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A gala dinner celebrating Artpark's 25th birthday raised more than $65,000 for the park, officials announced Sunday.

Almost 600 persons attended the catered dinner, held Saturday evening in a tent on park grounds, prior to a performance of "The Sound of Music."

Awards for service to Artpark were presented to retiring Assemblyman Joseph T. Pillittere, D-Lewiston, and James Glynn, president and chief executive officer of the Maid of the Mist Co. Brass plaques in their honor will be installed on seats in the park's main theater.

Heather Carskadden of the National Wildlife Federation presented Artpark with a certificate marking its designation as a Backyard Wildlife Habitat, the first New York State park and the first arts center in the nation to be so designated.

Artpark is owned by the state, but is now operated and funded primarily by Artpark and Co., a not-for-profit group which until last year was a private booster club and fund- raising channel for the facility.

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