This past week's highlight was the Foundation's dinner at Hotel Roanoke. On the final count, three hundred and forty of us sat down to dinner in the Crystal Ball room. In spite of it being a large gathering in a formal setting, the atmosphere was charged with fun and friendship. I got around to most of the tables, having a great time catching up on news with old friends and making new friends.
Sometimes people ask me where my energy comes from. It comes from times such as this, when my spirit is inspired by the feeling of good fellowship and the shared desire to help children. Together we are able to achieve our goals and, as in the case of the dinner, to far exceed them.
The evening started off with a total surprise when Bob Almond, the dinner chairperson, read out a Certificate of Recommendation from Virginia Governor Mark Warner, naming November 7, 2003, P. Buckley Moss Day throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia. The citation praised the achievements of the Society in fundraising for charities and the work of the Foundation on behalf of Education and The Arts.
Bob Almond had been telling us that we would be served chicken for the main course and in so doing, pulled off the second surprise when our plates arrived filled with beef and trout stuffed with crabmeat, an unusual combination and quite delicious. The dessert was a chocolate creation that was beautiful to perceive and sinful to eat.
Here I am again, relating to you what we were eating. You will be thinking that food is my main interest in life. In truth the meal was the least memorable part of an evening. What was most memorable was the raising of $14,800 from the auctions, exceeding our goal of $10,000 by $4,800.
My congratulations to the dinner committee, to the Society chapters and to the Dealers, who all pulled together to bring about a success that far exceeded expectations. My thanks go to the donors to the auction and to the bidders, whose combined generosity demonstrated our desire to help children in our classrooms across our nation.
Talking about auctions, I was a successful bidder recently. Each year, Anna Zartman, the mother of Sally Gobrecht, the president of the Lake Marburg Chapter of the Society, crochets a tablecloth for the Chapter's fundraising auction. For several years I had been leaving a bid in the hopes of being the winner. This year, I asked Pat Martin, who with husband Les owns Martin's Gallery, to bid for me, allowing her wide scope. I paid $300 for this beautiful work which now adorns the table in my sun room.
On Saturday the Society board met to discuss next year's budget and the plans for a similar fund raising dinner to be held in Kingsport, Tennessee, in conjunction with a Moss Convention. Again the Foundation will be the beneficiary. If you have your diary for 2004 and are in striking distance of Kingsport, I suggest you make note of Friday and Saturday, May 7th and 8th. There is nothing better than an evening spent in good fellowship while at the same time benefiting the young.
On Saturday evening the board members held a surprise birthday party for Malcolm, who turned seventy today, Veterans Day. At the party we had many laughs. Each person had to bring a baby photo and the photos were posted on a board, identified only by a number. We had to put the correct name to the correct photo. There were nineteen photos and board member Jeannie Ham got all nineteen right. For once Malcolm was not the class dunce, he got five correct answers. Two others (no names) only managed four.
On Sunday I was back in Waynesboro to watch my grandson Pico play soccer. I wish girls had played soccer sixty years ago. I was a tom boy and it would have suited me well to be competing for the ball and taking shots at goal.
This weekend Malcolm and I fly to St. Petersburg for a final show at our gallery on Beach Drive. We will be closing the gallery after Christmas. It will be a sad occasion. The surrounding properties have been sold for development and the area will be a construction zone and unsuitable for a gallery. When we arrive there on Friday, we will be considering alternatives, with the possibility that Tim Finn, who has managed our gallery for the past ten years, will continue to sell my work. I will keep you posted.
Next Monday, Malcolm flies to Panama for two weeks on the farm before returning for the December 5th-7th Museum and Barn show. While he is away, I will be at Waynesboro for Thanksgiving with the children. Then on December 16th, the two us head back to Panama and I start my three months of intensive painting time.
Until next week.