LACONIA — The 33rd annual Children’s Auction will wrap up at 1 p.m. Saturday, with the final day being highlighted by the announcement of the Pub Mania contribution, which is expected to take place sometime after 11 a.m.
Last year, the auction raised $486,575 to be distributed to local not-for-profit agencies, the second-highest total ever recorded. Nearly half of that amount, $235,596, came from Pub Mania.
Now in its seventh year, Pub Mania had raised $797,000 in its first six years and is looking to top the million-dollar mark by raising at least $203,000 this year.
Mike Seymour, chairman of the board of trustees of the Greater Lakes Region Charitable Fund for Children, a nonprofit corporation which earlier this year took over ownership of the auction, said that over the last five years Pub Mania has raised nearly 40 percent of the $2 million raised by the Children’s Auction.
Among the volunteers working at the auction headquarters at the Opechee Conference Center is former Gilford Police Chief John Markland, who says he’s been a volunteer for about 15 years.
“When I first started, the auction was being held at Laconia Country Club,” Markland recalled, adding that he got involved after seeing the toll that crime took on children and families.
“In my old line of work, you dealt with what society did not want to see, and saw the need so many children had. I got involved with the auction to try and do something positive,” said Markland.
He said it is heartening to see the depth of involvement with the Children’s Auction all across the Lakes Region. “It makes it the kind of community you’re proud to be a part of and the work that people do on behalf of the auction epitomizes why we live here. It’s a lot of work, but it’s worth it.”
Another volunteer is Mark Bartholomew, said that he and his wife, Janet, have been volunteering for 10 years and were recruited by the late Doris Makely, a long-time auction volunteer who was honored three year ago by having a scholarship named in her honor.
“We really enjoy working here, and being a part of the community,” said Bartholomew.
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