Strengthening ties with state lawmakers

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Legislative breakfast provides a forum for New Hampshire Army to tell its story

By Patricia K. James –

Majors James and Patricia LaBossiere, northern New England divisional leaders with New Hampshire Speaker of the House Shawn Jasper and Senate President Chuck Morse. April’s event represented Northern New England’s second successful outreach effort to strengthen ties with local lawmakers.

Majors James and Patricia LaBossiere, northern New England divisional leaders with New Hampshire Speaker of the House Shawn Jasper and Senate President Chuck Morse. April’s event represented Northern New England’s second successful outreach effort to strengthen ties with local lawmakers. | Photo by Patricia K. James

Legislators from across the state of New Hampshire connected with Salvation Army leaders, officers, staff and volunteers in early April for the organization’s first-ever Legislative Breakfast.

The well-attended event, co-hosted at the Concord, N.H., Holiday Inn by state Speaker of the House Shawn Jasper and Senate President Chuck Morse, brought together Army personnel with more than 25 representatives and senators, providing a unique opportunity for the organization to share its story with local lawmakers, many of whom were unaware of the scope and diversity of its programs and services.

“The concept for the first New Hampshire Legislative Breakfast with The Salvation Army came about as the result of our desire to have an outlet for up-to-date, two-way communication with our state leaders,” said Major James LaBossiere, divisional commander for Northern New England. “The recent anniversary celebration of 150 years since the founding of The Salvation Army provided a focal point to share both the history and present day services of our organization.”

As the featured speaker, Major LaBossiere gave a general presentation about those services as well as new, soon-to-be initiated programs, such as Pathway of Hope. Last year, LaBossiere had designed a similar event while serving in Maine, an occasion that met with positive feedback from all parties. New Hampshire’s event proved equally successful.

“I am glad I attended the recent Salvation Army breakfast,” said State Representative Bill Kuch. “Quite frankly, my knowledge about your organization was limited to the Christmas bell ringing, but now I realize that there is much more to your humanitarian services.”

Kuch, a first-term Republican lawmaker, said he enjoyed meeting and speaking with several officers at the event.  “They were very forthcoming in answering my questions and gave me a better appreciation of your organization.”

The Army’s presence in New Hampshire includes ten worship and service centers dating back to 1886 and works with more than 200 volunteers in 66 communities across the state who assist in providing food, clothing and utilities to those in need.

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