White Birch Center Named Nonprofit Business of the Year by Concord Chamber of Commerce

Each year the Concord Chamber of Commerce presents the Pinnacle Awards to recognize businesses and individuals who have demonstrated professional excellence and commitment to the Chamber and the community and this year White Birch Center has been named the Nonprofit Business of the Year!

Recipients will be honored at the 12th Annual Pinnacle Awards Luncheon on June 1.

Read the Concord Monitor article

Henniker Chamber of Commerce Supports Mission of White Birch Center

Henniker Chamber of Commerce Supports Mission of White Birch Center

Henniker Chamber of Commerce President, Johanna Michie, presents check to Marc McMurphy, Executive Director of White Birch Center

White Birch Center was recently the fortunate recipient of a generous donation from the Henniker Chamber of Commerce. Johanna Michie, Henniker Chamber President, presented a check for $500.00 to Marc McMurphy, White Birch Center Executive Director. The donation will support the Active Living Program and the film licensure required for movie socials. Seniors in the Active Living Program enjoy regular movie get-togethers and, beginning in February, the Early Learning Program at White Birch will be joining the seniors for an intergenerational movie social on a monthly basis.

“The Henniker Chamber of Commerce is delighted to make this donation to White Birch Center – an organization that does so much more for the community at large than most realize,” noted Michie. Michie explained that this contribution not only recognizes the important work White Birch does across generational lines but also offers a way for the Chamber to give back to the community through the direct local efforts of White Birch.

In addition to the donation to White Birch, the Henniker Chamber is involved in numerous other charitable initiatives including offering a local scholarship fund, hosting a golf event and food drive to support the food pantry, and sponsoring a local toy drive program. The Chamber and White Birch Center share a commitment to community. To learn more about the Chamber please visit www.hennikerchamber.org. The mission of White Birch Center is to be a community leader in providing exceptional programs and services that support learning and active living for children, adults, and families.

Active Living, Active Giving

Beth Ann Paul, Director of Active Living at White Birch Center assembles food and toiletries WBC volunteers collected for Haiti Relief efforts

Volunteers from the Active Living Program at White Birch Center have been extra busy helping others this holiday season. The group recently donated their time and talent to support an important international effort and some local causes dear to their heart.

For Operation Drum Drop, White Birch Center volunteers collected dry goods and toiletry items to help fill a 55-gallon drum. The items were donated to the Haitian Community Center of New Hampshire for delivery to families in Haiti still struggling with the aftermaths of hurricane devastation.

A group of volunteers at White Birch who refer to themselves as the “Knit-Wits”, recently trimmed a Giving Tree with hundreds of hand-knit items for local charities including: Friends of Forgotten Children, Henniker Lions Club, and two emergency shelters. This is the fourth year WBC Active Living volunteers have participated in this labor of love.

White Birch Center Active Living Program volunteers display their Giving Tree trimmed with hundreds of hand-knit items for local charities. (Standing l-r: Marie Jones and Sandi Lowman, seated l-r: Mabel Vaughn, Fran Lusardi & Roberta Castonguay)

WBC Active Living Giving Tree

These volunteer initiatives are just two of many year-round community service efforts done through White Birch Center. Program members from Henniker and surrounding towns volunteer to drive, facilitate exercise groups, provide luncheons, teach hobby classes, organize donation projects, and support fundraising initiatives. Last year alone, this dedicated group provided over 1,250 hours of volunteer services valued at nearly $30,000.

The mission of White Birch Center is to be a community leader in providing exceptional services that support learning and active living for children, adults, and families. To learn more about the Center for Active Living and other White Birch programs please call 603.428.7860 or visit our Active Living section of the website.

White Birch Center Teacher Lends Expertise to Roundtable Discussion on Early Learning and Affordable Childcare


Ashley Murphy, Teacher at White Birch Center in Henniker, participates in a Roundtable discussion hosted by The Campaign for a Family Friendly Economy. Kristin Smith, Family Demographer from the Carsey School of Public Policy (l) and Patricia Martin, Candidate for Representative (r) listen as Ms. Murphy speaks about the needs NH families have for quality, affordable childcare.

White Birch Center teacher, Ashley Murphy, recently participated in a public roundtable discussion on the importance of quality, affordable child care for working families here in New Hampshire. Held in Antrim, NH on October 27, the panel presentation was hosted by the non-profit organization The Campaign for a Family Friendly Economy. A variety of speakers participated and numerous local Representatives were also in attendance.

Ms. Murphy shared her expertise as a teacher, emphasizing the importance of quality early learning experiences for children during their most formative years of growth. “Brain development is at a critical point of growth for children from birth through five years of age. We have this window of opportunity, paired with a significant responsibility to children and families, to support this growth and development in the most positive and encompassing ways possible”, explained Murphy. As the parent of a preschooler, Ms. Murphy also spoke to the significant challenges parents and caregivers face regarding access to quality, affordable childcare.

Other panelists in the round table discussion group spoke on family demographics, early learning initiatives at the state level, family outreach & resources, and community action goals. The group was facilitated by Jackie Cowell, Executive Director of Early Learning NH, and was one of several The Campaign for a Family Friendly Economy is holding throughout the state. Further roundtable information can be found at www.familyfriendlyeconomy.org.

Annual Appeal

2016 White Birch Center Annual Appeal

Dear Community Friend,

For over four decades, White Birch Center has been touching the lives of generations of Henniker residents. When we reach out to you with this Annual Appeal, we are asking you to consider the question “What will my donation mean to my community?” Here are a few examples of the impact contributions can have:

“We put our trust in White Birch to keep our children safe and to assist in their education while we work to support our family. WBC is a huge part of our local community.”

“The White Birch Active Living program is the place to be. Friends, new and old, trips near and far, sharing interests, activities, food, stories, and support – a community of wonderful people.”

“As a primary care physician, I love hearing from my senior patients that are a part of White Birch – and about how they haven’t fallen since they started participating in chair exercise classes, or how much they enjoy going on day trips with their friends.”

If you are not directly impacted by our Early Learning, Extended Education, Active Living, or community outreach programs, contributing to White Birch is a way to be involved and make a difference.

Do you believe in the critical, lifelong impact of early learning, education, and life skills?

Do you want to support essential services and opportunities that help older adults to stay well and remain connected to their community?

Do you want to keep your charitable support local knowing that White Birch contributes significantly to the financial well-being of the community as an employer, consumer, service provider, and neighbor?

For whatever reason, and with any amount you give, your support of the White Birch Annual Appeal invests in our town and our shared community. We invite you to be part of our mission to be a community leader in providing exceptional programs and services that support learning and active living for children, adults, and families. Let’s make a difference together.


Mark McMurphy
Executive Director
White Birch Center

P.S. As you consider giving a gift to the White Birch Center Annual Appeal, feel free to contact us to arrange for a tour, we’d love to see you!

2016 White Birch Center Annual Appeal

Delivering Kindness

Preschoolers from White Birch Center paid a very special visit to the Henniker Fire Department this week. In celebration of “Kindness Week”, the 3-year-olds and their teachers baked dozens of cookies and designed hand-made Thank You cards to present to local Firefighters.   The class took a walk over to the station to meet Captain Mick Costello and Firefighter & Medic, Steve Meade.

The sentiments and appreciation were well-received and the children enjoyed talking with the firefighters and getting up close to the fire engines. Visiting the fire station was one part of the children’s experience in exploring kindness and community. Other activities for the week included bringing flowers and artwork to the White Birch Active Living program, crafting a blanket donated to a local hospital, and filling each other’s class folders with kind messages from classmates and staff. Lead Teacher, Emily Peters, explained “We planned our curriculum this week around the Kindness theme because social development is an important part of early learning and life skills; we’ve all enjoyed it so much”.

The mission of White Birch Center is to be a community leader in providing exceptional programs and services that support learning and active living for children, adults, and families. To learn more about these programs and services call 603-428-7860.

Preschoolers from White Birch Center visit Henniker Fire Department to deliver cookies & Thank You cards in celebration of Kindness Week

Preschool Teacher, Emily Peters, looks on as classmates give home-made cookies to Captain Mick Costello of the Henniker Fire Department


Commitment to Community: TD Bank of Henniker presents Affinity Program donation to White Birch Center

Left to right: Elin Korsgren-Leonard, Manager of TD Bank, Marc McMurphy, Executive Director of White Birch Center, WBC Active Living program members Chris Burritt, Pam Burby, Ginny Doherty, and Bernadette Douzanis, Director of Development for White Birch Center

Elin Korsgren-Leonard, Manager of TD Bank of Henniker, recently made a neighborly visit to White Birch Center to deliver a welcome surprise: a check from the TD Bank Affinity Program for $2,278.81. The Affinity Program works by TD Bank making an annual contribution to a member-designated organization based on the activity of participating TD Bank members’ accounts. TD Bank makes the actual contribution, while their members choose the organization they wish to be the recipient.

Whether through financial contributions such as this, participating in the Center’s annual Literacy Night, or speaking with White Birch Active Living program participants, TD Bank gets involved in a variety of ways. “TD Bank is a wonderful part of our community; their steadfast support of our organization and those we serve really helps makes a difference in the lives of others”, notes Marc McMurphy, Executive Director of White Birch Center.

The mission of White Birch Center is to be a community leader in providing exceptional programs and services that support learning and active living for children, adults, and families. To learn more about these programs and services, please visit www.whitebirchcc.org or call 603-428-7860. For more information about the TD Bank Affinity Program, visit any branch location or call 603-428-3235.

Knitting for “Hope” in NH

White Birch Community Center program participants are greeted by Kerry Norton, RN and co-founder of Hope on Haven Hill

Kerry Norton, RN and Co-Founder of Hope on Haven Hill, speaks with White Birch Community Center Senior Program members

Hope for Haven Hill’s founders Kerry Norton, RN (l) & Colene Arnold, MD (r) share a hug with Helen MacKenzie, WBCC participant

“It was a day full of emotions”, said a participant in the White Birch Community Center Senior Program, her words resonating with the other members of her knitting circle. The group was referring to their recent trip to Rochester, NH to deliver 5 boxes of hand knit and crocheted items to Hope on Haven Hill, a new residential Substance Use Disorder program for pregnant and postpartum women and their children.

Founders of Hope on Haven Hill, Kerry Norton, RN and Colene Arnold, MD OB/GYN, were delighted to meet the seniors and receive the exquisite blankets, sweaters, caps, baby booties and bags for women and children in their care. Smiles and tears were shared as the boxes were opened and stark realities of addiction were discussed. Hope on Haven Hill plans to officially open its doors this July, with rooms available for 8 women. There’s already a waiting list.

The 55-mile connection from Henniker to Rochester comes from a longstanding family friendship between Helen MacKenzie, of the White Birch Senior program, and Hope on Haven Hill’s Kerry Norton. Helen was the best of friends with Kerry’s grandmother, and although Kerry’s grandmother has passed on, Helen and Kerry make a special effort to keep in touch. Helen, an avid knitter, spearheaded the outreach along with Senior Program Director, Beth Ann Paul. Paul, described the outreach as touching and inspiring, noting “Hope on Haven Hill is doing critical work that is especially needed in our state. It feels good to support their mission and touch some lives”.

This volunteer initiative is just one example of the community service efforts of the White Birch Senior Program whose members come from Henniker and surrounding towns. Last year alone, these active older adults logged over 800 hours of volunteer services such as driving, facilitating exercise groups, providing luncheons, teaching chess, bridge, and computer lessons, and organizing fundraising and donation projects. The mission of White Birch Community Center is to enrich the lives of citizens by providing social, education, and recreation programs for families, children, and adults in a stimulating, supportive, and safe environment.