When a person walks into Wilton Library, they may feel the awe and excitement of all the wonderful things that can be explored. It is just that excitement that organizers are hoping guests will feel when they “Experience the Wonder” of the library’s Spring Benefit on Saturday, April 1, from 7-11 p.m. at Silver Spring Country Club in Ridgefield.
This year’s benefit is a combination of wonder and excitement from the moment that people walk into the enchantment created by Wilton resident and committee volunteer Betsy Huffman. The delicious food, music by Wilton’s own Bob Riccio, an engaging silent auction and what promises to be an enticing live auction all add up to what will be a delightful evening.
This year’s benefit also honors The Village Market, which has supported the library in countless ways over many years. The library recognizes Peter Keating, Tim Dolnier, Mike Pacheco and Nancy Dolnier for their loyal support—from the capital campaign that helped fund the library’s expansion to the continuous backing of the Summer Music & More Concert Series, which will enjoy its 17th year this summer.
“When we put our heads together to determine who should be the honored guests this year, The Village Market—with Peter, Tim, Mike and Nancy—came up as the immediate and definitive answer,” says Elaine Tai-Lauria, Wilton Library’s executive director.
This year’s gala co-chairs, Michele Ferguson Nichols and Kristin Johnson, have taken the helm with gusto. “We are delighted to be a part of Wilton Library’s benefit. This is a wonderful treasure we have right in the heart of the center and we are proud to be leading the fundraising efforts,” says Nichols.
Johnson agrees, noting that the library has always been her family’s ‘go-to place,’ especially with kids. “It is near and dear to my heart, so I’m thrilled to be creating a wonderful evening where we can celebrate the library, and of course, honor another essential institution in this town, The Village Market.”
Some of the fun ways in which guests will be able to help support the library at the event is through its silent and live auctions. This year’s silent auction temptations include a romantic retreat in one of Newport’s grandest landmark hotels; a private wine tasting class for 20; a Heather Priest dining experience; and for the sports enthusiast, box seats to a Giants football game, and a selection of Yankees tickets. The live auction promises to be an animated affair with bidders vying for a Behind the Scenes experience at the Today Show, two tickets to the Yankees/Red Sox rivalry including overnight accommodations at the Commonwealth Hotel, reserved seats at a Samuel Adams Brewery tasting and an autographed baseball by Botox pitcher Steven Wright; plus two, one-week vacations at private homes in Vermont and Cape Cod and a Ritz Carlton stay in Key Biscayne, Florida. There also will be a drawing for JetBlue tickets and an enticing wine pull.
Robin Axness, the library’s development director, acknowledged this is a tight budget year and underscored the need to raise funds, “This is an important night for the library in terms of what we are able to fundraise so that we can maintain the level of services, materials and programming our community has come to expect and deserves.”
The evening is made possible from the generous support of the Amadeo Family. The following sponsors also have contributed to making this evening a success: Presenting Sponsors—the Davatzes Family, Fairfield County Bank, and Lynne and Paul Vanderslice; Platinum Sponsor—Michael Kaelin, Cummings & Lockwood LLC; Gold Sponsors—Gregory and Adams, P.C., General Electric Company, and Orem’s Diner; the media sponsor is Wilton Magazine. Photography is being provided courtesy of Peggy Garbus.
Tickets for the evening begin at $200 per person with opportunities for preferred seating and reserved tables. People may visit the library’s website to purchase tickets or call 203.762.6321. Guests are asked to RSVP by March 23. Cocktail attire is suggested. The Silver Spring Country Club is located at 439 Silver Spring Rd. in Ridgefield.
Wilton Library is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that relies on the generous support from the community for 100% of its materials, programs and services.
Pictured above: Spring Benefit Committee members. Back row (l-r): Suzi Eckert, Elizabeth Walsh, Tamara Kalin, Lianne Acosta-Rua; front row (l-r): Carrie Preisano, Kathryn Groves, Michele Ferguson Nichols (co chair), Kristin Johnson (co-chair), Betsy Huffman, Michele Klink and Kathy Dhanda. Not present: Gary Battaglia, Callie Mellana, Saras Nair, MD, Pam Nobumoto, Teresa Waldron and Tami Weigold.