Beacon Hill Gala – One of Many Neighborhood Traditions

by Suzanne Besser

February 6, 2016, marks the 44th time the Beacon Hill Civic Association has invited neighbors to the Winter Gala, an elegant dinner and dance that each year attracts hundreds of neighbors.

It is one of several Beacon Hill annual traditions that bring residents together to enjoy the community spirit that makes the neighborhood a special place to live.

Other traditions include holiday decorating days that for almost 20 years have attracted hosts of volunteers to string festive garlands and greens on neighborhood gas lamps and Hill House’s annual sale of Christmas trees and wreathes for residents to decorate their homes.

It’s been more than 10 years that the Beacon Hill Business Association has brought together neighbors bundled in long scarves and warms mittens to ring in the holidays by lighting a Christmas tree and jumping aboard a horse drawn buggy ride at its annual Holiday Stroll.

Last year the Nichols House Museum invited guests for the 20th year to tour the historic house and several beautifully decorated private homes during its Holiday House Tour. And, year after year Louisburg Square homeowners invite Christmas Eve celebrants to join them for caroling and bell-ringing, a tradition first started in the mid-1800s.

Every May thousands of guests come from afar to the Beacon Hill Garden Club’s Hidden Garden Tour. This year will be the 87th annual tour, which generates funds to beautify the neighborhood and beyond.

In September, hundreds of neighbors get together to enjoy hot dogs, games and displays by Beacon Hill nonprofits at the annual Neighborhood Block Party. Founded in 2002, it is the BHCA’s way of welcoming residents and their families home after a long summer away.

“Like the Block Party and other traditional events, next week’s Winter Gala is a celebration of the neighborhood,” said Chair Keeta Gilmore. “It’s a time for all of us to escape from the winter doldrums and come together to celebrate each other and the wonderful quality of life we share here. And, importantly, funds raised support the BHCA, which has worked for 94 years to maintain and improve that quality of life.”

This year’s Honorary Gala Chairs are Suzie Tapson and Gordon Burnes, who are being recognized for their leadership, vision and dedication to preserving and improving our neighborhood. Gala Committee Co-Chairs are Deb Hanley and Frank McGuire, Kimberlea and Stephen Jeffries, and Sandra and Holt Massey.

This year the Gala will feature a silent auction where guests can bid on a luxury cocktail cruise for eight on the Newport-based Stingray, a classic 56-foot gentleman’s wooden motor yacht first launched in 1964 by the Jamestown Boat Yard and renovated in 2010. Other auction items include a tour and winetasting for ten at Greenvale Vineyards in Portsmouth, RI and a set of Red Sox tickets.

“I encourage neighbors to come and connect with old friends and welcome new ones to the community,” said Hanley. “It’s a wonderful way for us all to have a great time while supporting the cause and mission of the BHCA. The Gala is our major fundraiser and the source of its much-needed revenue.”

The black tie affair, which is being held at the Four Seasons Hotel, begins with cocktails at 6:30 pm, followed by dinner in the ballroom at 7:30 pm. After Hours with dancing and dessert begins at 9:00 p.m. Gala tickets begin at $400 per person ($450 for non-members); tickets for After Hours only are $125 per person.

For more information and reservations, contact the BHCA at 617-277-6696 or [email protected].

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