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Newmarket Recognizes Community Leaders at Annual Rec Connect Mixer

(Newmarket, NH) The Newmarket Recreation Department, along with the Newmarket Business Association and Newmarket Mill Space, joined efforts last Thursday evening on May 24th 2018. Together, these groups celebrated and recognized the Town of Newmarket’s Community Leaders.

The Annual Rec Connect Mixer event, now in its 6th year, invites and recognizes the efforts of many organization leaders, such as Town Council members, various board members, event coordinators, and business owners. It also provides a platform in which all who attend can network and speak candidly on how the town can work together, share resources, and discuss ways in which to collaborate on various programs and events on behalf of Newmarket.

The evening opened with Recreation Director and Rec Connect Coordinator, Aimee Gigandet, welcoming the community leaders by stating, “It is a rare and wonderful opportunity for all of us to be in one room together getting the chance to talk about our success stories and the potential of future collaborations. It’s both inspiring and humbling to hear our community leaders speak passionately about what they do for our great little town.”

The evening’s agenda started by discussing several avenues in which community leaders can all stay informed with a brief overview of the Rec Connect program and website feature that provides updated information and links on the local organizations, programs, and events. The presentation also included information on Face Book’s newest App, Face Book Local, which syncs all local organizations’ Face Book events pages, categorizes them, and places them on the Face Book Local feed. This feature allows community members to see all events occurring on any given day or week in that particular local area.

Several organization leaders were spotlighted during the presentation with an opportunity to share insights, success stories, and communicate to all in attendance about past events or upcoming programs they wanted to highlight. Pastor Patty Marsden, shared some insights on this year’s Newmarket Cares Day and last summer’s Newmarket Night Out event. Richie Shelton, Board President of the Schoppmeyer Memorial Park, provided recent pictures of the park in its construction phase. It is currently being built on the Lamprey River at 10 Main Street, behind the Community Church Thrift Store. The evening was also honored to have State Representative Michael Cahill of Rockingham County 17 speak on recent marketing material that is being distributed around town, providing everything one needs to know on how and where to go to register to vote. Representative Cahill was thrilled with the turnout of just under 100 community leaders, stating “Newmarket is a great community because residents, business owners and organizations get involved. At the Rec Connect Mixer, we heard how the Newmarket Business Association supports and promotes Newmarket through working with the Recreation Department to make things happen.”

Board Presidents that spoke on behalf of their organization were; Lisa Keslar, representing the Newmarket Business Association, John Carmichael, representing the New Market Historical Society, and Mike Bellamente, representing the Newmarket Mill Space. Other community leaders who spoke were: Council Member Tony Weinstein, on behalf of Road Side Clean Up; Mike Hoffman, who announced the new location for Newmarket’s Summer Farmer’s Market; David Keslar, who spoke on behalf of the new Lion’s Club chapter formed in Newmarket; and Ryan Levasseur, Transition Coordinator for the Newmarket Jr/Sr High School, who educated the audience on E.L.O. (Extended Learning Opportunities). Finally, Aimee Gigandet, Anna Visciano and Kim Tilton from the Newmarket Recreation Department spoke about the many upcoming Rec programs and events, including the NEW Hammock to 3K training program sponsored by L.R.A.C. (Lamprey River Advisory Council) for the Lamprey River Splash & Dash Kayak race which will be held on August 25th and has been themed Pirates on the Lamprey River for 2018.

After the presentation, the Annual Recognition Awards were given out by the Newmarket Business Association. A total of three Rec Connect Recognition Awards were presented. Community Business of the Year was presented to Keslar Insurance, founded by Lisa and David Keslar. Community Event/Program of the Year went to Newmarket Recreation’s Annual Halloween Haunt. Aimee Gigandet of the Recreation Department accepted the award on behalf of the town, stating that the event is a total town effort as it continues to grow each year. She estimated that there were over 1,000 people in attendance last October. The final award of the night went to Pastor Patty Marsden of the Newmarket Community Church, who was recognized as Community Leader of the Year for her many efforts on behalf of the town, including this past spring’s Newmarket Cares Day as previously mentioned. For more information on the Rec Connect program and/or to find an updated calendar or contact listing of Newmarket community events or organizations, log onto: For more information on future networking events in Newmarket, follow the Newmarket Business Association on Facebook and their website: