Rindge Chamber recognizes business, nonprofit leaders

  • John Hunt of Rindge swears in the new officers and board of directors for the Rindge Chamber of Commerce at the chamber’s gala dinner on Saturday. STAFF PHOTO BY ASHLEY SAARI—

  • Jen Marszalek accepts the award for Nonprofit of the Year on behalf of the Rindge Food Pantry. STAFF PHOTO BY ASHLEY SAARI—

  • Isaac French is presented with a commemorative clock by Greg Hodgson while accepting Business Leader of the Year during the Rindge Chamber of Commerce’s annual gala on Saturday. STAFF PHOTO BY ASHLEY SAARI

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 1/23/2023 11:25:07 AM

The Rindge Chamber of Commerce recognized its Business Leader of the Year and Nonprofit of the Year during its annual dinner at Hidden Hills in Rindge Saturday evening.

The chamber honored Isaac French of KDI Landscaping & Grounds Maintenance as Business Leader of the Year, and Rindge Food Pantry was named Nonprofit of the Year.

Greg Hodgson, who presented the award to French, said the business was originally started by French’s father, with the initials representing his three children.

“Isaac and the French family have served the community by donating time and materials for projects around Rindge as long as they have been in business. An example of that is, every year KDI donates free mulch to the veterans as they clean up around the memorials and the flags on Memorial Walk.”

One resident, Hodgson said, told a story about KDI going the extra mile while working a job for them by helping to replace a playscape that was becoming unsafe. When the resident asked him why, French told her, “I would want it to be safe for my kids, so why wouldn’t I want to make sure it’s safe for yours.”

“That says a lot about this man,” Hodgson said.

French received a commemorative clock in recognition of his care for the community.

“I was surprised. It’s something to strive for, being part of the community, but I’m not looking for something like this,” French said. “My dad always taught us growing up to take care of each other, and to take care of the community, and the community will take care of you. Without the town residents, we wouldn’t be where we are today.”

Rindge Food Pantry has been in operation since the 1990s, and currently serves about 88 families, which range in size from a single family to nine people, according to Jen Marszalek, who accepted the award on behalf of the pantry. 

Marszalek praised the group of volunteers that run the pantry, saying, “This doesn’t just happen by magic. We have a great group of people that are very dedicated to helping their community.”

The pantry is open once a week on Thursdays, and is open to any family in the state, though Marszalek said most of the families it serves come from the immediate area.

Marszalek thanked community partners, including Market Basket, Hannaford and Sun Moon Farm, for providing support, including perishable food, to the pantry, as well as the many individual community donors.

Lynda Hunt, who presented the pantry the award on behalf of the chamber, said she herself had been a volunteer in the past.

“Wow, are they hard workers,” Hunt said. “Everything is very carefully organized for easy access when passing out meals to families. It’s a huge job to volunteer for.”

In addition to honoring the Business Leader and Nonprofit of the Year, the chamber also gave a monetary award given to Conant Interact Club to help continue its charitable work.

Ashley Saari can be reached at 603-924-7172 ext. 244 or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter @AshleySaariMLT.


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