Some of us at MHPN look forward to the annual Fall Benefit all year long. How could we not? It’s the perfect time of year for a party (but then, when isn’t a perfect time for a party?); the leaves are turning, the evening air is cool but not yet crisp, pumpkin and squash are guaranteed to be on the menu, and, frankly, we are all ready for a break from the hustle of September.
Of course, planning an event that satisfies our anticipation is no easy task. Every year, the Development Committee starts brainstorming locations before there are even leaves on the trees to turn. In early March we begin contacting prospective venues; we have caterers in mind by June; and in July, we start asking you, dear supporters, for sponsorships and donations to our live and silent auctions.
We look for places that are unique and enticing, that have a rich history, and that our guests may not ever visit otherwise. In the last few years, we’ve been at the Riverside Arts Center in Ypsilanti, the Durand Union Station in Durand, and the Virgil A. Carr Center in Detroit – all fantastic venues and gracious hosts. But this year, we landed one of our most exciting venues yet.
The Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.) building in Detroit hasn’t been open to the public in 30 years. Luckily for us, the masterminds behind Mindfield studios recently purchased the 1899 Romanesque building at the intersection of Grand River and Cass and are undertaking a complete renovation.
On October 12, Mindfield will throw open the G.A.R. building’s doors to us for an exclusive preview – a full year before the work will be completed. 125 very special MHPN guests will tour the building, learn about its history from two historical reenactors, Bruce and Marcia Butgereit, and see first hand how the renovations are progressing.
If the venue isn’t alluring enough, we’ve asked a few of Detroit’s favorite caterers (soon to be yours, we guarantee), the Detroit Gypsy Kitchen , the Batata Shop, Rocky City Pies, Traffic Jam and Snug, and Srodek’s in Hamtramck to bring along some of their delicious cuisine. We will also have beer from Ann Arbor’s Jolly Pumpkin and wine from Esperance Wine.
But wait, it get’s better. This year’s live and silent auctions are shaping up to be our most interesting yet. Looking for a ride in a WWII-era T-9 airplane? (No, we’re not kidding). How about a wine tasting vacation on the Mission Peninsula? Cruise to Cancun? Night at the opera? Or maybe something smaller – a vintage croquet set? Ten Thousand Villages gift pack? Ride on a historic railroad? Honestly, we have something for everyone.
So for those of you who were lucky enough to get your tickets before we sold out (don’t worry, you can still join the waiting list!), bring your curiosity, bring your appetites, and please, bring your checkbooks! All proceeds from ticket sales and the auctions go to support MHPN’s programming around the state.
By the way, did we mention this building is under construction? We encourage guests to wear warm clothing and comfortable shoes, and to be prepared for portable restrooms, temporary lighting, and just a bit of dust.
See you there!
MHPN’s 18th Annual Fall Benefit
Friday, October 12, 2012
1942 Grand River Ave
Detroit, MI 48226
**Parking available for $5 in any of three lots across Grand River from the G.A.R. or the lot one block east of the G.A.R. on W Adams.
For more information on the G.A.R. building, follow Mindfield’s progress here.