Children's Auction underway, more biddable items needed

By ROGER AMSDEN, for THE LACONIA DAILY SUN

GILFORD — The Greater Lakes Region Children's Auction got underway Tuesday at a new location, Pheasant Ridge Golf Club in Gilford, and the volunteers who are the heart and soul of the auction say they're pleased with their new home.
"We're off to a good start. It's been a good first day for us and everyone seems to like the new location," said Sandra Marshall, co-chair of the Children's Auction Board of Directors.
She said that volunteers starting setting up on Sunday morning and after about six hours had the entire set in place.
She said that even though the enthusiasm level is high, there is still a need for more auction items.
"We're a little thin in the back room right now," said John Walker, one of the volunteers, who added that he was confident that donors will be dropping off auction items throughout the week as excitement grows.
Those looking to donate items can drop them off at the Bank of New Hampshire, Franklin Savings Bank, Meredith Village Savings Bank, Irwin Marine  and MetroCast. They can also be dropped off at Pheasant Ridge and successful bidders can pick up their items at Pheasant Ridge.

Grace McNamara, station manager for Lakes Region Public Access Television, said that students from the Huot Center are helping out throughout the week, under the direction of Ray Sleeper, Digital Media Arts teacher, and are enjoying the experience of working on a live television broadcast.
It was the decision by LRPA to televise the auction in the 1990s that led to its rapid growth in popularity and fundraising for local nonprofits.
This is the second year that the auction, now in its 34th year, has been under the direction of the Greater Lakes Region Charitable Fund for Children, a nonprofit corporation which last year took sole ownership of the auction.
Since the first auction in 1982, which was conducted singlehandedly by Warren Bailey of WLNH, the auction had been effectively owned and operated by the radio station and its owners. Last year volunteers, who devoted their time and energy to the success of the event, reassessed the relationship with the station and chose to vest ownership of the auction in a nonprofit corporation, the Greater Lakes Region Charitable Fund for Children.
The auction has grown to become a major source of funds for local charities and last year distributed $428,7000 to dozens of organizations across Central New Hampshire. More than half of the funds came from the popular Pub Mania event hosted by Patrick's Pub, which will take place on Thursday.
Tony Felch, one of the volunteers, said there are three new teams in Pub Mania this year: Laconia Harley-Davidson, Fusion and the Ladies of the Lake. Thirty teams will compete in a 24-hour bar stool challenge at Patrick's.
For the second year in a row, CruCon Cruise Outlet of Moultonborough is the presenting sponsor of the auction.
The auction will be broadcast live through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and 6 to 9 p.m., and on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tune in on 104.9 the Hawk, 101.5 WZEI, MetroCast Channel 12, LRPA Channel 25, or online at www.ChildrensAuction.com.

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The “Kinder Choir” from Imaginarium in Center Harbor perform “God Bless America” on the opening night of the Greater Lakes Region Children’s Auction on Tuesday. (Alan MacRae/for The Laconia Daily Sun)

Car slides off Bay Road in Sanbornton

SANBORNTON — A local woman escaped injury Monday morning when her car slid off the Bay Road at 10:30 a.m. and nearly landed in a nearby brook.

Police Chief Steve Hankard said slippery roads from Monday's snow made the "S" turns on Bay Road very slippery.

Hankard said the department was very lucky that the car didn't go into the water and was stopped by some trees.

He said they closed Bay Road for about 30 minutes while Rusty's Towing pulled the car out.

Hankard said the car was damaged from hitting the trees but was driveable. He said a friend of the driver's drove the car from the scene.

Local police said there were a number of minor accidents because of the snow but no serious ones.

– Gail Ober

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The first serious snow of the year caused this car to slide off Bay Road in Sanbornton Monday. (Courtesy Sanbornton Police)

No-fly flags

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This is the city’s current flag, designed in 1965. A contest to choose a new design failed to impress the Laconia City Council, so the current flag will continue to be used. (Michael Kitch/Laconia Daily Sun)

$1,000 in prizes to go to contestants, despite no winner

By MICHAEL KITCH, LACONIA DAILY SUN

LACONIA — Although the city will not fly a new flag, three of those who designed the six flags recommended by the Flag Competition Committee from among some 100 entries submitted will share $1,000 in prize money, with the winner pocketing $500, the runner-up $300 and the third-place finisher $200.

After finding none of the top entries to their liking, the six councilors voted to keep the flag adopted in 1965. However, Councilor David Bownes (Ward 2) insisted the competition should be continued and the prize money distributed. The six councilors will each cast votes on the six finalists —with one point for their most favored design and six points for their least favored design — and the lowest scores declared the winners.

Meanwhile, last week Bree Henderson of Polished and Proper, who led the initiative to replace the city flag and was openly disappointed by the council's decision, approached New Hampshire Public Radio, which not only broadcast a story on the competition but also posted the six designs alongside the existing flag and invited listeners to vote for their favorite. (http://nhpr.org/post/after-crowdsourcing-new-options-laconia-will-keep-its-old-flag-thank-you-very-much)

By Monday, 103 votes were cast, nearly a third of them for the design featuring the bird flying within the gear. The council's favorite, the existing flag, polled seven votes, one more than flag with the three gold stars within the white stripe on a field blue.

Henderson has said that she intends to pursue her efforts to replace the city flag after the next election, when she hopes that some of the councilors will also be replaced.

 

Flag1 This flag, at left, was the most popular flag according to a poll conducted by New Hampshire Public Radio. The Laconia City Council has not yet determined its own the top three, whose designers will be awarded cash prizes. In the radio poll, the flags, ranked in order shown, got the following votes: 1- 32 votes, 2 - 22 votes, 3 - 18 votes, 4 - 11 votes, 5 - 7 votes, and 6 - 6 votes. (Courtesy photos)

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