To the Editor:

Harrybrooke Park held its third annual comedy night fundraiser at Arion Singing Society April 8.

With 160 attendees, we were able to raise much-needed dollars for the park, the “gem of New Milford.”

Our guests were extraordinarily generous, raising dollars with a gift basket raffle and a truly engaging live auction, including a canvas print of the work of local photographer Mike Jacquemin and a homemade cheese board donated by Corey Price.

We auctioned a free stay at Mohegan Sun, which they generously donated, and a group party at the Escape Room 101 in Danbury. Such amazing and large donations.

Hilarious comedic performances were given by John Iavarone, Joanna Rapoza and New Milford’s own Kathy Johansen, making for an evening filled with laughs, especially from a large group from Kathy’s KBJB Radio App, who filled many tables.

Of course, Arion Singing Society needs a big thank you for being such congenial hosts.

Not only was this an overall impressive event, but we luckily had a volunteer staff that was even more impressive.

Friends of Harrybrooke like Erin Smith, Heather Smith, Pete Bass, Gail Dawson, Jeff “Ozzie” Osborne, Curt and Shirley Fabische, Pete Messer, Lynn Colville, Tammy Deak, Tom Reardon and Park Board of Manager members Lee Colville, Tammy Reardon, Jon Raymond and Bill Deak.

We’d also like to thank the ladies from Kohl’s Cares who assisted us the entire evening. Simply outstanding volunteer support.

I’d also like to personally thank Harrybrooke Assistant Executive Director Valerie Walsh. Valerie stepped outside her comfort zone as a co-host, was very funny and even donned an inflatable dinosaur costume.

Her efforts throughout the planning and execution were truly remarkable — from making the peacock centerpieces to breaking down the event. Valerie was and is a rock star.

Equally impressive was the catering job from Candlewood Valley Country Club. Jennifer and Pete provided a delicious meal, and were very easy to work with in preparation. No one left disappointed or hungry.

We’d also like to thank New Milford DJ Dan Stra, who donated his time, equipment and talent to the event.

Lights for the stage were provided by Scott Robideau, and this was the finishing touch needed for such a professional show.

Additional thanks go to those who donated gifts to our raffle and auction. The following New Milford-based businesses are wonderful friends to Harrybrooke and deserve recognition: Candlewood Valley Country Club, Touch of Summer, 3 Brothers Family Restaurant, Nail D’Ami, The Cookhouse, Midway Liquor, Northville Liquor, Northville Store, Nejaime Wine & Spirits, Petrela Nails, Northeast Carpet, Dollr Bill’s Bowling, Meadowbrook Gardens, Home Depot, El Coyote Restaurant, Achorn’s Discount Liquor, New Posh Nails & Spa, Holiday Restaurant, Unleashed, Nutmeg Olive Oil, Goat Boy Soap, Down on Main Street, Joe’s Salon & Spa, Dagwoods, Classic Liquor, East Coast Carpet, South Beach Tans, Theatre Works, 31 Bags, John’s Best Pizza and Village Green Cleaners.

From out of town, our friends at the Hilton Garden Inn were also quite generous.

Our mission is to serve the greater New Milford area communities at no cost to the town or its taxpayers. We do this through fundraising, private donations, grants and lots of community and volunteer support.

Your contributions make it possible for us to continue to serve the public with a beautiful and family-friendly place for all to enjoy.

Thank you again for all you do to support the park and its mission.

On behalf of the Board of Managers, Friends of Harrybrooke and the staff here at Harrybrooke Park and Harden House, we thank all who attended, donated and laughed.

Billy Buckbee

Executive Director

Harrybrooke Park & Harden House Museum

New Milford