Joyce M. Johnson

Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens 2014 Gala Grand Voyage took off with fanfare for the 480 guests Friday evening on the estate grounds. The 19th annual black-tie celebration, hosted by Jim and Leslie Pickard, and Marty and Beth Hauser, charted a course that was reminiscent of a journey at sea, including food and dancing.

“I love the old time glamour, and I can’t wait to see what everyone is wearing,” said Janet Pera.

Stan Hywet CEO/Executive Director Linda Conrad said, “We hope to raise $150,000, which is what we typically raise at the midsummer night’s celebration.”

Inspired by the 2014 theme for the estate, guests climbed aboard to savor delicacies from a specially designed menu and danced the night away under the moonlit sky against vistas of the West Terrace and Birch Tree Allée.

“I’ve been coming here since I was a child,” said Kim Lojek. Her husband, Joey Lojek, added, “My mother has been giving tours here for 15 years.”

Sarah Vojtek said, “I was a huge Titanic fan and I like how they tied the history of the ship in with the house.” Her husband, Bill Vojtek, agreed.

Ellen McCoy attended with friends Beth Kartarius and her mother Sue Kartarius. Ellen said, “I love the theme.” Beth said, “Stan Hywet is my passion.”

Also spotted in the crowd were Steve and Karen Myers, Mark Munoz, Jon Fiume, Dewayne Duncan and Charlie Loeb.

A highlight of the evening was an opportunity for guests to bid on a one-of-a-kind Stan Hywet experience, an exclusive dinner in the dining room, an exquisite formal party staged in the elegantly adorned Manor House.