In 1982, WLNH radio host Warren Bailey responding to the needs of Lakes Region Children and their families, created a two day fund raising broadcast from the WLNH van in front of the Laconia YMCA. They raised $2,100 and collected a number of items to be donated to the "Citizen Santa Fund"
WLNH worked tirelessly to grow this event into a multi day radio auction over the next fifteen years. Through the generosity of several different landlords the Auction found a home each year in store fronts throughout Downtown Laconia. Under WLNH's direction, multitudes of people became involved in this event and the "Greater Lakes Region Children's Auction" took on a life of its own.
In 1999, a cooperative effort between WLNH, Metrocast Cable Vision, and Lakes Region Public Access Television (LRPA-TV) was created. Student cameramen and broadcast professionals came together to form a multimedia broadcast. As a radio and television auction, the Auction experienced a dramatic increase in activity, both in monies raised, items gathered and families assisted.
Over the six years the growth between 2000 and 2006, the Greater Lakes Region Children's Auction family grew to include hundreds of volunteers every year and an audience of untold numbers throughout the entire Lakes Region.
The auction really gained steam over the next decade that had the auction totals going from $89,000 to $120,000 from 2000 to 2001 and from $137,000 to $158,000 from 2003 to 2004. The auction raised $181,000 in 2005 only to have that total beaten by 2006's $201,000 in fundraising.
The fundraiser that made $2,100 in its first year had come a long way with the help of countless volunteers and donors who have helped turn it into a major campaign on an annual basis. In 2007, the auction brought in $210,325 dollars, breaking the $1 million dollar mark for the 25 cumulative years it celebrated in 2007. The New Hampshire Association of Broadcasters awarded the Greater Lakes Region Children's Auction the Merit Award as Public Service Campaign of the Year in October of 2008, after 25 years of community service.
Between 2008 and 2011, the auction continued to gain steam, raising an astounding $1 million dollars. In 2012, thanks in large part to the help of the incredible PubMania event, raising an unbelievable $165,000, in conjunction with countless other individuals and organizations, we were able to surpass our goal and wound up raising $416,500! In 2013, with the ongoing help from Pub Mania and the construction and sale of a home by the Lakes Region Homebuilders and Remodelers Association, a major milestone was achieved, raising over $500,000. Collectively, between the 2014 and 2015 event, this event accumulated almost $1,000,000 in donations that the Auction was able to put right back into the community, helping those most in need.
Over the past four decades, we have distributed over $7.5 million dollars to nonprofits that serve under resourced children and families in the area.
The need is still tremendous in the Greater Lakes Region area, but not greater than the hearts, commitment and passion within our community - the real heroes who make the magic happen every year! Together, we help so many and we are proud to continue making a difference within the greater Lakes Region.