Hemingway called Paris in the 1920s “A Moveable Feast” and that was the theme for the New Rochelle Public Library Foundation’s fall fundraiser, a “progressive dinner” catered by Posto 22 that took guests café hopping from a first floor “salon” to a second floor “dining room” created inside the library. The Blue Vipers of Brooklyn provided period dance music and “celebrities” -- library supporters dressed as Zelda Fitzgerald, George Gershwin, Josephine Baker and other luminaries – helped transport guests to Paris for the night.
The invitations welcomed “festive era-inspired attire,” and many guests – especially the ladies – showed up in faux flapper finery. A silent auction offered a variety of tempting treasures, including a bottle of wine (1966 Haut Brion Graves) from Hemingway’s own cellar. A “Wine and Spirits” pull also provided some fun, with $20 tickets yielding anything from a $10 bottle of wine to pricier pours like Veuve Cliquot champagne or Johnny Walker Red.
“It was a wonderful event,” Said Chris Selin, President of the NRPL Foundation. “Everyone enjoyed all that the evening offered, including the transformation of the Library, the music of The Blue Vipers and the fun outfits put together by our "Celebrity Guests". We appreciate the support and generosity of our Event Grand Sponsor, New York Presbyterian/Lawrence Hospital in Bronxville, and all of our Sponsors, as well as our Journal supporters and the contributors to our silent auction and our Wine and Spirits Pull.”
She also praised “the tireless work of our Steering Committee, who worked as a team to create such a special and memorable event.” The Steering Committee included chair Lynne Green, Margaret Chadwick, Leslie Demus, Barb Francella, Kourtney Ketterhagen, Theresa Kump Leghorn, Melissa Panszi Riebe, Anne Todd, and Stephanie Tomei.
“The “celebrities” were wonderful!” said Lynn Green. “We really loved the way our volunteers got into the spirit of the evening.” They included Joe Fosina (artist Pablo Picasso), Clive Henry (composer/bandleader Duke Ellington), Keeba Henry (actress Josephine Baker), Haina Just-Michael (flapper prototype Zelda Fitzgerald), Ron Kanner (eccentrically mustachioed artist Salvador Dali), Bernie Michael (jazz age chronicler F. Scott Fitzgerald), Andrea Rothberg (chanteuse Edith Piaf). Peter Rothberg (composer George Gershwin), and Julia Breanetta Simpson (nightclub owner Ada “Bricktop” Smith). Joe Tomei was the winner of the Ernest Hemingway look-alike contest.
The New Rochelle Public Library Foundation is a volunteer fundraising and advocacy organization working to ensure the future well-being of the Library. The NRPL Foundation, created in 1993, supports Library initiatives that enhance opportunities for learning, exploration and public discourse. Among the Foundation’s recent contributions, it provided more than $106,000 to partially underwrite the cost of the remodel of the Ossie Davis Theater; along with new seating and exterior signage and entrance work, the upgrade includes assistive listening technology, greater accessibility and upgraded fire suppression, HVAC and other systems. For more information call the NRPL Foundation at 914-632-7878, ext. 1600 or email email@example.com.