Touched by an Angel, the Annual Benefit Reception for The Community Hospice of Saratoga, took place at the National Museum of Dance this Thursday, October 16th and the community support was evident from the moment we stepped inside.
Part of what makes Touched by an Angel so special is the overwhelming support from our community, from the little girls who dress as angels to help welcome guests to the tiny details like the utensils used to sample the dishes, all donated by local businesses. "What is best about this event is that it is community driven, everything is donated, down to every single fork," said Barbara Ecker of Community Hospice.
Upon arriving, we were struck by the beautiful, ethereal decorations, overseen by Bruce Solenski, with some gorgeous draping and lighting effects by Fine Affairs, which featured a striking angel statue from the Community Hospice office purchased in memory of a Community Hospice employee, Debbie Washman.
As guests sipped champagne and sparkling wine donated by local businesses, with flutes donated by Allerdice Rental, they mingled with friends and caught up after a busy summer. Throughout the halls of the museum, dotted with 50 lovely bouquets of flowers, donated by local businesses and arranged perfectly by Jim and Gretchen Squires of Posey Peddler, local restaurants set up tables (loaned to the event by the Rain or Shine Tent Company) to offer guests generous samples of some simply amazing dishes. Groups of friends popped into the Saratoga Photo Booth donated for the evening by Jeff Caron to snap a memory, and compared favorite dishes as they made their way through the museum. There were 19 stations to try in all, with palate cleansing water donated by the Saratoga Spring Water Co. as well.
Every table had satisfied guests, and some of our personal favorites included the Pumpkin Bisque at the Brook Tavern table, served up by Chef Patrick Longton (Brook Tavern and Wishing Well owner Bob Lee was also in attendance), the autumn vegetables with penne in a cream sauce by Longfellows, the goat cheese panna cotta by DZ Restaurants, and a crowd favorite- the burgundy braised beef on mushroom risotto by Fortunes Restaurant at the Saratoga Casino and Raceway.
The event is certainly a community effort, with local businesses and community members helping out to make sure it is a success. Roohan Realty partners with Witt Construction to pick up a variety of items to help set up at the event and transport items, County Waste and Recycling lends help for clean up, the Skidmore women’s field hockey team were there to help volunteer, along with some local Saratoga Springs High School students as well as Waldorf School of Saratoga students and members of Girl Scout Troop Number 3545 who helped out at the water station and coat check.
The "little angels" who volunteer to welcome guests and hand out flowers are always such a sweet part of this event, and one of the angels, Jeannie Jerome, donated $400 this year that she herself raised at her birthday party, where she asked party guests to bring a donation for the Community Hospice of Saratoga in lieu of gifts.
The Chair of the event, Nancy Cain does a remarkable job of making sure everything runs smoothly, as she has for over ten years. Considered to be the strength behind the entire Touched by an Angel event, she also has 30 committee members who work on the event beginning in March and who gather donations throughout the year. Anthony Panza of Panza’s Restaurant is also on hand, lending help to coordinate all of the local food stations.
A very successful evening indeed, raising around $125,000, the event also helped raise awareness and support for the Community Hospice of Saratoga. The committee would also like to give a special thanks to the National Museum of Dance and the kindness and courtesy of the staff there, including Raul, Laura, Sarah, Jessica, Jo and Shelley.
For more photos of this event, please visit our photo gallery here.