LACONIA DAILY SUN Article, Jun 23, 2023
Pub Mania will make an energetic return this winter after a three-year hiatus. The marathon party at Patrick’s Pub & Eatery for more than a decade raised huge sums for the Greater Lakes Region Children’s Auction — just over half its $600,000 total in 2019 — during the holiday season. But the pandemic, as well as the toll the event had come to take on organizers and bar staff, forced a pause on the festivities.
“The fatigue of doing this event has subsided,” Patrick’s Pub owner Allan Beetle said Friday. “I think that for some teams, Pub Mania was a rallying point for them, and we've decided for that reason to bring it back.”
At Pub Mania, fundraising teams each claim, and must keep filled through one-hour shifts, seats at the bar at Patrick’s. Each team or each individual is responsible for meeting a fundraising goal. Throughout the marathon party, games and live music augment an atmosphere of buzzing camaraderie.
“I’m thrilled,” said Robin Rowe, captain of Gunstock Mountain Resort’s team. “We're very much looking forward to getting back together with all the folks we've had fun with over the last few years.”
“It just gets people together,” said Tony Felch, member of the Auction board of directors and a captain of the Cafe Deja Vu team.
Rather than its traditional 24 hours, Pub Mania’s new chapter will be a 12-hour event, running from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Even the most enthusiastic and long-time teams look favorably on the change.
“I honestly can't say enough about Allan and that whole crew, because what they used to do over a 24-hour period was truly commendable,” Rowe said. “So this is going to be a nice, I think, compromise and hopefully get people kind of jazzed again.”
Judi Taggart’s “Tagg Team” has been participating in Pub Mania and the Community Challenge since their inaugural years. She said she’s excited to bring back an event they have loved for years, but for it to be a little easier on everyone.
The Community Challenge, a year-round fundraising program launched in 2020 as organizers pivoted away from Pub Mania, continues as Pub Mania will be revived as an event under the challenge umbrella, according to Beetle.
Pub Mania will fold well into the Community Challenge, Taggart noted, because, for her squad, Pub Mania had already been a year-round effort.
“The possibilities are endless as far as how you can raise the money and have fun doing it,” Taggart said. “It's not just, you know, think about it in November for December: it's a year-round process.”
Rowe said Gunstock jumpstarted its fundraising at Laconia Motorcycle Week’s Gunstock Hill Climb: tips from golf cart rides and the beer garden at the event totaling more than $2,000 will go toward Gunstock’s Pub Mania goal.
Though the event’s past 24 hour timeline had, organizers admit, become a drain, they saw how the occasion of Pub Mania and participants' love for it had been a “rallying cry” for teams’ fundraising.
“One of the things we've seen since we stopped having it is the motivation, especially the year-round stuff, seems to have tapered off,” Felch said. “It's an event that everything focuses around. So I think it'll help.”
“I think the key to successful fundraising is to make it fun,” Beetle said. “People don't have to run a marathon or do a strenuous sporting event ... You put a fun environment together with teams and a barstool and it just works.”
For more info visit www.patrickspub.com/pubmania. They have a few barstools still available for a team.