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Bee was meaningful collaboration between LHS & city leaders

To The Daily Sun,

On behalf of Laconia High School's English Department, I'd like to express my sincerest gratitude to everyone who made our first Team Spelling Bee possible.

Keith Murray from WEMJ radio was instrumental in the production and promotion of the event. His dedication to local sports and news is unmatched in the Lakes Region.

Sarah Gray, owner of Body Covers Screenprinting & Embroidery, donated T-shirts for the event and served as a pronouncer on our panel. Two other pronouncers, Karen Bassett, owner of Wayfarer Coffee Roasters, and Greg Packard, manager of Burrito Me, graciously donated door prizes. The role of pronouncer is daunting — especially when the competition is broadcast live. These three members of our local business community deserve much of the credit for the event's success.

Our fourth pronouncer was Mayor Ed Engler, and his enthusiasm was contagious. Ed's contribution to our students' educational experience proves his commitment to our city.

Ken Martin from Laconia's Huot Technical Center engraved our winners' plaque. Steve Bouffard from Laconia High School designed our posters.

Showcasing our young learners' academic achievements was not the only success of the night. The Spelling Bee collected 286 jars of peanut butter and jelly for Laconia's "Got Lunch!" program. "Got Lunch!" also collected $200 in cash donations. Thank you to all the "Got Lunch!" volunteers for your tireless effort in feeding our students.

Laconia High School's Team Spelling Bee proved the power of meaningful collaboration between our public schools and our community leaders.

Thank you so much, and see you next year.

Tate Aldrich
English Department Chair
Laconia High School

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Thanks to the many thousands who passed through our doors

To The Daily Sun,

We had a great and humbling run.

Lori and I wanted to take this last opportunity to thank the thousands of members, staff and the community at large for the honor of serving you for the last 24 years. Although we would have loved to have ended our "tour of duty" with a different outcome, it doesn't take away from the wonderful memories and good works we shared for almost a quarter of a century.

It's amazing and sometimes overwhelming to think of all of the people, events, accomplishments and the challenges that have occurred, and how they have all enriched our lives forever. We refuse to let the recent events diminish our record of service and gratitude. As many have stated, Laconia Athletic & Swim Club was more than a business. It was a vibrant, living community asset. And there were literally thousands of people, along with our family, that can claim a stake in this beautiful adventure.

We would like to thank the tens of thousands of members and guests who passed through our doors with hope, laughter and kindness in their hearts. You all have collectively reinforced to us that goodness will always prevail over darkness. Together we shared the belief that caring for others with dignity and respect is not only honorable but simply the right thing to do.

Lori and I were just two players from an amazing team of thousands of your neighbors who we fondly called Team LASC. Obviously, we could never have reached the heights of success and the "positively fun Mojo spirit" without our wonderful staff. You guys not only helped us realize our dream, but touched us deeply with your dedication, professionalism and loving heart.

The negatives of life, namely selfishness, greed, carelessness and indifference are always in some way present in our lives, but they have no value. Bitterness has no place here. We can easily discard them when we search for worth and meaning in our lives. What truly endures, what sustains us as we take stock in our personal treasures, are the gifts of love and kindness that we have been blessed to receive. This will always be our choice.

We look forward to the reopening of 827 North Main St. and all of the possibilities it will have to offer you. We truly wish the new owners and the management team of the Executive Health Sports Center much success with their new endeavor. We are hopeful that with all of their resources, partnering with this wonderful community, the birth of a new and vibrant community asset can be realized again.

Lori and I are moving on to new adventures with excitement, mixed in with a little bit of apprehension, by the way . . . actively looking for employment, just saying.

Lori & "Young" Tom Oakley


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