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November 11. 2012 10:28PM

Scene in Manchester: WedŁ's winning windows work for local charities

WHILE SOME of you are enjoying a day off from work on this Veterans Day Monday, the employees at wedŁ are as busy as Santa's elves creating the company's annual holiday window displays.

This is the fourth year wedŁ will decorate its 20 Market St. building's windows. Past years' scenes have included wedŁ elves, scenes from "A Charlie Brown Christmas" and "The Polar Express" and a toy soldier. Last year was the first time a public vote was taken for a People's Choice window. The winning theme was the party scene from "Home Alone."

This year wedŁ is involving the public more than ever. Online voting for the window theme ended on Thursday, and wedŁ employees have split into four teams in a competition to design the best window based on the winning theme, "The Off Season." Teams have until the end of the month to design and install displays that show what happens at the North Pole the other 364 days of the year. The windows will be revealed on Monday, Dec. 3, and the public can vote for their favorite on Facebook until Dec. 21.

Each team also has been assigned one of four local nonprofits to incorporate into its window design. The nonprofits - the Manchester Animal Shelter, David's House at Children's Hospital at Dartmouth, Special Olympics New Hampshire and the YMCA's Youth Opportunities Unlimited Program - can win money by getting supporters to vote for their window. Each organization that gets at least 250 votes will get $250, and the nonprofit with the window that gets the most votes will win an additional $500 plus $2,000 worth of creative work from wedŁ.

Many companies give to nonprofits every year, but I like wedŁ's plan to turn its giving into a team-building exercise. Stay tuned to The Scene to hear how the competition unfolds.

Kudos from the club

Congratulations to John Clayton, Kevin Clougherty and Bill Marvin for their induction into the Manchester Boys & Girls Club Hall of Fame last week. This is the fourth year the city club has honored individuals who are either alumni or strong supporters who have made a significant impact on the organization and the community.

Clayton is no stranger to readers of the New Hampshire Union Leader. While the longtime writer of the "In the City" column was a member of the Manchester Boys Club, his favorite activities included ping pong, bumper pool and basketball. And it's no surprise he also loved the library. Today he is VP of communications for the New Hampshire Hospital Association, and his contributions to this newspaper are missed. (Believe me. Readers like to remind me often.)

Clougherty grew up in the club gym and was influenced by many of its staff members. After serving as the city's chief financial officer for nearly 20 years, he is now commissioner for the state Department of Revenue. I think he deserves a separate award for all the abuse he's likely taken from elected officials.

Marvin operated the Manchester Manpower office for more than 25 years and is a longtime and generous supporter of the Boys & Girls Club. I've had the pleasure of knowing him since my days in the Manchester Rotary Club. He often sends me nice emails to remind me that my father is a lousy golfer.

Holidays on the run

I've just signed up for two road races to help take off some of the stress of the holidays. The Fisher Cats Thanksgiving Day 5K begins at 9 a.m. at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium. That allows time to sleep in a little and still get some exercise before heading over to Gill Stadium for the 10:15 a.m. Turkey Bowl football game between Central and Trinity high schools.

The Santa Shuffle follows on Dec. 1. The first 2,500 people to sign up for this 5K race get a Santa suit to wear during the event. Last year was the first for this race, and it was so fun to see a sea of Santas heading up and down Elm Street moments before the start of the Manchester Christmas Parade. Kids' races start at 2:45 p.m., followed by the regular race at 3:15 and the parade at 4:15.

NH365.org event of the week

I had always assumed the Theatre Knights was just the drama club for Manchester High School West, but it's actually a young people's theater company open to any student in grades 8 through 12 enrolled in a public or private school in Manchester. I came across the group's website after seeing a posting for their upcoming production of "Blithe Spirit" on www.nh365.org.

"Blithe Spirit," a comic play about a sťance gone wrong, will be performed at the West auditorium on Wednesday at 3 p.m. and Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. Senior citizens can attend the Wednesday show for free.

If you would like to have your event considered for The Scene's Event of the Week, enter it into the free www.NH365.org calendar. If you have an interesting item for Scene in Manchester, email it to scene@unionleader.com.


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