A wine tasting and art auction fundraiser benefitting Harry L. Johnson Memorial Museum took place Friday evening at Breadline Plaza in Windwardside, reports The Daily Herald. The proceeds from the food sale, wine tasting and art auction went to the foundation which oversees museum management. The board of the foundation intends to use the funds to fence the museum grounds. The surrounding botanical garden features a number of local plants and the bust statue of Simon Bolivar who visited the island in 1816. The fencing and upkeep of the grounds are an attempt to protect this corner of the island from roaming goats.
The event was the brainchild of Saba Tourism Director Glenn Holm with logistical assistance from Lisa Hassell and businessman Mark Johnson. Johnson is a wine importer known for his annual winetasting receptions. Johnson was elated to combine the wine-tasting happy hour with a worthy cause. He invited the manager of French St. Martin’s Grands Vins de France and together they showcased six wines from various countries, which are all available at Big Rock supermarket. The two wine distributors have been serving a wide variety of wines from across the world on Saba for over 15 years. In addition to serving appetizers, the organizers held a food sale during the art auction.
Former Member of Parliament of the Netherlands Antilles Ray Hassell volunteered as the host for the art auction and created a cheerful atmosphere. Paintings donated by local artists included works by Stacey Simmons, Mary Thielman, Els Mommers, Angelita Peterson-Janssens, Aaron Soares, Suzan ten Holt, Lies Timmerman and others. The auction also included a silver ring designed by local jeweller Mark Johnson as well as donations from various local businesses. St. Maarten-based hospitality establishments such as Summit Hotel donated romantic couple’s accommodation packages. Windward Islands Airways International Winair offered tickets for two to any destination they cover and the two passenger-ferry operators offered similar donations. In good spirits, auction participants bid against each other while supporting the good cause but still obtained great deals on all auctioned items. The Island Government provided the tent for the fundraising event, which also featured music by DJ Dave Levenstone.