RHINEBECK – It was an invitation only event, the Friday night before the big show on Saturday where Hilarie Burton and her husband, Jeffrey Dean Morgan and a host of other celebrities including Mary Stuart Masterson and Paul Rudd will read ghost stories to a sold out house at the Ulster Performing Arts Center in Kingston.
But this night was reserved for the many volunteers, donors, and sponsors who have helped make the three year renovation project of the children’s wings at Astor, a reality.
“It’s an opportunity for us to say thank you for all of the time and materials these good folks donated to the project, and we wanted to have a little special time with them before the craziness starts with the big show on Saturday night”, said Jeffrey Dean Morgan. “We get to have some one on one time with them and its great.”
It starts with our staff”, stated Astor CEO James McGuirk. ” You’re greeted with a staff who clearly cares about the kids and is passionate about the work and committed to making sure that whatever we do, it’s really the kids and their families who come first.”
Television,movie actress and Hudson Valley resident Hilarie Burton and her husband Jeffrey Dean Morgan have been the catalyst of the renovation project from the first day, prepared with renderings of Hilarie’s vision for the upgrades that would
ensue and continue into following three years. It all started with the very first Ghost Stories project that was held on the campus of Bard College. The money raised help fund the first wing in the boys living section of Astor. From there everything grew; from volunteers,
donations, and the Ghost Stories event which has moved to the Ulster Performing Arts Center and has sold out to capacity.
Burton praised the volunteers, staff, and donors saying, “The last renovation we did, we did two wings at the same time and it was a lot.”, she said. “But it was right before the holidays and you couldn’t do one wing and then leave the last one hanging. So our volunteers are better than anyone else’s volunteers, and they nailed it.”
Saturday night’s Ghost Stories event will have 1500 people in attendance; there were about 40 people in attendance for the pre-show reception; a much more intimate setting for guests to mingle with celebs, and celebs and staff to say thank you to the many volunteers and donors.