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President’s Message: August

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Friends of the AWHM, 

I hope my note finds you healthy and happy as we quickly move through the “Duck Days of Summer”. It has been a busy summer at the de Witt and we have a busy fall ahead as well. 

First, we have seen an encouraging summer at the Virginia Beach oceanfront. Visitors throughout the summer have been constant, with many first-timers, both locals and “out of towners”. As I have shared before, we cannot afford to remain a hidden secret. We must gain exposure through any means necessary. My thanks to Lynn for carrying our torch. He remains active in various networking groups throughout Hampton Roads, telling our story and bringing folks to the cottage. In addition, our new partnership with Create/Captivate, who manages our social media accounts, is having a tremendous impact on new opportunities. The content they are sharing with the world is of the highest quality and provides folks with an intimate look into the AWHM. 

I again would like to give thanks and PRAISE to Jacky Richards and Martha Davenport for their time, dedication, and leadership in establishing our beautiful gardens, making the de Witt the most beautiful property at the oceanfront. Their hard work has gained us countless recognitions to include most recently a designation as an Ocean Friendly Garden by the Surfrider Foundation. Our gardens are a premiere attraction, and their sweat equity has paid incredible dividends. My thanks also to Tom Richards and Larry Davenport, our lead weed pulling team. 

In addition to Martha’s focus outside, her work establishing us as a premiere venue for special events is to be commended. With two high profile weddings taking place this month, our calendar is quickly filling up with folks wanting to capture that “de Witt magic” for their events. To enhance opportunities even further, our new gazebo project is close to beginning. While we had anticipated ground breaking to take place right after Labor Day, we have been delayed a bit while we continue to work to meet changing requests of the City and Historical Review Board. The bottom line is that we are close to beginning construction. My deepest appreciation goes to Jim Briggs for his time, gifts, and dedication to this much anticipated addition. The addition of the gazebo will enhance our marketability. 

Get your tickets now for the return of our annual oyster roast. This year’s event will take place Sunday, October 17th. Spend a beautiful fall day in the gardens, dancing to the music of the Tiki Bar Band, enjoying local wine, beer, BBQ, and Eastern Shore Sewansecott oysters! Contact Lynn to get your tickets. Bring your family, friends, colleagues, and enemies. This is a major fundraiser for our organization and its success depends on you. I’ll see you there! 


Jason Seward 

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