By Pat Olivier
NOANK–Groton Open Space Association held its annual celebration of Southeastern Connecticut’s open spaces on Thursday evening, April 14, 2011, at The Fisherman Restaurant in Noank. The facility was donated at cost for the event by owner John Williams, with $30 of the proceeds from each ticket going to GOSA. This year’s event sold out early, and the restaurant was filled with 160 friends and neighbors.
One guest remarked, “This has become the spring event of the year!” Another said, “I really like that this is a party and not a meeting!”
[Click pictures to enlarge.]
The yearly gala is organized by a committee from a cross-section of the members. They worked to make the evening one of music and fun for members and potential new members. The evening again was emceed by Frank Bohlen, a UConn professor and old friend of GOSA, with music provided by Kent Hewitt, popular local pianist. An artistic slide show of photographs showing current open space areas was designed and run by Rusty Warner, GOSA’s graphics specialist, allowing guests to see not only these beautiful areas throughout the seasons but their flora and fauna as well! Throughout the room were also visual depictions of the work GOSA has done through the year, including new information and photographs from the Sheep Farm and The Merritt Family Forest.
This year saw the largest Silent Auction yet, with over 110 items donated for the evening! The auction featured local-area businesses, authors, artists, jewelry designers, restaurants, salons, wines and memberships to community organizations. In addition, there were day sails, flying lessons, golf packages and train rides. Over 50% of the individual guests bid on items, and most of those were winners who walked home with some amazing merchandise. Several items were so popular that guests overbid their value in hotly contested bidding wars amongst friends! Small groups even formed to share bidding power on group activities up for bid.
Plan early to join us next year as It Gets Better Every Year!
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Pat Olivier chaired the Celebration Committee