Varied donations sought for annual Stanley Park fundraiser

WESTFIELD-A first-ever online auction begins Sept. 12 for Stanley Park’s annual fundraiser, and donations are needed to ensure its success.

This year’s fundraiser theme is “Carry On the Carillon: There’s Music in the Air,” and funds raised will benefit the repair and restoration of the Carillon Tower that is the predominant landmark in the park.

Mary O’Connell and Tom Fiske are serving as committee co-chairs of the online auction which runs from Sept. 12-18.

In a fundraising letter, O’Connell and Fiske note that because of “unforgiving weather conditions that New England is noted for and the tolls of aging, the Carillon Tower is in dire need of repair and restoration.”

Lori Fiske, development coordinator, and Robert McKean, managing director, both at Stanley Park in Westfield, showcase a few of the artistic donations for this fall’s first online auction. (LORI SZEPELAK PHOTO)

The Carillon Tower, which was envisioned by Stanley Park’s founder, Frank Stanley Beveridge, and was built and dedicated in June, 1950, is one of less than 175 documented Carillon Towers remaining in the United States.

“Upon completion of the Carillon Tower’s project, it will ensure the safety of folks visiting in and around the tower,” notes O’Connell and Fiske. “Stanley Park’s staff and its board members want the Carillon Tower to be around for the enjoyment of individuals and families for generations to come.”

Since the initial request for donations was sent out in a fundraising letter, a host of area artists and craftspeople have already dropped off original works of art for the auction.

As a private nonprofit organization, Stanley Park relies on the generosity of donors to help support the park’s upkeep and improvements, according to Lori Fiske, development coordinator.

“We welcome a wide variety of donations,” said Fiske, adding that unique items, artwork and gift certificates to restaurants are always appreciated.

All donations will be showcased with a detailed description including the donor’s name. The  deadline to submit a donation is Aug. 8.

“You will also have your name and business logo, if applicable, listed on Stanley Park’s online auction donation page,” said Hillary McEwan, development coordinator. “This is a great way to market your business as well as support a great cause.”

Access to the online auction in September will be via Stanley Park’s website and a link will also be available via Stanley Park’s Facebook page.

Sponsorships are also available and range from a “gold sponsor,” for $5,000, and a “silver sponsor,” for $2,500, to a “bronze sponsor,” for $1,250. Additionally, a “tower sponsor” cost is $750, and a “song sponsor” is $250. Contributions are tax-deductible as allowed by law and the deadline for purchasing a sponsorship is Aug. 15.

Monetary donations may also be made at any time and can be mailed to Stanley Park, Development Department, 400 Western Ave., P.O. Box 1191, Westfield, MA 01085. For general donations toward the Carillon Tower project, note that information on the check’s subject line.

“When all of the work on the Carillon Tower is done, we expect the cost to range from $350,000 to $400,000,” said Robert McKean, managing director at Stanley Park.

Stanley Park’s fall fundraiser will benefit the repair and restoration of the Carillon Tower. (LORI SZEPELAK PHOTO)

For more information on the auction, contact McEwan at (413) 568-9312, ext. 108 or send an email to [email protected].

“The Carillon Tower is unique to this area and is a site to behold,” said Fiske. “The Carillon Tower is a landmark that we want to have around for generations to come.”

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