LACONIA — The July 27 TennisGolf event was successful for Advantage Kids, with 100 people in attendance at Tavern 27.

“We sold out. Next year, we’ll find a way to fit more people out there," said Brittany Boles, event organizer.

A highlight of the day was an awards ceremony featuring five local children, 14-year-old Dean Mason from Meredith, 12-year-old Kevin Gray of Moultonborough, 8-year-old Cooper Mousseau from Laconia, 13-year-old Evan Drinkwine from Tilton, and 9-year-old Matthew Carson from Gilford. Each received the John J. Donovan Jr. Memorial Award, for exemplifying the qualities of compassion, loyalty, integrity, caring, role modeling, and humility.

Donovan's wife, Megan Connolly Donovan and two children, Skylar and Jaxon, also received honorary awards in remembrance of their father.

Tavern 27 generously hosted the fundraiser on their boutique nine-hole golf course and the adjacent outdoor trolley bar and dining area, with a three-course, catered meal.

“It was always my intention for this space to be used as an asset for the community. We love hosting these types of events for nonprofits. We hope to do more things like this,” said Ray Simanson, owner of Tavern 27. He invited Advantage Kids to return next year for TennisGolf.

Grappone Automotive Group was the title sponsor for the event, and brought vehicles up to showcase on the course as well as sending their master of ceremonies, Mike Gianunzio, to help run the show. Belknap Landscape donated $500 to support the cause. Other sponsors include Laconia Village Bakery, Weirs Drive-In, Temperance Tavern, and 'The Laconia Daily Sun.'

The event brought in $10,000, according to Advantage Kids Executive Director Dawn Dragon.

The next event for Advantage Kids is their end of the season Tennis Carnival, slated for Saturday, Aug. 10 at the Gilford Town Courts. For more information, find them on Facebook, Instagram @Advantage_Kids, and visit

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