Mother Nature was gracious and parted the rain clouds just in time for the third annual Denim Ball on Friday evening at Chetola Resort. The event raised $115,000 for repairs and improvements at Moses H. Cone Memorial Park thanks to an outpouring of support from individuals, sponsors, local businesses, and the community. More than 230 people attended to celebrate the remaking of history at the estate located at milepost 294 on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Blowing Rock, North Carolina.
“Our community loves the Cone estate as last Friday night clearly demonstrated,” says 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 continue improvements at Moses H. Cone Memorial Park to Mays and Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation CEO Carolyn Ward.
Blue Ridge Parkway Superintendent J.D. Lee also thanked the attendees for their commitment to the historic spot at milepost 294. “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 evening, The Jeff Little Trio brought the crowd to their feet for some old-fashioned flat-foot dancing. There was lively bidding in the auction. Wood replica milepost 294 markers hand-crafted by Blue Ridge Parkway Chief Ranger Neal Labrie were awarded to two individuals who made the largest financial pledges, and many 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 from 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 says.
The Foundation is closing in on a three-year goal to raise $3 million for the estate. Proceeds from the Denim Ball will go toward the remaining $1 million needed to hit the mark and secure the future of the estate, which provides many recreational opportunities as well as a glimpse into the life of textile magnate Moses H. Cone and his wife, Bertha, who ran the estate for 40 years after his death.
This year’s Denim Ball 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.
We can’t wait to see you at next year’s event because we have great surprises in store.
Denim Ball Survey
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