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Laconia Harley Davidson dealer doubles up on raffle prize

MEREDITH — Laconia Harley Davidson&#';s summerlong raffle to benefit the Winnipesaukee Playhouse offered a dazzling grand prize: a 2012 Harley-Davidson Street-Glide motorcycle that carries a price of more than $20,000.

But when the drawing was done on Labor Day weekend, a second entrant had won a Street-Glide by the dealership, thanks to an error by the raffle workers and a decision by the dealership to be fair to both ticket holders.

&#';We wanted to keep the integrity of the raffle intact and show the integrity of the dealership, especially given that we were doing this for such a wonderful cause,&#'; said Ron Houston, general manager of Laconia Harley Davidson, which is located in Meredith.

All 2,500 of the $10 raffle tickets were sold during the raffle campaign, which began during Motorcycle Week in June. After the raffle, the dealership presented a $25,000 donation check to the playhouse to support the expansion of its Meredith campus.

&#';The support we received from Laconia Harley-Davidson was an amazing kick-start to our summer season and a huge asset to our capital campaign,&#'; said Winnipesaukee Playhouse executive director Bryan Halperin, in a release. &#';Construction is already under way on the new theater, and Laconia Harley-Davidson&#';s contribution will not only go a long way in helping us achieve our goals, but also proves there is great support for our new theater campus from the local business community.&#';

Laconia Harley-Davidson&#';s donation will be matched dollar-for-dollar by a local benefactor, resulting in a $50,000 contribution, Houston said.

The error was committed when the first name picked was inadvertently declared the grand prize winner. Contest rules stipulated that the first name selected would win a $100 Laconia Harley gift card, the second name would win a $500 gift card and the third name picked would win the grand prize.

To assure fairness, the first entrant selected, Sarah Tillotson of Richford, Vt., was awarded a motorcycle, as was the third entrant, Adam Wilson of Massena, N.Y. The second-place entrant was awarded the designated $500 gift card.

Houston said the dealership was happy with the raffle, even though it cost the owners a bit more.

&#';Telling a second person that they&#';ve won a Harley — that&#';s a pleasant conversation to have,&#'; he said.

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