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The Spelling Bee would be nothing without teams of intrepid spellers

To The Daily Sun,

We, at Lakes Region Scholarship Foundation, are so grateful to everyone who participated in our 16th annual Community Spelling Bee. There are so many people and groups to thank.

Laconia chorus members Colleen O'Brien, Savannah Barden, Tim Mazko and Josh Follansbee, led by Music Director Krin Monterose, opened the event with an uplifting rendition of the National Anthem. Master of Ceremony Pat Kelly; Enunciators Rhetta Colon and Rick Crockford; Judges Marcia Hayward and Marilyn Lynch each added a special flair to the Bee. The Laconia High School administration and facility crew provided us with all the support to make the venue inviting and workable. Photographer Steve Loughlin, Tim Cox from Lakes Region Public Access TV (courtesy of station manager Grace McNamara), The Laconia Daily Sun and WEMJ's "Open Mike" show hosted by Pat Kelly worked to provide coverage for the event.

A big thank you also goes to all who attended the event to cheer on the spellers (with a special shout out to the New England Wolves teams who brought all of their team members and handed out free tickets to upcoming hockey games) and all who purchased 50-50 raffle tickets. We were able to raise over $8,700 this year to benefit our Friends of the Foundation Operating Fund, which helps us cover the expenses associated with administering our scholarship program.

The Spelling Bee would be nothing of course without our teams of intrepid spellers. We would like to recognize a few of these teams for special achievements:

Congratulations to the winning spelling team: The Laconia Librarians! Team members Randy Brough, Jamie Dalton and Caleb Kneuer were able to score their second win team, recapturing the trophy for the Laconia Public Library, a win not only for the team, but for their long time sponsor, Bob Merwin of State Farm Insurance. We also had a second-place team this year: the Gilford Rotary Team of Nancy Carsen, Don Clarke and Chris Ray, sponsored by the Gilford Rotary Club.

Each year prizes are also awarded for best costumes. The costume winners for the student teams were: 1st place – NHCS Mad Spellers (Mika Austin, Evan Foster and Benjamin Smith) sponsored by Lakes Region Tent and Event, 2nd place – GHS Business Students Rock, Paper, Scissors (Ashleigh Mongovan, Michaela Robertson and Brianna Salanitro) sponsored by Thom Francoeur-Allstate Insurance, 3rd place – LHS Band Treble Makers (Josh Chandler, Tim King and Bryden Wright) sponsored by the Ellis Family.

The costume winners for the adult teams were: 1st place – LHS Orthographobia Beats Arachnophobia (Amy Scott, Nate Kaplan, Natasha Reiner) sponsored by Sandra & Gregg Caufield, 2nd place-the Spirit Spellers (Bethany Clarke, Kathy Giovanni and Jean Clarke) sponsored by the Congregational Church of Laconia and 3rd place-the Hip-Bees (Lisa Bianco, Jackie Gogolen and Karen Soucy) sponsored by Bianco Child and Family Therapy.

In addition to the above mentioned teams, the rest of the field included: BHS The Four Characters team (Kaleb Brown, River Mathieu, Nick Randoss & Grace Shaw.) sponsored by Marcia Hayward; GHS Hoops I Did it Again! team (Melissa Andrews, Emily Hayden, Aaron Matthews) sponsored by DeCamp team at Morgan Stanley; GHS Peanuts team (Aimee Brunt, Justine Carter, Maddie Griffeth) sponsored by Civil Takeoffs, LLC,; GHS Space Invaders team (Savannah Brunelle, Libby Giles, Evelyn Johnson) sponsored by Gregg and Sandra Caulfield; HTS Three Blind Mice team (Olivia DeMatos, Maria McGrath, Emma O'Neill, Catherine Pingol, alternate) sponsored by Patrick's Pub & Eatery; Huot Careers in Education team (Lexys Bladecki, Ashley Hill, Natasha Tyler) sponsored by Dana S. Beane & Co.; Laconia City Councilors team (David Bownes, Ava Doyle, Edward Engler) sponsored by Friends of the Foundation; Laconia City Hall team (Brandee Loughlin, Scott Myers, Mary Reynolds) sponsored by Friends of the Foundation; LHS Bee-Boppin' Bees team (Ryan D'Arezzo, Colleen O'Brien, Gladdy Spitz,) sponsored by The Ellis Family; LHS Key Club team (Chloe Bertocchi, Alexyah Dethvongsa, Jack Maher) sponsored by Kiwanis Club of Laconia; LHS Naturally Heroic Spellers team (Dalibor Kresovic, Taylor Lovely, Brittany Petell) sponsored by Boulia-Gorrell Lumber Company; LHS Principles of Spelling team (Dave Bartlett, Alison Bryant, Kelly O'Brien) sponsored by Belknap Landscape Co. Inc.; LHS To Bee or Not to Bee team (Nemanja Boskovic, Rebecca Olewine, Amber Patten) sponsored by Lawson Persson & Chisholm PC; Meredith Village Savings Bank team (Ashely Bussolari, Taylor Duncan, Melanie Thibault) sponsored by Meredith Village Savings Bank; New England Wolves, Elite team (Aleck Forcier, Blake Harlow, Max Levasseur) sponsored by American Hockey Institute; New England Wolves, Premier team (Michael Holmes, Andrew Lee, Devin Melice) sponsored by American Hockey Institute and The Three Mousseketeers team (Finnian Mousseau, Noah Moussea, Sullivan Mousseau) sponsored by Mary B. Orton.

We have been very fortunate over the years to have a handful of corporate sponsors without whom the financial success of this event would not be possible. We would like to recognize these very generous donors: Belknap Landscape Company Inc., Meredith Village Savings Bank, Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, and Lawson, Persson & Chisholm, P.C.

In addition to our Corporate and Team sponsors, we give thanks to the following donors who sponsored ads in our program or donated gifts-in-kind: Advanced Orthopaedic Specialists, All My Life Jewelers, Janet D. Allison, American Eyecare, Apple American Group LLC, Bank of NH Pavilion, Belknap County Sportsmen's Assn, Inc., Belknap Mill Quilters Guild, Judy Bissonnette, George E & Barbara H Brixner III, Michael & Janet Brough, Gloyd & Janet Calley, CBH Landscape Contractors, Emily Clement Life Coach, The Common Man, Contigiani's Catering Service, Corporate Images, Denoncourt, Waldron & Sullivan, Ava Doyle, D's Hair Stylin Studio, East Coast Welding, Edgewater Academy of Dance, The Foundry Financial Group Inc., Fratello's Ristorante Italiano, Funspot, Claire Giguere, Gilford Hannaford, The Hair Factory, Hampshire Textiles Sales, Hart's Turkey Farm Restaurant, Steve Hodgdon LHS Class of 1965, HRO Plus, Irwin Automotive Group, Laconia Lodge of Elks, Laconia Police Department, LR Builders & Remodelers Association, Lakes Region Community College, Lakes Region Floral Studio, Laurent Overhead Door Systems, Paulette and Steve Loughlin, Malone, Dirubbo & Company PC, Market Basket, Martin, Lord & Osman, P.A., McDonalds-The Napoli Group, Scott D. McGuffin, MegaPrint Inc., Melcher & Prescott Insurance, NAPA Auto Parts, Ninety-Nine Restaurant, Normandin, Cheney & O'Neil, O'dus LLC, David and Fredda Osman, Pike Industries Inc., PRB Construction Inc., Katherine Reardon, ReFresh Salon, Sal's Pizza, Salome Family, Salon Amara, Shaw's Supermarket Gilford, Squam Lakes Science Center, Stafford Oil Co. Inc., Joni Stover, Tanger Outlet Center, Taylor Community, Taylor Rental Center, T-Bones, Tilton Trailer Rental , Travel Health of NH, Uno Chicago Grill, Vista Foods, Water Street Café, Watermark Marine Systems, LLC, John & Patricia Weeks, Weirs Community Park Association, Whittemore Florist & Greenhouse, Wilkinson-Beane-Simoneau-Paquette and the Beane Conference Center.

If anyone would like a copy of our 2016 BEE program, please contact us at 527-3533 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We also wish to remind college-bound students that our 2017 scholarship applications will be available by mid-January on our website: www.lrscholarship.org and also at the guidance department of our local high schools. This year's deadline is April 1, 2017.

Michael Nolan, President

Joan Cormier, Executive Director
Lakes Region Scholarship Foundation


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Electoral College plays a keyrole in protecting our liberties

To The Daily Sun,

Why is our president elected by the Electoral College rather than by a majority of the popular vote? The answer is that the Electoral College is part of our founders' attempt to create a government dedicated to protecting the American people's freedoms and opportunities from tyranny.

At the time of our founding, like today, there were significant differences in the interests and needs of different areas of our country. Obviously the interests of senior citizens in Florida and Arizona differ from the interests of young people in cities or suburbs; and, their interests differ from farming communities which differ from mining or ranching or tech or manufacturing or oil drilling or other energy development, etc.

The Elector College "electors" are elected by people's votes for president in each state and the District of Columbia. The President, who is elected by a majority vote of the Electoral College, is the person the people in each area chose to protect or promote their interests.

Because of New Hampshire's small population, eliminating the Electoral College would mean that presidential candidates would probably never come here again. The main focus of presidential campaigns would be our major population centers. All policies and programs would be targeted to winning votes in those areas, even at the expense of the rest of the country.

Note also that most big cities are dominated by corrupt political machines which reliably turn out the votes they need to stay in power. The potential for corruption of the voting process would become a major concern.

In the last election we saw the Obama administration fight efforts to remove dead people and people who had moved away from the voter rolls. We saw states providing voter registration forms to illegal aliens along with drivers licenses. Our experience in New Hampshire, especially with same-day registrations, indicates there are voters who don't live where they claim to live, i.e., voter fraud.

Prager University provides a simple, clear 5 minute video on the Electoral College; I recommend it: https://youtu.be/V6s7jB6-GoU

We are likely to hear more calls to eliminate the Electoral College, especially by people who feel they can create enough voter fraud to generate the election results that they want without regard to the people's actual wishes. The Electoral College needs to remain, it provides a key role in protecting our liberties and opportunities by making sure that presidents appeal to many areas of our nation, not just our large cities.

Don Ewing

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