Children’s Christmas auction founder Warren Bailey and his 9 year old granddaughter Edeline address the crowd at Patrick’s Pub and Eatery prior to the start of Pub Mania on Thursday. (Alan MacRae/for The Laconia Daily Sun)
Charity drive, in 8th year, has already topped $1 million mark
By ROGER AMSDEN, for THE LACONIA DAILY SUN
GILFORD — Pub Mania kicked off its eighth year Thursday morning with an opening ceremony at Patrick's Pub & Eatery, at which Mike Seymour, chairman of the board of trustees of the Greater Lakes Region Charitable Fund for Children, praised its success over the first seven years.
"It's raised over $1,037,000 since it first started, and over $240,000 last year," said Seymour, noting that represents more than half of the money raised by the Greater Lakes Region Children's Auction last year.
Seymour, chief operating officer of the Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion at Meadowbrook, said that it is important to remember that the goal of the auction is "to support those who have suffered the biggest losses. We want to see that no kids are going to bed hungry tonight."
He said that Pub Mania T-shirts created and donated by Body Covers Screen Printing of Laconia will be a hot item again this year and noted that, in addition to supplying the venue, Patrick's will also donate 20 percent of its gross sales for the day. Seymour praised those taking part in Pub Mania and noted that "a great cause attracts great people."
Allan Beetle, Patrick's co-owner, said that Pub Mania was inspired by the Laconia Athletic & Swim Club's long-running "Cycle Mania" in which Brian "Mad Dog" Gallagher set a world record for stationary biking by "spinning" for 113 hours.
"He said that he was doing it for the kids and that's the way we feel. We started out in 2009 with 26 teams and a goal of raising $25,000 and ended up raising $47,000. Last year we had 30 teams and raised over $240,000," said Beetle.
He said that there will be 31 teams this year and a total of 744 "culinary athletes" taking part. During Pub Mania, Patrick's reserves bar stools for teams that commit to filling the stool with a different team member each hour of the event.
Pub Mania will end at 9 a.m. Friday.
The auction runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. tonight and winds up Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The auction is being telecast by Lakes Region Public Access Television on TV Channel 25 Metrocast and on Metrocast Channel 12. It is also being broadcast live on FM stations 104.9 The Hawk and WZEI 101.5, the auction's radio partners.
Former Laconia mayor and official Pub Mania Mayor Michael Seymour offers some opening comments prior to the start of the annual Children's Auction fundraiser at Patrick's Pub and Eatery on Thursday. (Alan MacRae/for The Laconia Daily Sun)
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