Monday, April 28, 2014

Pinkster Celebration 6/6 - Honorary Committee

Please make plans to join our featured speaker, Paul Grondahl, on Friday, June 6 as we host the 4th annual Pinkster Celebration at the National Register-listed University Club of Albany.



In the 19th century in New York’s Hudson Valley, Pinkster Day was a most-anticipated holiday. Pinkster Day was a celebration of spring for all: a religious holiday for the Dutch, and for enslaved Africans, time off from work and a chance to gather with friends and family. The holiday began on the seventh Monday following Easter, the day after the Christian Holy Day of Pentecost or Whitsunday. In 2014, Pinkster Day falls on Monday, June 8, but we’ll have our celebration a bit early on Friday, June 6.

The University Club Foundation is pleased to welcome Paul Grondahl as the featured speaker for our Pinkster Celebration. Grondahl will discuss his latest book, These Exalted Acres: Unlocking the Secrets of Albany Rural Cemetery. The book was published by the Times Union with support from the cemetery’s board of trustees and its benefactors. It contains a historical overview, photographs, maps and biographies of 50 fascinating people and historic monuments at Albany Rural Cemetery. Following the presentation, books will be available for purchase and signing. Proceeds from book sales benefit the nonprofit Times Union Hope Fund, which helps underprivileged children attend after-school programs and summer camps.

The Pinkster Celebration will feature a cocktail reception with light fare and cash bar from 6:00 – 7:00 p.m., followed by a presentation by Grondahl, who has been a staff writer at the Albany Times Union since 1984. His assignments have taken him from the Arctic to Antarctica; from Northern Ireland to Africa; from New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and Haiti after its catastrophic earthquake in 2010; and across New York State, from Ground Zero on 9/11 to the Adirondack wilderness.

We are writing to invite you to join the Honorary Committee for the 2014 Pinkster Celebration to benefit the University Club Foundation, Inc., a 501c3 organization incorporated in 2009 to facilitate access to grants and charitable contributions for the preservation of the historic Clubhouse.

Last summer, we launched a bold and ambitious capital campaign to repair and preserve our National Register-listed Clubhouse. In less than a year, we’ve raised $70,000 to address the problems caused by years of deferred maintenance to the roof and HVAC system! Proceeds from the Pinkster Celebration will support the cost of repairs and maintenance that protect the historic Clubhouse building from deterioration and decline that could rob future generations of this handsome and significant landmark.

By adding your name to the Honorary Committee, you show your support in two ways: you provide an early and generous contribution to help support the up-front costs of the Pinkster Celebration, and you

add your name to a prestigious list of supporters of the University Club Foundation. No additional effort is required as a member of the Honorary Committee, but if you would like a handful of invitations to send or distribute to your friends and colleagues so they can join the celebration, please let us know.

The celebration of Pinkster Day was outlawed by Albany Common Council on April 28, 1811, with a resolution that read, “No person shall erect any tent, booth or stall within the limits of this city, for the purpose of vending any spirituous liquors, beer, mead or cider, or any kind of meat, fish cakes or fruit, on the days commonly called Pinxter; nor to collect in numbers for the purpose of gambling or dancing, or any other amusements, in any part of the city, or to march or parade, with or without any music under a penalty of ten dollars or confinement in jail.” Club members petitioned the Common Council to repeal the ban, and the prohibition was lifted on May 16, 2011. The Club’s inaugural Pinkster Day Celebration was held on Monday, June 13, 2011.

The University Club revived the Pinkster Day tradition in 2011 to commemorate the listing of the Clubhouse on the National Register of Historic Places, and to advance the educational mission of the University Club Foundation. The first Pinkster Celebration featured readings from four centuries of scholarly and popular publications documenting the people and places of New York’s capital city, including Paul Grondahl reading from his book Mayor Corning: Albany Icon, Albany Enigma. In 2012, the University Club Foundation was delighted to welcome Albany’s own Pulitzer Prize-winning author, William Kennedy. The featured speaker for 2013 was Stefan Bielinski, the director of the Colonial Albany History Project.

When the reception wraps up at 8:00 p.m., Pinkster revelers are invited to head downstairs for an after-party in the Grille Room with vocalist/guitarist/keyboardist Geo Doody, who serves up a versatile mix of classic rock, R&B, and Irish Pub standards. On the first Friday of each month, the University Club serves as a venue for 1st Friday, the downtown arts walk that showcases Albany’s lively art scene.

We are offering two options for you to claim your tickets in advance, while helping us meet our fundraising goals:

  • Honorary Committee tickets are available at $100 a pair, or
  • Corporate Sponsorships are available at a number of levels to suit your needs.

This promises to be a historic evening! By lending your early support for the Pinkster Celebration, you will honor the legacy of University Club members past and present as we strive to preserve our historic traditions for the future. When you purchase your Honorary Committee ticket or sign on as a corporate sponsor, you will know that the University Club is being preserved through your generosity.

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