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Littleton Hometown Volunteer Heroes

It takes a lot to make a small town community run effectively and stay looking pristine at the same time. And here at GoLittleton.com we'd like to pay tribute to some of the Hometown Volunteer Heroes who selflessly donate their precious time, skills, and energy to help keep Littleton going, looking beautiful, and truly being a great place to live!

GoLittleton's Honored Volunteer Heroes:

Hometown Volunteer Hero: Dave Harkless

By Missy Pilgrim

Dave Harkless has been committed to helping the area's residents stay active and fit throughout his two decades of volunteer work - and he shows no signs of slowing down. GoLittleton.com would like to highlight his many wonderful accomplishments while donating his time, skills, and dedication to always helping to keep Littleton going strong.

Melanie & Dave HarklessBorn and raised in North Reading, Massachusetts, Dave started working in restaurants at the age of fifteen. He received a culinary degree from Johnson & Wales University in Rhode Island and began a successful career as a chef at various restaurants in Maine and New Hampshire for many years. He enjoyed the challenges of the profession and moved around whenever necessary to stay involved in it. But then, while working at a restaurant in Lincoln, he took on a part-time job at the Lahout's Ski Shop in Lincoln. There he learned how to assemble, fix, ride, and race bikes and discovered he loved doing all of it. He also learned how to really enjoy the outdoors. Then, just before he turned thirty, he decided it was time for both a career and life change. So when a part-time position in 1992 became available at the Littleton Bicycle Shoppe, he applied for it. And luckily for the town of Littleton, he was hired by then-owner Barry Field. He moved up above the notch, lived in a few different places, and finally settled in Littleton about twelve years ago. He still resides happily here today with his wife Melanie and their two, four-legged "kids" Cooper and Eli.

Dave's volunteer services in Littleton started right away when he first helped Barry with his bike clubs: The White Mountain Velos (for skinny tire bikes) and The Littleton Land Sharks (for mountain bikes). He helped make trails and led weekly group rides. Barry quickly became Dave's mentor, teaching him everything about the cycling industry and the importance of being an active member of the community, both through business endeavors and as a volunteer. Then, in 2003, Barry was killed in a motorcycle accident. Dave bought the family-owned business in 2004 and changed the name to Littleton Bike and Fitness shortly after. He wanted to keep Barry's legacy of both business and community involvement in the region going strong.

Dave continued on with the weekly bike clubs as well as added a fatbiking club in the winter months. This enabled bike enthusiasts like him to be able to enjoy cycling year-round. He even built his own groomer to make trails with to make the sport as fun and easy as possible for all to participate in.

Then, always wanting to introduce, excite, and teach others about the sport of cycling, Dave began going to area schools in Littleton, Whitefield, Woodsville, and Haverhill each year to teach children in grades K-6 the "A B C's" of bike safety. For Lakeway in Littleton he does this the week before their popular "Bike Rodeo" sponsored by the Friends of Lakeway, which Dave also attends to lend a hand. This way he can view firsthand how much the kids have learned from his time with them.

Paddle Board ClubWanting to be active on water as well as land inspired Dave to start a Paddle Board Club through his shop in the warmer months. He has members meet at various boat launches in the area and they explore the lakes while he gives out tips to help them glide along on long boards and have fun. Summer time also keeps him busy each July by volunteering to organize the annual Summer Sidewalk Sale in Littleton for the Chamber of Commerce.

Jack O'Lanterns Halloween CelebrationSince 2011 Dave has enchanted locals and visitors each fall with the Gathering of the Jack O'Lanterns Halloween Celebration. Started simply by using Facebook to ask friends and neighbors to help him carve and put out pumpkins along the Ammonoosuc River to decorate the area between his shop and the covered bridge, it quickly turned into a beloved community event which now involves "carving parties," a scary Haunted Trail, Fire Dancers, and Trick or Treating along Main Street. Lots of community members have stepped up to help make it a success as well, including: 1) the generous support of the Porfido Family, 2) the Littleton Police Department who hosts a Carving Party, 3) the entire 6th grade class of Lakeway who each carve out pumpkins for it, 4) area residents who bring pumpkins to the bike shop, and 5) Dick Alberini, Darleen Sarausky, and the Littleton Parks and Recreation Department who coordinate the Haunted Trail.

Mount Eustis Ski HillDave's most recent and most involved project that has kept him busy the past four years is the reopening of the Mount Eustis Ski Hill, which operated again in town in 2015 after being closed since 1979. Dave and others had used the hill for mountain biking, snowshoeing, and sledding and were all glad the town's Parks and Recreation Department had always kept the slope mowed over the years so it wasn't overgrown. Then one day Dave wondered why such a treasure wasn't being used as a ski area anymore. He then learned others in town felt the same way. So along with a huge community effort, he and a few others spearheaded the task of getting it back up and running. With lots of help from a whole lot of people (including the engineer who designed it, many high school students who built the buildings and rope tow itself, and dozens of others who donated their time, skills, and much-needed funds), they were able to get the once popular town ski slope going again to everyone's delight.

Thank you, Dave Harkless, for helping to keep Littleton going and such a great place to live! From your steadfast dedication we all know your volunteer work will help to keep Littleton residents fit and active in the years ahead. We look forward to seeing what other great projects you think of doing next!

Want to nominate someone who deserves to be in the Hometown Volunteer Hero Spotlight?

Contact Us stating the person to be considered, a brief list of the volunteer work he or she has done for the town of Littleton, and your contact information. Thank you for helping us to honor their accomplishments!

Littleton Regional Healthcare Appreciates the many volunteers in our Community. Here's what LRH Employees have to say about their Work at LRH:


video courtesy Littleton Regional Healthcare

GoLittleton's Honored Volunteer Heroes:

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Littleton NH

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Pollyanna
Littleton, NH seen from Kilburn Crags
View from Kilburn Crags
Littleton Veterans Memorial Bridge dedication 2003
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