On April 27, friends and supporters of the Visiting Nurse & Hospice of Fairfield County, which provides home health and hospice care to the community, gathered for a Seaside Soiree to raise funds for the benefit of patients.

The cocktail party took place at the waterfront home of Ann Sheffer and Bill Scheffler in Westport and raised more than $53,000.

Highlights of the evening included a silent auction, a giving tree, entertainment by jazz musician Chris Coogan and a discussion with Sheffer and her aunt, Susan Malloy, about Lillian Wald, who founded the first visiting nurse association in the United States in 1895. Wald resided in Westport in the 1930s and was a close personal friend of Malloy's parents.

Members of the volunteer benefit committee included New Canaan residents Janet Lebovitz and Carlyn Tiefenthaler.

"We are thankful for the friendship and support of so many in the community who share in our mission to bring healing and comfort to those in our care," said Sharon M. Bradley, president and CEO. "We are grateful to all our corporate and individual sponsors, our volunteer benefit committee, our in-kind donors and everyone who so generously contributed to this very special evening. We are especially grateful to Ann Sheffer and Bill Scheffler for their gracious hospitality, as well as Susan Malloy and Chris Coogan. The funds raised at this event will touch the lives of the many patients in need in our community and we extend our heartfelt thanks."