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The Children's Auction is Grateful to our Media Partner, The Laconia Daily Sun, for their Coverage

Laconia Daily Sun, Dec. 6, 2023 Full article

With an event that’s been around for as long as the Greater Lakes Region Children’s Auction, which dates back to 1982, one might presume it has found a routine operating plan it can follow year after year.

In fact, it’s the opposite reality for the Auction, which each year sets a goal of raising more money for local nonprofit organizations than it did the prior year, which isn’t achievable by repeating the same model year after year. Last year, the Auction raised $635,000. “I would love to get to that $700,000 mark, for sure,” said Doug Morrissette, chair of the Auction board, though he added the official goal, as it has been since radio veteran Warren Bailey started the Auction, is to raise $1 more than the prior year. The Annual event, at its core, features the live auctioning of donated items to raise money to be distributed back into the Lakes Region community, given as grants to charities that benefit the lives of local children.

Morrissette, taking over as chair this year after serving the past three as treasurer, said the organization doesn’t have a measure of how many local children’s lives are touched by the auction. However, it’s easily into the thousands, as last year the auction gave grants to 59 local nonprofits, and some of those organizations each serve several hundred children. He noted that more than 80 organizations have submitted grant applications this year, and the requests total more than $800,000. “The need is definitely out there,” Morrissette said. To meet that need, organizers have found ways to amend their operation toward the goal of reaching new heights. One way is through the proliferation of events, such as concerts or fundraising parties, that have taken place throughout the year. Morrissette said these events serve a dual purpose — they help build the fundraising total well before the auction begins, and they also bring in a new group of potential auction supporters. “The auction is definitely a well-oiled machine, but in order to find ways to raise more money, we are trying to do more events throughout the year,” Morrissette said. “During the summertime we have that expanded group, we are able to capitalize on that and make sure they’re aware of the need around the community and be aware of ways to give back.” Jennifer Kelley, executive director for the Auction, said another evolution of the Auction will be familiar to those who paid an extra $100 to become “Super Bidders” in previous Auctions. Organizers liked the “Super Bidder” program so much that they decided to cancel the exclusive program and extend those privileges to every bidder. This year, every bidder will have the ability to not only bid for an item, but will also be able to set a “max bid” amount for that item. The max bid will trigger automatic re-bids on items if they get outbid.

Here’s how it works. Let’s say you’d be willing to pay up to $50 for an item, but the current bid is $20. You could put in a bid of $25, and also enter your max bid of $50. If someone later bids $30, the system would automatically submit a bid of $35 on your behalf, and would continue to do so, upping the bid to the next $5 increment, until doing so would exceed the max bid you’ve designated.

“This year, which is very exciting and new, every single bidder can put a max bid on any single item,” Kelley said. The function is designed to be especially useful to people who are trying to follow the Auction while at work or running errands, so they feel they can check in several times throughout the day and not worry about losing items in between.

Kelley said she is also excited about some special events they’ve scheduled this year to encourage people to visit the Auction headquarters, located this year at the Belknap Marketplace, formerly known as the Belknap Mall. One such event is a Family Night happening from 5 to 7 p.m. on Thursday evening.

“It’s a free opportunity for families to come in and experience the Auction and have a lot of fun,” Kelley said. Visitors will be able to get pictures with both Santa and the Grinch, there will be a sing-along with the talented Snow family, cookie decorating, a Lowe's DIY toy workshop, and Ed Darling will read Christmas stories. “We really want to celebrate with families and let them see what the Auction is like." The Auction headquarters is a festive and joyful scene, powered by people who love to help their neighbors, and Kelley said she’s eager to share that experience with the broader public.

“There’s a lot of need in this community. I think we are really lucky to live amongst a group of people who give their hearts and soul to make it a better community,” Kelley said.

The Greater Lakes Region Children’s Auction will be live from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Dec. 5-8, and can be heard on Lakes 101.5 FM, watched on LRPA TV Channel 25 and Breezeline Channel 12 or streamed via and

A big heartfelt thank you to all of our media partners for helping us make an impact in our community.


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