The Piedmont Virginian's Blog

Serving and Celebrating America's Historic Heart

The Virginia Chapter of The American Chestnut Foundation to Host 3rd Chestnut Gala

By Bridget Chisholm, Gala Event Coordinator, Virginia TACF
Topping off a year of remarkable success, the Virginia Chapter of The American Chestnut Foundation (TACF) will host their Annual Chestnut Gala at Ayrshire Farm in Upperville, Virginia on October 6, 2012 beginning at 6 pm. This year alone, the chapter planted two new breeding orchards, initiated a reforestation study on the nearby Bull Run Mountains, started a fire-effects study in Shenandoah National Park, and pollinated ten wild, surviving chestnut trees to make hybrid seed for 2013. The chapter continues to breed locally adapted, blight-resistant Castanea dentata and works on bringing awareness to the community about the Castanea dentata’s plight.

The goal of the Annual Chestnut Gala is to raise $50,000 in order to continue and expand the chapter’s work in 2013. Ms. Sandy Lerner has once again donated the use of her Ayrshire Farm and staff. She also donated an Ayrshire Farm pig which will be skillfully pit-roasted by the farm’s chef. If you haven’t had this pork before you are in for an amazing treat! Guests will also enjoy the Chestnut Soufflé which was an incredible hit last year. Additionally, the Mason Branch Bluegrass Band composed of Dan Rilko, TJ Morgan, Mark Maggiolio, Troy Gooding, and Glen Cantrell will perform live traditional bluegrass music for guests to dance the night away under an almost full moon.

Tables for ten people can be purchased for the event and in exchange, the person(s) or organization will get recognition in the printed program and on the chapter’s new web site. The chapter has a goal to sell ten tables. Single tickets are also available for purchase. A percentage of all monies raised goes to TACF National Office so please consider supporting the event. If you are traveling from far away, the Virginia office is able to help out-of-town guests find lodging, so please consider a weekend in the Virginia Piedmont to attend the gala and support our work.

The evening events also include a silent and live auction. Donations for the auctions welcome. Items currently up for bit include: a handmade leaf necklace by Ms. Sandy Lerner; a VIP tailgate rail pass for the Gold Cup Races on May 4, 2013; a fly fishing package by Douglas Lees; a private tour of the Phillips Collection led by William Woodward, including lunch at the Cosmos Club; a guided spring gobbler turkey hunt; with many more to come. If you have something you would like to donate please contact Janet White at 540-364-4522 or 540-878-6616 or

Visit the Virginia Chapter’s new website at to learn more and purchase tickets for the gala at
If you are interested in a sponsorship contact Bridget Chisholm at 540-364-0065 or

h/t to Price Benowitz LLP


  1. Hope to see some of your readers there!

  2. Looking forward to this event!

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