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FALL GARDEN PARTY! Sunday, 9/25/2011, 5 to 8 PM

Click "The Square House" to see the Fall Garden Party SLIDE SHOW


September 30th concert starts earlier at 5:30 PM.

This fundraiser will contribute to the rehabilitation of our Gazebo, scheduled this year for roof replacement and stabilization. If we have enough funds, we'll have graffiti removed and replace missing log roof braces.

Please contribute by attending these FREE concerts or volunteering for post-concert cleanup or to staff the FMSP refreshment kiosk in our newly-renovated Swiss Cottage!  email for volunteer information.

Click here if you missed the July 29th Stonehaven Minstrals Concert
Click here if you missed the August 26th Back2Life Concert
Click here if you missed the September 30th Barbone Street Jazz Band Concert

2011, February 5 (Saturday)

Members Only
+ their guests

At the four neighborhood homes of our…


Lisa and Jeff Kitchen
4:45 to 5:55 PM • Appetizers

Barbara Voltz with daughters Audrey and Bridget
6 to 6:50 PM • Soups or Salads

Heather and Mike Pastino
7 to 8:00 PM • Casserole/Main Dish

Holly and John Naughton
8:10 to 9:15 PM • Dessert, Coffee


Click for Slideshow by Jim Salvas
Narrative by Phyllis Dunn

The 5th Annual FMSP Progressive Dinner is a wonderful way to conduct a fundraising event. Attending for the first time last year, my husband and I were convinced it could not be topped. But in true Friends of Marshall Square Park fashion, for us, this year seemed even better.

We can't put our finger on the specific reason, but we all know the friendliness of people attending an event can set the tone for the evening. This party certainly had all the right ring tones. Knowing more people this year—who also seemed to remember us—created a feeling akin to putting on a warm, favorite party sweater—very comfortable indeed.

BUT one thing we do know; the always-iffy weather doesn’t make this annual celebration a success… or does it? Could our fear of cancellation make our souls jubilant when we finally don our coats and head out for good fun and food? That jubilant behavior doesn’t fade as the evening wears on; it’s as though each entered doorway gives a “winter transfusion” of joy! How else do you explain the cheerful faces in February, pockets of laughter and outstretched hands greeting you? …all night long!

The Homes, The Food and The Gong

The sold-out crowd hurried down the street, some sporting umbrellas to ward off the heavy mist, to be warmly greeted by Lisa and Jeff Kitchen. Their beautiful, warm home near N. High and E. Virginia was our first stop for appetizers and drinks. As delicious appetizers—more variety than you can imagine—swirled thru the crowd, attendees also swirled into groups for conversation and good cheer. But alas good times had to end with the Gong sounding promptly at 5:55PM... time to move along.

Slipping back into our boots, we crossed the street to the home of Barbara Voltz and a stunning display of shrimp salads served in long-stem glassware elegantly arrayed upon the longest granite kitchen island I’ve ever seen. The sunken dining room served as the wine and beverage room artistically laid out among the small twinkling white lights. Then, before we knew it, THE GONG again. 6:50PM and off we went.

As we bustled down the street, watching for small icy spots, we headed north on N. Walnut to the home of Mike and Heather Pastino and into their dining room for our main course—a real crowd pleaser and the king of comfort food—Stuffed Shells. The small high tables in the den proved a welcome place to meet up with friends and enjoy the good food in total comfort. Glasses of poured wine beckoned from the kitchen. Sounds of laughter and conversation reverberated through the house and then… something else started to reverberate… THE GONG. At 8:00PM, we were off to our last stop.

With the temptation of dessert and coffee before us, the short stroll up the steep driveway and into Holly and John Naughton’s home on N. Walnut was easy. Their dining room was a sight to behold... mouth-watering desserts everywhere, a real sweet tooth’s delight. Then, all at once, it seemed to dawn on everyone; ’twas our last chance to find friends with whom we hadn't yet talked. The conversations and laughter got louder, and it seemed to me to be more fun—or was it all that wine?

But what is this, it can't be, yes it is, THE GONG! Linda Scott stepped forward and announced it was time to draw the winner of the John Suplee print “The Swiss Cottage.” (Whew, I thought the night was over and I was not ready for this to end.) To everyone's delight, the winner was… Shelagh Purnell. This seemed so appropriate since she was the Borough’s Recreation Director for over 13 years!

The Naughton's family room seemed to be the perfect place to end the evening. The comfort of a huge blazing fireplace, friends and neighbors grouped in conversation, memories of past years and the anticipation of next year's fabulous annual event; if ever you decide to join us, reserve immediately—11 people remained on this year's wait list.

2010, June 5 (Saturday)

In the three beautiful, neighborhood gardens of our...


Patrick McCoy and John Cigler
Garden 1 • 4:00 to 4:45PM

Connie and Tom McEvoy
Garden 2 • 5:00 to 5:45PM

Jeff Beitel and Miriam Coleman
Garden 3 • 6:00 to 7:00PM


While the event description is being written, enjoy the beautiful ALBUM OF PHOTOS taken by Linda Scott.

Garden Party Invitation (PDF)

2010, February 6 (Saturday)

Members Only
+ their guests

At our four neighborhood...


Hosts Anne and Greg Walters
4:45 to 5:55 PM • Appetizers & Cocktails

The Home of Sue Casso and Bob Rogers
6 to 6:55 PM • Soups

The Home of Glen and David Sweet
7 to 8:00 PM • Main Dish

The Home of Marybeth and Steve Phillips
8:15 to 9 PM • Dessert by Sue Scott, Coffee, and Live Music


Friends of Marshall Square Park
Fourth Annual Progressive Dinner
By Jean Mayne©
February 13, 2010

The FMSP Fourth Annual Progressive Dinner began for me with a walk in the park one warm autumn day. As I marveled at the Parks' beauty, a very kind gentleman stopped to explain the history of its development, the neighborhood's efforts to raise funds for improvements and the raw human labor it takes to maintain its beauty and uniqueness. When I related my past involvement in a similar project, he suggested I join the Association …“and by the way, come to our Progressive Dinner in February.”

I chuckled to myself. I'd just moved here the previous month. Imagine inviting a total stranger to what was obviously a private party. After all, an invitation is not a ticket. Little did I know that in February I would be sharing an incredible feast with my neighbors under the guiding hand of the completely unflappable Linda Scott—who should be appointed director of FEMA.

When the FMSP decides to have their annual celebration, nothing can stand in the way—not even an historic blizzard that left two feet of snow and roared off only four hours before the dinner was scheduled to begin.

How incredible. Beginning with the usual need to coordinate hosts, menus, signage and guest lists, Linda's job 'snowballed' into what could have been a logistical nightmare.

With less than three hours until cocktails, she and her stalwart band had the added task of locating people to clear a path to each home, devising and notifying all of a 'boots and socks' plan to preserve the floors of each beautiful home and worrying over the progress of each guest through the two feet of snow that graced our park.

As the group worried over the status of the storm, the hosts also did not know whether to 'cook it or book it' until two in the afternoon. Julia Childs would have hoisted a bottle to the talents of each and every one. With the decision made to proceed, Anne and Greg Walters got the celebration off to a roaring start with a clever and tasty assortment of hors d'oeuvres. The kitchen had been transformed into a well-stocked bar.

At precisely five-fifty five, we were 'gonged' on to the next stop. After trudging through the snow, we were greeted by a roaring fire and the unmistakably sea-air salty tang of fresh clams in a thick chowder. As the perfect accompaniment, Sue Casso and Bob Rogers chose crisp white apples tossed into bowls of a perfectly sauced Waldorf salad.

Gonged again, we were off to the main course. As we struggled out of our boots, Glen and David Sweet pulled huge trays of tangy, cheesy lasagna from the oven. Groups formed and reformed as conversation bubbled over family, friends, borough events and how soon another party could be planned.

As the gong tolled for the final time, we were off to our last stop. Streams of laughing partygoers scoffed at the cold as we struggled through trenches cut into the deep drifts by the hastily recruited snow removal crew.

How appropriate of Mother Nature to provide a scenario reminiscent of the Swiss Alps for Sue Scott's tables laden with authentic Viennese pastries. As a hint of the pleasure to come, Sue had scattered G clefs hand-crafted from dark chocolate.

This party waltzed into history with a live keyboardist provided by Marybeth and Steve Phillips in their magnificent and acoustically perfect living room. As the music began, Franz Lehar would have applauded the redheaded image of his 'Merry Widow' who led off the waltz.

Wandering home that evening, I realized my most lasting memory would be that of holding a mug of the Casso/Rogers’ 'crammed-with-clams' chowder while discussing a painting of downtown—for it was then I understood the sincerity and openness I'd encountered; there are no strangers in this lovely and well-loved community.

Jean Mayne©

2009, May 1


Pickup was May 9th, 10AM—1PM at the Soldiers' Monument area.

2009, February 7 (Saturday)

Members Only
+ their guests

At the four neighborhood homes of our...


George and Adriana Trajtenberg
5 to 5:45 PM • Appetizers & Cocktails

Stan and Dianne Herrin
6 to 6:45 PM • Soups

Judy and Jerry Wisneski
7 to 8:00 PM • Main Dish

Connie and Tom McEvoy
8:15 to 9 PM • Dessert, Coffee


  1. Chris and I had a really great time! It's so nice to commune with all your neighbors — even if it's only once a year.

    The food was outstanding! And it's always a treat to see inside some of these houses that I fantasize about on my dog walks. Thank you, Linda [Scott], for organizing this. I hope it continues next year.
      —Laura B. (former Host)

  2. Once again, the Friends of Marshall Square Park Progressive Dinner was a joyous event. I want to thank the four families who shared the warmth of their homes and made us feel part of their lives for the evening. Like the candles which guided our way, they helped make this year's Progressive Dinner a bright light in a dark winter.

    Personally, I'll remember learning a bit of local history from Hugh Purnell, talking about our town with neighbors of long standing such as Doris Davis and getting to know new neighbors like the Gallos. It was all a treat.
      —Jim S. (FMSP Secretary)

  3. It is a great opportunity to visit with so many neighbors. I hope we might now try to do twice a year. With so many nice patios etc. I would be happy to do barbecue as main course.   —Gordon W. (former Host)

  4. It was great meeting the neighbors. The food was great. Thanks again. I think we should have a progressive garden party in the summer. Pet friendly.   —Barbara M. (FMSP member)

  5. Great soups! Want the recipes! Awesome hosts and terrific homes too! Looking forward to '10 and suggesting a summer progressive dinner too!   —The DePhillips (former Hosts)

  6. A truly JOYOUS event!! An evening ofÊsmiles, sincere handshakes, hugs, and pats on the back for those we just met or haven't seen for a long time. With the frigid cold weather we've been having, it was just a delight to goÊto Beautiful Homes filled with warmth, friendship & laughter! Friends and neighbors talking about their children & their grandchildren. People talking about their pets, their loved ones and even their future goals. It was warm and refreshing! It was a WONDERFUL escape to almost a fantasy world for a short while where we could forget all the bad stuff and be to thankful for all the GOOD STUFF that an evening of food and wine and wonderful neighbors GAVE to EACH OTHER! Thanks to all!!!   —Debbie P. (FMSP member)

  7. Had a great time as always! Good food, good conversations, great houses!!! Three of the houses this year were ones I have been wanting to get inside for years to see what they were like.   —Jane D. (Guest, Architectural Historian)

  8. The Progressive Dinner was so enjoyable that I have already marked my calendar for next yearÕs event and itÕs only the day after. Meeting some neighbors and reconnecting with others that I havenÕt seen since the last progressive dinner enhances my feeling like part of the community. I cherish it. I thank the hosts for generously opening their homes, serving tasty food, and creating warm environments for us to visit.

    Linda, thanks for your organization and follow-through on this fabulous event!
      —Susan S. (FMSP Member)

  9. I had NO idea that Holly is 63!!! Holy cow I hope I look that young at 63! Must be the clean air filtered by our wonderful Park.   —Patrick M. (FMSP Member)

  10. Linda, I just had this wonderful idea. Collect all the recipes from each of the progressive dinners and publish a cook book as a fundraiser. The first could be prepared before the 5th progressive dinner but include the recipes for the 5th. It could be a simple paperback edition. I know that anyone who has attended the first three dinners would love to have recipes. Of course this booklet would have to include a "How to organize a progressive dinner party and how to make it fun." I would definitely include your Gong.

    Aside from my idea and on another topic Saturday evening was lovely. My congratulations to you for planning such a wonderful event.
      —Shelagh P. (FMSP Member)

  11. Dianne makes incredible soup and Jerry must have been trouble as a youth because he was way too comfortable with a pool cue. This is my favorite neighborhood event and we have great neighbors!   —Tom M. (Host)

  12. I really enjoyed hosting this event. I loved opening our home and got a lot of pleasure out of making the soups for everyone to enjoy. And special thanks to Anne Walters for nudging me along to the main course and dessert. I'm so glad I didn't miss it! I hope we can do a summer event.   —Dianne H. (Host)

  13. Please add your thoughts of this truly fabulous event HERE by emailing them to Lane, FMSP Webmaster

2008, September 17


Organized by Linda Scott, our net proceeds of $2,551 from the Geranium Sale will help restore the Park's historic Swiss Cottage.

2008, June 7


And also our Last Annual Flea Market. As with last year, the effort required to organize, setup, monitor, take down, and endure the sweltering heat was far more significant than the amount of money raised.

Space was free and sellers took advantage of the free advertising and large group. It was suggested they donate a portion of their sale proceeds (recommended minimum of 30%) to Friends of Marshall Square Park to benefit Park restoration and improvement efforts.

2008, February 2 (Saturday)

Members Only
+ their guests

At the four neighborhood homes of our...


Maria and Charles Wills
5 to 5:45 PM • Appetizers & Cocktails

Betsy & Gordon Woodrow
6 to 6:45 PM • Soups

Sandy & Mark DePhillips
7 to 8:00 PM • Main Dish

Mary Kay and Bob McCann
8:15 to 9 PM • Dessert, Coffee


  • I am forwarding my checks today.Ê The 2007 progressive dinner was one of the most fun events that I attended last year!  —Shelagh P. (Guest)
  • Did we have a great time last night or what?  —Linda S. (Officer and Organizer)
  • Great dinner on Saturday!  —Jane D. (Guest)
  • We had a GREAT time!!!!! I think the timing of the event is perfect. Where can you have dinner and drinks, great conversation AND help a cause that effects all of our daily lives in some way for that price???  —Laura B. (former Host)
  • Thanks for all your hard work. It looks like this fundraiser is off to a solid start.  —Charlie & Marcia W. (Hosts)
  • It was indeed a terrific evening. We thoroughly enjoyed the homes (and only the responsibility to eat, drink and be merry this year).  —Patrick M. (former Host)
  • Linda, Once again you hit a homerun with the progressive dinner!!ÊMany thanks for all your help in coordinating a great event. Everyone seemed to be having a great time.  —Jeff B. (Officer)
  • First, Linda — thanks for all that you did to make things run so smoothly! Everyone that I have talked to has said such nice things about the whole evening. Congratulations on a great evening!  —Anne W. (Officer emeritus)
  • Thank you for organizing it all. I think everything went very well last night.  —Mary Kay M. (Host)
  • Fun night! I am happy to do it again as a host.  —Sandy D. (Host)

2007, June 2


Organized by our President, Jeff Beitel, Friends of Marshall Square Park hosted its first Flea Market. Sixteen people participated in the genial event, which ran from 8:30 AM until 12:30 PM. The tables stretched nearly the whole length of East Biddle Street and wrapped around onto North Matlack!

Space was free and sellers took advantage of the free advertising and large group. It was suggested they donate whatever portion of their sale proceeds (recommended minimum of 30%) to Friends of Marshall Square Park to benefit Park restoration and improvement efforts.

"Not bad for the first year!" said Jeff who holds $844.65 in donations while waiting for one other promised.


2007, May 5


Organized by Sue Scott, we sold 198 geranium plants and 225 Double Impatiens. It was a beautiful day in the park as 40 customers picked up their orders at the Soldiers' Monument area. Click here to see photos. Our net proceeds of $1,003.59 will be saved to fund one of our MISCELLANEOUS projects.

2007, February 3

Members Only
+ their guests

At the four neighborhood homes of our...


Laura Barton and Chris Vely
Appetizers & Cocktails

Peg and Paul Eberts

Hannah Gardner and Pat O'Donnell
Main Dish

John Cigler and Patrick McCoy
Desserts & Coffee


About fifty members and guests of the Friends of Marshall Square Park were royally wined and dined during our first Progressive Dinner. Organized by Linda Scott, the event — more a Friendraiser than Fundraiser, although we netted $131.95 — was flawlessly planned, perfectly timed, and served to remind us all of our exceptional neighbors.

Setting a very high (but not too high) standard for the hosts of our next progressive dinner, our first hosts went all out:

  • Laura and Chris presented a delicious, colorful, artistic assortment of appetizers from hummus to a spectrum of peppers and served anything you wanted to drink.
  • The Eberts' soups were Roasted Pepper and Harvest Squash with spiced apple, accompanied by yummy cheesy bread twists and wine. The fireplaces were blazing.
  • Hannah's and Pat's beef chile had all the fixin's, from cilantro to sour cream. Vegan chile, black beans and whole-corn bread completed the entree.
  • Pat and John served two cheesecakes—out of this world—one, a carmel apple and the other, chocolate. A large assortment of pastries, cookies, and delicious coffees were accompanied by dessert wine contributed and served by Bob and Gayle Teti.

2006, September 16


Organized by Linda Scott, we sold 260 High Quality Belgian Mums which customers picked up at the Scott's. The net proceeds added $800 to our fountain garden fund—enough to have it planted in November 2006. Stop by this spring to see the "flowers of our labor."

Now let's get going on restitution of the fountain itself!

2006, May 20


Jim and Lane conducted our first Photo Contest. The day after the contest deadline, 49 photographs from 20 photogrphers were exhibited and judged in the Park. Thirteen winning entries were chosen and exhibited for the month of June in the atrium of Borough Hall. Ideas for raising funds from the wonderful images we now have of Marshall Square Park are being considered.

And heads up! Each month, a winning photo will be displayed in this Website's banner. Hold your cursor over it, or click the banner to find out whose it is and what it won.

Or click Photo Contest Results to learn about all the winners.

2006, May 6


Organized by Holly Brown (Ward 1 Borough Councilperson), our FIRST FUNDRAISER sold 320 geranium plants which customers picked up at the Soldiers' Monument area while others of our small membership weeded the overgrown fountain garden. Our net proceeds of $775 and donations from the Geranium Sale will help restore the gardens of the Park's historic fountain.

We are actively raising funds to
restore, improve, and preserve our Park.
If you'd like to help through donations,
joining our group,
or paying your annual dues,

Click & Pledge — Securely