Fundraiser in Potsdam raises $2,000 for North Country Children's Museum
The Ruehle Family of Madrid won the drawing for the Maple Run Emporium Holiday Gift Basket at the Holiday Shopping and Sampling Fundraiser for the North Country Children’s Museum. Pictured are Tim and Lori Ruehle with their children Nathanael, baby Lucas, Bethany, Ava, Caedmon, and Elijah. (Daughter Isabelle attended the event but is missing from the photo.) Photo by Violet Dean.
POTSDAM – The Holiday Shopping and Sampling Fundraiser held Dec. 1 at Maple Run Emporium in Potsdam raised $2,000 for the North Country Children’s Museum (NCCM).More than 125 people attended the 90-minute gala and contributed funding in the form of ticket purchases and donations. Additionally, the featured artist of the evening, award-winning wood-turner Jan Close, donated 20 percent of his sales at the event.
Festivities included maple delicacy samplings, a cider bar tasting, live music, festive complimentary gift-wrapping, an artist-in-residence exhibition, and a drawing for a Maple Run Emporium gift basket.
Mary Hilton, owner of Maple Run Emporium, organized the fundraiser with NCCM Board Member Jane Lammers. Maple Run Emporium is a member of the NCCM Founder’s Circle.
Attendees were able to sample the maple gourmet foods provided by Maple Run Emporium. Maple was featured in cheeses, jams, sardines, mustards, jerkies, aioli, grill sauce, pickles, butter, cream, chocolate bark, and water.
At the cider bar, Jody Wenzel of Kaneb Orchards in Massena served samples of four ciders. Kaneb Orchards donated the sample bottles of St. Lawrence Cider, Cranberry Crisp, Raquette River, and Grasse River for the event.
The Latin Ensemble from the Crane School of Music set the tone with a lively concert. Musicians included Will Allen, Saxophone; Jared Gonzalez, Trombone; Morgan Cluck, Vocals; Johnna Bernard, Vocals; David Baker, Piano; Max Howard, Piano; Geoffrey Snow, Congas; and Julian Eichholz, Guitar/Bass. Marsha Baxter, chair of music education department, organized the free performance.
Fine art photographer Jane Lammers of Canton offered glittering festive gift-wrapping for purchases made during the event. Assisting her were Kathy Love and Ruth Tully.
Jan Close of Winthrop displayed an extraordinary new collection of his woodturnings created especially for the fundraiser. Holiday ornaments, Dreidel toys, exotic hollow forms, and a unique three-foot sculpture showpiece were all featured.
NCCM interns Violet Dean and Alison Ettinger-DeLong served as greeters and ticket-takers. Violet was also the official event photographer.
Winner of the holiday gift basket drawing was Lori Ruehle of Madrid. She attended the event with her husband Tim, and their seven children. Maple Run Emporium donated the gift basket, which included maple coffee, tea, spices, syrup, pancake mix, scented bath and kitchen products, and children’s books about maple syrup.
Highlighting the evening, NCCM Director Sharon Williams announced that the organization had raised nearly one million dollars to date and the goal now is to raise an additional $38,000 to assure an early 2018 opening for the museum.
“We're so grateful to the Maple Run Emporium and all local companies who have joined our Founder's Circle and are contributing their resources to improve the lives of children and families in the North Country,” said Williams.
The NCCM is a non-profit organization formed in 2011 by a group of educators with a collective vision to create a cultural and educational center for North Country families. The museum is located in The Red Barn at 10 Raymond St. in Potsdam. For more information, visit www.northcountrychildrensmuseum.org.