Denim Ball raises over $200,000 for Moses H. Cone Memorial Park

Photo by Jan Todd/Deep Creek Photography


Guests enjoy dinner with a mountain view on the front drive at Flat Top Manor. Guests enjoy dinner with a mountain view on the front drive at Flat Top Manor. Jan Todd/Deep Creek Photography
September 4, 2019

With Flat Top Manor as the backdrop, the fourth annual Denim Ball welcomed more than 200 guests on Thursday, August 22. It was the first time the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation hosted the event at Moses H. Cone Memorial Park. Thanks to our guests, the sold-out event raised more than $200,000 to fund continued restoration efforts at the historic manor!

The evening was more than a fundraiser; it was truly a celebration of the community’s deep commitment to this estate listed on the National Register of Historic places.

Guests arrived for the evening by trolley cars and vehicles provided by Modern Automotive, and were invited to mingle on the lawn, enjoy hors d’oeuvres, and place bids in the silent auction tent.

Seated under a long white tent erected at the foot of the Colonial Revival-style mansion, guests enjoyed a buffet dinner by Gadabouts Catering and a spectacular view of Bass Lake and the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Foundation CEO Carolyn Ward, Blue Ridge Parkway Superintendent J.D. Lee, and Tracy Brown, Executive Director of the Blowing Rock Tourism Development Authority welcomed the guests. Karen Cucurullo, Southeast Deputy Regional Director with the National Park Service, congratulated the crowd for funding the newly installed fire suppression system for the historic house. Private donors matched funding from the National Park Service to cover the project’s costs.

After the meal, auctioneer Jenny Miller energized the crowd with live bidding. The crowd was invited to raise their paddles to pay for features of the home that need to be replaced, including columns, windows, and balusters. 

The night continued with dancing on the porch of Flat Top Manor to live music by Soul Benefactor. As dusk settled in, the 23 rooms of the mansion were set aglow for guests to admire.  

Over the last three years, the Foundation has raised more than $3 million for extensive repairs to the manor house and grounds, with a total goal of $3.6 million. Due to the success of the Denim Ball, the Foundation has now closed the funding gap to $400,000 for Cone projects.

The event was made possible by Blowing Rock Tourism and Development Authority, Cone Health, Mast General Store, Chetola Resort, Mountainaire Inn & Log Cabins, The Rosemyr Corporation, Blowing Rock Historical Society, Modern Automotive, The Blowing Rock, Sunset & Vine, Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show Foundation, and Booneshine Brewing.

The Denim Ball planning committee was instrumental in the success of the event. The members are Billie Brandon Howell, Johnathan Lehman, Deborah McDowell, Rob Mendel, Karen Robertson, Billie Rogers, Deatra and Charlie Sellers, Emily Stallings, Genie and Jerry Starnes, Janet and Bob Stout, Pam Vines, and Rita White.

There is still time to donate to remake history at Moses H. Cone Memorial Park.

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Special thanks to photographer Jan Todd for capturing the evening. To view additional photos and purchase prints, visit the Deep Creek Photography website.