In the News

C&J Donates Proceeds from 1941 Indian Scout Military Motorcycle to Veteran’s Count

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C&J Bus Lines, one of New England’s premier transportation providers, and the Jalbert Family, will donate proceeds from a 1941 Military Scout auction to Veteran’s Count. Veteran’s Count is the philanthropic arm of Easter Seals’ Military and Veteran Services which provides critical and timely financial assistance and other aid to veterans, service members, and their families, the goal being to “ensure their dignity, health, and overall well-being.

The motorcycle will be auctioned at the highly acclaimed Bonham’s Las Vegas Motorcycle Auction on January 25, 2018. Bonham estimates the sale of the vehicle to exceed $25,000 and has waived all auction and processing fees to ensure 100% of the proceeds will be donated to Veteran’s Count.

The military Scout has been authentically restored by C&J’s fleet maintenance team to battle-ready, collector quality condition, has logged only a few test miles, and is ready for display, D-Day reenactments, or easy, attention-getting rides to the local bike show. The authentic WWII-era helmet and replica Thompson submachine gun will be included with the lot.

“My passion for vehicles and motorcycles started as a child” says Jim Jalbert, President of C&J Bus Lines. “This year our transportation company celebrates our 50th year of service to the Seacoast Community. We are proud of where we’ve come throughout the years and look forward to the next 50. Giving back to the community who has helped make us who we are today is an important company value and that’s why 100% of the proceeds from this bike will go to Veteran’s Count.”

To learn more and interested bidders, please visit:

About C&J
C&J Bus Lines operate scheduled intercity passenger services from Dover, Portsmouth New Hampshire, and Newburyport Massachusetts serving Boston South Station and Logan International Airport. The company also provides daily executive class service between Portsmouth, NH; Tewksbury, MA; Ogunquit, ME (seasonally); and the New York Port Authority New York City. Founded in 1968, C&J has become a regional icon, providing a unique, safe, and dependable passenger transportation experience to over 700,000 passengers each year. This year, the company celebrates its 50th year of service to the Seacoast community and is proud to employ over one hundred dedicated individuals who take pride in the services which C&J provides. The company operates a fleet of 30 motor coaches from its maintenance facility in Rollinsford with its business offices located in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. For more information, please visit or contact us at

Veterans Count Seacoast S.O.S Gala Raises $436,000

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North Hampton — The Seacoast Chapter of Veterans Count got a boost in efforts to help soldiers at its recent gala fundraiser. The fifth annual S.O.S. “Salute Our Soldiers” dinner last month at the home Michael and Jamee Kane of North Hampton raised $436,000 for Veterans Count. The evening’s included dinner, dancing, the honoring of all veterans in the audience, and a fireworks display over the ocean.

Veterans Count is a program of Easterseals that provides financial support for service members and veterans of all eras.

This year’s gala was a special tribute to Vietnam-era veterans, whom were given special recognition during a pinning ceremony to commemorate the 50th anniversary of that conflict. Master of Ceremonies Josh McElveen led the event with a special keynote speech by Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Kenneth Clark, a former member of the N.H. Air National Guard and a pilot for 32 years.

“The Veterans Count program is not a hand-out; it’s to get these service members beyond their challenges and back on their feet,” Clark said. “It takes a vision and it takes a village, and I am proud to be a part of this village.”

“The S.O.S. gala is a special night to commemorate, to pay tribute and to honor,” added Greg Whalen, chairman of the board for the Seacoast Chapter. “Quoting E.B. Sledge: ‘As the troops used to say, if the country is good enough to live in, it’s good enough to fight for.’ We are privileged to be able to fight for those who have so bravely fought for us.”

Relive the evening through photos and a video, and a special Vietnam Pinning Ceremony video.

About Veterans Count
Ninety cents of every dollar raised by Veterans Count goes to the military and veterans services program. Of these funds, $60,000 will support a care coordinator of the program for a year, which will support more than 300 clients. Approximately $35,000 will be used monthly towards emergency financial assistance such as housing, mental health needs and other critical issues military members and their families are facing.

Pack & Boots 5K Raises Money for Veterans

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Portsmouth Herald — On Tuesday morning, nearly 300 runners ran through Portsmouth in the fifth annual Pack & Boots 5K road race to benefit Veterans Count, starting and finishing in Prescott Park. Veterans Count is New Hampshire Easterseals’ program that provides veterans with financial assistance for “stop-gap measures” in times of need, including helping with car repairs, helping cover rent if they lose their job or require heating fuel assistance in the winter, according to race director David Hampson.

“The money raised from this race will go towards helping veterans in New Hampshire,” said Hampson, who also serves on the advisory board of Veterans Count. “We run this race on the Fourth of July to symbolize patriotism, the birth of our nation, the freedom our servicemen and women have given us. We felt it was appropriate recognition of veterans in conjunction with the birth of America.”

Hampson said the need amongst New Hampshire’s veterans continues to grow as more and more of them learn about Veterans Count’s services.

“The need is endless. It’s like anything: you don’t know how large the need is until you start serving it,” said Hampson. “As we’ve gained more publicity in the community and veterans know they can come to us that need keeps growing because we find people no one knew about. We’re keeping people in their homes and allowing them to be able to commute to work.”

David Chicoine was a private in the 173rd Airborne Division and was among the first American ground forces deployed to Vietnam. On Tuesday, he was running for his fellow veterans.

“Today is for saluting all of the veterans and especially the Vietnam veterans for the 50th anniversary,” said Chicoine, of Portsmouth. “We always need to be saluting our veterans, especially on this gorgeous Fourth of July.”

Poulin Dodge, Jeep, Chrysler donated a custom Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sport that was being raffled off. Anyone interested in purchasing tickets can go to to purchase a $200 ticket or text “Vetsjeep” to 51555 to be directed to the website to buy a ticket.

In the 5K race the overall winners on the male side were Matt Sawyer, of Eliot, Maine (17:27); Jasmin Lepir, of Dover (17:44); and Ryan Proulx of Portsmouth (17:54). On the female side the winners were Corey Dowe, of Barrington (22:21); Luke Dinwoodie, of Dover (20:08); and Katie Swenson, of Portsmouth (21:14).

After the 5K some doubled-down and competed in a 1-mile survival race where they laced up a pair of boots and threw on a backpack, which was 10 percent of each competitor’s body weight, to honor veterans and those currently serving.

Zachary Noftz, of Kittery, placed first for the men in the survival race (6:56) and Christy Rousseau of Burlington, Vt. finished first for the women (7:54).

“It’s great to be able to wear the uniform and run with other veterans,” said Andy Middaugh, of Dover, who is a Sgt. in the Army National Guard. “We have great weather, this is a great course and this is a great way to help out veterans.”

View photos and watch a video of this year’s Pack & Boots 5K.

On July 4, A Running Way to Support Vets

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Portsmouth Herald — On Tuesday, July 4 in Portsmouth, hundreds will take part in the 5th annual Pack & Boots 5K Run/Walk, which features a certified 5K course, a 1-mile Survival Run and a Kids Fun Run.

Two of the races at this year’s event are new. For the Kids 5K, which will be run with the Adult 5K, kids — ages 14 and under —are encouraged to run or walk for a fun challenge of their own. For those with very young children, ages 5 and under, the Fun Run is 150 meters.

As for the course for the 5K Run/Walk, it kicks off at Peirce Island and loops around Portsmouth. The most unique aspect of this popular annual event, however, is the 1-mile Survival Run, in which participants are asked to run in boots and wear a backpack that contains approximately 10 percent of their body weight. Participants can also sign up for a combined race that includes both the 5K and Survival Run.

“The Survival Run is a lot of fun and is a great way to symbolically show support for our veterans,” said race director David Hampson, who has also run the race in prior years. “The crowds are great — it is one of my personal favorite races. It is challenging, scenic and festive.”

Aside from cash prizes for overall top finishers in the 5K and great race “swag” for all participants, the race is particularly appropriate for July 4 given that proceeds will be used to support Veterans Count.

Founded in 2006 as “a voice for veterans struggling to adjust back into civilian life,” the organization provides everything from emergency aid to financial assistance to veterans and their families.

“This is an incredible program that provides critically-needed services,” noted Hampson. “The race is a chance to show your support for the men and women who help ensure the liberties we enjoy every day. It is a wonderful family event with a very important mission.”

For Hampson, the race also underscores the “true importance” and meaning of July 4.


‘Salute Our Soldiers’ fundraiser Saturday

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Portsmouth Herald — The fifth annual S.O.S. Salute Our Soldiers Gala on behalf of the Seacoast Chapter of Veterans Count is Saturday and will pay special tribute to veterans and service members of the Vietnam War era.

Veterans Count, an Easter Seals program, provides financial support for service members and veterans of all eras.

The event will be held at the Kane Estate at 5 Willow Ave. and will begin with a 5 p.m. cocktail reception. Music will be provided by the Legacy Swing Band Quartet. The program begins at 6:25 with Josh McElveen serving as master of ceremonies.

The posting of the colors will be performed by the U.S. Marine Corps Cadets ROTC from Winnacunnet High School. The Rev. Bruce Boria, pastor of Rye Bethany Church in Greenland, will provide the invocation. Gov. Chris Sununu will make remarks and Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Kenneth Clark will serve as the keynote speaker. Clark is a native of Laconia and a University of New Hampshire graduate. He served as commander of 157th Air Refueling Wing at Pease from 1996 to 2001, when he was promoted to brigadier general and assigned to the N.H. National Guard.

A special salute will be made to audience veterans from the Vietnam Era conflict.

A live auction with auctioneer Mark Fodero will help raise funds for Veterans Count.

Since 2007, Easter Seals Military & Veterans Services has served more than 9,000 individuals in a variety of ways including suicide prevention, homelessness, substance abuse treatment, employment, transportation, and mental health issues resulting from post-traumatic stress disorder and/or traumatic brain injury. Veterans Count supports families through a care coordination model and provides emergency financial assistance for food, home maintenance, housing, rent, fuel assistance, utilities, vehicle repair, gasoline, medical bills, and child care.

Peter Makris Memorial Run Raises $42,000

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Laconia Daily Sun — Laconia Motorcycle Week kicked off Saturday with the 11th annual Peter Makris Memorial Run, which drew nearly 300 riders and raised over $42,000 for charity.

“It was a fantastic day, the best Saturday since we’ve been here,” said Laconia Fire Chief Ken Erickson at a Motorcycle Week press conference held Monday morning at the NASWA Resort on Weirs Boulevard.

He said that one of the added attractions to the ride this year, a trip to New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon where riders go to take two laps around the mile oval and one lap on the 1.6-mile road course, was a definite boost to attendance.

The $42,000 doesn’t top the previous high of $50,000 from two years ago but is expected to increase even more during the week according to Cynthia Makris, president of the Laconia Motorcycle Week Association and also president of the NASWA Resort.

The ride is held in honor of Peter Makris, patriarch of the NASWA Resort and community leader, and has become the official kickoff for Laconia Motorcycle Week. In the previous 10 years, over $340,000 has been raised to fund the Laconia Fire Department’s Water Rescue Team, to support the Easter Seals New Hampshire Veterans Count program, the area CERT Emergency Response Team and other local charities, including a 2016 donation of $4,500 to the family of firefighter Kyle Jameson, who lost his battle to cancer just a year ago. Makris said, “we are so grateful to GM Dave McGrath for providing this opportunity to our riders. It is a ‘bucket list’ check for many. It was all that the riders could talk about when they came back here for the party Saturday afternoon.”

Charlie St. Clair, Laconia Bike Week Association executive director, said the Mae West Run, which was held Monday morning to benefit the New Hampshire Humane Society was expected to draw well over 200 bikers and raise over $10,000 for the charity.

“That’s over $50,000 for local charities in just two events. It shows how generous people in the motorcycle community can be,” said St. Clair.

Erickson noted that traffic was extremely heavy over the weekend and at one point was backed up to the traffic circle in Meredith and the Route 11-B intersection in Gilford. “It seemed like people were trying to avoid Weirs Boulevard, which is where we normally see backups. Police said the weekend was “busy but uneventful.”

Inaugural Beyond the Boots, a Military Fashion Show Raises $14,000 for Veterans Count

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More than 200 guests attended Beyond the Boots fashion show on April 25, at Manchester Country Club, benefitting Veterans Count. The Manchester Chapter hosted the inaugural event raising more than $14,000 for local veterans, service members, and their families.

Our models, comprised of 20 NH service men and women, were generously adorned by Alapage, Benton Shoe Company, Britches of Concord, Fabulous Looks Boutique, George’s Apparel, Gondwana & Divine Clothing Co., Jos. A. Bank of Concord, Men’s Wearhouse of Manchester, and Statement Boutique.

“These men and women wore fatigues every day, and we wanted to showcase how they could easily adhere to the everyday styles by visiting local clothing stores,” says Denise Petrin, Manchester Chapter Member.

Guests enjoyed 37 outfits from casual wear to black-tie, and everything in between. In addition, Bellman’s Jewelers generously donated a necklace and earring set to be raffled, in which a US Army veteran won.

Beyond the Boots was proudly sponsors by Bellman’s Jewelers, Granite Group Benefits, Soil Away, Envy Sports Club & Café, Bentley Commons at Bedford, Core Insurance, Eleanor Dahar, Franklin Savings Bank, Kaplan Development Group, Beth Kreick, Next Step Bionics & Prosthetics, B2B Video Solutions, Great NH Restaurants, Phaneuf Funeral Homes, PJ’s Florist, Radura Salon, Salon Thairpy, and Trayce Gregoire Photography.

To view photos of the event visit

About Veterans Count
Since 2006, Easterseals Military & Veterans Services provided more than 9,600 individuals with services for challenges including suicide prevention, employment, homelessness, substance abuse treatment, transportation, and mental health issues resulting from post-traumatic stress disorder and/or traumatic brain injury. Additionally, Veterans Count provides emergency financial assistance for food, home maintenance, utilities, housing, rent, fuel assistance, vehicle repair, child care, gasoline, and medical bills.

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Belknap Subaru Shares the Love with Veterans Count

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Belknap Subaru has presented $20,000 to Veterans Count, an Easter Seals program dedicated to providing emergency assistance and financial support for service members and Veterans of all eras across the state of New Hampshire.

Mark Johnstone, president of Belknap Subaru, with his staff, and John Hayes, and Bill Bergeon, representing Subaru of New England, presented a check to, Joe Emmons, executive director of Veterans Count. The $20,000 was raised by Belknap Subaru’s customers, selecting the local charity to receive donations under Subaru’s National Share the Love Program.

Johnstone, thanked their customers for participating, and the sales staff, at the dealership for creating the awareness of the critical work done by Veterans Count, and Easter Seals, in the Lakes Region.

“This is an amazing partnership, customers, local business, and Subaru, coming together to do the right thing for our veterans,” said Johnstone.

John Hayes, expressed his excitement for the annual program, and acknowledged the company’s delight in being able to help fund local organizations, and be a part of the community.

Belknap Subaru selected Veterans Count, as its local partner, and customers could also select from their choice of the following charities: ASPCA, Make-A-Wish, Meals on Wheels Association of America, and the National Park Foundation. From Nov. 17 to Jan. 3, Subaru donated $250 for every new Subaru vehicle sold, or leased, to the customer’s choice

“We are grateful that local businesses like Belknap Subaru are willing to go the extra mile for our veterans! Their efforts will help us continue our mission, helping Veterans and their families,” said Veterans Count board member Jane Love.

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An American Solo Film Premier Raises Nearly $14,000 to Support Veterans Count

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On Sunday, April 2, New Hampshire filmmakers Bob Bear and Jay MacNamee, premiered An American Solo to a crowd of more than 200 individuals at 3S Artspace in Portsmouth, raising nearly $14,000 for Veterans Count, a program of Easterseals NH.

An American Solo chronicles the extraordinary life of NH resident Col. Norman Phillips (USAF ret.), as told in his own words, starting with his parentless childhood in a small Massachusetts mill town. Norm went on to become a highly decorated WWII fighter pilot with 99 combat missions to his credit.

During the Cold War with the Soviet Union, Norm commanded the US Air Force’s elite 22nd Squadron in Germany – one of America’s first fighter squadrons armed with nuclear weapons. Among the pilots he mentored in that group were future astronauts Ed White and Buzz Aldrin, award-winning novelist James Salter, and Pete Peterson, a six-year prisoner in the “Hanoi Hilton” who became the United States’ first post-war Ambassador to Vietnam.

Norm went on to serve several years in the Pentagon and then chose to go train pilots to fly the F-105 during the Vietnam War. He eventually became a “reluctant volunteer” for the war himself and, as a 46 year old, full Colonel, flew dozens successful combat missions in Southeast Asia before being shot down over Laos.

After barely surviving a harrowing rescue, Norm retired from the Air Force and embarked on his second life. He turned down a lucrative offer to become a business executive, opting instead to go to college. He enrolled at the University of Massachusetts, where he earned his BFA and MFA in Art. Upon finishing his Masters, he was hired by the University to teach sculpture, which he did for 19 years.

Now a vigorous 95-year-old, Norm is a published author who is currently working on his second novel. Having witnessed a significant portion of the 20th century from 12,000 feet, Norm may be one of the last clear voices of a generation, and is he very candid in his assessments and opinions, some of which stand in stark contrast to those of other military veterans.

An American Solo is a “labor of love” by two first-time filmmakers, and is a 2017 Normandie International World War II Film Festival Official Selection.

About Veterans Count
Since 2006, Easterseals Military & Veterans Services provided more than 9,600 individuals with services for challenges including suicide prevention, employment, homelessness, substance abuse treatment, transportation, and mental health issues resulting from post-traumatic stress disorder and/or traumatic brain injury. Additionally, Veterans Count provides emergency financial assistance for food, home maintenance, utilities, housing, rent, fuel assistance, vehicle repair, child care, gasoline, and medical bills. To learn more about Veterans Count, please visit

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3rd Annual “Make 12 Hours Count” Radio Thon Raises $140,000 for Veterans Count

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The 3rd Annual “Make 12 Hours Count” Radio Thon for Veterans Count raised more than $140,000 for veterans, service members, and their families. This annual event hosted by iHeartMedia and NH Today’s Jack Heath, was broadcasted on News Radio 96-7, WGIR-AM 610, and

The Radio Thon, presented by LTC Partners, featured 12 hours of compelling content about the challenges faced by military families and how Veterans Count and other organizations across the state provide support. Additionally, the Radio Thon included testimonials from clients, celebrity endorsements, and sponsor recognition.

More than 120 volunteers, comprised of sponsors, radio personnel, Veterans Count chapter members, and Easterseals employees participated throughout the day helping make the event a great success.

“We are honored by the passion and dedication of our communities throughout the state of NH to pull together in support of our states bravest men and women,” says Easterseals NH President & CEO Larry Gammon.

Thank you to our supporting sponsors: Bank of America, Charter Trust, Comcast, Eastern Bank, Eastern Propane, Frisbie Memorial Hospital, Granite Group Benefits, Kittery Trading Post, McLane Middleton, New England Dragway, Service Credit Union, and Walmart.

If you missed the Radio Thon you can hear the hourly podcasts by visiting If you would like to make a donation to help NH veterans and their families please visit And, to view photos of the event visit

In the three-year history of our “Make 12 Hours Count” Radio Thon, Veterans Count, with the help of our generous sponsors and supporters, has raised almost $440,000 to support NH veterans and their families!

About Veterans Count
Since 2006, Easterseals Military & Veterans Services provided more than 9,600 individuals with services for challenges including suicide prevention, employment, homelessness, substance abuse treatment, transportation, and mental health issues resulting from post-traumatic stress disorder and/or traumatic brain injury. Additionally, Veterans Count provides emergency financial assistance for food, home maintenance, utilities, housing, rent, fuel assistance, vehicle repair, child care, gasoline, and medical bills.

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