By Michael McLean
What a beautiful day it was for a clambake by the sea. You couldn't ask for better weather! The chapter held its first Clambake at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard (PNSY) twenty years ago in 1984. We have been coming back ever since! This year's "famous" Annual Clambake was held on August 7, 2004, at Jamaica Island, PNSY. Another large crowd of 357 members, family and guests thoroughly enjoyed the great weather and our traditional feast of clam chowder, lobster, steak, wurst, corn-on-the-cob, potatoes, onions and watermelon. A new feature was added this year with chapter member Mary Beth Moran selling home baked (by her) cookies in support of the Scholarship Loan Fund. They sold like "hot cakes" (or should that be hot cookies?). We were joined by half of our state's Congressional Delegation - Senator John Sununu and Representative Jeb Bradley (Rep. Bradley even manned the chow line - now that's serving your constituents!). Col Jim Pauls, USAF (Ret.), from the Council and Chapter Affairs Department of MOAA national, and his wife Marvella; LCDR Paul Sova, USCG (Ret.), a national director of MOAA, and his wife Terry; and CAPT Kevin McCoy, USN, the Shipyard Commander, and his wife Terri also joined us.
Again this year we extended an invitation to our neighbors from Vermont in the Green Mountain Chapter to join us. Fourteen members and guests trekked across New Hampshire to attend the Clambake. Unfortunately, the Ft. Devens Chapter was unable to attend this year, but we look forward to welcoming them back next year. Such is the fame of our Clambake, that we had chapter members travel from as far away as Virginia and Florida just to attend! We had three new chapter members in attendance for their first MOAA-NH event - Andy and Sunny Rochells of North Hampton and Sylvia Willoughby of Contoocook.
The main benefit of the Clambake, other than to enjoy a great home cooked barbecue, is to support the Chapter's Scholarship Loan Fund. This locally run program helps children and grandchildren of the New Hampshire Chapter members with college expenses by awarding interest free loans of $1250.00 per academic year. This year SIXTEEN students will receive loans. The Clambake raised $2,981.00 . Thank you to all who contributed!!
Finally, a special Bravo Zulu to all those who made this event as successful as it was. It could not have been done without all the hard work of the chapter volunteers!!
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