Club History

CCWC Logo with flower CCWC Logo with flowerThe Candia Community Woman's Club ...volunteering since 1983.

The GFWC-Candia Junior Woman’s Club (former club name) officially started in 1983 and became a member of the New Hampshire Federation of Junior Women’s Clubs and GFWC (the national organization). During our first year, projects included making and placing of street signs throughout the town, conducting a book drive for the town Library, providing games for the children at the Candia Volunteer Fire Department 4th of July Celebration, and planting flowers in the town’s planters.

To better reflect the club’s focus, the name was changed in 2002 to the GFWC Candia Community Woman’s Club (CCWC). This club has become an accepted and ‘expected’ part of the Candia community. Some of the expected events that are currently conducted by the club are It's in the Bag, teacher appreciation, the town-wide yard sale, the Food Pantry, a Continuing Education Scholarship for a Candia woman, Candia Dollars for Scholars, the Stitching Up the World group that provides caps & scarves for chemotherapy patients, and holiday baskets.

The CCWC is continually growing and evolving to meet the needs and interests of its members. The motto of GFWC is “Unity in Diversity”. The Candia Community Woman's Club certainly reflects this theme with its diversity of members, but unified focus of purpose.

On February 10, 1983, a vote was taken to officially organize the GFWC - Candia Junior Woman’s Club.  The first slate of Officers included: President (and Founder): Deborah Gengras; Vice President: Joanne McLaughlin;  Secretary: Gale Stanley;  Treasurer: Marlene Ferguson.  The CJWC became part of the New Hampshire Federation of Junior Women’s Clubs on May 19, 1983.  Projects during the first year included the making and placing of street signs in the town; a book drive for the Library; providing games for the children at the CVFD 4th of July Celebration; planting flowers in the town’s planters;  and making cookies for Special Olympics.

It was during the second year (1983-84) that several on-going projects and associations were established.  This is when the Annual Community Christmas Tree Lighting and Carol Singing began.  The first High School Scholarship was given to a Candia senior.  CJWC became associated with the Candia Chemical People (drug awareness group) and worked jointly on several projects for several years.  The first “Meet the Candidates Night” was held.  This project was established and continues so that candidates for town and school offices can express their views, and the townspeople can have opportunity to ask pertinent questions.

The next two years (1984-86), under the leadership of Gale Stanley, President, other areas were explored and new projects presented.  This was an adjustment period for the Club - most of the original leadership moved from the community at that time, and the new leadership was met with new challenges because of this.  The successes that resulted during this period were sponsoring the Bloodmobile, St. Jude Bike-A-Thon, giving the Baby-sitting Course, holding a CPR Course, adopting a family at Christmas, teacher appreciation of Moore School staff, and the school census to aid in the planning of the Long Range Planning Committee at Moore School.

From 1986-90, the Candia Juniors were under the leadership of Barbara Desautels, President.  The initial adjustments were over, membership increased, and the Club permanence and procedure had become part of the Club.  The Candia Juniors had become an accepted and ‘expected’ part of the Candia community.  During this period, members were becoming increasingly more integrated and active with the State Junior organization.  Some of the events and projects conducted during this administration (some which were new - others had become annual events):  Easter Bunny Breakfast;  children’s game booths at Candia Old Home Day;  working at the New Horizon Shelter;  the Moore School fluoride program;  adopting a child from Haiti;   providing refreshments at Town Meeting; and establishing a permanent endowment fund for the CJWC Annual Scholarship.  The State Junior Project was David’s House located in Hanover, NH.  We raised money for this project as well as adopting the ‘pig room’ at Christmas to supply a small artificial tree totally decorated with pig ornaments. It was during this administration that the Club undertook the task of starting the Juniorette Club of Candia.  Linda Frenier became the Advisor of this group which held several events of their own as well as joining with the Juniors on several occasions.

Muriel Belcourt served as President from 1990-92.  Members were given much TLC during this administration by the Membership Chairman, Debbie Gosselin.  Members were remembered on their birthdays and one member was highlighted at each monthly meeting.  Craft classes for members and several social times were also held.  One special social event was ‘Husband Appreciation Night’.  Several new activities and projects were undertaken - selling daffodils for the American Cancer Society, supporting the Muscular Dystrophy Association at a booth at the Hopkinton Fair, participating in a statewide fund-raiser - the Decorators’ Show House.  Several projects were done in conjunction with Candia’s Welfare Administrator such as tutoring young adults for their GED, providing needed food and clothes and helping with senior citizens.  It was at this time that the Club voted to assume management of the Community Food Pantry.  Two members served on the GFWC-NH Juniors Executive Committee - Gale Stanley as Director of Junior Clubs and Linda Frenier as Corresponding Secretary.

Linda Frenier and Karen Burnham served as Co-Presidents during the 1992-94 administration.  The first major activity was to host the GFWC-NH Juniors Fall Rally (1992).  Wellness was the theme of this statewide meeting.  The Bylaws were reviewed and revised to be in agreement with current practices of the Club.  The Community Food Pantry became a major and on-going function of the Club.  The management of the Candia Junior Woman’s Club Scholarship was given to the newly formed Candia Chapter of Dollars for Scholars.  Many projects such as the Christmas wreath sale, the Innisbrook Wrap sale, sponsoring the Bloodmobile, the Christmas tree lighting ceremony, caring for the Candia community flower planters, and teacher appreciation were now well established and annual events. A highlight of this administration was the 10 year anniversary of the Candia Juniors.


Denise Lazott and Priscilla Wheeler served as Co-Presidents during this term. This is when the Adopt-A-Highway Program began.  It was the club’s responsibility to clean a 2-mile stretch of Rt. 27 & 43 four times per year.  The Playground Action Committee (PAC) was in full swing.  This was the club’s Community Improvement Project of designing, building, and funding a new playground at Moore Park.  Started by the Juniors, this eventually became an all-town project with many individuals, organizations, and businesses getting involved.  Terri Schaefer was named the Outstanding Junior Clubwoman for the year.  The Candia Juniorettes were disbanded in 1995 because several members graduated from high school and a new membership drive was not successful.  GFWC celebrated its 100 year anniversary by having a week-long convention/party in New York City – where the organization began 100 years earlier.


Denise Lazott served as President during this year.  The first Party of Parties was held as a fundraiser for the club.  Vendors such as Tupperware, Shaklee, Avon, etc. were asked to rent table space in the school gym.  A couple of the new projects for this year had an international theme to them.  The club supported one of the Candia Teachers on an educational trip to Belize by providing $50 in school supplies for her to take with her.  It was learned that these children have no educational supplies.  The other project was Operation Smile – a project where dentists and plastic surgeons volunteer their services to third world countries to help the children with facial problems such as cleft lip.  The club made and filled “Smile Bags” with items such as small toys, coloring books and crayons, hygiene products, etc.


Denise Lazott and Tammy Lade served as Co-Presidents during this year.  The actual renovations of the Moore Park Playground were made in the fall of this year.  This was the culmination of a couple years worth of planning and fundraising.  The GFWC Project, Libraries 2000, was started at this time.  The club decided to address the book and educational supplies needs of each grade at the Candia Moore School beginning with the upper grades.  A set of encyclopedias was donated to the 7th and 8th grade classrooms.  A special memory during this year was Mr. And Mrs. Claus (member Connie Lofgren and her husband) playing Santa at the annual Christmas Tree Lighting.  The club also donated funds for them to purchase cases of candy canes for them to hand out during the Christmas season as they went from place to place to play Mr. And Mrs. Santa Claus.


Tammy Lade and Rita Geokjian served as Co-Presidents during this year.  As a new and innovative tool to increase membership, Rita designed and distributed club business cards to each member.  These contained pertinent information about the club meetings along with each member’s name.  The decision was made to design and have a sign made to welcome people to Candia as they enter town from Exit #3.  The club voted to begin work on this as their Community Improvement Project.  A scholarship committee was selected to work on scholarship needs.  As a result of the work of this committee a Continuing Education Scholarship was started that was designed to be given to a Candia woman returning to school after a period of 3 or more years being away from formal education.  Plans began during the spring to purchase the Candia Monopoly Game as a fundraiser.  Ongoing projects throughout the year included the Babysitting Course, Old Home Day, the Food Pantry, Highway Clean-up, Chocolate Extravaganza, the Bloodmobile, Christmas Tree Lighting, and Spouse Appreciation Night.


Co-Presidents during this year were Rita Goekjian and Beth Chalbeck.  Spaces were sold on the Candia Monopoly Game Board so that the game board could then be designed.  These were ready for us to sell during the holiday season.  Because we were dealing with so many agencies, it took all year to get the needed approvals to design and make the Candia Welcome sign.  A very sad event this year was the death of one of our members, Connie Lofgren.  As a tribute to her, we renamed our Continuing Education Scholarship in her memory.  It is now known as the Connie Lofgren Continuing Education Scholarship.  The GFWC Annual Convention was held in Boston, MA so 2 members were able to attend this event seeing that it was so close to our area.  Our year ended with a very well attended Spouse Appreciation Pool Party.


Serving as Co-Presidents this year were Beth Chalbeck and Rhonda Thyng.  One of the first major decisions was to take over the advisorship of the Manchester Juniorettes.  After many years of talking about it, the club members finally put on their dancing shoes and sponsored ballroom dancing for club members and Candia residents.  After many months in the planning stages, the Candia Welcome sign became a reality.  Seeing the need to keep the club’s growing number of bulky items, the club purchased a storage shed that was installed at the home of the Goekjians.  The club gathered beanie babies, coloring books, and other small toys to send to the Operation Smile headquarters.  A very successful Membership Tea was held at the local Bed & Breakfast to help recruit new members.  The process to transfer the control of the Food Pantry funds to the Candia Welfare Dept. and to move the Food Pantry to the Town Office Building got underway.  Two social events ended the club year with most of the members attending a dinner theater and several members and their spouses attending a Nashua Pride Game complete with cookout before the game.


Leadership again for this year were Co-Presidents Rhonda Thyng and Beth Chalbeck.  The club year started early this year with several projects that happened even before the first meeting.  Several members held with the 100-year celebration of the Fitts Museum in the summer; backpacks and school supplies were purchased for several children in town; and a Shorty’s Fair Share Night was held to raise funds for Candia Old Home Days.  The club participated with the local police to conduct a car seat safety check.  Lunch was provided by the club.  The club became actively involved with Envision Candia.  This was a forum for community members to express their ideas regarding needs and direction for the town of Candia.  This became the last year for a long-time fundraiser – the club would no longer sell Christmas Wreaths.  The club took on the much-needed task of chairing the Candia Old Home Days.  Meetings, separate from regular club meetings, were held monthly.  A major change for the club took place with the changing of the club’s name to the Candia Community Woman’s Club to better reflect the club’s focus.  The web site was updated with current information and with the name change.  Involvement with the Tam Bin Center for the Protection of Children in Vietnam began at this time.  The year ended with members voting to continue the Back to School giving project that began in the fall of this year.  A giving tree, similar to the Christmas Giving Tree, will be set up for Candia residents to purchase clothes and school items for designated children in Candia.

Compiled by Gale Stanley ~ March, 2003 ~


Co-Presidents were Rhonda Thyng and Beth Chalbeck.  The CCWC helped out a local family by providing dinners while the mother of the family was bedridden.  We continued our Highway Clean-up on Route 101.  Our continued mentoring of GoCandia this year included 7 girls and 1 new member.  GoCandia decided to do Recipes-In-A-Jar as a fundraiser along with selling coffee cakes.  The girls participated in Community of Caring through Central High School and Girls Incorporated, and they attended the GFWC State annual meeting and did a skit that got the whole room up dancing in a conga line.  GoCandia also participated in a coffee hour at a Hooksett retirement home.  Old Home Day was a great success with many positive comments received from the community.  The parade was a big hit, and the club agreed to sponsor the event again next year.  The Old Home Day Booth was a good fundraiser, and this year we sold Silent Auction tickets, where members donated items in very good shape.  We also held our annual Innisbrook wrap fundraiser.  We made another orphanage donation of baby and children’s clothing.  We conducted a Membership Tea with the President of the New Hampshire GFWC as our guest speaker.  The CCWC baked for the Friends of the Library Book Sale this year.  We also held a Scrapbook night to put down our club history in pictures.  We continued our support of Backpack buddies, where 25 Candia children benefited from the program.  We had our annual Spouse Appreciation night, with a cruise around the Portsmouth harbor.  This year for the holidays we decided to cancel our Christmas Wreath Sales project, but we did support Christmas baskets and the Santa giving Tree.  We tried a new Casino Trip fundraiser with a Bus Trip to Foxwoods.  We continued our Fluoride program donation, and enrollment in this program is at an all-time high.  The CCWC participated in a Shed Shower, where we made a donation to the Moore School to purchase toys for children to play with at recess, to be housed in a shed on the playground.  We continue to care for the Town Planters.  We also attended the HOBY conference, and this year one of the guest speakers from SNHU gave an etiquette lesson.  We held our School District Meeting fundraiser selling food, and this year we sold out of sandwiches and baked goods.  We donated a much appreciated fruit basket for Teacher Appreciation Day.  We provided help for Food Pantry staffing on Monday mornings this year.  We also held a Woman’s Safety class in a  lecture and discussion format with detailed reminders of safety techniques by our Community Relations Officer.  It was  well attended with a lot of good information.  We held 2 CPR classes, which went very well.  We baked for our annual Candidates Night, which had a very good turnout.  Our Chocolate Extravaganza  proceeded very smoothly and was our most significant fundraiser of the year.  We awarded our annual Connie Lofgren scholarship.  We provided Gift Certificates for Seniors at Easter time.  For Daffodil Days, we delivered 68 daffodil bunches, 13 vases, and 4 gifts of hope.  We sponsored Membership to the Seacoast Science Center passes for the Smyth Library.  Our winter Sleigh Ride family outing provided members and their families with a fun evening out, and members brought food and beverages.  For the annual Candia Blood Drive, we provided advertising, staffing, baked goods, and refreshments.  And we also provided sponsorship of a child for the Moore school overnight field trip to the Boston Museum of Science. 


Co-Presidents: Rhonda Thyng and Rebecca Bush.  The CCWC is responsible for the food pantry located in the Candia town hall.  We make sure that there are plenty of food donations and we coordinate with the local school when supplies are low.  We organized 2 local blood drives for the American Red Cross, and co-sponsored one of the events with the local volunteer fire department.  Each event provided the Red Cross with more than 30 pints of blood.  We arranged Daffodil Days and donated cups for fluoride at the Candia Moore School.  We also donated money to the New Horizon/Angie’s House for the first time this year.  We helped coordinate the Backpack Buddies project, Giving Tree, and helped fill our annual Thanksgiving and Christmas baskets for local families in need.  We also sent members to help at the United Way Clothing Drive in Manchester to sort children’s clothing donated from Sears.  This year we celebrated the CCWC 20th anniversary, which was noted in an article in the local paper.  To celebrate the milestone, we looked back through old photos and we also honored Gale Stanley at our June meeting, our only active founding member.  This year we supported the Old Home Day event in September, and it was a huge success.  Our booth had games, activities and food for sale as a fundraiser.  We launched a website with links to GFWC, information for members, upcoming event info and links.  We scheduled a “Girl’s Night Out” at Chunky’s Movie and Pub for good food, a fun movie and lots of excellent conversation.  Our Christmas party was a potluck and we exchanged gifts with an angel theme.  We began creating membership packets to give to prospective members with information on the club, events and projects.  We hosted a local candidate running for the conservation office at one of our meetings to speak to us, and we also organized a Candidates Night forum for a debate and then Question and Answer session.  We also organized a Town Luncheon at the annual Town Meeting.  We organized donations of items to send to our troops in Iraq, and shipped several boxes.  We donated money to our local Boy Scout Trrop for their Mother’s Day Breakfast.  We supported our Old Home Day Event with our booth, which the club looks forward to every year.  We sponsored the annual Christmas Tree Lighting, which was delayed until right before Christmas due to inclement weather.  Santa vested and after a few carols by the tree, everyone warmed up in the Masons hall with hot cider and cookies.  We also continued our care of the Candia Welcome Sign, our Adopt-a-Highway clean-up of Route 101, our annual hugely successful Chocolate Extravaganza, and support for Babysitting Classes at the Candia Moore school. 


Co-Presidents were Rebecca Bush and Deb Giffen.  Candia Greater Outreach CCWC sponsors the Candia GO (Greater Outreach) club. Two of our members are active co-advisors. All of our members assist the Juniorettes in their activities. Working with these exceptional girls has been extremely rewarding. We can see many future Juniors in their ranks.  This year we continued our annual support of the Fluoride Program at the Candia Moore School, the Christmas Tree Lighting, and the Welcome to Candia sign and Town Planters.  Also, for our Adopt-a-Highway service, members are required to wear safety vests but they are not always available; this year the club approved the purchase of 10 vests for a cost of $60.00.  Our Federation Day of service was held at Squam Lakes Natural Science Center in Holderness NH, where volunteers participated in projects cleaning up, washing and repairing various areas of the Science Center in preparation for its opening on April 26th.  $125.00 was donated to the Moore school to sponsor a field trip for the 5th grade class for a Science Museum Overnight Trip.  We continued our sponsorship of the Dollars for Scholars for a $1,000 scholarship to a graduating Candia High School senior, based on academics and community service.  We continued our support of the Candia library by donating money to the Candia Smyth Public Library to purchase books.  We awarded our annual Connie Lofgren Scholarship, and to help fund our scholarships and donations, we successfully held our annual fundraisers: our fantastic Chocolate Extravaganza, the Old Home Day booth, and our Town Meeting Luncheon.  We also sold Tote bags again this year, and in support of our GOCANDIA club, we held a Cookies-in-a-Jar fundraiser for them. We assemble key ingredients for making cookies, soups and other desserts. To make the items, only a few ingredients need to be added, saving time. We solicit orders from friends, family and residents at town events. We purchase the ingredients, assemble the ingredients then deliver the jars. Jars are sold for $5.00.  For this year’s Santa Giving Tree, 3 members from our GO Candia club went shopping for holiday gifts for a senior woman & a teenage boy. For this year’s Thanksgiving Baskets, 10 Members assembled baskets of food for 20 needy families and 10 needy seniors in town.   The NH National Guard was in need of new & used toys for the children to play with while their families attend support meetings at the state armories, so the CCWC conducted a toy drive with drop-offs at Curves and a member's house. Members voted to spend $150.00 for new toys as well, and full truckload of toys was delivered to the armory.  $100 was donated for Brittany's hope for HIV crib donation.  Members also voted to send a $100 donation to New Horizons/ Angies's shelter.  For the Christmas Baskets, CCWC voted to donate money to cover some extra food goodies that would have been cut from the list, and members also baked banana breads for the seniors.  For Teacher Appreciation Day at the Candia Moore School, we sent a Thank You card and a very large fruit basket.  We also supported Backpack Buddies to provide clothing and supplies to local needy children. This year when the Candia Food Pantry moved into a new room in the town hall, members were involved in setting up shelving, unpacking and sorting food.  Also, 2 members pick up food at donation baskets around town weekly.  GOCANDIA baby-sat children for families who attended a meeting for the Planning committee which was held at the Henry Moore School.  We crafted about 25 get-well cards for children who were at the Elliot Hospital.  Materials for the cards were donated by family and friends.  Kids Café is a program sponsored by Salvation Army that provides meals for inner-city children four nights a week. After helping with the meal, we played board games and dodgeball with the children.  This year the CCWC worked with the Moore Middle School, in conjunction with the American Red Cross to hold a Blood Drive. The CCWC raised $440.00 for the American Cancer Society during Daffodil Days.  Clothing was collected for Tam Binh Orphanage which is located in the suburbs of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The director, associate director and nannies provide care for infants through grade school children.  The CCWC members regularly donate infant and children's clothing for the children at Tam Binh.  We also donated $200.00 to Haitian Disaster Relief Fund.  The club made gowns for children in 3rd world countries to wear while undergoing and  recovering from surgery to correct facial deformities performed by the doctors of Operation Smile. 6 members gathered to spend time cutting and sewing the gowns. Materials were obtained from member donations. The club purchased the pattern & a few notions. Members brought their own sewing machines. We met monthly January 2004 to May 2004. We made a total of 45 gowns.  This year we planned and hosted the GFWC-NH Jr. Annual Meeting where we put together programs, decorations, favors, centerpieces and took reservations. Several members & their families gathered for sleigh ride to a bonfire to roast marshmallows & hotdogs. This event is a great way for members to meet the families of other members.  One member maintains the history of CCWC. This year she caught up on the last few years so we could post the history on our website. The CCWC held its 5th annual Spouse Appreciation event this year at the Budweiser RibFest in Merrimack.  This year’s Girls night out event was a dinner/theater show called "A Wild Irish Wake" at the Chateau in Manchester, NH.  14 Members enjoyed a night out with dinner and live interactive entertainment.  The Loaf & Ladle was a new project for CCWC. We felt the cold month of January would be a great time for families to get together to enjoy homemade soups, breads and desserts. The proceeds were used for Candia's Fuel Assistance Program. Members baked, setup, served and cleaned up.   Between 150-200 people attended the event.  GOCANDIA Sold glow-in-the-dark necklaces at the Old Home Day event. Proceeds went toward the fireworks display.  We also hosted the local Candidate’s Night again this year.


Our Co-Presidents were Deb Giffen and Amanda Helmig.  Members assembled baskets of food for 20 needy families and 15 needy seniors in town for Thanksgiving and Christmas, and continue to work closely with the Candia Welfare Director for food pantry coverage 2 nights a week, as well as providing assistance in the local Backpack Buddies and Santa Giving Tree projects.  Our annual Christmas Tree lighting with Santa had light attendance due to bad weather, but the kids who did attend enjoyed the celebration.  The CCWC worked with the Moore Middle School, in conjunction with the American Red Cross to hold a Blood Drive, and members provided baked goods for 45 blood donors.  A donation of $200 was made to Habitat for Humanity to aid in the Tsunami Disaster Relief.  We supported our annual Town meeting by providing food services all day as a fundraiser.  We created a sponsor page to cover the cost of our club website, where ads were sold to members and local businesses for $25 per year.  The club donated subscriptions to grades 1 through 3 for the NAHEE Kind News magazine subscription at the request of the school principal, and the club also voted to donate to the Moore school to help sponsor a Science field trip for the 5th grade.  Members donated baked goods for  a Babysitting course program that teaches grade school children how to "baby-sit" by using dolls and real like children under the age of 6, and several of the members "donated" their children for the training class.  We continued our support of the Dollars for Scholar scholarship and our Connie Lofgren scholarship; this year the Connie Lofgren recipient spoke at one of our meetings to thank us for the scholarship.  One of our members is a Red Cross volunteer and coordinatied relief efforts for Hurricane Katrina victims by collecting and sending Wal-Mart gift cards to the victims she met while providing disaster assistance in New Orleans for 10 days.  We continued our support of Candia Teacher Appreciation with a Thank You card and large fruit basket.  The CCWC held its 6th annual Spouse Appreciation with a Monarch's hockey game at the Verizon center in Manchester.  We continued our care of the "Welcome to Candia" sign and Town Planters with some of the flowers donated by Candia Gardens (a local nursery).  Our local Adopt-a-Highway trash pick-up days went well.   Our annual Chocolate Extravaganza fundraiser was well-attended as usual. This year's Old Home Day booth was unfortunately cancelled due to wind and rain.  Daffodil Days raised $240.00 for the American Cancer Society.  The GFWC Annual Meeting Mid-winter meeting held in Manchester had an International theme, including a teacher who gave a slide show and spoke on her experiences on her yearly trip to Belize, stuffing Operation Smile dolls, and a speaker on the Heifer Project and an update on the "Tirgo” (a girl that we helped sponsored for several years).  The town organized an all day fund raising event to raise money for the town Civil War Monument that is in desperate need of repairs; the CCWC helped organize the event and participated by selling food.  For the annual District Meeting, the club decorated and planned for Fall Rally, as well as coordinated speakers, including Kim Sullivan who spoke of her Tsunami Relief experience.  We hosted the annual Candidate's Night and we had 62 residents attend this year.  We also provided our annual assistance to the Candia Moore School Fluoride Program.  The club voted to donate $250 to a Memorial Donation for Candia welfare director who lost her adult son over the 2004 holidays and is now raising 2 very young children. The club sponsored a local historian who portrays Jane Pierce, wife of President Franklin Pierce, to speak to the community at the Moore School about her like as the wife of the 14th president of the US, where about 30 residents attended.  We held a new event, a Motorcycle Fun Run, where for a $10 fee, motorcyclist go on a 2 hour cruise through the countryside.  Our annual Girls Night Out was an evening out for members and prospective new members at a wine bar called Unwined to give new and old members a chance to get to know each other. We also organized a Family Sleigh Ride where several members & their families gathered for a few hours of socializing with pot luck dinner and a sleigh ride to a bonfire to roast marshmallows.  This event is a great way for members to meet the families of other members.  We held our  2nd annual Loaf' & Ladle and the proceeds were used for Candia's Fuel Assistance Program.  For this year’s Old Home Day event, we had fireworks scheduled for the first time in many years, but unfortunately, the event was cancelled due to rain after being twice rescheduled.  Each school year, one member hosts an exchange student. So far, she has had students from France, Spain, Switzerland, Mexico, Kazakhstan and this year, from Armenia.  Over Christmas, a favorite French student from a previous year visited for the Holidays. The current student for this academic year is from Armenia through FLEX (Future Leaders Exchange), a full scholarship program, funded by the US Federal Government. The purpose of this exchange is for the student to improve their English, to experience the culture of the United States, to present their culture to others and to bring our culture back to their home land. The students have interacted a number of times with CCWC members at community events & small social gatherings. Members are invited to stop by & talk with the student at any time.


Co-presidents were Amanda Helmig and Berny Gansler.  Four new members joined the club, and each new member brings a fresh perspective and new ideas. The group continued to reach out to the community and support the residents of Candia through Backpack Buddies and fluoride cup donations to ensure that every student receives their much-needed Fluoride throughout the year. After months of planning, our annual Old Home Day turned out to be a cold, rainy day, although it did not prevent our ladies from soldiering on and making the most of day by celebrating our Hometown Heroes, the theme for the event.  Our “green team” took to the roads of Candia dutifully cleaning up the debris along the 2 miles of roadside leading into town and beyond, a task performed four times throughout the year.   A ladies night out during the Night of Giving at the Mall of New Hampshire combined a much-needed break and a chance to get an early start on Christmas shopping for our members, not to mention that it turned out to be a great fundraiser. Continued support of the local food pantry included preparation of Thanksgiving and Christmas Baskets for 35 Candia families, with club members baking breads to send along in the baskets. We added a new fundraising effort where members spend 2 days wrapping gifts for shoppers at Barnes and Noble. The Christmas Tree Lighting included our annual visit from Santa on the fire truck.  Hundreds of Christmas gifts were donated by residents and wrapped by Womans Club members for the less than fortunate children of our town. A collection of new toys for the Toys for Tots program at our annual holiday celebration provided another opportunity for our members to truly demonstrate that it is, in fact, better to give than to receive. The Club provided lunch and snacks for the Candidates Night, a meet-and-greet opportunity and the Deliberative Session.  The Loaf n’Ladle brought many residents out for a warm bowl of soup and delightful breads from Panera, and the Chocolate Extravaganza & Silent Auction enticed about 100 attendees and continued to be a great fundraiser for the club. Daffodil Days continues to be a favorite way to welcome spring.  The club scheduled an evening of sewing for Operation Smile, to provide new hospital gowns for children.  We were able to grant our annual Scholarship money awards to Dollars for Scholars and the Connie Lofgren scholarship.  We also managed a family fun night of bowling and pizza.  We capped off the year with Teacher Appreciation at the Candia Moore School, and we started a new community outreach program of Cop cards, with plans to coordinate the printing and distribution of trading cards for Candia’s police to reach out to and keep the lines of communication open with Candia’s youth.


Co-Presidents this year were Berny Gansler & Ann Tierno.  The club really engaged in the GFWC President's Special Project on Domestic Violence Awareness this year.  Items were donated to a woman's shelter, and at our end of the year meeting instead of a Yankee swap we brought useful items to donate to Emily's place and the Candia food pantry, we donated $600 toward the purchase of a washing machine for the shelter, small individual toiletry items were collected at each meeting, and a group of members volunteered to paint and do general repairs at Emily's place, a Woman's shelter in Manchester NH. We continued our sponsorship of the Fluoride Program at the Candia Moore School, and we held our annual Backpack Buddies school drive. We continued our care of the he ""Welcome to Candia" sign with beautiful flowers all summer long and greens during the holiday season.  For the annual Christmas tree lighting we worked with the middle school to have environmental & animal friendly ornaments made for the trees and Santa was on hand to light the tree for us and take pictures with the kids.  We conducted a “Go Green” presentation where our conservation chairperson replayed the "Go Green" video from the Oprah Show to celebrate Earth Day.  Our Adopt-a-Highway Program remained strong and we were proud to award our Dollars for Scholars scholarship and our fifth annual Connie Lofgren Memorial scholarship. We honored a request to help sponsor a child to attend the Candia Moore School Science Field trip to UNH for 1 week.  We designed New Hampshire tote bags with a beach chair logo to be sold at all CCWC events. Our Old Home Day booth fundraiser always involves the whole club to cover the food sales, bake desserts, make sandwiches, setup and cleanup. Our 2nd Evening of Giving Fundraiser at the local shopping mall was well-attended with 28 tickets sold.  Our annual Chocolate Extravaganza and silent auction was as successful as ever. Our annual Innisbrook Wrap sales always raise funds for the club and provide high quality wrapping paper just in time for the holidays.  We held our 4th annual Loaf & Ladle and as usual, part of the proceeds were used for Candia's Fuel Assistance Program. This year for Teacher Appreciation at the Candia Moore School, one of our members printed personalized candy wrappers for candy bars.  Members worked with the Candia Welfare department to assemble Christmas and Thanksgiving Baskets for 20 needy families and 14 seniors, as well as to provide assistance with the Santa Giving Tree and staffing evening hours at the Food Pantry: This year we provided support to a local family in need of home and yard repair by providing food for all the workers.  We continued our support for Operation Smile and the Town Meeting Luncheon this year, as well as Old Home Day, where 7 CCWC members are involved in the planning. We also provided babysitting for the School board meeting.  We supported the GFWC Old Man of the Mountain cookbook with recipes donated from members all over the state including 2 of our own members. We made a donation to assist in sponsoring a child at 4H summer camp and another donation to Gold Star Moms to decorate all the headstones at the Veterans cemetery in Boscawen with Christmas wreaths. We continued improving our club website: to provide information about the club and activities. We held our annual family event at a local bowing alley and a fun time was had by all.

Compiled by Berny Gansler ~ 2008 ~

2007-2008 (con’t)

The Candia Community Woman’s Club finished off the year with a 25th Anniversary Celebration.  Gale Stanley, one of the founding members of the club, was MC for the evening of celebration held at the Candia Pavilion at Candia Woods.  Both present and past members were there to ‘walk down memory lane’ with games to recognize and remember the accomplishments during those 25 years.  Past members who attended were recognized for their contributions to the club.


Ann Tierno and Sharon DeWitt served as Co-Presidents this year.  One of the teachers at Moore School, Judy Lindsey, spoke to our club in the fall about a planned trip to Thailand to serve for 2 weeks at the Animal Wildlife Rescue Center.  The club voted to support her with a monetary donation toward the trip. Unfortunately because of unforeseen issues, safety was a concern and her trip was cancelled.  The club participated in Old Home Day with a food booth as well as one game for the children.  Work continued on the weighted vests for children with sensory issues for area schools and final touches were put on the Police Cards.  The police reported that these were a great success.  Our continuation with supporting victims of Domestic Violence continued with members distributing emery boards with contact information regarding Domestic Violence to local hair salons. The holidays were a busy time for the club.   We did Christmas gift wrapping on 3 days at Barnes and Nobles to raise money to donate to the YWCA in Manchester.  Other events were the Thanksgiving and Christmas food baskets, the Giving Tree, the Christmas tree lighting, Innisbrook Wrapping paper fundraiser and an Evening of Giving at the at the Pheasant Lane Mall in Nashua.  Jon Godfrey approached the club to see if we would like to participate in opening the pond to ice skating.  It was decided that we would gather residents to help clear it so that it could be used for skating during February vacation.  The spring was busy with the annual Loaf and Ladle and the Chocolate Extravaganza.   The club held a social at Make It/Take It, a ‘restaurant’ in Hooksett where people can make meals to take home to put in the freezer.  We were able to bring in snacks and beverages to make a fun evening for all attendees. The club sponsored the first annual town-wide yard sale.  The number participating was relatively small with the hopes that this event will grow as time goes on.  A new member social was held with a result of three new potential members attending.  The club year ended with the annual meeting held at the Firefly Restaurant in Manchester.


Sharon DeWitt and Linda McHugh served as Co-Presidents this year.  The members adopted a Mission Statement during this administration.  One of the first projects was to prepare back-to-school backpacks for 18 children.  These were filled with school items as well as an outfit for each child.  The members participated in Old Home Day with food and games.  The club donated money to an all-girl FIRST Lego competition.  Donna DelRosso came to one of our meetings to introduce herself as the new Welfare Administrator and to talk to us about the food pantry.  A new project was to sponsor a coat swap in the fall.  The participation was minimal, but it was decided that we would try this again next year in hopes that it gains momentum.  The holidays brought about the usual events – Thanksgiving and Christmas baskets, the Christmas tree lighting, the Giving Tree, and the gift wrapping at Barnes & Noble with most of the profit going to sponsoring a child to attend Operation Purple Camp.  The pond at the Library was opened again this year where several members of the community kept the ice clear and we sponsored several skating events where we served hot beverages. There were a couple new projects that started this year.  The first was to have a group that met once each month to knit hats for SHE Creation.  After a couple months, the ideas of other knitting/sewing projects began to blossom.  Members made 44 smocks for Operation Smile.  Another new idea was to hold an essay writing contest for 8th grade students who planned to attend the week-long class trip to Washington, DC.  The essay would encompass an aspect of the city and purpose of their trip.  In response to the disaster in Haiti, the club donated $100 to the GFWC collection as well as providing funds for one of Candia’s residents to travel to Haiti to help in an orphanage impacted by the disaster.  We opened an account on Facebook and welcomed our first ‘friends’.  Several of the club members and their families hiked and picnicked at Pawtuckaway in the spring.  The annual dinner meeting was held at Pasquale’s.


Lisa Cote and Linda McHugh served as Co-Presidents during this year.  We began the year with a special guest speaker.  Joe Byron is the founder of Honor Flight New England.  He spoke to the club about his vision of flying WWII veterans from New England down to Washington, DC to visit the war memorials there.  Member Denise Lazott had just completed her first flight as a veteran’s companion.  It was decided that money raised from the gift wrapping at Barnes & Noble would be donated to Honor Flight NE.  The second annual Coat & Costume swap was held in October.  Knitting for Charity continued this year and was given the name Stitching Up the World – One Stitch at a Time.  The group began to take on new and varied knitting and sewing projects.  Clearing the Library pond for skating was continued, as well as many other traditional projects such as the Christmas Tree Lighting, Thanksgiving and Christmas baskets, Loaf and Ladle, Adopt-A-Highway, and the Chocolate Extravaganza.  New to the group this year was sponsoring Boot Camp.  This was opened up to both members and other residents in the community.  A committee was formed to review the Bylaws so that they reflected the current way we conducted our club business.  This is the first year that the seed was planted to investigate becoming a 501(c)3 organization.  A few new fundraisers were introduced this year.  One was we received 15% of the proceeds from Shorty’s one evening.  We sold tickets to a Fisher Cats game that was held in July.  Another was taking orders from Flower Power (spring and fall bulbs) but probably the most successful and innovative idea was Touch-A-Truck.  The proceeds from this event went to the NH CASA program.   We had a fun evening – Girls Night Out at Lisa Cote’s house.  A committee was formed to work on plans to host the next fall’s District 5 and 6 Conference.  The theme ‘Do Unto Others…’ was chosen.  The club decided that they would hold a country dance as their part in celebrating Candia’s 250th (SemiQ).  The annual meeting was held at the home of Ann Tierno.


Lisa Cote and Deb Giffen served as Co-Presidents during this club year.  We began the year by hosting the District 5 & 6 Conference at the Mason’s Hall.  Member, Gale Stanley, served as District Director.  The theme for the day was “Do Unto Others…”  All aspects of the day including the centerpieces were promoting helping others.  The centerpieces had themes such as food pantry items, baby items, school items that were given to the clubs that were present for them to take back to their communities and use them where they were needed. Member, Catherine Sangillo redesigned our club web site.  The members were very pleased with upgrades to our site.  Because of an increase of people served, it was decided to add additional day time hours for the food pantry.  We would be open on Monday mornings from 9-10:30 as well as the Tuesday evening hours.  To clarify the function of the town, the new welfare administrator and the club regarding the food pantry, selectman Carleton Robie spoke at one of our meetings and answered questions that we had and then Donna DelRosso attended the following month so that we could coordinate our efforts with her regarding the food pantry and Thanksgiving and Christmas baskets and gift giving. We had two fair share deals with restaurants this year for fundraising – Bob Nadeau’s in Manchester and the Pines in Raymond.  Our Christmas meeting was held at Lisa’s home this year.  Many of the regular, ongoing events continued to go well this year – Loaf and Ladle, Annual yard sale, Teacher Appreciation, Connie Lofgren Continuing Education scholarship was given, as well as our high school scholarship.  We voted to give the Boy Scouts $250 to support the Mother’s Day breakfast.  Lisa Cote was voted our Clubwoman of the year for her many, many hours of serving the Candia Community and beyond.  Her gift to us each month has been to share a favorite recipe with us both at the club meeting and on our website.  The year ended with a get-together in the summer at Lisa’s house with our families to enjoy a great bar-b-que, fun in the pool and fellowship with one another.


Deb Giffen and Gini Nichols served as Co-Presidents during this year. We began the year with a couple updates that happened during the summer.  The Fisher Cats sales were weaker than anticipated and only brought us a slight profit, but those attending had a good time.  Old Home Day had a weak showing so the candle making booth was poorly attended as well.  It was reported that there were many items available to fill the Back-to-School backpacks.  The idea was brought forward again to sponsor a Welcome Wagon.  A couple of the members volunteered to look into this project.  A committee was formed to investigate and begin the process of completing paperwork to become a 501(c)3  non-profit organization.  The committee, headed by Deb Giffen, was active throughout the year to complete and review the paperwork.  The application was completed and sent in June. The approval process can take several months.  In order to comply with IRS guidelines, we needed to vote on a change to our Mission Statement.  That change was made to our Bylaws.  The club sponsored a self-defense class in conjunction with the Candia police.  Many members and residents attended.  The club supported The Upper Room (a family resource center for the greater Derry area) by preparing a meal for about 30 mothers and children for one of the family support groups.  Twelve members participated in the Making Strides Breast Cancer Walk raising $1475.  The Stitching up the World group made small bags for Operation Smile.  The club sponsored the Red Cross Blood Mobile.  Lisa Cote was honored by Volunteer New Hampshire at the Capital Center for the Arts in Concord because of the wonderful work and ideas that she has put into motion in Candia and beyond.  A giant laminated publicity check was donated to us by Brian Joas.  This will provide us with many publicity moments when we make donations to various causes and agencies.  It was decided that the Christmas tree that was planted many years ago needed to be taken down.  It had grown very unsightly.  It was replaced by a smaller tree that we can watch grow over the next many years.  We decided to include a flyer in the Boy Scouts annual town report distribution envelopes to let women in the community know about our organization and to inform residents about upcoming events such as Touch-A-Truck.  In another venue to make our name known, we bought a $300 sponsorship banner to support CYAA.  Our Annual Meeting was held at the Mason’s Hall and was catered by one of our members, Chrystina.

Compiled by Gale Stanley ~ November, 2013 ~


Gini Nichols and Denise Lazott served as the Co-Presidents during this year.  The first event held was another Touch-A-Truck event that brought in around $3000. We also sponsored two more Blood Drives in the Candia community.  A long time family in town was undergoing a serious health issue with the dad in the family, so the CCWC started providing meals to the family to support them during this time.  Candia was celebrating its 250th Anniversary so events were being planned throughout the year to celebrate this milestone.  The club was involved with selling tickets for the Semi Q – Contra Dance and the big event held in December that featured a play depicting the town’s history.  Gift wrapping at Barnes & Nobles continued as one of our fundraisers for a chosen organization.  Stitching up the World was beginning to be known throughout the state and the country.  Donations were coming in from various people in the state and even a woman from TX donated scarves to be distributed by the organization.  As a fundraiser, the club held a ham and bean supper in April complete with a visit from the Easter Bunny.  The Annual Meeting was held in June at the Tuckaway Tavern and new officers were installed and Chrystina Moran was chosen as the Clubwoman of the Year for the many, many projects she chaired and worked on throughout the year.


Co-Presidents this year were Denise Lazott and Chrystina Moran.  The biggest event that happened this year was receiving our long awaited 501(c)3 status from the IRS.  Going forward, any donations made to the CCWC would be tax deductible.  A Vendor/Craft Fair was held in the fall and despite having quite a few vendors, the number of visitors was quite low.  Many of our usual projects continued on during this year.  Touch-A-Truck raised $2700 for New Horizons.  Our annual gift wrapping at Barnes & Noble brought in several hundred dollars for the Live and Let Live Farm in Chichester.  The Food Pantry applied to start getting food from the New Hampshire Food Bank to supplement what was received from donations.  Stitching up the World celebrated 5 years of providing knitted, sewn and crocheted items to people and agencies throughout NH.  The Chocolate Extravaganza, a fundraiser, lost some participation and interest this year after many successful years. The Club donated $400 to an 8th grade student as a prize for winning the essay contest.  This money was used for that student’s 8th grade trip to Washington, DC.   After a year of weighing the pros and cons of having the GFWC-NH Juniors continue as a separate organization in the state of NH, it was voted by the remaining 3 clubs to disband the Junior organization and join with the GFWC-NH General organization. 


Chrystina Moran and Billie Pepper served as Co-Presidents during this club year.  Slight changes were made in the running of the Food Pantry.  Because of slower demand and lack of volunteers, the Food Pantry would only be open 2 days per month.  Also, because certain needed products weren’t available each month and it was hard to maintain the minimum order, the club decided to no longer utilize the NH Food Bank.  Touch-A-Truck continued with $2000 raised going to the Candia Cub Scouts.  The Club continued with the tradition of donating annually to the Summer Concert Series held at the Smyth Public Library.  One of the meetings featured a spokesperson from Safe Families who spoke about the urgent need for foster families in the state of NH.  It was decided that the money raised from Christmas gift wrapping at Barnes & Nobles would go to Safe Families.  The second Vendor/Craft Fair was held with little participation both by vendors and the market for Craft Fairs is quite saturated and Candia cannot compete with these bigger venues.  On a sad note, we lost one of our long time members to cancer.  Her family acknowledged her love for the Club by involving us in the profits from NH Charitable Gaming and establishing a scholarship in her memory.


Serving as Co-Presidents were Billie Pepper and Beth Chalbeck.  One of the first projects was sending $1000 to GFWC Texas to purchase 2 flood buckets for those affected by Hurricane Harvey.  Touch-A-Truck was held again and raised $1000 for the water program with Heifer International.  After an absence, Candia Old Home Day was held again with the CCWC being one of the participating organizations.  Lisa Cote was instrumental in researching and purchasing the electric sign that sits in front of the Moore School.  The first annual "It’s in the Bag" fundraiser was held with a profit of $7500.  The Food Pantry donated a truck full of food that was loaded into a tractor trailer that was then driven down to hurricane victims.  In the fall, a speaker from NH Children’s Trust presented to our club.  It was decided that our profit from the gift wrapping at Barnes & Noble would go to this organization ($500).  This was the first year that we were involved with NH Charitable Gaming.  Our profit from several days of gaming was $25,000+.  One of the ways that this money was dispersed was $1500 to the Candia Cub Scouts for new equipment and $3500 to the Candia Boy Scouts for repairs to their Clubhouse.  We had a speaker from Real Life Giving who spoke to us about human trafficking here in NH.  A $1000 donation was made to the Vex IQ Robotics Team from Candia Moore School who made it to the Robotics World Competition.


Priscilla Wheeler and Tami Cole served as Co-Presidents during this Club year.  During one of our meetings we had the GFWC-NH President, Anne Engelhardt as our guest speaker and she shared about her President’s project and how the GFWC organization works.  The Club made a donation of $250 to help a refugee family through the International Institute of New England.  The Touch-A-Touch event raised $700 to donate to Real Life Giving, the organization dealing with human trafficking.  Because our area is now saturated with events like this, it was decided that this would be our last Touch-A-Truck event.  We donated $500 to a Candia student who was running the Boston Marathon to raise money for Juvenile Diabetes.  Many of our long time projects continued during this year – Loaf and Ladle to raise money for fuel assistance for residents in Candia, selling chocolate Easter bunnies to raise money for the Salvation Army Kid’s Kafe, Flower Power (a fundraiser for the Club’s general fund) and the Town-Wide Yard Sale.


Co-Presidents during this year were Cecilia Jean-Louis and Priscilla Wheeler.  It was our privilege to host The Merrimack District meeting in the fall at Candia Woods.  One of the new projects was to purchase Police Trading Cards so our police officers could hand these out to children and teens to help with relations between the police and the public.  One of the members was a guest speaker in the fall to share about the Crisis Text Line that has been started to help those in NH who are having a crisis to have someone to turn to for help.  During the holidays, the usual events took place such as the Thanksgiving and Christmas baskets and the Christmas Tree giving to make sure all children in Candia could have a special Christmas.  The Club again helped the very talented Robotics Team with financial and sponsor support.  A donation was made to Families in Transition in the amount of $250.  Because there was growing concern about small number of families using the Food Pantry, a significant part of one meeting was dedicated to brainstorming this issue.  Some of the ideas were tried to provide for more families in the community.  Beginning in April, as was happening everywhere in our nation, big changes came to how business was conducted by our Club.  Meetings became virtual as well as our biggest fundraiser – It’s in the Bag.  But despite having to do this event virtually, over $7000 was raised.


Serving as Co-Presidents this year were Cecilia Jean-Louis and Merideth Wilson (for the first half of the year) and Denise Lazott (for the second half of the year). The way of conducting business continued to be mostly virtual because of Covid 19.  All state and district meetings were held via Zoom as well as regular Club meetings.  An example of this was the Stitching Up the World group.  They would meet in the Library parking lot to drop off finished items and to pick up new materials.  The work took place in individual homes. The Loaf and Ladle was totally non contact.  Members dropped off their soups and baked goods and a designated few took on the responsibility of providing Drive-thru service.  The event netted a very large profit for fuel assistance.  Also, the Club spent a portion of three meetings to review and vote on Bylaw changes as well as additions and deletions from our Standing Rules. The Club was very overdue to review the Bylaws and Standing Rules to make sure that they reflected our way of doing business.  We joined in with others across the US to provide needed items such as head phones, games, puzzles and gift cards to local Boys and Girls Clubs.  We joined in with other community groups to collect soft plastic for the TREX program.  For every 500 lbs. collected, TREX would send us a bench to use in our community.  After a few years break, the Club went back to doing Highway Clean-up for a 2 mile stretch of road through the center of town.  This is completed during the months of April, June, August and October.


Co-Presidents during this year were Denise Lazott and Michelle Rotunna.  To streamline our Scholarship giving, we asked the local Dollars for Scholars to manage the Connie L. Lofgren Scholarship.  This put all of our scholarships under the administration of Dollars for Scholars.  It was about this time that the tradition of giving gifts to the Seniors at the Senior Luncheon changed to members in the Club preparing gifts for seniors in Candia.  After they were prepared, those members would go to the homes to deliver the holiday/seasonal gifts to the seniors they had chosen.  We made a donation to the UNICEF Haiti Relief Fund.  The weekend backpack program was growing at this time and with a donation from the Candia Baptist Church of additional backpacks, more families were receiving food for the weekend.  Our Club along with many other organizations in town held a Community Information Night to share what’s happening in town and how residents can participate.  Because of GFWC-NH’s involvement with homeless youth, we had a speaker share with us at one of our meeting about Stepping Stones, a facility where homeless youth can shower, wash clothes, rest and get a meal.  This began our involvement with this organization.  After two years of it being virtual, there was an in person "It’s in the Bag" Fundraiser.  It was held in conjunction with another group and we split the profits of $2500.

Compiled by Gale Stanley ~ December, 2023 ~