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Friends of Football hasn't sanctioned company to solicit ads

To The Daily Sun,

The Laconia Sachems Friends of Football, a parent organization dedicated to supporting the Laconia High School Sachems Football Team through fundraising, is asking local businesses to be aware of a potential scam.

The Laconia Friends of Football conduct several fundraising activities throughout the year to provide money to supplement the Laconia High School Athletic Department. These funds are used to purchase such items as helmets, pads, practice gear, game uniforms, and other equipment necessary to run a successful football program in the incredible Bank of New Hampshire Stadium at the Laconia High School.

Very recently, a concerned longtime supporter of the Laconia Friends of Football contacted the Board of Directors to make us aware of a solicitor who contacted the business owner directly and skillfully represented themselves as working with the Laconia Friends of Football. The caller made claims of selling "exclusive" advertising in the football program book, produced by the Friends of Football each season. The solicitor stated his company was called "New Start Media, LLC" of Davenport, Iowa, that is working directly with the Laconia Friends of Football. A quick internet search for this company turns up several pages of scam warnings and pending lawsuits against this company operating under various other aliases.

The Laconia Friends of Football is not working with any professional marketing or solicitation company for any services. We are a proud parent organization and are all local community members and business owners. We are your friends and neighbors and can typically be seen at any home (and away) Sachems football game. We are a completely volunteer organization the sole purpose of which is to provide funding to ensure the safety and welfare of our student athletes as they participate in the Laconia High School Football Program.

We do hold several fundraising events throughout the year and will typically visit a potential donor business or individual in person. Many business owners who have supported the program for many years know us, even before we speak as to why we are visiting their establishment wearing Laconia Sachems apparel and carrying the customary donation letter and a proud smile.

For those who have supported us over the years, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts and appreciate your committed dedication to our program.

If you have any questions regarding this possible scam, please contact a member of the Board of Directors for Laconia Friends of Football. Board members are listed on our website www.laconiafriendsoffootball.com.

Laconia Sachems Friends of Football

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If first reaction to transgender issues is fear, second should be education

To The Daily Sun,

I am writing in response to Gail Ober's article on Feb. 7 headlined "Bigotry or biology?" Objections from citizens like Mr. Brake and Mr. Fogg who stress the safety of their children in their defense would do well to note this quote from an article in Time magazine from May 2, 2016:

"Studies show transgender people are more likely to be victims. What is really unacceptable," says (attorney Kathryn) Oakley (of the Human Rights Campaign), "is we're pinning (these fears) on people who are, in fact, themselves incredibly vulnerable in bathrooms." In a study from UCLA's Williams Institute, nearly 70 percent of transgender people said they had experienced verbal harassment in a situation involving gender-segregated bathrooms, while nearly 10 percent reported physical assault. And, advocates argue, laws that force transgender people to use restrooms where they can look out of place makes them more likely targets."

When we allow fear to lead our judgments, we do more harm than good. Segregation has used the threat of attack and abuse as its defense in the past. Remember the civil rights movement of the 1960s? Studies have shown that any attacks in women's restrooms are more likely to be from cisgendered (those who identify with their birth gender) men posing as transgendered women, rather than transgendered women themselves.

My advice — and even more importantly, my plea — to people of a like mind to Mssrs. Brake and Fogg is this: If your first reaction is fear, your second should be self-education. Read up on the thing that frightens you, and you may find that it is far less frightening than you first assumed. Remember Mary Shelley's famous message: "That which appears monstrous may be gentle and harmless, and the true monsters lurk within the minds of men."

Those who wish to educate themselves in the face of fear may visit https://www.glaad.org/transgender/transfaq. If you do not have internet access at home, I am sure your local library would be more than happy to assist you.

Angela D'Onofrio

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