Sunday, July 3, 2011

Flowers to Power the Parks



Flowers to Power the Parks
Luncheon at Hillsdale Firehouse Huge Success

  Just recently, a luncheon to benefit the Roeliff Jansen Park and the Hillsdale Hamlet Park was held at the Hillsdale Firehouse, and they out-did themselves.  The place was packed, the delicious luncheon sold out. An amazing and all-encompassing silent auction surpassed even last year's participation,  with over 50 local businesses and individuals donating a great variety of items and services. Everyone had a wonderful time supporting a wonderful cause. 
  Proceeds from the Flowers to Power the Parks Luncheon will go toward a fitness area at Roeliff Jansen Park and playground equipment for a toddler area at the Hamlet Park. The Planning Committee for the luncheon are thrilled that this event was successful enough that these two areas will soon be a reality. 
  Opening remarks by Committee Chair Patti Rohrlich welcomed guests to the “Hillsdale Botanical Gardens,” thanking Kevin Draves and Ken Davis of Passiflora especially for their simply magnificent job of transforming the Hillsdale Firehouse into a perfect setting for the luncheon.  Passiflora's expertise was evident throughout, from the individual floral table decorations to standing trees and vegetation to vines and trellises indoors and out.  If you had arrived blindfolded, you would NEVER have guessed you were in a firehouse!!  They also thanked North Mountain Nursery and Farm Market and Markristo Farm.  The entire set-up was magnificently done, elaborate without being complicated, and accommodating the comfortable flow of speakers, silent auction people, food service people, and happy guests.  
   A perfect guest speaker for the event was author Margaret Roach, who spoke on how to grow a non-stop garden for 365 days and also autographed her book, “And I Shall Have Some Peace There:  Trading in the Fast Lane for My Own Dirt Road” and graciously answered questions on related topics.  Naturally, she had her perfect audience, with all those parks and gardens supporters in attendance.  Art Baer, Town of Hillsdale Supervisor, was also on hand and part of the festivities.
  The buffet luncheon stretched the entire back length of the wall and included superb offerings from The Red Barn Prepared Food & Caterers, Domaney's Liquors & Fine Wines, Don Sebastiani & Sons, Verdigris Art & Tea, and also support from IGA Hillsdale, First Niagara Bank, Guido's,  Price Chopper and Big Y. The luncheon really should have been one of those three-day ancient festivals, because there is not enough time in just three hours to sample each of those delicious foods.
  The Silent Auction had people fighting over the donations and there were even more chances for things than the already-over-fifty generous donors, vendors and stores listed on the program. Space does not permit individual thanks to all, but if space materializes, they will be noted. Suffice it to say that everyone is grateful to those who helped achieve the setting up of these additional specific areas in the parks.  ALL residents are thankful for that!
         Flowers to Power the Parks Luncheon Committee members included Leslye Alexander (who did a terrific job keeping track of the silent auction), Peter Cipkowski, Lynne Colclough, Natalie Kahan, Maj Kalfus, Joyce Lapenn, Ellen Levy, Patti Rohrlich, Gillian Sims-Elster, Janis Smythe, Caroline Stewart, Amelia Sydlosky, Howard Van Lenten, Robina Ward and Meg Wormley. Many were also observed working behind the scenes.   All those spoken to modestly suggested that someone other than themselves was responsible for the events going so well, but they should ALL be commended as it seemed flawless.

CAPTION FOR PICTURE: (from left): Leslye Alexander, Patti Rohrlich, Ken Davis, Margaret Roach, Kevin Draves, Joyce Lapenn, Howard Danelowitz.

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