Gilford Youth Center gears up for banner fundraiser

GILFORD — Youth Center Director Scott Hodsdon is gearing up for a banner year of fundraising in 2016 in more ways than one.

While the noise from a pickup game of basketball reverberated in to the office, Hodsdon and Derek Tomlinson, of the board of directors, said 2016 is the third year of their campaign to get businesses to support the Gilford Youth Center by sponsoring a banner for their main athletic court.

The banners are hung around the court and, in exchange for supporting the youth programs provided by the center, each banner sponsor gets some advertising.

The Gilford Youth Center was built about nine years ago as an annex to the Gilford Community church from donation from a generous family. The annex is home to the Miss Lakes Region Pagent, Gilford Got Lunch!, Santa Land, the Lunch Bunch Fitness Club, The Gilford Rotary – "Evening in Paradise" events among many other activities.

For the past six years, the center has been home to St. Baldrick's "Shave for a Cure" for cancer event.

Hodsdon said the Gilford Youth Center provides a variety of activities for area children including the pickup basketball game they had after school on Tuesday. He said about 50 percent of the kids who participate in the wide melange of programming that is also coordinated through the town of Gilford Parks and Recreation Department are on scholarships.

Although Tuesday's group insisted their homework was already done, Hodson said the location is perfect because, ideally, the students can go the library then come to the center to burn of some energy during drop-in time. He said the school bus is starting to drop more and more students off at the library or the center.

During the summer, the Gilford Youth Center becomes vital, said Hodsdon, because it gives many students a safe place to go. He said center organizes trips to Gilford Beach, Fisher Cats games and Canobie Lake Park.

He said because of the support the center gets from the community, students are exposed to the art, music and theater through Junior Picasso night and trips to the Winnipesaukee Playhouse.
So far, the Gilford Youth Center has 11 banner sponsors but still has three sides of the auditorium to fill.

Hodsdon said a 3-foot by 6-foot banner cost $1,500 annually or $3,500 for three years. A 4-foot by 12-foot banner costs $2,500 a year or $6,000 for three years. Included in the sponsorship is design and artwork assistance, a listing on the Gilford Youth Center Website with a link to the business, a company brochure in the lobby, a company logo on all program brochures and event programs.

For more information or to assist at one of the programs, people should call Hodsdon at 524-6978.

Gilford youngsters and Derek Tomlinson, left, and Scott Hodsdon, right, take a pause in their pickup basketball game Thursday to call attention to the Gilford Youth Center and their banner fundraising campaign. (Laconia Daily Sun Photo/Gail Ober)

Gilford youngsters and Derek Tomlinson, left, and Scott Hodsdon, right, take a pause in their pickup basketball game Thursday to call attention to the Gilford Youth Center and their banner fundraising campaign. (Laconia Daily Sun Photo/Gail Ober)

Correcting the record

An article that appeared on the front page of The Daily Sun on Thursday, Dec. 31 dealing with a lawsuit filed in Belknap Superior Court against Rebecca Dolan and William Fuller of Center Harbor by Rymes Heating Oils, Inc. contained a significant reporting error that is wholly the responsibility of this newspaper.

Rymes Heating Oils purchased the assets of the former Fred Fuller Oil & Propane Co., Inc. in 2014, after Fuller Oil filed for bankruptcy, and Rymes now contends that among those assets were unpaid invoices billed to Ms. Dolan and Mr. Fuller. The couple is expected to dispute that claim.

The article said that Ms. Dolan and Mr. Fuller are the former owners of Fuller Oil and that statement is incorrect. Neither of them were shareholders or had any equitable interest in Fuller Oil. Neither of them has ever, to the newspaper's knowledge, filed for bankruptcy, personally or through any corporation.

The Daily Sun acknowledges its reporting error and offers a formal and sincere apology to Ms. Dolan and Mr. Fuller. 

— Edward J. Engler


New union for Shaker employees would provide raises

BELMONT — A new bargaining unit for the Shaker Regional School District employees is seeking $117,679 for the first year of the three-year contract at the March 4 annual School District Meeting.

In June of 2015, the School Board and the Shaker Regional Education Support Professional Association entered into an agreement that would bring all but top administrators and SAU staff into a new union.

The association represents five categories of employees at the school district: secretaries, teachers assistants, specialist tutors, custodians and food service staff.

According to Shaker Regional Business Administrator Deb Thompson, the 2015-2016 budget included $84,000 in pay increases for nonunion staff that would only be paid if the group didn't start the process of forming a bargaining unit. Since the notice of intent to form a union was issued shortly after the last School District Meeting, no raises were paid and employees in those categories were paid the same as they were the year before.

Thompson said they began by looking at surrounding districts and comparing the wages similar employees earn. She said Belmont ended up somewhere in the middle and created five separate 16-step pay scales for each of the five categories of people who are union members.

She said the district looked at how many years each employee had been with the district to determine what step each would start at. Initially, every three years equaled one step.

For those who were clearly losing money on the new pay scale, Thompson said they guaranteed a 4.5 percent raise.

She said not everyone will get a huge increase in the first year, but going forward they'll get their increases.

The school district was able to negotiate a three-year contract that provided $117,679 in 2016-2017, $74,410 in 2017-2018 and $73,542 in 2018-2019.

Should this article fail, there is a provision on the warrant for permission to hold one special district meeting if necessary.

As to the total proposed budget, Superintendent Maria Dreyer said the same services would be provided next year as this year at a total cost of $21,745,870 which is 0.25 percent less than last year's approved budget of $21,801,204.