To The Daily Sun,
Dear Sachem Nation:
On Tuesday of this week, our community received the tragic news that the home of three Laconia High School students had been severely damaged by fire. Thankfully, the parents, who were in the home when the fire started, are recovering and should be okay. At the time of the event, the students, two who are LHS students and one who is an exchange student residing with the family, were at school. In our small, socially inter-active community, it was not long before the entire school community knew of the unfortunate event.
The first comment we heard from students and faculty was not, "How sad that is, those poor folks!" The first words from Laconia students, staff, families and community groups were, "HOW CAN WE HELP?" As is typical in this great city, everyone comes together when there is a need. The first thing the high school decided was to commit the entire gate from that evening's basketball game to the family. That was quickly followed by the Laconia Hockey Boosters committing their gate and proceeds from concessions to this worthy cause. The student fans, parents and community members who came in paid for their tickets and then decided to add well over 400 percent to the price of game admission to help meet the family's immediate needs.
The school community also committed money to this family through the student relief fund and hosted a dress down day Friday to further support this important cause. Our students, empathizing with the situation, went out and gathered items that they knew the family would need to make it through the next few days and weeks. They brought in blankets, pillows, toiletries and gift cards from our local stores and restaurants . . . and they did so without being asked.
The wider community stepped in, as it always has, to help meet the needs of this local family in their time of real need. To top it all off, our local Santa Fund came forward with a significant contribution as well. Many parents and concerned community members have also come by the school to drop off checks designated directly to the family as well. To say we are humbled, thrilled and so thankful is truly an understatement.
As I review that final sentence, "....we are humbled, thrilled and thankful..." it strikes me once again that the word surprised is not one of the adjectives used. We are NOT surprised because throughout the time many of us have been privileged to serve Laconia youth and the community in general, the truth of what Laconia really is always shines out. We are a community that doesn't worry about the lip service related to being a caring community. We are truly a community that demonstrates care in the way that really matters, we stand up and stand tall and "DO" the caring that needs to be done. I know I am privileged to work in a community that does THAT so well!
Jim McCollum, Principal
Laconia High School