Celebrity sightings at party linked to $160,000 raised for good causePop The Cause gives to Meals on Wheels, other groups
Rockport — Facebook feeds and the rumor mill in the Midcoast were buzzing June 26 and 27 with reports of people seeing Hugh Hefner, P. Diddy, and other celebrities in Rockport.
Many of these were impersonators, though the real Pointer Sisters sang and entertained at a party that included 500 guests, according to Bettina Doulton of the Cellardoor Winery.
The party was Pop The Cause 2014, and it was at this event that $160,000 was given to support four local charity organizations. Of that, $100,000 was donated to the MCH Meals on Wheels program.
Another $20,000 each was donated to United Mid-Coast Charities, Coastal Opportunities and Hospitality House.
The event was sponsored by Cellardoor Winery and Megunticook Market.
Entertainment at the event included "Hugh Hefner" and two bunnies; "Kim Kardashian and Kanye West"; and "P. Diddy," all played by look-alikes. Also performing were DJ Jon, The Sultans and Delvin Choice of "The Voice."
The event will be followed by Pop For Change June 28, which will be a party as a thank you to 500 area volunteers for the four charities.
Pop the Cause represents the evolution of Pop the Cork, an annual fundraising gala put on by Cellardoor Winery’s Bettina Doulton and Megunticook Market’s Lani Stiles. Begun in 2008, Pop the Cork was conceived as a festive way to support local nonprofits. Past beneficiaries are the Farnsworth Art Museum, the Center for Maine Contemporary Art, Bay Chamber Concerts, United Mid-Coast Charities, Habitat for Humanity of Rockland and the Penobscot Bay YMCA.
The popular gala, which brings celebrity musical acts and other entertainments to Rockport, was so popular it grew exponentially. After much thought and reflection, Doulton and Stiles created Pop the Cause, scaling back to 400 guests — the size of the original event — and emphasizing the charitable reason for the gala. Last fall, they announced that a charitable contribution of $160,000 would be divided among four organizations, three of which would receive $20,000 each, while the fourth, chosen by popular vote, would receive $100,000. In November, a few days after the event sold its 400 tickets, at $125 a pop, in a matter of hours, the four local nonprofits were announced: United Mid-Coast Charities; Coastal Opportunities; Hospitality House; and Knox County Meals on Wheels, which got the most votes and will receive the $100,000.
Since time is as precious as money to these organizations, Doulton and Stiles invited local community members to give some of their own by volunteering four hours to one of the selected beneficiaries. As a “thank you” for giving back, those volunteers are invited to Pop For Change, an evening of community, live music, food, wine and more, set for Saturday, June 28. Tickets for Pop For Change are not for sale, and logging the volunteer hours closed May 31.
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Daniel Dunkle is editor of The Courier-Gazette and news director for Courier Publications. He lives in Rockland with his wife, Christine, who also works for Courier Publications, and two children.
Dunkle has previously served as editor of The Republican Journal in Belfast. He has worked as a reporter and photographer in the Midcoast since 1998.