All families are welcome at the Community Baby Shower

Apr 12, 2024

Raising the Valley will hold their third Community Baby Shower at Trail’s End Ice Cream in Intervale on Friday, April 19, from 4 to 6 pm. Raising the Valley is a coalition effort to support families of young children in Mount Washington Valley, and part of New Hampshire Alliance of Early Childhood Coalitions. Anyone interested in learning more about the coalition can visit their website at

I caught up with organizers Cathy Livingston of Children Unlimited’s Family Resource Center and Cheryl Frankowski of White Mountain Community Health Center to learn about this year’s baby shower.

Siena Kaplan-Thompson: This is the third Community Baby Shower this group has held. Tell me about the original concept and how it’s evolved.

Cheryl Frankowski: The concept has remained the same – it’s an opportunity to connect with families in the community in a fun, inviting way. The event itself has grown. We have many, many more community partners, a lot of buy-ins from different entities.

Cathy Livingston: The support we’re getting from all the community partners and now the Medicaid health plan providers, and as always the core group of Raising the Valley, it’s just been fantastic to work with everybody and have this baby shower come to life and make the changes we need to each year.

SKT: What will this year’s baby shower be like?

CL: This year it’s at Trail’s End in Intervale, and the location is phenomenal. It’s much larger than the spaces we had before since they have the space next to the ice cream shop for us to use. There’s plenty of room for all the food, all the pediatric providers, the baby boutique, the photo booth, and community organizations. There’s outdoor seating, so we’ll be able to be outdoors if the weather’s nice. Everybody’s very excited about it.

CF: It’s dinner time, so we’re serving a meal. Families can come, have pizza, ice cream, veggies, cupcakes, and connect with all the resources and each other.

CL: The big part is each other – whether it’s a new family, or a family that’s expecting or just recently had a child, to have that connection with other people is just so, so important.

SKT: If I were expecting a child, why would I want to come to this event?

CL: To see what’s in your community. What does our county have to offer that families might not know of? Or might have changed if it’s been a while since they had their first child? We have a lot of the libraries coming, they’re talking about their programs and what they have to offer. You actually get to meet with doctors.

SKT: What providers are going to be there?

CL: Josie Lamb, APRN and Marcelo Maiorano, APRN are going to be there from White Mountain Community Health Center. Dr. Helvie, Dr. Fekete, and Dr. McGrath from Memorial Hospital. And a provider from Huggins. We’re hoping someone from Saco River Medical Group will be able to make it as well. Parents will be able to talk to the providers and get a sense of who they are.

CF: All the Medicaid health plan providers will be there too: AmeriHealth Caritas, NH Healthy Families, and WellSense. Which is nice because the policies are slightly different so families can educate themselves as to which one they want for their new child.

SKT: Tell me more about the giveaways you’ll have for families.

CL: There’s a free raffle, with lots of prizes, including mom baskets and gift cards. One of the libraries usually brings handmade hats and sweaters for the raffle, and one of the other partners brought a car seat last time.

CF: And we’re giving out swag bags, totes full of gifts and information. We have some nice things: changing pads, portable white noise machines, thermometers, nail clippers, a first aid kit. Just all the little things that sometimes you don’t think of as a new parent.

CL: We’ll have a craft project where families can stencil or paint a little hat or onesie. Kids can do them for their soon-to-be sibling. And everything’s free, so you don’t have to worry about, do I need $5 for this?

SKT: Who should come to the baby shower?

CF: Entire families! Any family that’s expecting or recently had a baby, or is adopting. I know we have a couple grandparents raising grandkids coming with babies they’ve recently had to step up and care for.

CL: The whole family, it’s a family event, to celebrate everyone. There will be plenty of people who can help.

SKT: What other work has Raising the Valley been doing?

CL: The Diaper Depot is under Raising the Valley. It’s in three locations throughout Carroll County where families can come and get diapers, wipes, sometimes we have formula or baby food. White Mountain Community Health Center is one, the Tri-County Cap building in Tamworth, and Ossipee Concerned Citizens Childcare.

One thing we’ve found in having the Diaper Depot is that people want to give back. They might come and say “I need size 2 diapers, but my child doesn’t need this formula anymore.” So that was something wonderful that came kind of organically from that.

CF: Altrusa has been helping the Health Center with our Diaper Depot station, they wrote a grant to buy diapers for us. It means we were able to purchase adult diapers which we have available for the whole community as well.

SKT: What would you say to families expecting children right now, or with young children, about the resources available to them?

CL: There’s no one way to get information or to access services. You can come to the Health Center, or Children Unlimited, or walk into a library, and someone will be able to help you connect with what you need. Families are very welcome. We have such a great community, we all work so well together. We just want to say welcome, and we’re excited.

SKT: What’s your big hope for this baby shower?

CL: Our hope is for families to feel welcomed, to learn about community resources, to make connections, and to celebrate! I hope we see a lot of families who are happy and excited to be there. It’s free, just come, and bring your family, and have a great time!

For more information, contact Cheryl Frankowski at (603) 447-8900 x313 or, or Cathy Livingston at (603) 901-3053 or