Turnout for Neller benefit supper was a large one
At Sunday's benefit supper are, from left, Jack Neller, Cathy Neller, Rick Neller and Dan Clock. BZ photos
A fundraising pasta supper held Sunday at the Litchfield Community Center for the family of Rick Neller was an overwhelming success, drawing a huge crowd and raising more than $17,000 in cash and gift cards.
Neller and his children, Colin and Brooke, saw their rented house in Morris destroyed by fire on March 15. They didn't have renter's insurance and lost most of their possessions. Money from the fundraiser will help the family get back on its feet. They are living temporarily in a house in Morris owned by Jeff and Peggy French, who are providing the accommodations free of charge. The Nellers will move into new quarters next weekend.
The fundraiser was organized by Jack Neller, Rick's brother, and Dan Clock, with help from their wives, Cathy Neller and Suzanne Clock, and Helen Bunnell. Many volunteers and staff from the community center assisted them.
Among the dignitaries spotted at the supper were Ted and Laurie Murphy of Litchfield, local celebrities Brent Hawkins and Billy Neller, Judge Charlie Gill and his wife, Joan, of Litchfield, John Langer of Bantam, Litchfield First Selectman Leo Paul, Jr., Morris First Selectman Barbara Bongiolatti, Bill Andrulis of Litchfield, former Possum Queen Rory O'Shaughnessy, Bill and Esther Brennan of Litchfield, Fred Bunnell and Rich Pratt of the Litchfield Lions Club, Gary and Cindi Zeller of Litchfield, and many others.
Rick Neller, right, and First Selectman Leo Paul, Jr.
Local high school students, above and below, served the food.
Gary Gilman supervises Maureen Bellmay, left, and Patty Laure as they make the salad.