Great Gatsby: Life’s a Picnic

Will Thomas and Barry Dixon hosted a Great Gatsby themed fundraiser for the Northern Virginia Therapeutic Riding Program at their home, Elway Hall.

Photos by Gregorio Photography

Elway Hall, the Warrenton, Virginia home of Will Thomas of TTR Sotheby's International Realty and celebrated interior designer Barry Dixon served as the backdrop for Great Gatsby: Life's a Picnic, a benefit event to support the Northern Virginia Therapeutic Riding Program (NVTRP), Held on April 27, 2019, the second annual fundraiser was hosted by Thomas, who is a NVTRP board member and TV personality.
Founded in 1980, NVTRP helps each individual realize his or her highest potential by providing equine-assisted activities to people with disabilities, youth-at-risk, recovering military personnel, and others in need in an inclusive, community setting. Located on the 17-acre O'Shaughnessy Farm in Clifton, VA, NVTRP serves almost 150 riders each week with therapeutic riding, hippotherapy, equine-assisted learning, and equine-assisted psychotherapy.
Great Gatsby event sponsors and guests raised $153,000, a new record, to benefit the construction of NVTRP's new indoor riding arena. Top-tier sponsors included Boeing, TTR Sotheby's International Realty, Chantilly Air, Saint Germain Catering, and Total Wine. Special thanks to the Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation for matching all proceeds from the paddle raise, which combined totalled just shy of $80,000.
"The success of the Great Gatsby fundraiser is a reflection of our community that truly cares about the children and adults Northern Virginia Therapeutic Riding Program serves,” says host Will Thomas. "Raising more than $150,000 in a single afternoon sure feels wonderful, but in the end it’s about making a difference. That feeling is priceless."
Guests traveled back in time to the Roaring 20s and were treated to a flash mob of Charleston dancers, and a surprise fly-over by pilot David Brown in his vintage Boeing Stearman Biplane, while Sweet Something entertained guests with live jazz.
NVTRP Executive Director Kelsey Gallagher, along with Rebecca Patterson, whose daughter has ridden with NVTRP for nearly 10 years, shared with guests the impact of therapeutic riding.
Vintage cars on loan include a yellow 1933 Packard owned by NVTRP's Alan and Jennifer Richards, as well as others owned by Alan and Debbie Nash and Jim and Jill Mitchell.
Live Auction items included:
Exclusive Virginia Estates Tour and Chef's Tasting Luncheon at Front Porch Market & Grill for Up to Eight Guests
Turtle Inn Luxury Seaside Resort in Belize Five Night Stay for Up to Four Guests
Exclusive Ellysian Penthouse in Belize Three Night Stay for Up to Six Guests
Original Acrylic Painting by Fabiano Amin, a Brazilian-American Abstract Artist Working in Washington, DC
Exclusive 3 liter Bottle of Wine with Custom NVTRP Great Gatsby Artwork from Pearmund Cellars
Open Cockpit Biplane Ride in a 1941 Boeing Stearman

Will Thomas, TV personality, TTR Sotheby’s International Realty Agent and Great Gatsby Host, with Great Gatsby Guest Barbara Chappell

Will Thomas, TV personality, TTR Sotheby’s International Realty Agent and Great Gatsby Host, with Annie Totah, founder and president of AST Partnership for Brighter Tomorrows

Annie Totah, founder and president of AST Partnership for Brighter Tomorrows, and Barry Dixon, president of Barry Dixon, Inc.

Great Gatsby Guests Patrice King Brickman and Valeri MacIntyre with Mark Lowham, CEO and managing partner at TTR Sotheby’s International Realty

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