To The Daily Sun,
My heartfelt appreciation to everyone who contributed to making this year's pooch parade the best one yet. I'm proud to report that total receipts exceeded my $3,000 goal, with donations still coming in.
These dollars will be split with Laconia, Gilford and Belmont Police Department K-9s for their ongoing needs.
Thanks begin with my employer Melcher & Prescott, along with the Board of Directors of the WOW Trail, for giving me this special opportunity to be involved in my hometown in a way I could have never predicted.
This event runs smoothly thanks not only to my great committee: Ann Saltmarsh of Public Works, Cristy Martel of Four Paws Inn, Cathy Dumais and Lisa Green-Barber but to Janet Brough from SAU 30; Kevin Dunleavy, director of Laconia's Parks and Recreation; the two best parking directors, Tim Cavanaugh and Steve Smith; and the 54 volunteers on site who assist in innumerable ways.
It would be difficult to get the word out if it weren't for six amazing reporters: Michael Kitch, Roger Amsden and Karen Bobotas (Laconia Daily Sun); Tim Camerato and Bob Martin (Citizen); Erin Plummer (Gilford Steamer); Angie Sykeny (Hippo); and last but no way least, John Koziol (Union Leader). Great coverage! And for four great schools — Holy Trinity, Woodland Heights, Gilford Elementary and Lakeland — for their art work.
Our business sponsors: "Top of the Heap" five years in a row: Eptam Plastics. Gold Sponsors: Lake Opechee Inn & Spa, Inns at Mill Falls, AKA Tool, Patrick's Pub, Steve Smith Associates, Meredith Village Savings Bank, Tilton Veterinary Hospital, Stealth. Silver Sponsors: Franklin Savings Bank, Fratello's, Noreast Veterinary Associates, Colonial Craftsmen, Body Covers, and long-time BW supporter, Gil – big thank you.
Our vendors: Brendon, My Coffee House who donates half his proceeds to the K-9s, Kelly, Doggone-It-Training; Alix Marcoux, Homeward Bound; Ginny of Happy Tails Dog Park; Marilee of NHHS; Cristy & Danielle of Four Paws Inn; Beth, Meredith Emergency Vet Hosp; Peter of Handmade Pet; Katie of Vet Tech Club; and of course, Aaron Bassett of Burrito Me for much-needed water stations. Woof!
Special thanks to our emcees Nazzy and Mya of Binnie Media, who kept things organized and all of us in stitches with Javier; the Very Rev Marc B. Drouin, V.F., from St. Andre Bessette for his blessings; our photographers Bonnie Carnivale and Joanne DeCesare; our judges: State Sen. Jeanie Forrester, Mayor Ed Engler and Governor's Councilor Joe Kenney with Patrick & Kyle Gandini; our face painters, Jade, Lilly and Amber; Haley of Big Cat Coffee and Lois of Franklin Savings Bank for their giveaway pouches; Meredith Village Savings Bank, Interlakes Animal Hospital and the Insurance Outlet for their sign support; Gator Signs for our new banner and directional signs; our Dalmatian twins, Allie & Lauren, who had way too much fun!; and last but not least, Brett and Bethany of Laconia Pet Center for their generosity in promoting the event as well as providing our contest prizes and more.
Raffles were a new addition this year and over $700 in prizes were received. Several friends contributed an array of gifts in addition to local businesses — Opechee Inn & Spa and Sunflower Natural Foods — as well as our vendors.
Of course, BOW WOW 5 may not have achieved the same level of popularity without our "Star" Hulk. Seeing him sit patiently for pictures with small children, big and little dogs in full sun was nothing short of remarkable. A huge thank-you to his owners, Marlon and Lisa Grennan, for this opportunity.
To all of you (and any I may have missed) a great big thank-you woof for your support, your enthusiasm and your dedication to helping our K-9 officers, our very own unsung heroes, continue to thrive in our community.
Claire L. Hebert-Dow
Community Relation Associate
Melcher & Prescott Insurance
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