Interview with Christine Baranski – HVA Gala Benefit Auction

Litchfield County’s favorite autumn event, the annual Housatonic Valley Association Auction Gala, is coming up next weekend! We can’t wait to cover it and decided to do some prep work. We gave actress Christine Baranski a call to ask a few questions. As Auction Benefit Chair, Christine graciously took the time to talk with us.


Christine Baranski photographed by Lora at last year’s event.

You’re the auction chair for the HVA Annual Auction Gala this year…why do you think it’s so successful each year?

The great thing is that it’s the whole Housatonic Valley, it’s not just one town with a land trust. It’s people from the entire area. We share the same air, we share the same water, we share the forest, we share the beauty of this part of the world we live in. Over the years it has gotten to feel more like a community party, and there are so many people who live in that neck of the woods who are deeply aware of how precious it is to live somewhere so beautiful.

With every passing year, it becomes more and more clear how fragile the environment is. So I think there’s a sense of conscience there, a sense of obligation towards the organization that is protecting it but also, it’s just a fun event! My God, the items on the auction! I’ve gotten kayaks and trips to Paris…

Is there anything you’re excited to bid on this year?

I haven’t seen the catalog yet for this year, but last year Meryl Streep and I bid on Diane’s [Von Furstenburg] apartment. We’ve yet to use it, but we keep saying “one of these weekends”  – it’s always a question of scheduling…

You’re also a director on the board for the Housatonic Valley Association. Tell us how you became connected with the organization…

I’m on the Board of HVA, but I don’t usually get to go to board meetings because I’m in New York working, but if I can contribute by showing up as an actress who has some level of visibility….I’ve been doing this since I was on The Good Wife. Diane [Von Furstenberg] suggested that I take over from her as the yearly honorary chair and it’s my pleasure.


(photo from last year’s event)

Why are you so committed to this particular cause?

I believe in the organization strongly… I raised my kids in Bethlehem. We did a lot of commuting. My husband and I didn’t want to raise them in New York or Hollywood. So we gave them a beautiful country life. Everyone is as responsible as the next person for not only enjoying it, but for maintaining it and treasuring it. It’s all of our backyard.

What can our readers do to help?

Go online and check out HVA’s website which will tell you all the incredible work they do of saving rivers and forests, and teaching children to love the natural world. The organization does the most amazing things. Now they’re dealing with the effects of global warming. There’s new work to be done. We have storms, we have floods, we have run off; all directly related to climate change. I think everyone is feeling it now. We’re at the 11th hour.

So, I’d say your readers can read up on the organization, come to the auction, or just send in a contribution.

What are you looking forward to about this year’s event?

I love seeing the same people and it always makes me happy to see new people. Last year we had Seth Meyers come, and Diane came. I’m always happy to see any of the honorary chairs.

Excellent, well, we’re very much looking forward to it too! We’ll be sure to say hi!

We learned a lot about the work HVA does during our Source to Sound paddling experience last year. Check it out here.

Look for our blog post coming soon about this year’s event….who knows what will happen!?

Pics: Lora

Words/transcriber: Bev

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