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Commentary and Opinion Oct 26, 2016 - 2:07:31 PM

A Letter to the Norwalk Community from Mayor Rilling

By Mayor of Norwalk Harry Rilling

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Dear Friends,

I am happy to announce the date of the 2017 Mayor’s Ball will be Friday, January 27, 2017. As most of you know, Continental Manor, which graciously hosted the Mayor’s Ball for over 20 years, closed unexpectedly last January. Since it was the only location in Norwalk large enough to accommodate the 500 or more guests who attend the Ball each year, my staff and I went to work right away to look for alternatives. We researched and priced potential locations, and left no stone unturned. When a thorough search confirmed that none of Norwalk’s facilities had the capacity needed, we asked for ideas, and considered a number of other options.

We found out that most options would have more than doubled the ticket price. Since the Ball is a charitable event whose purpose is to support the work of Norwalk-based non-profits each year, we are committed to keeping costs for space rental, music, and dinner reasonable in order to donate the greatest amount of the proceeds possible.

After struggling to balance these priorities, we decided, reluctantly, to look at options in our neighboring towns. We found that the Italian Center in Stamford will enable us to meet all three critical objectives - continuing to accommodate 500 guests, keeping your ticket prices as reasonable as possible, and maintaining the Ball’s charitable purpose; giving significant funding to the good work of Norwalk’s non-profit organizations. This year’s location also offers sufficient parking, easy access and good space, and is well-known among Norwalkers.

This was a very difficult choice, and one that we made after considering all the alternatives. Since we really wanted to hold the Ball in Norwalk, it isn’t a perfect solution. In order to make the commute a little easier, we are looking into the possibility of offering limited bus transportation from City Hall to the Italian Center and back on a first-come first-served basis. We hope that some of Norwalk’s new development will provide additional hometown options in the following year.

We are looking forward to a very enjoyable, successful event and are counting on your support to make it a wonderful evening, as always. We are planning a raffle, and both a silent and live auction with great prizes. More information will follow. Please plan to join us for an evening of good food, dancing, and fun on Friday, January 27, 2017. I look forward to seeing you there!

Harry W. Rilling
Mayor of Norwalk

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