Garden party, auction help Bristol Bloom


The bright flowers adorning the historic lamp posts along Hope, State and Bradford streets help beautify downtown Bristol, but they don't come cheap.

Bristol Blooms, the non-profit organization responsible for the hanging flower baskets, depends on donations from supporters, lamp post sponsorships and fundraisers to buy the flowers, pots and brackets, and maintain them with daily watering — a surprisingly expensive chore for nearly 150 flower pots. A garden party fundraiser at Blithewold Mansion last Thursday helped defray part of that cost.

In addition to ticket purchases and unsolicited donations, the garden party featured a live auction that helped raise thousands for the project. While visitors mingled on Blithewold's patio overlooking the expansive back lawn leading to Bristol Harbor, they bid on items ranging from artwork to a dinner with a local celebrity.

The dinner at Roberto's restaurant with professional golfer Billy Andrade drew the largest bid — $1,000 from Bob and Heather Savoie, who will enjoy dinner with two friends, along with Mr. Andrade and his wife.

Other items up for bid included:

  • Nantucket Gyotaku fish print - $900.
  • One-night stay at Point Pleasant Inn plus a $250 Capitol Grille gift card - $450
  • Sunset cruise with Councilman Halsey Herreshoff aboard his boat, "Stiletto" - $375
  • Bristol Harbor cruise plus lunch at the Boathouse - $200

Bristol Blooms continues to raise money to make the flower project an annual event, which this year cost more than $30,000. Donators are invited to “adopt a lantern,” and individual donations can also be made to Bristol Blooms. Email or visit the organization’s Facebook page for more information.


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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.