AshevilleHendersonvilleNews Stories

Vintage Carolina Samaritans ‘Focus on Giving: A Living Legacy’


Co-owners George Ettwein (at left) and Greg Ledford flank Nina Wagner (holding lamb) and Saul Martinez who is holding strudel.

“Focus on Giving: A Living Legacy” was the theme in the Hendersonville Country Club, which was adorned with historic Baker-Barber photos that the foundation owns and houses in the main library. Standing out was a wide banner, blowing up a World War I-era image of the Historic Courthouse. These photos span over a century, starting in 1884.

Caroline Gunther, who led the Vintage Carolina Committee that organized the gala, noted the Baker-Barber theme “highlights this vast collection that we have.”

The photos reminded people of local heritage of various eras during the main fundraiser for foundation student scholarships and other efforts, she said. “We’re focusing on the present and future, and honoring the past.” Ron Partin was all smiles about the theme. He and Special Collections Librarian Mark Burdette lead efforts at identifying photos, each Thursday at 1:30 p.m. in the main library’s auditorium.

Mary Louise Barber, daughter of Jody Barber who bequeathed the photo collection, said such displays help “bring it to life.”

The foundation awarded more than $2.7 million in grants to nonprofits and scholarship recipients, Foundation Relations Mgr. Lee Henderson-Hill noted.

She said the gala’s turnout of about 370 is “very comparable with last year.” The count includes purchased tickets at $120, and complimentary sponsor tickets.

“We’re very pleased how the community supports philanthropy,” Henderson-Hill said.

“Vintage Carolina is a gathering of folks who celebrate one of the best things about our community – our giving nature,”  Pres.-CEO McCray Benson stated. “That giving nature crosses every generation in our community. It’s the presence of all the people at Vintage Carolina that makes the occasion such a positive event. It uplifts the spirit of caring, inspiration and the vision needed for making progress as a community.”

Since its founding in 1982, Community Foundation of Henderson County has been helping people who care make lasting contributions to causes that matter. The Community Foundation accepts gifts from individuals, families, businesses and organizations to create a pool of charitable dollars from which grants are awarded to address community needs. This past fiscal year, the Community Foundation received nearly $2 million in contributions, had more than $88.9 million in assets.

Helping Gunther were event supervisors such as Larry Crume and Gunter for chefs, Keith Dalbec for beverages. Decorating was overseen by Jessica Freeman, Nick Gillespie, Michael Gordon, Lutrelle O’Cain, Dan Poeta, Tiffany Prudhomme and Jolie Singletary.

Small-plate delicacy tastings were from these local restaurants and chefs: Black Forest Restaurant, Champion Hills, Chef Michael’s Catering, Dandelion Eatery, Hendersonville Country Club, Lake Pointe Landing, The Saluda Grade Cafe and Van’s Chocolates.

Wine and/or beer was from Burntshirt Vineyards, Empire Distributors, Inc., Naked Apple Hard Cider, Saint Paul Mountain Vineyards, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., Skyland Distributing Company, Southern Appalachian Brewery, and Tryon Distributing.

Flowers by Larry added decor. Music was by Up Jumped Three Plus One and Chris Coloson of Mr. C’s Mobile Disc Jockey.

Learn more about the Community Foundation of Henderson County via 697-6225 or

Share this story
Show More

Related Articles