Well, not exactly!
One of my favorite events in Westport, and there are many, is the annual fundraiser for Project Return. The thing that I love about this particular fundraiser, other than it being for a great cause, is that it encourages creativity. Artists are recruited to donate a birdhouse with the only requirement being size...no smaller than a robin's egg and no larger than a swan. The artists are encouraged to use any medium and any format. The results are absolutely amazing as you can see from these photos!
The Annual Birdhouse auction is the primary fundraiser for Project Return accounting for 25% of their operating budget. Project Return was established in 1986 to meet the needs of adolescent girls in crisis between 14-18 years of age. The girls, some who have had eating disorders, suffered from depression or encountered sexual or physical abuse, voluntarily choose to participate in this program. They live in a restored farmhouse located a mile from the center of Westport in a therapeutic group living environment. The farmhouse is a temporary home to 7 girls at a time. Thus the idea of using birdhouses for the fundraiser. Birdhouses are a temporary safe haven for birds on a journey.
This year marks the 14th auction for Project Return. The birdhouses inhabit the store windows of Westport's Main Street, Post Road East and Playhouse Square merchants. They have been on display since March 19th and will continue to delight window shoppers of all ages until the day of the Auction. The auction will be held on Friday, April 3rd at the The Inn at Longshore. The evening features a silent and live auction, cocktails, light dinner, dessert and entertainment. The auction usually draws about 500 people. Tickets are $125 if purchased before the night of the auction and $135 at the door. For more details you can go to their website, www.projectreturnct.org.
I also get a kick out of seeing the large birdhouse...oops...doghouse (look closely, there really is a birdhouse on top) that Mitchell's proudly displays.
Even if you aren't one of the lucky winning bids you can still help support Project Return. They need volunteers for the auction. Anything from data entry to set-up and clean-up to transporting these beautiful works of art!
You can also volunteer anytime during the year as a grocery shopper, tutor, or teacher of a special skill such as knitting or cooking. Help them with gardening or be a mentor to one of the girls. As you can see there is no shortage of things you can do to help this project.
Take time to enjoy the beauty around you!