FY14 Annual Report
Message to Our Supporters
You are the reason Maymont was named 2013’s Most Visited Attraction in the Richmond Area by the Richmond Times-Dispatch, with more than 500,000 guests enjoying the estate. Whether you visit once a year for a special event, each season to admire the landscape, or every week to volunteer, your presence brings Maymont to life.
We want you to return again and again because Maymont is a place to be experienced, shared, explored and loved. The estate deserves to be celebrated each day, and only you, our guests, can fill Maymont with festive bursts of laughter and moments of wonder.
Each year, the Maymont Foundation works to preserve its existing treasures, offer exciting new opportunities, and enhance the 100 acres you know and love. In FY14, the foundation’s preservation efforts culminated with the installation of new draperies in Maymont Mansion’s beloved Swan Room. We also introduced three fascinating venomous snake species at the Nature Center and launched Glow Run RVA, a family-friendly run/walk through the estate just to name a few accomplishments.
The Dooleys’ extraordinary gift of Maymont is a cherished, lasting legacy because of people like you — our donors, volunteers, members and community partners. Your spirit of generosity allows us to continue Maymont’s story. Thank you for your support!
FY14 Board President
Norman O. Burns, III
Year in Review
Swan Room Draperies
Maymont Mansion’s iconic Swan Room received new draperies through funding from the Anne Carter and Walter R. Robins, Jr. Foundation, the Peachtree House Foundation, and Mr. and Mrs. Wesley Wright, Jr. Natalie F. Larson, owner of Historic Textile Reproduction, led the reproduction, which included panels, pelmet-type valances adorned with silk fringe, decorative rosettes and tassels, and English lace. Gainsborough Silk Weaving Co. produced blue silk damask fabric for the project, based on the original Dooley-era Swan Room draperies.
Portraits of John and Sarah Dooley
Two large portraits acquired by Maymont several years ago were confirmed as those of John and Sarah Dooley, Major Dooley’s father and mother. The portraits belonged to Major Dooley’s sister, Mother Superior Mary Madgalen. Test cleaning revealed identifying markers within the portraits, including John Dooley’s name on a letter. Peter Baumgras, a German immigrant, painted the portraits in the 1850s. Conservation of the artwork, which is in poor condition, was made possible through donations from Linda Singleton-Driscoll and Tom Driscoll and an anonymous donor. John Dooley’s portrait will be featured during the special exhibition, “John Dooley: An Irish American Leader in Mid-19th Century Richmond,” on display at Maymont Mansion from March 6-July 5, 2015.
Animal Antics: Venomous Snakes
Maymont celebrated the grand opening of the Venomous Snakes of Virginia Exhibit at the Nature Center in November 2013. The exhibit houses all three venomous species native to Virginia. The cottonmouth and copperhead came from a rescue organization, Wildlife Response Inc., in Hampton Roads, Virginia. The cottonmouth was rescued in Virginia Beach, and the copperhead was rescued in Powhatan. The timber rattlesnake was born in captivity and came from the Luray Zoo in Luray, Virginia. The exhibit was funded by The Richard and Caroline T. Gwathmey Memorial Trust.
Exceptional Events: Glow Run RVA
Maymont opened the gates after hours to celebrate summer with the first annual Glow Run RVA held July 6, 2013. The Carriage House Lawn was aglow with lanterns and misting stations for this family-friendly run/walk. More than 800 participants were decked out with glow sticks, glow-in-the-dark paint, flashing accessories and patriotic attire to win special prizes during the event.
One of the greatest jewels at Maymont is the staff’s wealth of knowledge and experience in fields ranging from non-profit administration and horticulture to Gilded Age history and zoology. Peggy Singlemann, Maymont’s Director of Horticulture, has designed, planted and maintained more than a dozen historic and specialty gardens at Maymont for more than 30 years. In FY14, Peggy became co-host of Richmond’s monthly gardening show, “Virginia Home Grown,” on PBS’s WCVE, Your Community Idea Station. Each show includes gardening features and instructional tips from Maymont.
More than 1,200 volunteers gave 18,000 hours to benefit Maymont in FY14. Following are the award-winning volunteers of the year:
- Volunteer of the Year: Ford Reid
- Children’s Farm/Nature Center Volunteer of the Year: Megan Grundy
- Gardens/Grounds Volunteer of the Year: Michael Dixon
- Mansion/Carriages Volunteer of the Year: Beverly Sowers
- Rookies of the Year: Elle Layman, Libba Walter, Florent Baldini, Caleb Foster
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, Edward Shepherd and Mary Sollog earned silver level awards.