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Can You Believe It’s Been One Year Since…..

Celebrating First Year Anniversary…Bright Future Ahead!

So many great things of happened this year, and time flies by so quickly. As I sat down to write this edition of the Sunshine Report, that’s when I realized we have achieved a milestone. It’s the one year anniversary of the Sunshine Report! Wow, I almost missed it!

I have to admit I’m feeling especially blessed by all that’s occurred and that this diary of sorts, allows me to look back at the amazing things that have been accomplished by the people around me.

My hometown of Newport is blossoming. We are ‘on the move.’ Not only are we making solid progress in Newport, but we’re starting to share our learnings with other communities, creating a ‘template’ for success and generating positive momentum as we move forward. Sure, there is work ahead. But I’m excited about where we are versus where we started. I’m inspired by the commitment and enthusiasm of so many people who have pitched in and are beginning to make a real difference.

Shaping a bright future and bringing a vision into reality. It’s not lost on me that it’s hard sometimes to find the ‘positive’ amid the gravitational pull toward the downside of things. So, the infusion of some positive energy can make all the difference.

I love my hometown. I love New Hampshire and I love America. I think it’s fair to say that a little Sunshine inevitably leads to growth.

Newport – Small Town … On The Move…

The Newport Sunshine Initiative is gathering steam… and what a year it has been…

Involvement: From the new Women’s Group to a town wide Sunflower Project, amazing housing opportunities and job trainings, the Sunshine Initiative has been hard at work. And our coalition has continued to grow! Our last meeting alone brought over 70 Newport residents together to brainstorm and work together. The newly formed Women’s Group has brought over 30 women together of all ages and backgrounds to bring about positive change in their community and the number of members are constantly growing.

Sunflowers: The Newport Sunflower Project has created a community project everyone can rally around. With over 3,000+ packets of Sunflower seeds mailed out and even more handed out at town wide events, residents are coming together to bring positivity, happiness, and of course beautiful flowers to the streets of Newport. This fall we will even be hosting the Guinness Book of World Records as we aim to set a World Record – right here in Newport!

Digital Education: Our R.I.S.E. program, or ‘Re-Imagining Student Education,’ has truly taken shape with new partnerships and new pathways being formed to offer Newport residents multiple tracks to qualify for a new career they not only love, but where they can excel and prosper.

What a year it’s been! But it really is only the beginning. The next year is shaping up to be our most impactful yet. From our first ever Jazz Festival this fall, to increased job training opportunities including a grant writing program, town beautification projects, and increased social engagement opportunities, the Sunshine Initiative is eager to share Newport’s community spirit, determination, and strength with the rest of the country.

Children of Fallen Patriots – Taking Care Of Those Left Behind

This has been such a rewarding year of progress. Helping to ensure that any child who loses a parent in active military service can have their education paid for all the way thru college, vocational school or whatever education opportunity will give that young person the greatest foundation for success. Last year, we were speaking to small groups at round table events and relying on a handful of people to help us spread the word about the incredible mission of Fallen Patriots. Thankfully, this past year we have greatly expanded and elevated our efforts. Including a major fund raising event last fall at the LaBelle Winery in Amherst, providing volunteers and support for veterans causes around the state. Especially, noteworthy and important – while volunteering at ‘Swim With A Mission’ this past year, our grassroots efforts paid off big time. Our visibility at the event allowed us to directly connect with a child who had lost a parent – and will now be able to benefit from our support!

We have extended our efforts to create visibility and will be redoubling our efforts in the coming year. We thank Governor Chris Sununu for proclaiming a special day for Children of Fallen Patriots this year in New Hampshire. And, thanks to Mayor Joyce Craig of Manchester for doing the same in our state’s largest city earlier this year as well.

Now as we move thru the summer, we are at a fair, festival, or some kind of community event every week until Halloween! Children of Fallen Patriots has gained traction, and I could not be more grateful to our incredible Granite State community for standing with us to help make it all possible. I hope you will consider volunteering your time at some of these fairs and festivals so we can continue to push our message! Sign up here:

The Sunshine Report – Positive Momentum Builds

As our movement reaches the one year mark, we are grateful for the growth and support that we have been able to achieve. In the beginning the Sunshine Report was a simple update about the positive things that were happening in our corner of the world. But now over 4,000+ positive thinkers, doers and enthusiasts subscribe to our weekly updates! I can only imagine what the next 52 weeks will bring!

Profile Of The Week – The Sunshine Report Team

Success is all about ‘Teamwork.’ With this in mind, our ‘Profile of the Week’ in this edition is dedicated to the super team that helps put this Report together each week. We have an amazing team, doing the work, keeping the trains on the track, and doing a great job at it. Here is a look at and a ‘tip of the hat’ to the behind the scenes team members working alongside all of us to make positive change happen.

Christine Benner

Christine is a resident of Newport who is our point person for the Newport Sunshine Initiative. On a daily basis, Christine is constantly generating new, innovative ideas and sharing a positive uplifting spirit. Always finding ways to promote Newport grassroots initiatives. I met Christine and her husband Dan (he was our Santa at the last holiday party) at a Sunshine Initiative meeting, and immediately I knew Christine was someone special and someone who would a huge asset to our team. Christine, is a native of Burlington, Illinois and works at Spectrum Marketing Company.

Dan Passen

Dan is a New Hampshire native and rising star. Dan recently graduated from Southern New Hampshire University and joined our team a few months ago assisting us with our digital presence and growing the New Hampshire’s Children of Fallen Patriots organization. Dan served as State Chairman of the New Hampshire College Republicans and is putting to good use his expertise in communications and grassroots impact. Dan is creating a robust local presence at community events promoting Fallen Patriots and helps to lead that effort in the field. Dan’s an outstanding young man with a bright future and we are delighted to have him on the team.

Josh McElveen

Josh is a name we all know in New Hampshire. As the former Political Director of WMUR TV, Josh has extensive media knowledge and experience. Getting visibility and support for positive initiatives is so very vital and Josh has been instrumental in helping us achieve support and build momentum. A United States Marine veteran himself, Josh is always stepping up to help support veteran causes across the Granite State. He and his wife Colleen reside in Brookline and you will see them post some pretty cool photos from concerts all across the country.

Ross Berry

Ross is a young man I’m most excited to watch. For those involved in New Hampshire politics, Ross served as Executive Director for the New Hampshire Republican State Committee and accomplished something pretty amazing by helping Republicans win the Corner Office and both chambers of the legislature in 2016, something that hadn’t occurred since 2002. What brought Ross to New Hampshire was his extensive background in database management and digital expertise. Ross was recruited by the RNC to come oversee the data program for New Hampshire in 2014 and has planted roots in the Granite State this year by purchasing his first home. This young man is growing his own company, continuing to develop his expertise in data management, and is a huge asset to any organization. Ross manages our data activities and week after week he is put to the test in creating the framework and graphics for our Sunshine Report.

Ryan Knowles

Ryan is terrific. Ryan (in addition to being our son) is also the innovative leader who has helped design and implement our Digital Training Program in Newport, known a R.I.S.E. Ryan has significant experience in programs like this as he helped a similar program achieve national scale several years ago. Ryan has his heart set on making the program a ‘game changer’ for people in Newport by helping them to develop skills that will permit them to dramatically improve their earning power. I know that he has set his sights on expanding the program even beyond Newport one day and making a significant impact on a national scale – helping people in Small Towns all across America.

BJ Perry

BJ is at the center of all of this. A longtime friend of mine. I’ve known BJ since 1998 during my run for Governor. He and his parents were huge supporters and I came to admire this great Manchester family. When Karen, David Tille, and I launched NH Supports Children of Fallen Patriots, BJ joined our team and has been working hard overseeing our programs and helping us achieve our goals. BJ’s a community guy. His family is involved in so many great causes. Whether it be CHaD, Easter Seals, our causes, or Speedway Children Charities, BJ is right there giving back to the community.

What a team! Karen and I are so fortunate to have such a passionate crew who do such a great job. In the coming months we will be expanding our team and attempting to do more good, create more positive energy, more positive change – in Newport, in the Granite State and beyond!

Quotes Of The Week – Bright Future

Joel Osteen

“See, when you drive home today, you've got a big windshield on the front of your car. And you've got a little bitty rearview mirror. And the reason the windshield is so large and the rearview mirror is so small is because what's happened in your past is not near as important as what's in your future.” Joel Osteen

“Being fully present is the best guarantee for a bright future.” Guy Finley

“Infuse your life with action. Don't wait for it to happen. Make it happen. Make your own future. Make your own hope. Make your own love. And whatever your beliefs, honor your creator, not by passively waiting for grace to come down from upon high, but by doing what you can to make grace happen... yourself, right now, right down here on Earth.” Bradley Whitford

“Learn to enjoy every minute of your life. Be happy now. Don't wait for something outside of yourself to make you happy in the future. Think how really precious is the time you have to spend, whether it's at work or with your family. Every minute should be enjoyed and savored.” Earl Nightingale

“Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” John F. Kennedy


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