On Friday, June 22, the Ames Free Library hosted a special fundraising event, “Twilight in the Garden,” to celebrate the 2018 solstice and the 135th birthday of the Ames Free Library.
We want to thank all the people who helped make this event a success, and especially our generous funders, the North Easton Savings Bank and the Friends of the Library.
For those of you who know the Italianate Queset Garden behind the main library parking lot, it’s a lovely, tranquil retreat complete with an historic stage for music and theater productions, built by the Ames Family in 1853. The garden and its stage once thrived but later lay buried under more than half a decade of disuse and overgrowth. It has since been painstakingly revitalized and maintained with a lot of work and the generosity of many individuals as well as Community Preservation Act funds for the fortunate people of Easton and beyond.
Twilight in the Garden was conceived as a warm, summer eve celebration marked by the slowly fading light of the longest day of year with the help of Queset Manager Dana Hourigan and Director Uma Hiremath, whose enthusiasm and creativity are inspirational.
We were blessed with extraordinarily good weather.
Floral arrangements were painstakingly designed and assembled with a lot of love and dedication by Easton’s own talented floral artist Gloria Freitas Steidenger and a small army of helpers, including Gloria and Ken Nykiel, Alice Giordano, Nancy White, Jacci Devins and Davie McNamara. The elegant results were stunning to behold.
Lights strung throughout trees and bushes and along the old stone walls by the Hourigan family, board member Kelly Bressette, Dan Horgan and others grew brighter as daylight fell; background music, provided by the angelic voices of Libana, added to an otherworldly atmosphere.
Attendees wearing garden attire rivaled the garden itself with bright, summery, elegant outfits.
Appetizers were kindly donated by some of our best beloved restaurants and shops, including The Farmer’s Daughter, El Mariachi’s, Mario’s Trattoria, Shinos, Stoneforge Grill, Decos Italian Grille, Hilliards House of Chocolate, and Dolce cupcakes; the snazzy, sophisticated cocktail bar run by Larry Mowatt and Mark Machado were part of the charm of the night. We can’t thank you enough.
Our excellent wine was donated by Horizon Beverage (thank you, Molly McNeill!!) and served by charming volunteer bartenders, John Barry, Jerry Marsan & Gary Donahue. Ice was donated by The Big Y (thanks, Kathy and John Korona!!).
Friends of the Library Board members Barbara Beech and Fran Holland meticulously checked and took tickets at the front, while volunteers Michele Blake and Cerina Jabbour sat cheerfully in the back garden taking vouchers for drinks.
Jason and Bobby at ECAT and board member Kevin Kidd provided sound equipment and help setting it up. Volunteer Jonathan Blake spent the entire evening keeping the sound system on track, and the lighting working.
Volunteers Lila Rose, Cerina Jabbour, Seraphina Machado, Jimmy Pires and Ed Hands ensured the night went smoothly.
Our numerous cocktail and banquet tables were covered with white linens, donated by Churchill Linens of Brockton.
Last but not least, Facilities Manager and all around talented Tim Hurley worked for days trimming and cutting and weeding to make sure the garden looked its best; working with the reflecting pool, he had to maintain a careful balance between preserving burgeoning populations of tadpoles, frogs and salamanders (not to mention goldfish), and making it look beautiful with spotlights trained on the fountain. Even the frogs were inspired to chime in as the night progressed.
Throughout this magical evening, I was awestruck by the power and strength of community, working together to make Twilight in the Garden happen. On our Flickr page, you will see many photos which capture this moment in time, and the community members who were instrumental in its creation. On behalf of the Ames Free Library, our heartfelt appreciation goes out to each and every one of you who contributed to this event.
- Marion Wingfield, Development Director, Ames Free Library