When the Village Embraces a Vision, Everyone Wins

November 30, 2018


By Doug Robinson

It started as a vision.  When two Hudson Selectmen learned that the local food pantry, which serves thousands of Hudson residents on a yearly basis, lost a major benefactor leaving the pantry short on donation funds to satisfy the local needs for this holiday season.  That’s when Chairman Roger Coutu and Selectman David Morin took a leap of faith.

Their vision was to create and produce a telethon, to be shown live on Hudson television, that would raise money and in-kind donations for the food pantry.

“Our thoughts were that it would be great to raise $3,000 and that would replace the amount of money the food pantry lost,” said Coutu.

With only two and a half weeks “to pull this off,” commented Coutu, “in our hearts we knew that we had Hudson behind us.” The two selectman, along with a slew of volunteers, created a televised telethon in an effort to raise funds for the food pantry.  The telethon crushed their modest goal of $3,000 and raised more than triple that amount.

“Many families will now be waking up on Christmas morning with celebration in their hearts because the food pantry, with the people of Hudson, came together and provided for one another,” said Coutu.  “Whether that was money, a toy, article of clothing, food, or other in-kind donation, many, many Hudson residents will benefit from this telethon.”

Selectman Morin said, “We are totally overwhelmed.  Never did we expect to receive $10,932 in cash donations and approximately another $5,000 of in-kind donations.  We transported to the food pantry six pick-up trucks, and another dozen or so vehicles, loaded with all the donations.”

More than 60 volunteers gathered at the HCTV the Sunday after Thanksgiving to make this telethon a reality.  In addition to these volunteers.  Every staff member of HCTV and ever member of the cable committee volunteered their skills operating the multiple cameras, manning the control room, setting up microphones at the various locations in the studio, arranging the tables, and preparing the building to welcome Hudson into their home.

Car load after car load of donations kept coming for hours into the telethon and the phones continued to ring endlessly.  The hallways of the HCTV Center became clogged and cluttered with clothes, toys, food, and most of all, love.

The band, Victim of Circumstance, played non-stop for the entire telethon.  The trio of young performers arrived at HCTV, early in the morning, as they had just completed playing another gig until 3 a.m.  With their voices going hoarse, their guitar fingers nearly bleeding, and wrists reaching musical exhaustion, their “no-quit” attitude reflected and exemplified the spirit and values that make up the dedication from not only all the volunteers, but from everyone who lives in the town of Hudson.

Presenter after presenter stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the selectmen as they presented their gifts to the pantry.  Every hour the drum roll sounded, and the tally climbed from $2,500 to $5,000, and then finally crossed the $10,000 amount around 4 p.m.  All knew and understood that something big was happening in Hudson.

And, then out of the blue, two young Alvirne High School students walked into the HCTV Center and asked if it would be ok to give a donation.  They came to give their “weekly allowance” to the food pantry.  And, then their grandmother matched their donations, dollar for dollar.  Where else does this happen than in Hudson, N.H.?

Chairman Coutu said, “Hudson is a very special town.  We are bombarded with stories of other areas of the country that are in total disarray.  Hudson gets it.  Our world is a tough place.”  Continuing, Coutu said, “Hudson people go all out to help each other, and I could not be more proud to be a part of the Hudson spirit.”