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VFRW Boots on the Ground Soiree

Virginia Federation of Republican Women
“Boots on the Ground Soiree” was a smashing success!

The weather was perfect and the bucolic atmosphere of Liberty Farm infected the event making it fun, relaxing and joyous.  Martha Boneta, member of the Clifton RWC, opened her Liberty Farm and her heart to our organization, and we are all lifted up by her energy and positive attitude. At the end of the program and as promised we shared our good fortune with the effort to stop the savage destruction of Elephants. I presented Emily Russell from the African Wildlife Foundation a check for $500.There were more than 30 women involved in this effort.  They represent the Heart and Soul of the VFRW, and they epitomize the best of Virginia’s political culture.

It has been several years since the VFRW has held a fundraising event (1/4 century – that’s dramatic). Approximately 300 people were in attendance. 

We wanted to stage a family afternoon so we advertised free Beanie Elephants for the first children to register.  I have been told by several parents that those fuzzy critters have become permanent family fixtures and sleeping companions. The children, thanks again to Martha, had a wonderful time.  They had animals to feed and pet, a piñata, games, races, JoAnne the face painter, and many got a new book, “Ruby and Baby,” about an elephant and a cat by Mary Jane O’Loughlin who was on hand to sell and sign.

Martha ran a Live Auction, and VFRW 2nd VP Louise Shickle ran an extensive silent auction made up of articles donated by members and clubs.  Periodically we asked the members of the DryMill Road Bluegrass/Newgrass Band to announce the winners.The Band was a gift to the VFRW from Martha and they are terrific, (They will be at Lost Rhino in Ashland Sept 19 and at the Harvest Festival in Winchester Oct 12 – http://www.drymillroad.com/).  Kate Marterella was there selling her wine in specially designed glasses with an elephant and VFRW 2014. (I will have a case of those at the Oct. 4 Board meeting – http://marterellawinery.com/). Winners of the Best Boots Contest judged by Martha and Pete Snyder were Senator Bryce Reeves, Carol Jones, Aiden Steiner, and William Webert.

The biggest mistake was the estimate I gave to the caterer, who then added 25%, and still, we did not have enough as we believe more than 60  walk-ons attended.  We had Michele Wilson’s Top Flight BBQ from Winchester (http://topflightbbq.com).  They are the best and in no way responsible for what happened.  This will be item one on our after action session agenda, and we promise to do it right the next time.

We are deeply gratified by the support for and regard of the VFRW.  We can now enhance our communication abilities and make our participation in Virginia’s political process more efficient and effective


Linda Bartlett
President, VFRW