Zebra Misc

Going Formal to Support River Farm and Celebrate the George Washington Presidential Library’s 10th Year

Two Black Tie Events Raise Funds for Worthy Causes

The Reading Room at the George Washington Presidential Library. (Photo/courtesy MVLA)

Alexandria, VA – Riverside sites beg for elegant events; in September, Mount Vernon District will host two of them.

Black tie galas are planned for September 23 at the American Horticultural Society’s River Farm and just down the Potomac, the Regent and Vice Regents of the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association will host a gala on September 30 to mark the 10th Anniversary of the George Washington Presidential Library. It will take place on the east lawn of Mount Vernon Estate.

The River Farm Gala, “Simple Pleasures of the Garden,” is part of the year-long celebration of AHS’s 50th Anniversary at River Farm. Proceeds will support the maintenance, beautification, restoration, and preservation of River Farm and AHS’ educational programs and community outreach for gardeners near and far.

The Library Gala proceeds will directly support the Campaign for Mount Vernon in support of the mission of the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association: “To preserve the home of George Washington to the highest standard and educate the world about his life and legacy.”

New this year at the River Farm Gala, the Young Patrons of River Farm will host an After Party ticket featuring dessert and dancing when the gala concludes.

Young Patrons Chair Cameron Hardest said the after party is aimed at those who prefer to join the event later. AHS board member Skip Calvert has been named Host Committee Chair.

Charlotte Moss, Honorary Chair of the River Farm Gala (Photo/courtesy AHS)

Famed interior Designer Charlotte Moss is Honorary Chair of the River Farm Gala. She will receive the AHS National Achievement Award, presented only six times in AHS history, for her “distinguished taste making.” AHS Board Member Laura Dowling is Gala Chair; the Co-Chairs are Cindy Conner and board member Amy Golden.

The gala features cocktails at sunset before dinner. Guests may attend a pre-Gala VIP cocktail reception to meet Moss for an additional cost.

The event at Mount Vernon celebrates a unique institution. While Congress funds modern presidential libraries, the MVLA accepted no federal funds when it decided in 2010 that our First President deserved a presidential library to further public understanding of Washington’s achievements.

The crowd at last year’s River Farm Gala. (Photo/Steve Hunt)

With a generous gift of $38 million from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation, the largest received in the history of the MVLA, the campaign for the library, with Gay Hart Gaines, the Vice Regent for Florida, as chair, set a goal to raise $100 million to construct the library. The campaign exceeded its goal by raising $106.4 million by June 2013, all from private donors. The library officially opened on September 27, 2013.

All this will be celebrated with a black tie dinner, performances by the American Pops Orchestra, private after-hours tours of the mansion, a sunset reception overlooking the Potomac, and dancing.

Library Co-chair and Vice Regent Andrea Sahin (Photo/courtesy MVLA)
Library Gala Co-chair and Vice Regent Hilary West (Photo/courtesy MVLA)

Current and former Vice-Regents will co-chair the event: Andrea Norman Sahin, Vice Regent for Massachusetts; Hilary Carter West, Vice Regent for the District of Columbia; Adrienne Bevis Mars (Honorary Co-Chair), Vice Regent Emerita for Wyoming; and Gay Hart Gaines (Honorary Co-Chair), Vice Regent Emerita for Florida.

Tickets for the River Farm Gala are VIP & Gala Ticket, $495 per person; Gala Ticket, $395 per person. After Party Tickets: $150 per person. To purchase, visit www.AHSGala2023.org.

Tickets for the Library Anniversary Gala are $1,500 per person. Purchase tickets at mountvernon.org.

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Marlene Miller

Marlene Miller has lived in, and written about, Mount Vernon for decades. She raised her family here, her two children graduating from area public schools. After retiring from over 16 years of publishing her own newspaper, The Zebra has tempted her back to community journalism

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