Gatsby” is in Middleburg, set to host the 5th annual Windy Hill Gala headlined by Doc Scantlin and his Imperial Palms Orchestra, on Friday, November 17 at Salamander Resort and Spa.

Dubbed ‘the world’s best band’ by Forbes and ‘dazzling, glamorous, five-star” by W magazine, Doc, and his irresistible chanteuse Chou-Chou have feted presidents, entertained at the weddings of countless luminaries and graced some of the most famous international stages. The Gala kicks off the holiday season, bringing the community together to honor its most valued residents. Last year’s event saw record-breaking numbers of guests and monies raised for local charity Windy Hill Foundation, which houses the very people that keep our community running smoothly.

On the eve of the Gala, partygoers will arrive at a spotlit red carpet, dodging Gatsby’s headlights and the paparazzi to get to cocktails and hors-d’oeuvres in the palm court. Champagne will flow – as will gin martinis, no doubt, Gatsby’s regular – and highballs crafted from local bootleggers’ whiskey and bourbon.  TapSnap photographers will be on hand to chronicle guests, who are encouraged to dress the part in anything from an elegant black tie to sequined flapper dresses, fedoras or rich silk kaftans reminiscent of the opulence of the era.

After a hobnob and a tipple, guests will be ushered into the grand hall to luxuriously set and intimately lit tables for an extravagant supper. Prepared by Salamander Executive Chef Ryan Arensdorf exclusively for the Gala, the menu promises to highlight the tastes of the season.  Following supper, dynamic auctioneer Brian Danewood kicks off the fun with a magnum of champagne to one lucky table before launching into the live auction. On offer are unique packages tailored just for this event from the bounty of the local countryside: think elegant lunches, leisurely antique car drives, art classes in the studio of a local master, a week at a private country home ~ ‘once in a lifetime’ adventures to be experienced with friends and family for memories that last beyond the Gala. Come ready to raise your paddle to contribute to building a scholarship fund to be used for Windy Hill residents. Last year’s paddle raise was for the purchase of a minibus for residents, many without private transportation, and with the spirit of this magnanimous community raised enough for two busses. (Take that as a challenge.)

The real highlight of the evening comes after the auction when Doc Scantlin and his Imperial Palms Orchestra take the stage back in the Palm Court. The swing band will transport guests back to the ’20s with its 15-piece orchestra and the four “Girlfriends,” singing and dancing like the Ziegfield Folly girls behind Doc and the “man-withering” Chou Chou on jazz standards like Pennsylvania Six-5000 and Chattanooga Choo Choo. Don’t let the spats and glitz fool you, though, warn reviewers, these are serious musicians who parlay their talent into serious fun. Dancing will continue long into the night until the cops break up the party, or the champagne runs out.

Gala sponsors are starting to throw their considerable support behind Gatsby, and there’s room for more. Consider a “Golden Age,” “Duke Ellington,” “F.Scott Fitzgerald,” or “Bootlegger” sponsorship to support the residents of Windy Hill; each provides event tickets and all manner of accolades before and the night of the event.

Now in its 36th year, The Windy Hill Foundation was established to provide safe, decent, and affordable housing to low- and lower- income families and the elderly in Loudoun, Clarke, and Fauquier Counties and to encourage self-improvement and self-sufficiency among residents.

Windy Hill has always been its own brand of dynamic. Since 1981 when founder Rene Llewellyn transformed some shacks on Windy Hill Road into affordable housing, to build 396 units in Loudoun County and its surrounding areas, few guessed Windy Hill Foundation would turn into such a large, positive, and motivating force in our community. Windy Hill offers programs for children and seniors throughout our properties, assisting when they need it. Residents depend on Windy Hill for housing, childcare, and even movie nights. Its energetic board vows that as long as Windy Hill exists, they will do everything possible to make sure Bingo starts on time and rents stay affordable. The Gala is the primary fundraiser, allowing the community to pitch in and keep the love going.

Follow “Gatsby” on Facebook at as he previews the venue and unveils some of the live auction packages put together especially for the event, and purchase tickets. The party is limited to the first come, guests –last years was a sellout! – and Salamander is offering a limited time room rate to partygoers expiring October 30.

As Gatsby might say, What the deuce are you waiting for?


for tickets.

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