Click photo to enlarge
Adrianna, a young student at Kurn Hattin Homes shows a cottage to Cheryl "Cher" Belair of the Elm City Rotary in Keene, N.H., an "adopt-a-cottage" sponsor.

WESTMINSTER >> "Where would you fly if you had wings?" was one of several questions both adults and children queried on Adopt-a-Cottage Day, Sept. 10, at Kurn Hattin Homes for Children.

Individuals, club and business members, joined their adopted children's residences (cottages) for fun team-building exercises, a delicious barbecue, and a cottage tour after having previously donated funds to supply their cottages with needed items, such as new towels, bedding, and mattresses. The Adopt-a-Cottage program provides the sponsors a special opportunity to not only support Kurn Hattin, but also have fun and spend time getting to know the children. Dave and Lisa Therrien and the Keene, N.H., Elm City Rotary Club, who adopted Hubbard Cottage, where the youngest girls live, were one of the last sponsors to depart on Adopt-a-Cottage Day.

Kurn Hattin thanked all the Adopt-a-Cottage partners for their generous support and the meaningful time they spend with the children. Thanks go to: Durand Toyota Ford; IPG Employee Benefits; Keene Elm City Rotary Club and Dave & Lisa Therrien; LaValley Building Supply and Tony Maiola, Elizabeth Woodhull Maiola, Joel Woodhull Maiola and Dawn Woodhull Maiola Ranney; Mascoma Savings Bank; Rite Aid, Savings Bank of Walpole; Streeter Contractors; and Whitney Blake Company. Pictured are members from the Keene Elm City Rotary Club and Dave and Lisa Therrien with their Hubbard Cottage children.

Kurn Hattin Homes for Children has helped thousands of children and their families by offering a safe home and quality education in a nurturing environment. For more information, visit


Newlywed couple donates $4,000 to Draft Gratitude

WINCHESTER, N.H. >> On a glorious summer evening in August, as the sun was setting upon Long Lake in Naples, Maine, Robert Vose and Lorraine Blais recited their wedding vows.

Lorraine Blais turned 63 that same day and it was her first marriage; her groom, Robert Vose, 70, was widowed for five years and imagined he would spend the rest of his days alone. And the couple decided because they had everything they needed at this stage in their lives, that any wedding gifts would be donated to a cause near and dear to their hearts.

That cause was Draft Gratitude, a draft horse rescue in Winchester. The couple recently presented $4,000 to Rebecca Roy, the founder of the nonprofit.

"I first learned of Draft Gratitude from my cousin, who volunteers at the rescue and serves on the board," said Lorraine Vose.

She and her fiancé, who had lived his entire adult life in Florida with horses, wanted to visit Draft Gratitude and meet these gentle giants who had been saved from slaughter.

"After we met them, we knew right then what we wanted to do with our wedding gifts," said Robert Vose, after meeting the rescue horses including Jetstar, Big Ben, Beau, Silvia, Belle, Big Jake, Pepper, Trooper and the draft molly mules.

"It's a blessing for us to be able to give back to an amazing and unusual cause that has a much greater need than our material wants," said Lorraine. "Robert and I believe no matter how old you are, you can still have so much to give!"

"I am touched by this incredible gift," said Rebecca Roy, founder of Draft Gratitude. "Every dollar donated or fundraised by the all-volunteer staff, and all of their supporters, goes directly toward the care of these majestic horses."

Roy is putting out a challenge to other potential donors to contribute toward matching this generous gift of $4,000. "We want to build an additional run-in shelter in one of our paddocks before winter for Big Jake, Trooper, Pepper and Jimmy."

Draft Gratitude has many local and distant supporters stretching across the United States and further. Its mission is saving draft horses from neglect and slaughter, rehabbing them, and adopting them to approved forever homes. Draft Gratitude is located at 148 Ashuelot St., Winchester. It hosts a public open barn visiting day the first Saturday of each month from 10 a.m. to noon to meet the horses and learn more about the life saving work that they do. For more information, visit or call 603-762-3266.

Affirming trans and gender non-conforming participants in your program

BRATTLEBORO >> On Oct. 3 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., High 5 Adventure Learning Center will present "Beyond Bathrooms: Affirming Trans and Gender Non-Conforming Participants In Your Program," at 130 Austine Drive, Holton Hall.

In recent months many of us have become aware of the need for our organizations to become more sensitive and affirming of trans and gender non-conforming clients and students, but we don't know where to start. Beyond Bathrooms is a day-long workshop – led by Perry Cohen of The Venture Out Project and Meg Bolger of The Safe Zone Project – that will provide participants with the knowledge, awareness, and skills they need to create gender affirming environments and practices in their organizations.

This workshop will cover everything from terminology and foundational concepts regarding gender identity, deconstructing assumptions of gender, to how to create more inclusive medical/intake forms, housing, bathrooms and more. Participants will walk away with not only a nuanced understanding of these identities and issues, but also concrete tools and practices to make their organization more trans affirming. No prior experience or exposure to transgender identity needed, come learn with us!

The cost is $195, which includes lunch. To register, visit or call 802-254-8718.