The weather gods certainly smiled down for Saturday's Artful Lobster event to benefit the Hermitage Artist Retreat.

The sun shone, the air temperature was just right, and, oh, yes, the lobster and fixin's were delicious.

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The luncheon, which included a brief vocal performance by one of the retreat's artists in residence, Ruthie Stephens, was a chance for supporters to gather and hear the latest news about the organization's programs from executive director Bruce Rodgers, and to bid on both silent and live auction items.

Among the latter, perhaps the highlight was a week in a Lake Como villa, which went for more than $5,000 not once, not twice, but three times to eager bidders.

A paddle raise also helped to draw funds to take care of various maintenance and care issues for the retreat's buildings, which house artists from around the country to create new works of literature, music, visual arts and more.

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The luncheon was chaired by Susan Brennan, and Venice Magazine was the exclusive magazine sponsor.

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