Maj. Philip Blanchard receives the Distinguished Young AFCEAN Award from: (left) Lt. Gen. Robert M. Shea, USMC (Ret.), AFCEA President and CEO; and DeEtte Gray, CACI, AFCEA International Chair of the Board.  The presentation took place at an AFCEA International conference held in San Diego, CA earlier this year.  (AFCEA Photo) 

Amherst Resident Honored at AFCEA International Conference

      LEXINGTON, MA – Philip Blanchard was honored at an AFCEA International conference held in San Diego, CA, earlier this year. 

AFCEA is a non-profit association serving the military, government, industry and academia as an ethical forum for advancing professional knowledge and relationships.

      Blanchard is a resident of Amherst, New Hampshire. 

      He received the prestigious Distinguished Young AFCEAN Award for his outstanding support to AFCEA’s Lexington-Concord Chapter.  

      Blanchard was specifically cited for organizing and spearheading the Lexington Minuteman High School Career Day event and procuring a senior Department of Defense Keynote Speaker for the Chapter’s Signature New Horizon Symposium.  

      He was also commended for his leadership during Hanscom Air Force Base’s Career Day, where he personally worked with the Massachusetts National Guard, UMass Lowell ROTC students and program offices on the base to produce a highly successful STEM-centric event. 

      In addition, Blanchard has professionally done AFCEA’s Lexington-Concord Chapter proud in two areas:

      As Hanscom AFB’s Chief of Protocol, he’s personally interacted with senior government leaders, including SAF/AQ, SecAF and VCSAF during AFCEA events, who’ve publicly acknowledged his exceptional attention to detail, strong work ethic and diligence when planning and overseeing visits. 

      As a Major in the Massachusetts National Guard and Directorate Executive Officer, he has helped enhance AFCEA exposure while ensuring communications continuity and assisting Commonwealth Public Affairs Officers during training and real-time military operations. 

      In the words of Lexington-Concord Chapter Board Chairman Pat Marr, “Phil Blanchard has done it all … he’s a rising star in our Chapter.”

Taste for a Cure Invitation-MODIFY.jpg

Mark Your Calendars: Taste For a Cure For Cystic Fibrosis, Rescheduled for Nov. 5th

      MANCHESTER – Due to current social distancing recommendations, our 14th Taste For A Cure For Cystic Fibrosis, has been rescheduled to Nov 5th. The event will still take place at The Executive Court Banqueting Facility in Manchester! Our fabulous Restaurants and Food businesses will be serving their signature dishes and we will still have our amazing silent auction. We are so grateful to local Restaurants, businesses and friends for your continued support, we could not do this without you, and we ask you to support our Restaurants, sponsors and donors in these uncertain times. Taste For A Cure has raised over $1.2 million in 14 years, and during that time the quality of life and life expectancy for people living with CF has increased tremendously. Thank-you, and we look forward to seeing you on November 5th – tickets now on sale 

2020 Citizen of the Year Nominations

      The Amherst Lions Club invites nominations for 2020’s Amherst Citizen of the Year. This year has surfaced many who are deserving of the award which will be presented at the July 4th celebrations on The Green. 

It will be the 45th annual presentation whose past awardees include at least two couples. The award recognizes friends, neighbors, and colleagues who have made significant contributions to the community welfare through volunteerism, innovation or ingenuity. Along with a medal, the winner receives a silver engraved bowl and their name engraved on a permanent plaque in town hall.  

      Nominations are due by June 24 by using the form found on the club’s web site ( or by contacting the Lions at Letters of recommendation are encouraged.

Should the town’s July 4th celebrations be postponed, the presentation will be made when the event is re-scheduled or at another appropriate event.




Creating Landscapes and Displays to Envy

We had Merryfield Design come to our home to do

some landscaping, maintenance, and pruning. Kelly struck us immediately as welcoming and extremely knowledgeable about her craft.  She listened to our ideas and had great suggestions that conveyed her vision.  She was flexible with respect to the scope of her involvement, and also helped us create a plan for future landscape architecture on the property.  Kelly left such a great impression on us that I thought of her talents this past Christmas when I wanted to send a wreath to my mom in Maine.  Kelly was

Kelly Merryfield

Merryfield Design LLC

happy to create a festive hand-crafted wreath and have it delivered.  Because I was able to describe to Kelly what I was looking for, my mom received a wreath that was personal and meaningful. Merryfield Design provides a wide scope of services, and we

look forward to working with them again soon.

      Merryfield Design offers full garden and landscape consultation, design, installation and maintenance. From renovation of existing landscapes to creating new spaces of organic and fragrant beauty!  We dream, design and execute with plants! Looking for gift ideas this time of year? Why not consider a gift of Kelly's services as a unique idea for Mom or Dad this season?

      From big spaces outside to small containers on doorsteps or dramatic arrangements inside, we provide the expertise to make any holiday or special occasion, a celebration to enjoy…

      Kelly Merryfield embraces the great outdoors as a Master Gardener in NH and MA with over 25 years experience in design and maintenance, and teaches homeowners how to maximize curb appeal and enjoyment of their property. She’ll even provide you with a hands on experience, coaching you to succeed in the art of gardening. 

      Follow Kelly on Facebook at Merryfield Design, message her, or email to discover more.

Amherst Garden Club Begins to Maintain Town/School Gardens

      Amherst Garden Club members start the task of prepping for Spring the 10 gardens in town under their tender, loving care and maintenance.  These gardens beautify Amherst for the next  six months.  The gardens welcome home commuters and visitors with their colorful beauty and design at Welcome signs.  They enhance the historic beauty of the Town Hall and water trough.  The lawn at the Brick School bordered by perennial gardens of day lilies and roses give the property a look of belonging in a mostly residential village.   And a trip to the library is always educational.  How many herbs and veggies are planted among the flowering annuals along the entryway?  Around to the back of the library, a quite reflective garden awaits offering cool shade and perennials as companions to your lunch break.  

      This year, as a nod to Covid 19 the AGC has canceled their annual plant sale to the dismay of so many home owners and seasonal businesses.  But their commitment to beautifying Amherst even while wearing face masks and observing social distancing remains steadfast.  Thank you.

Historical Society of Amherst’s Old Home Day


     With all the uncertainly around social gatherings at the moment, we wanted to let everyone know that Old Home Day is still on for September 12th and that we would love to see this community event grow this year as a celebration of all things Amherst in light of the current social distancing quarantines in place.

The Old Home Day event committee is working to make this year’s event even bigger and better, and if your Amherst non-profit or Civic Group wants to be involved, please let us know.

A final decision won’t be made until June, but in the mean time, keep us on your calendar for 2020 and remember the memories of all the fun we had at the 2019 Old Home Day! 

     We have already had some preliminary discussions with other town groups about combining events into Old Home Day if necessary, so if your group is developing contingency plans for postponing your own event, the Old Home Day committee would be happy to discuss making Old Home Day a special one-year event that would work for everyone’s benefit.

     We know there is a pent-up demand in Amherst for a community event and are looking forward to when we can all celebrate again!

Amherst Area Newcomers 

      The Souhegan Valley Women’s Social & Newcomers Club, aka Amherst Area Newcomers Club, is a non-profit, social group for women.  We welcome new residents as well as those who have lived here for years. We offer monthly general events and over 21 interest groups.  Contact us at, & check out our website at

Amherst Garden Club Charitable Fund Seeks Applications for Grants

      AMHERST – The Amherst garden Club Charitable Fund welcomes qualified applicants for the 2019-2020 year. Proceeds from our fund raising activities as well as memorial gifts are added to our fund each year and then awarded to local community projects that are consistent with our mission.

      Our mission is to provide education, resources and networking opportunities for our members to promote the love of gardening, civic landscaping and environmental responsibility.

      Recent grants have been awarded to the Women’s State Prison Gardening Program, Joshua’s Park and Community Gardens, The Amherst Town Library Gardens and the Amherst Garden Club Garden House Project and The Souhegan Valley Boys and Girls Club Edible Garden Project.

      Information and applications can be found on our website: Questions can be directed to Grants are awarded on a rolling basis and reviewed when applications are received.