Laconia Daily Sun article,, Dec 10
Lakes Region raises $583,752 for Children's Auction this year and Community Challenge contributes over $330,000 to total
GILFORD — The Greater Lakes Region Children's Auction celebrated its 40th year by doing what it does every year: raising lots of money for local charities that help children. This year's total was $583,752. But before the cheers were raised at the auction's Tanger Outlets headquarters, another party was held in a different local town.
Patrick's Pub and Eatery was awash with guests Thursday night as revelers celebrated the more than $330,000 raised by the 40-plus teams of the Community Challenge.
The challenge traces its roots right down to the bar stools of the pub itself. In the past, the challenge was known as Pub Mania, and was a 24-hour event. Each team had a bar stool that needed to be occupied for those 24 hours, and would cycle out members accordingly as they raised funds for the auction.
Nowadays, there are too many teams and not enough stools, so the event has expanded into a massive, year-long fundraising contest that contributes mightily to the total funds raised by the Children's Auction each year. Below is a list of the top earning teams this year, and the amounts they contributed.
Gator Graphics contributed: $12,707; Team Verani: $13,580; Gunstock: $13,594; Merry Misfits: $17,108; Diving Ducks: $19,684; the Iron Butts: $20,060; Patrick's King's Corner $25,341; Cafe Deja Vu: $27,082; Birdies for a Cause: $40,000+
The total funds were given to the Greater Lakes Region Children Auction at noon on Friday in the form of an oversized check with the exact amount of $331,727+ written on it. The plus on the check signifies that the final amount isn't in yet. That's because the top earning team, Birdies for a Cause, raised their funds through a specific item on the auction list. That item is a highly coveted year-long full membership at the Laconia Country Club. As of this writing, the current bid for the membership is at $40,000, nearly nine times its original value, and had the potential to go up as the auction continued.
“We figured it would raise $10,000 when we put it up,” Birdies for a Cause co-captain Allison Mitzel said. “It usually gets about $6,000 to $10,000. Honestly, it's overwhelming and very exciting at the same time.”
The country club currently has a membership wait list of over 200 people, and prospective members can't buy their way to a better place in line, making the membership on the auction block the only way to be instantly guaranteed membership to the club.
“People really want to get in,” Mitzel said. “If you're on the list way at the bottom, it could be a five year wait to get in.”
As for the cause of such a lengthy list? According to Mitzel, the club saw membership shoot up during the pandemic.
“A lot of people moved up here, and maybe sold their places down south, so it's exciting. It's just a nice thing for the community to see something like this can do so much good.”
Mitzel wanted to also acknowledge the efforts of the Laconia Country Club board of directors and her co-captain, Rachael Rollins.
Photos Courtesy of Alan MacRae
Note: Tagg Team was honored to be a part of the 2021 Community Challenge. The Sun article omitted 2 teams from the Top 10 by mistake- The Lakers raised $22,562 (placing 4th) and Tagg Team raised $14,342 (placing 8th). Congrats to everyone who was a part of this amazing auction.