Giving Back

Flapper Fundraiser Swinging in September at Lee-Fendall House

The passage of time, the intrusion of moisture, and the rumble of traffic on adjacent Washington Street have led the foundation to begin crumbling away in spots. The full project is estimated to cost $35,000; Lee-Fendall’s board is undertaking the repairs in sections as funds become available, with a goal to raise $8,000 through Sips & Secrets.

Ragtime and Jazz Night Will To Help the Lee-Fendall House

The Lee-Fendall House Museum & Garden invites you to pull out your flapper dresses and fedoras and brush up on your foxtrot steps to support historic preservation in Alexandria.

In 1916, when state-level Prohibition came to Virginia, many Alexandrians were less than delighted. Among those hardest hit were the Downham family, who operated one of the town’s liquor wholesalers and made their home at the Lee-Fendall House at the corner of Washington and Oronoco Streets.

In honor of the Downhams and their Prohibition-era struggles, the Lee-Fendall House invites the Alexandria community to their third annual Prohibition-themed fundraiser. Sips & Secrets: A Speakeasy Night will be held Saturday, Sept. 22nd, 2018, from 7 PM to 10 PM in the museum’s half-acre garden.

Jill Gribbin, Lee-Fendall House board of directors with Amanda Roper, Lee-Fendall House staff.

All proceeds from Sips & Secrets will go toward the museum’s most urgent preservation need: stabilization and architectural preservation of the house’s 233-year-old foundations.

The evening will feature 1920s-inspired cocktails – popular choices in past years have included gin fizz punch, whiskey sours, and a champagne cocktail – along with beer and wine, heavy appetizers provided by Paris Caterers, and desserts provided by Bittersweet.

The night will also feature ragtime and jazz music and dancing, contests for the best 1920s outfit and the best Charleston dancers, and other fun surprises. A VIP reception will precede the event, with special opportunities to tour the house and taste historic whiskies.

A silent auction will feature contributions from Alexandria Film Festival, AR Workshop Alexandria, Bluemont Vineyards, Carlyle House Historic Park, Gadsby’s Tavern Museum, George Washington’s Mount Vernon, Hooray for Books!, International Spy Museum, Lavender Moon Cupcakery, Little Theatre of Alexandria, Mariner Sailing School at Belle Haven Marina, The Newseum, Pedego Electric Bikes, Sip and Sew Old Town, Stabler-Leadbetter Apothecary, and Studio Barre.

Event sponsors include The Zebra, Loretta Gray of Long & Foster, Babs Beckwith Real Estate, Ourisman Ford of Alexandria, and Cathleen Curtin Architects. Sponsorship opportunities are still available, and those interested should contact Megan Ritter, event chair, at (410) 259-9273 or [email protected].

General admission tickets are $60 per person, with a young professionals rate of $35 for guests under age 30. VIP admission tickets $85, and current members of the museum may purchase VIP tickets at the general admission price. Additional details and a link to the ticket page are available at Please watch the museum’s social media pages on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for updates at the event gets closer.

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