On Friday, March 15th the first annual The Town That Cares charity event will be taking place at The Pond House. Presented by West Hartford Newcomers & Neighbors, a group I have been part of the last three years. Having moved to West Hartford in January 2008, I now qualify as more of the neighbor part of the group’s name. Then again, given that I seem to meet new people and discover new places every week, part of me still feels solidly in the newcomer category.
I’ve enjoyed becoming part of the community over the last five years. When the group was looking at the possibility of doing a benefit, the first obvious question was: Does West Hartford need another charity event? There will always be a financial need for worthwhile causes, but there is a maximum amount of charitable events that can be put on.
What West Hartford didn’t have was an event that was moderately-priced, spontaneous and loose in structure, and entirely community focused. Less gown, more town. There was a need for an event that, while having a lead organization, could be in many ways crowd-sourced--by West Hartford and for West Hartford. An event where people could actively contribute their ideas so that the fundraiser could morph into an honest reflection of who and what West Hartford is. Enter the first annual The Town That Cares charity event.
The event will be emceed by TV personality Jill Pollack, host of HGTV Canada’s Consumed. After interviewing Jill for a Patch article a few weeks ago I was able to sneak in a mention about the newly-forming fundraiser. Jill, who grew up in West Hartford and was looking to give back, was happy to help out. Given that Jill is hilarious and vivacious is sure to make for a highly entertaining night. I can’t
The night will also have an hour-long wine tasting, food catered by The Pond House, music supplied by Joan Dylan of LITE 100.5, and a silent auction. If you would like to contribute a silent auction item, please contact Clasina Jones at 720.352.4351. If you have any general questions about the event, you can contact Amy Messinger at 860.841.2359.
About a week ago I was in Oneonta, NY, where I grew up. Someone asked where I live, so I was telling them all about West Hartford. When I mentioned, “it’s a town of about 65,000,” they looked at me with a funny face. Oneonta is a city of 14,000, so a town with a much higher population seemed confusing to say the least. West Hartford, though, embraces all of the positive connotations we have with the word town—the ability to know your neighbor, support your neighbor, and feel a part of a close-knit community.
The vision I have in my head is the iconic scene near the end of It’s a Wonderful Life where the town comes seemingly out of nowhere to help out their neighbor in need, George Bailey. That’s the ideal.
I’m looking forward to seeing you as the community turn out for The Town That Cares charity event and to give your ideas to make it bigger and better each and every year.
Looking to help out by giving your creativity? The Town That Cares charity event will be in need of a new logo for next year's event...
The Town That Cares is a special fund established by the Town of West Hartford’s Department of Human and Leisure Services. The fund assists residents experiencing a crisis situation hindering their ability to pay for utility bills, food, shelter costs, medical expenses and other critical needs. It is funded completely by contributions from generous individuals, businesses, and community groups.
In addition, each year The Town That Cares provides subsidies to a variety of seasonal activities administered by the town. West Hartford residents in need benefit from initiatives including: Thanksgiving food distribution, hot meal delivery for homebound elderly and/or disabled, children’s holiday party and gift card distribution, and back-to-school backpack and school supplies distribution.