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March 11, 2011     Post-Gazette
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March 11, 2011

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POST-GAZETTE, MARCH 11,2011 Page 9 byJ-Iilda M. Morrill Enjoying The Steppingstone Foundation's recent Mad Men-themed "Crystal Ball" are, left to right, Garrett Sullivan of Newton; The Steppingstone Foundation's Alison Scheier; Craig Levy, Host Committee member; and Cheryl Bendtsen of Marlborough. (Photo by Harriet Groppe) "The Crystal Ball" was recently held at the Four Seasons Hotel and featured a sold-out crowd of 550 guests. More than $100,000 was raised to support The Steppingstone Foundation, a non-profit organization that develops and implements pro- grams which prepare urban schoolchildren for educa- tional opportunities leading to college success. This year in Boston, Steppingstone is serving more than 1,000 students in grades five through 12. Steppingstone has sites in Boston, Hartford and Phila- delphia. For information about the Foundation and upcoming events, be sure to visit ....... After the death of "French Chef" Julia Child, her longtime assistant Stephanie Hersh relocated to Santa Barbara, California, before ultimately moving to New Zealand. So many fond memories of Julia and Stephanie[ At el- egant soirees and fundrais- ing benefits, cooking classes at BU, or just chatting over a cup of coffee, to name a few. After Julia's passing, I con- tinued to attend delightful foodie events at Stephanie's invitation, specifically those sponsored by the American Institute of Wine and Food. Stephanie's move to Christchurch, New Zealand was a happy one for her and she recently became a New Zealand citizen. In fact, I had asked her to email me some images so I could share them with her many Greater Boston Area friends. Following the recent earth- quake tragedy, we emailed our friend, not knowing what to expect, if anything. We were relieved to receive the following message from Stephanie: "I am OK, and my house is not too badly dam- aged. I am now staying at a friend's house in Rolleston (about 25K from Christ- church) because she has power, water, and phone re- ception. The Internet access comes and goes, but I have my cell phone with me .... "Please let everyone know that I am fine -- most of my plates, glasses, platters, etc., have been destroyed, but my wine and chocolate supply were unharmed! Consider- ing that heaps of buildings are in heaps and nearly 200 Matt6o Gallo Appraisals Sales & Rentals Real Estate 376 North Street * Boston, MA 02113 (617) 523-2100 * Fax (617) 523-3530 ,,,, .'. ", , , people are dead, I feel pretty lucky to be alive and un- harmed. Everything else is small stuff. "Hopefully things will re- turn to 'normal' soon. Mean- while, I will just put on a happy facel" Your many Boston friends will keep you, and all the NZ residents affected, in our thoughts, dear Stephanie. ....... It's almost here! "The Boston Flower & Garden Show," a traditional favorite of "The Socially Set." We are told that the large greenhouse at the Elm Bank headquarters of the Massa- chusetts Horticultural Soci- ety is buzzing with activity this week. But it isn't flow- ers that are holding every- one's attention: it's a hun- dred large cubes and cylin- ders in a dazzling array of shapes. Each one has to be sanded, primed and painted a specific color, and time is running out. Welcome to the staging area for the upcoming Mass Hort's participation in the "Boston Flower & Garden Show." Called 'Blooms!', it encompasses amateur hor- ticulture, floral design, pho- tography and even a book store. Blooms[ is a flower show within a flower show. "The Boston Flower & Garden Show," which opens March 16, is produced by the Para- gon Group, a Needham-based event marketing company. Blooms! is Mass Hort's con- tribution to the show. According to Mass Hort Board of Trustees member Neal Sanders, "The amazing part is that it is done almost entirely by volunteers -- 300 of them." For example, there's Barry Needalman of Framingham, who is scraping down an enormous chair that will be the focus of Mass Hort's gar- den exhibit at the show. The 'big red chair' is familiar to anyone who visits the child- centric Weezie's Garden at Elm Bank. Needalman's job is to undo a season's worth of wear and tear, and get it ready to be re-painted. A soft- ware systems architect by day and a weekend sailor, he is applying his nautical skills to ensuring that the chair leaves no splinters in the thousands of children and adults who will have their photo taken in the chair during the show's five- day run. Many of those cubes and cylinders are destined for I DIAMONDS 1 ROLEX ESTATE JEWELRY Bought & Sold Jewelers Exch. Bldg. Jim (617) 263-7766 . "." ,'. Smiling for the camera at the "Crystal Bail" are, left to right, Jaclyn White of the South End; Host Committee member Anne McGowan of the North End; Elizabeth McGowan from Charlotte, NC; and Caroline Traugott of Somerville. (Photo by Harriet Groppe) the two floral design compe- titions that draw throngs of admirers. Called 'staging', they'll hold the designs cre- ated by the extraordinarily talented floral arrangers who have signed up to compete at the show. Twenty-eight of them are the responsibility of Maureen Christmas of Acton, who is Chair of Divi- sion I which, in turn, is spon- sored by the Garden Club Federation of Massachusetts. Additional staging is being spruced up by volunteers under the supervision of the Division II chair, Joyce Bakski of Andover. Division II is known as the "Open Class": Anyone is eligible to enter, whether or not he or she belongs to a garden club. The theme is "Green Spaces" and it includes classes called "Harvard Yard," "Rose Kennedy Greenway," "The Harbor Islands," "Elm Bank," "Tower Hill," "Garden in the Woods," and "The Bay Cir- cuit Trail." A major component of Blooms! is amateur horticul- ture. Chairman Martha Clouse of Saugus oversees a committee whose responsi- bility this week is to remind everyone of the show's March 14 entry day. In all, Blooms[ encom- passes ten distinct parts of the "Boston Flower & Garden Show." They include Mass Hort's garden, a 350-square- (Continued on Page 13) Joyce Bakshi, left, and her crew of volunteers prepare the staging for Mass Hort's "Open Class" floral entries at the upcoming "Boston Flower & Garden Show." (Photo courtesy of Neal Sanders) JUSTINE YANDLE PHOTOGRAPHY 781.589.7347 JUSTINE.YAN DLE@ GI~EAIL.COM wwwJ US'ITNEYANDLEPHOTO GRAPHY. C OM ",*b" "'