Women’s Community Club of Grafton thank community for successful gala

GRAFTON, Vt. – The WCC wishes to thank everyone who supported the Scholarship Fund by attending the Centennial Gala at the Rueggers Barn Aug. 18, 2018. The WCC is pleased to report that after all expenses were paid, this fundraising effort added over $45,000 to the WCC Scholarship Fund.

This total consists of generous sponsorships, business ads purchased for the program booklet, silent and live auction proceeds, a Conrad Delia chair raffle, and a raise-the-paddle for the Scholarship Fund, and was the result of many hours of effort by many members of our organization.

The idea began last year with recognition of our upcoming centennial year and a generous anonymous donation of a string quartet performance by musicians from the Grammy-nominated A Far Cry Chamber Orchestra. By February, the Steering Committee, under the direction of Liisa Kissel and including Kim Bank, Joanne Boswell, Maryanne Donald, Andrea Dunmire, Maureen Fletcher, Noralee Hall, Kate Lunde, June Lupiani, Pat Mack, and Judy Rowley, began the planning and execution of a gala which encompassed a silent auction, live auction, and concert.

Joanne Boswell and Judy Rowley accepted the challenge of raising sponsorship funds. Together, with their small sub-committee, they raised over $25,000. In addition, they raised almost $700 in program advertisements.

The auction committee, under the leadership of Andrea Dunmire, was given the task of finding arts and crafts themed items for the silent and live auctions. Thanks to Facebook postings by Kate Lunde, our members and the public were able to view the items ahead of time. The committee members did a fabulous job, and their efforts raised almost $18,000. Added to that was the $1,050 raised by the decision to raffle the Conrad Delia chair.

A Save the Date postcard was sent as well. Thank you Edward and Kim Bank for their time and invaluable skills. They were also responsible for the design and execution of the Gala Program booklet. A new Centennial logo was designed by Andrea Dunmire, which was used throughout, including on our Centennial tote bags.

While the primary goal of the event was to raise funds for the Scholarship Fund, we also wanted an evening to enjoy and celebrate the rich history of the WCC. The venue was gorgeous thanks to the efforts of Pat Mack and Noralee Hall and their committee. Fresh flowers were in abundance, and the committee cleverly placed some enlarged photos of past WCC members around the barn. The food and beverages, provided at cost by MKT, were delicious and beautifully presented. Thank you to June Lupiani and her crew for all their hard work. The two young men who helped serve the food may one day be WCC scholarship recipients and certainly will have a clearer understanding of how hard the WCC works to make those funds available.

The evening’s program was the highlight for all. It began when President Maureen Fletcher welcomed the guests, then continued with Club Historian Judy Rowley’s overview that illustrated the impact of the WCC on the community over the last one hundred years. Rep. Carolyn Partridge presented a proclamation from the State to the WCC.

The most impactful award of the night went to past scholarship recipient Billy Culver who spoke about the importance of the scholarship money to him. John Turner and Frances Alford then entertained and ran a highly successful live auction and raise-the-paddle in support of the Scholarship Fund.

Throughout the evening, the audience enjoyed a video loop put together by Edward Bank showing former scholarship recipients and glimpses from WCC events. The evening concluded with a string quartet performance by musicians from A Far Cry Chamber Orchestra.

Maryanne Donald kept us on track throughout the process with her very detailed Steering Committee minutes and, with the help of the WCC Treasurers, kept track of the finances throughout the process.

We are deeply indebted to the generous Centennial sponsors: Windham Foundation, Joanne and Rick Boswell, Tania and Tom Evans, Mary Wheeler and Tom Grape, Jean and Bob Baldwin, Rebecca and Mark Hefter, Liisa Kissel, Judy and Phil Rowley, Suzanne Welch and Bill Watson, Janet and Alan Yuspeh, Frances Alford, Rosemary Guiltinan, Karen Knight and Tim Massucco, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, Terry and Joe Pollio, Susan and Tom Senatori, Herb Williams, and Bobbie and Chuck Woodman.

Many thanks to the businesses who supported the Scholarship Fund: Barrett & Valley Associates, Cota & Cota, Gallery North Star, Grace Cottage Family Health & Hospital, Grafton Village Garage, Green Mountain Pet Sitting, Hunter Gallery of Fine Art, Ivor Stevens Grounds Maintenance, Jud Hartmann Gallery, MJS Landscape, MKT: Grafton, Riverledge Farm, Solar Strategies, SO Vermont Arts & Living, and Spencer’s Place.

Invaluable in-kind and other special services were provided by Becky and Pete Ruegger, A Far Cry Chamber Orchestra, Frances Alford and John Turner, Edward Bank, Lynn Barrett and Primetime Concepts, Michele Burgess, Billy Culver, John Evans and Green Mountain Tents, FACT-TV, Grafton Historical Society, John Gregory, MKT: Grafton, Rep. Carolyn Partridge, and the Windham Foundation.

The generous donors to our auction are Clare Adams, Eric Aho, Frances Alford, Aaron Anderson, Kim and Edward Bank, Nathan Bennett, Brattleboro Museum and Art Center, Michele Burgess, Dottie Cannon, Clark Art Institute, Lucia Corwin, Conrad Delia, Robert DuGrenier, Framery of Vermont, Sue Hadden, Jud Hartmann, Charlie Hunter, Liisa Kissel, Joan Lake, Meredith Libbey, Mass MoCA, Mercantile and Dover House Antiques, Cindy Newman, Shelburne Museum, Terrigenous LLC, Anna Vesely and Ron Pilette.

While the hardworking Steering Committee planned and executed the Gala, we couldn’t have done it without the sub-committee members and volunteers including Frances Alford, Edward Bank, Sam Battaglino, Lynne Buehler, Becky Clark, Mary Beth Culver, Bob Donald, Keith Hermiz, Brian Humes, Cori Humes, Bill Kearns, Mary Ann Kearns, Joan Lake, Rachel Laliberte, Stan Mack, Claire Martell, Chappy Matt, Margo Matt, Eni Moseley, Christine Tattersall, Campion Tillbrook, Mary Tincher, Nina Tullett, John Turner, Bill Watson, Suzanne Welch, and Bobbie Woodman.

The Scholarship Fund is greatly strengthened through the combined efforts of so many. And now on to the next 100 years!

Written by Maureen Fletcher, WCC President, and Liisa Kissel, WCC Centennial Chair.

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