It’s not every day that a party can vault you into the jet set. But the first-ever Maine Suitcase Party will do just that when it takes flight on Sept. 21.

Tickets are already selling fast to this red-carpet benefit for Camp Sunshine, which will take place in a dressed-up aviation hangar at the Portland International Jetport. In addition to the usual trappings of food, drinks and live music, the Maine Suitcase Party comes with an added twist.

About two hours into the event, two lucky party-goers will have their names drawn, and they and their guest of choice will quickly be on their way to New York City.

“Meanwhile, we’ll auction off two additional seats” on the private jet, said Mark Richard, who works for Keller Williams Realty and is chairing the event committee.

But the lucky winners had better be ready for takeoff. Like, right away.

The six attendees will be taken by golf cart from the party to their cars to pick up their suitcases, and then will board a private Maine Aviation jet. After a 50-minute flight, they will touch down at Teterboro Airport outside of Manhattan, where a waiting limo will take them to the luxury Blakely Hotel in midtown Manhattan.

In addition to a two-night stay in the city, the jet setters will also receive $500 in spending money.

They’ll return to Portland on Sunday in the same private jet with the same pilot.

Back at the party, the other guests will continue to enjoy desserts and cheese samplings while dancing to the music of the funk-disco band Motor Booty Affair. There will be silent auction items to bid on, as well as more raffle drawings for luxury “staycations” at the Migis Lodge on Sebago Lake and the Black Point Inn on Prout’s Neck.

“All the proceeds are going to go to Camp Sunshine,” Richard said.

The party committee hopes to raise about $75,000, which would allow the free camp for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families to add another week of offerings, he said.

Richard said many of those buying tickets to the party face a unique dilemma: “You’ve got to make arrangements with a child-care provider either for three or four hours or three days.”

But don’t feel too bad. Such are the challenges of those in the jet set.

Staff Writer Avery Yale Kamila can be contacted at 791-6297 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: AveryYaleKamila






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