HVA celebrates 25th auction, honors von Furstenberg
Monday, November 16, 2015
Fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg, founder of the Housatonic Valley Association’s annual auction, enjoys a laugh with auctioneer Tim Luke at HVA’s annual auction held Nov. 8, 2015, in Washington. Courtesy of Rich Pomerantz
Actress Christine Baranski, Housatonic Valley Association auction chairwoman, encourages the crowd to bid high at HVA’s annual auction held Nov. 8, 2015, in Washington. Courtesy of Housatonic Valley Association Photo: Contributed Photo
Auctioneer Tim Luke describes the auction gift -- four tickets to a taping of NBC’s “Late Night with Set Meyers” and a meeting with him backstage after the show - that Seth Meyers, behind Luke, provided for festivities at the Housatonic Valley Association’s annual auction held Nov. 8, 2015, in Washington. Courtesy of Housatonic Valley Association Photo: Contributed Photo.
Housatonic Valley Association honorary chairwoman Christine Baranski and Damian Woetzel, retired principal dancer formerly with the New York City Ballet listen closely to the bidding during the live auction part of HVA‘s annual auction held Nov. 8, 2015, in Washington. Courtesy of Housatonic Valley Association Photo: Contributed Photo.
Auction chairwoman Christine Baranksi led an all-star lineup on Nov. 8 that honored von Furstenberg and raised $250,000 for the environment.
Auctioneer Tim Luke entertained and cajoled the crowd into bidding.
Among the 300 guests raising bid cards were NBC’s “Late Night” host Seth Meyers, who also took center stage several times to help produce the organization’s most successful auction.
The auction lineup of donations from friends throughout the valley included exotic vacations, weekend country getaways, celebrity get-togethers, a Kent Village shopping spree, theater and sporting event tickets, fine dining, home furnishings, antiques, artwork, outdoor gear and adventures.
“Diane loves this area and has vigorously fought to protect it over the years by being a lead spokesperson and fundraiser for some of the biggest environmental challenges our region has faced,” HVA Executive Director Lynn Werner said.
“Without her passion and leadership, there would be highways crisscrossing our hillsides and all manner of projects polluting our air and water,” she said.
Von Furstenberg thanked Werner and HVA for the honor.
“I came here a little over 40 years ago and I love this area,” she said. “It is so beautiful. I travel all over the world to many beautiful places and this place is the best — it is my home.”
Stephen Sondheim riffed on the lyrics to “There Is Nothing Like a Dame,” which Baranski sang to von Furstenberg in a rendition that brought the crowd to its feet.
Founded in 1941, HVA is dedicated to protecting the entire Housatonic River Watershed, which includes about 2,000 square miles of land stretching from western Massachusetts through western Connecticut and eastern New York to Long Island Sound.
HVA’s offices are in Cornwall Bridge, South Lee, Mass., and Wassaic, N.Y.
For more information, visit www.hvatoday.org.