A Cambodian sex-trafficking survivor whose captor chopped off her left hand couldn’t contain her smile as she was fitted with a prosthetic Monday at Next Step Bionics and Prosthetics.

Cambodian Woman

A Cambodian woman who was the victim of brutal assaults is now getting a new hand from a Manchester company and vowing to help other women who have been victimized.

Aired on CBS 10.26.19 on Wicked Yankee TV.

Community life in the Granite State for September 9, 2019.

A group of Navy SEALs poses with Swim With A Mission co-founder Phil Taub at a Paintshoot Team Building event on July 11, 2019, at OSG Paintball in Center Barnstead.

Swimmer Cheryl Alden visits with SEAL K9 Trident after completing a 5K Swim at Swim With A Mission at Wellington State Park in Bristol New Hampshire on July 13, 2019. A series of events in July — culminating with the annual swim competition and military demonstrations at the lake — raised $1 million for the National Navy SEAL Museum in Fort Pierce, Fla., as well as veterans services efforts in New Hampshire.

Retired Navy SEAL Jason Kuhn greets young members of the crowd after a demonstration of skills by the Navy SEALs on July 13, 2019, at the Swim With A Mission fundraiser. A series of events in July — culminating with the annual swim competition and military demonstrations at the lake — raised $1 million for the National Navy SEAL Museum in Fort Pierce, Fla., as well as veterans services efforts in New Hampshire.

Renee Plummer and Gov. Chris Sununu, who led one of 19 teams that participated in the Swim With A Mission Paintshoot at OSG Paintball in C. Barnstead. A series of events in July — culminating with the annual swim competition and military demonstrations at Newfound Lake — raised $1 million for the National Navy SEAL Museum in Fort Pierce, Fla., as well as veterans services efforts in New Hampshire.

Retired Navy SEAL Dale McClellan with K9 Storm led a demonstration at Newfound Lake on July 13, 2019, before a crowd of 5,000 people during the Swim With A Mission event. A series of events in July — culminating with the annual swim competition and military demonstrations at the lake — raised $1 million for the National Navy SEAL Museum in Fort Pierce, Fla., as well as veterans services efforts in New Hampshire.

Published in the New Hampshire Union Leader.

BEDFORD — The third annual Swim With a Mission event raised over $1 million for the National Navy SEAL Museum and other Veterans services in New Hampshire. The series of events took place in July, culminating with the annual swim competition and military demonstrations on Newfound Lake. This year’s events featured 30 Navy SEALs, active and retired, most who serve or served with SEAL Team 6. The SEALs were led by retired Command Master Chief Rick Kaiser and Vice Admiral Bob Harward.

Phil Taub, co-founder and chairman of the board, said, “We are humbled to have so many of America’s most accomplished warriors make the trip with their families to New Hampshire. We are already planning and working on next year’s events.”

Events included a paint shoot, with 20 companies raising over $400,000 to participate in the ultimate team building day at OSG Paintball in Center Barnstead. Kelly Ayotte, former U.S. Senator and SWAM board member, said, “OSG told us that this is the most successful fundraiser in the history of paintball tournaments and it couldn’t be for a better cause than to support our Veterans.” Whiskey and Whiskers was hosted by the Ladd Farm in Bristol, and showcased the skills of the SEALs’ canines and their handlers. The VIP Reception was a night with SEALs and their families hosted, by Meadow Wind in Hebron, raising over $350,000. Swim With a Mission at Wellington State park saw 264 swimmers swim across Newfound Lake, and raised over $100,000.

Julie Taub, co-founder, said, “It takes so many volunteers to make three days of events successful and we are so grateful for the hundreds of volunteers that put in so many hours.”

Money raised will go toward purchasing 17 elite support dogs for Veterans, starting a new equine therapy program in the Lakes Region, support for Veterans struggling with PTS and TMI, providing vouchers for fresh fruits and vegetables for New Hampshire Veterans, scholarships for children of Veterans who died in service, helping Veterans find jobs, supporting Veterans who seek to create art to help with PTS or as a new profession, and more. Swim with a Mission supports the National UDT-Navy SEAL Museum, including its K9 program and Trident House charities; Veterans Count of the Lakes Region; Children of the Fallen Patriots; Elite Meet; CreatiVets; WarPaints; Vouchers for Veterans; and a new Equine Immersion Program at Ladd farm.

Joe Graham, president of iHeartMedia New Hampshire, said, “We are very proud of the fundraising efforts this year, especially as we celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Veteran’s Day this November. Veteran Organizations can submit their application and questions for 2020 financial support at our website www.swimwithamission.org.”

Published in The Laconia Daily Sun.

Paintshoot

Covered from head to toe in neon orange and yellow splotches, Gov. Chris Sununu found himself pinned down behind a makeshift bunker of tree branches to take shelter from the hailstorm of day-glow paintballs soaring across the battlefield.

“Just like a day at the State House,” said Sununu, still clutching a face shield peppered with orange paint.

While it was all fun and games, Sununu and the nearly 250 people who gathered Thursday on the grounds of OSG Paintball in Center Barnstead had come out to support the work of Swim With a Mission, a Granite State-based nonprofit dedicated to aiding organizations that help veterans.

PaintshootThe event kicked off a weekend of military-themed expositions that end with a Saturday swim across Newfound Lake. The group’s second annual Corporate Paintshoot provided area business owners and their employees with the opportunity to learn team-building tactics from 20 active and retired Navy SEALS.

The 19 corporate teams each consist of 10 members, with all of the teams earning their spots in exchange for a $25,000 donation to the organization.

After a morning of panel discussions and lectures, the teams, each led by a SEAL, got the chance to put their new skills to the test in a paintball tournament.

“It gives business owners an insight into a whole other lane that people live in as special operations guys,” said Steve Matulewicz, a retired SEAL command master chief.

Matulewicz, a Rye resident and vice president of Sig Sauer Academy, said the all-day seminar helps to equip participants with skills that are as helpful in the boardroom as they are on the battlefield.

“When I’m talking to them about how we’re going to flank, or how we’re going to have a maneuvering element, they don’t think that way. They think maybe spreadsheets, dollars and cents. So they’re hearing all of this, they’re looking at leadership, they’re looking at delegation, they’re looking at who in the group is stepping up to lead and it helps them in their businesses,” said Matulewicz.

Thanks to events like the Paintshoot, Swim With a Mission has raised $1.2 million over its first two years, and aims to surpass $1 million in donations from the 2019 Paintshoot alone.

PaintshootSome recipients of funds include Veterans Count, a charity and assistance program for veterans and military families in New England, and Trident House Charities, a respite community in Sebastian, Fla., for families of SEALS killed in the line of duty.

“We started this organization because, obviously, we’re upset about how some of our veterans are struggling to get the help that they need,” said retired SEAL Phil Taub, who founded Swim With a Mission alongside his wife Julie.

“A lot of our veterans are leaders in our community and doing very well, but too many of our veterans are struggling.”

Some of this year’s participating businesses include Manchester Harley-Davidson, Cross Insurance and Granite State Stoneworks, all of which were dedicated to snatching first place from AutoFair Automotive Group, 2018’s reigning Paintshoot champions.

“We’re very competitive,” said AutoFair President Andy Crews. “There’s a lot of people that would like to take over our reign, but there’s only one championship.”

Besides the thrill of the competition, Crews, who is a former Marine, said he sees the Paintshoot as a “win-win” that allows him to support veterans and his employees in one fell swoop.

“They do a lot of talking about teams, leadership and how to set a culture based upon positive mental attitudes, which plays into any corporation,” said Crews.

“So as much as the paintball is fun and as great as it is to raise money, the managers from my operation are getting a firsthand experience from the Navy SEALS about how to overcome obstacles and set objectives. That is added value to me.”

Crews’ sentiments were echoed by Sununu, who said the collection of bruises and welts from the day’s activities were well worth the chance to support “America’s heroes.”

“When these guys sit down and really talk about team-building and achieving a mission, it’s awesome because they do it with their lives on the line for our country overseas in the toughest of conditions,” said Sununu of the SEALS in attendance.

“If you’re going to learn anything about those types of skills, this is the group to do it with.”

By Travis R. Morin Union Leader Correspondent.

Meadow Wind B&B

Phil and Julie Taub stand on the back lawn of Meadow Wind Bed & Breakfast in Hebron that they purchased last year. The couple founded Swim With A Mission in 2017, an open water swim festival on Newfound Lake that has raised more than $1.3 million to benefit veterans.

Phil and Julie Taub have enjoyed the natural beauty and the history of the Newfound Region for years.

When a nearly 200-year-old homestead in Hebron came up for sale, they bought it, setting up a bed and breakfast in the picturesque lake town filled with 19th-century buildings in the foothills of the White Mountains.

“Let a new generation come to Hebron and enjoy the lake, the mountains and this beautiful property. If we can let people experience that we will be very happy,” said Julie Taub, who has been coming to the community since 1981 when her parents bought a local summer home.

The couple’s hope is that their Meadow Wind Bed & Breakfast will serve as a base for visitors. Located at the northern end of Newfound Lake, about halfway between Plymouth and Bristol, Hebron has a year-round population of just over 600 people.

Phil Taub, a partner with Nixon Peabody in Manchester, who heads the law firm’s private equity and family office practice group, was born in Durban, South Africa, and grew up surfing and life guarding on the Indian Ocean.

“There is something magical about Newfound Lake. It’s unique in that it is spring fed and among the cleanest in the world,” said Taub, who was introduced to Hebron when he met Julie in 1987.

An avid swimmer and cyclist, Taub recounted that on frequent bike rides around the lake he watched the former owner of the property, Air Force veteran Peter Carney, work to restore the 1820 homestead and winterize it. Carney later hosted weddings in the post-and-beam barn.

The original homestead was built by Captain Enos Ferrin, one of the area’s first settlers, on some 350 acres. Some of that land now belongs to New Hampshire Audubon but remains open to the public as the Paradise Point Nature Center and Wildlife Sanctuary, which includes hiking trails and 3,500 feet of lake frontage.

Meadow Wind

The living room at Meadow Wind features a tin ceiling and a true barn find from the property — a sign notifying Hebron residents that the dump is closed.

The Audubon-owned Ash Cottage, just a stone’s throw from Meadow Wind at 41 North Shore Road, offers a prime spot for watching brilliant sunsets over the lake, and the absence of light pollution makes ideal conditions for admiring the stars. Taub said wedding parties use the backdrop for photos.

As just the fifth family to own the property in two centuries, the Taubs are committed stewards. Retaining some of the antique pieces that came with the property, Julie Taub has created a theme in each of the guestrooms, blending old and new.

Meadow Wind

A flag adorns the wall of a post and beam barn at Meadow Wind Bed & Breakfast that serves as a popular wedding venue. Once home to some prize Herefords, the barn still contains nameplates for some of the cows.

The Captain’s Room takes its name from the home’s first owner. It features a king-sized wheat-carved four-post bed and original beamed ceilings.

In all, there are five guest bedrooms and four guest bathrooms.

The spacious screened porch overlooks a colorful flower garden and an expansive lawn. It is not uncommon to spot the occasional deer, black bear or moose meander by, Phil Taub says.

In the 25 years since moving to New Hampshire, Taub has committed himself to a variety of charitable efforts, including serving as president of the board of the Granite State Children’s Alliance, which helps victims of child abuse.

Swim With A Mission

In 2017, Taub was active with the Jeb Bush presidential campaign. In his frequent stops at American Legion halls, VFW posts and the New Hampshire Veterans Home, he said, a common theme emerged among the veterans.

“They were asking for help,” he said.

In response, the Taubs launched Swim With A Mission, an open-water swim festival on Newfound Lake to raise money to aid those who have served their country.

In learning more about the many issues facing the newest generation of veterans, the couple had the chance to speak with a group of Navy SEALs and shared their plans for the charity.

The SEALs pledged to participate and put on a public demonstration of their unique skills, including a free-fall jump from a helicopter into the lake, low-level parachute jumps and hostage rescue techniques using military K9s.

Meadow Wind

After a day of hiking guests at Meadow Wind Bed & Breakfast can walk into the attached barn and relax in the hot tub.

To date, Swim With A Mission has raised more than $1.3 million to benefit the Navy SEALs Museum in Fort Pierce, Fla., Veterans Count, Children of Fallen Patriots, Harbor Homes and the Bridge House veterans’ homeless shelter.

The event also honors the memories of New Hampshire service members killed in the war on terror.

“It’s a great reminder of what is important in life: loyalty to each other and to our great country,” said Taub.

The third annual Swim With A Mission, put on with the help of some 300 volunteers, will be held July 11-13 at Wellington State Park.

Swimmers who want to participate can sign up for the individual 1K, 5K or 10K distances, or put a team of up to five swimmers together to race in a relay format over a 10K course.

Details and registration information are posted at www.swimwithamission.org.

By Bea Lewis / Union Leader Correspondent.

Join SEAL K9 and MPD K9

Join SEAL K9 and MPD K9 on July 13th at Newfound Lake with Swim With A Mission.

Challenge #2

This is the 2nd video of the MPD K9 Challenge for Swim With A Mission 2019.

2018 SWAM Event

SWAM 2018 Open Water Swim Festival to honor our Veterans. Last year’s event drew over 4,000 attendees. Enjoy watching live video of the competition on beautiful Newfound Lake, in Bristol, NH at Wellington State Park.