Litchfield News

Possum Queen Contest as successful as ever (01-02-18)

Members of a skit based on the television sitcoms of 'Happy Days,' 'Laverne and Shirley,' and 'Mork and Mindy,' celebrate at the end of the Possum Queen Contest and Festival at the Litchfield Inn on Monday. Below, contest co-founder Brent Hawkins was a colorful sight. BZ photos

The Litchfield Inn was once again the place to be on New Year's Day as it played host to the annual Possum Queen Contest and Festival.

Early indications are that the event was the most successful in its 28-year history with about $80,000 or more raised through silent and live auctions and donations. The previous record of $70,000 was set in 2017.

Proceeds benefit the nonprofit Possum Queen Foundation, which provides grants to local families enduring medical hardships.

Monday's festivities saw the coveted can of possum soup auctioned off for $32,500, with the winning bid submitted by Steve Sage.

As usual, the event featured a few skits with the highlight being a takeoff on the television sitcoms 'Happy Days,' 'Laverne and Shirley,' and 'Mork and Mindy.' The performance earned its participants the title of Possum Queen for 2018.

Auctioneer Rick Tanuis of Litchfield conducted a live auction that generated thousands of dollars for the cause.


Joe DiChillo and Mary Hawkins of Possum Air greeted those arriving for the festivities.

Cindy Zeller had all of the answers.

A dining room at the inn was filled with items in the silent auction.

Bill Pierpont leads the Mattatuck Drum Band into the ballroom.

Val Caron of Bantam was part of the drum band.

Matt Terzian, left, and Jay Bolton, second from left, present a check for $765 to Billy Neller and Brent Hawkins.

Litchfield Hills Probate Judge Diane Blick made a donation on behalf of the Litchfield-Morris Rotary Club.

Brent Hawkins helps Rick Tanuis auction off a rug.

The Fonz of 'Happy Days,' played by Rey Budny, meets Mork of 'Mork and Mindy,' played by Ian Campbell.


Lesley Budny, left, and Christy Concilio from the 'Happy Days' and 'Laverne and Shirley' skit.

From left, John Concilio, Jenny Matthews, Lori Stickney and Mike Lamere.

A buxom D.J. Murphy was a hit in the show.

Rey and Lesley Budny show their dance skills.

Brent Hawkins enjoys the entertainment.

Lindsay Murphy and D.J. Murphy

Rick Tanuis auctions off Ian Campbell.

Brent Hawkins holds the coveted can of possum soup.

Steve Sage and friends made a successful bid of $32,500 for the can of possum soup.

A deflated D.J. Murphy takes a well-deserved break.

Billy Neller and Bill Pierpont of the Mattatuck Drum Band.

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