The Board of Directors and members of the Friends gathered in Founders Hall at the Landing for the Annual Meeting of the Friends on Tuesday, September 1, 2015. A highlight of the meeting was an address by local author and conservationist Virginia Beach. The title of her address was “The Plantation Landscape.” She illustrated her talk with beautiful slides of historical sites and Low Country landscapes and wild life. Following her address she autographed copies of her award-winning book, Rice and Ducks: The Surprising Convergence that Saved the Carolina Low Country.
Friends of Charles Towne Landing Board of Directors. Left to Right are Sarah Stuhr, Karen Prewitt,, Betty White, Marlene Williamon, Rob Powell, Gary Nichols, Tommy Thornhill, Rhoda Green, Pat Caldwell, Frederick Goulding and Pat Ezell. Not pictured: Missy Fox, Lisa Deaton, Betty Floyd and Robbie Hollings
Rob Powell, Park Manager, reported that since 2012, the Friends have given $63,000 to the Landing, an amount which has helped to make the Landing 90.5 % self-sufficient. In addition, Friends support has enabled the Landing to purchase ADA door openers, a wheel chair access cart, period costumes for the Interpretative Center docents, and a containment pen for the Animal Forest. The Friends have also become the first corporate sponsor for special exhibit in the Animal Forest. Rob reported also that the Park hosted more than 123,000 visitors from very state in the union, Washington, DC, Puerto Rico and Europe. Rob introduced Jason Robinette, who is replacing Jason Sellers, who has taken a supervisory position at Hampton Plantation.
A major source of funds given to the Landing by the Friends has come from the 5K Race the Landing Series, headed by Lisa Deaton. The amount raised from the 2015 New Year’s Day race and the five races during the summer totaled $21,950. These family oriented events, included a theme-based dinner, prizes and individual and group pictures. The series attracted children and adults of practically all ages; almost 1400 registered for all the races, with almost 400 participating in the final race in July. Derek Poston, treasurer, noted that the Friends treasury ended the year with a healthy balance of slightly over $10,000.
Board member Sarah Stuhr reported that her colleagues on the Board generously gave their time and attention to support all the activities and programs sponsored by the Friends, including the Annual Oyster Roast and the annual Appreciation Dinner for Volunteers and Staff members. Board members also served as Race monitors, servers for the food lines at all the Races, as well as set-up and clean-up “crews” for all the Board sponsored events in Founders Hall. Board members also provide refreshments and flowers for the Annual Meeting of the Friends; they also serve as hosts for visiting speakers and guests. Board members manned a special Park and Friends display at the Charleston Farmers Market. The Board approved the donation of two park benches in honor of Jamie Westendorf and Ben Moise; Jamie provides the theme-based dinners for the Race the Landing Series, and Ben generously donates his time and talents in preparing the Volunteer and Staff Appreciation Dinner every spring.
Pat Ezell, who maintains the Friends membership roster and handles all communication and record keeping for the membership, reported that there are currently 65 members of the Friends.
Rhoda Green, past president, serves as Board liaison with the Barbados & The Carolinas Legacy Foundation, and works closely with the Barbadian consulate in Atlanta to coordinate speakers and programs highlighting the many historic connections between Barbados and the Lowcountry.
Members of the Garden Club of Charleston continue to tend the gardens around the Legare-Waring House and expand the daffodil beds which they have planted in conspicuous places around the park. Two members of the Friends have recently joined the Board of Directors: Betty Floyd, past president of the Garden Club of Charleston, and retired physician Dr. Frederick Goulding Both were introduced at the Annual Meeting. Recently retired Board members include Karen Prewitt, Bob Seidler and Haywood Titchener.
The next meeting of the Board will be on Tuesday, November 10, 2015, at 4:00 pm, in the classroom of Founders Hall. Please send any information or matters for the agenda to firstname.lastname@example.org, no later than Monday, November 2, 2015.
Thanks very much for your ongoing support, and all best wishes,
President, Board of Directors, Friends of Charles Towne Landing