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Santa Fund kickoff, Nov. 16, 2012The kickoff luncheon for t
he Union Leader Santa Fund for the Salvation Army got off to a spirited start Friday. The Santa Fund has raised nearly $6.8 million since it began in 1959.

With the recent announcement that Hostess Company would be closing down, Master of Ceremonies and Radio Host Mike Morin auctions off a box of Twinkies, won by Mayor Ted Gatsas, Friday afternoon at the Union Leader Salvation Army Santa Fund Kickoff Luncheon at the Radisson. (JOSH GIBNEY/UNION LEADER)
Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas sells one of the Twinkies from the box he bought at auction at Friday's kickoff luncheon for the Union Leader Santa Fund for the Salvation Army.  (JOSH GIBNEY/UNION LEADER)
Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas and Gov. John Lynch jokingly wrestle over a Twinkie at Friday’s Union Leader Salvation Army Santa Fund Kickoff Luncheon. Gatsas, the winning bidder on the box of Twinkies auctioned by master of ceremonies Mike Morin, then sold off the individual snacks for $100 each for the Santa Fund.  (JOSH GIBNEY/UNION LEADER)
Marie Colby, left, and Mary Steele, both of Bedford, attend the Union Leader Salvation Army Santa Fund Kickoff Luncheon Friday afternoon at the Radisson. (JOSH GIBNEY/UNION LEADER)
Dylan Cruess, left, of TFM, and Bernie McLaughlin, of Members First Credit Union, attend the Union Leader Salvation Army Santa Fund Kickoff Luncheon Friday afternoon at the Radisson. (JOSH GIBNEY/UNION LEADER)
Patrick Tufts, left, of the United Way, and Dominique Rust, of New Hampshire Catholic Churches, attend the Union Leader Salvation Army Santa Fund Kickoff Luncheon Friday afternoon at the Radisson. (JOSH GIBNEY/UNION LEADER)
Donna Hebert, left, and Beth Braverman, both of Merchants, attend the Union Leader Salvation Army Santa Fund Kickoff Luncheon Friday afternoon at the Radisson. (JOSH GIBNEY/UNION LEADER)
Pauline Juneau, of Members First Credit Union, and Steve White, of the Salvation Army Advisory Board, attend the Union Leader Salvation Army Santa Fund Kickoff Luncheon Friday afternoon at the Radisson. (JOSH GIBNEY/UNION LEADER)
Attendees browse over and bid on silent auction items Friday afternoon at the Union Leader Salvation Army Santa Fund Kickoff Luncheon at the Radisson.< (JOSH GIBNEY/UNION LEADER)
Gov. John Lynch speaks Friday afternoon at the Union Leader Salvation Army Santa Fund Kickoff Luncheon at the Radisson. (JOSH GIBNEY/UNION LEADER)