Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Summertime ... And the Livin' is Easy ...

Mayor Jennings, Business Leaders to Co-Host “Summertime with Gershwin” Party for Committee 150

ALBANY, 7/18/2006 – On Friday, July 28 from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m., Albany’s historic City Hall rotunda will take on the ambience of a Manhattan apartment during the heyday of legendary creative geniuses George and Ira Gershwin.

Albany Mayor Gerald Jennings; Anders Thomson, senior vice president and director of commercial real estate finance for New York State for Citizens Bank; Charles Kuhtic, owner of the Morgan State House, an urban inn in Albany; and J.M. L. Huffman, J.D., a Financial Planner with Met Life Financial Services are joining forces to present Summertime with Gershwin, a fundraising party for Committee 150.

The party will feature entertainment from Kevin Cole, who the Chicago Tribune calls “the best Gershwin pianist in America today.” Cole will perform A Gershwin Celebration at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center with The Philadelphia Orchestra and guest conductor Marvin Hamlisch the following evening at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets start at $50 per person, and can be purchased by calling The Morgan State House at 518-427-6063. Proceeds will benefit Committee 150, a citizens’ campaign to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the former St. Joseph’s Church, and to raise $150,000 to continue stabilization work on the once-endangered building.

“This event continues the commitment that the City of Albany has made to preserve and restore the former St. Joseph’s Church,” said Mayor Jennings. “Since 2001, when the City began emergency stabilization work, to 2003, when we transferred ownership of the building to Historic Albany Foundation, we have known that this structure was too important to lose. I’m proud to support the efforts of Committee 150, whose members are coming up with fun and creative ideas for fundraisers that highlight the best of Albany.”

Upcoming events include a New England Style Clambake, a benefit softball game, and a Splashdown for St. Joe’s featuring a chartered trip on the Albany Aqua Duck.

According to co-host Charles Kuhtic, this party demonstrates the enthusiasm of the local business community to protect and celebrate Albany’s unique historic architecture. “From Dale Miller, Certified Master Chef at Jack’s Oyster House; to Brad Junco at Capital Wine & Spirits; to Seagroatt Floral; to Hugh Murphy of Clark Music in Latham, who is donating the use of a Steinway Piano for the evening, local businesses and professionals have responded very generously to our request for support of Committee 15o.” Additional business and individual sponsors include: Complete Party Rentals; Designs by Douglas; McCadam Cheese; Spoonful Catering; Classical Recording Service – Daniel Czernecki; Vinci/Weigel Beverage Center; Experience and Creative Design; and RK Designs.

Guests at Summertime with Gershwin will have the opportunity to participate in a raffle for a getaway package at the Mirror Lake Inn Resort & Spa in Lake Placid. In addition, original artwork depicting St. Joseph’s Church, as well as signed prints, will be available for purchase.

Through events, raffles and donations, Committee 150 has already raised more than $15,000. A challenge grant from prominent investment counselor Candace King Weir, owner of C.L. King & Associates Inc., which matches each $2 raised with $1 additional, brings the total to date to over $23,000 – 15% of their goal. The campaign began in May and is slated to end in the fall.

“It’s not too late to join Committee 150 and support the stabilization of the former St. Joseph’s Church,” said Colleen Ryan, who co-founded the Committee with Elizabeth Griffin. “With each party, each open house, and each discussion, we hope that people will begin imagining the possibilities for this magnificent structure.”

For information about the stabilization project at St. Joseph’s, contact Erin Tobin at Historic Albany Foundation at www.historic-albany.org or 518-465-0876 x 12. To learn more about Committee 150, or to sign up to plan and host a party, visit committee150.blogspot.com or leave voice mail at 518-462-1900.


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