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Hartford Arts Gets Off To A Good “Go Red” Start!

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gred1gred4gred2gred6gred5gred3When Greater Hartford Arts Council Executive Director Cathy Malloy throws a party she attracts some heavy hitters.

That was the case at the council’s annual “Go Red For the Arts” fundraiser which also serves as a kick-off for the annual council arts campaign.

First of course, was hubby Gov. Dannel Malloy, who, hours earlier, had delivered his “some like it some don’t” state budget proposal. But by Wednesday night, he was “just” a husband.

“Tonight’s about supporting family,” he said, noting that he had changed his traditional green tie for a red one because, well, the night was called “Go Red for the Arts”  and just about everyone there got the hint and donned something red.

But what about that budget proposal that has already ruffled some feathers?

“I’m still standing,” he grinned seemingly ready to take on the naysayers who are ready to begin the annual attack on the plan. “It’s my job,” he continued about the budget proposal that never pleases everyone. “It’s why I was elected.”

Lobbyist Carroll Hughes, with wife and business partner Jean Cronin, was measured in his comments about the budget, carefully  characterizing it “a good starting point,” but pointing out that there are a lot of things in it that are “not favorable.”

“I’m still analyzing it,” said Hartford mayor, Pedro Segarra, who is a little nervous about the proposal to phase out car taxes, a city revenue maker.  “I like the idea of keeping us whole,” he said about the proposed budget. “I just wouldn’t be in favor of anything that could reduce revenues to the city.”

The party at Hartford’s Society Room included a VIP wine tasting reception with food from famed chef Tyler Anderson and his Millwright’s staff. A host of area restaurants including The Kitchen at Billings Forge, Fleming’s, Salute, Pond House Grille, Vinted, Vito’s  and DISH provided small plates ranging from  marinated shrimp to firecracker chocolate pudding, paired with  wine and scotch tastings provided by a variety of vendors.

There was also another kind of money talk when it came to the reason for the party, funding dozens of arts initiatives around the city. And Mrs. Malloy delivered again.

UTC Chairman and CEO Louis Chenevert will be the 2013 campaign chair.

“We expect an excellent year,” said the red-bedecked Malloy. “UTC is one of the largest employers in the state and is on board with our campaign. That is great for us.”

And of course there was the talk of the pending snowstorm, with some suggesting meteorologists were hyping the weather and others taking it seriously.

“I plan to have a really good time tonight, and then stop for groceries and gas on my home to avoid the crowds,” said East Hartford resident Leslie Reiner. “My parents told me about the storm of 1978 and how everyone was taken by surprise,” she said. “I am one of those people who believes the weather reports and plan to be prepared.”

For more pictures go here.

Haney’s House For Sale At Bridge Family Center Ball

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bridge3 The snow stayed away, the auction donations were plentiful (and in some cases, a little out of the ordinary) and the turnout was grand at The Bridge Family Center’s annual “Children’s Charity Ball” Saturday at the Hartford Golf Club.

“Every year we are watching the weather but over the years we have been pretty lucky,” said Judy Bierly, who has headed up the mid-winter event for 14 years. “But a few years ago we had a very bad storm and while we canceled the band and about 100 people couldn’t make it, we still managed to make more money than the year before,” she said. “But we are still glad we have good weather tonight.”

bridge5There was some concern about how much money would be raised at this year’s event as one of its most popular live auction items, dinner or a cocktail party at WFSB personality Scot Haney’s house, was not offered this year.

bridge1Haney (who each year serves as auctioneer for the non-profit fundraiser) and his longtime partner, the Bushnell’s Paul Marte (who accompanied Haney to Saturday’s ball) split last year, marking the end of the very coveted auction item not offered to many.

But the popular meteorologist made good in another way. He donated $5,000 of his own money to the event with a match of $5,000 from WFSB to make up for the lost auction item. And then he went into real estate agent mode.

haneyhouse (2)“We’ll make it $20,000 if someone buys my house,” he said, but alas no takers.

Haney has put his impressive Canton home on the market for $564,000 as of Monday, as he prepares to move to Hartford and he’s anxious for a sale.

“As the clouds in the sky move from west to east, so must Scot Haney!” he quipped. “I’m moving closer to work.”

 

P.S. NBC CT’s weather guy Bob Maxon  also has some real estate to sell…

“In the interest of equal time…my house has been on the market as well! In West Simsbury, a 4 bedroom Vintage Colonial, built in the late 1700’s! Plus a carriage house and gardens! All yours for just $259,900!!”

 

Bob Maxon, NBC CT