CONTACT: Mikayla Collins
CONCORD, NH – New Hampshire is still buzzing with the energy of the nearly two-week celebration of the 2020 Spirit of NH Awards, which culminated in a virtual, live-streamed event on Wednesday, December 9. More than sixty award recipients (representing hundreds of volunteers!) were recognized for their commitment to volunteer service, including historical Community Pillar Award recipients and three of this year’s extra-special individuals:
1. Jaimie Adams, recipient of the Spirit of NH Award
The Spirit of NH Award honors one individual or group which best exemplifies the spirit of service in New Hampshire. The name of this recipient is kept secret until event night, when the announcement is made. Jaimie Adams was the natural choice. When a long-term care facility within the South Central Public Health Region found itself with a staffing shortage in April 2020, Jaimie knew that she had to step in. Jaimie volunteered her time and expertise at the facility for six weeks straight, living in respite housing (and then completing a two-week quarantine) to avoid infecting her husband and two-year-old daughter. Jaimie made a tremendous difference in the lives of the residents and staff during her deployment.
2. Ishwori Bhatta, recipient of the People’s Choice Award
In a live, event-night announcement, Ishwori Bhatta was honored with the first-ever People’s Choice Award to be included in the event. Ishwori volunteers for a wide variety of causes and organizations that serve and celebrate New Hampshire’s Nepalese community members. He has even served as a founding member of the New Hampshire Nepali Community, and the New Hampshire chapters of the International Nepali Literary Society and the Non-Resident Nepali Association. Throughout the pandemic, Ishwori has found ways to give back to the community, including donating supplies and working to increase awareness within the Nepalese community and beyond. The public was able to cast their vote for the People’s Choice Award over the course of 10 days leading up to the live-streamed event.
3. Nicole Finitsis: recipient of the Governor’s Outstanding Volunteer Manager of the Year Award
This award was created by former Governor John Sununu to honor volunteer administrators and salute their excellence in leadership and management of volunteers in New Hampshire. The 2020 recipient, Nicole Finitsis, is the Volunteer Coordinator for Beacon Hospice Care, an Amedisys Company, in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Nicole is known for her impressive “match-making” ability to pair hospice patients with the perfect volunteer – and for making each and every volunteer feel supported and appreciated. Nicole is also well-respected by her peers and serves as the Regional Mentor for the Amedisys offices in New Hampshire and Maine.
The event also featured two live interviews with award recipients. Nazzy Nazz of 105.5 JYY spoke first with James T. McKim, Jr., a volunteer with the Manchester NAACP and the Town of Goffstown, about the social justice work that he is involved with. The second interview was with Jaimie Adams, who was then surprised with the Spirit of NH Award. In addition, Senator Maggie Hassan, Senator Jeanne Shaheen, Congresswoman Annie Kuster, and Congressman Chris Pappas shared messages of congratulations for the award recipients.
The Spirit of NH Awards ceremony was made possible by our Legacy Sponsor, Bellwether Community Credit Union; Luminary Sponsors: McLane Middleton and Saint Mary’s Bank; and Visionary Sponsors: Cigna, Eastern Bank, Orr & Reno, and the Stephens Family, as well as several other generous contributors.
Visit https://VolunteerNH.org/award-recipients-2020-spirit/ to learn about the award recipients and view the event recording.
Volunteer NH is a nonprofit organization established in 2001, and is governed by a Board of Directors appointed by the Governor and approved by the Executive Council. With a mission to promote the tradition of service in New Hampshire, Volunteer NH supports and sponsors national service initiatives and provides training, recognition, and a central site for volunteers and volunteer programs to help them strengthen their communities.