Veterans make great entrepreneurs. That is the premise of BDV, which is short for Business Development for Veterans. The BDV Connecticut chapter, spearheaded by State Rep. Fred Camillo who serves as its executive director, held a lively fundraiser Thursday night at Tiffany Benincasa’s C Parker Gallery at 17 East Putnam Ave.
BDV does not lend money. Rather the organization gives money in the form of grants to veterans turned entrepreneurs.
Collaborating with SCORE chapters, Women’s Business Centers, UConn, and the DOD, the non-profit BDV helps service members learn the nuts and bolts of how to start and grow a business.
Toward that end, the celebration at C Parker Gallery featured a silent auction table set up at the hub of the spacious space that became packed with about two hundred people over the course of the evening.
Evans, who blamed the spate of recent snowstorms on Al Roker, and the band, the hatters provided entertainment. A wine bar was furnished by WineWise, sophisticated and beautifully presented hors d’oeuvres were from Libby Coverly Cook Event Planning & Catering, and potato cones and nuggets were sourced from Chicken Joe’s for the children.
In fact, Stanwich School’s 3rd and 4th grade singers of Les Choristes under the direction of Elizabeth Crawford, kicked off the event with a program of patriotic songs.
Before tucking into star-spangled paper plates of deep-fried goodness followed by cookies and brownies, the boys and girls, dressed in their school uniforms, belted out songs including ‘My Country, Tis of Thee.’
Les Choristes are part of an after-school program and, according to Crawford, the children put in an extraordinary amount of extra work. In addition to leading Les Choristes, Crawford serves as music director for primary grades, K-3 at the school.
Emcee Bill Evans began his remarks by acknowledging the forecast for yet more snow this weekend. “I’ve already been asked 30 times. Yes, it is going to snow Sunday evening. yes, it is going to snow a lot on Monday. For those of you with a hedge fund in the room I would go heavy on the snow when you get to the office tomorrow.”
The W-ABC meteorologist said that Greenwich has had 65 inches of snow thus far this winter, and that the record is 78 inches. “We have a chance to beat that,” he said, adding, “And I’m going to do everything I can to make sure that happens!”
Evans, who has lived in Greenwich for about 25 years said, “This town is great, with people who support great organizations and veterans, who need help when they come home,” he said.
Before encouraging guests to visit the silent auction table, Evans said, “Anything this town wants to do, it can do. It’s a wonderful place to live.”
C Parker Gallery is located at 17 East Putnam Ave.
For more information on Business Development for Veterans go to BDVUSA.org
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