FY13 Annual Report
Message to Our Supporters
Generation after generation, guests come to Maymont for remarkable experiences. Proper Victorian ladies and gentlemen first rode in horse-drawn carriages to visit the Dooleys in 1893. One hundred twenty years later, we come from near and far and we are all invited to find laughter, celebration, beauty and peace within this special place. Families connect, friends build bonds, strangers find common ground, and traditions are made and honored at this great estate.
Only time will tell what new experiences await us at Maymont in 50 or 100 years, but one thing is certain: The Maymont Foundation is dedicated to keeping Maymont traditions alive and well while enhancing the estate and enriching the lives of everyone who visits for many years to come.
As we make strides towards the future with special attention to Maymont’s past, our most significant step in FY13 was the launch of the strategic phase of the “Spirit of Generosity” capital campaign. Welcome plazas and improved guest amenities top the list of projects in this comprehensive plan to preserve, protect and polish the Maymont we all love.
In FY13, the foundation also honored the Maymont treasures that have already delighted guests for decades. We continued to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Japanese Garden, and we launched a new “Give Thanks to the Animals” campaign to support our animal ambassadors. Vital restorations were at the forefront in early 2013 as the Dooleys’ iconic Carriage House and Italian Garden underwent repairs to bring back their Gilded Age gleam.
As the story of Maymont continues to unfold, this is a defining moment in the creation of a guest experience beyond all expectations. And this vision will become a reality thanks to you – our donors, volunteers, members and community partners. Your gifts of funding, time, talent and endorsement show that Dooleys’ spirit of generosity has become a Maymont tradition. Thank you for all you do!
Judith W. Pahren
FY13 Board President
Norman O. Burns
Year in Review
Spirit of Generosity Campaign
Maymont Children’s FarmMaymont launched the strategic phase of its “Spirit of Generosity” capital campaign in FY13 and received an outstanding lead gift of $5 million from Kathie and Steve Markel, the Honorary Campaign Chairs. The campaign will allow for improvements across the estate to create a more welcoming experience for guests, enhance the landscaping and natural beauty, open more historical spaces to the public, provide better habitats for the animals, and sustain the organization for generations to come. Tremendous progress was made towards the $35 million goal under the campaign leadership of Co-chairs David Camden and Stanton Thalhimer and the capital campaign cabinet. As part of the campaign, Maymont Foundation purchased the 1000 Westover Road property which will allow for improvements and entry/exit redesign at the Children’s Farm.
Kathie and Steve Markel
David Camden, Co-chair
Stanton Thalhimer, Co-chair
Duane A. Deskevich
Robert E. Henley, Jr.
Judith W. Pahren
Carroll D. Swenson
For a complete list of FY13 Capital Campaign Donors, view our FY13 Donors list.
Carriage House Restoration
The Dooleys’ iconic 1904 Carriage House received a facelift in FY13 through funding from the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) with matching funds from the Maymont Council, the Elizabeth Ireland Graves Charitable Trust and Mary Buford Hitz. The exterior restoration included cleaning and re-pointing of the stonework, roof repairs with snow guards and gutters installed to protect the woodwork, wood consolidation, restoration of windows, improved exterior lighting and period lighting for the courtyard, a wheelchair access ramp, repainting in 1904 colors, replacement of the copper finial and reproduction of two exterior light fixtures by Stokes of England. The Carriage Collection exhibition area was reopened in April, having been closed for several months while exterior work was in progress.
Italian Garden Renovation
Renovation of the 200-foot long pergola in the Italian Garden, including replacement of 300 beams and removal of the invasive wisteria, was completed in FY13 by a team of volunteers, Maymont staff and a professional painter. At the completion of the project, two pink climbing roses, two white climbing roses and one purple climbing rose were planted along the south face of the pergola. Roses like these were cited in The Stroller articles from the archives of the Richmond Times-Dispatch and seen in old photographs of the garden.
Dooley Bowl Acquisition
Maymont acquired a rare, coin silver fruit bowl in June 2013, a piece once owned by James and Sallie Dooley. The purchase was made possible through grants from two private foundations and through donations to the Maymont Council. According to family tradition, the bowl was originally owned by the parents of James Dooley, John and Sarah Dooley, who became very prosperous in the decades before the Civil War. Maymont Mansion historical records indicate that it was passed down to relatives in 1925. The quality of the impressive piece demonstrates the wealth and status of the Dooley family in 19th century Richmond and beautifully complements the sumptuous character of the Maymont dining room.
Percy Goes on a Diet
Maymont’s beloved 17-year-old Sicilian donkey, Percy, was featured in Style Weekly magazine in June 2013, but it wasn’t for his good looks or charming personality. The article divulged that Percy was overweight, an issue that came to light when the animal keepers posted signs asking guests not to feed the donkey. “He was rotund, but he’s rotund because he’s loved,” said Buz Bireline, Director of the Nature Center, as quoted in Style. “Everybody loves him and they want to feed him.” Since December 2012 when Percy weighed in at 454 lbs. (about 100 lbs. over his target weight), the donkey has been on a diet regimen consisting of a closely monitored diet and walks on the Children’s Farm lawn. The activity serves as exercise and enrichment for Percy, and it allows the animal keepers to interact with guests, sharing information about Percy’s diet and facts about Sicilian donkeys in general. This occurs at least twice per week between 1pm and 3:30pm. By September 2013, Percy weighed in at 424 lbs.
Give Thanks to the Animals
Maymont celebrated all of its animals in November 2012 with a new “Give Thanks to the Animals” campaign. The campaign included a Give Thanks wall in the Nature & Visitor Center for those who added a donation to their purchases, a new program presented by the environmental educators, and social media and signage to promote the ongoing Adopt an Animal campaign. Total Adopt an Animal gifts in November 2012 increased 60% over the previous November.
Volunteers Give Time and Talent
More than 900 volunteers gave 19,000 hours to benefit Maymont in FY13. Following are the award-winning volunteers of the year:
- Volunteer of the Year: Ford Reid
- Children’s Farm/Nature Center Volunteer of the Year: Elizabeth Aument
- Gardens/Grounds Volunteer of the Year: Barbara Webb
- Mansion/Carriages Volunteer of the Year: Sandra Bergman
- Rookies of the Year: Rick McCormick, Lynn Glasser, Nancy Dyer and Linda Walters
New this year, Maymont presented President’s Service Awards, recognizing volunteers that show a strong civic commitment through specific amounts of service in a fiscal year. Ford Reid earned a gold level award. Linda Singleton-Driscoll, Caroline Selko, Edward Shepherd, Scott Martin and Rick McCormick earned silver level awards.
WCVE Downton Abbey Preview
Costumed interpreters from Maymont Mansion started the New Year 2013 showing off their fashions at a special screening of the season three premier of the hit television series, Downton Abbey, at the Byrd Theatre on January 3. Since the time period for the Dooleys’ residence at Maymont (1893-1925) overlaps that of the show, WCVE – the local PBS affiliate – invited Maymont to participate in the much-anticipated event where our Victorian ladies and gentlemen mingled with the premier guests, who were also encourage to dress in period attire.
Loveworks with the Virginia Tourism Corporation
The Virginia Tourism Corporation chose Maymont as one of 16 sites across the state to build and promote a giant LOVEwork in 2013. The LOVEwork structures are the focal point of a Virginia is for Lovers social media campaign. Maymont joined with 20 other existing LOVEwork sculptures found across the state. The Maymont LOVEwork received $1,200 in reimbursement funding from the state tourism office. Construction was completed in March, and the LOVEwork was unveiled on April 1 as part of Maymont’s Spring Break Week festivities. Maymont’s LOVEwork features four six-foot-tall letters made of wood stained purple, Maymont’s brand color, with the Maymont swan icon within the O. The sign was designed by 93 Octane with base and steel structure fabrication by 510 Builders and letter construction and finishing by Dave Voss and Stinson Williford.
Fundraising at Vintage Maymont
Fun, fellowship, and friendly bidding were on-hand Friday, October 26, 2012, during our 15th annual auction of travel, wine, entertainment and culinary treasures, held at The Jefferson Hotel. The evening generated more than $340,000 for Maymont. During the event, guests celebrated the 100th anniversary of Maymont’s Japanese Garden, and special guest, Andrew Freiden, introduced a garden anniversary video to inspire the crowd at the beginning of the live auction. Baxter and Sharon Phillips and Trip and Meg Phillips served as co-chairs for the event. The presenting sponsor was Capital One Bank.