LACONIA — Mike Baron of Baron's Billiards and the Cafe Deja Vu Pub Mania Team are teaming up for the 8th Annual Robbie Mills Memorial 8 Ball Tournament, which will be held Saturday, March 7 at the Funky Monkey night club in downtown Laconia.
The tournament, which was started eight seven years ago by Baron as a benefit for the Boys and Girls Club of the Lakes Region, also benefits the NH1 Children's Auction.
''This has become a prestige tournament for players. Some come all the way up from the Seacoast and over from Maine and Vermont to take part. We raised $3,600 last year and are looking for a bigger field than we had last year when 62 people took part,'' says Baron.
He says that those who would like to contribute to the charity event but aren't pool players can help out by sponsoring players for the tournament, which costs only $25. ''There may be some people out there who'd like to play but don't have the $25. And it's all for a good cause.''
Tony Felch of the Cafe Deja Vu Pub Mania Team, who helps run the Tuesday night pool league in Laconia, says that he and other members of the team pitched in a few years ago to help out Baron, who Felch says was running the event virtually single-handedly.
Baron said that he has been putting on tournaments for the Boys and Girls Club ever since the organization was known as the Laconia Teen Center and and believes strongly that the Boys and Girls Club is needed to provide a safe haven ''for the kids who have been falling through the cracks. It really does take a whole village to raise a child.'' The meeting room at the club is named for Robbie Mills.
Baron says that he knows how important having a special place is, citing the example of his own father, who spent time in seven foster homes after losing his father when he was only two years old.
He said that the proceeds are split 50-50 between the club and the Deja Vu team except for the $1,000 contribution from MetroCast Cablevision, where Wendy Mills, mother of the young man for whom the tournament is named, works, which goes entirely to the Boys and Girls Club.
Baron praised the efforts of Sundae Barker, who runs the Lakes Region Pool League, to promote the tournament. ''She has 300 players in that league and always makes sure that they know about the event and have a good turnout.'
Felch says that he remembers Robbie Mills and saw him early on the the day when Mills was murdered for his bicycle near the Messer Street bridge in 1999..
''I couldn't believe that happened in Laconia,'' says Felch, who says that he greatly admires the way Wendy Mills has worked to honor her son's memory.
The event will feature cash prizes, raffles and a live auction which will include a season's Inner Circle Pass at Meadowbrook.
There will be lunch available courtesy of local restaurants with trophies provided by Engraving Awards and Gifts.
For more info or to pre-register contact: Tony Felch 998-1418 or Mike Baron at 528-5001 or the Robbie Mills website at www.robbiemills.org.
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