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Rain fails to thwart Hotchkiss Library fundraiser

SHARON — Pure elegance in garden, in home and in person were evident in the gala fundraising event to celebrate the 130 years that The Hotchkiss Library of Sharon has been essential to the Sharon community. The event was held on Saturday, May 20, at the Weatherstone Estate, home and garden of Carolyne Roehm, who hosted the festivities that drew a sold-out attendance of area residents and city weekenders, all fans of their local library.

That it was raining most of the time was seen only as an advantage for the garden. Guests came prepared to self-tour and did so either in raingear or under umbrellas. Of particular interest were the hornbeam trees, an ancient hardwood species well suited to shearing to shape, done to perfection at Weatherstone.

Inside, where the hors d’oeuvres and beverages were circulating, music was provided by the Bob Stump Band, a country and bluegrass group.

“I think it’s wonderful,” said Roehm of the event. She warmly greeted guests in the area set up for the silent auction that offered an array of possibilities donated by local individuals and merchants, from cooking classes to art, to handbags and garden tours, to flowers, a hand-woven silk scarf, and even three single full-size trees, the latter donated by Roehm herself.

The live auction was equally enticing, offering a long tour of the area on the back of Trowbridge’s vintage BMW motorcycle with a promise to stop for a nice lunch. Bidders also competed for a chance to have a brass plaque carrying the winner’s name affixed to the copy machine.

A framed lithograph donated and signed by local artist Jasper Johns drew considerable auction interest.

Guests also donated generously to assist with the landscaping of the Hotchkiss Library grounds now that the addition and renovation work will soon be completed.

Reflecting on the event as a whole and the vital place of The Hotchkiss Library, or any library, in its community, Roehm remembered her own childhood and her fondness for books.

“I was one of the kids who went to the library and read Nancy Drew,” Roehm said, adding “I love books, the fantasy of books.”

Considering her early years, she credited her mother’s dependence on the local library in St. Louis, Missouri, for kindling her own relationship with reading.

“She was an exceptional woman,” Roehm recalled, noting that her mother had created and developed a program that would inspire handicapped children toward learning. Roehm said that her mother worked inclusively with children regardless of their circumstances or the nature of the obstacle that hindered their learning. That program relied heavily on local library resources and Roehm values the opportunity to strengthen that community interrelationship.

For information about events and programs, as well as construction progress, at The Hotchkiss Library, go to: www.hotchkisslibraryofsharon.org.

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