Great Gatsby-themed party designed to raise money for Hospice Volunteers of Waldo County

Posted July 22, 2013, at 6:56 p.m.

BELFAST, Maine — Brona Pelleriti says she doesn’t know that much about the Hospice Volunteers of Waldo County, but she knows they do really good work.

Pelleriti, who seems the opposite of shy, said she also knows how to organize a party — and ask people for money. That’s why she’s one of the people behind this weekend’s Shades of White Great Gatsby Lawn Party, a hospice fundraiser in which participants are asked to wear white.

“I’d love to raise some money. The less they have to fundraise, the more time they have for their patients,” she said recently.

The party was inspired by one she held when she and her husband, Leo Pelleriti, were married in Key West. The Pelleritis, who recently moved to Belfast full time, said that the party was beautiful.

“It looked like a movie set,” she said. “Key West has these things all the time. I thought — let’s give Belfast a little shakeup. Let’s have some fun, for a really good cause.”

She said that the white party, with its 1920s theme, might be a nice chance for area artists and others to put on fancy clothes and enjoy some elegance, some lawn games and more. Local favorite blues rockers, The Juke Rockets, who recently returned from the International Memphis Blues Competition, will end the night with live music. Attendees will be able to bid on items including quality art through a live auction, Pelleriti said.

“Don’t come looking for a bargain. Come looking to donate,” she said, issuing a good-humored challenge to the community.

Last year, the Hospice Volunteers of Waldo County were able to assist over 400 families and patients with end-of-life care, according to a letter asking for auction donations sent by director Connie Woitowitz.

“Generous donations from the community … helped to serve the people of Waldo County in our mission to provide free, confidential, nonmedical support and assistance to the terminally ill, their families and the bereaved,” she wrote.

Pelleriti said she aims to raise between $15,000 and $20,000 for hospice through the party. She’s hoping to entice lots of people to purchase tickets, which are $20 for adults and $10 for kids. Prizes will be offered for the best hat and best costume, pictures will be available through Light in the Forest Photography, other bands will perform, food vendors will be on hand, and beer and wine will be available.

“More than anything, we just want people to come,” she said. “Maybe this will be an annual thing. We want people to have fun and see beauty.”

The Great Gatsby Lawn Party, a fundraiser for the Hospice Volunteers of Waldo County, will begin at 3 p.m. Sunday, July 28, at the Waldo County Shrine Club on Northport Avenue in Belfast. For more information, please contact Cher Jones at 470-0475.

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