By RICK GREEN, LACONIA DAILY SUN
GILFORD — The Greater Lakes Region Children's Auction got underway to a great start Tuesday at the Belknap Mall, with a lot of activity on telephones and online, said auction chairwoman Sandra Marshall.
“The phones are ringing,” she said. “People are bidding online. The mall has been wonderful. I'm very pleased, everything seems to be falling into place.”
She said it's not too late to donate items for the auction.
“They are welcome to come over to the mall. We're right across from the Subway.”
The auction, now in its 36th year, is being televised from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 6-9 p.m., through Friday. On Saturday, it will be broadcast 9 a.m. to noon.
People can tune in on FM stations 104.9 and 101.5, or watch it on MetroCast cable television channels 12 and 25, or online at ChildrensAuction.com.
More than $400,000 was raised and distributed last year.
The first distributions this year will occur on Dec. 15 to fill emergent needs for food, clothing and gifts for the holiday period.
As part of the charitable effort, Patrick's Pub & Eatery of Gilford will host its ninth Pub Mania event, a 24-hour barstool challenge, on Thursday and Friday.
Each of the 31 teams that make up Pub Mania has one or more captains that build a team of 24 people, one for each hour of the event. Participants raise funds throughout the year and bring their donations to the event.
The auction has grown to become a major source of funds for local charities and organizations across Central New Hampshire.
Local companies support the auction by providing cash donations, sponsorships and staff.
Donated items at the auction range from gift certificates to local businesses, sports collectibles, concert and sport tickets, autographed memorabilia, furniture, vacations, home decor, children's toys, electronics and holiday gifts.
The studio of the Greater Lakes Region Childrens Auction at the Belknap Mall was buzzing with activity on opening day yesterday. (Alan MacRae/for The Laconia Daily Sun)
Greater Lakes Region Childrens Auction volunteer Jill Ober, seccond from right, explains the bid taking process to members of The Laconia Daily Sun staff prior to manning the phone bank on the opening day of the auction on Tuesday. From left are Crystal Furnee, Ginger Kozlowski, Elaine Hirshan, Ober, and Karin Nelson. (Alan MacRae for The Laconia Daily Sun)