FAC Benefit Gala: Making Connections

A fundraiser for FAC celebrating 42 years

Saturday, March 25, 2017, 7:30–11 pm

First Church in Belmont, Unitarian Universalist parish hall, 404 Concord Avenue at Common Street, Belmont, Massachusetts

  • Admission (ages 13+) $50
  • Children aged 4–12 $20
  • Children aged 3 and under free
  • Family maximum (all living at same address) $150
  • Tickets available online or at the door

Please join us for our annual benefit to help support FAC’s mission and programs! This celebratory event presents talent of all ages from the folk community for a special evening of music, dance, and entertainment, featuring:

  • Catered hors d’œuvres, beer and wine, and desserts
  • Balkan choral concert by Divi Zheni
  • Dance performances by Mladost Folk Ensemble
  • Dancing for all to music by Yaron and Friends and The Next Generation youth band
  • The Silent Auction
Download the 2017 Benefit Gala flier.

The Silent Auction offers a variety of items and experiences, such as artwork, jewelry, handcrafts, ethnic clothing, lessons, restaurant gift cards, and vacation lodging. If you can’t attend the Gala but would still like to support FAC by shopping at the auction, you can ask a friend who is attending to place your bid(s) for you. And you may also donate the price of admission if, sadly, you can’t be there in person! Here is a sampling of this year’s nearly 200 items:

FAC’s newest Board member, Alex Cumming, has provided two fun items for the auction:

House concert (an evening of songs, tunes, and choruses with roots from the UK) to take place at the winning bidder’s home or at the home of Annette Sassi and Brian Wilson in Arlington, MA. (Sassi/Wilson home can accommodate 16, with refreshments provided.) (Value: $120)
Tune written specially for you! The successful bidder can choose the key and time signature and/or a mood or feeling. Alex recently won a Celestial Seasonings’ contest with a song about their teas. (Value: $60)

• Colorful baby quilt in Dr. Seuss-themed fabrics in bright greens, red, and orange, made by Jessica Gillis. (Value: $100)

• Delicious challah bread, made by David Traugot. Samples will be available at the auction. David has offered to bake up to 24 loaves for $15/single loaf or $50 for a batch of four. (It freezes well.) Sign up at the Gala, give your payment to FAC, and David will fulfill your order within a week of the Gala (or whenever, by agreement).

Kitty-cat Knit-along Party by Lissa Story. Knit an adorable kitty in a one-session knitting bee at Lissa's house in Framingham, MA. This event is for those who know how to knit and purl. Lissa will provide copies of the pattern, yarn, technical support, and refreshments; bring your own needles. Bid with a friend or come by yourself. Maximum of 8 participants; 8 highest bids win. Date to be determined; location is negotiable. (Minimum bid: $25)

Man's complete costume from Łowicz, Poland, donated by David Skidmore. David bought this well-made costume new while on tour in Poland with the Krakowiak Polish Dancers in the late 1970s. (Minimum bid: $75)

$100 gift certificate to Gaslight Lynnfield, a neighborhood American restaurant in Lynnfield, MA offering raw bar items, local seafood, and dry-aged steaks and chops, as well as an international wine list, a full bar with a curated specialty cocktail list, and a selection of domestic and imported beers on draft and in the bottle.

Tea tasting for up to five people. Explore the differences between green tea, oolong, and others with tea aficionado Jerry Sussman; light refreshments included. (Minimum bid: $50)

Four top price tickets to the preview performance of the 47th annual Christmas Revels – A Venetian Celebration of the Winter Solstice – on Friday, December 8 at 7:30 pm in Cambridge, MA. (Value: $140)

Signed and framed photographic art print from Elgin Park, together with a signed copy of the book. Elgin Park is the slice of mid-20th century America in miniature created by artist Michael Paul Smith that has entranced millions of visitors from all over the world since its debut in 2011. The Elgin Park phenomenon has been written up in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Huffington Post, and the London Times, and in numerous blogs and periodicals, and has been the subject of two books as well as an award-winning documentary short film. (Value: $200)

House concert for 10 by David Salstein (piano) and Jane Pollack (flute). David and Jane, who perform with the Waltham Philharmonic Orchestra, will provide one hour of classical and/or contemporary music for flute and piano in their Newton, MA home for 10 guests, with light refreshments provided. Alternatively, the winning bidder may choose either a house concert or background music for a party or event at his/her home (must have piano). (Value: $200)

Two tickets to a wine and cheese tasting with a glass-blowing demonstration at the Diablo Glass School, Terrace Street, Boston, MA. (Value: $70)

Six-week trial membership to Get In Shape For Women (good at Winchester and Weston, MA studios). Small-group personal training combining weight training, cardio, nutrition and accountability. (Value: $350)

After-work pool party at Jillian’s Boston near Fenway Park, Boston, MA, including two hours of free pool for up to 20 people at reserved billiard tables, plus an appetizer platter. (Value: $200)

Two tickets for a Spring 2017 theater production by the Huntington Theatre Company in Boston, MA: choose from Topdog/Underdog, The Who & The What, or Ripcord. (Value: $140)

$50 gift certificates to two tapas restaurants: Solea Restaurant and Tapas Bar on Moody Street in Waltham, MA and Kika Tapas in Kendall Square, Cambridge, MA. Donated by Carlos Reverendo.

Young man’s/boy’s Romanian vest, donated by Karen Edwards. (Value: $70)

Woven Bulgarian belt with metal buckle, purchased in Bulgaria in 1990, donated by Estha Blachman. (Value: $16)

• Beautiful Spanish metal plate with the inscription "Salud, amor y pesetas y tiempo para disfrutarlas." (Health, love and money and time to enjoy them.) 9" in diameter.

Two hours of PC/Mac consultation with Al Murray, Let Al Help. (Value: $120)

Set of three painted ceramic masks (from Mexico?), 6" x 5". A striking wall decoration.

Artisan chocolate bark handmade with high-quality French chocolate from Beth’s Chocolate of Newton, MA. (Value: $32)

Catered event for up to 25 people, offered by Ralph and Jeanne Clifford and Anthony and Janet Yeracaris. Looking for a festive and easy way to celebrate a birthday, anniversary, or other special occasion? The Cliffords and the Yeracarises will provide a feast of delicious food appropriate to your chosen time of day (brunch, hors d’oeuvres, tea, dinner), along with wine, cocktails, or beverages of your choice. The Yeracaris family will be happy to host at their Newton, MA home (bringing the event to your home may also be possible). If it would add to your enjoyment, background music can be provided by Niki Yeracaris. The particulars of this offering are highly negotiable, to suit your particular needs and wishes. A group of friends may bid together! (Minimum bid: $500)

• Afternoon or sunset schooner sail for two aboard The Black Dog Tall Ships out of Vineyard Haven Harbor, Martha’s Vineyard, MA, plus a $150 gift card to The Black Dog Tavern. (Value: $300)

Four flamenco dance classes at Flamenco Boston, Green Street Studios, Cambridge, MA. (Value: $80)

Makala Shark bridge ukulele, donated by Joe Blumenthal and Downtown Sounds, Northampton, MA. (Value: $47)

Two Royal Copenhagen porcelain figurines in perfect condition. The blacksmith is about 10" high; the milkmaid is about 6" wide, 5" tall. (Value: $125+ each)

One-night stay at the Dancing Bear Guest House, a European-style bed and breakfast in the delightful village of Shelburne Falls, MA. Located in the historic Moses W. Merrill homestead built in 1852, the Dancing Bear offers comfortable lodgings with private baths and a full breakfast. (Value: $129–$149)

Afternoon easy bicycle tour on the Nashua River Rail Trail from Ayer, MA to Nashua, NH. Led by Dorothy Bergold and Bill Fletcher. This scenic 25-mile route on the Rail Trail is along the Nashua River. We will get off the trail in Pepperell to ride over a covered bridge and then stop for ice cream. Tour guides are experienced bike riders and know the route well. The Rail Trail is relatively flat. After the ride, we will drive to Groton to the restaurant Filhos Cucina, which has excellent Italian food. Each participant will buy his/her own dinner; Bill and Dorothy will provide wine for the group. Date TBA (this auction item is transferable if a participant can’t make the date). Maximum number of participants is 12. (Minimum bid: $240)

Weekend stay on Lake Winnipesaukee, NH at the Pixtons’ lovely vacation home. Go hiking, biking, swimming, boating, or just deck-sitting in the sun. Enjoy the tranquil lake scenery for three days, summer or fall. (Value: $500)

Admission for four to The Discovery Museums in Acton, MA. The Discovery Museums blend the best of science, children’s, and environmental learning on an attractive 4.5 acre campus. The Museums’ mission is to inspire enduring curiosity and love of learning through interactive discovery, hands-on inquiry, and scientific investigation, for all ages. (Value: $50)

One-hour massage from a licensed and NCBTMB-certified massage therapist with more than 25 years’ experience. Barbara Zeles will provide an hour of relaxation, deep tissue, and/or injury work to keep you dancing and playing music to your heart’s content. Medford, MA location. (Value: $85)

Used hammered dulcimer donated by Wood & Strings in Arlington, MA. Includes case and sticks; stand is in need of repair. (Value: $300)

Stonewall Kitchen gourmet food basket donated by Barbara Jessel. (Value: $65)

One-hour fiddle lesson given by renowned fiddler and BHSFS teacher Katie McNally, via Skype unless arranged otherwise. (Value: $60)

• Join Chris Leuchtenburg for a morning of birding in Mount Auburn Cemetery, Watertown, MA, a place esteemed by birders as the best spot in New England for enjoying the spring migration. This will be the height of the migration when warblers, vireos, orioles, and many others stop to refuel in the mature trees of Mount Auburn. We will meet in the circle just inside the main entrance at 7 am on Wednesday, May 10, and walk for two hours along the paved drives. Beginners are most welcome. Chris serves on the Advisory Board of Mass Audubon’s Broadmoor Sanctuary, where he monitors the 55 nest boxes and has almost completed a three-year breeding bird survey in a new Mass Audubon property. Maximum number of participants on the birding walk is 8. (Minimum bid: $100)

Salem Witch Museum Family Six-Pack of admission tickets. (Value: $66)

Czech-American style houska, a large loaf of braided white bread made with yeast dough, eggs, milk, butter, golden raisins, slivered almonds, and poppy seeds. Made to order by Richard Limbursky. (Value: $20)

• Delicious chocolate raspberry cake baked by Martha Holmes for your special occasion. Serves 20. (Value: $35)

Black silk tunic/dress with spangles by WD.NY, size 6, donated by Martina Aurian-Blajeni. (Value: $25)

Polska Sztuka Ludowa by Irena Czarnecka, a book of Polish folk art of all types. Published in Poland in 1958. Text in Polish with an insert in English, French, and German. Color and B&W photographs. (Value: $30)

Three wooden Russian dolls – one male figure and two Matryoshka nesting dolls, one with five and one with six figures. (Value: $15 each)