Wine, dine and dance to preserve Crebilly

Brandywine in White celebration to raise funds to save Crebilly Farm

More than 300 enthusiastic party goers, decked out in their best white duds, descended on Hickory Farm in Chadds Ford Saturday, August 26 for the fifth annual “Brandywine in White.” The farm’s preserved open space underscored the fundraising mission of the event—to save Crebilly Farm, on Rt. 202 and Rt. 926, from development.

Origami decorations on tablescape

The BIW location, kept secret until Thursday morning, was only the beginning of the fun. Ticket holders brought their own food and drink, eating and serving utensils, glassware, china and table décor. Table arrangements varied from those with elegant floral arrangements to simple bunches of wildflowers. Some tables presented a beach theme, while some clever designers, both inspired by the Orient, adorned one table with handmade origami birds and another with Chinese lanterns—all looked stunning against white tablecloths.

Dress ran the gamut, too, from casual summer dresses and sandals to cocktail dresses and how-can-you-walk-in-those?-shoes for the women. Men appeared in shorts and golf shirts as well as in starched white dress shirts and white jackets. Hats and sunglasses topped off ensembles for both.

“Brandywine in White” added a few new touches this year. A tethered, hot air balloon offered guests an elevated view of the party below. Candles, dedicated in the honor of loved ones, floated on the nearby pond, and Chinese lanterns sent personal dreams up and away. As late afternoon turned to evening, the dinner dishes were cleared and the dancing began. Friends started making plans for “Brandywine in Black” to be held next spring and next summer’s “Brandywine in White.”

Neighbors from Dilworthtown Oaks enjoy the evening

Net proceeds from the event will fund the legal and outreach efforts of Neighbors for Crebilly, LLC. The group’s overarching goal is to protect the quality of life for Brandywine Valley residents and to preserve the area’s history for future generations. Three historical aspects make the Crebilly property irreplaceable: its involvement in the Battle of Brandywine on September 11, 1777; the bucolic Brandywine Valley landscape; and structures on the property that date back to the 1800s. Crebilly Farm could be the “poster child” for Chester County’s unique history and natural beauty as well as the negative effects of urban sprawl. Toll Brothers proposes to build 319 new homes on what is now green, gently rolling hills.

Vince Moro, founder of “Brandywine in White” and strong advocate for Neighbors for Crebilly, LLC, stresses that, although there is a contract for the proposed sale of the land, there are many conditions to meet before the sale is final. Moro says, “It irks me when I hear that this is a ‘done deal.’ There are miles to go before this is a done deal. There are possible deal breakers on both sides.” To learn more about the fight to save Crebilly Farm, visit http://www.savecrebilly.org

For more information on “Brandywine in Black” or “Brandywine in White,” visit them on Facebook.

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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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