CruCon returns as Presenting Sponsor of Children's Auction

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For CruCon Cruise Outlet, support of community efforts such as the Greater Lakes Region Children's Auction is a company-wide endeavor. (Courtesy photo)

 

MOULTONBOROUGH — For Sandy Cleary, president and CEO of CruCon Cruise Outlet in Moultonborough, supporting the Greater Lakes Region Children's Auction is all about building a foundation. For the second year in a row, CruCon Cruise Outlet has signed on as the Presenting Sponsor of the Greater Lakes Region Children's Auction, though their support began about five years ago.
When Cleary saw the Children's Auction on television for the first time about five years ago, she was excited to learn it was something her growing business could get behind, not only to promote her business but, more importantly, to support her community.
"You've got to have a healthy community in order to have a healthy company," said Cleary. "But it all starts with the employees. The employees are the base of any company." The way she sees it, some companies tend to underestimate their employees and how important they are. A business needs its employees to be happy, healthy and have mental and financial stability, and part of that comes from their community.
If you ask Cleary, just as employees are the foundation of a company; children are the foundation of a community. Cleary said, "They are our kids... we need to take care of them."
So, what does CruCon do to support the Auction? The entire company gets involved.
For starters, CruCon is the Presenting Sponsor of the Auction. As such, the company made a sizeable donation that helps give the Auction a head start to the week and throughout the year. It also gives CruCon great marketing exposure. Whenever one sees or hears about the Auction, they also hear the CruCon name.
On a smaller scale and where much of the fun comes in, CruCon does things throughout the year in support of the Auction and other charities. One recent example was the Christmas tree decorating challenge. Most trees were geared toward a particular charity whether items from the tree would be donated and or the money raised from the challenge would be donated. One such charity to benefit from this challenge is the Children's Auction.
They also conduct a drive for items where the employees bring in a ton of stuff to be auctioned off.
And, perhaps their favorite part comes the week of the Auction, when CruCon opens up the Auction for all employees to participate while they work. They're bidding on items and competing with each other. So, it's charitable with possibly the most competitive nature you've ever seen.
"It's a free for all here. We totally lose productivity," Cleary says with a laugh. "But the atmosphere is so much fun." Yet, their clients still benefit because when they call, they are greeted by a happy CruCon representative who's having a good time and is happy to help their customer. And, those clients feel good that as a company, CruCon is supporting its community.
What makes Cleary most proud to be a part of the Auction? It's knowing that the money raised goes specifically to the greater Lakes Region. As she explains, with some larger charities, donors don't always know where the money is really going. But, with the Children's Auction, they can actually see the impact from the money raised and it does legitimately benefit the children of the Lakes Region.
CruCon also supports the NH Court Appointed Special Advocate Association as presenting sponsor as well as the Boys and Girls Club of the Lakes Region. The mental and emotional attitude of its employees and community are CruCon's focus. Cleary states, "We could not be where we are today if it were not for our employees and our teams. You've got to keep them strong and really listen to what they have to say."
CruCon Cruise Outlet is one of the top ten cruise agencies in North America. The company has won top awards from most of the major cruise lines and sends more than 100,000 people each year on cruises. And, because they sell such a high volume of cruises, they get volume rates from the cruise lines which then get passed on to CruCon's clients along with many perks. "We try to get the best of everything for our clients," says Cleary. To learn more, go to www.CruCon.com.
Join CruCon in supporting the Greater Lakes Region Children's Auction and tune in Tuesday, Dec. 6 through Saturday, Dec. 10. The Auction will be broadcast live from Contigiani's Conference and Event Center at Pheasant Ridge Golf Club in Gilford 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tune in on 104.9 the Hawk, 101.5 WZEI, MetroCast Channel 12, LRPA Channel 25, or online at www.ChildrensAuction.com.

Children's Auction starts Tuesday at Pheasant Ridge

GILFORD — The Greater Lakes Region Children's Auction gets underway Tuesday at a new location, Pheasant Ridge Golf Club in Gilford, after years of calling the Conference Center at the Lake Opechee Inn and Spa its home.
"Pheasant Ridge meets the many needs of the auction to keep us going," said Sandra Marshall, Co-Chair of the Children's Auction Board of Directors. "We'd like to thank Jim Contigiani who has welcomed us with open arms, even during one of his busiest seasons. We appreciate his help in supporting our mission to help the children in our communities and hope to call Pheasant Ridge home for many years to come."
It will mark the second year the Greater Lakes Region Children's Auction has been run by the Greater Lakes Region Charitable Fund for Children. The auction hot its start in 1982, when WLNH radio host Warren Bailey created a two day fund raising broadcast from the WLNH van in front of the Laconia YMCA. They raised $2,100 and collected a number of items to be donated to the "Citizen Santa Fund."
Since that time 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 NewHampshire.
In addition to smaller organizations and families helped throughout the 34 years of the Greater Lakes Region Children's Auction, annual contributions are given to many community-based organizations throughout Central New Hampshire. These include: The Boys and Girls Club of the Lakes Region, Laconia Police Relief Association, Health First Family Care of Franklin, Salvation Army, Lakes Region Child Care Services, Mrs. Santa Fund - Alton, St Vincent de Paul, Tapply-Thompson Community Center in Bristol, Tilton-Northfield-Sanbornton Santa Fund and more.
Local companies support the Greater Lakes Region Children's Auction by providing cash donations, sponsorships, and staff, allowing employees to serve the community at the event during what would normally be work hours. CruCon Cruise Outlet, Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion, MetroCast, LRPA TV, Meredith Village Savings Bank and many other organizations contribute support.
The auction is entirely volunteer run, with over 700 hundred volunteers and a range of donated auction items from the community. The auction buzzes with activity as phone bank workers cheer at over-bids, children dance and workers fly around the room. Items at the auction range from gift certificates to local businesses, sports collectibles, concert and sport tickets, autographed memorabilia, furniture, vacations, home décor, children's toys, electronics and holiday gifts.
Raising funds for the auction has become a year-round activity in the Lakes Region thanks in large part to Pub Mania, a 24-hour barstool challenge at Patricks Pub in which 30 teams compete to outdo each other. Last year Patrick's co-owner Allan Beetle, flanked by team captains, participants and volunteers, presented a check to the Children's Auction for $240,125, bringing the total raised by the event in seven years to over $1 million.
Tune in Dec. 6-10 on 104.9 the Hawk, 101.5 WZEI, MetroCast Channel 12, MetroCast LRPA Channel 25, or online at ChildrensAuction.com. For more information or to donate, log on to ChildrensAuction.com.

12-02 auction
Getting ready for the annual Children's Auction, which gets underway Tuesday at Pheasant Ridge Country Club in Gilford, are Ed Darling, Debbie Livernois, a long-time phone bank volunteer; Dawn Phelps of Franklin Savings Bank, Tony Felch, Sandy Marshall, co-chair of the board of directors; Zack Derby of 10.9 The Hawk, who will be broadcasting live from the auction, and Liane Clairmont, of Lakes Region General Hospital. (Roger Amsden photo for the Laconia Daily Sun)

St. Francis Center receives Bronze Commitment to Quality Award

LACONIA — As a rainbow arced over the city Thursday afternoon, the staff and residents of the St. Francis Rehabilitation and Nursing Center celebrated the facility's receipt of the Bronze-Commitment to Quality Award from the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living.

Brenda Buttrick, administrator of the facility, explained that the Bronze Award is the first of three steps on "a journey of continuous quality improvement" leading toward silver and gold awards in the future. A team at St. Francis applied for the distinction and the application described the mission, character and challenges of the facility and measured its capacity to improve its performance. The award, she said, recognizes that St. Francis has developed the foundation to pursue and compete the journey.

Buttrick recognized Lois Kremepel, John West, Candy Gottchalk and Shayne Marshall, for their contribution to seeking and earning the award and noted they have begun the process of taking the next step toward the Silver Award. And above all, proclaimed "hats off to all our employees for all their hard work."

"This places does a very good job at everything they do," said Helen Brotherston, who has been a St. Francis resident for nearly seven years and will turn 100 in June. From New Jersey, she recalled that her son-in-law visited New Hampshire, fell in love with the state and persuaded his wife to move. She said that ultimately all four of her daughters and some of her 13 grandchildren and great-grandchildren followed suit. "My whole family is here," she said, "all because of the good care I get here. That's what it's all about."

 

CAPTION: Brenda Buttrick, administrator of the St. Francis Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, and resident Helen Brotherston proudly display the Bronze Commitment to Quality Award the facility received from the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living. (laconia Daily Sun photo/Michael Kitch)

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