AnnMarie Smith during the program’s
Moment of Remembrance.

Nicole Kowack (far right) and friends
on the dance floor.

Manchester, NH – Friends of Aine, a nonprofit organization providing bereavement support services to grieving children, teens, and families, recently held its 6th annual Gala at the DoubleTree by Hilton Manchester Downtown. After a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, approximately 200 guests, including Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig, New Hampshire State Senator Lou D’Allesandro, and New Hampshire State Senator Dr. Tom Sherman enjoyed an evening of dinner, dancing, and a live auction.

The keynote address was delivered by Manchester native and Ohio State University Head Football Coach Ryan Day. The event also featured a poignant Moment of Remembrance that provided guests the opportunity to reflect on the memories of lost loved ones.

Ultimately, every auction item – including signature vacation packages to domestic and international locations – was sold, with proceeds benefiting Friends of Aine’s grief services. An event Fund-A-Need initiative raised additional resources to support program expansion.

“The Gala is a multifaceted event that showcases and celebrates our work and the supporters who make it possible,” said Christine Phillips, Co-Founder, Friends of Aine. “It was wonderful to reconnect with our friends and community, in person, for an elegant, fun, and memorable evening.”

The Gala was sponsored by Bob and Ann Marie Reardon, Leigh Harriden Designs, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Niederman, Stanzel & Lindsey PLLC, and SolutionHealth: The Elliot. Other local businesses and organizations provided additional sponsorship support as featured at

For more information about Friends of Aine and its grief support services, visit

About Friends of Aine

Friends of Aine is the only nonprofit organization in New Hampshire whose sole mission is to support grieving children, teens, and families. Through a network of trained volunteer facilitators, its peer-to-peer support programs assist children and teens with sharing their experiences, exploring topics related to grief, learning coping strategies, and not feeling alone in their grief. Thanks to the generosity of donors, there is no cost to families. Friends of Aine also provides training, education, and research to families and professionals. The organization is inspired by Aine Phillips, who died suddenly at the age of eight, and the lack of existing grief support at the time for her surviving sister, Bella. For more information about Friends of Aine, visit

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