returning to The Music Hall in downtown Portsmouth on Tuesday, June 18.

Pierce will help Seacoast Media Group honor its top local high school athletes at the live event, following previous speakers Danny Amendola in 2017 and Pedro Martinez summer.

“We’re thrilled to host Boston Celtics All-Star Paul Pierce as the keynote speaker and to help honor the Seacoast sports All-Stars,” said Howard Altschiller, Seacoast Media Group executive editor. “He’s not just a Celtics great, but also a great person with an inspiring story to tell.”

The 2019 Seacoast All-Star Sports Awards show is presented by SMG in partnership with the Center for Orthopedics and Movement at Exeter Hospital, and Piscataqua Savings Bank. Player of the Year awards for 25 high school sports will be presented at the event, for which the SMG sports team will be nominating hundreds of local athletes from its Portsmouth Herald and Foster’s Daily Democrat coverage areas. Coach of the Year, Male Athlete of the Year, Female Athlete of the Year and Team of the Year will also be announced along with some special awards, presentations and videos.

All award winners will be granted a personal meet-and-greet and photo opportunity with Pierce, and every nominated athlete will receive free admission. The event is open to family, friends and the general public, with tickets on sale now online.

“We’re very excited to once again be a sponsor of the Seacoast All-Star Sports Awards,” said Rick Wallis, President/CEO of Piscataqua Savings Bank. “As a community bank, we support local youth athletic programs throughout the year and we look forward to recognizing the accomplishments of the athletes.”

Piscataqua Savings Bank is among the highest capitalized banks in the state. The only mutual bank based in Portsmouth today, Piscataqua Savings Bank is dedicated to serving local individuals and families and has been a cornerstone of the Portsmouth community since 1877.  More information is available at www.piscataqua.com.

Learning All About Food

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all about food
Akshay, right, and Tim, third-graders in Jen Marden’s class at Little Harbour School, work in the school garden, which is part of the city schools’ Farm to School program.

By Robert Levey news@seacoastonline.com

April 29, 2018 at 7:21 PM – Portsmouth, NH — A program implemented at all city schools, Farm to School educates students about the nature of food and provides unique opportunities for teachers to engage them in unique ways.

“I have been taking my students to the garden as well as to our outdoor classroom for the past three years,” said Faith Masterson, who teaches kindergarten at Dondero Elementary School.

“When we are in the garden, we treat it like another learning space. We have a meeting about what our job will be for the day – it could be anything from planting to weeding to harvesting.” Masterson’s kindergarten students love the program, too.

“I get to play and have fun and we plant stuff,” said Annie Martin.

Darilyn Scardina said she enjoys digging in the garden and finding worms. “We also found potatoes and got to make soup,” she said.

For Masterson, the ability for students to help prepare and taste what they have literally sown is a critical program component. “I noticed all students taking a risk and trying the soup even if they initially said they didn’t want to,” she said. “Because of their involvement, they were intrigued in tasting the final product.”

Aside from the fun aspect of the program, Program Manager Kate Mitchell said its deeper purpose is to yield specific learning outcomes.

“By the end of their schooling in Portsmouth, all students should know where food comes from and have had experiences with our local food system, including access to eating local food through the school meals program,” she said. “We want students to be empowered with the knowledge of how to grow their own food and to be educated in making confident decisions about their food choices.” Akshay, right, and Tim, third-graders in Jen Marden’s class at Little Harbour School, work in the school garden, which is part of the city schools’ Farm to School program.

Mitchell said the program’s success stems from strong support from teachers and administration, as well as outside collaborators. She cited Three River Farmers Alliance as one of several special contributors to the program.

“The Farm to School program is creating an entry opportunity for farmers to serve the institutional market, which has tremendous power to impact the local food system with their purchasing strategies,” said Three River’s Erin Tooch. “For students, it is creating a solid foundation of knowledge for a lifetime of healthy food choices and community engagement.”

Three River is a network of more than 20 local farms and food producers that collectively market, aggregate and distribute exclusively locally produced, in-season products. Aside from working with the Portsmouth School District, it sells produce to approximately 150 restaurants, including about 30 in Portsmouth.

Aside from program collaborators, funders continue to make investments in the program, including Piscataqua Savings Bank.

“We sincerely hope that local communities see the value of such a great program and that it will continue for the next generation of students,” said President and CEO Rick Wallis.

Mitchell said the school district has long supported the program and previously related efforts.

Stephen Zadravec, superintendent of Portsmouth schools, said Farm to School has been “called out specifically in School Board goals over the last few years.”

“In terms of the upcoming vote, it would be accurate to say the School Board voted to request funding from the City Council to sustain this program as part of the FY19 budget,” he said.

Expressing gratitude for past and current support, Mitchell said the future looks “big, vibrant, connected and impactful” for Farm to School.

“We have a rooftop garden en route for the middle school, a permaculture greenhouse for the high school, additional dreams at Robert J. Lister Academy, equipment purchases for the kitchens and strengthening community connections in the mix,” she said. “We’re keeping our sleeves rolled up and can’t wait to keep digging deeper.”

Read the original article from the Seacoast Online on April 29, 2018.
http://www.seacoastonline.com/news/20180429/learning-all-about-food

13th Annual Spirit of Giving Campaign Kicks Off at Piscataqua Savings Bank

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October 31, 2017 – Portsmouth, NH — Piscataqua Savings Bank’s annual charity drive, called the Spirit of Giving Campaign, is now underway in downtown Portsmouth. This year, the Bank will collect donated items to support the New Hampshire Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NHSPCA) of Stratham, an organization that nurtures animals through rescue, rehabilitation and adoption in the face of animal cruelty.

The Bank has provided drop boxes to collect donations inside their lobby on Pleasant Street. Included on the NHSPCA’s Wish List are items for cats, dogs, rabbits, small mammals and birds, horses and farm animals, and miscellaneous office supplies for the organization. The NHSPCA is also accepting gift cards to Pet Life, Amazon, PetCo and Market Basket. For a full list of accepted donations, visit www.piscataqua.com.

“We are so proud of Spirit of Giving and the many community members who contribute to it,” said Wanda Fontaine, Assistant Vice President and Assistant Operations Officer at the Bank. She serves as the Chair of the holiday giving campaign. “We look forward to making the holiday season a little brighter for a different group each year, and it warms our hearts to support the NHSPCA and help provide safe and loving homes for animals.”

Piscataqua’s drop boxes are filled and delivered over the holiday season. Your donations are welcome anytime during the Bank’s main lobby hours: Monday-Friday 9:00am to 4:00pm, and Saturday 9:00am to 12:30pm.

The only mutual savings bank based in Portsmouth today, Piscataqua Savings Bank is dedicated to serving local individuals and families and has been a cornerstone of the Portsmouth community since 1877. Information is available at www.piscataqua.com.

Contact:
Wanda Fontaine Assistant Vice President/Assistant Operations Officer
Piscataqua Savings Bank
603.436.5250
wfontaine@piscataqua.com

Best of the Seacoast Honored

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Piscataqua Savings Bank won the 2017 Best of the Seacoast award for “Best Bank”

By Karen Dandurant

August 25, 2017 – Portsmouth, NH — In the first of what will become an annual event, business owners of all types gathered at the Portsmouth Harbor Events and Conference Center Thursday night to find out if readers voted them the 2017 Best of the Seacoast.

John Tabor, publisher of Seacoast Media Group, said a record 156,000 readers cast votes in support of their favorite businesses. All types of businesses vied in categories that included arts and culture, beauty, drink places, education, entertainment and recreation, food and dining, health and merchants and retailers.

The top three vote getters in every category were invited to attend and 150 first-place awards were handed out. All who attended were the best of the best in their fields, as chosen by SMG readers.

“All these businesses are the best of the best,” said Tabor. “It is difficult for small business owners, who have to hire and train employees. They pay their taxes. What they all have is the true entrepreneurial spirit and that’s what we are celebrating tonight.”

Miss New Hampshire Lauren Percy announced the winners. In September she will compete for the title of Miss America.

The best place to see a theatrical production was awarded to the Ogunquit Playhouse in Maine. Bradford Kenney, artistic director for the historic venue, said they are also getting the accolade during its 85th anniversary season.

“We are thrilled to be part of this and to be recognized,” said Kenney. “We are overwhelmed. I am happy we are standing here alongside the Music Hall as we have been spending our holidays with them for several years now. We collaborate on the Christmas show there and we love it.”

The Seacoast is home to many local craft brewers, and many of those beers can be found at the Revolution Taproom and Grill in Rochester, voted as having the best beer selection on the Seacoast.

“I want to thanks all of our local vendors, farms and brewers,” said owner Mark Marchionni. “Without them, this could not happen.”

Mark Bowen, who has owned Dover Bowl for 30 years, said he thinks people voted for his business as best place to bowl because he offers something for everyone, for all ages.

“We have bowling, of course,” said Bowen. “We also have indoor bumper cars, laser tag, a big arcade, and a full bar. Last year we added charity bingo.” Country View Restaurant in Greenland won for best diner. Manager Joseph Smith said they appreciate their customers and it is nice to be appreciated by them.

Liberty Lane Catering of Hampton has been in business for 20 years. Owner Kevin Sullivan said they appreciate and thank the people who voted for them.

“We will keep up the hard work,” said Sullivan. “We want our customers to be happy with our services.” Village Veterinary Clinic of Rollinsford won in the category of best vet on the Seacoast. Before they knew of the award, Tammy Poole, a longtime worker there, said she felt her boss, Dr. Michael Narzemetz, deserved to win.

“We are the best,” said Poole. “My boss is the best vet around in our opinion. He is very caring and very passionate about his work.”

Before the announcements, Emily Loscocco and Ilya Burov, new owners of the Portsmouth School of Ballet, said they were thrilled by the nomination. They didn’t win, but both said just to be at the event was amazing to them as both are new to the city.

“We have danced all over the world,” said Burov. “We have been in Europe, Russia, Alaska and many more places. It has been our dream to own our own studio. We are so happy to be making Portsmouth our home.” Win or lose, Loscocco said they feel the past few weeks have been magical. “We are meant to be here,” she said.

Best of the Seacoast winners will receive a special logo from SMG, one they can incorporate into their own business advertising.

Read the original article from the Seacoast Online on August 25, 2017.
http://www.seacoastonline.com/news/20170825/best-of-seacoast-honored

Thanks to the Seacoast All-Stars

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June 24, 2017 – Portsmouth, NH — We’re here today to thank the stars of the inaugural Seacoast All–Star Sports Awards — our local student-athletes — for making Thursday’s event a big success before a packed house at The Music Hall in Portsmouth.

We were proud to invite hundreds of high school athletes and their families to celebrate a full school year of amazing accomplishments on the fields, tracks, ice rinks and courts of the Seacoast. We also owe big thanks to the parents and families of the athletes, the coaches, special guest Danny Amendola of the New England Patriots, lead sponsors Piscataqua Savings Bank, the Center for Orthopedics & Movement of Exeter Hospital and Core Physicians and the Little Harbour Charitable Foundation and numerous other sponsors, The Music Hall staff, the volunteers from our own staff and many more people. Amendola was gracious to everyone he met, signing autographs and posing for photos. He also shared insights into the Super Bowl and his life and career in a memorable on-stage interview with our own Ryan O’Leary and John Doyle, the hosts of the show.

The teenage athletes, of course, were the reason for the event. You have amazed us all year, winning many state titles, setting records and competing at an extremely high level. We know the hours and hours of training it takes to succeed, and you have exemplified it.

There were so many great moments in the night. Let’s name a few

• Trevor Salema, a Traip athlete who battles cystic fibrosis, was the winner of the Courage Award and the recipient of one of the loudest standing ovations of the night after a video documenting his work ethic and perseverance played. We definitely noticed a few tears shed as the video featured Trevor’s parents talking about what he has to go through each day to be able to go to school and play sports.

• Comedian Juston McKinney, host of the “Small Town Famous” edgeradio.com show and podcast, warmed up the audience, poking fun at the few people he noticed in the crowd wearing the jersey of Julian Edelman, Amendola’s teammate with the Patriots. “That’s like wearing a Katy Perry T-shirt to a Taylor Swift concert,” he said. “You wouldn’t do that.”

• Kyle Ball, the winner as the Seacoast’s top football players, wasn’t in attendance. His little brother Aiden Bly, 8, accepted the award on his behalf and nearly stole the show. He got to meet Amendola and got the audience laughing. “He’s so cute,” was heard many times.

• Boys lacrosse award winner Dom Silverio of Dover High School gave Amendola a huge bear hug. “I love Danny Amendola. I love the Patriots,” he said. “That is one of the best moments of my life.”

We hope the night was as memorable and enjoyable for the audience as it was for us. We are proud of all the nominees for representing their schools and the community with class and setting a good example on how hard work pays off. High school sports are a joy to watch and the athletes come away with memories that are among the most important of their lives.

Thank you for letting us be a part of it.

Read the original article from the Seacoast Online on June 24, 2017.
http://www.seacoastonline.com/news/20170624/thanks-to-seacoast-all-stars

Rye Student Organizes Race to Educate

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May 19, 2017 – Rye, NH — Lilia Potter-Schwartz had such a success with her fundraising project last year that she decided to hold a second annual Race to Educate triathlon.

Lilia, 13, a seventh-grader at Rye Junior High School, organized the first Race to Educate last year as part of her bat mitzvah charitable contribution.

“Mitzvah means good deed,” Lilia said. “I wanted to do something that meant something to people, but something that is also meaningful to me.”

After researching many charities while preparing for her bat mitzvah, Lilia chose to work with the local organization Education for all Children, founded in Rye, which currently funds 355 students in secondary and post-secondary schools in Kenya.

Lilia is currently sponsoring two girls, Cecilia and Sadia, through four years of high school.

EFAC creates opportunities for vulnerable youth in Kenya through education, life skills workshops and mentoring. Only 40 percent of children in Kenya are able to attend secondary (high) school.

“I chose this charity because I am so grateful to have a good public education here,” Lilia said. “Both Cecilia and Sadia are from modest families who struggle to pay rent and put food on the table. They are now doing well in secondary school and hope to attend university in three years.”

Lilia’s face lights up when she talks about the two young women who will be able to attend four years of high school as a result of her efforts last year.

“We write back and forth,” she said. “It’s always fun to hear from them.”

Adding to the money she made from the first triathlon, Lilia busked in Market Square playing her violin, held bake sales and sought donations. In total she raised more than $8,000. It cost $4,000 to send one child through high school in Kenya.

In addition to organizing the triathlon, which takes place Sunday, May 28, Lilia had to approach sponsors for donations, ask businesses for prize items and get permits from the towns of Portsmouth, New Castle and Rye.

She began preparations in December to get a website up and then began looking for sponsors. Kumon Reading and Math Center of Portsmouth is the event sponsor. Runners Alley and Piscataqua Savings Bank are the corporate sponsors and there are nine other smaller sponsors, Lilia said.

The triathlon starts and finishes at Portsmouth High School, with a 275-meter swim in the Portsmouth Indoor Pool, a 7.36-mile ride and a 2.5-mile run.

“It’s very family-friendly,” Lilia said. “I’m hoping to recruit 100 participants and to raise $4,000 this year, enough to sponsor one more Kenyan student.”

Lilia, the daughter of Mike Schwartz and Sharyn Potter, said she is an avid swimmer and enjoys biking and running.

“This event is not competitive at all,” she said. “It’s really about having fun and helping Education For All Children. “Visit http://tinyurl.com/RaceToEducate2 to sign up.

Read the original article from the Seacoast Online on May 19, 2017.
http://www.seacoastonline.com/news/20170519/rye-student-organizes-race-to-educate

$60k Donated to Local Arts Organizations

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May 08, 2017 – New Castle, NH — The Seacoast Women’s Giving Circle gathered to celebrate the six recipients of its annual grants at a May 4 event that attracted more than 100 members and guests to the Portsmouth Yacht Club.

The group was founded in 2006 with the mission of spreading grassroots philanthropy through collective giving and has directed more than $500,000 to local nonprofit organizations. This year, SWGC chose to support the arts, recognizing that the arts play a major role in the Seacoast area and contribute greatly to its economy and well-being.

SWGC Chairwomen Jane Lannon and Erika Taylor introduced the six nonprofit organizations selected for their offierings in the areas of artist recognition, arts education, arts in healthcare, access to the arts, collaboration and community engagement.

“Thriving arts organizations are critical to the vitality of our community,” Lannon said. “We are thrilled to be gifting over $60,000 in grants to these six organizations. Together we strive to make a significant, long-lasting impact on the quality of life on the Seacoast.”

Kirsten Mahoney, SWGC Give chairwoman, talked about the difficulty in selecting six organizations from a large pool of very compelling applications.

“The selection committee was inspired and humbled by the many organizations on the Seacoast doing tremendous work to support artists and engage the community in appreciation of the arts,” Mahoney said. “While many of these applications were worthy of funding, ultimately we focused on the mission of the SWGC to help us make these difficult decisions.”

The SWGC thanked Piscataqua Savings Bank for its generous support in sponsoring the event. Representatives from two of the recipient organizations, Zach Lange and Stu Dias, who are frequent performers at The Dance Hall, and the PMAC Teen Jazz Band performed during the event.

The SWGC 2017 grant recipients, the amounts of the grants are:

The Dance Hall, $15,000: It will utilize the grant to hire a part-time outreach coordinator to expand the artistic program, broaden collaboration and increase organizational capacity. This will also assist in Dance Hall programs becoming more accessible to school-aged children, low-income families, senior citizens and military families.

3S Artspace, $15,000: The nonprofit multifaceted arts organization is dedicated to presenting and supporting bold, emerging art and entertainment and cultivating an informal space for the exchange of ideas and creativity. In its flexible performance space and large gallery, 3S offers lectures, films, art exhibits, concerts and everything in between. 3S puts a strong emphasis on collaboration, and has partnered with an extensive list of organizations, artists, businesses and schools. This grant will go toward operational support of the organization with an emphasis on community engagement.

Portsmouth Music and Arts Center, $15,000: It will use the grant for operational support to strengthen and sustain its fiscal stability in order to meet the need of every financial aid application.

Seacoast Mental Health, $5,000: It will use the grant to support two art therapy program for clients with severe and persistent mental illnesses, including bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, depression and anxiety. Funds from the grant will provide stipends for professional artists to teach SMH clients and for the purchase of art supplies. Clients will partner with professional artists to create artwork that will then be sold in a silent auction, supporting SMH and empowering their clients.

New Hampshire Theatre Project, $5,000: Grant proceeds will be used to partially fund the first year of “The Elephant Series,” four play readings on social issues that are often ignored. Through each event NHTP will partner with an organization associated with the topic.

Arts In Reach (AIR), $5,000: AIR’s mission is to empower at-risk teenage girls through mentoring and the arts. AIR provides free art-based afterschool and summer programs to teenage girls. The grant will provide operational support for AIR’s mentoring and art programs. For more information, visit http://www.seacoastwomengive.org

Read the original article from the Seacoast Online on May 8, 2017
http://www.seacoastonline.com/news/20170508/60k-donated-to-local-arts-organizations

Amendola to Speak at Inaugural Seacoast Sports Award Show

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By Staff Reports

April 29, 2017 – Portsmouth, NH — Two-time Super Bowl champion Danny Amendola of the New England Patriots will be the featured guest speaker of the inaugural Seacoast All-Star Sports Awards event on June 22 in downtown Portsmouth.

Seacoast Media Group will be honoring its top local high school athletes in a live show at The Music Hall located on 28 Chestnut Street.

“I am very honored to help recognize the student-athletes for their achievements,” Amendola said in a statement, “and look forward to a special evening celebrating their accomplishments.”

Player of the Year awards for 25 sports will be presented at the awards show, for which the SMG sports team will nominating hundreds of local athletes from its Portsmouth Herald and Foster’s Daily Democrat coverage areas. Coach of the Year, Male Athlete of the Year, Female Athlete of the Year and Team of the Year will also be announced along with some specialty awards.

All award winners will enjoy a personal meet and greet and photo opportunity with Amendola, and every nominated athlete will receive free admission. The event is open to family, friends and the general public. Tickets – which will be available for purchase starting Sunday, April 30 – are $25 for adults and $5 for students.

“As we’ve gotten to know the character and accomplishments of our local athletes, we chose to take the celebration of what they achieve beyond the page and into the community,” said John Tabor, president and publisher of Seacoast Media Group. “Our Seacoast High School All-Star Awards will be a gala night to celebrate our high school athletes with awards, videos, testimonials, all capped off with an on-stage interview with our special guest ‘champion’ – Danny Amendola of the Super-Bowl winning Patriots.

“We hope this will become an annual event the whole Seacoast anticipates from the first training day in the August heat to the last week of spring sports.”

The event will also include a special appearance by professional snowboarder and Olympic medalist Scotty Lago. On the night of the event, a pre-show party with food vendors and photo opportunities will take place on Chestnut Street. Doors open for the main event at 6 p.m. and seating for the show will begin immediately. The event is scheduled to start at 6:35 p.m. and will end at approximately 9 p.m.

The inaugural event is being sponsored by Piscataqua Savings Bank and Exeter Hospital’s Center for Orthopedics and Movement.

“We are very pleased to be a sponsor of the 2017 Seacoast All-Star Sports Awards,” said Rick Wallis, President and CEO of Piscataqua Savings Bank. “As a local business, we’re excited to be able to show our pride in the accomplishments of local high school athletes.”

“We’re pleased to be a part of this exciting new event supporting our local sports teams,” said Debra Vasapolli, Exeter Hospital’s director of community relations, “and the youth of our communities.”

Amendola, 31, joined the Patriots as a free agent wide receiver in March of 2013 and has been part of the franchise’s past two Super Bowl championships: XLIX and LI. Amendola made several critical plays in the Patriots’ 34-28 win over the Atlanta Falcons in overtime on Feb. 5, 2017. He caught a 6-yard touchdown pass from Tom Brady with 6 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter to narrow what had been a 25-point Falcons’ lead. Later in regulation, he caught the game-tying 2-point conversion pass with less a minute to go as New England tied the game, 28–28, to force the first overtime game in Super Bowl history.

Amendola recently took a pay reduction for the third straight year to remain a Patriot in 2017, carving his maximum earning capacity to $1.7 million for this season and saving the team $4.75 million in salary cap space.”In his four years in New England, Danny Amendola has projected himself as nothing but a first-class teammate,” Seacoast Media Group sports editor Ryan O’Leary said. “He’s a tremendous example for our local athletes, and I hope they’ll be excited as I am to have Danny at the Music Hall on June 22 to help us celebrate their accomplishments during the 2016-17 school year. This is going to be a blast.”Find out more information about the event, including how to purchase tickets, online at http://seacoastonline.com/seacoastallstars. Nominated athletes for the fall and winter seasons will be receiving a letter within the next few weeks with instructions on how to claim their free ticket to the event. Spring nominees will receive their letters soon after.

To learn about sponsorship opportunities, contact Andrew Chernoff at 603-570-2118 or achernoff@seacoastonline.com.

Read the original article from the Seacoast Online on April 29, 2017.
http://www.seacoastonline.com/sports/20170429/amendola-to-speak-at-inaugural-seacoast-sports-awards-show

Empty Bowls Fundraiser a Success

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April 22, 2017 – Portsmouth, NH – To the Editor: — Our Portsmouth community made a big impact on hunger at the first annual Empty Bowls Fundraiser held at Portsmouth Middle School on March 31. Over 300 families came out to raise awareness of hunger in our community and spend a night giving back! It was great to see so many families enjoying a simple meal, treasuring their handmade ceramic bowls, and participating in an event that helps our neighbors in need.

The amount of support seen throughout the course of making this event happen was overwhelming and made it clear to see why Portsmouth is such a wonderful city and community to be part of.

Thank you to the Portsmouth School Department, the Portsmouth Middle School Community Builders, Student Council, Parents Advisory Council, and food service team for hosting the event in the beautiful Portsmouth Middle School Stokel Commons, and for providing our youth with the important lesson of giving back – our future certainly looks bright!

Thank you to the Portsmouth Herald/Seacoast Media Group and iHeart Media Group for providing exceptional advertising through newspaper articles and radio spotlights. Thank you to Ambrosia Gardens for making our tables beautiful and Infinite Imaging for a beautifully printed graphic. Thank you to the Blue Mermaid, Thirsty Moose, Dos Amigos, Tj’s, Old Ferry Landing, What a Crock, The Green Bean, Beach Pea Baking Company, and NH Distribution for donating delicious soup, bread, and drinks for our event – it’s no wonder why our restaurant scene is incredible!

Thank you to the St. John’s Youth Ministry and Girl Scout Troop 10854 for baking and donating over 400 cookies – we think you’re pretty sweet! Thank you to the over 30 local businesses and supporters who donated auction items to add another element of fun to the event. Thank you to Piscataqua Savings Bank, Federal Savings Bank, and Ben’s Auto Body for participating as part of our corporate sponsors.

And finally, thank you to the community for recognizing the importance of helping our neighbors in need and the many residents who are food insecure right here in Portsmouth. Through the support of our community we were able to raise over $10,000 dollars at our first annual Empty Bowls. All of the proceeds will support the Seacoast Family Food Pantry and their continued goal of providing assistance to food insecure residents and families in Portsmouth and surrounding Seacoast communities! Watch for the second annual Empty Bowls next year as we look forward to bringing more of our community together to fight hunger.

Kristin Kern and Katelyn Beach
Portsmouth

Read the original article from the Seacoast Online on April 22, 2017.
https://www.seacoastonline.com/news/20170407/community-makes-empty-bowls-event-success

Six Honored as Champions of Children

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champions of children
Six individuals were recognized for their efforts to ensure the safety, health and wellbeing of children in the community as part of the Child Advocacy Center of Rockingham County’s 6th annual Champion Awards Thursday at the Sheraton Portsmouth Harborside Hotel. Champion recipients from left to right include: Kimberly Pelchat, Child Protective Service Worker, Paul Curtis, HAVEN volunteer advocate, Newmarket Police Chief Kyle True, Lt. Rick Beaudet, Newmarket Police Department, Stephanie Johnson, Rockingham County Attorneys’ Office prosecutor, and Rick Wallis, president and CEO of Piscataqua Savings Bank.

April 6, 2017 – Portsmouth, NH — Six exemplary individuals were recognized at the sixth annual Champions for Children Awards Ceremony at the Sheraton Portsmouth Harborside Hotel Thursday morning.

The Child Advocacy Center of Rockingham County presented the awards in recognition of April being Child Abuse Prevention Month

Last year, there were 2,400 cases of child abuse investigated in the state. Three hundred of them were investigated by a staff of just three at the CAC of Rockingham County, with 200 more cases screened.

This year’s recipients were Rick Wallis, president of Piscataqua Savings Bank; Kim Pelchat, a child protective service worker for the N.H. Department Health and Human Services’ Division of Children, Youth and Families; Paul Curtis, a victim advocate with Haven; Stephanie Johnson, an attorney with Rockingham County Attorney’s Office; and Chief Kyle True and Lt. Rick Beaudet of the Newmarket Police Department.

Maureen Sullivan, executive director of CAC, which has offices in Portsmouth and Derry, introduced the guest speaker, Lt. Joseph Ebert, director of the N.H. Department of Safety’s Fusion Center.

Ebert talked about his getting a 2 a.m. call as a young state trooper to investigate a homicide case for a 2-year-old child.

“It caught me off guard,” he recalled. “The witness was a 5-year-old and the suspect was the mother. I was preoccupied driving to the hospital about how I was going to get a statement from a 5-year-old.”

Ebert said someone met him at the hospital from the CAC.

“This was a new concept to me,” he said. “I had always worked as an individual in investigations, but now I was part of a team. The forensic interviewer was able to get a statement useable in court.”

Saying survivors deserve anonymity, Ebert talked about a high-profile kidnapping case of a 14-year-old.

“She was emotionally and sexually abused daily and shown videos on police interrogation,” Ebert said. “She was indoctrinated to think law enforcement is bad.”

With the help of a CAC forensic interviewer alone in the room with the victim, Ebert and his team were able to get a pure version of a statement on a video feed that gave them the power and leverage to get a conviction and a plea.

Ebert said this insured the survivor did not have to get up on the stand.

He ended with a message of hope.

“There are some days in my job when it’s really horrible … days that will never leave my memory,” Ebert said. “I look at it and say, those are the bad days for me, but those are every day for the folks at the CAC. And that really gives me a healthy respect for what they do.”

He said he sees some of the survivors and stays in touch with their families because for him, personally, he needs to know they made it through and that they’re thriving, because “otherwise, it is just doom and gloom.”

“So the silver lining in this is what the CAC provides to these children. It provides them with a chance to survive and thrive,” Ebert concluded.

This year’s award recipients were treated to two things. One was a slideshow comparing each to a movie screen champion. The other was that Nico Zaino, 12, one of last year’s award recipients helped to present the awards.

Nico of Hampton, with the help of his football teammates, started the “Little Warriors for a Big Difference.” They collect money and items like stuffed animals and snacks for the CAC forensic investigators to give to children during interviews, as well as purchase small office supplies like batteries or pens.

Sullivan said Wallis was “fiercely committed to a partnership between the public and private sector,” as president of Piscataqua Savings Bank.

“While there are many individual and corporate donors who are responsible for the CACs success, none have been as supportive as Rick Wallis,” she said. “He has been described by his staff as mentor, by his clients as respectful and by leadership as a man of integrity, but my favorite description is ‘arm candy’ by his wife Karene.”

Wallis’s movie match? “Braveheart,” as a photo of Mel Gibson appeared on the screen.

CAC program coordinator and forensic interviewer Jillian Burns presented the award to Pelchat, whose movie double was Kristen Bell.

“She, usually being the first responder to the types of cases that eventually make their way to the CAC, does the grunt work,” Burns said. “Kim and I are no strangers to reaching each other on our cellphones, even after hours, to triage cases … child protection can be a thankless job, but today I’m here, we’re here to say thank you.”

Curtis, a victim advocate for Haven, was praised by Sullivan for his calm, caring and lighthearted demeanor.

“I’ve peeked into the waiting room many times only to see you bonding with a child over a game or story,” she said. “At Christmastime, there was one boy who looked up at you and truly believed he had an exclusive audience with Santa Claus.”

It was only fitting that Curtis’s doppelganger was Kris Kringle.

Burns introduced attorney Stephanie Johnson comparing her to the heroes from “Star Wars,” who have won over Johnson’s sons’ hearts.

“Being a Jedi requires patience, trusting your instincts, devotion to a mission, acknowledging the dark side but refusing to dwell on it, and most importantly, protecting and defending the helpless. You, my friend, are a Jedi,” Burns said, as a photo of Princess Leia popped up on the screen.

Sullivan presented True and Beaudet, as “Turner & Hooch” appeared on the screen.

“For Chief Kyle True and Lt. Rick Beaudet, the constant shifting dynamic between the two proves countless laughs and surprisingly sweet moments,” Sullivan said.

She talked about the case of a Newmarket father who broke multiple bones in his infant son’s body.

“As family men and as investigators, no doubt this case had an effect on them,” Sullivan said. “For a police officer, there is no other crime more reprehensible than those committed against a child.”

True acknowledged Nico as he accepted his award.

“You’re going places my friend,” he said. “What is really humbling are the forensic interviews that Jillian and Megan (Donahue) do. You are the true champions.”

Donahue is CAC’s intake coordinator and a forensic interviewer. Rounding out the staff is Loree Sullivan, an interim interviewer, filling in for Burns, who is on maternity leave, but came to the awards ceremony.

Read the original article from the Seacoast Online on April 6, 2017.
http://www.seacoastonline.com/news/20170406/six-honored-as-champions-for-children

Piscataqua Savings Bank Hails ‘Spirit of Giving’

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January 10, 2017 – Portsmouth, NH — Piscataqua Savings Bank wrapped up its 12th annual Spirit of Giving charity drive, a campaign that began Oct. 31 and ran through the holidays.

The bank chooses two community service organizations each year to help through community donations. This year’s recipients were the Rockingham Meals on Wheels Center and the Senior Activity Center at the Community Campus in Portsmouth.

Two carloads of household supplies were donated to Meals on Wheels. Items were collected from the bank’s customers and staff and community members. The bank also collected donations Meals on Wheels, totaling $519, which will help seniors and disabled residents across the county.

Donations for the Senior Activity Center totaled $219, while donated items included 95 blankets, which were wrapped and delivered as gifts to members at the Senior Center holiday luncheon. The Spirit of Giving team also helped serve the holiday luncheon Dec. 22.

Read the original article from the Seacoast Online on January 10, 2017.
http://www.seacoastonline.com/news/20170110/piscataqua-savings-bank-hails-spirit-of-giving

12th Annual Spirit of Giving Campaign Kicks Off At Piscataqua Savings Bank

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October 31, 2016 – Portsmouth, NH – Piscataqua Savings Bank in downtown Portsmouth will launch their annual Spirit of Giving campaign on October 31st. The Bank has provided drop boxes to collect donations for two important community service organizations for twelve consecutive years. This year, the recipients of the Bank’s annual charity drive are the Rockingham Meals on Wheels and the Senior Activity Center at Community Campus.

Wanda Fontaine, Assistant Vice President/Assistant Operations Officer at the Bank, is chair of the holiday giving campaign again this year. Fontaine said, “We are so proud of our Spirit of Giving campaign. Each year our Piscataqua family wants to do more for the community. We look forward to making the holiday season a little brighter for local seniors and we are so appreciative of the way our customers, and even people who are not our customers, contribute to our annual giving campaign each year.”

Drop boxes for the organizations are available inside the Bank lobby on Pleasant Street in Portsmouth. You can help make this year a happier holiday for countless Seacoast seniors by bringing your donations into Piscataqua Savings Bank.

The Wish List includes: monetary donations, toilet paper, bath soap, toothpaste and toothbrushes, shampoo, laundry detergent, trash bags, Kleenex boxes, and others. Visit www.piscataqua.com for a complete listing of wished-for donations from both organizations. Drop boxes are filled and delivered to the appropriate agency as needed. Your donations are welcome anytime during the Bank’s Main Lobby hours: Monday-Friday 9:00am to 4:00pm, and Saturday 9:00am to 12:30pm.

Piscataqua Savings Bank is dedicated to serving local individuals and families and has been a cornerstone of the Portsmouth community since 1877. More information is available at www.piscataqua.com.

Contact:
Wanda Fontaine Assistant Vice President/Assistant Operations Officer
Piscataqua Savings Bank
603.436.5250
wfontaine@piscataqua.com

11th Annual Spirit of Giving Campaign Kicks Off at Piscataqua Savings Bank

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October 23, 2015 – Portsmouth, NH – With the theme, “Be someone’s Angel this year,” Piscataqua Savings Bank in downtown Portsmouth will launch their annual “Spirit of Giving” campaign on October 31st. The Bank has provided drop boxes to collect donations for two important community service organizations for eleven consecutive years. This year, the recipients of the Bank’s annual charity drive will be Seacoast Family Food Pantry and Families First.

Wanda Fontaine, Assistant Vice President/Assistant Operations Officer at the Bank, is chair of the holiday giving campaign this year. Fontaine said, “We are so proud of our Spirit of Giving campaign. Each year our Piscataqua family wants to do more for the community. We look forward to making the holiday season a little brighter for local families and we are so appreciative of the way our customers, and even people who are not our customers, contribute to our annual giving campaign each year.”

Drop boxes for the organizations are available inside the Bank lobby on Pleasant Street in Portsmouth. You can help make this year a happier holiday for countless Seacoast families by bringing your donations into Piscataqua Savings Bank.

The Wish List includes:

  • Monetary donations
  • Hard warmers
  • Hats, gloves, and mittens
  • Warm coats
  • Non-perishable foods

Visit www.piscataqua.com for a complete listing of wished-for donations from both organizations. Drop boxes are filled and delivered to the appropriate agency as needed. Your donations are welcomed anytime during the Bank’s Main Lobby hours which are Monday – Friday 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM, and Saturday 9:00 AM to 12:30 PM.

Piscataqua Savings Bank is dedicated to serving local individuals and families and has been a cornerstone of the Portsmouth community since 1877. More information is available at www.piscataqua.com.

Contact:
Wanda Fontaine Assistant Vice President/Assistant Operations Officer
Piscataqua Savings Bank
603.436.5250
wfontaine@piscataqua.com

Piscataqua Savings Bank Hosts Kids’ Bank Challenge

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July 16, 2015 – Portsmouth, NH – Piscataqua Savings Bank of Portsmouth held an Ice Cream Truck event on Saturday, July 11th concluding its successful Kids’ Bank Challenge called the “Yoyo Giveaway Challenge.” The initiative encouraged young savers to earn deposits through chores, helpful jobs around the house or gifts from special events.

The five-week challenge was launched on June 6th during a book signing event for the children’s book, The Yoyo and the Piggy Bank. Savers that earned and deposited $5 or more into their account between June 6th and July 11th would each receive a yoyo, a teddy bear and ice cream from the Bank. Those who entered the challenge were entered into a raffle for an additional prize as well and the Bank also donated $5 to a charity of their choosing. The non-profits selected by challenge participants included the NHSPCA, Cocheco Valley Humane Society, Paws with a Cause, the Salvation Army, the Krempels Center and CHaD.

Among the children to participate were James and Luke Peavey. The boys were pleased to receive their yoyos, teddy bear and an ice cream treat from the Ice Cream Truck for their hard-earned savings.

“James and Luke love going to the Kids’ Bank on Saturday mornings and saving their money,” said their mother, Pam Peavey. “They chose the NHSPCA and the Salvation Army to donate to as part of the challenge. It’s great to be able to contribute to the community, while also watching my kids have a blast learning about savings.”

Piscataqua Savings Bank is among the highest capitalized banks in the state. The only mutual bank based in Portsmouth today, Piscataqua Savings Bank has been a cornerstone of the Portsmouth community since 1877. Information is available at www.piscataqua.com.

Contact:
Rick Wallis, President/CEO
Piscataqua Savings Bank
603.436.5250
rwallis@piscataqua.com

A wonderful decade in Portsmouth’s secret garden

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By Bill Loughlin

Read the original article from the Seacoast Online on October, 26 2014 http://www.seacoastonline.com/article/20141026/NEWS/141029406/101053/OPINION

To take a left off State Street into the parking lot of Piscataqua Savings Bank is to enter a secret garden. For the past 10 years, it has been my province. Actually, I’ve frequented that garden for more than 30 years if one figures my presence in it from the time I opened a business account at the bank in 1982. But it was in 2002 that I inquired of then president Jay Gibson about a part-time opening.

Nothing unusual about a depositor making an inquiry of the bank president at Piscataqua. The bank comports itself as a family, treats the businesses and depositors it serves as extended family, and even non-account holders as perhaps distant relatives to whom it opens its downtown parking lot after banking hours and from whom it exacts a minimal charge for the use of its ATM. Call the bank between the hours of 7 a.m. and 4 p.m., and chances are a human being will answer. I know every member of the bank’s board of directors, and not one of them ever passes me without asking how I am. They don’t have to do that.

Courtesy is one thing that’s free in this life, and there’s plenty of it to go around in the parking lot of Piscataqua Savings Bank. Fundamentals of socialization are taught daily there. Holding the door invariably elicits a smile, and often a quickened step so as not to unduly delay the holder. I can’t count the cups of tea and cocoa customers have brought to my booth in the winter, or the cookies brought back by those who’ve asked if they can park for five minutes to run to the card store, the Post Office, or the coffee shop.

The Kids Bank, with that wonderful stuffed bear and steps up to the window to enable the youngest account holders to make their own deposits, is a logical extension of the bank’s genuine family theme. It affords young children exposure to the practice of saving, and a sense of appreciation for the deposits parents and grandparents make on their behalf.

I’ve never had time or need to read or text as I sit on the stool in the lot. Someone is always passing through — customers, the landscapers whose talents keep the perimeter lush and bursting with a profusion of colors, and people crossing the lot on their way to work, their place of business, or simply on a stroll. Most are disposed to talk. I’ve listened, sympathetically, to news of deaths and divorces; gladly to news of births, marriages and graduations. And I’ve bent an ear on occasion myself. The daily mail run, too, is seldom without a conversation or two with people encountered en route or the always-pleasant folks at the Post Office.

Pleasantness, in fact, pretty much sums up my years at Piscataqua Savings Bank. Maybe it’s schmaltzy, but now I think of it, it’s kind of appropriate that the bank’s is a Pleasant Street address (number 15, Suite 1, if you’re looking for it). Within a couple of years, Jay upgraded my job, but from the day I made my initial deposit I’ve enjoyed the same treatment I’ve seen everyone accorded at the bank. If ever there was a place where all were treated equally, it’s this bank. Customers’ treatment doesn’t reflect the size of their accounts, and the staff, who greet them, eye to eye, and strive to meet their every need, treat one another with the same solicitude and respect.

Piscataqua Savings Bank opened its doors in 1877. I wasn’t there. Really, I wasn’t. But despite all the changes in the world — all the challenges to kindness, gratitude, sincerity and mutual respect; the seeming falling out of favor of gentleness, good will and optimism — this bank remains a local institution with a positive outlook that’s manifested in the flowers that bloom around it, in the faces and demeanor of those who work for it, and reflected back by the customers they serve and even passersby, locals and strangers alike.

It’s this — this, it turns out, not so secret garden — to which I’m saying goodbye after 10 years. Oh, I’ll still be an occasional visitor; my money remains in this bank. But I’ll miss the daily give and take, the acquaintanceships and friendships, the greetings and news, the exchanges of pleasantries. I’ve been here a respectable time, though, and am ready to bid structure adieu and indulge in a little rest and recreation. So a tentative farewell to my colleagues and friends, tentative because an occasional encounter is still, thankfully, likely. It’s been a wonderful 10 years.

Bill Loughlin is a resident of Rye.- See more at: http://www.seacoastonline.com/article/20141026/NEWS/141029406/101053/OPINION

Piscataqua Savings Bank Announces 2013 Scholarship Recipients

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June 17, 2013 – Portsmouth, NH – Each year Piscataqua Savings Bank honors four high school students who have demonstrated a strong commitment to community service and high character. In recognition of these outstanding qualities, this year the Bank awarded a $1,000 college scholarship to each of these students.

The recipients of this year’s awards are Isabella Cotrupi and Allison McDevitt of Portsmouth High School; Alexis D’Amour of Robert W. Traip Academy in Kittery; and Anna Lietz of Marshwood High School in Eliot, Maine.

In the fall, Isabella Cotrupi will be attending American University, Allison McDevitt will be attending Simmons College. Both of these Portsmouth High School recipients have demonstrated excellent character through a significant amount of community service. Alexis D’Amour will attend the University of Tampa, majoring in Biology and Anna Lietz (one of the Top Ten for 2013 at Marshwood High) will be attending Skidmore College and majoring in Biology/Pre-med.

“Here at Piscataqua Savings Bank we have a long tradition of focusing resources on children and young adults,” said Rick Wallis, President/CEO of Piscataqua Savings Bank. “We congratulate all four scholarship recipients for their outstanding high school accomplishments and wish them the greatest success as they pursue their college careers.”

The only mutual bank based in Portsmouth today, Piscataqua Savings is dedicated to serving local individuals and families and has been a cornerstone of the Portsmouth community since 1877.

Contact:
Rick Wallis, President/CEO
603.436.5250
rwallis@piscataqua.com

8th Annual Spirit of Giving Campaign Launched at Piscataqua Savings Bank

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October 30, 2012- Portsmouth, NH – Piscataqua Savings Bank in downtown Portsmouth has officially launched its annual “Spirit of Giving” campaign. For the eighth consecutive year the Bank has provided drop boxes to collect donations for two important community service organizations. This year, they are Seacoast Family Promise, which serves homeless families and the Seacoast Family Food Pantry.

Kathleen Donovan, Vice President and Trust Officer at the Bank, chairs the holiday giving campaign. Donovan said, “We are so proud of our Spirit of Giving campaign. It grows stronger each year and there have been so many touching stories as a result. We had a successful Halloween party to kick off the campaign; hopefully we’ll continue to gather a nice amount of donations for these non-profits.”

Drop boxes for the organizations are available inside the Bank lobby on Pleasant Street in Portsmouth. You can help make this year a happier holiday for countless Seacoast families by bringing your donations in to Piscataqua Savings Bank.

Top Three Items on Seacoast Family Promise’s Wish List:

  • Outerwear, boots & shoes
  • Diapers & wipes
  • New socks, underwear & pj’s

Top Three Items on Seacoast Family Food Pantry’s Wish List:

  • Non-perishable protein: canned tuna or chicken, beef stew, peanut butter, etc.
  • Personal care items: toothpaste, toothbrushes, shampoo, razors, deodorant, etc.
  • Canned fruits

Additionally, both organizations are in need of cash or gift card donations, which can be turned in at any of the teller windows for collection.

Drop boxes are filled and delivered to the appropriate agency as needed. Your donations are welcomed anytime during the Bank’s Main Lobby hours which are Monday – Thursday 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Friday 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM and Saturday 9:00 AM to 12:30 PM.

Piscataqua Savings Bank is dedicated to serving local individuals and families and has been a cornerstone of the Portsmouth community since 1877. More information is available at www.piscataqua.com.

Contact:
Kathy Donovan, Vice President/Trust Officer
603.430.2958
kdonovan@piscataqua.com

Piscataqua Savings Bank Announces 2012 Scholarship Recipients

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June 14, 2012 – Portsmouth, NH – Each year Piscataqua Savings Bank honors four high school students who have demonstrated a strong commitment to community service and high character. In recognition of these outstanding qualities, the Bank awards a $1,500 college scholarship to these students.

The recipients of this year’s awards are Elizabeth Walsh Boynton and Kathleen J. Fitzgerald of Portsmouth High School; Michael Noble of Robert W. Traip Academy in Kittery; and Rebecca Dodier of Marshwood High School in Eliot.

In the fall, Elizabeth Walsh Boynton and Kathleen J. Fitzgerald will both be matriculating to the University of New Hampshire, Michael Noble will be attending the University of Maine at Orono and Rebecca Dodier will be attending Northeastern University.

“As a local bank, Piscataqua Savings Bank has a long tradition of focusing its resources on children and young adults,” said Rick Wallis, President/CEO of Piscataqua Savings Bank. “We congratulate Elizabeth, Kathleen, Michael, and Rebecca for their outstanding high school accomplishments, and hope these scholarships will serve as a helping hand to these impressive students’ future success.”

The only mutual bank based in Portsmouth today, Piscataqua Savings is dedicated to serving local individuals and families and has been a cornerstone of the Portsmouth community since 1877. Information is available at www.piscataqua.com.

Contact
Rick Wallis
President/CEO
rwallis@piscataqua.com
603.436.5250

7th Annual Spirit of Giving Campaign Launched at Piscataqua Savings Bank

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November 18, 2011- Portsmouth, NH – Piscataqua Savings Bank in downtown Portsmouth has officially launched its annual “Spirit of Giving” campaign. For the seventh consecutive year the Bank has provided drop boxes to collect donations for two important community service organizations. This year, they are Seacoast Family Promise, which serves homeless families and the Seacoast Family Food Pantry.

Kathleen Donovan, Vice President and Trust Officer at the Bank, chairs the holiday giving campaign. Donovan said, “We are so proud of our Spirit of Giving campaign. It grows stronger each year and there have been so many touching stories as a result. This is the kind of effort that reinforces our commitment to the community and makes us feel great about what we do here every day.”

Drop boxes for the organizations are available inside the Bank lobby on Pleasant Street in Portsmouth. You can help make this year a happier holiday for countless seacoast families by bringing your donations into Piscataqua Savings Bank.

Top Three Items on Seacoast Family Promise’s Wish List:

  • Outerwear
  • Gloves & Mittens
  • Personal Care Items

Top Three Items on Seacoast Family Food Pantry’s Wish List:

  • Non-perishable Protein: Canned Tuna or Chicken, Beef Stew, Peanut Butter, etc.
  • Personal Care Items: Toothpaste, toothbrushes, shampoo, razors, deodorant, etc.
  • Canned Fruits

Drop boxes are filled and delivered to the appropriate agency as needed. Your donations are welcomed anytime during the Bank’s Main Lobby hours which are Monday – Thursday 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Friday 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM and Saturday 9:00 AM to 12:30 PM.

Piscataqua Savings Bank is dedicated to serving local individuals and families and has been a cornerstone of the Portsmouth community since 1877. More information is available at www.piscataqua.com.

Contact:
Kathy Donovan, Vice President/Trust Officer
603.430.2958
kdonovan@piscataqua.com

6th Annual Spirit of Giving Campaign Launched at Piscataqua Savings Bank

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November 15, 2010- Portsmouth, NH – Piscataqua Savings Bank in downtown Portsmouth has officially launched its annual “Spirit of Giving” campaign. For the sixth consecutive year the bank has provided drop boxes to collect donations for two important community service organizations: Families First Health and Support Center, and the Seacoast Family Food Pantry.

Kathleen Donovan, Vice President and Trust Officer at the Bank, Chairs this holiday giving campaign. Donovan said, “We are so proud of our Spirit of Giving campaign. It grows stronger each year and there have been so many touching stories as a result. This is the kind of effort that reinforces our commitment to the community and makes us feel great about what we do here every day.”

Drop boxes for each organization are available inside the bank lobby on Pleasant Street in Portsmouth. You can help make this year a happier holiday for countless seacoast families by bringing your donations into Piscataqua Savings Bank.

Top Three Items on Families First Wish List:

  • Diapers and Baby Wipes
  • Clothing
  • School Supplies

Top Three Items on Seacoast Family Food Pantry’s Wish List:

  • Non-perishable Protein: Canned Tuna or Chicken, Beef Stew, Peanut Butter, etc.
  • Personal Care Items: Toothpaste, toothbrushes, shampoo, razors, deodorant, etc.
  • Canned Fruits

Drop boxes are filled and delivered to the appropriate agency several times a week. Your donations are welcomed anytime during the Bank’s Main Lobby hours which are Monday – Thursday 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Friday 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM and Saturday 9:00 AM to 12:30 PM.

Piscataqua Savings Bank is dedicated to serving local individuals and families and has been a cornerstone of the Portsmouth community since 1877. More information is available at www.piscataqua.com.

Contact:
Kathy Donovan, Vice President/Trust Officer
603.430.2958
kdonovan@piscataqua.com

Agency and Client Team Up to Support Local Artist

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July 27, 2010 – Portsmouth, NH – DARCI Creative and client, Piscataqua Savings Bank, have joined forces along with other sponsors: KDPaine & Partners, Kennedy Gallery and Custom Framing and Salmon Falls Architecture to underwrite the artwork of Bill Paarlberg in his show “Illustrating Portsmouth.” The exhibit, organized by the Portsmouth Historical Society, will open at the Discover Portsmouth Center on August 6, 2010 and will run through September 10, 2010.

Bill Paarlberg: Illustrating Portsmouth is a 30-year retrospective of well known local illustrator Bill Paarlberg. Paarlberg is best known for his Portsmouth drawings, paintings and graphic design, illustrating local architectural and historical themes. The show opens August 6th and will occupy the main gallery at the Center and include some 40 or 50 pieces, many of which can be viewed on Mr. Paarlberg’s blog “Illustrating Portsmouth.”

A native of Hampton, New Hampshire, Paarlberg became a Portsmouth-based illustrator, publisher, and graphic designer in the late 1970s. His popular arts and entertainment weekly “re:Ports. Magazine” and annual calendar “The Portsmouth History Calendar” were staples of the 1980’s Portsmouth arts scene. More recently local galleries have displayed his watercolors of the North Church steeple and other local scenes.

More information about the show and several scheduled artist talks is available at www.portsmouthhistory.org.

Piscataqua Savings Bank Raises $5,000 in Relay for Life

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June 16, 2010 – Portsmouth, NH – Piscataqua Savings Bank has been actively involved with the Portsmouth Relay for Life, sponsored by the American Cancer Society, since 2007. This year, nearly the entire staff participated and the team placed fourth among 49 teams, contributing over $5,000 to cancer research.

Wanda Fontaine, Assistant VP & Assistant Operations Officer for the Bank, originally founded the Piscataqua team. Fontaine who lost her father to the disease and whose mother is a four-time cancer survivor says it’s become a family event and next year her teenage daughter plans to lead her own team. Customer Service Representative, Christine Bibeau, led the Piscataqua Savings Bank team this year and Fontaine served as co-captain.

About her experience, Christine Bibeau said, “It all comes together during the Luminaria ceremony where all participants gather to pay tribute to the survivors and to those who have passed. It’s just a wonderful feeling; it means so much to so many people in a lot of different ways. We really hope our part plays a role in finding a cure someday.”

The only mutual bank based in Portsmouth today, Piscataqua Savings is dedicated to serving local individuals and families and has been a cornerstone of the Portsmouth community since 1877. Information is available at www.piscataqua.com.

Contact:
Jay S. Gibson, President/CEO
Piscataqua Savings Bank
603.436.5250

Piscataqua Savings Bank Supports the Prescott Park Arts Festival Family-in-Need Program

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June 1, 2010 – Portsmouth, NH – Two local organizations have joined together to enable more families to enjoy the festivities at this year’s Prescott Part Arts Festival. The Family-in-Need membership program was designed by Prescott Park as a way to support their mission to make the entire community feel welcome at their events.

Prescott Park Arts Festival has a history of partnering with local organizations like Families First to distribute family memberships to those without the means to purchase their own. And, Piscataqua Savings Bank has a history of supporting local cultural and non-profit organizations. Together they hope to provide even more families with quality experiences and memories from the full season of events and activities in the park.

Piscataqua Savings has pledged matching funds to support the program. So, when you sign up to become a member and add a Family-in-Need membership to your order, you’ll be ensuring that two local families will receive memberships for the 2010 season. For more information on memberships and the Family-in-Need program, visit www.prescottpark.org.

According to Jay Gibson, “This is a very worthy program and as long time supporters of both Prescott Park and Families First, we’re very enthusiastic about our involvement. In fact, as the Festival celebrates its thirty-sixth anniversary we can say that we’ve supported Prescott Park each year, since its inception in 1974.”

Ben Anderson, Executive Director of Prescott Park Arts Festival, said, “We’re thrilled to have the generous support of Piscataqua Savings Bank. With their matching funds we’ll be sharing the magic with even more families this season. Our theme for the Family-in-Need program is ‘Spread the Joy’ and Piscataqua Savings is really helping us do more of that this year!”

The only mutual bank based in Portsmouth today, Piscataqua Savings is dedicated to serving local individuals and families and has been a cornerstone of the Portsmouth community since 1877. Information is available at www.piscataqua.com.

Prescott Park Arts Festival celebrates its 36th anniversary of presenting music, art, theater and dance on the banks of the Piscataqua River. The primary objective of the Festival is to provide quality family entertainment, promote artistic excellence in the community and maintain quality presentations of both entertainment and educational events. For more information and a schedule of events, go to www.prescottpark.org.

Contact:
Jay S. Gibson, President/CEO
Piscataqua Savings Bank
603.436.5250

Strawbery Banke Children’s Book Project Completed with the Help of Piscataqua Savings Bank

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April 21, 2010 – Portsmouth, NH – Good Morning Strawbery Banke is a delightful tale that chronicles a day in the life of JD, a real-life local black cat who makes Strawbery Banke Museum his home during the day. The story idea was hatched in August of 2009 when Strawbery Banke President, Larry Yerdon, approached local artist Wickie Rowland with a request for her to illustrate a children’s book for the Museum. The project evolved and Mrs. Rowland has both authored and illustrated a colorful book with JD the cat as tour guide. As children turn the pages, they take a walk through time while JD brings them to visit shopkeepers, housewives, craftsmen, and children as they each begin their day.

Mrs. Rowland said, “I’ve enjoyed drawing the pictures immensely and have learned a great deal from the project. I hope visitors to Strawbery Banke will feel like they’re stepping into the pages of the book as they tour each room.”

Mrs. Rowland will be present at a book signing and family- friendly reception to launch the book on Tuesday, April 27, 2010 from 4:30 to 5:30 pm at the Tyco Visitors Center at Strawbery Banke Museum, located at 14 Hancock Street in Portsmouth, NH. The book is geared for children ages 4-9 and the reception will include face painting and refreshments.

Rodney Rowland, the author’s husband and Director of Facilities & Special Projects for the Museum, coordinated the project, and said, “We clearly wanted this to be a collaborative community project. We are a local museum; the book is authored by a local artist and published by a local publisher – Publishing Works of Exeter, NH. It only made sense for us to approach an historic local bank that prides itself on supporting local causes and organizations. Piscataqua Savings Bank also has a commitment to children as demonstrated through their Kids’ Bank program designed to teach kids about saving money. They were our first choice as an underwriting partner, and happily they were enthusiastic about getting involved.”

Jay Gibson, President of Piscataqua Savings Bank said, “The Bank’s support of this exciting project reflects our commitment to provide the public with a better understanding of our local history. Teaching children about the past plays a great role in developing their appreciation about the wonderful area in which they live, and we’re thrilled to have played a role in the creation of Good Morning Strawbery Banke.”

About Strawbery Banke Museum:
Connect with the Past! Step into 400 years of living in our neighborhood. Strawbery Banke Museum provides the opportunity to see how people lived for four centuries of New England history. Through restored furnished houses, exhibits, historic landscapes and gardens, and costumed role players, Strawbery Banke Museum interprets the living history of generations ho settled in Portsmouth ,NH, from the late 17th century to the mid-20th century. Call 603.433.110 for more information or visit www.strawberybanke.org.

About Piscataqua Savings Bank:
The only mutual bank based in Portsmouth today, Piscataqua Savings is dedicated to serving local individuals and families and has been a cornerstone of the Portsmouth community since 1877. Information is available at www.piscataqua.com.

Contact:
Amy Moy
Strawbery Banke Museum
603.433.1100

4th Annual Spirit of Giving Campaign Launched at Piscataqua Savings Bank

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November 13, 2008- Portsmouth, NH – Piscataqua Savings Bank in downtown Portsmouth has officially launched its annual “Spirit of Giving” campaign. For the fourth consecutive year the bank has provided drop boxes to collect donations for two important community service organizations: Families First Health and Support Center, and the Seacoast Family Food Pantry.

According to Diane Giese of the Seacoast Family Food Pantry, “Needs this year are on the rise. We’re already seeing a 30% increase over last year in requests for assistance. We really want people to know that we’re here to help them through the tough times. Piscataqua Savings’ helps us provide this crucial service to the community.”

Kathleen Donovan, Vice President and Trust Officer at the Bank, Chairs this holiday giving campaign. She applauds the members of the committee and the employees, customers, trustees, coporators and even non-customers who all participate in giving critical donations through the holiday season.

Drop boxes for each organization are available inside the bank lobby on Pleasant Street in Portsmouth. You can help make this year a happier holiday for countless seacoast families by bringing your donations into Picataqua Savings Bank.

Top Three Items on Families First Wish List:

  • Desperate for Diapers !!!
  • Baby Wipes
  • Winter Clothing

Top Three Items on Seacoast Family Food Pantry’s Wish List:

  • Non-perishable Protein: Canned Tuna or Chicken, Beef Stew, Peanut Butter, etc.
  • Personal Care Items: Toothpaste, tooth brushes, shampoo, razors, deoderant, etc.
  • Canned Fruits

Laura Keller of Families First said, “Piscataqua Savings is a true community bank, and they really understand our community. They’ve been fantastic to work and are huge supporters of the agency all year round.”

Kathy Donovan said, “We are so proud of our Spirit of Giving campaign. It grows stronger each year and there have been so many touching stories as a result. This is the kind of effort that reinforces our commitment to the community and makes us feel great about what we do here every day.”

Drop boxes are filled and delivered to the appropriate agency several times a week. Your donations are welcomed anytime during bank hours which are Monday – Thursday 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Friday 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM and Saturday 9:00 AM to 12:30 PM.

Piscataqua Savings Bank is dedicated to serving local individuals and families and has been a cornerstone of the Portsmouth community since 1877. More information is available at www.piscataqua.com.

Contact:

Kathy Donovan, Vice President/Trust Officer
603.430.2958
kdonovan@piscataqua.com

Our Bank Sign is a Work of Local Art

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After a hundred and thirty-one years in business, the Piscataqua Savings Bank has hoisted new signage on the face of our Pleasant Street building in downtown Portsmouth. But, true to our firm commitment to historic preservation and to maintaining the charm of downtown, this was a process undertaken with a great deal of thought and care.

Jay Gibson, President of Piscataqua Savings Bank, said, “We wanted to be sure that whatever we did the new signs would reflect on the core values of our Bank. So it was important for us to create authentic signage that truly reflects who we are by tapping the talents of local artisans who understood Portsmouth’s maritime history and our place within it.”

Enter Peter Happny, David Bellantone and Art Swanson, three self-proclaimed ‘old-school’ artisans who’ve worked together since the 1970s in varying capacities. In fact, Happny and Bellantone forged the contemporary wall sculpture that hangs in our waiting area today, entitled “The River of Time,” back in 1975.

David Bellantone, of Bellantone Design based in Greenland, NH, developed conceptual sketches for the primary Piscataqua Savings Bank sign as well as a secondary sign that reads, “Home Mortgages.” From there, he built a 3D model of the “Florence Leland,” a four-masted schooner lost at sea in 1910 that was to be incorporated into the sign. A full-scale 1930s model of the same ship is on display inside the Bank and has come to be known as its symbol.

“As a sailor,” said David Bellantone, “it was important that this sign capture the graceful curve and forward motion of a schooner at sea. That visual interpretation shifted when the piece was raised ten feet above eye-level so I had to account for that. I think we succeeded in creating something with an artistic sense of realism that holds to the theme of Portsmouth and the sea, and that appreciators of historic vessels will see the time and effort that went into this.”

Peter Happny, a local blacksmith, did the metal work in stainless steel from the 3D model and patterns created by Bellantone. Happny also created the unique lighting and hanging brackets for the signs. Art Swanson of Cider Hill Woodworks in York, Maine did the woodcarving for both signs.

“This is a very unusual piece,” said Peter Happny. “And when it’s going to be hanging in one of your pathways, where you know you’re going to have to look at it for years, you want it to be right. Good things take time.”

Art Swanson adds, “Peter and I have been working together for years. For us, it’s important to use the best materials and take the time to finish things properly. We’ve got signs that have been hanging around for thirty years and still look great. Any job worth doing is worth doing right.”

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