Victoria ‘Vicki’ Kennedy, U. S. Sen. Ted Kennedy’s widow, made a surprise appearance Monday at U.S. Sen. Chris Dodd’s last Jefferson Jackson Bailey dinner as an elected official.

Mrs. Kennedy said no one was a better friend to her husband than Dodd. She talked about how the two became instant friends when Dodd arrived in the Senate. Kennedy’s appearance was a surprise for Dodd, who decided not to seek re-election next year. Her appearance was arranged by Democratic Party Chairwoman Nancy DiNardo.

More than 1,300 people attended Monday’s dinner, which raised more than $300,000 for the Democratic state party.

U.S. Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia was the keynote speaker. Warner is a native of Vernon.