- Front Porch
SOUTHINGTON — Michael Lambert usually wears a tuxedo to the Joe and Kay Calvanese Foundation Gala, but a fedora, black shirt, pocket square and faux cigar was a new look for him.
His 1920’s get-up matched the flapper dress, long necklace and red feather headpiece of his date, Jan Neri as they attended the gala on Saturday. Its theme this year was flappers and dappers and the dress code was creative black tie.
The formal gala at the Aqua Turf Club is the foundation’s primary fundraiser. Last year, the non-profit gave away $143,000 to town departments, schools, charitable organizations and nursing homes.
Guests bid on silent auction items donated by local businesses and on eight live auction items. They also could buy raffle tickets for a Jeep provided by Papa’s Dodge.
Lauren Forgione, a volunteer with the Calvanese Foundation, said about 350 people attended. Each year the foundation picks a theme for the gala. While last year was more somber with a focus on hope after the Newtown shooting, this year was more upbeat with it’s nod to “The Great Gatsby.”
“People had a lot of fun with it,” she said. “Everyone’s wearing boas.”
Lambert picked up his fedora from Connecticut Stage Supply in Plainville after he decided to get more creative than his usual tuxedo. Along with his faux cigar, Neri, chairwoman of the Main Street Community Foundation board, had a faux cigarette.
“If you’re going to do it, you have to go for it,” he said. “They’re getting some good themes.”
Lambert and Neri posed for photographs provided by Get the Picture studio of Prospect. Owners Michael and Josephine Perugini were busy snapping pictures of guests in front of a backdrop. Providing the photography at no charge was a way for the Calvanese Foundation to show appreciation to guests, Josephine Perugini said.
“This is a hit every year,” she said. “Everyone enjoys having their picture taken.”
The Peruginis have been shooting photography at the gala for more than a decade.
Stephanie Urillo, a Town Councilor, was decked out in jewelry by Margaret Palmer. Similar jewelry was donated to the gala and was for sale, along with small purses. Whenever someone bought an item of jewelry, they also got a Prohibition Martini served nearby
“It’s a good cause, it’s beautiful jewelry,” Urillo said.
Those who bought purses could look inside for a ticket, giving them a chance to win a case of wine or dinner at a local restaurant.
“One of these holds the winning ticket,” Urillo said.
Wallingford police make arrest in attempted robbery at Neil’s Donuts …
WALLINGFORD — A Florida man faces charges after police say he attempted to rob Neil’s Donut Bake Shop early Wednesday. Justin D. Bailey, 23, of … more ...
Double Play Cafe looking to move, offer owner’s famous steamed …
MERIDEN — Owners of the Double Play Cafe are looking to move the bar to a larger location on the south side by summer. Kevin … more ...
Wallingford teachers respond to 'erroneous information' in Menzo's 'Perks' letter …
WALLINGFORD — A letter meant to clarify School Superintendent Salvatore Menzo’s decision to remove “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” from the English curriculum was … more ...
Meriden woman faces drug and weapon charges after traffic stop …
MERIDEN — A city woman was found with prescription pills and brass knuckles Thursday evening after a traffic stop on Columbia Street, police said. Jessica … more ...
Officials hoping to find owner of dog found on I-84 …
SOUTHINGTON — Animal Control officers believe the owner of a dog found on Interstate 84 this weekend are looking for her, but may not be … more ...