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Katie McQuaid's Scene in Manchester: Parkside PTG revs up for big raffle

September 08. 2013 9:40PM

I had my first experience as a Manchester public school parent last week. The first day of school was just like I remembered it — a little chaotic, a little scary, but very exciting.

Of course there are the annual concerns with class sizes and miscommunications, but we all need to be a little patient and give our teachers and administrators time to work out the kinks. They are doing the best they can with the resources they have, and as one fellow parent pointed out, we shouldn't expect our schools to be solely responsible for our children's education.

I think public school parents who have the means should step up to the plate and carry a little more of the burden for the costs of education. And I applaud the Parent Teacher Group at Parkside Middle School for doing just that. Patrick Graham, vice president of the group, said the organization is hoping to replicate the success of a fundraiser by the Hillside PTG last year.

Union Leader columnist Mark Hayward, a Hillside parent, wrote about the inspiring event, which raised more than $32,000 last year. At the time, former Superintendent Thomas Brennan told Hayward he didn't think that fundraiser's success could be replicated throughout the district.

Let's help Graham and the other Parkside parents prove that it can. On Friday, Oct. 4, from 6 to 9 p.m., the Parkside PTG will hold a raffle at Milly's Tavern. Only 200 tickets will be sold for $50 each. There will be multiple cash prizes, including a grand prize of $2,500.

"We basically would like to keep half the money raised to help pay for things the School District doesn't provide," Graham wrote to The Scene in an email. This includes support for the anit-bullying program, some field trips, and other items that come up during the year."

The group may not raise $32,000 this year, but they are laying the groundwork for more success in years to come.

To purchase your raffle ticket or just make a donation, call 759-0117 or 669-8165 or email Even if you do not purchase a raffle ticket, you can attend the event and participate in some smaller raffles they have planned.


A Bedford mom recently launched a T-shirt line that celebrates something I can relate to — the craziness of raising boys. The Man in Training line by Colette Jurnak features graphics of a blonde boy in various situations of mischief, like presenting a bouquet pulled fresh from the garden, clogging a commode with toys, and riding a toy train down a skateboard ramp.

"Boys will always find ways to cause trouble while stealing their mothers' hearts," Jurnak said in a news release announcing her new website.The line was inspired by real-life experiences with her own son and the design concepts were the result of brainstorming with other moms. Also on the Man in Training team is Meredith Therrien, a Manchester mom of a 2-year-old boy. She and Jurnak used to work together at the Palace Theatre.The shirts are printed in Amherst on regular or organic cotton using water-based ink, in sizes newborn to Adult XL.

You can see the line, order the shirts, and read a blog of stories by moms of boys from around the country at "We are girls, they are boys. Sometimes, we just don't get it. Man in Training brings moms together so we know that we are not alone," Jurnak said.

Money for music

Fall classes at Manchester Community Music School start this week. There are several new programs, including a drop-in option for the early childhood class and even a prenatal class for expectant moms. Luke Bonner, who works for the Manchester marketing agency Griffin, York and Krause, visited the school to present CEO Jeanine Tousignant with a $1,000 check from The Rock On Foundation, which Bonner founded with his brother, Matt Bonner of the San Antonio Spurs.

The brothers' nonprofit aims to enrich the quality of life in communities by supporting athletic, artistic and scholastic initiatives.

NH365.ORG Event of the Week

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Manchester invites individuals, families and businesses to participate in the inaugural Fore the Children Mini Golf Tournament at Legends Golf and Family Recreation in Hooksett on Sunday.

The cost for each two-person team is $35. The price includes 18 holes of adventure mini golf, a cookout and the chance to win awards and prizes. Teams are divided into four categories — adult, youth, youth/adult and corporate.

Funds raised go to support Big Brothers Big Sisters participants in Manchester, Concord and all surrounding towns.

Registration opens at 10:30 a.m. and the tournament and other festivities begin at 11 a.m. To register online, visit

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