The Alliance for Greater Good’s Lantern Festival and Community Kindness Campaign raised $22,000 for Seacoast Mental Health Center. It was a brilliant success! At dusk on September 30th hundreds gathered at the Lantern Festival and watched lights flicker as paper lanterns decorated with kindness messages floated on the South Mill Pond. Together our community members illuminated 400 years of Portsmouth kindness amid resounding support from our generous sponsors and donors, Kindness Champions, our many wonderful volunteers, and everyone who purchased lanterns.
Fun was had by all! DJ Skooch entertained the crowd as participants decorated their lanterns, visited the photo booth, and enjoyed face painting by our talented artists!
Julie Johnson, President of the Alliance, welcomed everyone, and Jay Couture, President and CEO of SMHC, shone light on the mental health needs of the Seacoast and the services provided by SMHC. After addressing the crowd on the importance of teaching children about kindness, Mayor Deaglan McEachern, along with his wife and daughters, were the first to launch their lanterns.
“Beautiful night at the lantern festival! Thank you Alliance for Greater Good and all the volunteers that made this night of kindness such a success!” - - Deaglan McEachern, Mayor of Portsmouth
Kelly Hartnett, SMHC Vice President of Community Relations, called the donation “transformative” and said, “What a tremendous success in SO many ways. This is wonderful news and is a true testament to the effort and work done by the Alliance over the last 15 months. The Center is honored to receive this donation.” President and CEO of SMHC, Jay Couture added, “I am stunned and humbled by the size of this donation. Thank you for all that you have done to make this a success not just in terms of fundraising, but in bringing the community together for a shared positive and fun experience!”
The Alliance extends heartfelt thanks to everyone who participated and supported our events through the summer months especially Portsmouth Middle School, the three Portsmouth elementary schools, Maude H. Trefethen School, St. Patrick's School, Portsmouth Library, Camp FunStuff, Portsmouth Senior Activity Center, Soul Models, and Wentworth Senior Living, all of whom offered Lantern Decorating and Kindness Conversation activities that were sponsored by Kindness Champions and very generous Alliance donors. Strawbery Banke and Prescott Park also invited us to share a little kindness, and graciously gave us a platform to spread the word about the Lantern Festival and SMHC. It was incredibly uplifting to receive this enthusiastic response from our Portsmouth community!