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Donations Help Avenel Survive the Pandemic

Gifts from four different sources over the past three months, combined with proceeds from several small-group events, have helped offset Avenel’s 2020 loss of rental revenue.  For each of the following philanthropic donations and grants, the Avenel Foundation’s board is truly grateful:

In October an unexpected check for $15,000 arrived from the estate of Mr. John K. Boardman, a civic leader in Bedford for many years.  Slated for part of a future landscape project, these funds will extend Avenel’s ability to continue work on the grounds which Mr. Boardman and his four daughters (Scottie, Holly, Beth, and Cathy) began in 2016.

At that time Mr. Boardman made known his wish to establish a memorial to his wife Marilyn, who had served on the Avenel board for a number of years.  As liaison between Mr. Boardman and the board, John Bond helped the Boardman family plan the memorial that resulted in an elegant brick driveway encircling a garden, which are dedicated to Mrs. Boardman.

Discussions about design and execution of the chosen project were extensive. The new brick driveway that necessitated approval from Historic Resources for use of the herring-bone pattern followed the lines of the earlier gravel one.  John notes that the brick laid in an interlocking herring-bone design provides stability to the structure of the driveway as cars round the curves. He remembers conferring with one of Mr. Boardman’s sons-in-law, who worked in the masonry business, and being involved in plans to make one pillar at the entrance taller than the other to compensate for the uneven ground on each side of the drive.

Avenel continues to benefit from the generosity of Mr. Boardman and his family who paid for the driveway and garden that grace her grounds.  A few months after its completion, the beautiful memorial was dedicated to the wife and mother they loved.

Avenel’s second major 2020 gift of the fall came from funds given by the federal government to the state and then to the county through the Cares Act.  Acting on a grant application from Avenel, the Bedford County Board of Supervisors approved Avenel’s  non-profit application and voted to disperse the full amount of the ask.

Just before Christmas notice came from the Greater Lynchburg Community Foundation that a grant was being made to Avenel for $5,000 in response to an application made in September.  The ask for help to restore the brick fire boxes in five of the fireplaces only slightly exceeded the amount awarded.  Greater Lynchburg Community Foundation continues year-in and year-out to stand with Avenel as they provide resources for varied projects that enhance safety and maintenance of the house.  In addition to assisting with historic preservation, GLCF addresses an incredible number of needs all throughout Central Virginia. Contributions made to GLCF come back to help this community.

Last but certainly not least are Avenel’s loyal supporters, most of whom live in or nearby the town of Bedford.  Memorial checks began flowing in August upon the death of June B. Goode, who worked for the restoration of Avenel in the Guild and donated the royalties of Our War, in which she wrote about the life and times of Avenel over a century ago.   Once the November letter of appeal went out asking each of the three hundred households receiving the letter to give the price of a ticket ($40) or two to Derby Day and/or the holiday fundraiser, many donations have come in and continue to reach The Avenel Foundation at P.O. Box 686, Bedford, VA.  The campaign is still on; it’s not too late to be a part of this successful appeal by making a memorial gift or contributing any amount of your choosing. 

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