From poodle skirts and cat eye glasses to leather jackets and slicked-back hair, the spirit of the 1950s was alive and well at Water's Edge Resort & Spa on April 28 for the Starlight 50's Diner, Vista's 2018 Starlight Benefit social event and fundraiser.
With more than 250 people in attendance, this year's blast from the past stands to net $95,000. Net proceeds from the event go toward enhancing Vista's many program and services, allowing Vista to continue supporting the personal success of individuals with disabilities.
A portion of event proceeds benefit Vista's Student/Member Enrichment Fund, which underwrites unique projects, activities and initiatives for Vista students and members that go beyond Vista's traditionally offered services. Since its establishment in 2006, the Student/Member Enrichment Fund has raised over $340,000—including support from this year's Starlight Benefit—and has underwritten more than 125 projects, including experiential day trips, arts workshops and wellness initiatives.
This year's event honored Bill McMinn, owner of Essex Printing and Events Magazines in Centerbrook, for his committed support of numerous charitable organizations and causes in and around the shoreline.
Highlights of the event included live and silent auctions, themed diner fare, 50's music, a Chevy convertible photo booth, and "celebrity appearances" by 50's icons Frank Sinatra, Lucille Ball, James Dean, Elizabeth Taylor, Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, and Queen Elizabeth. Vista also partnered with 30 Mile Brewing Co. in Old Saybrook on a limited edition "Starlight 50's Diner" New England Style Pale Ale, which featured original artwork by Vista artist Cara Sprouls on the label.
The Starlight 50's Diner was presented by Andi Barouh, Essex Printing, Best Version Media, Steven and Arlyn Siegelaub, Zip06, Lori Shafner, and Whelen Engineering.