As you may have heard, we at Hill-Stead created a custom-for-2020 version of our gala this year, made up of five al fresco farm-to-table dinners by celebrity chef Tyler Anderson on the West Lawn.
For the fourth one, on September 3rd, Mother Nature served us up a bucket full of drama! In the days leading up to it, we were on tenterhooks watching an ever-changing weather forecast. Showers (drats!), then none (hurrah!), then thunderstorms (what?!). But, as the day drew nearer and the chances of precipitation diminished, we decided – timidly – to go for it.
The sun that day was bright and hot, and all looked as though we had made the right decision. Then, just as we were beginning our dinner, and seemingly out of nowhere, the skies darkened quickly. While cutting my pepper, I felt the first drop on my nose; then, a second on my right shoulder. I refused to look up, letting my eyes linger on my plate as I envisioned the mayhem that was in store – the mad dash for cover, the food spoiled, the table settings soaked – in short, our evening and efforts completely foiled.
A whisper from the waiter interrupted my dreading, “Anna, you’ve gotta see this.” Almost in a daze, I obeyed, getting up from my chair and following him to the back of the lawn, not even thinking to guess what was in store. I followed his finger pointing straight back to the house, above which sat a full, vivid and beautiful rainbow. As if possessed, I jogged up to the veranda and to the microphone, to share the news with our guests before it disappeared. Most of them immediately stood and to go and see, and in the intervening seconds, something more extraordinary happened: a double rainbow appeared, fainter than its siblings but there, just as real.
Almost immediately, I saw meaning in this scenario: the planning, the fretting, the courage to make a decision despite the uncertainty, the complication, and then, ultimately, the glory. Reminded me a bit of some of our struggles at the museum this year: the difficult and the marvelous, in our lives in equal measure.
And it gave me hope, for beauty that is triumphant and for some gold, as we’re told that’s what’s to be found at the end of the rainbow!
Now that the series is completed, I am writing to you about the event’s last step of much-needed fundraising, the silent auction portion of our benefit. For all of you interested in supporting the museum in this fashion – purchasing an artwork, a bottle of fine wine, or a memorable experience – there is a curated selection of items to be viewed and bought through this link: https://www.hillstead.org/2020-benefit-auction/
We would appreciate GREATLY any purchase you make, as it would help us reach our overall financial goal! Go bid crazy, and keep your eye on the ticking clock, as our auction turns into a pumpkin at midnight on Monday the 21st!
Take good care,
Featured Auction Items
Click on the images in the slide show below to bid on an item or Browse our entire auction