Magical Night of Giving: Family Fun Night and the Holiday Star Tree Leave Lasting Impressions

Finn makes his way to the wrapping station with shopping elves in tow to wrap his hand-selected gifts.

A wave of holiday spirit swept through Laconia as the annual Family Fun Night unfolded at the Lakes Region Community Services Family Resource Center (LRCS FRC). This year’s event marked a record-breaking turnout, with 215 children and 186 adults, an impressive 42% increase from the previous year. For the LRCS FRC, Family Fun Night is more than an event; it’s a cherished holiday tradition that brings the community together for an evening of joy and generosity.

Children of all ages eagerly entered LRCS, each paired with a shopping elf to guide them through the experience. The gift room, stocked with presents donated by the community, became a magical space where children could select gifts for their family members from tables with an array of choices. Accompanied by their shopping elves, the children then headed to the wrapping stations, where tagging elves assisted them in wrapping their carefully chosen gifts. Adding to the festivities were holiday music, photos with Santa, and a warm dinner from Fratello’s Italian Grille in Laconia.

Erin Pettengill, Vice President of the Family Resource Center and Family Support, shared her thoughts on the event, saying, “Family Fun Night is a magical way to create lasting holiday memories for children and families in our community. The generosity of our donors and volunteers makes this event truly special.”

Volunteers, ranging from LRCS employees to community members from various local businesses, came together to make the event unforgettable for the children. A special acknowledgment goes to Dan Pare from Nashua, who played the role of Santa, spreading joy and holiday cheer.

Gifts donated to the Holiday Star Tree ranged from clothing items to Legos, with ServiceMaster Disaster Associates, Inc. providing cozy pajama sets to every child on the tree. Wood and Clay, Inc., Pike Industries, Meredith Village Savings Bank, and many generous community members contributed loads of toys to make Family Fun Night and the Holiday Star Tree impactful for hundreds of children this holiday season.