Life by Chocolate: The Visiting Nurses Host a Sweet Sunday Brunch

Jan Gordon & Susan Jacobsen

When Newport Seen heard those two magical words, “Chocolate Brunch,” we couldn’t resist making an appearance!  The Visiting Nurse Services of  Newport and Bristol Counties held its fall fundraiser at the Easton’s Beach rotunda, celebrating “60 Years of Caring” in a relaxed, light-filled setting encircled by large windows overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.


Brunch did not fail to deliver on its promise, delighting us with buffet tables offering a selection of chocolate cookies, pastries, and petit fours, fondue, a hot chocolate table with all the fixings from Russell Morin Catering, and a station of Edible Arrangements’ ever-luscious chocolate-dipped fruits. Of course, chocolate was not the only gustatory enticement (although arguably the best!); the less-sweet brunch foods were elegant, hearty, and delicious.


Mary & Michael Hayes, Jeff Gordon, Angela Fischer

Event Chairs Jan Gordon and Susan Jacobsen were vibrant and gracious as they greeted arriving guests and oversaw the party’s unfolding. To set the mood, the Lois Vaughan Trio played light classical selections from Haydn, Mozart, and the Romantics on violin, keyboard, and double bass. A silent auction was set up in a sunny part of the room, featuring artwork, clothing, and an exceptional selection of dining items for eager bidders.

Attendees included former Secretary of State Kathleen Connell (also an event honoree), outgoing Newport Mayor  Jeanne-Marie Napolitano, Michael Hayes, Gary and Angela Fischer, Louis Fazzano, and Nancy Parker, who also donated wine from Greenvale Vineyards.


David Leys & Mayor Jeanne-Marie Napolitano

Midway through the meal, the music paused, and VNS CEO Jean Anderson stood to thank supporters and sponsors, as well as to recognize honorees with special gift baskets. Tradition, dedication, and family support were emphasized as key factors in VNS’s many decades of success in helping people, and this tradition was embodied by the presence of descendants from the original founding families of the Newport and Bristol chapter of VNS: the Hayes, Kane, Lewis, Leys, and McLeish families, represented at the event by Michael Hayes, Bernard “Buddy” Kane, Tom Lewis, David Leys, and Sam Silvia.


Gary Fischer, Norey Cullen, Kate & Toby Field


Legacy Honorees included Kathleen Connell, William Corcoran Sr., Gregory Fater, Vernon Harvey, Finton Wallace II, and Bruce Walsh.

The idea for a chocolate brunch was credited to Francesca Campo; in the end, we found it creative (did we mention irresistible?), flawlessly executed, and a refreshing change from the typical evening affair.
Find out more about Visiting Nurse Services of Newport and Bristol Counties at
                                                                     -- Amanda Grosvenor



Hot chocolate station by Russell Morin Caterers

The Lois Vaughan Jazz Trio  goes classical!

Peg Brady enjoys the fabulous dessert table

Lovely Edible Arrangements

Allendra McGovern, Nancy Parker, Cindy Warren,

Martin Bauermeister, and Kathleen Connell

Jean Anderson speaking

Silent Auction bracelets from Mandarine

Honored guests

Mary Louise Fazzano & her father Louis Fazzano

Browsing the silent auction

Friends since college: Donna Radkovich, Jean Anderson,

Molly Magee

Jeff & Jan Gordon

Alexis Radkovich & Kate Magee

 Bruce & Kathy Walsh, Alice Dickens, Matt Burns

Buddy Kane & Tom Lewis

Susan Jacobsen & Francesca Campo

Enjoying brunch

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