ROBYNE Bancroft, left, Annie and Brian Dodd, Jannay Daley and Jo Randall, enjoy the twilight at the gallery.
ROBYNE Bancroft, left, Annie and Brian Dodd, Jannay Daley and Jo Randall, enjoy the twilight at the gallery.

Splash of green delivers money to foundation

By EMMA CORNFORD

THE sound of Irish jigs and laughter drifting along Fitzroy Street, Grafton, lasted long into the night on Friday, thanks to the annual Gallery Foundation dinner.

From the three guest 'storytellers' to the food and atmosphere, foundation chairperson Kay Alden labelled the fundraiser at the Grafton Regional Gallery a 'sparkling success'.

"Everybody absolutely adored the stories and it really helped to create a fantastic community atmosphere," she said.

Mrs Alden said three 'very different' speakers told tales of Ireland on the night ? Mary De Gabriele, a traveller who is leaving for Ireland in one week with her husband, eminent gynaecologist and obstetrician Dr John Palmer, who grew up in Ireland and then came to Grafton, and prominent artist David Egan, who will be opening his new exhibition in Sydney next weekend.

Guests donned a touch of green on the evening to help give the night an Irish feel.

And those few who turned up without something green were given a badge ? 'kiss me, I'm Irish'

"But it was a party with a purpose," said Mrs Alden.

"Of course we haven't done all the final sums yet, but all told we raised a large sum ... of around $10,000 which is really quite encouraging for people."

Mrs Alden praised the generosity of people around the Valley, including Sam Coverdale, Scott Wright and his wife Julie Robertson who donated wine for the evening.

Local artists also donated artwork which was auctioned on the night and raised around $5000.

It was also announced that one Valley resident would donate $5000 to the foundation over two years.

Although completely autonomous from the Grafton Regional Gallery, the foundation exists to raise funds which are then allocated to support the gallery.

"A lot of people came up to us afterwards and said this was an occasion where they felt like they had a party but also made a real contribution as well," Mrs Alden said.

Anyone wishing to donate to the Gallery Foundation can contact Mrs Alden on 6642 5561.



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