The Manchester Lions recently hosted its annual awards recognition ceremony of the local chapter of the Spirit of America, according to a news release from the club. Linda Cobb, Manchester Grange 172, John Lauter and Ruth Short were recognized.

Cobb serves as pianist and at the Manchester Grange without accepting pay. She has donated many hours working in the Scribner Hill Cemetery and has always gone above and beyond what was expected of her, according to the release.

She also volunteers at the Manchester Historical Society and the Manchester Lions Club.

Carolyn Van Horn, Grange Master, accepted the projects award for Manchester Grange 172, for its ongoing projects which include The Read Across America program about reading to elementary classes and having local Manchester Maine author Francine McEwen read one of her works to the children.

A Dictionary Project — giving dictionaries to every third grader at Manchester Elementary which are theirs to keep and Adopt a local family at Christmas. The Grange also sponsors scholarships for local high school seniors.

John Lauter, a senior at Maranacook High School, received the youth award for his outstanding volunteerism. He volunteers with the Manchester Fire Department as a junior firefighter, he volunteers at least six hours every month at Lions club.

Lauter is a former Boy Scout, and likes to help those in need, especially with the elderly and disabled, according to the release.

He also has volunteered to help with the unified basketball team which is a special program that includes those with intellectual disabilities. He is a mentor in school for incoming freshman and has been helping in a program in the schools with sixth and eighth graders.

Ruth Short’s story is one of perseverance and dedication to helping others. She had been losing her eyesight for the past 17 years. When her eyes got so bad, all she could see were shadows. This went on until last year when Short received a pair of E-sight glasses through the Manchester Lions Club.

She started giving back to her community again by crocheting 10 afghans for homeless veterans and is starting crocheting lap afghans for comfort bags to be given to people at the hospital or receiving cancer treatments.

Short enjoys helping others in the community and doesn’t expect anything in return, according to the release.

Arlene Gagnon, Leon Strout and Debbie Maddox represented a team effort for the New Project Spirit of America.

The Manchester Lions Club, the Manchester Community Church and the Town of Manchester completed a project that benefits the community. Knowing there was a need for crosswalk lights on Route 17 (Readfield Road) between the elementary school, the Town Office and the community church.

This project involved the town, the school, the church and the Department of Transportation.

The lighted crosswalk signs are now a part of the Town of Manchester and eases the way to park in any of the three parking lots whenever an overflow of parking is needed as well as allowing pedestrians to cross to the school for ball games and to use the playground.

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