Pique-nique sur la baie turns heads, raises money

all photos Cory Rae Rodda/Catalyst

With a glass of Dom Pérignon in one hand and Norwegian artesian water in the other, the Catalyst milled about in a sea of pastels, Derby Day-style hats and open checkbooks as Cook Hall’s bayfront played host to the 29th annual Pique-nique sur la baie on Wed., Apr. 11. The annual fundraiser, which benefits the New College Library Association (NCLA), was attended by XXXX people and raised XXXX for new books at the Jane Bancroft Cook Library, according to Johnette Cappadona, who serves as the Executive Director of the NCLA and Director of Special Initiatives at the New College Foundation. Attendees entered raffles and participated in a silent auction held during the event to raise money for the NCLA and were able to purchase products from Saks Fifth Avenue and Christian Dior with a percentage of profits being contributed.

The highlight of the event was a fashion show with couture provided by Saks Fifth Avenue. Models wearing the latest fashions strolled down a runway constructed behind Cook Hall while attendees from the New College and Sarasota communities watched and, in some cases, gazed longingly at outfits whose price tags would be difficultly justified. While some of the fashions modeled seemed classy, others struck the Catalyst as looking rather like aluminum foil. Patrons noshed on hors d’oeuvres, such as grapes, prosciutto and bread (both leavened and unleavened) with brie, as the models strutted their stuff.

The fashion show was followed by a lunch catered by local restaurant Michael’s on East of chicken and spinach crêpes in a mushroom sauce served with green beans and coconut rice. While the crêpes were tasty, the Catalyst found the green beans to be overcooked and the rice to be a bit cloying. At least the dessert options — a variety of tortes and macarons — were just sweet enough.

Perhaps the sweetest benefit for those in attendance, though, was receiving a free bottle of Christian Dior perfume courtesy of Saks. Some of the New College students in attendance told the Catalyst they were looking forward to selling the bottles of J’adore for some extra pocket cash — current rates on Amazon show the perfume to be worth upwards of $120.

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