It has been a year of gratitude in 2016 as we’ve celebrated the 90th anniversary of Maymont’s public opening. As the year winds down, we reflect one more time on the reasons we’re grateful for James and Sallie Dooleys’ extraordinary gift to us nine decades ago.
1) A World Beyond Imagination – The Dooleys’ gift has allowed generations of families to explore their 100-acre estate and home, and for many of us, we have seen a way of life we could not envision for ourselves. We are grateful for the opportunity to explore this dream world of beautiful vistas and gardens surrounding a castle-like mansion.
2) A Collection of Priceless Treasures – Inside the mansion, we can admire art and artifacts that can’t be seen anywhere else in the world. From the swan bed and Tiffany stained glass window to the narwhal dressing table and the dining room cabinet, the Dooleys brought world-class wonders into our city. We are grateful to have such a treasure trove in RVA that is accessible to everyone in our community and to guests from all corners of the globe.
3) Breathtaking Gardens – You don’t need an airline ticket to experience the romance of Italy or the serenity of Japan. We are grateful for Mrs. Dooley’s passion for flowers and gardens that still shines in the luscious, exotic landscapes within the estate.
4) Generosity and Vision – The Dooleys must have known that their Gilded Age showplace would amaze and delight its guests, and they made sure it was preserved so that new generations could enjoy it as much as they did. Can you imagine if Maymont had been divided into dozens of home sites? Or developed into a shopping center or office park? Instead, we have a landmark, an oasis and a living classroom that enriches our lives and our city. We are grateful that the Dooleys could foresee the impact of their gift and that their generosity has inspired similar acts of kindness to keep Maymont beautiful and accessible for all.
What makes you grateful for Maymont? Please consider a gift to our annual fund in honor of the Dooleys’ spirit of generosity and Maymont’s 90th anniversary.