Rural Intelligence: The Online Magazine for Eastern New York, Western Connecticut and the Southern Berkshires
Friday, October 31, 2014
Search Archives:
Newsletters Signup
Close it

Newsletters Signup
Close it

RI Archives: Parties

View all past Party articles.

Classical Tents

Robin Hood Radio

Benchmark Real Estate

Hudson Opera House

Hudson LIbrary

Mary Mullane

Dr Jay Wise


Parties & Openings

October 25 - Stockbridge
Literacy Network Gala

October 24 - Pittsfield
BCC's Orchid & Tropical Show

October 18 - G. Barrington
Berkshire South Gala

The Annual LitNet Gala Helps Support Literacy In The Community

Rachel Louchen reports from Stockbridge. The annual fundraising gala for The Literacy Network of South Berkshire (LitNet) always brings out a big crowd, fantastic silent auction prizes and a worthy honoree whose contributions to education go hand-in-hand with the community-based organization. Held at Berkshire Country Day School on Saturday, October 25, this year’s event honored Eleanore Velez, admissions counselor and coordinator of the Multicultural Center at Berkshire Community College. Prior to the sit-down dinner, guests enjoyed the cocktail hour underneath a large white tent set on the lawn of the school and had a chance to bid on the aforementioned silent auction, which offers increasingly wonderful prizes each year. This year’s offerings included week-long getaways to Mexico and Colorado with Berkshire-centric gift certificate to local shops and restaurants. Proceeds from the event help provide funding to LitNet’s one-on-one tutoring program, which is available to any Southern Berkshire resident over the age of 16 not currently enrolled in school. Above, Tutor Coordinator Mary Spina and Executive Assistant Shelley Wojtkowski.

Melissa Bissell, John Bissell, executive vice president of Greylock Federal Credit Union, Betty Prashker and her daughter, LitNet Board President Lucy Prashker.

Carmen Dockery Perkins, associate head of school at Berkshire Country Day with Elise Abrams; Cori Salvini and Mike Fazio .

Project Lit team leader Allison Curtain with Jim Hoffman; Larry Hazzard and Dennis Pollack, who donated his home repair services to the auction.

Carol Diamond and Herb Diamond with LitNet board member Lois Lenett.

Marty Gottron Felton and board member John Felton; Board member Cris Raymond and Jane Iredale.

LitNet board member and auction chair Sue Weintraub with Adrienne Miesmer; Liz Goodman, pastor of the Monterey Church, with Stephanie Iverson.

Bobbie Hallig, Sue Dunlaevy and LitNet treasurer Bill Dunlaevy.

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

Posted by Rachel Louchen on 10/26/14 at 06:46 PM • Permalink

The BCC Foundation’s Orchid Show Brings A Bit Of The Tropics To Pittsfield

Amy Krzanik reports from Pittsfield. The wind may have been whipping the autumn leaves into a wet frenzy outside, but inside Berkshire Community College’s Paterson Field House, the mood was warm and welcoming on Friday night, October 24. Supporters mingled at a preview party kicking off the annual Berkshire Orchid and Tropical Show. Guests enjoyed hors d’oeuvres from Ye Olde Forge Restaurant, treats from Chocolate Springs Café, and libations provided by Kelly’s Package Store as relaxing waterfall sounds played over the PA system. A short live auction and a competitive silent auction raised funds for the BCC Foundation as bidders attempted to win gift certificates from Catamount and Jiminy Peak ski resorts, services from Kripalu and The Clip Shop, wine from Balderdash Cellars and other sought-after items. Proceeds from the evening benefit the Foundation, which, among other duties, provides more than 150 scholarships to students in need. Above, Craig Smith, vice president for institutional advancement, with BCC President Ellen Kennedy and auctioneer John Economou.

BCC alums Jeff Bradway and Marcella Bradway, who also is a trustee, with Caroline Kacensky and Rosie Keefe, whose children attended the college; Linda and Ronald Giancola of Lee.

Torey Winn and Michael Hoffman; Michael and Marianne Miceli of Fairfield, CT with Linda and Joe Cancilla.

Julie Hannum, BCC’s director of off-campus centers, with trustees Ellen Whittaker and Susan Lombard; Abby Wood from Berkshire Magazine, which was a sponsor of the event, with Jon Meczywor.

Linda Giancola, Janie Pellish, Mary Spina and Virginia Smith.

Ronald Carver and Chelsi Morrison-Rohlfs; John Gobel and trustee Keye Hollister of Gobel & Hollister, with trustee Dan Dillon and Linda Dillon of Greylock Federal Credit Union.

Mark Clatterbaugh, Andy Hochberg and Larry Pellish; Jill Reynolds of Cheshire Glass Works with Anne Nigrelli of Daffodils & More.

Just a small sample of the amazing orchids and lush tropical plants on view at the show.

Display by the vendor Black Jungle Terrarium Supply.

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

Posted by Amy Krzanik on 10/26/14 at 11:10 AM • Permalink

Berkshire South Celebrates Community Advocate Barbara Manring

Rachel Louchen reports from Great Barrington. Barbara Manring (far left, with friend, Susie Weekes is a familiar face in the community for her multiple philanthropic contributions to numerous organizations. Barbara is currently President of the Board of Directors at Railroad Street Youth Project and involved with Construct Inc., but one of her longest philanthropic endeavors has been with Berkshire South, which honored her with a gala party on Saturday, October 18th. A supporter since 2002 (when it opened) she has served on the Board of Trustees, Co-chair of the Task Force, helped organize events, and even served as a fitness trainer before her current position on the Fund Development Committee. The turnout was diverse, filled with friends, fellow board members and people who have experienced firsthand Barbara’s tireless devotion to her community. Despite a packed room plastered with photos of her ranging from childhood to now, Barbara was as modest and gracious as ever, thrilled to see so many familiar faces and friends who came out to celebrate her, and ready to plan her next event at Berkshire South.

Superintendent of Berkshire Hills Regional School District Peter Dillon, Diane Dillon, Maureen Hickey and Paul Hickey.

Sally and Fred Harris, owners of Saint James Place; Salisbury Bank Vice President Rich Aldrich with Mary Spina.

Longtime BSRCC member Lili Goldberg and Board Chairman Ethel Patterson; Salisbury Bank’s Spring Burke, Pittsfield Rotary Club President Dave Hall and Mary Ann Hall.

Member Greg Fritch with Michael Bandzierz; Kwik Print founders Cheryl Raifstanger and John Raifstanger Jr. with Mary Saporito.

BSRCC Executive Director Jenise Lucey with Roger Manring and Barbara Manring.

Autobahn Service owner Dominic Lydon with his wife, Melissa Lydon; Sabrina Ruggiero, Joe Ruggiero and Maria Vitrano came out to support their friend Barbara.

Author Stephen Sagarin, his wife, Janis Martinson and Jack Spencer; BSRCC volunteer Hank Ferlauto and wife, lawyer Susan Ferlauto.

Mary Ann Norris with Jessica Speer-Holmes; member Aimee Raifstanger, gala committee member Becky Raifstanger and Paula Ungewitter.

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

Posted by Rachel Louchen on 10/18/14 at 08:54 PM • Permalink

Jane Iredale, And The Night And The Music At The Mahaiwe Gala

Lisa Green reports from Great Barrington. Most people identify Jane Iredale as the founder of the eponymous cosmetics company headquartered in Great Barrington, but at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center’s Gala on Sunday, October 12, she was Jane Iredale, honoree. First during dinner under a tent at Great Barrington’s former train station, and later (just before singer Bernadette Peters stepped onto the stage), Jane’s generosity to the Mahaiwe was lauded. “She was among the first to recognize [founder] Lola Jaffe’s vision, and has contributed gifts, good advice and advocacy,” said Maggy Buchwald, chair of the Mahaiwe’s Board of Directors. Acknowledging Jane’s love of gardening, the board presented her with a holly bush to be planted in her garden, along with a plaque of gratitude for her involvement not just in the Mahaiwe but the entire community. Following the concert, audience members stepped outside to a fanfare of fireworks, while a select group of benefactors met the singer at a private reception. Above, Eugene Dellea, president of Fairview Hospital, with honoree Jane Iredale.

Mandy Pieczarka, Stephanie Solar and board member Dick Solar, all of whom were gala benefactors, and Maggie Buchwald, chair of the board of directors; Matthew Rubins, Julia Lazarus and Jeff Lazarus.

Rosalie Berger and Betsey McKearnan, a gala benefactor; Karen Rosengren and Mark Rosengren.

Beryl Jolly, the Mahaiwe’s executive director, chats with Rep. Smitty Pignatelli at the reception.

Bernadette Peters and Mahaiwe founder Lola Jaffe meet at the post-concert reception; Merle Kailas and Leo Kailas, gala benefactors.

Monique Blake, Sue Allegrone, singer Mary Verdi and Jim Culliton; Gala benefactors Stephanie Solar, Connie Coolidge and Mary Cohen.

Kwik Print’s Cheryl Raifstanger, who served on the gala committee, with Paula Kurman; both are on the board of directors.

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

Posted by Lisa Green on 10/13/14 at 12:27 PM • Permalink

Outside In The Autumnal Air For Litchfield Historical Society

Rachel Louchen reports from Litchfield. The Litchfield Historical Society took advantage of the last few days (or weeks) of clement weather for its Annual Fall Fundraiser BBQ, held at White Memorial in Litchfield, a prime place to enjoy peak foliage, crisp air and a sunset. All proceeds raised from the October 11 event make it possible for LHS to provide free educational programs to the students of Litchfield Public Schools. Food was supplied by The Cookhouse, 13-time winner for best barbeque in Connecticut, and local band Switch Factory played bluegrass tunes that filled the activity shed. And as the sun set over the grounds, it did get pretty chilly, but not a guest complained — the many bonfires provided warmth and a great place to huddle around with friends. Above, LHS Trustee John Newton, President Mike Reardon and Executive Director Catherine Fields.

Friend of LHS Rosie Furniss is largely responsible for coordinating the event, here with a patron, former Connecticut Senator Andrew Roraback; Southport resident Carol Baxter with John Endicott of Litchfield.

Karen DePauw attended in support of her wife, Curator of Collections Jessica Jenkins; The activity shed was transformed by music, pumpkins and some pulled pork.

Curator of Education Liz O’Grady, Assistant Curator of Library and Archives Lee Cook and Curator of Archives Linda Hocking.

Professor Steve McGrath with Jay Fields; Elaine Marshall of Litchfield with LHS patrons Jane Hinkel and Paul Hinkel.

Tom Kendall, Virginia Budney and Lee Reese; LHS benefactor Susan Spencer and patron Nancy Newton.

Jim Telly, Tina Reardon, lawyer Kirstin Etela and Mike Reardon.

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

Posted by Rachel Louchen on 10/12/14 at 10:26 PM • Permalink

Made in the Berkshires’ Opening Night Introduces Fresh Faces

Amy Krzanik reports from Pittsfield. Made in the Berkshires kicked off another exciting year (their fourth) showcasing local talent at the Colonial Theatre on Friday evening, October 10 with an art exhibit curated by Suky Werman. Werman, co-owner of Stonover Farm and curator of its annual IS183art show, chooses different artists every year in order to give exposure to as much area talent as possible. The night’s main stage performances focused on young talent and included two dance pieces, short films including music videos, two scenes from Lee Kalcheim’s new comedy, Speed Dating, a piano performance by Paul Celebi and a jazz guitar performance by Nico Wohl, and Diary of a Fashionista, a fashion show styled by Destiny Saunders. Afterwards, performers mingled with family and friends in The Garage and enjoyed desserts from local purveyors Caroline’s Chocolates, Becket Bakehouse and Chocolate Springs, along with food from Elm Street Market and Tortured Orchard and cocktails from Bug Hill Farm and others. And that was only opening night – MITB continued for two more full days of talent at the Colonial and Unicorn Theatres. Above: MITB curators Hilary Somers Deely and Barbara Sims.

Kate Morris is flanked by Seven Salon.Spa owners Mark Johnson and Pops Peterson, whose artwork is shown middle and bottom right; Filmmaker Dave Simonds, whose short film and music video were featured on opening night, with Hans Morris.

Becky Brighenti, director of marketing and PR at the Colonial Theatre, with POE star Jonathan Young, BTG’s Artistic Director and CEO Kate Maguire and Wendy A. Rabinowitz.

Dancers Ruslan Sprague and Tess Lane; Kudret and Louise Celebi with Rebecca Schirber, Bob Shepherd, Natalie Celebi and pianist Paul Celebi.

Jenee Edgerton, Gabrielle Kirkland, Destiny Saunders, Serina Saunders and Malyah Jackson.

Megan Whilden and Suky Werman, art show curator; Betsey McKearnan, Pamela Esler and Tjasa Sprague.

Suzanne Ankrum and Ryan Winkles in a scene from Lee Kalcheim’s new comedy, Speed Dating.

Nico Wohl on stage; Nico’s sister, Sarah, and mother, Tessa, came out to support him.

Berkshire Pulse dancer and choreographer Ellen Gorman performs Free Bird Flyin’ with the help of music students from New Lebanon’s Darrow School, including vocalist Zoe Rosemond.

Jeff Diamond and Diane Pearlman, executive director of the Berkshire Film and Media Collaborative; Lisa Voorhis, Sue Ryan, Betty Palucci and Mary Ann.

The evening’s performers take a bow.

Dancers and fashion show models Mackenzie Buckley and Fay Butler; Photographer Susan Geller and Wendy A. Rabinowitz.

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

Posted by Amy Krzanik on 10/11/14 at 12:25 PM • Permalink

MASS MoCA’s NYC Supporters Help The Museum Celebrate 15 Years

Amy Krzanik reports from New York City. 583 Park Avenue, with its mirrored and mood-lit underground arcade area and its high-ceilinged ballroom complete with glittering chandelier, is one of the city’s most-sought-after event spaces. So it’s no wonder MASS MoCA booked it again this year for its 15th anniversary fundraising gala. Nattily attired guests – including big-name artists, gallery owners, and Museum supporters and friends from around the world – mingled over champagne, specialty cocktails and hors d’oeuvres in the arcade before moving upstairs for dinner. Sara Friedlander of Christie’s conducted a hilarious, high-energy live auction, raising thousands for the Museum as guests bid big on artworks donated by Darren Waterston, Ann Hamilton, Teresita Fernandez, Ran Hwang, Christopher Chiappa, Clifford Ross and others. The much adored (and adorable) Lucius performed a set of perfectly crafted pop songs for the crowd before the successful social event wrapped for the evening. Proceeds from the benefit support the Museum’s exhibitions, performances and educational programs. Above: the Museum’s director, Joe Thompson, flanked by artist Chris Chiappa and gallerist Kate Werble.

Gala co-chair Hans Morris with Deborah Montaperto and Jordan deButts of Morgan Stanley, and Cynthia Remec; Publisher Phong Bui, photographer Clifford Ross and artist Nari Ward.

Artist Izhar Patkin and MoCA’s Director of Communications Jodi Joseph; Hallie Scott of The Wassaic Project with Seton Melvin and Meredith Boggia.

Gala co-chairs Kate Morris and artist Darren Waterston with John Berggruen and photographer Clifford Ross.

Artist Marko Remec and Jack Waters; Former MASS MoCA curator Laura Steward with photographer and board member Gregory Crewdson and guest.

Board member Anne Avis, Jennifer Trainer Thompson, the Museum’s Director of Special Events and Membership, and Michael Govan, director of LACMA; Sheriden Booker, Director of Development at OMI, with curator Natalie Diaz.

Videographer Jane Burns with artist Johnny Carrera and Andreas Engel; Artist and musician Karl Mullen and Merritt Colaizzi, Development Director at the Clark Art.

Amy Ziff of the band BETTY with Steve Blood, Art in America’s Brian Boucher and Kendra Strasburg.

Casey Meade of Race Brook Lodge with Kayla Jo; Tony and Rosena Sammi with Daniel Hunter and Kurt Hemr.

Jessica Dawson, Cai Guo-Qiang, Hong Hong Wu and Jane Sutherland; Oliver Hill with Dan Molad of Lucius.

Eric Cyphers and MASS MoCA’s Jodi Joseph; Larry Rosenthal with Cintia and Kurt Kempkes.

Tracy Lewis, Sandeep Belani and Frank Cipollino of Morgan Stanley; Andy Dietderich, Mike and Nan Cooper, and John Jerome.

Lucius performs under the MASS MoCA banner.

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

Posted by Amy Krzanik on 10/08/14 at 11:50 AM • Permalink

Award-Winning Authors At Music & More

Amy Krzanik reports from New Marlborough. To celebrate the 20th anniversary of Music & More’s Award-Winning Authors series, host Mitchel Levitas invited back to the Meeting House the three authors who attended the inaugural Authors event in 1994. Paul Auster, Roy Blount, Jr. [both shown left] and Siri Hustvedt have only become more popular over the last twenty years, Hustvedt so popular, in fact, that she couldn’t attend the event due to a prior commitment abroad. Auster, her husband, spoke on her behalf, reading a prepared statement where she enlightened listeners to how her life has changed in the last twenty years, including her foray into the medical world, which in 1994 she claims she could have never imagined. Auster himself spoke of strange coincidences he’s had over the years due to his writing, echoing situations portrayed in many of his novels. Roy Blount, Jr. read the humorous tale of a fishing excursion taken years ago, and Gloria Levitas recounted being urged by her publisher to use a pseudonym when releasing her psychiatric work early on in her career, so as to pass as a male author. This touched nicely on both Hustvedt’s latest novel, The Blazing World, as well as the most recent film from Authors speaker Ellen Weissbrod, entitled a woman like that. Both the book and the film focus on the sexism women face in the art world, with Weissbrod’s documentary delving deep into 17th century Italy to investigate the life and work of painter Artemisia Gentileschi. This was Mitchel Levitas’ last year at the helm of the Authors series, and he was honored by The New Marlborough Village Association for his years of exceptional work.

Gloria Levitas and filmmaker Ellen Weissbrod; The New Marlborough Village Association President Louise Yohalem with Award-Winning Authors host Mitchel Levitas.

Art Sherman and Enid Michaelman; Artist and Meeting House Gallery committee head Elizabeth Lombardi with author Alon Gratch and Michele Sacks.

Roy Blount, Jr. recounts a story from one of his books.

Joan Elmer and photographer Lee Backer with Honey Sharp; Susan Lewin and Marty Miller.

Melissa Powell, producer of a woman like that, with Tony Levitas, a friend of the director; Paul Auster discusses coincidence in fiction and in real life.

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

Posted by Amy Krzanik on 09/29/14 at 12:13 PM • Permalink