I have a big list of places I want to visit. I have another list of places I’ll probably never get to see. Those with restricted access. Places that are top secret, very hush-hush. Super exclusive. Super cool. Seriously off-limits.
Like the White House Situation Room, Nevada’s Area 51, or the Coca Cola Vault in Atlanta which guards the century-plus-old, secret formula to “the real thing.” Fort Knox in Kentucky is also a no-go. To check out the US gold bullion reserve and other national treasures, you’d have to break a security perimeter defended by 40,000 soldiers and a stream of attack helicopters. James Bond-ish? You bet! So is England’s RAF Menwith Hill, believed to be the biggest electronic monitoring, intelligence-gathering station in the world.
And, when you’re hanging out with the Brits, don’t expect an invitation to White’s Gentlemen’s Club. London’s oldest and most exclusive club is reserved for bigwigs and royals who love high-stakes betting games. The most famous involved a 3,000-pound wager to see which raindrop would slide to the bottom of the window first. And, just so you know, the Queen’s bedroom in Buckingham Palace is equally hard to access—especially after a 1982 security breach.
The Vatican Secret Archives? Not without the right credentials. The Svalbard Global Seed Vault in Norway? Doubtful. Hardly anyone has access to the vault that protects seeds from all over the world in the event of a global catastrophe. In 1963, the government shut down the Lascaux Caves in France after a mysterious fungus threatened the ancient wall paintings. And, only a priest or priestess of the Imperial Family can visit Japan’s Ise Grand Shrine, constructed to honor the sun goddess. Every twenty years, it’s demolished and rebuilt in celebration of rebirth.
The most restricted place of all is probably Moscow’s Metro-2; it’s so secret no one is 100-percent sure it even exists. The underground transportation system was allegedly constructed under Stalin’s reign and parallels the public metro. A few claim to have built it; a few more claim to have seen it. Wouldn’t you like to be one of them?
Well, enough about the fascinating places we’ll never see. Life’s much better without restrictions, when nothing is off-limits—like the Phil’s annual gala next month. Since, we’ve been taking off in new directions all year, we decided to land this party somewhere decidedly different: inside a hangar at the Plymouth airport! Cool cocktails, fancy food from around the world, very live music and travel-themed auction items make this the go-to get-together of the season.
It’s also a serious fundraiser. Proceeds from the gala fuel the Phil’s operating budget. Last year, we raised over $72,000 in unrestricted funds (see how I circled back to this?) to meet our annual expenses not covered by grants, sponsorships or restricted gifts. I’m talking about important things like rent, utilities, insurance and salaries. This is a more-the-merrier kind of event in more ways than one. We plan to raise the bar…and have one helluva time doing it!
So, get your ticket, get on board, and get ready to party. After all, how many chances do you get to hang out in a hangar and bid on several once-in-a-lifetime experiences to support the Phil? Seriously, the sky’s the limit when it comes to Phil fun. And, like Vegas, what happens in the hangar, stays in the hanger.
COME FLY WITH US!
The Phil's Annual Fundraising Gala
Saturday, April 21, 6-11 pm ◾ Pro Airways Hangar at Plymouth Airport
Oh, the places you'll go and the things you'll do when you bid on these fabulous auction items. Can't come? You can still join the fun. Simply let us know you want a proxy bidder by April 20 and tell us your maximum bid. Your proxy will bid in your place. Or, if you prefer, your proxy will call you to place your bids live over the phone. Call 508.746.8008 for details.
8-DAY VIKING RIVER CRUISE FOR TWO
Donated by Viking Cruises and Wendy Cushing, Travel Concierge
Minimum Bid: $2,500
Choose one of three fabulous 8-day Viking River Cruises.
◾ Explore castles and cathedrals from Amsterdam, the Netherlands to Basel, Switzerland.
◾ Sail to charming cities and villages from Budapest, Hungary to Nuremberg, Germany.
◾ Cruise to enchanting destinations from Passau, Germany to Budapest, Hungary.
Airfare, transfers, optional shore excursions and land extensions are not included and are available for purchase at regular brochure fare. Not transferable and may not be exchanged for cash. Cannot be combined with other promotions. Stateroom upgrade is available for purchase at prevailing rates subject to availability. Winner is responsible for any applicable tax and port charge. Valid on available embarkations for 2018/19 only. Reservations are only accepted within 120 days of departure. Space per sailing is limited and yield controlled. Not applicable for Viking Tours or other Viking products including Viking Ocean. Offer valid for river cruise only. Other restrictions may apply.
INTERNATIONALLY THEMED COCKTAIL PARTY FOR 20 OR DINNER FOR 8-10 IN A PRIVATE HANGAR AT PLYMOUTH AIRPORT
Donated by Tasteful Adventures and Jason Wolfson
Minimum Bid: $1,000
Treat your friends to a once-in-a-lifetime experience in a private, fully-outfitted airplane hangar (featured in Boston Common Magazine!). Tasteful Adventures will provide an onsite cook and service for up to 20 guests for a cocktail party or a dinner for 8-10 guests. They'll work with you to create an internationally-inspired and seasonal menu. (Final menu at discretion of Tasteful Adventures.) To be scheduled at a mutually agreeable time between the winner, Jason Wolfson, and Tasteful Adventures.
CLUB SEATS AT A PATRIOTS GAME
Donated by: Steve and Deb Bowen
Minimum Bid: $1,000
Four front row Putnam Club seats for a Patriots 2018 season game at Gillette Stadium! Choose your game from one of the three dates to be announced at the auction. Enjoy pregame club offerings and warm up anytime during a chilly game. No worries about the weather. The club opens two hours pregame so enjoy yourself in comfort! Includes two premium parking spaces.
GUEST CONDUCTOR AT A PHIL HOLIDAY POPS CONCERT
Donor: the Phil
Minimum Bid: $500
The lights dim, the conductor approaches the podium and...it's YOU! This thrill of a lifetime can be yours. Conduct the Phil at one of our most popular concerts, Holiday Pops on December 8 or 9, 2018. This item includes two premium seats to the concert and conducting lessons with Music Director Steven Karidoyanes. Just hear those sleigh bells jingling, ring, ting, tingling too. Imagine the bragging rights after your incredible performance.
GREEK DINNER FOR 8 IN YOUR HOME PREPARED BY STEVEN AND AMY KARIDOYANES
Donated by: Steven and Amy Karidoyanes
Minimum Bid: $500
You know our Steven K. is multi-talented, but did you know he is also a fantastic cook? Revel in Greek culinary delight as Steven and his fabulous wife Amy prepare an authentic Greek dinner for you and seven guests in your home. From appetizers to dessert, you will enjoy genuine Greek cuisine--including Steven's famous moussaka! You provide the beverages of your choice, and Steven and Amy will do the rest. The dinner to be scheduled on a mutually agreeable date and redeemed by April 30, 2019.
BE THE GUEST WHIP AT THE PHIL'S HOLIDAY CONCERT
Donor: The Phil and Paul Gross
Minimum Bid: $500
Giddy yap, giddy yap, giddy yap let's go! Here is your chance to be an orchestra musician at the Holiday Pops concert on December 8 or 9, 2018. Be part of the percussion section and crack the whip during Leroy Anderson's "Sleigh Ride." The Phil's principal percussionist Paul Gross will be your coach and meet with you in advance of the concert for training. This item includes two premium seats to the concert. Don't just come to Holiday Pops, be part of it!
RED SOX TICKETS AND MORE!
Donor: Bill and Judy Gagnon
Minimum Bid: $350
Two great seats for the Red Sox game in the State Street Pavilion, Section 2. But wait - there's so much more! Package also includes $250 gift card for hotels.com, $150 Island Creek Oyster Bar gift card and a $50 Uber gift card.
Buy tickets to the Gala