On February 6, 2004, the Arctic 56 club volunteered to support the "Friends of the
Library" annual fundraiser luncheon which was held at the Hilton downtown Anchorage. This fundraiser activity featured
not only a lunch social but a live outcry auction with numerous other prizes offered throughout the event. Nearly
300 people attended despite the snowy weather at the main ballroom of the Hilton to help raise funds to purchase new
books and resource materials for Anchorage's municpal libraries. The event was a tremendous success with over $28,000
raised from luncheon ticket sales and the outcry auction.
As part of the club's community outreach commitment, Shannon Jones, Vice-President of the Board for Arctic 56, suggested
months ago about a natural creative avenue for the club to help support the Friends of the Library fundraiser. As a member
of that organization, Shannon helped to focus the clubs charitable efforts toward a lasting and needed cause. With recent budget cuts
experienced by the Anchorage Municipal Libraries, it has become increasingly important to privately raise funds to support
the overall library's mission. Arctic 56 was asked in the early stages for our creative assistance with making the
Hilton ballroom a place people would enjoy during the Valentine luncheon. Over 30 tables had to be decorated with the Valentine theme!
Additionally, Sean Monico enlisted the help of Department 56, Inc., to donate three literary village items as one of the packages for
Based upon the club's prior experience with hosting a large group of people (remember the NCC gathering), the club felt up to the
challenge and held several discussions on how to go about the design. A floral centerpiece was decided early on with a combination
of red and white carnations and mixed greens. Additionally, a brass musical instrument ornament was placed beside the arrangement
on a mirror tile adorned with small sweetheart candies. This became the focus of the club's design and on Thursday, February 5, the club
assembled at Sean's home to build 29 floral table arrangements as well as two larger arrangements for the auction table.
On the morning of the event, club members convened at Sean's house once again to assist in the setup for luncheon. All 31 arrangements
created the night before now had to delivered to the Hilton despite the snowy weather and the newly accumulated 10 inches on the ground! Club
members carefully packed each display and headed downtown. Earlier, the Anchorage Hilton was completing their setup of the main ballroom and had organized
over 30 tables for guests with fine silver, red napkins and cream colored linens. The red napkins really helped to add the Valentine holdiay feeling
as well as enhance the color of the carnations and pots for the arrangements. The auction table was assembled by club members along the main wall
near the podium. Red linen was draped on top of the auction table to highlight and enhance their public appeal. Red lights
were placed under to accent all of the items and to draw attention. Once all the arrangements were placed on the tables, the ornaments set and the
programs stamped, club member could finally relax a little and enjoy the fun.
The luncheon began at 11:30 with guests entering the ballroom and being seated at the various private and corporate tables sponsored. A number VIP's and
and local celebrities were on hand to serve and earn tips for the charitable cause. They included the Chief of Police, Walt Monegan, Channel 2 NBC News Director, John
Tracey, President & CEO ASRC Energy Services, Mike Stophlet, former Muncipal Assemblymen, Charles Wohlforth & Eddie Burke, among others. As
the ballroom become a whirl of conversation, Shannon Jones opened the event with pitching different prizes for a charitable contribution. Next, the
Hilton began serving the lunch which was comprised of a nice green salad, roast loin of pork with green beans and wild rice. A beautiful dessert of
velvet cake in the shape of heart with chocolate mouse complimented not only meal but the table setups as well!
As everyone enjoyed the meal and conversations flying in the ballroom, Paul Maquire began with the live outcry auction. Twelve packages
were featured including a Hummer Happening package, a Las Vegas golfing package and dinner with the Governor. Paul's natural comedy added
nicely to the event and warmed the crowd up to help raise some funds. He was able to engage the audience and to get them open their wallets!
The first package was the Hummer Happening and it raised the largest single contribution at $3,000! Next up was the wonderful literary classics
offered by Department 56, Inc., through Arctic 56. This package brought in $350 for the three village collectible items and was sold to the
current mayor's wife, Debbie Bonito-Begich. All of the packages were ultimately sold with the total funds raised reaching over $28,000. To add to the
excitement, all of the floral arrangements at each table were then given away as door prizes to a lucky winner! All in all it was a great social event
that raised much needed dollars to support the Anchorage Municipal Libraries. I am glad that Arctic 56 was able to support this event and
share our creative resource with the community!