Peace + love + Milford + Welcome Party = spectacular Milford. This year's Woodstock-themed party broke records, raising more than $70,000 to make Milford a better place to live, visit, and do business.
Xavier Morales, looking groovy (Photo by Marilyn Rosenthal)
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By Marilyn Rosenthal Imagine 300 people, many in tie-dyed shirts, bandanas, and other emblems of the Woodstock era, celebrating under a humongous tent on West Ann Street. That was the scene of the 16th annual Milford Welcome party on Saturday afternoon. Everything about the evening was superlative: The food, from appetizers to main courses, desserts, and beverages supplied by 23 local establishments. The non-stop innovative music by Wald Bibinger and Dennis D’Amico. And, especially, the auction of 41 items and special events conducted by Milford’s own Sean Strub, mayor and star auctioneer. “This was a record for the Welcome Party, raising more than $70,000 with an attendance of around 300, of which about 100 were attending the event for the first time," Strub happily reported. “Even more important than the money raised is the creation and strengthening of new friendships and relationships in and around Milford. We are cultivating a culture of participation in Pike County and civic stewardship that will pay dividends for generations.” It’s important to note that the money raised here will help the Milford Enhancement Committee’s work to make the county seat a better place to live, visit, and do business. The results are seen in new sidewalks, curbing, landscaping, and historic lighting throughout the business district. The Woodstock era theme was meticulously carried out in the design of the detailed program by Katrina Foster and KKPR, the tie-dyed tablecloths made from the Fauchere’s stock, and Weir Design’s logo. Joe and Maureen Dooley worked ceaselessly to make sure everything ran smoothly. They talked about the “Herculean effort that went into pulling off a great party.” Joe thanked “the host team, all of the volunteers, the restaurants who participated, and especially the community members who attended, making Milford the great place that it is to live and work.” The host team also included Rainey and Richard McKenna, Meghan and Jason Rosenfeld, Jen and Cory Sloan, and Carissa Rose and John Souza. A community-building auction The auction put forward some memorable offerings, many with a value listed as “priceless.” For example, Pike County Commissioner and pilot Steve Guccini donated a two-hour private plane ride for up to four guests. John Loughnane and Carol Sebbane donated dinner and a movie for nine guests in their home's private screening room at their home. Also on offer were dinner and a cooking class by the Waterwheel Café’s Nanci Simonet, and wine donated by local oenophile Jim Pedranti. Another special donation was a seven-course dinner for 12 paired with vintage wines at the historic Broad Street home of David Lender and Judy White, with dinner prepared by Hotel Fauchere chef Brandon Grimila and dessert by pastry chef Italivi Greenbaum. Lender, another oenophile, has a cellar that includes a Gruaud Larose vertical of 10 vintages from 1978. The objects auctioned off included a Peter Max official 1994 World Cup poster framed by Beveled Edge, valued at $750 and donated by David and Claudia Copus. Annette Haar donated a 14K white and gold diamond and filigree Victorian ring valued at $300. Many other wonderful objects and events were on the auction block on Saturday. Strub was able to get maximum value because of his great skill as an auctioneer. Whether or not they had a winning bid at the auction, everyone who attended the party came out on top. It was a fabulous time for all at this very successful Welcome Party.