VALATIE–The Valatie Community Theatre was the setting on Saturday evening, June 27, when V.E.R.A. (Valatie Economic Redevelopment Association) hosted its first Birdhouse Auction. Approximately 200 people attended the event that began with a 5 o’clock preview of handcrafted birdhouses with an auction following at 6 p.m.
The event featured 77 birdhouses designed and built by community members. The birdhouse artists ranged in age from 8 to 80, and in ability from amateur to professional.
Copake auctioneer Seth Fallon conducted the auction, which raised amounts far exceeding the expectations of V.E.R.A. organizers. The exact amount will be revealed when V.E.R.A. presents a check to the Valatie Community Theatre in the near future.
Abby Freinberg, owner of Rotate, a consignment shop on Main Street, was the event chairperson. Ms. Freinberg had organized a similar auction on Cape Cod. A native Valatian, she pitched the auction idea to V.E.R.A. because of what she described as the positive attitude and economic progress she has witnessed along Valatie’s revitalized Main Street. Ms. Freinberg stated that she was thrilled by the community’s support of the auction.
Debbie Freinberg, owner of Spice of Life Catering, provided refreshments including shrimp, chicken kabobs, artichoke squares, cheese puffs and a variety of cheeses and fruit.
Ms. Freinberg was assisted by Jenn Furey, president of V.E.R.A. and the owner of Hair Zone. V.E.R.A. is a community development corporation of residents, friends and business owners who bring a variety of events to Valatie intended to both beautify the village and encourage tourism.
Proceeds from the birdhouse auction will benefit the Valatie Community Theatre. The theater is guided by a volunteer board of directors, whose goal is to preserve, rehabilitate, operate and promote this historic structure. Anyone interested in helping the theater can contact Remi Gaylord at (518) 758-1309.