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Scarborough Society holds annual gala

By Staff | Sep 18, 2009

After an exhaustive search, Sarborough Society member Sara Lueck located these wood models of downtown Shepherdstown buildings, made some years ago, to match the Gala theme “Our Town.” They are shown on the patio of the Bavarian Inn Restaurant.

The eighth annual Scarborough Society Gala, held August 14, at the Bavarian Inn, netted $17,500 to support the activities of the Shepherd University Scarborough Library.

A full house of close to 275 invited guests attended the black-tie event. The theme for this year’s event, “Our Town,” was based on the 1938 Pulitzer Prize winning play by Thornton Wilder. The presenting sponsors for the event were BB&T Wealth Management, hosted and represented by John and Shelly Beatty, and Jefferson Security Bank, hosted by Steve and Kathy Morris. Valley Proteins, Inc., sponsored the band, Souled Out, and was represented by Mike Smith, company owner. Other community sponsors included Bowles Rice McDavid Graff and Love, LLC, Smith Elliott Kearns and Co., LLC, and United Bank.

John Beatty, senior vice president and city executive with BB&T WV North, stated, “It is always an honor to sponsor the gala in its mission to enhance Shepherd University and its surrounding communities through the promotion of the Scarborough Library. BB&T is proud to support this worthy cause.” BB&T Corporation, headquartered in Winston-Salem, N.C., is among the nation’s top financial holding companies with $152.4 billion in assets. Its bank subsidiaries operate approximately 1,500 branch offices in 10 states and the District of Columbia, and it is the largest mortgage lender West Virginia.

“We feel privileged to support Shepherd University in this highly successful event that brings together friends of the Scarborough Library from the communities we serve,” said Steve Morris, president and CEO of Jefferson Security Bank in Shepherdstown. “We look forward to the Scarborough Society’s continued success.” Jefferson Security Bank is a West Virginia state-chartered bank that opened for business May 19, 1869, making it the oldest community bank in Jefferson County. The bank provides general banking services within its primary market area of Jefferson and Berkeley counties in West Virginia, and in secondary markets of Washington County, Maryland, and Frederick County, Virginia.

Scarborough Society President Ray Alvarez lauded the event for its success in raising funds as well as its significance in increasing community awareness of the Society’s existence and purpose. Shepherd University President Suzanne Shipley and her husband, Randall Wadsworth, also hosted the event.

Thornton Wilder’s “Our Town” epitomizes life in small-town America. Its exploration of traditions such as community, family, and the simple pleasures taken in every day routines strike a familiar chord with those who know Shepherdstown. Wishing to recreate the town’s historic landmarks at the gala as a nostalgic tribute to its small-town heritage, gala committee member Sara Lueck set out to track down the Shepherdstown building replicas that were displayed in local business owner Keith Knost’s German Street store for many years. She learned the replicas had been donated to the Shepherdstown Men’s Club after Knost’s death and later reacquired by his estate. From there, however, the trail went cold. Lueck placed a letter in the Shepherdstown Chronicle asking for help in unearthing the treasured models. She learned that one had been acquired by Elizabeth C. Sallery, while another-a likeness of the historic Entler Hotel-had been purchased by Shepherd alumnus Wayne Goodrich. Both were happy to donate their replicas for use at the Scarborough Society Gala. The other six replicas, she was told, had been sold to local resident Bonnie Bruner, who collects dollhouses. Lueck contacted Bruner, who did indeed have the remaining models. Upon learning of their history and of Lueck’s exhaustive five-month search for them, Bruner decided not only to let the gala committee borrow the replicas for use at the Scarborough Society event, but also to permanently donate them to the town of Shepherdstown. “Deep down in my heart, I knew the replicas had to be somewhere in Shepherdstown,” said Lueck, “And that’s why I didn’t give up on finding them.”

The 226-member Scarborough Society, sponsored by the Shepherd University Foundation, was chartered in the spring of 2002 as a friends-of-the-library organization to support and strengthen the Shepherd University library system. In addition to increasing the bound collections, funds raised by the society assist in acquiring, maintaining, and updating the technology necessary to operate a twenty-first century library and provide a scholarship for a student library intern. Memberships in the organization are available on an annual basis and members’ names are engraved on a Wall of Honor located in the new addition to the Scarborough Library. Members receive special library cards and privileges and are placed on invitation lists for library lectures, book signings, musical events, seminars, and receptions.

– Anyone interested in becoming a member of the Scarborough Society is encouraged to call the Shepherd University Foundation Office at (304) 876-5397 or (800) 344-5231, extension 5397.