BOOKED! – New Fall Fundraiser for Gunn Memorial Library

On Saturday, October 6th, the Gunn Memorial Library will be hosting a festive fall fundraiser! After three decades of hosting the Washington Connecticut Antiques Show, the Gunn Library is starting a new chapter in its history and introducing a chic cocktail party to its incredible schedule of programming. The Bryan Memorial Town Hall will be transformed by Mis en Scene for this evening of cocktails, live music, sumptuous hors d’oeuvres, and fun with friends!

We sat down with the “BOOKED!” Co-chair and Gunn Memorial Library Trustee, Shannon Bush Wheeler, and she gave us a behind the scenes look at the event.

Tell us about this year’s “Booked” fundraiser. “The Next Chapter” sounds quite exciting. Can you tell us more?

Sure. We are very excited to introduce this new event replacing the long-standing Antiques Show. The intention, right down to the name “BOOKED!” is about getting back to our roots and creating an event to celebrate what it’s all about – our beloved Gunn Memorial Library and it’s supporters. The Next Chapter is the introduction to what we anticipate will be another successful fundraising event for us.

What was behind the change in theme this year (away from the antique show in past years)?

Although the Antiques Show had always been a well-received fall fundraiser, we felt that it was time for a revitalization. Even classics tend to get stale, and after speaking with many of the current as well as new residents moving into town, we sensed a need to make a change in order to remain relevant to the changing times. We think that BOOKED! is going to become the new event of the fall season!

What can attendees expect to experience with this new, fresh approach this year?

In the spirit of really wanting to create a deeper connection with our major donors and supporters, the event committee has been mindful in creating an atmosphere where friends and neighbors will gather together in one place, on one evening. With the help of local design studio Mis en Scene, Bryan Memorial Town Hall will be transformed into a chic cocktail lounge where caterer Ryan Brown and his team will be serving up delectable hors d’oeuvres, as well as a signature autumn cocktail. The Bentley Lewis Trio will perform various compilations of classic and contemporary jazz, while attendees peruse a small selection of highly curated silent auction items. Our desire is to provide the perfect ambiance for showing our appreciation to our community for its longstanding commitment to supporting of Gunn Memorial Library.

Tell us why this event is so important in support of the Gunn Memorial Library?

To offer free programming for patrons, we need to raise nearly 70% of our operating budget through fundraising events and individual philanthropy. In an age where public libraries struggle to remain firmly rooted in their communities, we are extremely grateful to have the generous support of our donors. This event is one of the two major fundraising events held each year in our efforts to sustain the livelihood of Gunn Memorial Library, Inc. and keep it at the center of our local community.

Anything else you’d like to share…

We hope to see everyone on Saturday, October 6!


“BOOKED!” will take place on Saturday, October 6th from 6:00 to 8:30 pm at Bryan Memorial Town Hall in Washington CT.

To purchase tickets, please visit Gunn Memorial Library’s registration page.