President’s Corner – Friends Report for Spring & Summer 2015

9 Jun

This has been a busy and productive spring season for the Friends and the Landing, as we move into the summer months. On a beautiful February afternoon, over 50 Friends attended our March Oyster Roast, with Jamie Westendorf of Charleston Outdoor Catering providing a sumptuous array of tender Lowcountry oysters. Sarah Stuhr’s Special Events Committee organized the affair, and took care of all the details. The annual Volunteer and Staff Appreciation Dinner was held in Founders Hall on April 25th, once again spearheaded by the Special Events Committee, with valuable assistance from the Friends Board members. Park Manager Rob Powell served as master of ceremonies. Area businesses and Friends supporters donated a plethora of door prizes, and the Friends provided the ingredients for Ben Moise’s expertly prepared frogmore stew. Derek Poston, our Board treasurer, reported that a contribution from the Bank of South Carolina, a gift in honor of Sarah Stuhr from Mrs. Barbara Rockefeller, as well as proceeds from the 5K Race the Landing Series, underwritten by Lucey Mortgage, made it possible for the Friends to fund the Oyster Roast as well as the Volunteer and Staff Appreciation Dinner free of charge. In addition, the Board voted unanimously to give $2,500 to help fund the clothing wardrobe for the Park’s Living History Program.

Board member Lisa Deaton, the inspiration and leader of the 5K Race the Landing Series, got our Racing season off to an impressive start on May 4th, with 253 runners, walkers and children participating. Area businesses, led once again by Lucey Mortgage Company, donated supplies, water and awards, and Jamie Westendorf supplied the food, linked to the theme of Southern Comfort. The second of the Race the Landing Series was on May 14th, with a happy crowd of 280 on hand to enjoy the “action,” prizes and awards, and Jamie’s food linked to a Barbados Celebration theme. The third Race was on June 4th with another big festive turn-out and an Oktoberfest theme. The fourth Race will be on June 11th, centered on a Native American theme; and the final Race of the summer season is scheduled for July 9th, with an All-American theme. Everyone should be pleased with the outstanding success of the 5K Race the Landing Series, not only with the praise Lisa and the Friends receive from the participants (“these are the best 5k Series ever”), but also because the Friends are able to use the proceeds from the Series to support the needs and projects of the Landing. In this latter connection, the Board unanimously voted to designate a portion of the Friends yearly donation from the 5k Race the Landing Series for an Animal Forest sponsorship, as determined by Park Manager Rob Powell and approved by the Board. In addition, Dr. and Mrs. Richard Cole, long-time members of the Friends and generous supporters of the Landing, have given a special donation of $1,950 to sponsor the Cougar Habitat in the Animal Forest.

left to right: Cindy Salyer, Ed Holton, Marianne Allardice and Daniel Heenan

left to right: Cindy Salyer, Ed Holton, Marianne Allardice and Daniel Heenan

The Board’s action to endorse an Animal Forest sponsorship supports an ambitious project that creates sponsorships for the Animal Forest. Rob, his staff and the Ad Council of the South Carolina Parks, Recreation and Tourism department have developed a book that describes the needs of the Animal Forest as well as the various levels of sponsorships. It is an impressive description of the extensive rewards of Animal Forest sponsorships, and we urge everyone to encourage support from individuals like Dr. and Mrs. Cole, as well as from corporations and businesses. Jason Sellers, Assistant Park Manager, received a $500 grant to purchase t-shirts promoting Charles Towne Landing. The shirts will sell for $25 each, and all proceeds will go to support the Animal Forest.

In other interesting developments, Marlene Williamon, secretary of the Board, set up an information booth on May 2nd at the Charleston Farmers Market on Marion Square; Gary Nichols will be manning the booth on July 4th. We have brochures on the Landing, Volunteer applications, 5K Race the Landing flyers, Friends membership applications and 20% discount cards for admission to the Landing.

Rhoda Green, past president and Board member, reported on the recent visit of Sir Henry Fraser, archeologist and historian of Barbados, who spoke at the Maritime Center and College of Charleston about the close connections between 18th century architectural styles in Barbados and Charleston. Dr. Fraser’s visit was sponsored by the Barbados and the Carolinas Legacy Foundation. Rhoda said that plans are underway for the Foundation to sponsor a group tour from Charleston to Barbados, possibly in November, 2015.

The Garden Club of Charleston continues its work at the Landing, planting roses, crepe myrtles and azaleas at the Legare-Waring house, and beds of daffodils in other locations around the Landing.

Finally, Board members Bob Seidler, Haywood Titchener and Cedric Green are rotating off the Board. Although no longer members of the Board, Bob and Haywood will continue to be active as members of the Friends.

The Annual Meeting of the Friends of Charles Towne Landing will be on Tuesday, September 1, 2015, at 6:00 pm, in Founders Hall. Please note this date: since the second Tuesday in September, the usual date for the Annual Meeting, is the day after the traditional Labor Day holiday, when many are away or just returning home, the Board decided this change was appropriate. Additional details about the program and agenda will be announced well in advance of the meeting.

Many thanks for your loyal support and continuing membership in the Friends of Charles Towne Landing. Please encourage your friends and neighbors to check out the Friends of Charles Towne Landing website, visit the Landing and join us in service to our unique State Historic Site.

Our annual calendar is now at google Calendars for your convenience.  View our calendar at

All best wishes,
Gary Nichols
President, Board of Directors
Friends of Charles Towne Landing

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