The Gloucester Fishermen's Athletic Association, steaming toward its $3.5 million fundraising goal and the date for seeking bids this spring for construction on the Newell Stadium "Renewal" project, is also making plans for a major fundraiser event at the Elks on Bass Rocks March 24.
The event will have an online and live auction of items donated by businesses, families and members of the community.
The GFAA encourages people to donate funding as well, and hopes to raise at least $50,000 from the event.
"We need all hands on deck to make this event a success," GFAA fundraising chief Dick Wilson wrote in a letter mailed throughout the community.
Wilson said the project is within $350,000 of its overall goal, with a $1.5 million bond commitment from the city, a $500,000 PARC grant from the state, a $500,000 naming rights agreement from New Balance athletic apparel, and a wide range of gifts from businesses and residents, topped by $50,000 contributions apiece from BankGloucester, Cape Ann Savings Bank and Gorton's.
The grassroots effort has also included the GFAA's innovative $1,000-by-1,000 program, with 1,000 contributors each giving $200 apiece per year for five years.
Nova Scotia connection
The ties between Gloucester and the community of Shelburne, Nova Scotia, may be best illustrated by Shelburne's gift of a Christmas tree to Gloucester each year.
Tonight, however, some residents will get a taste of Shelburne's artistic cheer as well.
A musical duo called Naming the Twins — comprised of Kathleen Glauser and Robbie Smith — will bring its version of Nova Scotia folk and other songs tonight when they play what has become a monthly "George's By Night" coffeehouse concert series at George's Coffee Shop.
George's owner Dean Salah, who launched the idea of occasional Saturday night dinner concerts two years ago and has primarily featured local performers like Chelsea Berry and Allen Estes for his almost always soldout shows, said the Glauser-Smith appearance came through one of his shop's regular customers, Brent "Ringo" Tarr.
It seems that Tarr — who, together with his senator-brother Bruce and St. Peter's Fiesta chief Joe Novello, regularly travel to Shelburne to pick up the city's Christmas tree — had visited a restaurant there called Charlotte Lane and operated by Glauser.
Glauser then invited Tarr and others to a home concert featuring Naming the Twins. And when the group planned its off-season tour this winter, they looked to visit Gloucester and contacted Tarr regarding a place to perform. He, in turn, referred them to George's and Salah. And tonight's show — which is also already sold out — zoomed into focus.
"We're looking forward to it," Salah said Friday. "These are always a good time, and I know this will be, too. It's just a nice connection for our two communities."
The countess' estate
The estate of a noblewoman who called Gloucester home will be auctioned of this weekend.
Countess Ute Grafin Haller von Hallerstein was the wife of Count Jochen von Haller and president and owner of the Boston School of Modern Languages, the oldest private language school in the country, teaching English as a second language.
The countess was born in Stuttgart, Germany, and was a longtime resident of Boston's Back Bay and Eastern Point. She was educated at Stuttgart University and enjoyed painting and writing poetry. She was a member of the Eastern Point Yacht Club, Cape Ann Garden Club and the Goethe Society of New England. The countess was 68 when she died last August after battling cancer.
The sale, to be conducted at Kaminski Auctions in Beverly today and tomorrow, will include furniture and art from both residences.
There are several important 19th century clocks, a fine pair of Continental bronzed iron torchieres, and an exceptional early 17th century Flemish portrait in the collection.
The count and countess had been collectors of fine Sevres and Meissen porcelain.