Wednesday, April 4, 2012

"Homes of Distinction" to Benefit Bernardsville Library

The Bernardsville Library Foundation's annual fundraising event, Homes of Distinction, will be held on April 22, 2012, 4:00-6:00 pm, offering guests the opportunity to attend an afternoon cocktail party at one of Bernardsville's finest mansions. This year's selection includes Kenilwood, owned by Richard and Andrea Hall; Country Home, owned by Rich and Pat Sostowski; and Tall Oaks, owned by Herb and Cathy Vinnicombe. The cost is $100/person. The Foundation was started in 2011 to be a source of private funding to enable the Library to operate at or above the current level of excellence without regard to adverse changes in public funding.

Kenilwood was built by and for George B. Post in 1902. The Post family rebuilt the Gothic Revival style home the following year after a fire and continued to live there for eighty years. One of its most famous owners was Mike Tyson, world heavyweight boxing champion, who lived there with his wife, Robin Givens, in 1988. Tennis great Martina Navratilova and Oprah were frequent guests.

Country Home was built 1988. It is a spacious, contemporary colonial on a private road, which was originally a pasture of the Engelhard estate. It has been the venue for many events for friends and family and is known for its hospitality to the Bernardsville Garden Club.

Tall Oaks, a sprawling Georgian style mansion, was originally named Brick House when it was built in 1909. One of its most famous owners was Swing Era Band Leader Tommy Dorsey who lived there from 1935 to 1944. The home had a reputation for huge parties with famous guests like Frank Sinatra, Lana Turner and Jackie Gleason.

Not only are the homes noteworthy, but three great local restaurants are catering the food for the event as their gift to the fundraiser. They are: Bistro Seven Three, Bernardsville; Cafe Azzurro, Peapack; and Two Fifty Two, Bedminster.

There will be other fundraising opportunities available during the event. Available selections are on display in the lobby of the library. Items include a one-week vacation at a resort of your choosing, 30 tickets to the Patriots Ball park for a game in the Somerset County Freeholder's skybox with fireworks, the use of a private vacation home on Cape Cod for one week, the watercolor painting by Mark de Mos used for this year's invitation, and a private party for 12 guests at a mansion in Bernardsville.

Invitations are available at the library. Everyone is welcome to attend. For more information, contact Event Co-Chair Kathleen Palmer at 908-963-0365 or

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