Butterfly Society

Heuser Hearing Institute’s Butterfly Society is the organization that provides support for the Institute’s Hearing & Language Academy. It is a volunteer organization of both women and men who provide time, treasure and/or talent for the acclaimed preschool for hearing-impaired children, ages 3 – 6. They provide support to the school and its teachers both in and out of the classroom, and they also do some very clever fundraising.

Last year Libby Parkinson brought back a very successful charity fundraising idea from San Francisco where a luncheon was held with a movie theme. Each of the tables had a host sponsor who bought or sponsored a table and was responsible for decorating it around the theme of a favorite movie. Ten guests of the host or hostesses’ choosing attended the event, with many of them probably volunteering to help with the planning and decorating.

Before the luncheon guests arrived, a panel of judges reviewed each of the tables and declared a “best in show” winner and several runners up, and prizes were awarded. In addition, at the sold-out luncheon a live auction was held with a celebrity auctioneer selling some very elegant, high-priced items.

Well nobody has ever said Libby Parkinson isn’t clever or smart. She picked the dynamic and delightful Deborah Greenwald to co-chair with her a similar event for the Butterfly Society last Fall. Together they named the event “Butterflies in Motion” and picked a stellar committee to carry it out. The event was held at the Brown Hotel’s Crystal Ballroom and all 24 tables sold out way in advance!

The mistress of ceremonies was supposed to be WAVE3’s Shannon Cogan, who is a Heuser board member and has a son who is a Heuser graduate. The phrase “supposed to be” isn’t an error. Shannon got picked by her bosses at WAVE to go and interview the Pope when he visited the USA at the same time as the luncheon, so she wasn’t able to carry out the emcee duties. But, her WAVE3 colleague Kevin Harned served as the event’s auctioneer, and everybody was wild about him.

The Brown Hotel kitchen served a delicious lunch, the event was financially successful, and everybody had a good time. In fact, in some circles “Butterflies in Motion” was considered the best new fundraising event of the year.

Fast forward to 2016. With success under their collective belts the committee decided to repeat “Butterflies in Motion” again this year under the leadership of Libby as the chair, with Deborah Greenwald (who went off to chair an event for Collegiate) still serving on the committee. Others serving are Kassi Cawood, Beckie Ennis, Jeanne Ferguson, Kelly Hannah-Carroll, Rosemary Kirkwood, Jeannie Livesay, Von Purdy, Julie Rakowski, Mary Stone and Lindy Street.

To kick things off Jeanne and David Ferguson held a cocktail party at their home early in the summer to announce the October 20, 2016 date for this year’s event, once again at the Brown Hotel, and to start the sale of tables. Shannon Cogan has agreed to emcee again (unless the Pope comes back!) and Kevin Harned will be the auctioneer. The table judges are three highly regarded Louisville artists – Julius Friedman, Ed Hamilton and Jacque Parsley. And yes, all the tables have been sold including an extra one this year, making the total 25.

This year Kevin will be very busy auctioning off some wonderful items, including a pair of diamond earrings appraised at $11,000; a trip to New York that includes hotel, airfare and a pair of tickets to see “Hamilton;” the right to become a named character in acclaimed best-selling author Sue Grafton’s next novel “Z” (she is finishing “Y” now); a package of restaurant gift cards with a value of approximately $5,000 or more; a holiday dinner for 24 in a private home; and maybe another goodie or two more.

This year there will also be a silent auction with several paintings by prominent artist Dominick Pangborn, from Detroit, who is represented by the famous Park Gallery headquartered in New York City.  One most unusual painting features Churchill Downs, horses and roses in an unusual 3D tryptic.  A brand new flat screen TV has been donated, as has a wheeled orange leather traveling tote. Also included is a “drop dead” sterling cocktail set and a stunning Kenneth J. Lane cocktail necklace.

More details in a week or two. VT