With local nonprofit organizations seeing a big drop in county funding next year and even more cuts on the horizon, these groups depend more than ever on fundraisers.
Almost every summertime fundraiser offers a waterfront setting, silent auction and musical entertainment, but one well worth considering at the bargain price of $25 is the Shady Side Rural Heritage Society's "Music on the Bay," to be held 2 p.m. June 24 along the banks of West River.
The fundraiser will benefit the Capt. Salem Avery House Museum.
Former society president Mavis Daly, now its publicist, lured my husband and me to make the 40-minute trip to South County, despite $3-a-gallon gas.
I'd suggest that she be hired to coach volunteers on how to attract audiences at the upcoming statewide conference scheduled for September.
For the society's fundraiser, she promises an afternoon of "enjoying music and basking in the view of sailboats gliding on the West River, dining on gourmet hors d'oeuvres served by costumed hosts and hostesses."
The event will feature a beer and wine garden, as well as silent and live auctions.
Music will be provided by the six-member Spa Creek Jazz Band and Andy Garte and his four-piece group, AG and the MGs, local Shady Siders who play rock 'n' roll, jazz and boogie tunes.
A late afternoon live auction conducted by John Whitman will feature a 30-foot Cruisers 3060 Rogue powerboat, equipped with air conditioning, a two-burner stove and microwave.
Other items include a Cal Ripken Jr. autographed bat, a driftwood bench, rod and reel combos, a weekend in Bethany Beach, Del., and an airplane ride.
A list of approximately 100 auction items can be found at www.averyhouse.org.
Silent auction items will include tickets to Arena Stage, a private tour of the National Zoo for up to 10 people, an excursion with Pirate Adventures on the Chesapeake, a getaway to a Washington bed-and-breakfast and tickets to the U.S. sailboat and powerboat shows in Annapolis in October.
Adding to the spirit of the day will be a garden party hat contest with awards for beauty, humor, creativity and more. Guests may wear their own or create a hat in the "milliner's shop," where they can choose hats, ribbons and flowers.
The society is trying to raise $25,000 to repair, paint and preserve the museum, which is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Our trip to Shady Side on Saturday was fun. After we drove through the intersection of routes 214 and 468, the traffic reduced instantly.
The increasingly lovely scenery transported us back to days when a drive in the country soothed our souls.
If passing tobacco barns, horse farms, rolling country, well-maintained homes and gardens, and quaint churches holds appeal, you'll find all of this and more in a slower-paced, seemingly more serene world.
We also met a three-generation Shady Side family: Loretta Garte, the society's corresponding secretary; her son Andrew, an environmental consultant and one of the musicians performing on the 24th; and his daughters, Maxi and Nicole, who serve as docents for the society.
Come and meet them, along with other gentlefolks who seem like ideal garden party companions.
For reservations, call 410-267-0654.