Fund-raisers, document appraisals, and more

The Italianate Garden at Elm Bank Reservation in Wellesley will be the location of a fund-raising garden party that will have guests dressing like characters in  “Downton Abbey.”
The Italianate Garden at Elm Bank Reservation in Wellesley will be the location of a fund-raising garden party that will have guests dressing like characters in “Downton Abbey.”

HISTORIC FUND-RAISER: At a “Downton Abbey”-inspired fund-raiser on Sept. 15, committee member Leslie Mann of Sherborn hopes to promote the beauty of the Gardens of Elm Bank in Wellesley while raising awareness of its Garden to Table program.

Established by the Massachusetts Horticultural Society, the initiative educates the public about growing, cooking, and preserving healthy food, and provides fresh produce to families in need.

Augusta Auctions owner Karen Augusta, a Vermont-based fashion and couture expert, will display this gown and other vintage clothing at the Downton Abbey-inspired garden party fund-raiser at the Gardens of Elm Bank in Wellesley.

The garden party will take place, rain or shine, from 3 to 7:30 p.m. at the 36-acre estate, at 900 Washington St. in Wellesley. The event will feature vintage cars, a cricket match by the Colonial Cavaliers Cricket Club, hors d’oeuvres, cocktails, and music by the Wellesley Symphony Orchestra’s string quartet in the property’s historic Hunnewell Carriage House.


Party guests may tour the property’s diverse gardens, including the Garden to Table installation, which last year produced nearly 4,000 pounds of produce for the Wellesley and Natick food pantries. In addition, guests are invited to wear clothing reminiscent of the post-Edwardian setting of the British television show that airs on PBS, with prizes being offered in best hat and best costume contests.

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Augusta Auctions owner Karen Augusta, a Vermont-based fashion and couture expert, will be on hand to answer questions about vintage outfits worn by guests, as well as her own museum-quality ensembles that will be on display.

“Elm Bank is a magical place,” said Mann, whose fellow Garden to Table event committee members are Abigail Fiske of Holliston, Elaine Fiske and Harriet Hallagan of Dover, Gardi Hauck and Mercy Wheeler of South Natick, and Lisa Kamer of Framingham.

“This will be a fun celebration of all things Downton on the day that season four premieres across the pond,” she added.

Tickets cost $125. For more information, visit www.masshort.org.


UNDER COVER: Newton resident Kenneth Gloss, owner of the Brattle Book Shop in Boston, conducts book appraisals in his store, peoples’ homes, estates, and via e-mail nearly every day.

“You never know what you’re going to run into,” said Gloss, a regular guest appraiser on PBS’s “Antiques Roadshow.”

“That’s what makes it so fun,” he added. “It’s a treasure hunt.”

The public is invited to bring books, letters, and other documents to Gloss’s free lecture on Sept. 19 at 7 p.m. in the Memorial Building, 150 Concord St. in Framingham, in an event sponsored by the Framingham Public Library.

Gloss will share anecdotes from his almost lifelong career at the Brattle Book Shop, which his parents, George and Dorrit Gloss, purchased in 1949. He will then show some of his favorite finds, including a Titanic sales brochure, a 1912 World Series program, a cookbook from the 1700s, and a page from a book published in the 1400s that audience members may touch so they understand that very old paper isn’t necessarily fragile.


Gloss will conduct verbal appraisals following a question and answer period. At a similar event in Dover, Gloss said, a woman brought a copy of the Declaration of Independence worth $500,000, even though it wasn’t even a first edition. Another time, in Wellesley, he was shown a copy of “Catcher in the Rye” in poor condition, but with a long inscription from its reclusive author, J.D. Salinger, that pushed its value to tens of thousands of dollars.

More commonly, however, he must break the news that a book is rare but not overly valuable. Surprisingly, he said, not everyone is disappointed.

“They say great, we can give it to our grandchildren, or we can read it without worrying about handling it,” Gloss said. “It frees them to do whatever they want.”

Audience members seeking an appraisal are asked to make a donation in any amount to the Framingham Public Library Foundation for the building of the Christa McAuliffe branch. Those who can’t attend may call Gloss at 617-542-0210, e-mail info@brattlebookshop.com, or visit the shop at 9 West St. in Downtown Crossing. For more information, go to www.brattlebookshop.com.

SUMMER SCHOOL IN D.C.: Groton resident Clare McCallan has much to report when fellow students at her new college ask what she did during her summer vacation.

McCallan, who has just started her freshman year at Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio, completed a two-month internship for US Representative Steve Stockman of Texas.

The 19-year-old said her interest in politics began during her sophomore year at Groton-Dunstable Regional High School, when she cofounded the Shed-A-Little-Light student organization.

“It was great to see the effect we could have,” McClellan said of the $5,000 raised in three years for education in the Republic of South Sudan. “But you need legislative changes along with grass-roots efforts to make a real difference.”

McCallen spent the second semester of her senior year interning at the Massachusetts State House for state Representative Sheila Harrington of the First Middlesex District, a Groton resident whom McCallen said she considers a role model. Seeking to build on this introduction to politics, McCallen left one week after graduation to intern at Stockman’s campaign headquarters in Houston.

After gaining experience with canvassing, communicating with constituents, and event planning, McCallen then traveled to Washington, D.C., where she worked in Stockman’s congressional office. While the campaign trail involved “a lot of walking, handshaking, and doorbell ringing,” McCallen bolstered her experience on Capitol Hill by attending congressional hearings and political conferences of varying viewpoints.

McCallen said it was “fascinating” to receive an education in legislative research, policy creation, and current issues from the politicians she has admired on C-SPAN. She plans to pursue a degree in political science and communications, and dreams of someday serving on Beacon Hill and in Congress.

“I’m excited to see what this year will hold,” she said, “and I’m so grateful for all of the people who helped me along the way.”

WALDEN FORUM: Dover resident Leonard Schlesinger, president emeritus of Babson College, will be the featured speaker at the Walden Forum on Sept. 10 at 7:30 p.m. at Wayland High School, 264 Old Connecticut Path.

In his presentation, “Entrepreneurship Is the Most Powerful Force for Economic and Social Value Creation,” he will discuss how business is moving from a model focused exclusively on economic outcomes to one that also embraces sustainability and social contributions.

Schlesinger, who ended his five-year term at Babson on June 30, is a Baker Foundation Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School.

A widely published author, he has lectured and consulted on service quality, customer satisfaction, entrepreneurship, and organizational change worldwide.

The Walden Forum is a free public lecture series. For more information, e-mail info@ waldenforum.org or visit www.waldenforum.org.

People items may be submitted to Cindy Cantrell at cantrell@ globe.com.