'Much better boat' awarded to retired dentist as grand prize in Ice Arena raffle

LACONIA — Dr. Leo Sanfacon, 82, and still hoping to learn how to skate, won an 18-foot long Chaparral H20 Sport Boat, motor and trailer package valued at over $25,000 in the Laconia Ice Arena/Winnipesaukee Skating Club capital improvements campaign fundraiser.
Sanfacon, a retired dentist and a member of the board of directors of the Lakes Region Boys and Girls Club, said that he had completely forgotten buying tickets for the raffle.
He said that when Will Fay, manager of the Laconia Ice Arena, called him during the Patriots-Jets game on last Sunday and told him he had won the boat he asked ''what boat?''
He picked up the keys to the boat, which was donated by Merrill Fay of Fay's Boat Yard, Saturday morning and said that he was still trying to decide whether to keep his current boat, which he keeps on Squam Lake, or replace it with the new one.
''It's really a much better boat than the one I have,'' said Sanfacon, who was a student at Rochester High School when Merrill Fay's dad, Wilbur, taught there in the 1950s.
Will Fay, who heads up the arena's fund-raising effort, said that the capital campaign, which was launched last year, is now about halfway to its $250,000 goal.
''There is a lot of hard work ahead of us, but I am confident our board and volunteers will get things done. Just as we did when we built this arena, we will work hard to get the community involved in this campaign.''
Sanfacon said that Merrill Fay, who provided the boat for fundraiser, keeps a low profile in the community but has played a key role in youth sports, having donated the land on which the arena is built and having led a successful $1.7 million fund drive to build the arena in 1996.
The arena is home to the Lakes Region Youth Hockey Association, which provides programs for area youth ages 4-18, is home ice to three high school teams, many men's hockey leagues as well as the Central N.H. figure skating club and offers daily public skating.
The capital campaign was launched last year and needs $117,000 for repairs and improvements to the nearly 20-year-old refrigeration system, $56,000 for operational needs due to system malfunctions and a current debt service of $94,000.
''We've had a cash flow problem due to system malfunctions which have cost us revenue due to unplanned shutdowns. We want to recover those costs so that current year revenues can be used exclusively for current year operating expenses,'' says Fay.


Will Fay, second from left, manager of the Laconia Ice Arena, presents keys to a Chaparral Sport Boat to Leo Sanfacon. center, of Gilford, who won the S25,000 boat, motor and trailer in a fundraiser for the arena's capital improvements program. With them are Alex Evans, left, and Tom Woodward, second from right, Ice Arena employees, and Merrill Fay, right, of Fay's Boat Yard, which donated the boat for the fundraiser. (Roger Amsden/for The Laconia Daily Sun)