Frost Receives UNH Manchester Granite State Award

Frost Receives UNH Manchester Granite State Award

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Every year, the University of New Hampshire Manchester recognizes an individual who exemplifies outstanding citizenship in the community to receive the prestigious Granite State Award. The award recognizing an individual or organization with a proven history of leadership and outstanding citizenship in the Manchester community.

This year, the 2014 recipient of the Granite State Award was Gary Frost. Frost, an alumna of UNH, is the executive director of the Boys & Girls Club of Manchester.

Frost has been a part of the Boys & Girls Club for nearly 40 years. He became a part of the community in 1976 when he took a position as athletic director and has been working for the Manchester club ever since.

He has a legacy of leadership with the Boys & Girls Club and the Manchester community as a whole. He has worked with hundreds of children and has impacted the lives of each and every member that he has come across.

Frost has also been honored with the award of Executive of the Year for Boys & Girls Club of America. There are more than 4,000 Boys & Girls Clubs in the country so it is a pretty prestigious award.

Dean Micheal Hickey, who has known Frost for many years, said, “Gary doesn't wear his leadership on his sleeve. He is one of those people who gives back without worrying what he will gain in return.” And that is exactly what the recipient of the Granite State Award should exemplify.

UNH Manchester hosted an ice-cream social for all of the members at the Boys & Girls Club in Manchester to honor and celebrate Frost’s work.

Danny MacMillan, a 17-year-old participant and senior at Manchester West High School, has been coming to the Boys & Girls Club practically his entire life and has been the performing arts supervisor for the past four years.

MacMillan said Frost has helped tremendously, particularly in his college search has been invaluable. “I am going off to school in Florida and Gary has helped me earn nearly $11,000 worth of scholarships.” He has helped MacMillan grow academically and as a person. “He really instills that you can come from anywhere and make a difference.”

Briana Isabelle is another member, and an 18-year-old senior at Manchester Central High School. She has been a part of the club since third grade and now holds the title of Assistant Art Room Director.

Isabelle said Frost truly is the rock of the Boys & Girls Club and has been there for each member through it all. “Gary and the people that I have met here have been with me through thick and thin.” Isabelle will continue on with the Boys & Girls Club even though she's headed off to college. “These people are my family. There’s no way I could leave,” she said.

Olivel, a 10-year-old student at Weston Elementary School, and Hannah, a nine-year old from McDonough Elementary School, had many great things to say about the club and all of the staff involved. Olivel said he loves that, “the staff always says hello. They are always there for you through it all.”

If you've met Gary Frost, you would quickly understand why he had received the award. His passion for the Club and the students is very clear. “To me, the Boys & Girls Club means opportunity. All kids need a boost and they gain that in the assistance and love that the club provides,” he said.

Frost has proven his contributions to the Manchester community, as well as to the Boys & Girls Club community as a whole. He is retiring after nearly forty years this upcoming January, but his contributions will live on forever.

When asked what the Granite State Award means to him, his response further exemplifies why he is so deserving of the award. He said, “It is obviously a very prestigious award. I take the recognition as an appreciation for the club. A big, big thank you.”

Photo: Interim Dean Michael Hickey and Gary Frost, executive director of the Boys & Girls Club of Manchester, at an ice cream social celebrating his Granite State Award from UNH.