Gov. M. Jodi Rell made it a point to tell the public to refrain from bringing gifts for her to an open house Wednesday in her office at the State Capitol, a farewell event for the retiring governor.

But on Tuesday night, checks will be expected as she is saluted at a fundraising dinner at the Crowne Plaza in Cromwell, with proceeds going to the new Rell Center for Public Service at the University of Hartford.

Rell is holding the open house from noon to 2 p.m. Wednesday to end her administration the same way it began six years ago — with a meet-and-greet in her office.

“I look forward to closing out my tenure with one final chance to visit with our citizens and offer my heartfelt farewell and thanks,” Rell said.

When she took office in July 2004 after the resignation of John G. Rowland, the line to greet her was long. It included job-seekers and lobbyists intent on getting off on the right foot with a new governor.

While Rell is telling people not to bring gifts, she would welcome a non-perishable food item for Foodshare and the Connecticut Food Bank.

Mark is the Capitol Bureau Chief and a co-founder of CT Mirror. He is a frequent contributor to WNPR, a former state politics writer for The Hartford Courant and Journal Inquirer, and contributor for The New York Times.

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