Guests enjoyed An Evening in Paris sans the hassle of a transatlantic flight at a soiree last Wednesday evening to benefit Vero Heritage Inc., the nonprofit that operates and maintains the Indian River Citrus Museum and the Heritage Center, where the event took place. Tamara Zaharczuk, owner of The Parisian Hostess, collaborated on the inaugural affair, which featured all things Parisian, including can-can dancers, a vintage fashion show and French cuisine.
The historic landmark facility was transformed into “Gay Paree,” complete with an illuminated Eiffel Tower. Chandeliers and twinkling festival lights amid draped cloth billowing overhead and velvet-covered chairs with diamond buckles contributed to the ooh-la-la sparkle and set the stage for a fête fit for La Ville-Lumière.
Wine glasses in hand, guests wandered down the Avenue des Champs Elysées, perusing vendors who offered a variety of must-have items, from vintage clothing and handcrafted jewelry to essential oils and scarves. Entertainment featured a lively performance by Moulin Rouge Dancers from Power Entertainment Productions. Afterward, Zaharczuk and her Fashionistas blew a flurry of coquettish kisses as they showcased items from her shop, including vintage Parisian couture befitting a stroll along the Seine.
“I’m always a big promoter and advocate for historical buildings and organizations in Vero,” said Zaharczuk, speaking of how she got involved. “I’m a hopeless romantic and should have been born in the 20s.”
Heather Stapleton, special events coordinator for the Heritage Center, said the successful event had surpassed their expectations, noting, “We had a full house and more than 20 vendors. We’re looking forward to doing this again next year.”
Alex Soares, executive director, said that in addition to fundraising, the event was a way to introduce young people to the organization and to hopefully create a whole new history of experiences.
“We’re a historic building but we want to be relevant to the community,” said Soares. “We have a lot of people who have a lot of history with this building, but we have future generations that will also be potential supporters. We want to keep the building open. We like to say ‘we’re making history now.’”
As guests began to depart at the end of the evening, it was clear that the Francophile converts had welcomed the opportunity to fully embrace the Parisian attitude: Mangez bien, riez souvent, aimez beaucoup! (Eat well, laugh often, love abundantly.)