While the “Official Kickoff to Laconia Motorcycle Week” is ride-centric, the reason we ride is also of prime importance. Peter Makris, the patriarch of the legendary NASWA Resort, the Official Hotel of the rally, was well-loved and is now well-remembered in the 17th Annual ride in his honor, The Peter Makris Memorial Run.
The annual Peter Makris Memorial Run has to date raised over $500,000 for Veterans Count and embraces the aspects of life that meant most to Peter—family, friends, The NASWA, and giving back to his Laconia community. As a proud U.S. military veteran, Peter relished the friendship of his fellow U.S. Marine Corps Leathernecks and the group has become an integral part of the event, flying their colors to honor his service and memory.
Known and recognized as a leader of the community and as the warmest smiling face at The NASWA Resort that Peter owned with his wife, Hope, he took every opportunity to enjoy the beauty of his home state, and to give back. If not boating or riding with friends, Peter would be found welcoming visitors from his customary seat at the entrance to the NAZBar & Grill. Having built a career as an attorney after serving in the U.S. Marine Corps, Peter and Hope raised their family in the hospitality business of The NASWA Resort. He was instrumental in providing the Laconia Fire Department’s water rescue team’s first boat and led the rest of the lake business community to join in. He rode until the age of 82, often with Hope and encouraged his daughter, Cynthia, who now heads the resort, to ride as well. Though he passed 16 years ago, everyone who ever met him remembers his beaming smile and warm handshake.
Thanks to the support of the ride, Easter Seals NH “Veterans Count” Program now has a Lakes Region Chapter, with Cynthia Makris, Peter’s daughter, as Vice Chair. The organization supports all U.S. military—active duty, veterans and their families with important personal, financial and family services. Veterans Count has proven a valuable resource to area vets and The Peter Makris Run has donated over $225,000 to this venerable organization.
A staunch supporter of the Laconia Fire Department, Makris led the start of the Fire Department’s Life Saving fund and helped purchase the first Fire Rescue boat. That Life Saving Fund, funded by the Peter Makris Memorial Run for the past 16 years, continues to finance the water rescue unit of the Laconia Fire Department since no state tax dollars were appropriated for this important Lake Winnipesaukee service. Over the years, the charity expanded its support to include the area Community Emergency Response Team (CERT).
Building Dreams for Marines, The Belknap House homeless shelter in Laconia and in 2020 provided 60 boxes of solar Christmas lights for our heroes at the NH Veterans Home in Tilton.
“My family remembers what was dear to our father,” says Cynthia Makris, president of the NASWA Resort, “My 96-year old mother, still active in the operations and events at The NASWA, rode with Peter for years and supports his causes. Our family strives to keep his memory alive by giving to those my father supported—our town, our veterans and those who protect us. This annual run brings his life full circle and allows us to give back to Laconia in my father’s memory,” she adds.
Make a difference by donating to the Laconia Fire Department Life Saving Fund, Water Rescue Teams and Easter Seals NH “Veterans Count” Program. Click here to contribute to their fund!
Would you like to be a sponsor of this event? Contact us today.
For more information, please call us at 603.366.4341
To Donate go to the link below at the bottom.
Saturday, June 10, 2023 from 8:30 AM to 10:00 PM EDT
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The NASWA Resort
1086 Weirs Blvd
Laconia, NH 03246
The National Anthem will be performed by Lynn Santosuosso, US Army, Sergeant First Class, singing our National Anthem. She also rides with her service dog, Colm.
Blues Icon James Montgomery will also perform Amazing Grace and perform with his band at our Rockin’ After Party!