The Hometown Hero Award winning essay was written by Friends Program Mentee, James Donohue (middle), on behalf of his Friends Program Mentor, George Smith (left). They were excited to be rubbing elbows with Governor Maggie Hassan at the NASCAR race too!
Hometown Hero Award recipient George Smith received an award at the NASCAR race on September 22nd. It was a great moment for them on the podium in front of 100,000 people – broadcast simultaneously around the track on all the big screens and in the Skyboxes too. James and George were quite taken by all the hoopla and special treatment. It couldn’t have happened to a better pair!
By James Donohue
Kearsarge Regional Middle School
My hero is George Smith. I met this extraordinary man through the Friends Program. I have known George for just over a year but it feels as though I have known him my whole life. He has taught me many things. George and I do various things from eating the best steak tips ever and paying darts, to hacking away at the enormous wood pile in my front yard…George has filled a large place in my heart. When sports season arrives, he is there to help. Whether it is baseball, basketball, or football, he knows all about it. If it weren’t for George, the sports fields in my town would not even exist. He was the only person on the Parks and Recreation Department. He has improved and maintained our sports fields. It is amazing to see how many families benefit from that. As you can tell, George has been a great help to me and the Town of Warner, because whenever there is something that needs to be done, you can always count on George.
There was an assembly on September 16th at the Kearsarge Middle School where James was surprised with the recognition. James’ family was present as was Mentor George Smith who was also presented his award. Some highlights about the award:
* 85 classrooms throughout the state entered individual student essays featuring their individual choices.
* The teacher’s classroom received $500 for participating and having the winner as a member of their class.
* The school received $2,500 in prize money for having the winner selected from their school.
* James read his essay on The Pulse (107.7) radio station on September 17th.
* James and his entire family won in-field passes to the NASCAR Race on September 22nd and were brought there and home by limousine.
* George and his entire family won in-field passes to the same race and were also brought there and home by limousine.
* James & George were brought up to the podium during the pre-race and were honored by Governor Hassan in front of 100,000 people.
* Charlie McIntyre, Director of the NH State Lottery Commission with his colleague, Maura McCann presented the checks and honors.
CHECK OUT ALL THE PRESS THEY GOT!