After several years of postponement due to COVID, Botetourt County Historical Society & Museum (BCHS) hosted its 14th annual Founders Day dinner Friday, Oct. 21 in the Fincastle United Methodist Church Family Life Center.
Elizabeth Kostelny, the CEO of Preservation Virginia, spoke at the event and touted the organization’s efforts to help advocate for saving historic properties throughout the Commonwealth. Kostelny touched on preservation issues facing Jamestown, the community effort surrounding several Rosenwald Schools, the success of Patrick Henry’s Scotchtown, along with smaller municipalities that are working to save the history in their own backyard.
As demolition and reconstruction of the Botetourt Courthouse draws nearer, Botetourt Historical Society could not think of a timelier topic for the annual dinner.
An integral part of Founders Day is also the presentation of the Emily Honts Award. Each year recipients are chosen based on their work to help preserve the history of the county. This year’s awards went posthumously to Edward Barnett, who worked to shed light on the African American history of Botetourt alongside his sister Judith and others, as well as his architectural career that is celebrated at the University of Virginia.
Also honored were the members of the 250th county anniversary committee: Angela Coon, Lois Switzer, Wendy Wingo, and Donna Vaughn. The committee worked to commemorate the county’s 250th year with various events and celebrations that kicked off at Lord Botetourt High School in February 2020. Unfortunately, many of those events had to be cancelled due to the outbreak of COVID-19.
Founders Day helps bring in much needed funds to the Society each year and members thank everyone that purchased a ticket to attend. Botetourt County Historical Society thanks the sponsors that helped make the evening possible: Bank of Botetourt, Alderson Insurance, First Bank, Titan America/Roanoke Cement, Digital Image Printing, and the Virginia Room at the Roanoke City Public Library.
“The Botetourt County Historical Society thanks Fincastle United Methodist Church and the team of dedicated volunteers that helped to set up, cater, and clean up the event,” Museum Director Lynsey Allie stated in a recent email. “Lastly, thank you to our Founders Day Committee that have worked tirelessly to plan this event for several months: Ann Layman, Weldon Martin, Susan Martin, Cathy Cronise, Beth Pappas, Angela Coon, and Anne Wagner.”
~ Botetourt Historical Society
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