Congregational Church of Hollis dedicates ‘Squire Community Patio’

HOLLIS – The Congregational Church of Hollis, U.C.C., celebrated the opening of its new community patio with a private dedication and thanks to Dr. James Squires and his family. The Jim and Jan Squires Community Patio honors long-time residents, Dr. James (“Jim”) and Jan Squires. Dr. and Mrs. Squires have been pillars of the community since moving to Hollis in 1971.

Firm believers in public service, both were actively involved in many community organizations. As a general surgeon, Jim helped to found the Matthew Thornton Health Plan, the state’s first HMO, which grew to serve more than 60,000 individuals. He has remained a consistent and effective non-partisan voice for health policies to reduce the burden of illness for NH residents.

The patio was conceived by a team of visionaries at the church who recognized an opportunity to improve the facilities while addressing a legal need for fire safety. Designed by Dennis Mires of the Architects, and installed by local business, Morin’s Landscaping, who also generously donated a lawn sprinkler system, the Squires Community Patio is intended to be a vibrant venue for town activities, and a welcoming spot for the community to enjoy fellowship with neighbors.

Jim and Jan’s son, Marc Squires, shared during the dedication, “The patio truly looks like it has been here forever which is an amazing testament to the care and the work that went into this. The thought of having this community space for everyone to use in the church and in the town and the memories that will be made here is more special than my family could ever articulate.”

The patio is part of a larger renovation being undertaken on the nearly 100-year old church building. In order to further its efforts to welcome more non-profit community-building groups and increase outreach to local charities such as the Nashua Soup Kitchen, the church looks forward to operating a new commercial kitchen, and making available to groups revitalized indoor spaces. The church’s reach extends beyond Hollis to supporting over 30 organizations in the greater Nashua area including food pantries, homeless shelters, crisis centers and more.

Donations are still being sought to cover the remaining gap as fundraising efforts were compromised by the pandemic. The church recognizes that for many during these difficult times it’s impossible to contribute (and in fact, they are here to help those in need), but for those interested and able to support this community improvement, they are gratefully accepting donations at www.donatehollischurch.org. To find out more about this project, visit www.squirespatio.org. All are invited and encouraged to enjoy the new space. A public patio celebration is scheduled for the spring.