On June 24, it was raining cats and dogs accompanied by thunder and lightning. But underneath a huge tent on Ann Street, 260 people were partying.
They didn’t care about the wretched weather outside, as all the fun was inside.
The theme was “the beach” complete with island décor, leis at each table, and many people were dressed in semi-beach attire. There was music by the D and A band (Dani Zanoni and Alex Kersson) throughout the party. The food was typical beach fare: hamburgers, hot dogs, loads of fabulous oysters being shucked by some of the party goers and watermelon.
They were celebrating the 20th annual Welcome Party, an event put on by the Milford Enhancement Committee (MEC) whose purview it is to make Milford a better place to live, visit, and do business. The all-volunteer organization has been improving the lighting, landscaping, seating, pedestrian lighting, curbs, verges, and benches along Broad and Harford for decades. One of the highlights of the Welcome Party is to welcome newcomers to Milford. This year there were 75 newcomers – about 30 % of the group.
The Welcome Party is the MEC’s major annual fundraising event and it helps cover the cost of the design, engineering and administrative costs necessary to pursue grant funding. No tax dollars are spent on MEC’s improvement projects. New streetscapes slated for this year are the south side of West Harford from 6th -9th Streets and Broad Street from the Columns to the intersection of Broad and John streets. There were 140 volunteers this year.
A live auction was conducted by Mayor Sean Strub, auctioneer par excellence. Stub was able to up the suggested price of an object or event by 50% or more. The 28 auction items were objects (some very rarified) or services, like an Andy Warhol poster from an exhibit in Italy donated by Sean Strub and Javier Morales, a black lacquer Trans-Siberian Orchestra custom guitar donated and signed by Al Pitrelli (of TSO); and an original, framed letter from Eleanor Roosevelt donated by Suzanne and Bob Levine.
There were also sponsorships available donated by the MEC for people to buy to enhance Milford streets, such as a pedestrian light estimated at $5,000, a pedestrian bench estimated value $2,500, and an MEC Litter receptacle, valued at $3,500.
In addition to a myriad of other interesting and beautiful objects, events – such as dinner for four at Cedar Lakes Estates in Greenville NY, a classic movie and dinner catered by Doug Cosh with film historian, John DiLeo at the Twin Lakes home of Elaine Damm, and a progressive dinner for four at two stylish mid-century modern designer homes along the Vandermark Creek in Milford were auctioned.
According to Board Member Yana Thatcher, total monies collected (including tickets and auction receipts) approximated $58,000. The party was deemed a great success by all the guests.
For more information on the MEC, log onto www.Milfordenhancement.com.