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.
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