Outpouring of support making an impact at historic estate on Blue Ridge Parkway
(BLOWING ROCK, N.C.) – Mother Nature smiled on The Denim Ball on Friday evening, August 3, and parted the rain clouds for the third annual fundraising event at Chetola Resort. The event hosted by the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation raised $115,000 for ongoing rehabilitation work at Moses H. Cone Memorial Park. More than 230 guests came out to celebrate the remaking of history at the estate listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
“Our community loves the Cone estate as last Friday night clearly demonstrated,” said Willa Mays, Chief Development Officer for the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation. “It was wonderful to see so many longtime friends and new supporters decked out in denim and ready to have fun while giving back.”
The evening included remarks from Tracy Brown, Executive Director of the Blowing Rock Tourism Development Authority. Brown presented a check for $25,000 to Mays and Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation CEO Carolyn Ward in support of the work at Moses H. Cone Memorial Park.
Blue Ridge Parkway Superintendent J.D. Lee also thanked the attendees for their commitment to the historic spot at milepost 249. “Seeing the passion and willingness to support this special Parkway location, I know the future is bright for Cone,” he said after the event. “Community involvement has always been and continues to be a driving force in the viability of the Parkway. We are so grateful to Denim Ball attendees whose love of the Cone estate is celebrated at this event.”
During the night, The Jeff Little Trio wowed the crowd and inspired spontaneous flat-foot dancing in the audience. There was lively bidding in the auction. Two milepost 294 markers crafted and donated by Chief Law Enforcement Ranger Neal Labrie were awarded to the two highest pledges of the night, while others received “Blue Jeans” the bear, a plush animal bank.
“We have so many people to thank for making the night a success: those who attended the Denim Ball, the fabulous sponsors, the generous folks who donated items for the auction, and all those who have pledged to ensure Moses H. Cone Memorial Park’s most pressing needs will be met,” Mays said.
Proceeds from Denim Ball ticket sales, pledges, and the auction will help continue work at the estate.
The event was sponsored by Blowing Rock Tourism Development Authority, Cone Health, Chetola Resort, Excalibur Direct Marketing, Footsloggers, Mast General Store, Modern Automotive, Mountainaire Inn & Log Cabins, The Rosemyr Corporation, The Blowing Rock attraction, Boone Rent-All, and Blowing Rock Historical Society.
Planning is already underway for next year’s event, which will include a few new surprises.
To see a recap of this year’s fun, visit the online photo gallery at brpfoundation.org/2018denimball.
About Moses H. Cone Memorial Park
Moses H. Cone Memorial Park was owned and developed as a gentleman’s country estate by Moses H. Cone, an American captain of industry of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, who with his brother, Ceasar Cone, brought denim production to the South with several mills based in Greensboro, N.C. After the deaths of Moses and his wife, Bertha, the estate became part of the Blue Ridge Parkway in 1949.
The park is in need of extensive repairs to Flat Top Manor and the 3,500-acre grounds. In the last two years, the Foundation has raised $2 million for the rehab of the estate, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. To move forward with further manor house renovations and landscape work, the Foundation is raising an additional $1 million.
About the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation
The Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation is the primary nonprofit fundraising partner, 501(c)(3), of the Blue Ridge Parkway, helping ensure cultural and historical preservation, natural resource protection, educational outreach, and visitor enjoyment now and for future generations. To learn more, visit brpfoundation.org.
Pictures from the Denim Ball by Jan Todd, DeepCreekPhotos.com: