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March 17, 2012 - Vail Valley Venetian Nights

What: Inaugural Venetian Nights fundraiser

Where: Edwards Interfaith Chapel and Community Center

When: Saturday, March 17, 2012

Time: 6:00 p.m.

Beneficiary: The Edwards Interfaith Chapel and Community Center

Committee Members: Susan Washing, Chairwoman; Jill Anderson, Steve Baird, Jill Chalfant, Netia Gerken, Karen Haeffner, Beth Levine, Russell Molina, CJ Tenner and Tom Walker

Speaker: Deacon Stephen Baird and CJ Tenner

Catering: David Walford of Splendido

Music: Jessica Medoff-soprano, Rebecca Fay- soprano, Michael Krzankowski-Baritone and Michael Bunchman, Piano accompanist

Sponsors: “Prima Donatores”: Sallie and Robert Fawcett, Allison and Russell Molina, Susan and Tom Washing; “Benefattores” Sponsors: Alpine Bank, Norma and Juan Carlos Aziz, Karen and Stephen Baird, David Barbour, Kathy Cole and Carole Watters, Lucy and Ron Davis, Joan Francis, Ann Smead and Michael Byram; “Angelos” Hosts: Beck Building Company, Evans Chaffee Construction, Peggy and Gary Edwards, Mikki and Morris Futernik, Linda and John Galvin, Kari and Dick Gyde, CJ and Jessica Tenner

Menu: Warm sea bass salad with fennel, radish, olive, lemon and parsley; balsamic braised duck leg with wild mushrooms and gnocchi; dessert: hazelnut semifreddo, chocolate and caramel sauce

Attendance: 150

Attire: Mountain Elegant

Special Thanks: Brian Hotchkin, Santa Barbara Opera; Gore Range Brewery; Paul Lalena; William Grant and Sons; Patrick Mildrum, Splendido Restaurant; The Molina Family; Riverwalk Wine and Spirits; Juan Ruacho, Rios de Agua Viva; Jessica and CJ Tenner; Alan and Mayra Vidal; Iglesia Apostolicia de la fe en Cristo, Jesus; The Vail Daily--Tom Walker; Food Ministry for the appetizers

Board of Directors: Deacon Stephen Baird, President EVRF Board, Committee-Chairman of the Capital Campaign, Rev. Dr. Scott K. Beebe, Jo Brown, Secretary EVRF Board, Reverend Shane Carr, Joan Francis, Mikki Futernick, Netia Gerken, Rev. Mark Huggenvik, M. Div., Rev. Stuart Brooks Keith, Jerry Landeck, Russell Molina, Rabbi Debra L. Rappaport, MBA, Beth Levine-Rosen, Donald Sigman, Myrna Sigman, Dan M. Smith , Andy Sutton, CJ Tenner, Past President, EVRF Board, Thomas Walker, Vice President, EVRF Board, Susan Washing, Vice President EVRF Board, Chair of Development Committee and Pastor Tim Wilbanks

Blacktie Photos by: Marcelo Mainzer

 The Eagle Valley Religious Foundation Past President CJ Tenner, left, and current President Deacon Stephen Baird
The Eagle Valley Religious Foundation Past President CJ Tenner, left, and current President Deacon Stephen Baird

Some attribute Ludwig Von Beethoven with having said, “Music is the language of God.” Many have repeated this thought because it expresses so well how music can elevate us like nothing else.

On Saturday, the 17th of March, the language of God was being spoken in beautiful Italian arias at the lovely Edwards Interfaith Chapel to celebrate the inaugural “Venetian Nights” fundraiser to benefit the chapel and community center.

Like a chorus of voices adding and enhancing each other, under the auspice of The Eagle Valley Religious Foundation (EVRF), B'nai Vail Congregation, Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration, Mt. of the Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Covenant Presbyterian Church, Christ Church Anglican and Iglesia Apostolicia de la fe en Cristo Jesus all enhance their mutual striving towards the divine at The Edwards Interfaith Chapel.
As a night in Venice feeds all the senses, “Venetian Nights” lavished the eyes with not only the chapel and grounds themselves, but a wide variety of silent auction items that supporters were given the opportunity to bid on, not to mention patrons in their finest garb and feathered masks.
The taste buds were treated to three stations of cheeses, crackers, antipasto and other hors d'oeuvres, and three full bars, even before entering the chapel for the main course, created by famed Chef David Walford of Splendido.
While Italy reigned downstairs, upstairs in the library Scotsmen Deacon Stephen Baird and Rev. Stuart Brooks Keith poured generous amounts of aged Scotch whiskey, all in the name of a good cause, of course.
And the ears opened up the heartstrings with music. Jessica Medoff (soprano), Rebecca Fay (soprano) and Michael Krzankowski (baritone), accompanied by Michael Bunchman on piano, sang Brindisi, la Traviata, Hai gia vinta la cause (Le nozze di Figaro), Caro nome (Rigoletto), Sous le dome epais (The Flower Duet) (Lakme), The Jewel Song (Faust), Oh Danny Boy, Quando m'en vo (La Boheme), O mio babbino caro (Gianni Schicchi), Un bel di (Madame Butterfly) and Votre toast (Carmen).
Audience members were invited to dedicate encore arias to people they love, and this too added to the fabulous fundraising success of the evening. Venetian Nights is sure to become a “not to miss” event in the Vail Valley for years to come.
The Edwards Interfaith Chapel and Center for Community will continue to fulfill its mission, written 2,500 years ago by an anonymous Hebrew poet: "O, how good and pleasant it is when brothers and sisters live together in unity." (Psalm 133:1). We are striving to inhabit that sacred space of divinely inspired harmony here in the 21st century.





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