Rural Intelligence: The Online Magazine for Eastern New York, Western Connecticut and the Southern Berkshires
Tuesday, October 06, 2015
Search Archives:
Newsletters Signup
Close it
Get The New App!

Newsletters Signup
Close it

RI Archives: Parties

View all past Party articles.

RI on Facebook    RI on Instagram       

Habitat for Humanity

Classical Tents

Robin Hood Radio

Berkshire Grown

Parties & Openings

Sept. 26 - Hyde Park
Half Moon Theatre Gala

Sept. 25 - Spencertown
Kitchen Tour Preview

Sept. 21 - G. Barrington
Berkshire Grown Supper

Half Moon at CIA: A Gala Spiced With Songs By Sutton Foster

Lisa Green reports from Hyde Park. The gala benefit for the Half Moon Theatre at The Culinary Institute of America radiated nothing but star quality on Saturday, Sept. 26. You had the Hudson Valley-based professional theater company supported by spirited businesses and individuals, the stellar spread of hors d’oeuvres prepared by CIA chefs, and of course the shining performance by the effervescent Sutton Foster, toast of Broadway and now TV. Before Foster came on stage, members of the theater company sang their thanks to primary sponsors in parody lyrics that were as clever — and performed as deftly — as anything you’d see on 42nd Street. After they and Foster wowed the crowd, guests retreated to the dining area of the Marriott Pavilion to dig into the dessert tables, meet the evening’s entertainers and find out who won the silent auction items, one of which was lunch for two with Sarah Jessica Parker (opening bid: $5,000). Above, board members Ann Gifford and Amy Olson, who is also a member of the company. Read RI’s related story on the Half Moon Theatre and CIA subscription series.

Dan Katz, whose wife is executive director of Half Moon Theatre, and Diane Schnoor, public relations assistant; Dad and daughter: Elton Renfroe with Executive Director Molly Renfroe Katz.

Heidi Desiena and Kristin Slifstein enjoy cocktails prior to the show.

Star bright: Sutton Foster at the post-concert reception; Lydia Higginson, deputy director of Dutchess County Tourism and Ron Hicks.

Architect Michael Sloan and Benjamin Krevolin of alumni affairs at Vassar, both of whom are Half Moon board members; Niki Quinn and Robert Levine.

Andrew Stein, Arpine Stein and Dr. Dan Katz.

The delegation from the Poughkeepsie Journal, a major sponsor: Michael Gallo Farrell, Barbara Gallo Farrell, Jeff Reis and Chrstine Hamill; Cyndie Alcius and Andrew Meade, who founded the Vassar Haiti Project.

Claudia DeCapua and Lee Dellamonica of LCS Companies; Ted Wolf, Carole Wolf, executive director of MSL Arts, and Nancy Belok, a board member.

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

Posted by Lisa Green on 09/27/15 at 05:51 PM • Permalink

Amongst ‘Friends’ And Neighbors: Spencertown Kitchen Tour Preview Party

Amy Krzanik reports from Spencertown. If you want something done, do it yourself. If you want something done right, have the Friends of Historic St. Peter’s Church do it. From the setting — the finely decorated home and serene back lawn belonging to Ellsworth Kelly and Jack Shear, to the hors d’oeuvres — a long table filled with delicious and creative offerings made by the Friends themselves, the kickoff party for the Spencertown Kitchen Tour on Friday, Sept. 25 went off without a hitch. The evening’s event, as well as the tour on the following day, benefit the non-sectarian, non-profit organization which uses the funds to rehabilitate and maintain the beloved downtown church. Originally constructed in 1771, the building is now listed on the National and State Registers of Historic Places. Host Jack Shear, above left, was kind enough to lead guests on a tour of his home, where they marveled at art by Ellsworth and others and, naturally, marveled at the modern kitchen. 

Michael Rebic, Jane Magee and Paul Bernstein; Barbara Willner and Nansi Friedman.

Barbara Smith and Edward Wachsberger; kitchen tour committee member Mitzi Lobdell with Denise Dunne and Lynne O’Connell, whose homes were featured on the tour.

Artist Percy Fortini-Wright with Janet McKean and ceramicist Mary Anne Davis; Recent Columbia County transplants Kenny and Linda Kaplan.

Michele Steckler, Betsy Howard and Joanne Murphy; a small sample of the many creative appetizers supplied by the Friends.

The party tent viewed from the home’s back patio.

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

Posted by Amy Krzanik on 09/26/15 at 03:41 PM • Permalink

It’s The Cream Of The Crop For Berkshire Grown’s Harvest Supper

Rachel Louchen reports from Great Barrington. If a farmer is supposed to go to bed early and rise with the sun, no one told the ones that came out in droves on Monday night, September 21 for the annual Berkshire Grown Harvest Supper at Ski Butternut. Of course, if they were to stay up for any event, it would be one by Berkshire Grown, which has supported the local food movement for nearly 20 years, making the organization synonymous with locavore in our region. In addition to networking and advocating for farmers and promoting locally grown food, Berkshire Grown is also famous for its annual Harvest Supper, which brought in 31 diverse food vendors for its 17th year. It was truly the who’s who of Berkshire County cuisine, featuring known and loved establishments like Allium and Martin’s Restaurant, daily standbys Guido’s and Berkshire Co-Op and new kid on the block Eat On North. Locally produced beverages were represented by Big Elm Brewery and Berkshire Mountain Distillers. Above, Berkshire Grown’s executive director Barbara Zheutlin, board president Allison Rachele Bayles, Barbara’s husband, realtor Jonathan Hankin and Hester Velmans, a board member.

Farmer Jan Johnson of Mill River Farm with enthusiastic tasters Wendy Linscott and Enid Michaelman.

Great Barrington residents Miles Weber and Mika Mintz; Six Depot Roastery and Cafe proprietors Flavio Lichtenthal and Lisa Landry kept the java coming.

Robin Ban, owner of Seeds in Great Barrington with Eva Bartschi, visiting from Switzerland; Glenn Geiger, who designed Berkshire Grown’s website, with his wife Nicole Geiger.

Farm Girl Farm(ers) Natanah Rothberg and Hannah Karcheski flank Equinox Farm’s Ted Dobson.

Cafe Adam’s Adam Zieminski (a Berkshire Grown board member) and Colleen Fernback got the jump on autumn by serving chocolate-dipped apples; Lucy and Brian Rollins of Peace Valley Farm in Williamstown.

Maddie Elling of Hosta Hill with Kelly Perkins, the daughter of a farmer; Malcolm and Martha Flick came out to support their neighbor, Barbara Zheutlin, here with violin maker Francis Morris.

Farmer Jessica Camp and Steph Moran of MX Morningstar Farm in Copake.

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

Posted by Rachel Louchen on 09/21/15 at 08:22 PM • Permalink

From Dusk To Dark: OMI Lights Up The Night

Amy Krzanik reports from Ghent. On Saturday evening, September 19, while it was still light out, partygoers milled about outside the barn at Omi International Arts Center, enjoying appetizers that included local cheeses, wood-fired pork belly and sweet and sour kraut. They sipped a fitting autumn cocktail made with Harvest Spirits’ Cornelius Applejack and The Hudson Standard’s shrubs and bitters, and posed with feather boas, plastic dinosaurs and inflatable ice cream cones as Chatham photographer Deirdre Malfatto snapped away. The tapping of fingers on old-fashioned typewriters filled the air as four Writers Omi alumni offered on-the-spot custom poetry to guests. As evening descended, the crowd moved inside to enjoy a locally sourced dinner from The Flammerie, punctuated by a live auction of exciting offerings such as one of William Wegman’s famous Weimaraner photographs, and trips to France and Montreal. Upstairs, dessert and art merged into one in Perilous Plain, where mini sweets hung from an on-site installation. This year’s Light Into Night fundraiser honored Frances Schools [in photo, at right, with Omi Director Ruth Adams] and the memory of her late husband, Henry Schools, for their role in starting the very first Art Omi residency.

Ceramicists Lauren Mundy, Mary Anne Davis and Sara Henry, who is currently an artist-in-residence at Darrow School in New Lebanon, NY; Omi trustee Matthew Doering and Craig Poplar.

Jen Geddes and Bill Geddes; Mark Schmidt, Rachel Oliver and Miriam Phalen.

Sarah Heming, Susan Michie, and Omi board members Isabelle Bosquet-Morra and Terri Gumula; Donald Jones and Emma Murphy.

Carte Blanche dancers with paper crowns (which light up for nighttime performances) meander through the crowd.

Kaya Weidman of Kite’s Nest with the evening’s auctioneer, Deb Baldwin; Writers Omi alum Chris Hosea creates custom poetry for a guest.

Music Omi alumni Helen Yee, Stephanie Griffin, James Brandon Lewis and Michael Evans perform in the silo; Host committee member Peter Coan, Amanda Carmody and Chris Carmody.

Peter Orrantia and Jeanne Hardy, longtime supporters whose children were participating in the Light Into Night kids’ party; Perilous Plain, an interactive dessert installation made by chef Turi Scalora and Art Omi artists residency director Claudia Cannizzaro.

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

Posted by Amy Krzanik on 09/21/15 at 01:16 PM • Permalink

Brotherly Love: The Stanton Home Pig Roast Returns

Amy Krzanik reports from Great Barrington. “The Brothers Are Back” announced advertising for the Stanton Brothers Pig Roast, held this past Sunday, September 13 at Stanton Home. The sold out fundraising dinner proved that the community was more than ready for their return, as guests flocked to the farm for grilled pork, chicken and vegetables, provided by Sean Stanton and North Plain Farm, and prepared on site by Jeremy Stanton and Fire Roasted Catering. The crowd enjoyed music by The Lucky 5, a consistent crowd pleaser, as they bid on silent auction items from local shops, restaurants and cultural attractions. Proceeds benefit the aforementioned Stanton Home, a working farm established in 1986 by Andrea and Nick Stanton [shown above], as a residential program for people with disabilities. Now run by their son, Peter, the site offers daily therapeutic and skill-building activities through participation in its weavery (where residents create scarves, baby bibs, blankets and other items) and its garden and greenhouse (where they grow flowers, vegetables and herbs for use and sale). Residents also participate in day programs at organizations throughout the Berkshires such as Blue Rider Stables, The Guthrie Center, Berkshire South Regional Community Center and The Kilpatrick Athletic Center at Simon’s Rock.

Sean Stanton of North Plain Farm and daughter Lola; Stanton Home’s executive director Peter Stanton and its director of development Molly Boxer.

Victoria Dinardo and Kelly Vickery model Dinardo’s hats, one of which was in the silent auction, with Anne Fredericks; Stanton Home board members Maggie Strohmier and Rob Hayden.

Jeremy Stanton, of Fire Roasted Catering, carves the pig.

Nancy and Rick Richardson with Eileen Rominger and Elizabeth Hamilton; Natalia Bystrianyk, Stanton Home’s office coordinator, with Pam Macy-Williamson, the site’s case manager.

The site’s interns and residents pose for a photo outside the tent.

Matt Ragan, Pip Deely and Marc Fasteau; board members Spring Burke and Maggie Strohmier with Molly Boxer.

Volunteers Chieko Maruyma and Lea Kaemper; guests mingle, dine and bid on silent auction items.

Not just a pig roast—chickens were also cooked with a roaring fire.

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

Posted by Amy Krzanik on 09/14/15 at 01:28 PM • Permalink

Aloha, Herman Melville

Rachel Louchen reports from Pittsfield. A little rain (okay, a lot) couldn’t keep a good luau down on Saturday, September 12 at the Berkshire Historical Society at Herman Melville’s Arrowhead. A major fundraiser for Arrowhead, the party’s theme was inspired by Melville’s time in the South Pacific, and included a pig roast, live music and Hawaiian leis. As the rain came down, the activities were transferred indoors to the big barn behind the main house, and a close-knit group of longtime supporters, historians and even a Melville relative enjoyed a delicious authentic spread accompanied by the music from locals Chris and Woody. At left, event coordinator and director of communications and community relations Peter Bergman with Sudy Belle.

Louise Cianflone with her husband, Arrowhead board member Ralph Cianflone and their friends Dixie Passardi and Floyd Passardi.

Berkshire Historical Society board president Charles Flint, Arrowhead tour guide Richard Matturro and artist Mary Trevor Thomas; Arrowhead bookkeeper Diane Cote and farm manager Kristen Laney.

Arrowhead member Robert Bruyr with Marilyn Manning, who has been a volunteer for 30 years; Herman Melville’s great-great-great-granddaughter Elizabeth Doss visited from Austin with friend Bridget Mounton.

Arrowhead executive director Will Garrison, Tom Whalen and Cheryl Whalen, director of the Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP), which organizes volunteers for Arrowhead.

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

Posted by Rachel Louchen on 09/12/15 at 10:39 PM • Permalink

Celebrate the Berkshires: A Testament To Innovation

Lisa Green reports from Dalton. Curious to explore the in-progress Stationery Factory and eager to be representative boosters for the Berkshires economy, more than 250 people gathered for the 5th annual Berkshire Trendsetter Awards Ceremony on Thursday, September 10. Presented by 1Berkshire, the event honored seven individuals and businesses with Berkshire Trendsetter Awards to showcase their achievements and ongoing commitment to strengthen the Berkshire economy. Prior to the presentation, guests enjoyed drinks and hors d’oeuvres provided by Dalton purveyors. Closing out the evening, Hotel on North was honored with the Putting the Berkshires On the Map designation for the substantial contribution it is making to the overall image of the Berkshires. Above, hotel owners David and Laurie Tierney accept the award from Ruth Blodgett of Berkshire Health Systems — the 2014 honoree — and Don Dubendorf, 1Berkshire Chair. Photo by Christopher Duggan.

David Irwin of Adelson & Co. and Hilary Greene of the Berkshire Immigrant Center, a finalist for the Non-Profit Impact award; Diana McCarthy-Bercury from Eversource Energy and Kristina Turner from Side by Side Assistance.

From the Progressive Palette, a finalist for Newcomer of the Year, Sarah Holland, Kayley Giorgini and Kira Guidon.

This trio at one time worked together: Paul Gavrity from Berkshire County Arc, Rich Weisenflue from Berkshire Family & Individual Resources (BFAIR), and Laura Baran from Berkshire County Kids Place; Mig Girard and Nathan Girard, a finalist for the Entrpreneur/Visionary of the Year for restoring a former church hall to create the Adams Ale House.

Anne Stout from Toole Insurance with 1Berkshire board members Linda Gaspardi-Febles from Coakley, Pierpan, Dolan & Collins Insurance and MountainOne’s Eva Sheridan; A force from BFAIR.

Ajayi Jackson, Ty Allan Jackson, a finalist for Entrepreneur/Visionary of the Year for his literacy-promoting Big Head Books, with Alice Trumball and Danielle Trumball, finalists for the Non-Profit Impact award for Moments House.

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

Posted by Lisa Green on 09/11/15 at 11:09 AM • Permalink

The Businessman Wore A Bow Tie

Rachel Louchen reports from Stockbridge. The who’s who of Berkshire County business people came out in droves to support one of their own on Wednesday, September 9 at Chesterwood. George T. Smith, founder and partner of Smith, Watson & Company, was named 2015 Business Person of the Year by the Southern Berkshire Chamber of Commerce at its annual cocktail party and award ceremony. Besides founding the accounting and advisory firm in 1973, Smith is well known in the community for his support of numerous local non-profits and organizations such as The Literacy Network of South Berkshire, Fairview Hospital, the MCLA Foundation and the Southern Berkshire Volunteer Ambulance Squad. He is possibly even better known for his affinity for bow ties, which guests wore in his honor. Above, Chamber board president Scott Rote, Chamber board vice president Pat Seward and man of the hour, George T. Smith.

Southern Berkshire Chamber executive director Betsy Andrus with Sophia Romèu, the business development manager at Berkshire International Film Festival; Rosina Rand of Evergreen Philanthropy with George Smith’s daughter-in-law Jennifer Smith.

Pravin Mahida, who runs the Great Barrington Days Inn, with David Carpenter of Mahida Hospitality, LLC and Mike Stoddard, senior vice president and CFO of Greylock Federal Credit Union; Jiminy Peak’s Brian Fairbank, Christie Moran and CEO Tyler Fairbank.

Pat Seward, Chamber board member, with Community Access To The Arts development and marketing director Liana Toscanini and Jessie Schoonmaker, senior vice president of retail banking at Lee Bank.

Chamber board president Scott Rote of Wheeler & Taylor Insurance, his wife Angel Rote and Rick Cantele, president and CEO of Salisbury Bank and Trust Company; Barnbrook Realty owner Mary White and Fran Premerlani, mortgage origination officer at Pittsfield Cooperative Bank.

Smith, Watson & Company accountant Ariana Hyland, business development manager at United Personnel Meghann Crandall and Bethany R. Perry of Berkshire Bank; Fred Harder and Gary Peck, both representing Catamount Ski Area.

George Smith with his photogenic family, including children and grandchildren, in their bow ties.

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

Posted by Rachel Louchen on 09/10/15 at 03:10 PM • Permalink