Good News Roundup

There’s no shortage of grim news in the world right now, and while ignoring the bad won’t make it go away, you can counter it with daily doses of good news. As we come across acts of kindness, helpful resources or other uplifting items, we’ll post them here.

Annabellemeszynski Bavarian

By Annabelle Meszynski

Tyler Soucy Hereditary Copy

By Tyler Soucy

New England College Student Work Accepted into the Society of Illustrators Student Competition
Two Illustration students, Annabelle Meszynski and Tyler Soucy, at the Institute of Art and Design (IAD) at New England College (NEC) captured the attention of the Society of Illustrators, America’s oldest nonprofit organization dedicated to the art of illustration. Each academic year, IAD’s Illustration faculty submit original student work to the Society of Illustrators’ Student Scholarship Competition. Faculty collect a select number of student pieces that demonstrate outstanding use of drawing, composition, value, color and technique. They also look for work that exhibits a unique style with an inventive approach to conveying a concept.

“I can easily say that Annabelle and Tyler, two highly skilled and motivated students, absolutely fit the bill,” says Ryan O’Rourke, associate professor of illustration. O’Rourke submitted three professional-level pieces that were accepted into the Society of Illustrators 2020 competition, two from Meszynski and one from Soucy. The works of Meszynski and Soucy, both juniors at IAD, were among this year’s 2,278 entries from 74 art and design institutions.

New Hampshire Magazine has collaborated with students from O’Rourke’s class on several feature stories, including one on poet Robert Frost and another that illustrated some of New Hampshire icon Fritz Wetherbee’s spooky tales. Look for another coming up in the July issue of the magazine. Our congratulations to Annabelle and Tyler!

Good News for Drive-Ins
New movies may be on hold, but New Hampshire’s three drive-ins are ready to screen some of your favorites — or maybe hold a graduation ceremony (or church services, Girl Scouts awards or other community event). Read more about plans at the Milford, Northfield and Weirs drive-ins.

New Little Free Library
After a successful GoFundMe campaign, a new Little Free Library opens on May 14 at 55 Golfview Dr. in Manchester. Little Free Library has posted some important information on when, where and how it’s safe to use the book-sharing program, and instances of folks helping their communities by turning their libraries into mini food pantries. These are now called “sharing boxes,” and there’s at least one in New Hampshire, located in Portsmouth. Additionally, there are many traditional LFLs around New Hampshire — see this map to find one near you.

Tupelo Music Hall Brings Back Live Music

The Tupelo Music Hall, the longtime winner of the “best small venue” Best of NH award, has an idea to bring back live (as in live in person, not on your screen) music. Owner Scott Hayward has a plan for drive-in style concerts where you’d sit in your car and listen over the radio, or bring your own chair and sit beside the car on the driver’s side (while still a safe distance from others). Read more here.

Earsaver Sample(1)Local Company Produces and Donates Thousands of EarSavers to Frontline Workers
Fedora Engineering in South Acworth, New Hampshire, produces the EarSaver, and the plastic material is provided by the Portsmouth-based CORE Elastomers. Thousands have been donated to front line workers, and every EarSaver sold allows Fedora to continue to donate. If you’ve never worn a mask for days in a row, you might not realize the toll it can take on ears — these little devices make long-term mask-wearing much easier to bear. You can learn more here.

Three-Year-Old Boy Saves Neighbor
A Hampton boy, while on a walk with his moms, noticed his elderly neighbor’s newspaper — in fact, a few of them — were piled up on the doorstep. After a bit more investigation, the police were called, and they discovered the neighbor had been trapped in her basement for three days. Read more here.

BeerBeers for Good
New Hampshire breweries Great North Aleworks, Woodstock Inn Brewery, Moat Mountain Brewing Company, Smuttynose Brewing Company and Great Rhythm Brewing Company have collaborated on a new beer in order to support the New Hampshire Hospitality Employee Relief Fund (NHHERF).

100% of the proceeds from this beer will be donated to the NHHERF so they can continue supporting employees of the hospitality industry who have been impacted by COVID-19. The collaboration is a pale ale named Gratuity featuring Galaxy, Amarillo and Lemon Drop hops.

Due to current COVID-19 guidance, an in-person collaboration was off the table. Great North brewed the beer and all five brewers have donated the needed supplies and ingredients. Gratuity will be ready to ship to exclusive distributor Amoskeag Beverages the first week of May 2020 and be available state wide in New Hampshire.

Tuscan Brands Launches Chickpea Online Grocery Delivery Service
Now live at, Chickpea is a service that will give area residents an easy, efficient way to purchase items from Tuscan Market Salem and Tuscan Market Portsmouth. Each Tuscan Market location has beefed up its offerings since the COVID-19 crisis hit in an effort to get residents what they need during this tough time. From handmade Italian classics to pantry staples, Chickpea is a user-friendly service that will allow customers to purchase groceries and schedule their deliveries — all in one transaction. Serving the Seacoast and Merrimack Valley regions.

Also available as a new curbside-pickup offering at each Tuscan Market location is a collection of Butcher Bundles, which will each feature a uniquely curated selection of prime cuts. marinated meats, and/or fresh fish for one flat price. For instance, the Family Variety Pack will include Tuscan signature sausage, teriyaki sirloin tips, lemon rosemary chicken and Atlantic salmon for $120 (10 lbs. of product).

New Hampshire Chef Matt Louis Runs the Boston Marathon (Sort of)
Despite being postponed to September, Portsmouth chef and restaurateur Matt Louis still ran the Boston Marathon. Kind of. He “ran the race” on his treadmill, reaching the figurative finish line in 3 hours and 20 minutes, and raising $20,000 for his out-of-work employees along the way.

The Music Goes On
Read our story “Tunes for Hope” to learn about how the Ukeladies continue to play together while at home (and see their YouTube performance of “I Will Survive”), and why Berlin bagpiper Tom Childs performs every night on the pedestrian bridge over the Androscoggin River.

More Musical Goodness
A family of musicians in Exeter posted their video “We’ll Make It Through” to help cheer up their fellow Granite Staters. Check out the story here.

Find a Farmer
The University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension created two useful maps: the NH Farm Products Map and the NH Food Access Map. With a web of local farms stands, food pantries, pop-up locations, curbside pickups and area drop-offs emerging, this map helps to guide us as food availability changes daily. See Jess Saba’s “Bite-Size” for more.

5-Year-Old Boy Raises $1,500
Young Oliver Moyer of Hampton sold his painted rocks, raising $1,500 for the New Hampshire Food Bank.

Common Man and Plymouth Rotary Club to Distribute 67,000 Masks
Following in Dean Kamen’s footsteps, Alex Ray, owner of the Common Man Family of Restaurants and member of the Plymouth Rotary, negotiated for and secured the shipment of masks. “We got them from another country,” said Ray in the WMUR story. “It took two weeks of negotiating, transporting, getting them to Miami.” Read more.

New Horizons and Stark Brewing Deliver Meals to the Homeless
In response to a growing need to get prepared meals to the area’s homeless and transient population, Families In Transition – New Horizons (FIT-NH) has partnered with the Stark Brewing Company to prepare and deliver meals each day to various encampments all around the city of Manchester. Read the rest here.

Two New Hampshire Restaurants to Appear on “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” this Friday
Hop + Grind and the Tuckaway Tavern will be featured on Guy Fieri’s show, though in a bit of a different fashion — due to the pandemic, Chef Bobby Marcotte sent Fieri meat that the Food Network star will grill at his house. Tune in Friday May 1 at 9 p.m.

Up Your Cocktail Game
Look, we’re definitely the type of people to consider cocktail curbside pickup good news. If you’re of the same mind and want to up your home bar game, Tamworth Distilling is offering online ordering of all their spirits, plus bitters, mixers, specialty items (like olives and cherries) and even cocktail packages (including a special one for Mother’s Day). And check out their posted recipes for inspiration.