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Kimon Zachos gets up to receive his award and speak during the annual Granite State Legacy Awards held at the Riverside Room in Manchester on Wednesday. (Thomas Roy/Union Leader)

The legacy of these Granite Staters is lasting

MANCHESTER — In the face of adversity, determination and the love of family can overcome much, said David Nixon, one of six people honored Wednesday night with the Granite State Legacy Award.

Nixon, a longtime New Hampshire attorney whose civic contributions include fundraisers for the William B. Cashin Senior Center and being a founder of the Joe Yukica-New Hampshire chapter of the National Football Foundation, is battling cancer. He said that when facing trouble, people go through stages that include disbelief, anger and apathy.

“Finally, if there is the magic of love involved, then there’s determination,” he said.

The Granite State Legacy Awards are given to New Hampshire residents who have made significant contributions over an extended period to their profession, community and state. Presented by the New Hampshire Union Leader and sponsored by Centrix Bank, the annual awards program is in its third year.

“I think we set the bar high when we began it. I think you will agree that it remains high today,” said Joseph W. McQuaid, Union Leader president and publisher.

McQuaid said the recipients had likely all received accolades throughout their lives.

“We are sure they will not rest on these new laurels, either,” he said.

Warren Schomaker of Jackson, honored for his work with the Jackson Historical Society, drew laughter when he said that as part of buying a Mercedes to celebrate his 90th birthday, he purchased an additional two-year warranty to extend his coverage to five years.

“Now that’s an optimist for you,” he said.

Paul and Anna Grace Holloway of the Holloway Automotive Group, honored in part for establishing the Paul J. Holloway Prize, which provides a $25,000 stipend to an aspiring young entrepreneur, said they were humbled and honored by the Granite State Legacy Award.

“It’s always flattering that somebody thinks you’ve accomplished something in your life and your state,” Anna Holloway said.

But her husband said he believed his family benefitted from living in the Granite State.

“New Hampshire has really blessed the Holloway family,” he said.

Jackie Burke, in accepting an award for her mother, Renee Riedel-Plummer, said that while her mother, honored for her work in revitalizing Pease International Tradeport, was shocked by the award, those who know Riedel-Plummer were not, given “Hurricane Renee’s” reputation as someone able to get things done.

“As Renee’s fellow honorees must know, you can clock in but you can’t clock out when you’re making a difference in the world or even in the small, but great, state of New Hampshire,” Burke said.

Kimon S. Zachos, who graduated from Wesleyan University a year before Nixon, was honored for a career that included being part of the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s and being the driving force behind the Currier Museum of Art owning and expanding its Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Zimmerman house. He said he was honored to do his small part to make his home state better.

“My legacy in New Hampshire and to Manchester is thanks to a great life,” Zachos said.

Trace Adkins
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