SANFORD — An upcoming dance to benefit pancreatic cancer research has been moved from a popular banquet hall that recently hosted sex parties to a smaller venue that will likely limit the event’s success.

Organizers of the fundraiser planned for Nov. 5 fear the banquet hall’s operators may lose their liquor and business licenses, which will be up for review by the Town Council on Tuesday.

Town officials have ordered James and Susan Colley, license holders for Great Beginnings Catering at Mousam View Place, to stop hosting monthly sex parties for a Web-based swingers’ club.

James Colley has told town officials via email that the parties will stop, but his recent applications for new liquor, food, dance and entertainment licenses are at stake.

“I don’t know how he’s going to get his licenses again, because town officials aren’t too happy with him right now,” said Brad Hoffman, an organizer of the benefit. “We also heard some people wouldn’t come because of what went on there.”

Hoffman and Linda Smilie planned to hold the benefit dance for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network at Mousam View Place, a former Knights of Columbus hall at 47 High St., which holds 500 people.
Smilie’s husband, Robert, died from the disease in 2008. Banners and posters have been hung all over town.

But they have moved the dance to the 220-seat Elks Club at 13 Elm St., which puts an unexpected cap on their fundraising efforts. They already have sold 200 tickets to the 6:30 p.m. event.

“I wish there was another place bigger around here, but there just isn’t,” Hoffman said. “We’ve had it at Mousam View Place for the last two years. Last year 250 people came, and we were expecting more this year.”

Town officials moved to stop the sex parties after two undercover police officers, investigating complaints, attended a swingers’ party at the banquet hall Oct. 15, said Police Chief Tom Connolly.

They found about 40 people openly engaged in a variety of sexual acts.

Town officials said the parties violated local and state licensing regulations and municipal zoning regulations.

The building is owned by a Massachusetts real estate holding company. The Colleys are tenants.

Organizers of other events scheduled at Mousam View Place are reconsidering their plans, said Town Manager Mark Green.

The Colleys haven’t returned calls for comment.

“I’m disappointed,” Hoffman said. “The events went well there in the past. (Colley) was probably just trying to make money, given the economy. If things work out for him, maybe we’ll hold it there next year.”

Staff Writer Kelley Bouchard can be contacted at 791-6328 or at:

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