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Community support celebrated at annual Chamber meeting

October 24, 2012
MEREDITH — On Thursday, Oct. 18, the Meredith Area Chamber of Commerce had its annual meeting at Hart's Turkey Farm, with businesses from Meredith, Center Harbor, Moultonborough, Sandwich, and the Weirs represented.

The focus of the meeting was on year end reports and community awards. More than 60 business leaders were in attendance.

Executive Director Susan Cerutti thanked members of the Chamber of Commerce and sponsors for their support.

"We had fallen on some hard times the last few years, but I think things are beginning to turn around," Cerutti said.

Cerutti reported that the Chamber had a successful year. President Dave Hamblet then presented the Special Recognition Award for a project that has "been of a significant benefit to the Meredith Area Community."

This year, the award went to Laurie Perry. Perry organizes Fairy Night in the Garden, a special garden event geared towards young girls aged three to ten.

"It truly is a mystical evening of magic," Hamblet said.

Perry works hard each year to create life size fairy houses and eighteen stations throughout the garden where girls participate in themed activities. The event had 170 participants and 70 volunteers last year. It takes place annually at Cackleberries Garden Center.

"All I can say is that even though it may look like a kooky little event, it means a lot in the eyes of those little girls," Perry said.

The next award was the Civic Project Award, presented to volunteers from the Greater Meredith Program who transformed two locations within Meredith. The first point of recognition was for the volunteers who planted trees and plants on the Meredith Roundabout. The second one was for their transformation of the Mill Falls Parking Lot into a courtyard filled with art, benches, and flowers.

The Community Pride Award went to the more than 125 individuals that worked to transform Childs Park. The Meredith Parks and Recreation Department utilized a donation in memory of Bobby Smyth to fund a project that renewed the formerly dormant Childs Park in Meredith Center.

"[It was] challenged by outdated equipment and poor conditions," Hamblet said.

The makeover involved resurfacing the basketball court, installing a new playground, and doubling the size of the parking lot.

Finally, the Citizenship Award for an individual or business that showed a "dedication to the improvement of the Meredith Area Community" went to Peter Brothers. Brothers has worked in and around Meredith for more than 35 years, first with Meredith Village Savings Bank as Branch Manager in Ashland before moving to the bank's main office. He has been a member of the bank's senior staff management since the 1990's, and was a founding member of the Meredith Area Chamber of Commerce.

Brothers has served on the Lakes Region Community Land Trust, Inter-Lakes School Board, and currently serves on the Meredith Board of Selectmen.

Hamblet offered praise to Brothers.

"[He has] not only achieved success in business, but has demonstrated outstanding leadership in several arenas, and has shown a dedication to the Meredith Area in a myriad of ways," he said.

Brothers was overwhelmed and humbled.

"It isn't very often that I don't have something to say," he said before thanking the Meredith Village Savings Bank, along with his wife and children.

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