Annual Preakness Party fundraiser supports RCC Educational Foundation’s Mission

Annual Preakness Party fundraiser supports RCC Educational Foundation’s Mission

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On the beautiful afternoon of May 18, over 300 friends of Rappahannock Community College gathered at historic Grove Mount in Richmond County for the 15th Annual Preakness Party. Since its inception 15 years ago, the annual event has raised over $1 million for the RCC Educational Foundation’s mission, to provide an affordable and high-quality RCC education for residents of the Middle Peninsula, Northern Neck and surrounding areas.

Guests gathered to bid on silent and live auction items, enjoy food and drink from the local restaurants and wineries, and watch a live feed of the Preakness Stakes on large television screens. The best hat contest, won by Elizabeth Miller, and the most dapper man, Henry Hundley, brought out the competitive spirit in the guests.

Congressman Rob Wittman was in attendance and recognized Dr. Elizabeth (Sissy) Crowther’s retirement as president of RCC. (Pictured above)

“After 15 years as president, Sissy will be leaving the College a better, stronger institution of higher education and learning…I ask you to join me in recognizing Dr. Crowther’s accomplishments as she ends her tenure as president,” Wittman read from the Congressional Record Extension of Remarks.

“The RCC Educational Foundation is so grateful to the event guests and sponsors who support the Educational Foundation,” said Sarah Pope, RCC’s Dean of College Advancement and Executive Director of the RCC Educational Foundation, Inc.

Preakness welcome

“We are amazed by their generosity each year,” noted Pope. “The Preakness fundraiser is successful because of the dedicated volunteers on our steering committee, including chair Sue Farmar, our corporate sponsors, and the beautiful setting of the event venue provided this year by Fran and Kirwan King.”

This year’s event raised nearly $90,000 to support RCC student scholarships and College programs.

In all, nine local restaurants donated their time and delicious food for the event, including Eckhard’s Restaurant, Historic Lancaster Tavern, Indian Creek Yacht & Country Club, Java Jack’s Coffee House and Restaurant, Reedville Market Bar & Grill, Relish Restaurant & Wine Bar, The Daily, Two Fish Bistro & Tackle, and RCC’s own Culinary Program, led by Chef Hatley Bright.

The Preakness Party also featured several local wineries, including Good Luck Cellars, General’s Ridge Vineyard, and Ingleside Vineyards.

Corporate and individual sponsors, included Atlantic Union Bank, B.H. Baird Insurance Agency, Bevans Oyster Company, Inc., Mr. A. Mason Brent, Chesapeake Bank, Clements Tent Rentals, Coan River Marina, CoBANK, Mr. S. Lake Cowart, Jr., Mr. and Mrs. Frederick J. Cucco, Currie Funeral Home, Dominion Energy, Eagle River Construction, Mrs. Anita Eckard, Essex Concrete Corporation, Mr. Julian C. Ferras, Mr. Michael Fisher, Frederick Northup, Inc., General Testing Laboratories, Inc., Gilchrist Eyecare, Mr. and Mrs. John Huber, Jackson Neal, Jack Neal, Eugene Duffer Trust, Knight Chiropractic, In Loving Memory of Joan Albert Lawler—The Lawler Family, McFarland Cascade, Northern Neck Chevrolet, Northern Neck Electric Cooperative, Northern Neck Lumber Co., Inc., Parker Farms, Potomac Supply, LLC, Richard F. Haynie, Inc., Ms. Jean Ann Sanford, Charles and Claire Sutcliffe Educational Foundation, SonaBank, Twin Rivers Roofing & Construction, Virginia Commonwealth Bank, Warsaw Rotary Club, and Wells Fargo Advisors.

About Rappahannock Community College

Rappahannock Community College, established in 1971, serves Virginia’s Northern Neck, Middle Peninsula, and surrounding areas. Named a “Great College to Work For” by the Chronicle for Higher Education since 2015, RCC is home to multiple associate degrees and certificate programs, as well as robust and varied Workforce offerings. The College will celebrate its 50th Anniversary in 2020. Visit

Photos and Article courtesy of Michele Inderrieden, Program Coordinator, RILL Rappahannock Community College


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