Laconia Harley Supports N.H. Theatre


Motorcycle raffle will raise funds for The Winnipesaukee Playhouse in Meredith, N.H.

When you think of Laconia Bike Week and Harley-Davidson, William Shakespeare and Don Quixote don’t usually come to mind.

But that changed today as Laconia Harley-Davidson announced a summer-long effort to raise $25,000 to support theatre arts in New Hampshire and the Winnipesaukee Playhouse.

Representatives from Laconia Harley-Davidson were joined by Lakes Region Harley owners, New Hampshire Commissioner for Cultural Resources Van McLeod, supporters of The Winnipesaukee Playhouse and actors portraying William Shakespeare and Don Quixote as Laconia Harley-Davidson announced the donation of a 2012 Harley-Davidson Street Glide motorcycle that will be raffled off to support the expansion of The Winnipesaukee Playhouse’s Meredith campus.

During Laconia Bike Week and throughout the summer, 2,500 tickets will be sold for $10 each and 100% of the proceeds will benefit the Winnipesaukee Playhouse’s renovation efforts.

Christopher Boothby (Winni Playhouse Board Chair) says: “The Winnipesaukee Playhouse greatly appreciates the generosity of Laconia Harley-Davidson in making this gift to our Capital Campaign.

“Not only will it raise $25,000 towards the construction of our Mainstage Theatre, but the amount will be matched by our ongoing $1 million matching challenge. We hope Laconia Harley-Davidson’s gift will inspire other community businesses and individuals to get involved with the Playhouse and help make our Meredith Campus the number one destination for performing arts and arts education in the Lakes Region year-round.”

The Winnipesaukee Playhouse is a nonprofit organization that develops and stages professional and community-based theatrical productions and provides opportunities in theatre and the performing arts for the community.

The Playhouse currently performs in an intimate Off-Broadway style theatre in a renovated store front in Laconia. The performance space has been praised by patrons for making them feel a part of the play, however with only 84 seats and an increasing demand for tickets and programming, the physical capacity of the space has prompted the organization to find ways to expand.

The Playhouse is in the midst of a three-phased plan to create a state-of-the-art theatre campus in Meredith that will provide artistic and educational opportunities for the community and expand programming that will serve Lakes Region residents, businesses and visitors.

Van McLeod, Commissioner of NH Department of Cultural Resources) says: “With non-profits facing serious fundraising challenges, it’s partnerships like this that are critical to ensuring that New Hampshire’s arts and cultural community remains strong.

“I applaud Laconia Harley-Davidson for seeing the value of supporting The Winnipesaukee Playhouse and encourage other New Hampshire businesses to identify and support cultural gems that help make their communities vibrant.”

Over the past three years Laconia Harley-Davidson has raised nearly $100,000 in support of New Hampshire nonprofits including the Loon Preservation Society and the New Hampshire Food Bank.

John Lynch (New Hampshire Governor) says: “Since Anne and her husband Steve purchased Laconia Harley-Davidson they have been strong supporters of New Hampshire’s tradition of Bike Week, and strong contributors to their community. This campaign to raise funds for The Winnipesaukee Playhouse again demonstrates the Delis’ and Laconia Harley-Davidson’s commitment to our people and our state. We are again looking forward to a great Bike Week and this is an excellent way to kick off a wonderful New Hampshire tradition.”

The Playhouse was founded in 2004 with the vision of bringing quality arts and arts education to The Lakes Region. The theatre has become a cultural gem in the area winning both critical acclaim and becoming an important outlet for the performing arts in central New Hampshire.

Anne Deli (Owner, Laconia Harley-Davidson) says: “The Winnipesaukee Playhouse is a unique regional asset, providing year-round value to the entire community – educating children, preserving cultural heritage and strengthening the local economy.

“We believe it is important to support nonprofits, especially those who are as driven as the Winnipesaukee Playhouse and we hope this donation enables the Playhouse to take one step closer to completing their campus renovations.”

In 2007, The Winnipesaukee Playhouse assumed ownership of the former Annalee Doll Complex on Reservoir Road in Meredith. Phase one of the campus renovations included the installation of municipal water, sewer, roadways, lighting, parking, staff accommodations and an outdoor amphitheater, which has been completed. Phase two includes the construction of a new performance theater, which will double the Playhouse’s seating capacity and enable them to better serve the community with year-round professional and community theater, cultural performances, youth programs, workshops and camps. The new facility will also allow the Playhouse to partner with other non-profit organizations and businesses.

Today’s event also helped kick-off 2012 Laconia Bike Week, the nation’s original motorcycle rally. Hundreds of thousands of riders from across the country and Canada are expected to attend the nine day rally. Anne Deli presented official Laconia Harley-Davidson Laconia Bike Week T-shirts to Governor Lynch and Commissioner McLeod to commemorate the start of Bike Week.

The public can support the Winnipesaukee Playhouse and purchase a raffle ticket for a chance to win a 2012 Harley-Davidson® Street-Glide® by visiting Tickets will also be on sale at the Winnipesaukee Playhouse in Laconia, Innisfree Bookshop at the Mill Falls Marketplace in Meredith, and Laconia Harley-Davidson in Meredith.