An evening on Great Bay

dalcgundalow2Every year, the fundraising committee of Dover Adult Learning Center Board of directors organizes an event to acknowledge those who have taken a leadership role in support of the adult learning center.

According to Executive Director Deanna Strand, this year they looked for a special way to recognize members of the Helen Phipps Heritage Society. Helen Phipps was one of the first two women ever to be elected to the Dover City Council. In 1970, Helen became the Director of Dover Adult Basic Education and went on to found the Dover Adult Learning Center. Helen passed away at the age of 83 in 2010. In honor of Helen’s dedication and commitment to adult education, the Dover Adult Learning Center Board of Directors established the Helen Phipps Heritage Society to allow supporters to remember DALC in their estate planning and continue her legacy.

“Members were invited to be our guest for the event,” Strand said. “This year it was a late afternoon cruise. The committee liked the idea of a cruise, but wanted it to be more than a tourist trip. According to Strand, one of the newest board members at DALC, State Senator David Watters, suggested the Gundalow Company, which is based in Portsmouth, but also sails out of Durham. The idea of departing from a town within their catchment area was appealing; they are after all the Dover Adult Learning Center of Strafford County. “We sailed out of Adams Point in Durham. We also chose it because we feel our events should be mission related, and the gundalow has an educational component,” Strand said. “Not only did we get a wonderful cruise, on a beautiful night, but we learned all about the history of Great Bay along the way.” They even learned a few sea shanties.

The committee was also pleased to discover that they could take a regularly scheduled tour, as opposed to paying extra to charter a sail, and they could bring their own snacks along. “It made for a very cost effective event,” Strand said. “We even helped hoist the sail.”

Strand said many donors are former board and staff members who enjoy the chance to reconnect with current members and stay abreast of new programs and initiatives at the adult learning center.

Helen’s mission lives on in other ways, as well. In June, DALC graduate Julia Caple received a scholarship in Helen’s name to help her continue her educational journey.