Thursday, June 1, 2017
On the garden steps of Chatham Manor
President Sharon Adinolfi called the meeting to order at 5:30 pm and welcomed all members to Chatham.
Superintendent Kirsten Talken-Spaulding also welcomed the group. The Superintendent stated that she had been at Chatham only four weeks when FOC had their 2016 Annual Meeting. She praised the incredible activities of FOC that have had an impact beyond Chatham itself. The Roaring 20’s Celebration was featured by the Regional Office as a major event in the Centennial NPS Celebration. The Artisans, Art, and History Event brought numerous community members to Chatham who had never visited before. FOC is creating a lasting legacy at Chatham and will continue to do so with many future events and projects. The Superintendent announced the receipt of full funding for the restoration of the two Greenhouses and is excited about having them back in operation. She is also looking forward to FOC assisting with the 250th Anniversary of Chatham which is coming up soon.
Treasurer, Anne Betz, gave the Friends of Chatham Treasurer’s Report, which is attached. The Total Liabilities and Equity is $52,062.52. Anne also shared a proposed Budget for 2018, which was approved unanimously by the membership. The motion for approval was made by Nancy Fahy and seconded by Cathy Walker.
Membership Director, Carol Hyland, thanked the volunteers who manned sites within the house so that all could tour “behind the scenes.” She reported that the Membership Committee increased FOC membership by 21% this year and she hopes to reach a membership of 160 in 2018. Carol commended Susan Hatch as a particularly helpful and active member of the Membership Committee and thanked all her committee members for a job well done throughout the year.
Garden Project Chair, Carol Hyland, reported that Scott Blake has been hired as the part-time gardener and has worked very hard to keep the gardens always looking their best. There were gorgeous bulbs earlier in the Spring and summer annuals are now being planted. The Garden Long-Range Planning Committee is discussing the idea of setting up a small portion of the garden as a demonstration spot for Ellen Biddle Shipman’s “design or look” to show her 1921-1922 vision for the Chatham gardens. Carol praised the volunteers who come each Wednesday to help with the gardening work and she encouraged anyone who was interested to show up on Wednesdays from 8:00 am to noon.
Projects Director, Nancy Fahy, reported that the windows and doors project is just about finished. Maintaining the gardens is a major on-going project that anyone can donate to at any time via check or PayPal; FOC is trying to set up a sustaining fund for the gardens. The Restoration of the Temple around the Pan statue is the next project, which is under $15,000. FOC received a Duff McDuff Grant from the Community Fund as well as contributions from the Rotary Club and the Rappahannock Valley Garden Club for the Pan Temple project. There are several future projects in the planning stages such as assisting with new displays to interpret Chatham’s history, supporting the Greenhouse project, possibly some interior painting, and other maintenance issues. Nancy announced that she is rotating off the Board next June so if anyone is interested in this Board position, she would be happy to discuss the job responsibilities in more detail.
Since the Directors of Ways and Means and Marketing both had family health issues that prevented their attendance at the meeting, President Sharon Adinolfi briefly explained the accomplishments in those areas. Grants had been written and received. A Riverside fundraiser was held. A FOC Newsletter was published with more to come each quarter.
Past President, Lynda Baer, was introduced as the point person for the 250th Anniversary of Chatham Celebration.
Vice-President and Events Director, Carolyn Van Der Jagt, reviewed the many events of the past year. A Tea was held for a Fairfax Garden Club last Spring. Refreshments and support were provided for the Naturalization Ceremony in June 2016 and for the Civil War Santa visit in December. A Membership Appreciation reception was held at the CRRL Headquarters Theater in February 2017. In April, an Artisan, Art, and History event was attended by 1100 people and featured a display of winners from the art contest for students in Stafford County Public Schools, which brought in over 350 entries. In May 2017, FOC hosted the Rappahannock Valley Garden Club for their Annual Meeting. Carolyn thanked all members who volunteered their assistance in making each of the events such a success. She announced that FOC has received a grant from Stafford County for $1500 for another art event, which will probably focus on drama in 2018; she is not certain if that grant will be matched by the state.
New Business: FOC must elect a Nominating Committee at this meeting to secure candidates for various Board positions. Since both Carolyn Van Der Jagt and Nancy Fahy are rotating off the Board, they will serve as the Board’s representatives on the committee. Other members who indicated that they are willing to serve are Mike Redding, Beth Daly, and Suzanne Willis. There were no nominations from the floor. A motion was made by Scott Walker to approve the slate for the Nominating Committee, which was approved unanimously.
Superintendent Kirsten Talken-Spaulding announced that the FOC newsletter, Chatham Chatter, edited by Mike Redding was picked by the Regional NPS office as a model newsletter from a Friends group.
In the absence of the Marketing Director, President Sharon Adinolfi reminded the membership that the newsletter comes out quarterly, so check the email for it in July. If, for some reason, it goes to your spam and cannot be found, the newsletter is always posted on the FOC webpage. Sharon also stated that Anne Underwood is developing a Marketing Strategy for FOC products such as Chatham prints and bookmarks.
Sharon stated that the FOC Board of Directors have done an amazing job this year. Membership has increased; exciting, quality events have been offered. She encouraged members to join committees and to volunteer for various events. She closed the meeting by thanking all members for their hard work that resulted in a terrific year.
The meeting was adjourned at 6:30 pm.
Catherine K. Walker, Secretary