Children's Auction wraps up Saturday

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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They’re the best - Lucas Lamos named top city employee

LACONIA — “I haven’t run the grader and I don’t think I want to,” confessed Lucas Lamos, who during his 17 years with the Department of Public of Works has done just about everything else and yesterday his efforts and skills were recognized at the holiday luncheon for city employees and volunteers yesterday.
Lamos was chosen from among seven deserving nominees submitted by city departments. The citation described as “a team player with a can do attitude who has strengthened the image of the Department of Public Works. He works under the radar and does not seek the limelight, but serves as a shining example to us all.”
“Lucas is a carpenter, electrician, plumber,” one colleague said. “He’s just incredibly talented, equally humble and always willing to do what needs doing.”
Lamos was left near speechless by the recognition, but noted that unlike police officers and firefighters, the employees at the Department of Public Works who maintain, sweep and plow the streets, clear, repair and upgrade the drains, and keep the street lights lit and the traffic lights working are often overlooked. “Except when we’re plowing,” he smiled, “just after they’ve shoveled their driveway. I tell them I’ve been waiting around the corner until I see they’re finished,” he laughed.
Dozens of other city employees and volunteers were also noted for their years of service: Heidi Beaulac, Jason Griffin, Dwayne Mann, Stacy Anders, Rodney Roy, Holly Callanan, Gary Allen, Malcolm Murray, David Stamps, Collen Richardson, Karmen Gifford, Craig Borgeson, Kevin Dunleavy, Ames Sorrell, Diane Lynch, Deborah Derrick, William Contardo, Christopher Beaudoin, Marnie Blaisdell Schultz, Diane Wood, Phil Sylvia, Stacey Pate, John Paul Hobby, Kevin Butler, Ann Schofield, Richard Farrell, Chad Vaillancourt, Cindy Welch, Armand Maheux, Jeffery Desrosiers, Christopher Shipp, Gail Drucker, Mary Ellen Gallant and Drew McKeen. McKeen was the longest-serving employee, having spent 30 years at the Laconia Water Works.

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Gilford Christmas pageant takes the story to the final frontier

GILFORD — Imagine trying to explain the story of Christmas to someone who hadn't heard it before. Would there be some parts of the story that might seem a little ... illogical?

That's the scenario that siblings Mackenzie and Ethan Roys decided to put themselves in when asked this summer to write the script for this year's Christmas pageant at the Gilford Community Church. Opal Roys, their mother, said they were at the town beach when the church's youth director asked them if they wanted to pen the script for the pageant. "They went swimming a little bit and came out of the water and had an idea," she said. That idea was to examine the Biblical story of Christ's birth through the eyes of three principal Star Trek characters: Captain Kirk, Spock and Uhura. The pageant will be performed on Sunday during the church's regular service.

Mackenzie, 12 years old, said she and Ethan, 10, came up with the idea as they were bouncing ideas off each other. "We kind of thought of it together," she said. Opal wasn't surprised that they decided to take a science-fiction approach; both she and her husband, Mat, are sci-fi fans and they have immersed their children in both the Star Wars and Star Trek universes.

In the Royses' plot, Kirk, Spock and Uhura are on the bridge of the S.S. Enterprise. Spock becomes perplexed when Kirk attempts to explain Christmas to him. So, the trio decides to "beam down" to Bethlehem to see Christ's birth for themselves. "The moral of the play is to go back in time to tell him the true meaning of Christmas," said Ethan. "It was very fun."

After the scene on the Enterprise, the pageant moves on to conventional pageant scenes, but with the addition of a few star-traveling observers. Mackenzie, who has experience in musical theater at Gilford Middle School, said writing the dialogue was easy because of their familiarity with the Star Trek library. "We had a lot of background on them. We know the characters, we could tell how the characters would talk."

The service, open to the general public, begins at 10 a.m. on Sunday. Afterward, video of the pageant will be posted on



Siblings Ethan and Mackenzie Roys employed their sci-fi fandom to write Star Trek characters into a script for the Gilford Community Church Christmas pageant. The pageant will be performed on Sunday. (Laconia Daily Sun photo/Adam Drapcho)

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