Monday, December 19, 2011

Another Year, Another Lovely Celebration with Friends of Historic Sotterley!

"It's wonderful during the holidays to spend time with supporters and volunteers who helped Sotterley through 2011 - and celebrate our successes," stated Nancy Easterling, Executive Director of Sotterley Plantation.

The honored guests arrived at the Hilton Garden Inn in Dowell - thanks to the gracious hospitality of Tom Waring and Brian Norris of Cherry Cove Hospitality. Many people who remember the ridiculously cold annual holiday dinners in the Sotterley historic Barn exclaimed, "What a perfect venue!" True ... there's a lot to be said for warmth.

After the reception hour of merriment and laughter, friends of Sotterley, old and new, made their way to the dining room, decked out for the season with Christmas trees, red roses, and sparkly chandeliers.

As in years prior, Michael Whitson, hosted the holiday event on Sotterley's behalf. As a Trustee Emeritus of Historic Sotterley, Inc., Mr. Whitson has not only been a tremendous supporter for years, but has also encouraged others to become part of the Sotterley fold - many of whom were in attendance. Stepping up to the microphone, he thanked the guests for their generous support, in his typically endearing way - with humor ... and sincerity.

Jan Briscoe, President of Sotterley's Board of Trustees, also passed along her words of thanks to all who made such a tremendous difference this year. She expressed her gratitude to the other members of the Board and to the Emeritus, who selflessly devote much time and effort to keep Sotterley thriving.

Executive Director of Sotterley, Nancy Easterling extended her deep appreciation to all who helped Sotterley during the challenging year of 2011, complete with a continuing depressed economy and the significant destruction caused by Hurricane Irene. "We could not have made it through without your support. We, at Sotterley, believe that this place truly does matter ... and you obviously believe it, too."

Once again, Canard's Catering (Lisa and Michael Kelley and crew) prepared and served a magnificent feast of:

Chicken and Gruyere in Puff Pastry
Risotto Cakes
Oysters Rockefeller
Composed Salad with White Balsamic Vinaigrette -
cucumber with romaine, shaved radicchio, daikon, red pepper and toasted pine nuts
Mixed Grill - Jumbo Lump Crab Stuffed Flounder, Chicken Roulade with Cranberry and Sage, Potatoes Galette, Bundle of Haricot Vert
Mocha Latte - chocolate fudge cake surrounded by coffee mousse and garnished with shaved chocolate, chocolate ganache and chocolate covered coffee beans

Congressman Steny Hoyer spoke eloquently about the importance of Sotterley in both Maryland history and American history. He cited how imperative it is that Sotterley continue its mission, so future generations can learn about the past "blind spot" many Americans once held about Slavery. His timely holiday message reinforced that the educational experience at Sotterley helps us to be a better people, to not fall into blind spot judgment of any people.

Last, but surely not least, Sotterley wishes to thank the Sponsors of this year's spectacular holiday event:

Butch Long & Cindy Salyard, MIL Corporation
John & Cheryl Blazer, Blazer's Custom Construction
Beverly Perry & Tom Graham, PEPCO
Dr. V.K. Shah & Dr. Ila Shah, Shah Associates
Larry & Martha Wise
Michael Colina & Linda Cannon, RMC Corporation
John & Julie McAllister
Michael & Sara Middleton, Community Bank of Tri-County
Charles McPherson, The Facchina Group
Charles & Rosine Downs, Downs Plumbing
John & Mary Bohanan
Lynn Erwin & Michael Whitson, Tri-County Abstract
Tom Waring & Brian Norris, Cherry Cove Hospitality
Lisa & Michael Kelly, Canard's Catering
Katie Stickel, Wildes-Spirit Design and Printing

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