KEENE, N.H. — The Showroom at the Colonial Theatre was packed full of sports radio fans Friday morning, eager to have an opportunity to watch WEEI’s radio personalities at work.
“By the time we opened the doors at just before 6 a.m, there were already about 30 people waiting in line,” said Peter “Fish” Case, general manager for Great Eastern Radio, an affiliate of WEEI, New England Sports Radio in Boston.
While most of the people in the crowd were from the Keene area, Case said he recognized a handful of people from Brattleboro, too.
“To have them come here means a lot to their faithful listeners who get to see these folks do their thing live and in person,” said Case.
The Greg Hill Show, featuring Greg Hill, former New England Patriots tight end Jermaine Wiggins and Courtney Cox, airs weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m. locally on 93.5.
The Keene show was stop number four for the Greg Hill Road Show.
Hill joked on the air that the crowd in Keene rivalled its biggest show, in Rhode Island, but at least most of the people in Keene appeared to be sober.
He brought on local luminaries, including Luca Paris, the president of the Greater Keene & Peterborough Chamber of Commerce and owner of Luca’s Mediterranean Cafe, Kaila Cumings, of Brattleboro, a contestant on the Discovery Channel’s show “Naked and Afraid,” and Michael Cancellieri, the executive director and a counselor at Front Line Foundations in Bellows Falls.
“It was awesome to be there,” said Cancellieri. “Having a New England audience hearing about Front Line was a great thing.”
Front Line Foundations was formed at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic by a group of counselors at the Brattleboro Retreat’s Uniformed Services Program, who decided to branch out on their own.
Like the USP, Front Line serves veterans and emergency responders struggling with the effects of their jobs on their mental health.
Cancellieri spoke about the four foundations of mindfulness — the body, feelings, mind and nature of reality, and how it differs from the stories we tell ourselves.
“Growing up in the Western civilization, we are told our thoughts are who we are,” he said. “But that’s not true. The stuff we torture ourselves with in our minds is really only 25 percent of our experiences.”
Mindfulness helps people balance their thoughts, perceptions and feelings in reality, he said.
The two-week program builds coping skills, cultivates a mindset of resiliency and encourages post-traumatic growth following the effects of service-related traumatic experiences, states Front Line’s website.
“We are looking to put together a group of six for our next class that starts on June 6,” said Cancellieri.
Front Line accepts payment from all major insurers but will not turn someone away who does not have insurance or can’t afford the program.
“Payment will never be an obstacle,” said Cancellieri.
For more information, email email@example.com, visit the website, or call 802-732-2518.
Ken Laird, WEEI’s operations manager, said he hopes to return the road show to Keene soon.
“What an awesome crowd and two days spent in Keene. Everyone was so nice, and the Showroom was packed early with an interactive crowd that mostly hung for the full four hours.”
More important, said Laird, is the ability to showcase organizations like the Front Line Foundations.
“We’re proud to leverage our reach to spotlight the important work Front Line Foundations does on a daily basis,” he said. “Veterans and frontline workers are key pillars of our company’s social impact platform, and we’re delighted to have been able to showcase Mike’s outstanding organization ahead of Memorial Day weekend.”
Kaila Cumings said she was familiar with the Greg Hill Show from appearances she did when he was on WAAF, before he switched over to WEEI.
She said it was fun to be on a stage in front of a local audience.
“This was different from what I’ve done before, with having a crowd of people in the bleachers,” she said. “The big turnout was awesome. It was a lot of fun.”
To hear a recording of the Friday morning show, visit audacy.com/weei.
Case said there are no plans this year to bring the Greg Hill Show to Brattleboro, but he hopes to do so next year.