Brandywine In Black has partygoers in the pink

Brandywine in Black was “wildly” successful—With a Pop of Pink—as elegantly dressed partygoers dined and danced among the dinosaurs, bears and leopards on display at the Delaware Museum of Natural History in Greenville, Delaware, Saturday, March 25. Co-organizer Elizabeth Roche explained that she and event founder Vince Moro decided on pink as the accent color at the March on Washington. “Everywhere Vince and I looked we saw pink, pink, pink,” and we decided, “That’s our color for this

Jill Dal Nogare added miniature dinosaurs at the base of her floral arrangement

year’s Brandywine in Black!”

The secret location of the gala, revealed to ticket holders only 48 hours prior to the event, fueled the excitement and anticipation for the high-energy partygoers who brought their own dishes, table arrangements, food and wine. For many guests, it was their first Brandywine in Black. For others, it is a not-to-be missed date on their calendars. Devotee Margot Williams of Wilmington, Delaware, explained that for her and her friends, “This is a nice way to kick off our spring season of celebrations.”

Brandywine in Black tables decorated by participants

Tables for two, four, and eight people and long “community” tables were prepared for the invasion to the museum when the doors opened at 6 pm. Some friends reserved multiple tables for their own party within a party. Creativity and humor were abundant in the fierce competition for best table-scape design. Jill Dal Nogare added miniature dinosaurs at the base of her floral arrangement, a nod to the host location. “We found them at Walmart, and thought it would be fun to include them,” laughed Dal Nogare.

The winner of the competition, for the fourth straight year, was Diane Bartels and her gal pals from Delaware and Pennsylvania. Their table design, inspired by The Pink Panther, was the “cat’s meow.” The clever pink cat, dressed in hand sewn forma lwear trousers and sporting a diamond stud in his ear, sat next to an enormous “diamond” atop an elegant chandelier. When asked if this chandelier was the same one she used last year, Bartels laughed and said, “Oh, no, this is a different chandelier!” Bartels adorned each dinner plate and wine glass with a paw print and carried out the Pink Panther/Detective Jacques Clouseau theme with a detective’s magnifying glass on each plate.

Brandywine in Black sponsor Union Park Jaguar's general manager Thym Smith (L) with David "Hap" Mearns (R)

Several woman wore stunning shoes in a spectrum of pink shades, hoping to snag first prize in the shoe competition. The ultimate winner was Sara Krausz of Chadds Ford, who wore shocking pink stilettos trimmed in silver. If there was a “best sport” prize in the shoe competition, that prize would surely go to Krausz, too, as she was still recovering from an ankle injury sustained while running in the Beau Biden Foundation Trail Run 5k/10k the previous weekend.

Brandywine in Black and its summer cousin “Brandywine in White” are the Brandywine Valley’s most sought after Pop-Up BYOs and the brainchild of Vince Moro. Moro was inspired to organize the first Brandywine in White when he was unsuccessful in his attempt to purchase tickets to Philly’s “Diner en Blanc.” Since Moro hosted the first Brandywine in White on his farm in Chadds Ford, the events have gained a loyal following.

In addition to being great parties, Brandywine in Black/White are also fundraisers, which support conservation and open space. The focus this year was the efforts of Neighbors For Crebilly (, a local advocacy group formed last summer, which hopes  to redirect the

Ann Vandiver pours homemade strawberrycello to share

outcome of the proposed development of Crebilly Farm. Crebilly Farm is an iconic 322-acre farm that is part of Brandywine Battlefield and the site of some of the first skirmishes of our country's Revolutionary War. The development plan will forever change history if the proposed 319 homes and town homes replace Crebilly farmland.

The net proceeds from Brandywine in Black will help offset the costs of legal counsel, defense pool, professional consultants and the continued costs of outreach. $8500 was raised at this event with 165 people in attendance. The fact that Brandywine in Black and Brandywine in White are much fun and benefit so many well-deserving area non-profits is a win-win for all.


About Lora B. Englehart

Lora has a passion for art, gardening, yoga, music and dancing. She continues to research the life of locally born abolitionist and 1998 National Women's Hall of Fame inductee Mary Ann Shadd Cary. She is a dedicated community volunteer, working with the American Association of University Women, Wilmington, DE branch (programs chair), Chadds Ford Historical Society (former board member) and Brandywine Conservancy & Museum of Art. Lora lives in Birmingham Township with her husband Bill and son Brad. Daughter Erika lives in Pittsburgh with husband Bob and baby Wilhelmina. She is a former French, Spanish and ESL teacher, bilingual life insurance underwriter and public relations coordinator for Delaware Art Museum and Brandywine Conservancy & Museum of Art.



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