09-05 Meghan Doptis Tim Lewis

Meghan Doptis and Tim Lewis, at the Tower Hill Tavern in Weirs Beach. (Courtesy photo)

LACONIA — A fundraiser held recently at Tower Hill Tavern raised more than $5,000 and, perhaps more importantly, helped lift the spirits of a regular patron who survived a crash on his motorcycle.

Tim Lewis, an independent contractor and part of the Tower Hill community of patrons, was critically injured on the night of June 21, when a driver pulled directly into his path as he was driving on Route 106 in Loudon.

Lewis’ injuries were significant and widespread. They have left him without the ability to work, said Meghan Doptis, his girlfriend and general manager at Tower Hill. So, last month, the tavern threw him a party.

“It went really good, especially for being kind of last-minute,” Doptis said. “We raised about $5,300.” The money came from direct donations, as well as revenue from donated raffle prizes.

She said that he is now beginning outpatient physical therapy, and having the emotional encouragement from the event is just as important as the financial support.

At least 100 people showed up for the event, including some people Lewis hadn’t seen for a while.

“There were people there who kind of surprised him. He was hesitant about going, having a benefit for himself, never thinking that his name would be on a piece of paper with the word ‘benefit,’” Doptis said. “He’s been pretty down, but being there, and having all those people show him how much they love him and support him, and us, because of the people we are and the things we‘ve done, it definitely boosted his spirits and showed him how much love there is.”

She said that the group of people who regularly visit the Tower Hill Tavern sometimes refer to themselves as a family, and that’s what it felt like at the benefit.

“Blood doesn’t make family, that’s what this was, a family. It was kind of like a family gathering,” Doptis said.

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