Thumbs up and congratulations to Wendy Lull, who is retiring in spring 2017 as president of the Seacoast Science Center.
Lull has been leader of the center since it opened at Odiorne Point in Rye in 1992.
There are many ways to measure the success of the center under Lull's leadership, but perhaps the simplest and best way is to stop by the center during a school vacation week or summer camp. You'll find kids learning about marine life all over the building and tidepooling in the ocean. The kids are engaged, having fun and present in big numbers.
The humpback whale ecology exhibit, the $3.2 million raised for capital projects, the Gregg Interactive Learning Studio, the formation and success of the Marine Mammal Rescue Team and the 80,000 annual visitors are all items the center's board pointed to in praising Lull.
Lull has had a lot of great educators and staff members and community support over the years, but there's no questioning her hard work and vision was vital. Odiorne Point has always been a gem and the Seacoast Science Center has become a gem, too, over nearly 25 years in this wonderful location.
Lull is the only leader the center has known and she has set up a great spot for the next leader to succeed.
Thumbs up to Army veteran Travis Mills, one of five surviving quadruple amputee soldiers to return home from fighting in Afghanistan. Mills brought his amazing story of perseverance and making the most of life to Newmarket Junior/Senior High School on Thursday night.
"How selfish would I be if I just gave up?" he said. "Don’t take anything for granted; I’m very lucky to still be here.”
Mills was on his third tour of duty in Afghanistan on April 10, 2012 when an improvised explosive device caused the injuries that would cause him to lose all four limbs. Now he works hard for the foundation in his name to benefit and assist wounded veterans.
It's doubtful anyone who has heard him speak will ever forget it.
Thumbs up to organizers and everyone who participated Sunday in the Alzheimer’s Association’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s in Portsmouth. About 1,000 people took part in the three-mile walk. Many of them shared their stories about battling Alzheimer's within their families.
The disease is all too common. It's estimated 23,000 people in New Hampshire have the disease and more than 5 million nationally. The numbers are expected to grow by a large number in the coming years.
Melissa Grenier, the association’s New Hampshire manager, said the goal is to raise $206,000 to fund research and support families.