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Character & charm are found in business owned by local people

To The Daily Sun,

Like many of our friends, my husband and I love to spend a day in Portsmouth. We gladly make the hour plus drive any chance we get. While Randy and Sue Bullerwell of All My Life Jewelers recently shared with me that Portland is their favorite day trip. A friend and I recently discovered Peterborough and have plans to return soon. What is it about these three cities that appeals to us? It wasn't the big box stores or food chains, but the uniqueness of the independently owned shops, boutiques and restaurants.
What makes a town or city a destination is the character and charm found only in these businesses owned by people, not corporations. It's knowing that no two are exactly alike that make us want to go inside and experience what each one has to offer. It's the knowledge that every dollar we spend is paying that business owner's bills.
Without independently-owned businesses every city and town would look like the next, all containing the same cookie-cutter looking, brand-conscious facades, with all the same products. Is that what you want for the Lakes Region? If your answer is no, then I beg of you, think twice about where you shop.
Every time you shop online or at a big box store, you chisel away at the very foundation of the uniqueness that people seek out when they choose a destination. A large portion of the Lakes Region's revenue is a result of people who chose it as their favorite place. They aren't all here for a week of skiing or water sports. Many, like my husband and I and the Bullerwells, are just looking for a nice place to spend a day, browsing the unique shops, shipping drinks and dining in interesting restaurants.
Please do your part. Shop local, support your community. Help keep independently owned businesses strong.
Debbie Bolduc, VP & Acting President
Belknap Independent Business Alliance
Laconia

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We invite your support of the LHS Chem-Free After Prom Party

To The Daily Sun,

It is getting to be that time of year again, Spring is finally upon us and with it comes.....PROM! At Laconia High School, we are always excited about this special time of year as our students enjoy an evening of dressing up to the nines (who even says THAT anymore?) and enjoying an evening of fine food and dancing. It is ideally a time of enjoyable celebration among groups of teens who are united by their affiliation to their school and community.

Unfortunately, this is also a time of year where student risk behavior is elevated. The data indicates a significant increase in the incidence of both injuries and deaths that is connected to drugs and alcohol during the prom "season." This is not a new issue, it has been a problem within our nation's communities for many, many years.

Laconia has held the Laconia High School Chem-Free After Prom Party for the past two years. This event has been an outstanding success and has ensured that every participant has remained alcohol and drug free throughout the entirety of the prom and the overnight hours that follow. It has also been a complete blast for everyone who has participated, including teachers, administrators and our local police participants! But the real success has been that our kids have not just had a great time throughout the evening and into the next day. The real success in this effort is that our young people are safe and away from the negative, destructive influence of alcohol and drugs.

We are once again reaching out to you, the community, to help us make this night not just special but safe for our students. Over the years we have had outstanding support from the Gilford Cinema 8, First Student Bus Company and FunSpot have provided tremendous support during that time. Many community businesses, agencies and individuals have also provided financial support that has ensured this event is a hit every year
This year, we are shooting for 100 student participants for the Chem-Free After Prom Party. The event starts directly after the prom and runs until five the next morning, ensuring every student is having a blast and is actively engaged in fun, safe and positive activities during a dangerous time of year for our teens. If you are interested in supporting this important programming, do not hesitate to contact either of us at Laconia High School during the school hours Monday through Friday.
As always, we appreciate this community's constant efforts to support the Laconia High School and its efforts to help keep our students SAFE.....and college and career ready!
Steve Orton
School Resource Officer, LHS
Jim McCollum
Principal, LHS

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