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Party in a local treasure

October 07, 2004|by KATE COLEMAN

katec@herald-mail.com

In the past four years, Gala in the Stacks has traveled to Paris, Casablanca, River City, Iowa, and the Civil War-era world of Scarlett O'Hara in "Gone With the Wind" - all while staying in downtown Hagerstown.

This year the event heads south of the border to a "Rendezvous in Rio." The elegant evening is designed to introduce the rhythms and tastes of Brazil while raising funds for Washington County Free Library's building projects, including new libraries in Smithsburg and Boonsboro. The event has raised about $80,000 in four years, said Charlotte Seibert, the library's business manager.

"Rendevous in Rio" will transform the county library's central branch. The library is a wonderful building for a party, said Mary Anne Burke, event chairwoman and member of the library's board of trustees.

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"It's a main treasure of downtown Hagerstown," she said. The gala is an opportunity to show off the library - albeit in a totally different light.

The mood will be festive with a feeling of carnaval - that's festival Brazilian style.

Attendees will be a bit more dressed up than they are for a typical trip to the library. Black tie or theme attire is optional.

Dr. Jos Neistein, from the Embassy of Brazil, in Washington, D.C., will read Brazilian poetry, and Richard Miller will play Brazilian guitar music.

Local author Susan Donovan will be on hand; there will be a fortune teller and poker tables, and a caricaturist will capture gala-goers on paper.

Dinner, provided by Main Street Deli in Chambersburg, Pa., will feature South American flavors, and Just Us will offer dance music that will include Brazilian rhythms.

To prepare for the gala, the library will be open from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, but no computers will be available for Internet access.

Honorary co-chairmen are James G. Piern, CEO of Farmers and Merchants Bank and Trust, and John F. Barr, president of Ellsworth Electric Inc. The Herald-Mail Co. is co-sponsoring the event.

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