The fundraiser is titled “Toast of the Town”; its symbol is raised martini glasses.
From the response the town has given, Rob Grogan, cancer patient and all ‘round good guy, has earned the honor.
Nearly one hundred artists, and nearly one hundred contributors of fine items such as antiques and jewelry, have rallied to donate extraordinary things to the auction and fundraising event, to be held September 22 at the Inn at the Old Silk Mill.
Grogan, 61, was diagnosed earlier this year with carcinoid cancer, a rare form of the disease. His medical expenses beyond his insurance coverage are also extraordinary: In excess of $10,000 a month.
Grogan, long-time publisher of Front Porch, a monthly regional lifestyle magazine, is loved for his coverage of the arts, history, antiques, wine, food - the kind of under-the-radar features that don’t make headlines, but do give readers a strong sense of community.
Beyond that contribution, Grogan has been the popular bartender at Bistro Bethem, where his own versions of cosmos, martinis and such have brought conversation and connection to both the patrons and the wait staff of the popular Fredericksburg restaurant.
As a regular visitor to local businesses and arts venues, Grogan has served as a kind of de facto communications connector between diverse audiences that might not otherwise know one another.
A self-deprecating, unassuming manner and a giving, supporting nature have served to encourage folks to dare beyond their fears and take that next career step; to reach out and help a cause; to pursue interests beyond the known.
And so, the diverse audiences whose lives have been enriched by this outreach are now rallying, side by side with folks they never knew, to create “Rob’s Army,” the organization created to help this kind soul with his challenge.
Auction items may be viewed at Toast of the Town Fundraiser.
More information is at Rob's Army on Facebook.