Irwin Award goes to 'A truly amazing family'

LACONIA – The Beetle family is the 2013 winner of the annual Irwin Award which was presented last night at the annual Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce HERO awards.
The Beetles are the owners of Patrick's Pub & Eatery, the Gilford restaurant that is known for hosting charitable events large and small, as well as founding Pub Mania, which raised $160,000 last year for the WLNH Children's Auction.
"A truly amazing family," said co-emcee Warren Bailey.
Speaking of behalf of his family, Jeff Beetle described the Irwin Award as a "great honor" and said his family "loves being able to give back to the community."
Beetle, who was accompanied by his wife Wendy and his parents Harvey and Evelyn Beetle, said his brother Allan and his wife, Jennifer were out of town but he wanted to single them out as the "drivers behind the family."
He said the goal for Pub Mania is to raise more money for the Children's Auction this year that last. "We went from $60,000 to $110,000 to $160,000," Jeff Beetle said.
He said the WOW Trail – long a favorite project of the Beetle family – was moving forward slowly but surely. He said they were optimistic that the hiring of an executive director would move the project forward.
The winner of the Hurst Award this year was Skip Dubois – a longtime coach of the Franklin High School Girls Softball Team.
Dubois is a volunteer for the Franklin Booster club and has remained active in highs school sports and mentoring programs long after his own children graduated from Franklin's schools.
Dubois was coaching a girl's softball game last night and wasn't available to accept his award in person.
The Young Professional Award is Ryan Barton founder of Mainstay Technologies, and growing IT company. He is also the co-founder of Beyond The Belt Maritial Arts & Fitness Center in Laconia.
The J Bart Conners Award for Commerce was won by Travis Cole of RE/MAX Bayside Realtors. He is the president of the Lakes Region Rotary Club and second vice chair of the Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce as well as a youth coach in Gilford.
Cole, who was accompanied by his wife Michelle, his two children Jaxen and Shelby, his mother, and a few of his employees said it felt "fantastic" to win the award" and he was very humbled by it.