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BETHLEHEM, N.H. – Copper Cannon Camp’s annual auction is always a fun night for attendees from all over New England, but the impact from the event goes far beyond one night.
Thanks to hard work and generosity of everyone involved, more than 100 New Hampshire youth will have the opportunity to attend summer camp at no cost with the funds raised.
The 43rd annual auction took place March 7 at the Littleton Elks Lodge, and Copper Cannon’s executive director Peter Christnacht said the results surpassed all expectations.
“The outpouring of generosity from people, many whom have never been to Copper Cannon Camp, was unbelievable,” he said. “Their impact will make a huge difference in the lives of New Hampshire’s low-income youth.”
A team of more than 50 volunteers, including a number of campers and staff, worked hard for months leading up to the event, which culminated in a packed house donating and bidding on hundreds of items.
“Not only was the auction a wonderful fundraising event for Copper Cannon Camp, but it allowed a number of volunteer campers and their families to give back for what camp has given them,” Christnacht said. “Some of these families drove from the southern part of the state or farther to participate Saturday night.”
A silent auction spanning multiple rooms lasted from the time the doors opened until after dinner. Following that, a live auction of 25 big-ticket items followed, featuring pieces such as a Dominican Republic vacation, Cannon Mountain season passes, a washer and dryer and a big screen TV.
As always, one of the most magical moments of the night was when Christnacht offered auction-goers a chance to bid on the most important and rewarding live auction item of them all. Attendees were given the opportunity to sponsor a camper for a day or more. The donors held hold up their bidder numbers with one hand and the number of days they wished to sponsor on their fingers on the other hand. Several bidders sponsored more days than they could hold up on one hand. The sponsor-a-camper opportunity lasted no more than a couple of minutes, but quickly raised more than $10,000.
Copper Cannon Camp remains the only completely free summer camp in the state, and has served more than 21,000 New Hampshire youth since its inception in 1963. The camp celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2013 and is kicking off the next 50.