For almost a decade, the Mystery Dinner has been the Library's signature annual fundraising event. This year's sold out event—Walden, A Tribute to Henry David Thoreau—was a thoreau-ly good time! Rustic and sophisticated all at once, 145 guests enjoyed New England-themed cocktails and hors d'oeuvres at the Library followed by dinner at 19 host homes. We are deeply grateful for all the time, talent, and treasure donated to the Library by our Mystery Dinner hosts and committee.

  • Chairs: Allegra Griffiths Beth & Randy Bean
  • Elizabeth Leamon Beth & Sam Chapin
  • Alejandra Welch Harriet & Tony Crane
  • Ann Buffum Nan & Ted Danforth
  • Denise Collins Barbara & Chris Dixon
  • Nan Danforth Alejandra & Josh Welch, with Geraldine Griffin
  • Anne Fix Alice & John Groton
  • Melissa Floyd, Mary Elliot Haders
  • Barbara Ginsberg Julia & Paul Leeming
  • Sibby Lynch Spike Lobdell
  • Clare Sheridan Deb Norman & Chris Jussel
  • Chris Turrentine Virginia & Bob Montgomery
  • Caroline & Scott Muller
  • Alie & Gerrit Nicholas
  • Joyce & Francis Pandolfi
  • Alexa & Dan Pearson
  • Cheryl & Dave Purvis
  • Cynthia Elliot & Douglass Rice
  • Ruth Saunders & Jim White

And our thanks to Russ Burgess and Clare Sheridan of Charles Schwab–Mystic for sponsoring the cocktail hour. Thank you as well to Cask & Keg and The Stonington Garden Club for their contributions that made the event a success.



Financially, the event was a booming success with ticket sales over $13,000!

In addition, a “Giving Tree” poster was set up on which guests could post their “Giving Leaves” with pledges to fund replacing and updating some of the Library’s desktop computers with laptops and expanding the new book collection. This initiative raised more than $5,000.


For almost a decade, the Mystery Dinner has been the Library’s signature annual fundraising event. This event sells out each year and typically takes place at the end of April.

The event began in 2009 as the brain-child of Ruth Saunders and Joyce Pandolfi, Library trustees who were looking to find a way to fill a hole in the budget. They drew on events in which they had each previously been involved, and suggested a “Mystery Dinner” to the Library Board. Guests would have cocktails at the Library and dinner at a nearby house, and would only learn who their dinner hosts were at the cocktail party.

Most of the Trustees quickly volunteered to act as dinner hosts, and their enthusiasm was typical of everyone else involved. Given the Library setting, the first party had a theme of Great American Authors. Each year the Mystery Dinner Committee chooses a theme, usually with a literary connection. Themes in the past have ranged from Alice in Wonderland to Hemingway in Spain and A Passage to India.

The feedback from that first event was so positive that the Mystery Dinner has become a cherished tradition in Stonington ever since – not only because it raises much-needed funds for the Library, but at the same time it introduces residents to new friends and neighbors and creates a wonderful sense of community.