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Katie McQuaid's Scene in Manchester: Kids benefit from woman's donation of bicycle helmets

July 15. 2017 12:40AM
Manchester residentMichelle Chretien celebrated her 50th birthday with a goal of collecting bike helmets for members of the Boys & Girls Club of Manchester. Thanks to the generosity of clients and colleagues, she was able to deliver 139 helmets to Boys & Girls Club members at Camp Foster last week. 

IN THE FOURTH GRADE, Michelle Chretien suffered a concussion from a bicycle crash. But it didn’t stop her from getting back on a bike. In fact, she and her husband, Paul, are both involved with Bike Manchester.

“We cycle all around the city, and I get concerned seeing children on bicycles without helmets,” the Manchester resident and loan officer at RMS Mortgage wrote to The Scene.

So, in celebration of her 50th birthday, she set out to collect 50 bike helmets to distribute to kids at the Boys & Girls Club of Manchester. But thanks to a few Facebook posts and generous clients and colleagues, she collected quite a few more.

“Today we donated 139 helmets to the Manchester Boys & Girls Club,” Chretien wrote to The Scene last Tuesday.

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There is a great video of Chretien on the Boys & Girls Club of Manchester’s Facebook page, presenting the helmets to the kids at Camp Foster in Bedford, the Manchester club’s summer location.

“Save your brains,” she told the campers as they tried to guess how many helmets she collected. The club will distribute as many as it can to its members, and then share with other organizations like the YMCA and Salvation Army.

Chretien said the helmets continue to come in. If you would like to donate one, contact her at

Canvas the city

Maybe you’ll see some uniquely decorated bike helmets on a group of riders in search of downtown art this Thursday, July 20. Participants in Bike Manchester’s Bicycle Art Party are asked to dress in “art-themed” attire.

All are invited to attend this community bike ride that will start at the Manchester Community Market in Victory Park at 6 p.m., making stops at art studios, shops, and museums before ending at Veterans Park where Intown Manchester will be hosting the band Foreigner’s Journey as part of its free concerts in the park.

If biking isn’t your thing, you can also explore Thursday’s many arts and cultural events by trolley. Free trolley rides will run from 5 to 8 p.m., stopping at various venues. You can see a map and list of stops at

Twilight at the Currier

The whole family can enjoy the Currier Museum of Art at its first-ever Twilight at the Currier Block Party next Saturday, July 22.

The evening event, from 5 to 9 p.m., will have indoor and outdoor activities, including art-making and henna tattoos. The very interesting entertainment lineup includes an art battle with the Nashua group Positive Street Art, live music from Black Agnes and DiCenso/Clark Expedition, and performances by Dream City Dance and Dimensions in Dance.

Admission is free for all, and food and drink will be available to purchase from food trucks and a wine and beer tent. Parking is available at the neighboring North End Montessori SchoolTemple Adath Yeshurun, and the Diocese of Manchester.

Find more information, and a list of food trucks, at

Do you have an interesting item for The Scene? Email Katie at

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