Area Sweet Briar alums plan series of local fund-raisers to keep college open

Sweet Briar CollegeRegional Sweet Briar College alumnae have organized a series of events to connect with the local community and raise funds for Saving Sweet Briar Inc. (SSBI), which is seeking to keep the college open. Six events, all open to the public, will be held in Amherst and Lynchburg May 29-31 in conjunction with Sweet Briar’s Reunion Weekend. Tresca on 8th in downtown Lynchburg is the site of the elegant, black-tie-optional Gala for Saving Sweet Briar on Friday, May 29, from 6-11 p.m. The event features a catered dinner, complimentary beverages, dancing to a local DJ and a silent auction. Tickets are $100.

A Sweet Celebration, featuring cocktails, heavy hors d’oeuvres, a silent auction and live music from Carbon Leaf, will be held at the Boonsboro County Club from 7-11:30 p.m., also on Friday. Tickets are $65, and include the price of one drink. Both events will feature local guests of honor.

(Continue reading for information on the other planned events.)

A family-friendly Spring Picnic, featuring a Traveler’s Cafe-catered lunch and music by the Skyler McCurley Band, will be held at Rebec Vineyards in Amherst from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 30. Tickets are $25.

A group of SBC alumnae from the Class of 1999 will host a Dell Party Pig Pickin’ at Lazy Days Winery in Amherst on Saturday from 5-10 p.m., with an Old-Time Music Pickin’ Circle and music from Party of Four, a ’90s tribute band. Tickets are $35.

Also on Saturday, An Afternoon of Dance, highlighting Sweet Briar’s long tradition of arts and culture, will be held at James River Day School’s Carrington Field House in Lynchburg at 4 p.m. Performers include longtime Sweet Briar dance instructor Mark Magruder, alumna and 20-year international dance veteran Sarah Skaggs and Lynchburg’s own Samantha Turner, owner of Lynchburg Elite Dance. Alumna Mary Susan Sinclair-Kuenning will perform a Cyr Wheel solo, made popular by Cirque du Soleil. Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for children 3-12.

A combined ticket package of $110 is being offered for the Friday Gala, the Saturday Rebec picnic and the Saturday dance concert.

Half of all event proceeds will go to SSBI. Tickets for all events except the Dell Party at Lazy Days Winery are available at www.LynchburgTickets.com. Dell Party tickets are available at www.eventbrite.com. Tickets for the dance concert, followed by a reception with light refreshments, are also available at the door. An alternate $15 ticket (without the lunch option) is available at the door for the Saturday Rebec event.

The final event of the weekend, a Sweet Briar Connections Rally at Rebec Vineyards from 1-4 p.m., is free to the public, who are invited to bring a picnic lunch and enjoy music from Sweet Briar’s Sweet Tones alumnae singers. Sweet Briar-themed items will be available for sale.

Saving Sweet Briar Inc. has raised over $1 million in donations and $12.4 million in pledges through 2020, with a goal of raising at least $20 million toward its mission of keeping the doors of the college open.

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