Published DateLACONIA — The Santa Fund of the Greater Lakes Region was established in 1973 to provide charitable assistance to the Lakes Region children during the holiday season and throughout the year.
Last November it began its' winter outerwear distribution and, for the first time, partnered with Salvation Army, St. Vincent Children's Foundation and local schools and police departments to assist families in the Lakes Region with their holiday needs. ''We were overwhelmed with requests for outerwear. We were able to help over 400 children this season. The need this year appeared to us to be much greater than in past years and with the cold weather on the way we were anxious to get this done,'' said Santa Fund co-chair Kim Lacasse.
She said that one of the goals of the Santa Fund of the Greater Lakes Region is to try to purchase inventory locally, supporting businesses in the area.
''We reached out to Bootlegger's Footwear Centers to ask if they could help and without hesitation they began working with us to make these purchases. Al Miltner and Bootlegger's have generously assisted the Santa Fund in purchasing high quality winter boots. We were able to purchase large lots of boots at greatly reduced prices, charging us only their cost. This partnership has been tremendously helpful allowing the Santa Fund the ability to purchase outerwear off season to get the most for its money,'' said Lacasse.
She says the Santa Fund program operates year round to help children and families and over the past several years has provided warm clothes, coats, boots and snow pants for children during the winter months. It has also provided food gift certificates and gas cards to families who have children with medical conditions, as well as sports items for youth and teens so that they could be a part of a team or go to a dance class.
''We have sponsored children with special needs to be able to attend summer camp as well as awarded over 40 scholarships to students to attend Shooter's Gold Basketball Camp. We have supplied school supplies for children. We have been able to do all the many things and more with generous donations.'' says Lacasse.
She said that the program is non-profit and relies on cash donations to purchase these items and does most of its' shopping in the off season in order to get the best deals possible.
Those who would like to support their efforts can send a donation to: Santa Fund of the Greater Lakes Region, PO Box 7454, Laconia, NH, 03247.
The Santa Fund of the Greater Lakes Region Board of Directors includes Kim Lacasse, Janet Brough, Kathy Crane, Andrea Condodemetraky, Brian Winslow, Chris Guilmett, Chris McCarthy, Dennis Phelps, Paul Charlton, Jim Carroll, Lisa Cornish and Jamie Caldwell.
From left to right: Kim Lacasse, Co-Chair Santa Fund; Al Miltner, President of Bootlegger's Footwear Centers; Dennis Phelps, Santa Fund Board Member and Chris Guilmett, Santa Fund Board Member. (Courtesy photo)