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Celebrity island dinner to benefit Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum

By Staff | Sep 16, 2010

Dan Schuyler and Karen Bell

On Monday, Oct. 4, twelve celebrity islanders will wait tables for a special, one-night only dinning event at Traders to benefit the Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum — and Shell Museum Development Officer Darlene Grossman is hoping that this unique opportunity will put the “fun” back in “fundraiser.”

“We really want to just have fun. There won’t be any silent auctions or anything like that. Some friends of mine had done this type of event before, and I thought it was a great idea,” Grossman said. “October is a slow month, so it’s a win/win for Traders and the Museum. Not only are we bringing people in on a Monday night, which is typically slow, but we’re gathering much needed funds — and friends — for the Museum and teaching people how important it is for the community.”

Grossman approached Traders owner Joe Archambault with the idea and he immediately agreed to donate the restaurant’s time, supplies and services. He even created a special menu for the event, which takes place the night before Traders officially reopens for season.

The menu features the diner’s choice of soup or salad, such as Mike’s white gazpacho, a cup of crab bisque or a caesar salad. Entrees include shrimp scampi with angel hair pasta, parmesan-encrusted chicken, grilled salmon or a ten ounce new york strip and for dessert — key lime pie!

“We can seat up to 120 people max and I already have 40 people reserved so far,” Grossman said.

Sandy Stilwell

Dan Schuyler, Shell Museum board member and co-owner of Lily & Co. Jewelers, is definitely looking forward to the event.

“I didn’t realize until I got on the board how important the museum is to the community. We are the number one shelling location in the country and Dr. Jose Leal does such a wonderful job. The fact that the Museum received accreditation last year is so important,” Schuyler said. “Of course the purpose of this event is to raise money for the museum, but it’s going to be a lot of fun. I’m a guy who loves giving back to his community and I’m kind of notorious for doing things that are a little over the edge, especially when it comes to raising money for non-profits. It’s difficult in these economic times for people to reach in their pockets and give, but you can go to these fundraising events and let your hair down and just have fun — if you’re not having fun, you’re not doing it right.”

And Schuyler knows how to have fun.

When he was growing up in Maryland, Schuyler worked as a professional clown making cotton candy and serving up dixie cups of ice cream to customers.

“My partner Karen Bell will be joining me that evening — so as we wait on your tables, you can call us ‘the Beauty and the Beast!'” Schuyler laughed, adding that he hopes his experience as both a clown and a waiter — in addition to his teaming up with the lovely Karen Bell — will bring in some impressive tips.

Robbie Roepstorff

“All of the people that signed up to wait tables are so supportive of the Shell Museum,” Grossman said. “We just want everybody to have fun. Everyone has great ideas and we’re hoping that people like Dan will get the tips up — and the Museum gets to keep 100 percent of those tips!”

In addition to Schuyler and Bell, the celebrity wait staff includes Craig Albert, Ric Base, Mark Blust, Terry Igo, Friedrich Jaeger, Anne Joffe, John Naumann, Robbie Roepstorff, Sandy Stilwell and Mike Valiquette.

As an added bonus, diners will also be eligible to enter a raffle to win a piece of jewelry donated by Lily & Co.

If all goes well, Grossman is hoping to make the Celebrity Island Dinner an annual event.

Reservations, which cost $45 per person, are required to attend the event.

Anne Joffe

Seating will take place at 6:30, 6:45, 7 and 7:15 p.m.

To reserve a seat for this special event, call Darlene Grossman at 395-2233 or email dgrossman@shellmuseum.org.

Ric Base