A Jacksonville preservation group is trying a different kind of fundraising and awareness event this holiday season, as they extend an invitation for the public to have Christmas Cocktails with Governor Duncan.
The Governor Duncan Association has replaced the annual winter gala, with the new event that is intended to put a different spin on the usual gala, says association board member Becky Baumgardt.
“We have held our annual gala every year on the first Tuesday in December, and so this year we decided to change it up a little bit, add a new twist to the event and we hope everyone will enjoy it. It’s Tuesday December 3rd at Hamilton’s 110 North East at 5:30 pm.
We are going to have a social hour for the first half hour or so, we will have complimentary wine and heavy hors d’oeuvres for everyone to enjoy and then there will also be a cash bar for other drinks, tea, water, whatever you might like.
Our goal this year is to kind of educate people on what we are trying to accomplish and why we have this fundraiser every year. I think that is something we can improve on and we are hoping that people will leave this year with more information than they have in the past.”
Proceeds from the event will go toward the continued upkeep and operation of the Governor Duncan Mansion located in Duncan Park in Jacksonville.
Curator and Director of the Mansion, Susan Hardin says that a lot of work has been done in recent years to keep the mansion in good shape, but there is a lot more that needs to be done to stave off the effects of Father Time.
“That’s why we continue to work on the home, the D.A.R. Is in the process of raising money to attach a ramp to the mansion to allow handicapped accessibility, and the Governor Duncan Association has a long list of things that need to be done on the exterior. The chimneys all need to be tuck pointed, the windows all need re-glazed and painted. All four sides of the mansion need painted at a cost of $5000.00 to $6,000.00 per side. The shutters all need to be rebuilt, I mean there is a lot of work.
The Governor Duncan Association has been very good about using local people as much as we possibly can. This community has been good to us, and we hope they continue to be, because there is still a lot of work to be done. The slogan the G.D.A. uses is- Restoring Our Past for the Future, and I do believe the Governor Duncan Mansion is worthy of that.”
In recent years, the Daughters of the American Revolution who own the house, and the Governor Duncan Association has made the house available to the public for events such as weddings, and gatherings. This type of event is offered as two of the items available in the reverse auction happening at the Christmas Cocktails event this Tuesday. Baumgardt says that all three are exciting opportunities.
“We hope that it is going to be kind of fun, it is just a different way of doing things. In the past we have had a lot of auction items where people can bid on things like basket, or a prize or a trip or something, and we do have three auction items that we are featuring. One of them is especially nice, it is a three night stay in Asheville, North Carolina in a really beautiful cabin.
The other item that you can bid on is a private party at the Duncan Mansion. So if you have an event, say you would like to have a New Year’s Eve party and you would like to have it at the mansion, we will be your host for the evening.
The third item will be an actual cocktail that the Governor Duncan Association is going to provide to you. So you can invite 20 of your friends to come to the Duncan Mansion and we will provide the appetizers and the cocktails for your party.”
The Christmas Cocktails with Governor Duncan event is this Tuesday December 3rd at Hamilton’s 110 North East with social hour starting at 5:30 pm.
Tickets are $35.00 per person with reservations for tables of eight persons for $280.00. Tickets and information is available ahead of time by calling 217-491-1356.