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Christopher Thompson's Closing the Deal: There's more than success in your professional life

December 08. 2012 8:35PM

Every year for the past several years, I've had the opportunity to attend a holiday fundraiser for the Make-A-Wish Foundation ( at the Atkinson Country Club in Atkinson. The nonprofit organization grants wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions.

Children and their families work with the organization to make the child's wish come true. Family trips to Disney are a popular wish, but there are many other unique wishes children have that are granted. From swimming pools to meeting celebrities, the foundation helps bring happiness to children and their families during extremely difficult times in their lives. It's an amazing organization that does extremely important work.

Every year, the fundraiser has children present who had been granted a wish. They come to share their stories and also to thank everyone who participates in helping the foundation. Their speeches are inspiring, and this year was no exception. During this year's event, there were three children who shared their stories about their wishes that were granted. One of three speakers was Megan Lyman, the current Miss New Hampshire, who was granted a wish when she was in her teens and battling a rare form of cancer.

She's now using her success as an opportunity to share her story and help raise awareness and support for Make-A-Wish.

These types of events often require a lot of behind-the-scenes work that isn't recognized or noticed. I'd like to shine the light on an individual who is responsible for coordinating the Make-A-Wish holiday gala and so much more.

Thomas Harte is the founder and president of Landmark Benefits, an employee benefits broker providing health, dental, life and disability insurance. In 2004, Landmark was named the state Business of the Year by Business NH Magazine and the New Hampshire Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives.

The prestigious award recognized the professional accomplishments of Tom and Landmark Benefits, but equally as important, it recognized all that Tom and his company do for the community. Landmark is the largest private donor to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of New Hampshire. Tom's tireless efforts have helped many children with life-threatening conditions. Not only has Tom's company supported the foundation, but Tom has personally coordinated the annual holiday gala as well as an annual golf tournament.

When I asked him what draws him to Make-A-Wish over all of the other charities, he said, "Meghan Richardson, Megan Lyman, Faith Hazelton and Jessica Wood - their families, their stories and their sincere appreciation for us helping to make other wishes come true."

Tom does this type of work not for recognition, but simply to help others.

Tom Harte is an entrepreneur who has built a successful business. He's also an individual who recognizes the importance of giving back and has done so selflessly for many years. His charitable work is admirable and inspirational and means so much to so many people. That was obvious when Meghan Richardson sang the song "The Climb" to him in front of hundreds of people at this year's gala.

Keep up the great work, Tom.

Thompson ( writes Closing the Deal weekly for the Sunday News.

Christopher Thompson's Closing The Deal

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